The second half of our journey was even more fun than the first. At first glance, Vietnam didn’t seem to have much to offer. My research indicated this was the place to taste fresh, exotic Vietnamese cuisine, enjoy the European-like culture, and shop for silks. Upon our arrival in Saigon, we quickly discovered that this was a city of countless nightclubs, great restaurants and a busy night life. We had a great time at the city’s highest nightclub, located on the top floor of Caravelle Hotel. With live music and panoramic views of the entire city, this was quite a surprise for a Vietnamese city.
In Hanoi, the sites were less than spectacular. This worn down, dingy city has several important Buddhist temples, and an overabundance of government buildings known for their Bauhaus architecture and commemoration of the Vietnm war. But personally, I wasn’t thrilled with the endless displays of war relics. We did have fun exploring the Co-Chi Tunnels, and the highlight of that excursions was us shooting AK-47s. But at this point, we were all eager to check out our next destination, Halong Bay.
What can I say about Halong Bay, other than this place is absolutely heavenly. Upon arrival, we checked into our very own, private boat, that featured beautiful teak carvings and lovely staterooms with private views of the bay. We had our own chef, our tai-chi master, a masseuse and a fishing guide. We were absolutely thrilled to see that we had the whole boat all to ourselves and as we set sail through the thousands of the hidden islands, everyone in the group was smiling.
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