A magnificent discovery... The spirit of Vietnam

| March 6, 2013

Chris and Lynette Helmore recently visited Vietnam with Cox & Kings.

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We've had a number of long-haul holidays with Cox & Kings and when we saw that the Spirit of Vietnam tour visited all the places that we wanted, we looked no further. Once again, we were not disappointed.

Friday 16 November: We’d been warned about the traffic in Hanoi – mopeds and motorbikes everywhere!

Saturday 17 November: A long but interesting bus journey up into the mountains. At one stop we tried delicious bamboo rice – hollow bamboo, lined with banana leaves and filled with rice. As we climbed, we noticed the white Thai houses on stilts and scenery similar to Halong Bay, but this time on land. Mai Chau was a wonderful place to stay, so quiet after Hanoi and the food was excellent.

Sunday 18 November: A day to be remembered! In under an hour we were in the local market for the Hmong people. The men were mostly sitting in the background, playing cards and drinking while the women and children were busy shopping for food, clothing and material.

Monday 19 November: Back in Hanoi and a chance to see where Ho Chi Minh lived, tea at the Metropole, the Water Puppet Theatre and a fun ride through the mopeds in a rickshaw back to the hotel.

Tuesday 20 November: An early start to beat the queues at Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and then a really interesting visit to the Ethnology Museum with its reconstructed houses and displays of costumes. Off to Halong Bay.

Wednesday 21 November: An interesting time aboard the boat. The scenery is well known, but watching the fishermen and families on the floating villages was fascinating too. Back to Hanoi for a flight to Da Nang.

Thursday 22 November: Hoi An – what a beautiful place to stay, so much to see and do including being measured for a traditional ao dai and jacket. The old town was also interesting, but it was good to have time to relax in the pool at Life Heritage Resort.

Friday 23 November: Our drive took us past China Beach and up the mountain into the clouds towards Hue. Fascinating royal tombs and La Residence was another beautiful resort.

Saturday 24 November: The highlight of this day was a private lunch at the beautifully restored home of the Nguyen dynasty after our visit to the Citadel and Forbidden Purple City.

Sunday 25 November: A long day involving a flight and a journey by road to Can Tho in the Meking delta.

Monday 26 November: A real change of scene as we travelled by boat to the floating market and later on smaller boats along narrow channels in the delta. Back to traffic in Ho Chi Minh City!

Tuesday 27 November: A sobering day visiting the Cu Chi tunnels, the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. Drinks at nightfall 50 floors up followed by a meal overlooking the river.

Wednesday 28 November – Sunday 2 December: We were so pleased that we decided to extend our stay on the coast. The Princess D’Annam resort was heaven on earth. Such friendly faces, excellent food and service. We really didn’t want to leave.

View Cox & Kings' holidays to Vietnam.

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