For the last part of our trip, we decided to visit central Vietnam, the city of Hoi An. It is a charming, delightful riverside town with history dating back to 2200 years, once considered the best port city for trade by Chinese and Japanese merchants. The Old Town still contains over 800 historical buildings including Japanese merchant houses, Chinese temples, and ancient tea warehouses. Now the streets are also littered with boutique hotels, lounge bars, tourist shops, and a ton of tailor shops. At night, the city lights up by lanterns, with people mingling and gathering along the river, adding a relaxed vibe to this laid back town. On the way to visit the historic town of Hoi An, we made a quick stop at Marble Mountain after flying into the Da Nang airport.
On New Years Eve 2016, we decided to spend the night bringing in 2017 on the breathtaking Ha Long Bay. Locals say Ha Long Bay contains 1,969 islands - the same year Ho Chi Minh died. In reality there's probably closer to over 2,000 of them, but I like the idea of 1,969 to represent 1969. Halong translates to "where the dragon descends into the sea". Legend has it that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a great dragon from the mountains who charged towards the coast, with its flailing tail gouging out valleys and crevasses. The area filled with water when the dragon plunged into the sea. Another legend says that the people prayed to be protected from the pirates. A dragon appeared and spit fire that turned into pearls, which then became limestone islands in the sea. The pirates then crashed into the islands and the people were saved. Either way, a dragon supposedly helped create this majestic site :) #dragonsdoexist #didtheycreateotherbeautifulareasaroundtheworld? #wemayneverknow
After our morning flight from Saigon, we arrived in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. The city is known for it's rich culture and old architecture, influenced by both the French and Chinese, with a flurry of scooters driving around. The narrow streets around the Old Quarter are roughly arranged by trade and the goods they are selling And around the serene Hoan Kiem Lake, many locals perform t-ai chi at dawn, creating a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
The day after Christmas again, Nate and I took another big trip to take advantage of the Holidays and living in Asia :) #iwanttoseeeverycountry #travel After our layover in Taipei (read more about that here), we found ourselves in Vietnam - a country we've always wanted to visit. #musteatallthepho
Nate and I were super excited to visit the beautiful country of Vietnam. Influenced by the many wars fought in the country, France, China, Japan, and America have all left a unique mark. This Communist nation is filled with motorbikes, gorgeous views (from beaches, to limestone mountains, and ricefields), history, and delicious food (including some of the best baguettes I've had!). #mmmmmfood #eatingourwayacrosstheworld
We began our journey in the bustling, exciting city of Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as some still call it. The city is a mix of commerce and culture, wealthy and budget travelers alike, yummy street food, and a ton of motorbikes! #neverendingbikes #iwanttoeatallthefood
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!