The plan is simple: my partner, my Mammy and I are heading to Vietnam this summer.
For Mam, it will be her fourth time, the third for myself and for my partner, it’s his very first time!
With a fluttery feeling in my heart the more I think of it, here’s how our journey is panning out so far:
We’re flying out to Vietnam with Air France – an understandably long flight – but we’ve flown with them in the past and found them to be a reliable service (though I have to say that it’s frustrating not being able to book your exact seat until 30 hours before the flight).
Arriving in Hanoi at around 6am, I suspect that we’ll be jetlagged but it’ll be wonderful to be in a different country.
After spending a few days in Hanoi, we’re then traipsing off to the mountainous area of Mai Chau where we’ll be staying with an ethnic minority family in a house on stilts!
Hiking around Mai Chau, the next day we’re going to Pu Luong nature reserve for another hiking adventure and a swim in the cascades (and another homestay).
Continuing on with our journey we’re going to eventually make our way to Halong Bay but not before we cycle around Tam Coc and around the Red River Delta.
And then? Well! We board a Treasure Junk (or Vietnamese cruise boat), and sail through to Halong Bay and get the opportunity to swim and kayak and wake up to Tai Chi surrounded by the magnificent, tranquil, limestone surroundings. Ahhh, I’m dreaming already.
Back to Hanoi for a few more days then it’s off to Sapa on the overnight train and you guessed it, more trekking – which incidentally means I really need to stop avoiding the treadmill.
Heading to Cat Cat, and then towards to Y Linh Ho, we’re going to meet up with the Hmong minority, surrounded by the beauty of rice terraces that are over 100 years old. Moving onto Lao Chai we’ll meet with a local family and stay with them for the night.
Then we’ll meet with another ethnic minority group, the Giay people – who traditionally fish for a living using bamboo sticks. Walking through a bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai and then to Su Pan, our journey will take us to Ban Ho village with dinner on an open fire.
Finally, we’ll saunter down to Nam Toong village, home to the Red Dao minority people where we’ll get to swim before we head back to Sapa.
And then, we’re back to Hanoi – for a breather.
We’ve around five days left then to play with but hopefully, we’ll get to see Ba Vi National Park and do a food tour. Phew.
I know what you’re thinking, this sounds pretty jampacked, and you’re right, it is but how great does it sound? Vietnam, here we come!