Vietnam: Shopping, Halong Cruise and War History

Vietnam; what an amazing country!! Especially Hanoi is such an incredible place. We spend in total around 5 days in Hanoi, and whished we could’ve stayed even longer! Hanoi has a small beautiful centre, and our hotel was located right at the heart of it! Every street was specialized in something else; silks, handicrafts, coffee; you name it. We actually tasted very special types of coffee here; weasle coffee and kopi luwak (civet cat) coffee! It costs only 1 to 2 euro per cup! The taste is incredible; chocolatey-bailey’s coffee-ish. Safe to say we got some for back home:P The rest of our shopping included diverse items as: bamboo bowls, silks, a tailor-made suit (Jan-Henk), and buffalo horn items. It really is a shopping paradise! But most importantly, the people are incredibly friendly and authentic.

We also went on a long-anticipated Halong Bay cruise. 3 Days and two nights (although more like 1,5 day really) we were on a beautiful -and pretty luxurious for our standards- boat that went through the gorgeous rock formations in the bay. We stopped at many places, such as the viewing point in our featured image, and visited a cave, floating villages, and a pearl farm.

A hat we found on an island

Fish for sale in Halong Bay
Fish for sale in Halong Bay
A pearl farm with a jellyfish among the oysters
A pearl farm with a jellyfish among the oysters
Locals casting their nets in Halong Bay
Locals casting their nets in Halong Bay
Local rowing to her floating home in Halong Bay
Local rowing to her floating home in Halong Bay
On top of a tall rock in Halong Bay
On top of a tall rock in Halong Bay
Halong Bay sunset
Halong Bay sunset

After our cruise, we flew from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city. HCMC is very different from Hanoi, less cozy and beautiful. We visited the War museum and saw the atrocities of the Vietnam wars, including war machineries (see photo below).

At night, we saw people exercising and meditating, something we also saw in Hanoi in the morning and by which we were really impressed. You could spot people of all ages playing soccer, foot-badminton, basketball, running, or tai chi-ing. Our country could learn from that;)

A HCMC electricity worker laying (even more) cables
A HCMC electricity worker laying (even more) cables

We furthermore went on a day trip to Cu Chi, which was a battleground of the Vietcong and the Americans in the Vietnam war, and where you could now visit Vietcong camps, tunnels, and even shoot a gun. Needless to say, we did all three:P (M30 if you really want to know). We now felt ready to take on Cambodia and discover both its horrendous (Pol Pot) as well as its beautiful (Angkor Wat) history! Below a picture from the Cu Chi tunnels:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
Vietcong sure were small people!

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