Introduction to Vietnam – it lived up to all my expectations…and more
I have always been fascinated by Vietnam. It has been a dream destination on my ‘to see before I die’ list since before they were called ‘bucket lists.’ I concede that a love of Apocalypse Now, the excellent interpretation of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, was initiated due to my adoration of the star Marlon Brando (swoon.) It developed further into a deep interest of Vietnam and the conflicts and challenges it has faced.
To have lived through that era it became embedded in my psyche, despite it never being included in my official education, sadly.
Why did we visit Vietnam now?
My honeymoon was spent in Thailand and Cambodia, this initial trip to the East made us keen to return as soon as possible. Vietnam had been on the initial plans for that trip of a lifetime. Until the independent travel advisor suggested, in no uncertain terms, that if we spent less than two weeks committed to the Viet tour we would regret it.
I’m a committed travel journal devotee. I never forget my pen, and always, should I say almost always, have good quality notepads to hand. These notes came in handy when typing here. Next time I hope to write whilst travelling however for now sit back and enjoy.
The Vietnamese are generous and friendly
As with any trip, the people made the place. Its beauty is breathtaking and inspires cliché.
Scared of flying? Me too but get over it.
To be transported in a metal tube with wings is a necessary evil in my eyes although I’m proud to say I’ve moved on from my traditional paranoia. I no longer have my eyes squeezed shut or my fingers in my ears, I no longer weep upon take off or indeed landing. I now can sit alone, not clenching anyone’s hand until it goes blue. I admit I do not have a sense of humour upon entering the airport until leaving at the arrival zone but I’m working on it.
I safely negotiated the customs area without having sun cream (a whole other story) or any other tranklements confiscated. We flew in relative comfort watching numerous films on the way as well as recording all journal-worthy events we’d already experienced.
Going travelling? Get to the spa.
I’m a truly dedicated people watcher so airports are a great source of interest and amusement to me. It never fails to amaze me the huge variety of shorts, flip flops (thongs to those antipodeans reading this) rucksacks and travel-wear there are in the world, not all in a good way.
I’m all for having body confidence however some people maybe should be educated in the art of epilation or the existence of nail clippers before venturing into the big wide world.
I hadn’t realised at that stage of the journey that any travellers going to the East will almost certainly be approached in Vietnam by a well maintained woman offering threading, pedicure or manicure services. I truly hope some accepted the sales pitch.
I don’t consider myself hirsute, I even paid for waxing pre-trip for goodness sake and I still got offered moustache and leg threading on a regular basis much to the amusement of the lads from London travelling with us! It could knock a girl’s confidence you know.
Why should you visit Vietnam now?
I have maybe sparked your interest in travelling to somewhere that capitalism will provide development opportunity in the very near future. I can’t criticise or condone the politics, just to say it will change.
Why I’m glad I caught it now, whilst not unspoilt it is still recognisable away from the concrete and plunge pool construction.
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