There’s nowhere quite like Vietnam. The people, the culture, the history and the food, it’s a destination that will make you fall in love the moment you arrive – and leave an impression long after you return home.
TripADeal Product Analyst Alex Nicholls recently rekindled his love for ‘the land of the ascending dragon’ over the Christmas break, joining his partner Ella for an epic journey among the rolling mountains and hidden villages of Northern Vietnam.
Here’s a taste of their incredible, high-octane adventure.
Where did you go and what inspired you to visit?
My partner Ella and I decided to visit Northern Vietnam, ranging from Hanoi to Halong Bay, right up towards the Vietnamese side of the border of China. It had been a few years since I’ve visited Asia and some close friends of ours recently spent three months in Vietnam, riding motorcycles around the majority of the country. After hearing their stories once they arrived home, we both felt incredibly inspired and decided to go ahead and book!
What did you enjoy most?
Vietnamese food is without a doubt some of the most incredible I’ve experienced. From the second you step into Vietnamese civilisation you can smell the food cooking. Their culture revolves highly around food and family. Everyone always eats together and spends a lot of time together, which is beautiful to see. Even in regions relatively untouched by tourism, the kindness and welcoming nature of Vietnamese people is overwhelming.
Were there any standout moments or experiences?
After spending some time in Hanoi, we ventured far North towards the border of China, hired some motorcycles and off we went with a map in hand. On day one we got very lost, which resulted in us riding through tiny villages in the mountains, seemingly untouched by Western culture. Children smiled, waved and high-fived us as we rode through. Seeing the smile on their faces definitely lit up ours. Getting lost turned into the adventure of a lifetime and an incredible, eye opening experience.
What surprised you most about the trip?
The hospitality and welcoming nature of Vietnamese people. Given the history of the region, I was unsure how we as Westerners would be greeted, especially in some of the more remote areas. To be welcomed with open arms and cheesy, cheeky grins was somewhat a surprise.
Who would you recommend it to and why?
I truly believe that Vietnam has something to offer any traveller, regardless of what style of travel they’re into. If you like luxury, spend some time cruising the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Listed Halong Bay or stay in a 5 star resort in Hanoi, lap up the island life on Phu Quoc or unwind in Hoi An. If you want an adventure, head far North, hop on a motorcycle and go and explore!
Ready for an adventure of your own? Browse TripADeal trips to Vietnam here.
Note: Though motorbike tours are not offered by TripADeal, you could Arrive Early or Stay Behind to have your own high-octane escape at leisure, depending on the terms and conditions of your deal.