From the mountains to the beaches and bustling cities, Vietnam is as beautiful as it is diverse. In Hanoi, I stayed in the Old Quarter, which seems to be the soul of the city. I thought I would be overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city, but, much to my surprise, Hanoi had a real charm to it. On Friday night, the streets of the Old Quarter were closed off to local traffic. Vendors, food stalls, and live music filled every street.
Sapa is a quaint town located in the northwest. The real charm, however, is the surrounding country side with lush mountains that are home to hillside tribes and unforgettable views.
During our hike from the village to Pen’s house, which took 2.5 hours, we ran into Pen’s son and niece. They do this 2.5 hour walk every morning and afternoon to get to school–and it takes them about 45 minutes.
After taking the night train back to Hanoi and parting ways with my friends, I made my way to Halong Bay. I opted out of the notorious booze cruises and stayed on the island of Cat Ba, located a little further into the Bay.
The last stop of the trip was Hoi An. The ancient town of Hoi An is a World Heritage Site, so the whole town is extremely well-preserved.