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Vietnam Diaries 1: Good Morning , Vietnam!

I landed this morning after a 10 day trip to Vietnam. As I got into the cab on my way home, it seemed like one long, beautiful dream, far, far away; so different from anything that I had fathomed, that it almost seemed unreal.

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‘Exotic’ best describes this South East nation-the people, the food, the landscape, the victory over the Americans and the loyalty and respect the 93 million population have for 1 man who led the freedom struggle- the Late President Ho Chi Minh.

Little people buzzing around like bees, as busy as ants, had worked together to build the country after getting their freedom in 1975- 40 years ago!

 

Wide, clean roads, French architecture ( as they were also ruled by the French) amidst Vietnamese styled homes, shopping districts that come to life at night, local people sitting on low stools sharing a hot pot together on the streets and a deep-rooted sense of patriotism. The country is busy by day and by night -buzzing with restaurants, cafes, art galleries and massage parlors and markets selling branded items for a steal.

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Then again, amidst all the development, this nation has retained it’s history, it’s rich culture- pagodas, mausoleums and dressing -ayo dai (is the long dress that the ladies wear, very similar to the Indian salwar kameez) and the unique vietnamese hat tops up the “exotic” quotient.

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Vietnam won our hearts fair and square.The 10 days trip spanning the South ( Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh city), the Central ( Hoi An , Danang, Ba Na Hills, Hue) and the North ( Hanoi,  Halong Bay) was a perfect way to end 2016 and welcome 2017. Varying topography, hot to cold climates, extremely safe and lots to explore and learn about is how I’d describe a holiday in Vietnam.

So, go ahead and start making your travel plans😊. I assure you, if you like history, adventure, exploring, experiencing new cultures and  love sea- food then Vietnam surely will not let you down. Vegetarians and non-seafood lovers need not despair. We were served vegetables dishes with all our meals. Food is cooked in the healthiest way possible- steamed, boiled with absolutely no ‘masalas’ (something we Indians can’t live without). However, we survived by visiting the local Indian restaurants for dinner once in 2 days (it’s a little difficult to go healthy all of a sudden and ‘regression’ symptoms is what we were trying to avoid while on holiday 🙂

I will be writing a detailed post on our trip. If you’ll have any questions on the country or how you need to go about planning a trip to Vietnam, feel free to ask. I will be happy to answer.

P.S.: A trip to Vietnam has an added benefit. It does not burn your pockets. You can shop till you drop!

 

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At the airport…the 8 of us at Saigon

 

All pictures have been taken by my husband Sanjay Nair, who, through this trip has found his passion for photography.

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