Heading north in Vietnam

8th August 2016

Right now i’m in Vietnam and I won’t get to see the whole country but it’s been mostly awesome so far. Danang wasn’t the most exciting city but it makes a change from super busy cities. Danang was good for not doing much; chilling by the sea and drinking coconuts.

Hoi An is near Danang and it’s a famous place in Vietnam so I had to go and see it for myself. It was cheaper to rent a motorbike and ride there myself. Riding on the opposite side of the road isn’t a problem, it just felt normal after 5 minutes.

Fruit man in Hoi An, Vietna
Fruit man in Hoi An, Vietna

Hoi An

Hoi An was super busy and full of tourists but it’s worth the visit. I pulled up on the moped, paid someone old man to look after it then headed towards the river. It’s hard to take photos of somewhere in the dark without a tripod or flash but it was good to see the town at night.

I walked straight past all the shops selling the usual shit and just sat by the river with a smoothie. Everywhere either looks old or it’s restored to look old but it’s awesome.

Sunset over Hoi An - Vietnam
Sunset over Hoi An – Vietnam

It’s funny. You walk past the restaurants selling over priced western food and they are full of backpackers and holiday hippies. You walk past restaurant selling local food and only see Asians. Going to Asia and eating burger and chips is bad so don’t do it. I’m starting to hate backpackers because they claim to be so cultural yet getting drunk and eating pizzas every day is the same as what they do back home.

After my 3 day fever, I couldn’t eat for a while but the food in Hoi An looked so good. I don’t know what I ate, I had some sort of Vietnamese equivalent of nachos; Hoành thánh chiên. Not bad for £1.70. I didn’t spend too long at Hoi An, after a while the streets all started looking the same so I just headed back. Riding back to Da Nang after food in the dark was dodgy, but I got back easy.

Hoành thánh chiên on the menu
Hoành thánh chiên on the menu
Light sellers - Hoi An, Vietnam
Light sellers – Hoi An, Vietnam

Danang

Danang isn’t my sort of place. I’m all about busy cities with lots going on. Danang has a beach, hotels and not much else. It’s good to sit on the beach but I get bored of that after half an hour.

Instead, I went about the city on the motorbike, found some good coffee shops and ate street food. Vietnam has so many great Coffee shops but there wasn’t as many in Danang. In the evenings there wasn’t much to do for me; just sit somewhere with a drink and eat food.

Danang was ok, just nothing amazing; next stop north to Hanoi.

Danang at Night
Danang at Night

Hanoi

Hanoi is busy, it’s hot and most important, it’s not raining. My luggage didn’t get lost at the airport, but the bus driver into the city tried to scam me. I was the last person on the bus to drop off and he pulled over and demanded extra money. It got pretty heated and I was sat next to him in the front and made him drive to where I was staying.

People see foreigners and just expect them to be rich and throw money away. I’ll pay someone extra if there’s traffic or it’s far but demanding money don’t work.

I’m staying in the old quarter of Hanoi. It seems like it’s the tourist part of town but it’s nice. Northern Vietnam has two famous things most people see; Ha long bay and Sa pa. I will most likely go and see them both and maybe more.

Ha long bay is accessible on a day trip and then Sa pa is 8 hours north of Hanoi so that will be a few days. Maybe go there for a week and see more than just sa pa.

Plastic dealer - Hanoi, Vietnam
Plastic dealer – Hanoi, Vietnam