My time in Vietnam was too short.  5 days/4 nights too short.  I had no plans on visiting this beautiful country if it wasn't for my good friend, Janice Jann.  My original trip to Asia was just to go back to Hong Kong to visit family.  But she brought up the idea of going on a weekend trip to Vietnam while I was in town, so of course I said "Sure!"  Vietnam is absolutely a beautiful country.  Although it's a bit old school in their ways in comparison to our Western culture, it's a place that has lots of culture, kind people and fresh food.  I am thankful for being able to get a quick glimpse of Vietnam by visiting Hanoi and Nha Trang.  I hope to visit again soon before Western culture overtakes Vietnam's rich heritage and beauty.  

Here was my itinerary for the trip:

  • April 3, 2014:  Hong Kong to Hanoi, Vietnam
  • April 4:  Hanoi -> Nha Trang
  • April 6:  Nha Trang -> Hanoi
  • April 7:  Hanoi -> Hong Kong
TIP:  Fancy American hotels are relatively cheap here.  We stayed at the Intercontinental Hanoi and the Sheraton Nha Trang for an average of $125/night.  

TIP:  Fancy American hotels are relatively cheap here.  We stayed at the Intercontinental Hanoi and the Sheraton Nha Trang for an average of $125/night.  

No motorized machine to clean the waters here.  100% human powered  - by his hands and feet! 

No motorized machine to clean the waters here.  100% human powered  - by his hands and feet! 

TIP:  Make sure you negotiate the cab fare before getting in. Cab drivers here are notorious for charging you more than you should be paying. The cabs at the hotels are okay.

TIP:  Make sure you negotiate the cab fare before getting in. Cab drivers here are notorious for charging you more than you should be paying. The cabs at the hotels are okay.

Motos are the mode of transportation.

Motos are the mode of transportation.

The chairs!  Those mini stools are everywhere.

The chairs!  Those mini stools are everywhere.

Chau Long wet market - it's amazing to see all the raw meat and produce sold here.  Although there are slabs of raw meat just sitting out, this place is pretty clean.

Chau Long wet market - it's amazing to see all the raw meat and produce sold here.  Although there are slabs of raw meat just sitting out, this place is pretty clean.

Vietnamese egg coffee - super sweet.  It's basically custard coffee latte.  :P

Vietnamese egg coffee - super sweet.  It's basically custard coffee latte.  :P

The streets of Hanoi. It's real-life Frogger when you walk the streets here. Just walk forward with intention.  :)

The streets of Hanoi. It's real-life Frogger when you walk the streets here. Just walk forward with intention.  :)

Flew to Nha Trang - a beach resort town in southeast Vietnam.

Nha Trang - a southern beach off the southeast coast of Vietnam.  Many Russian tourists come here to vacation - lots of Russians.

Nha Trang - a southern beach off the southeast coast of Vietnam.  Many Russian tourists come here to vacation - lots of Russians.

Janice!  As much as the water is blue in the background - it's actually quite dirty.... I went in the water once and spent the rest of the time resting on the beach drinking fresh coconuts!

Janice!  As much as the water is blue in the background - it's actually quite dirty.... I went in the water once and spent the rest of the time resting on the beach drinking fresh coconuts!

Nha Trang is known for their seafood so we went where the locals went.  Those green and blue bowls are filled with fresh seafood.

Nha Trang is known for their seafood so we went where the locals went.  Those green and blue bowls are filled with fresh seafood.

The fine dining experience of Nha Trang.

The fine dining experience of Nha Trang.

So we ordered a little bit too much food for 2 people.... but it was an experience.  Literally fresh off the boat seafood.

So we ordered a little bit too much food for 2 people.... but it was an experience.  Literally fresh off the boat seafood.

The seafood here is cooked a little bit more sweeter than Chinese seafood cooking.  It was good nonetheless, but I think I like my seafood a little bit more saltier.  

The seafood here is cooked a little bit more sweeter than Chinese seafood cooking.  It was good nonetheless, but I think I like my seafood a little bit more saltier.  

We flew back to Hanoi to fly back to Hong Kong.  So had 1 more night and morning in Hanoi before we left.

Hoan Kiem Lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake.

Hanoi nightlife.

Hanoi nightlife.

So we were pretty dissatisfied by our last meal in Vietnam so I was pretty adamant on waking up early to find any local eats before our late morning flight back to Hong Kong.  The streets of Vietnam surprisingly cpme alive pretty early.  By 7am, you can hear the roaring and honking of motos roaming through the streets.  Our last meal - Bánh cuốn - in Vietnam was my favorite meal I had the entire trip.  We stumbled upon it from just walking the streets trying to eat anything that looked "authentic."  We chose this spot because we saw a lot of people sitting down at this lady's stall so Janice and I sat down too.  No one spoke English at the stand and Janice and I didn't even know what we were eating until we were able to google what it was later on.  I wish I had better photos, but it was a small space, it started pouring rain, and we were rushing to eat and head back to catch our flight to HK.  Nonetheless, it was delicious, warm and truly a unique meal that I've never had before!

Bánh cuốn is like a Vietnamese savory rice crepe.  So good!  People just ride their moto, stop and sit down, eat, and then head out to work. A different type of "fast food" here.

Bánh cuốn is like a Vietnamese savory rice crepe.  So good!  People just ride their moto, stop and sit down, eat, and then head out to work. A different type of "fast food" here.

Then it started pouring rain like cats and dogs!  The kind lady told us to wait inside while it rained.  She was still churning out Bánh cuốn while the rain was coming down.

Then it started pouring rain like cats and dogs!  The kind lady told us to wait inside while it rained.  She was still churning out Bánh cuốn while the rain was coming down.

This is what we saw as we left Vietnam.  We walked back in the pouring rain to catch a cab to the airport back to HK.  I'm definitely coming back!

This is what we saw as we left Vietnam.  We walked back in the pouring rain to catch a cab to the airport back to HK.  I'm definitely coming back!