You’ll only overcome your fear once you experience it…. A month ago I decided to spent some days away from Singapore and learn more about my self so I went to explore Vietnam a communist country in asia rich in history, culture and natural beauty. It was the kind of solo trip I was looking for where I can learn to navigate and do things on my own. It was the kind of trip I decide only for myself, the places I will visit, what I will eat and what time I will wake up (but as usual Im an early bird as always :P).
Fews days were spent in Hanoi, walking around its busy street crossing it is like dancing Cha-Cha because the motorbikes are everywhere you got to cross it by following the locals. It is such a busy area both day and night and vendors are with their bicycles selling fruits, veggies and meats while some are just in the corners of the street waiting for people to pass by and buy something. One thing I learned before buying anything is not to ask the price if you have no plans of buying it especially in the morning they might consider it as bad luck through out the day if you will only ask and dont intend to buy. The shops around the Old Quarter are also interesting selling souvenirs and other stuff. There are lots of coffee shops around, I got lots of good recommendations from a friend on what to eat and where to find vegan foods. I must also say there are lots of Vegan options in every shops I went and was happy to meet new encounters who likes what I eat too.
From vibrant polo shirts to handmade bags, its such a good treat to look at.
Passing by this shop that sells everything ceramic, I remember my mom who has an eye collecting blue and white ceramic stuff. And she also has a thing for plates so I got this one for her, so she wont scold me 😛
The night is still young, and for me I try to taste the local beer after my meal and also planning for the next day of my itinerary. This map has helped me a lot navigate around Hanoi.
I have visited the church, several temples and museum and also tried to discover a small street where this railway is located that every blogger traveller has posted so its a must for me to see it as well.
A trip in Hanoi is not complete without visiting Ho Chi Minh’s museum and learn a little about his love for his country and the Vietnamese people as well as visiting the famous Old Quarter landmark and St. Joseph’s Cathedral which is a contribution during the French invasion. Oh and for the love of running it is a good way to explore the area.
The very reason I also wanted to go to Vietnam is to visit its northern part Sa Pa, the land of amazing culture, heritage and beautiful landscapes of rice fields. My bed for tonight took the sleeper bus because the journey is going to be long and also to save time travelling.
Alas! I reached Sa pa, although it took a really long ride far from expected Im still happy that we travelled safely so I just drop my backpack in the hotel, took a shower and had breakfast. After settling with my trekking itinerary the next thing I know was we were heading to the rice field. Ah finally the rice field Ive been eyeing to see on my natal day 🙂 I opted to wear sandals to spare my running shoes from being wet as this summer season is also their rainy season but then not putting sunblock on my feet is a disaster :P.
While we were in the van I met a few travellers from different parts of the world and the best thing was them singing a happy birthday song for me… Here are some of the photos I took and cant get enough of this view and wonderful creation.
What about staying for a night and sleeping in one of the villas here in Sa Pa. The adventure was great the first part of our trekking the sun is out and after having lunch in of the villages the rain started to pour and despite getting all wet and dirty with the muds we have a very fun day indeed.
The next day I woke up early to catch the first train and travel again to Fansipan mountain, elevation after another elevation.
Visited the highest temple which is located in the Fansipan Peak, the weather is cold while Im wearing my running shorts, forgot to carry a jacket so I have to walk around and beat the cold.
On my last day in Sa Pa I chose to walk around and see Sa Pa lake which is not quite far from my hotel, I also visited the Sa Pa stone church which in January is covered with snow during the winter season.
In the evening I took the sleeper bus again and headed directly to the airport, although I was a little early for my flight I have to do it that way instead of travelling back to Hanoi which was my original plan but since the airport is in between these two, its better to just stay in the airport to save cost.
My ears took a while to recover from the pressure but its totally worth the experience and time I spent in this south part of asia. To anyone wanting to explore Vietnam I guarantee that you will enjoy your trip whether being alone or with your group of friends.