We’re in our final part of my Vietnam vacation series, this time I’m going to let you peek into Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh! I did more of sightseeing for this, unlike in the other places where we stayed long listening or learning about the structures. As usual, lots of photos coming your way!
After tomb-hopping in Hue, we went for a 5 hour-drive to Hoi An and arrived at our hotel in the evening. I loved our hotel since it’s very near to some of the best restaurants (when I say near, I mean just across the street!). Hoi An is a foodie’s paradise, there is just so much to try and everything is really good. Want proof? Well, besides all the yummy food, tourists often flock to the restaurants to take cooking classes. Every restaurant I’ve been to has them!
The next morning, we we went to My Son Holy Land, the Hindu temple and sanctuary of the ancient Cham people in Vietnam. Most of the structures were destroyed during the war due to bombing. But since it has been proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, restoration and conservation efforts are in place. Our guide showed us the bricks that the ancient Cham people used in building the monuments and until now, they look newer and better compared to the bricks that were used in the reconstruction, which look worn out. He told us that until now, no one knows the secret to the Cham people’s construction techniques.
After exploring the ruins, we went on a walking tour of Hoi An Old Town. Our guide said that Chinese and Japanese traders used to frequent this place since they considered it to be the best trading destination in the region. It has since been replaced as a center of trade but it is a lively tourist destination because of the city’s traditional architecture and historical significance.
The next morning, we flew to Ho Chi Minh City. There was a problem with our flight that caused us to arrive in the evening, thus missing out on the city tour. I wasn’t able to spend much time in Ho Chi Minh, which I really regret because it’s such a large city with so many things to see. We were only able to explore Mekong Delta, which is a great place to explore village life in Vietnam. After that, we visited the Vinh Trang Pagoda, where you can see giant Buddha statues besides the usual pagoda architecture, so at least I still got to enjoy some of what the South has to offer!
Before our flight back home, we headed to Cu Chi Tunnel for a day tour. This place is a network of tunnels built by the Vietnamese in order to hide from the Americans during the war. Before I went there, I thought it was just a tunnel to connect different places, which would make it easy for the Vietnamese to travel undetected. But during the tour, I found out that some of the underground tunnels also led to several living quarters for the civilians! I was very amazed and I couldn’t imagine how they built a structure like this.
The guide gave us a chance to go inside the tunnels and I wasn’t able to take photos because it was a very small, cramped, and dark space. The air was so thin too. When I went into one of the tunnels and half-walked-half-crawled my way through, I had nothing but praise for the Vietnamese people who managed to survive every single day going through these paths.
How I wish I could have stayed longer in my latter destinations so I could visit more places but hey, that means I have a reason to come back to Vietnam!
That wraps up my Vietnam trip! Writing this series of posts really brought back lots of memories from my vacation. I hope you guys enjoyed the photos and the occasional history lessons as much as I did!