When we traveled to this gorgeous country full of unexpected twists and turns, it really and truly just wasn’t on my radar. At all. In fact, we only ended up here because of strange circumstances—my sister being on an extended travel tour of SouthEast Asia and inviting us, and me being on an unintended work sabbatical due to a weird situation. So we ended up traveling through Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia though we had never really given them much focus when planning travel goals. That meant we really didn’t know what we were in for, and that in some ways made it absolutely thrilling. This adventure was surprise after surprise, and we fell for Vietnam in a big way. While my favorite area was Sapa in the north, I wanted to share a little wander through the south here below, from the time we landed in Ho Chi Minh, our tours around the city and its urban nooks and parks, and a rural adventure through the Mekong delta.
As you can see, we were visiting during monsoon season (which is half the year), so it was often very wet. That said, many mornings would be full of sunshine before the afternoon would rain down upon us. It can be pretty hot and sticky when combined with monsoony in August, so consider yourselves warned. And yes, as seen below, families travel with 4 (or more) to a scooter/motorcycle aaaaaall the time. It’s wild.
I think what I wasn’t prepared for with the Mekong delta is how enormous it is. I guess all these Vietnam war movies had me thinking it would be this tiny, murky narrow passage, but it’s absolutely huge with villages built densely around it. In these villages, many traditional approaches to artisan making and agriculture are still common, even just an hour outside of the big city.
So one of the big standout things here in Ho Chi Minh (once Saigon) has a lot to do with the Vietnam War, which over there, is generally referred to as the American War. Yeah… whole different perspective. Wanting to see things from this new perspective, it was striking to visit the War remnants museum. It’s dark and hard, consider yourselves warned. But also a significant and very worthy of your time.