Isabel Conway joins up with G Adventures to sample their Mekong River Encompassed cruise taking in Cambodia and Vietnam. Never one to shy from an adventure, Isabel has plenty to report home about.
In this South Vietnam travel review, Rupert Parker revisits Saigon, the Mekong Delta and Phu Quoc.
I first visited Vietnam almost thirty five years ago, when it was still a destination off limits for most Westerners.
For me, saying hello to Hanoi for the first time was like opening up a box of chocolates; it all looked good, but until you took a few bites you wouldn’t know if you were going to enjoy it. I had my doubts, after all, it was, before unification, Ho Chi Minh’s seat of power as the communist capital of north Vietnam, and although Vietnam remains a communist country, it doesn’t really feel like one, if my experiences in Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An were anything to go by.
Andy Mossack reveals a fascinating Ho Chi Minh City Insider travel guide exclusively for TripReporter.
Early morning in Ho Chi Minh City, (or Saigon as I and the locals still prefer to call it) and I’m feeling very sweaty. Admittedly, it is very humid, but my current condition is the result of a brave attempt to complete my first challenge of the day; to get across Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in one piece.
It’s almost midnight, and Ha Long Bay is ink-black and still. Her ancient limestone pillars have me surrounded. I can’t see them now, but I can feel them, watching me like silent sentinels. All I can hear is the boat creaking, singing its nautical lullaby as gentle waves lap at the wooded hull. This is beautiful. Perfect. Just how a Ha Long Bay cruise should be.
“My background is flying sea planes in Canada but this one has so many bells and toys I couldn’t turn it down” says pilot Mike at the wheel of Hai Au Aviation’s impressive Cessna Grand Caravan Amphibian, as we make our way from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay by seaplane in north east Vietnam.
Saigon Saigon the rooftop bar of the legendary Caravelle Saigon Hotel is buzzing with the early evening cocktail crowd, a far cry from its former life during the Vietnam war as the war correspondents’ briefing room. Back then, it was the hotel of choice for all the war media and today, the photos lining the walls are a reminder of those heady days. I’m here en-route to Australia and with ten hours to kill before my next flight, I’m enjoying a few hours hospitality at Caravelle Saigon Hotel the perfect Saigon stopover.