I am in the process of planning our next overseas holiday and I needed some inspiration so I dragged out my travel journal from when we spent 3 weeks in Vietnam with my family. I wrote in it every day. On a boat in Halong Bay, in a bamboo hut with no electricity, even up in the freezing cold mountains of Sapa after a long 12k hike.
Every now and then I pull it out and flip through the pages. This is the biggest thing I suggest to anyone who is or will be traveling. I have decided over the next few weeks I am going to share a few of my favorite entries.
Today I will start with my entry from my second day in Vietnam.
21st March 2012 (weather is slightly cloudy)
Today has been long. We woke at 0630hours and it has been go, go, go from sun up to sunset. Our guide Thai (yes that’s his name) meet us after breakfast and loaded us onto the bus for the day. We drove two hours out of Saigon until we reach the Mekong then all loaded onto a boat. As we floated down the Delta we ate fresh local fruit. The boat was being driven by this little old lady, who no joke looked like she was 100, missing all but three teeth. We drifted through the floating markets towards to poorer area (slums).
Here we saw how fish oil was made, and the smell was god awful. I hope to never suffer that smell again in this lifetime. We then got off the boat and walked down the river a little, handing out lollies to a local girl. She then proceeded to run home grab her sisters and come running back asking for more with the biggest smiles on their faces. Cheeky little monkeys. My mother had to tell us that we should not touch the top of a child’s head as it was a sign of disrespect. We then proceeded to a Vietnamese lolly shop. It truly is amazing how nothing gets wast
ed over there.
Back on the boat and we headed to a small island the see a group called ‘Happy Family’.Once lunch was finished we headed off to the markets for a tour of the local produce. Live fish, crabs, eels, snaked by the bucket load, chickens, and even worse cats. Baby ducks in boxes waiting to be sold to the local croc farms for food. I felt the need to cry but as usual, Andrew told me to harden up. We headed back to the hotel had a quick shower grab things we needed for the night and headed to the streets to get food. Thai told us about this place all the locals go to for Pho Soup (a Vietnamese vegetable, noodle soup) and my god it was amazing. We walked the night markets for an hour or so and bought some watches that didn’t even work (I let Andrew do the bartering, he’s better at it). Now back at the hotel room and about to curl up and pass out. Can not wait for what tomorrow brings.
I love looking back at my old travel journals. They give me hope for my traveling future. I will post another one in a few days. Hope you like my Vietnam flash-back. (See what I did there).