Vietnam, Cambodia & Northern Thailand
Saturday 8th December 2007
My journey through Vietnam, Cambodia & Northern Thailand was truly wonderful, from the local people to the immense culture and the amazing sights, it is definitely a trip I will never forget.
The holiday began with an overnight stay in Bangkok, the Shangri La Hotel was located superbly within easy reach to any area of the city. The staff at the hotel were most helpful and organised a city tour while we were there.
Onwards to Hanoi in northern Vietnam where the city life was both exciting and charming. We took a cyclo tour which was almost terrifying as traffic was travelling both directions on both sides of the street, but a tour that must be done to experience life in this Capital city.
Halong Bay was the second night stop on our tour of Vietnam. The bay itself is one of Vietnam's five UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the scenery here is 'jaw dropping'. We took a 'Junk Boat' cruise around the limestone islands and stopped visiting caves and even visited locals selling fish & fruit!
Our third night was back in Hanoi where we took in a water puppet show - a nice evening out and very reasonable, approx €2 per person, definitely worth seeing, and lasting approx 1 hour - 1 hour 20 mins.
Hue was the next stop on our dream holiday. Hue is located approx half way down the coast, and was another city with fascinating sights. It was also a good base for excursions to many places of interest such as Thien My Pagoda and the Forbidden Purple City. It was then onto Hoi An.
We stayed here for three nights to relax after all our touring. It was a culture shock when we arrived as it felt as though we had stepped back in time to a life that was long passed. Many classic houses still remain in Hoi An and you can visit them and meet the families that now live there. We came to love Hoi An, the pace of life, the local people and their culture absolutely amazed us. The streets were roughly paved, the 'shops' were the living rooms in peoples homes, a truly unforgettable time in Hoi An.
Relaxation was then over and Saigon was next, this was to be another major highlight for us. From Saigon we visited the Cu Chi tunnels, War Remnants Museum, took a boat trip on the Mekong Delta river and were taken on a wonderful city tour. We stayed at the New World Hotel in Saigon which was very centrally located. Opposite the hotel were markets which were a shoppers heaven!
Saigon was the end of our tour to Vietnam but I have no doubt that we will be back again.
From here, we then had a 2 night stopover in Cambodia to see Angkor Wat, wonderful to see but Vietnam was so outstanding it remains very hard to beat as a destination.
Our 6 nights in Northern Thailand, took us to Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai where we had the opportunity to see the Golden Triangle, visit local hill tribes and take an exciting elephant trek! There is so much to do and see in Thailand, there really is something for everyone. So if you're preference is for excitement or relaxation or a bit of both, then you can't go wrong! If you would like any further information on this trip, please feel free to contact me.
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