Life in Germany is busy, the weather is getting better and better and we’re so happy to finally welcome spring. I hope ya’ll liked the pink berry muffins of Ken’s last post – this week will be about our Southeast Asia trip again! 🙂
As you might know already, our third and last stop in Southeast Asia was the wonderful country VIETNAM!
(With our rented scooter in front of “The Fish”)
For everybody who’s interested, I’m gonna share some of our experiences we had in Vietnam and insert some of Ken’s beautiful pictures. After we had been to Thailand and Cambodia already, we knew we had to make it to Vietnam, since our flight back home would leave from Hoh Chi Minh/Saigon in the relative South of Vietnam.
In Cambodia we stayed in a small town called Kampot and from there we booked a minivan trip to our first destination in Vietnam: Phú Quốc! Phú Quốc is the biggest Vietnamese island with beautiful white beaches and light blue and turqouise water – we just had to visit it. Our receptionist in Kampot kindly booked the trip for us, which cost around 18€ for the minivan & ferry to the island per person. The price was a bit more expensive than usual, since it was close to Lunar new year where everybody wants to travel and all prices rise because of the national holidays. The trip was totally convenient, we even got fresh water and some refreshing facial tissues included in the price.
(Bathroom “The Fish”)
On Phú Quốc island, we stayed in the most beautiful hostel/guesthouse I’ve ever seen – I immediately fell in love! It was built around a beautiful sandy courtyard full of plants and palm trees where breakfast was served. The decoration everywhere was very eyecatching, simple yet truly beautiful. The hostel had its own small library and one wall of our room was completely made of glass windows, so we could see into the jungle and along the street. The name of this place was “The Fish”.
Our hostel was located close to the so-called sunset beach, which we explored on the first evening. We also rented scooters again to be able to move around more quickly and convenient.
On our second day in Vietnam we visited a small nationalpark with a beautiful waterfall, the entrance fee including the parking fee was around 1,80€ per person. In the evning we went to another beach, which sadly was full of trash. It made us really sad to see this pollution and reminded us all to really use less plastic… We spent another day on Phú Quốc and really enjoyed some beach time and a few drinks in the evening.
At first we planned to go directly to Saigon after our stay on the island, but since we had more time left than we thought we would have, we decided to visit another city before. We spontaneously booked a sleeping bus to Can Tho, a relatively big city near the Mekong delta, which we really wanted to see.
We stayed in Can Tho for only two nights in a very basic guesthouse – nothing special. While we were in Can Tho we were lucky to experience the annual Lunar new year celebrations: the whole town was decorated with flowers and posters and statues of dogs, since 2018 is the year of the dog in Asia. On new years eve we went to the harbour of Can Tho were all the people gathered to watch the fireworks around 10 pm. After that, most people went back home to celebrate more with their families and we enjoyed a relaxed evening strolling through the city 🙂
On the next day we went on a day tour with a very friendly guide. We started very early in the morning, to be at the floating markets on the Mekong around 6:30-7 am – it was so cool to see how people traded the goods out of their boats on the floating river! Our guide bought us some iced coffee and pineapple and we even had the possibility to jump onto on of the trader’s boats which sold us the pineapples!
After the floating market a very friendly older woman paddled us through the Mekong delta which was stunningly beautiful and so calm, it felt great to be in this jungle for a while after the hectic time in the city and on the market. We went off the boat at a local organic nursery garden for all kinds of different plants such as chili, watermelon and papaya. We had a walk through the woods until we reached an (as well organic) cocoa farm, where people explained how they harvest the cocoa and make the chocolate. We could try fresh cocoa beans, hot chocolate and cocoa liqour as well! 🙂 After that we got some bikes and drove through the countryside to a temple where many people prayed and wished for good luck in the new year.
(Freshly squeezed sugarcane juice)
We also stopped at the place of some elderly couple to buy some fresh sugarcane, sugarcane juice and waterapple (never had this before – it’s to refreshing!) and they even gifted us some selfmade banana, ginger & sugarcane candy. I felt so blessed to be there and experience all this – the people in Vietnam were so friendly and welcoming!
(The fruits you can see here are waterapples)
The last stop of our biking tour was the most beautiful restaurant where we had some traditional Vietnamese lunch, consiting of some kind of chickpea omelette filled with mushrooms and other vegetables and eaten with soy sauce and leafy greens – it was so delicious! And the guide said it was no problem to prepare a vegan lunch for us, since the omelette is traditionally vegan, they only had to switch up the filling 🙂
(Vietnamese pancakes with a mushroom filling as an appetizer)
All of this happened before 4 pm – it was an awesome but very exhausting day! 😀 After the tour, we had booked a sleeping bus to Saigon, where we arrived in the evening. In Saigon we had booked a two bedroom apartment via airbnb, which also came with a pool in the builduing 🙂 These last days we wanted to relax as much as we could before we had to fly back to Germany.
Saigon was just huuuge and so exciting. It had beautiful little shops and (also vegan!) restaurants everywhere so it didn’t matter, that we were there during holiday season where many shops were closed. Once we went to a vegan restaurant which works similar to Vapiano in Europe, you could pick whatever you liked and they cooked it for you 🙂 I tried my first vegan egg there (I don’t miss eggs, I was just curious :D) and they also had a supermarket where you could buy all kinds of meat alternatives, such as whole chickens, canned meat, whole fish, shrimps and so on – completely vegan! I hope these kinds of foods will spread around the world more and more, why should we eat animals if we can have delicious alternatives for which nobody has to suffer and die?
(We loved the Vietnamese coffee! It tastes so different from every coffee I’ve ever tried in Europe & has a strong caramel flavour)
In Saigon we visited the War Remnants Museum which was very interesting but also so sad. We definitely recommend it! On another day we visited the Cu Chi-tunnels, where Vietnamese soldiers hid, lived and fought during Vietnam war. We learned a lot and it was so interesting to see and hear about stories from the Vietnam war from the other point of view than usual!
(Cu Chi tunnel)
Saigon was a great ending to a wonderful backpacking trip, which will definitely not stay our last one. We flew back to Munich over Kuala Lumpur and Abu Dhabi and took a Flixbus to Stuttgart, all went very well.
We both will always have memories of this exciting and breathtaking trip and we’re so glad we could travel with our dear friends. Please let us know if you’d like to know about something in more detail or if you have any blog post requests!
Love to all of you,
Anouk & Ken