From Hanoi to Saigon and Everywhere in Between
The travel blogger behind Thailand-based design blog Rice Potato takes us on a visual tour of Vietnam.
VIETNAM – Xin chào. Earlier this year, my wife and I spent a month traveling around Vietnam. We made our way from chilly Hanoi (seriously, it was freezing) to sunny Saigon, stopping for phở, coffee, and many photo opportunities along the way. Here are a few favorite snaps from our travels.
First order of business: egg coffee (yes, egg and coffee – it’s a thing!) Sounds strange, tastes pretty delicious. Giảng Cafe in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is known to serve one of the best, but you’ll find it in cafes all over the city.
We visited Ninh Binh on a day trip from Hanoi. Somehow overlooked by most tourists (who flock to nearby Ha Long Bay en masse), Ninh Binh’s scenery is absolutely stunning.
Hoi An might be touristy as hell, but there is no denying that this little town in central Vietnam is incredibly charming. To dodge the crowds, get up early.
To take a break from the tourist masses, head up to The Chef restaurant in Hoi An’s old town. It sports a rooftop that is perfect for a coffee break or a drink at sunset.
In a sea of yellow, Hoi An’s Hoa Van Le Nghia Temple stood out for its cobalt blue color. If you’re lucky, you’ll find an old Vietnamese lady peddling her wares in this same doorway, which makes for a very photogenic scene.
We traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as most locals call it, in the week before Tết (Vietnamese New Year) which is quite possibly the best time to visit. During the days, streets turn into fields of marigold and chrysanthemums, believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year.
Ho Chi Minh City’s skyline proves that Vietnam is so much more than stucco walls and crumbling buildings.
I’d be lying if I said my visiting Vietnam wasn’t 50 percent food-motivated (ok, more like 90 percent). While you’ll find fabulous street eats all around the country, there are some restaurants not to be missed either. We particularly liked Mountain Retreat in Ho Chi Minh City, a somewhat hidden rooftop restaurant with great food and fantastic vibes.
One last shot of an al fresco haircut in Ho Chi Minh City.
Keep Exploring Vietnam
A Whirlwind Tour of Vietnam and Cambodia
Sniff Your Way to the Best Street Food in Vietnam
Golden Hour Never Ends in Vietnam’s Ochre City