I had quite the little adventure getting to Vietnam. Southeast Asia is probably the birthplace of the low cost airlines. The fares are ridiculously low and if you are lucky you will depart and arrive on time. The model works well, but man, PACK YOUR PATIENCE. I had booked Cambodia Air to fly from Siem Reap to Da Nang, Vietnam. I think the flight time changed about 3 times before day of departure. I lost count, if I am honest. I thought I would have to check my bag so I arrived at the airport 2 hours ahead of time. The first clue something was wrong, my flight was not on the departure board. The second clue, I was suspiciously in line with people that did not appear to be going to Vietnam. I was right they were going to China. I started panicking that maybe something was off with my flight, so I did what any pampered traveler would do. I looked at the departure board for the next flight to Da Nang and bought a ticket. I paid about 10 times the price. Even then the flight was delayed! I learned a expensive lesson, book a flight that would potentially connect to the a international long haul. Better chances of it going on time or close to it. I arrived safely, so in the end it all worked out.
And it was so worth it!
I had originally planned on going only to Ho Chin Minh, I am SO happy I added Da Nang. Even though it was not ideal beach weather it was still quite nice. It also helped that there was a Hyatt. What can I can I am loyalist! I mistakenly booked to be in Vietnam during Tet, or Lunar New Year. It’s like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s all rolled into one. Basically the country shuts down. I arrived a few days before, and it was fun to see all the preparations.
Lots of signs and yellow chrysanthemums. Their Vietnamese name is Hoa Van Tho which means longevity and prosperity. The best part, seeing them being driven around on motorbikes!
Hoi An is a fun town about 30 minutes from Da Nang. My favorite part of Vietnam, so far, has been the fact that the roads are paved! I headed over to Hoi An to check out the town. It was raining and over run with cruise ship passengers, but even then WOW. It was like a little village with fun architecture. A labyrinth of cafes, shops and markets.
It was nice to see a large selection of local made items. Especially the ceramics! So much to buy… too bad I was traveling with a carry on. And the market was quite fun, interesting how they sell meat and fish. At least thru the eyes of this germophobe American!
I spent most of time in Hoi An. After it stopped raining and the cruise ship departed, the streets were quite bare. I was happy that I went during the cooler time of year. But I would like to go back to enjoy the beach properly.
I loved the mix of relaxation with the hotel by the beach and the vibe of the Hoi An city. I highly recommend visiting this area if a trip to Vietnam is on your radar.
Stay tuned next up another flight on a low cost carrier….