After leaving Thailand, we spent October traveling in Vietnam. A communist country, we didn't love our time there like we did in Thailand, but we enjoyed learning about a new culture, even if we didn't always understand it. Here is a picture recap of our four weeks there:
We began our trip with a luxurious getaway on Phú Quốc, a Vietnamese island in the Gulf of Thailand.
Once in Saigon, we took a two-day trip to the Mekong Delta, known for its floating market.
We stopped at Vinh Trang Temple on the way to the Mekong Delta. It's one of the best-known temples in the region.
Heading north, we made a stop in Da Nang, a coastal city with a Dragon Bridge that spits fire and water. We then ventured to the ancient city of Hội An.
Hội An is known for its French colonial buildings, canals, and lanterns - it was my favorite city in Vietnam. We spent four days here, one of which we spent touring the Hindu temple ruins of Mỹ Sơn (pictured below).
Hội An is also known for its amazing tailors who specialize in custom shoes, suits, bags, and more. I had a pair of suede ankle booties made in this shop!
Taking another plane even further north, we spent a week with Anthony's aunt and uncle in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Their home was paradise. After spending the last few months in tea houses, hostels, bamboo huts (and rarely) resorts, walking into a real home was incredible.
While there we visited the Hanoi Hilton, St. Joseph's Cathedral, the Trấn Quốc Pagoda, Hanoi's Old and French Quarters, and the Presidential Palace. We also spent time working on the website, playing tennis, and eating the best Mexican food we have found is South East Asia!
We spent a lazy Sunday wandering through antique stores.
Sa Pa, a town near the China border, is famous for its terraced rice fields. We spent three days in this tiny village and had to take a very uncomfortable overnight train to get there and back.
Ha Long Bay, our last stop in Vietnam, is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Our tour guide claimed Jurassic Park filmed a few scenes here. Whether correct or not, it definitely looked like it. We took an overnight cruise boat to spend a full 24 hours on the bay.
We had many adventures in Vietnam, some were great and others were not. We experienced everything from food poisoning to stolen iPhones to gorgeous bike rides through beachy villages. We visited the war museums and discussed politics and worked out in a gym for the first time since leaving. We experienced rain, sun, and some of the worst smog I've ever seen. But most importantly, we learned a lot about ourselves, Vietnam, and life. We are thankful.