The Plan is Simple: Our Vietnam Diaries Part One

Una Minh eating Chicken Pho in Hanoi, Vietnam

The plan is simple: my partner, my Mom and I are heading to Vietnam this summer.

It will be Mom’s fourth time travelling there, my third and first for my partner. We will get our vaccinations well in advance but if you want to see what you need check out the Tropical Medical Bureau. In terms of visas, I have a Vietnam visa guide from Ireland here.

Here’s how our journey is panning out so far:

We’re flying out to Vietnam from Ireland with Air France – with one stop in Charles de Gaulle – we’ve flown with them in the past and found them to be a reliable service. So fingers crossed all will go well! 

Arriving in Hanoi at around 6am, I suspect that we’ll be jetlagged and in dire need of both a rest and a shower, 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. We’ll be staying with an ethnic minority family in a house on stilts! The next day we’re going to the Pu Luong Nature Reserve for another hiking adventure and a swim in the cascades (and another homestay).

And then? Well! We board a Junk (or Vietnamese cruise boat), and sail through to Halong Bay. There we’ll get the opportunity to swim and wake up to do Tai Chi surrounded by the magnificent, tranquil, limestone surroundings. Ahhh, I’m dreaming already.

(Picture of me take by my good friend Francis Xavier Kwong Take a look at his Facebook page here!)

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 ethnic 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 Giáy people.  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!

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Hello! Úna-Minh is a journalist, social media consultant and virtual assistant who loves (you guessed it) TRAVEL. She also feels a bit strange writing in the third person so she'll stop that now. You can find out more about me and my Mammy in the about section of this blog!

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  1. I am envious, Úna! That sounds amazing…how did you get in contact with the various host families? Or did you have a contact to do that? Can’t wait to read updates.

    1. Thanks for your comment Carol! We’re working with a guide for the host families 🙂 I’m very excited – currently back running to get my lazy legs back in action!

  2. You haven’t even mentioned all the fab food! We loved eating in
    Hanoi when we took nine-month-old Little Missy there a few years ago. Hope you, your partner and your Mam have an amazing, amazing time. x

    1. Ooooh don’t worry – there will be plenty of Pho, Banh Mi and nem ran! I’ll probably put on two stone when I’m over there 😉 Thanks Caroline – hope to see you sometime soon!

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