project review

Vietnam to Mount Fansipan

Review submitted by Daniel Williams
Review date 17 Mar 2017

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As the trail comes to a close we have all been commenting on what a whirlwind tour of Vietnam we experienced. With just under 3 weeks to see as much as possible we squeezed in activities galore - aided by the overnight bus journeys which had beds and blankets! A great surprise after the bus journeys in Thailand!

Starting in the cosmopolitan city of Ho Chi Minh we soon became accustomed to the pace of Vietnam. With moto’s whizzing past in 10 deep throngs then crossing the road was enough of an activity alone! We had an interesting day seeing the Cu Chi Tunnels and learnt a lot about the Vietnam War with a visit to the War Remnants museum. 

Next stop was Mui Ne where we spent the afternoon bombing it down enormous sand dunes on ‘sledges’ that consisted of little more than a sheet of plastic and some string. We all commented that the landscape was stunning and watching the sunset over the dunes was a memory that will stay with me for a long time.
After a whistle stop tour of Central Vietnam where we visited the mud baths of Nha Trang, enjoyed whole fresh lobsters on the beach for just $5 and managed to get entire suits and shoes tailor-made in one day in Hoi An, we finally arrived in Hanoi. With just one week left to go we all got a bit competitive trying to find the best noodle soup - the verdict was still undecided when we parted! We had a free day to take in the old quarter of Hanoi which with its crumbling colonial façade’s of buildings and tiny alleyways really was a bit of a labyrinth. The next stop was Halong Bay where we spent a day cruising around the islands on an old Vietnamese Junk marvelling at the wonderful limestone formations. That night saw some fun and games as we celebrated a birthday in style - the fancy dress outfit chosen by us for the birthday boy wasn’t exactly attractive but he had no choice but to wear it!

The last stop of the trail was Sapa which is a beautiful mountain side town right on the Chinese border. We arrived in a sudden cold spell so unexpectedly had to stock up on hats, gloves and scarves! These were very useful/a necessity as we set off the next day to climb Mount Fansipan - the highest mountain in Indochina! Not exactly a walk in the park, the trek was tough but we all had such a sense of achievement having reached the top and being the only group up there!

Still can’t believe the 10 weeks has come to an end - it’s gone by so quickly but looking back I know that I have so many brilliant memories to take home with me.

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