It was a pleasant surprise a visit to this new country. As I return from my journey I could not stop myself from sharing my experience. The newly introduced jet flight Delhi to Saigon also called Ho Chi Minh city takes only 5 hrs 30 min.via Bangkok.
And if you wish to fly from Bombay you still connect in jet to the Saigon flight in Bangkok. Though not the most preferred timings. The fact that this country was ravaged with war between the superpowers Russia and USA have left their indelible marks even after 40 years.
95 percent people still wear masks to cover their nostrils and mouth a glaring reminder of the air pollution effects felt by people from the toxic materials used by the Americans to avoid the communist North South border crossing. Huge forests were completely raised to the ground by this toxic gas and chemicals. To this day the grass that grows here is white in colour.
For so many years children born in surrounding areas were with glaring deformities. The war memorial museum of Saigon has a very factual story to tell about the harrowing times. A must see to know what had become of this country during those times. And equally important to understand and admire how today this small nation is so full of energy with their invincible spirit of Independence never gave upto foreign rule.
A must see on your visit should be the cu chi tunnels which are a live example of their spirit and guerrilla warfare .Best mode of transport here and back is the speed boat and the journey is about 1and 1/2 hour. One way. Best place to stay and enjoy late evening or clubbers is the dong Khaen or district 1 where the major hotels ,nightlife places are located. I am generally not enthused by shopping places internationally but was enthralled here by the beautiful craftsmanship and hand work of the Vietnam people. The finishing and detailed workmanship and at most affordable prices.
You can even get your self a wardrobe stitched to your measurements in a couple of days. The city of Hanoi capital of Vietnam is located northern part.the old quarter is like a centre of activity where shops are open up from 730 upto 10pm. The town of hanoi has 4 million scooters and 7 million people as Per my local guide which is hard to believe. But as early as 730 you can find scooter traffic wherein lanes and junctions will be full of two wheels and drivers.
The wholesale markets here have goods of all kinds right from souvenir to clothes, leather.etc. etc. The French quarter surrounding this has colonial buildings.a cycle rickshaw ride can be used to go around. 4 hours drive from hanoi is the halong bay where a one night cruise is highly recommended to experience the mystic area to its best.
Vietnam is a paradise for seafood lovers. But being a Buddhist country vegetarian food is well understood and indian restauras are available in major cities.
A visit here would be appreciated by someone who likes history ,culture,variety of food,shopping, Nightlife, spa and massages.
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