A day in the Mekong Delta River

For our second and last day in Ho Chi Minh we decided to do a day tour to the Mekong River, arranged by Deluxe Group Tours.

I have always been a bit sceptical towards organized group tours, as I am not a superfan of activities and attractions with a very “touristy” vibe. However, we were only 8 people in our group and we had a great time together! ๐Ÿ˜Š

We got picked up at our hotel around 8am in an A/C minivan, and drove for approximately 2 hours until we reached My Tho. Here we visited the Vinh Trang Pagoda, which is one of the most well-known and unique pagodas in the Delta.

The Vinh Trang Pagoda features three enormous Buddha statues and all of them symbolizes different things.

The reclining Buddha represents Guatama Buddha before entering parinirvana. This is the death of someone who has attained nirvana during their lifetime, and has therefore been released from rebirth.

The happy Buddha symbolizes good luck and happiness, and is well-known around the world for its good fortune โ˜บ๏ธ

At last, you have the standing Buddha who symbolizes ultimate bliss and compassion.

From here we travelled to a an orchad by boat, and we were able to enjoy some tropical fruit and listen to traditional vietnamese music. We also visited a Honey Bee farm where we got to taste the honey. YUM!

The highlight was however the longtail boat trip through the small canals in the Delta! It was great to experience the diversity of the Mekong waterways, exploring fish and fruit farms along the way. The scenery was also breathtakenly beautiful, and I just loved everything about it! โœจ

Big hugs! ๐Ÿ’›


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A nightlife and foodtour Adventure in Saigon

Hello,

Our journey in Asia has finally started, and we are having a blast! ๐Ÿ˜

We arrived quite late in the afternoon on November 5, so we just had time to check in at our hotel and grab a quick bite before our guides were picking us up for the evening.

We stayed at a property called Ben Thanh Boutique Hotel, which is located in District 1. This is a wonderful hotel and I would highly recommend it to everyone that is going to HCMC. The staff is great, very attentive and serviceminded, and the breakfast is awesome! We completely fell in love with the sandwiches. YUM!

I just L O V E D the lobby area with the pictures on the wall! ๐Ÿ˜

Our guides, Michael and Justin from Saigon Adventure picked us up at the hotel approximately 1 hour after check in. This gave us enough time to change and prepare for the tour, as well as refuiling our batteries with delicious vietnamese food.

Say hello to Michael and Justin btw! ๐Ÿ˜

They took us on a 4-hour scooter tour where the main focus was food and nightlife! We have never been afraid to try new things, but I will admit that my stresslevel was not exactly at zero after 1 hour in the city with 9 million scooters driving EVERYWHERE!

Either way, it turned out to be super fun and we could not have asked for a better introduction to HCMC! Our guides were absolutely brilliant, and they did everything they could to ensure that we had a good time!

They took us to some really cool and off the beathen path places, but the best part was definitely the way they showed us how the local people lived. Did you know that many of them push their scooter up several flight of stairs to their apartment because they can’t afford the parking costs?

Trying our very first dish of Pho, the famous vietnamese soup! So good! If you are ever visiting, make sure you head over to Pho Dung! They have served Pho for the last 40 years, and the place is really popular amongst the locals ๐Ÿ˜‹

Thomas is trying to prepare this coconut snack over an open fire, and the emphasis is really on “trying” here.. I was terrible at it, which made me end up laughing so hard. Even the lady in the shop was laughing ๐Ÿ˜‚ Thomas was not better.

The view from Chilli Skybar!

All in all, we had a fantastic tour with Saigon Adventure, and they are probably some of the best guides we have ever had ๐Ÿ˜Š I would highly recommend to go for this company whilst in HCMC!


My hotel picks for Asia

Hello,

I thought I would give you an insight in which hotels we are planning to stay at whilst traveling in Asia. We have not yet booked anything and I am not quite sure if we are going to book anything in advance, or just wing it once we have arrived. I guess it will be a sort of to be determined kind of thing. Anyway, if you have any recommendations I would really appreciate it!

There are so many fantastic properties to choose from, and these are the ones that we have picked out in each place so far;

VIETNAM:

Ho Chi Minh City:ย Benh Thanh Boutique Hotel

This hotel is located in a quiet alley about 5 minutes away from the Ben Thanh Market and Museum of Art. It has 22 beautiful rooms designed with Occidental Art and Baroque French style. Surrounded by a gallery of paintings and pictures that reflects the Vietnamese daily life it is bound to be a great place to start our journey!

Price: USD 50 per night.

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Nha Trang:ย Aaron Hotel

This hotel is a 4-star property with approximately 70 rooms, offering modern facilities, large balconies and city or ocean view. The property also has a great restaurant and bar, an outdoor swimming pool as well as a fitness center that is open 24 hours (Thomas will love this one).

Price: USD 40 per night.

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Hoi An:ย Hidden Beach Bungalow Sea View

This property is located in the Cam An district and is in short distance to My An Beach, the Historic Museum and Assembly Hall of Chinese Congregation. It features a treatment room(!) – yes, we are going – as well as beauty therapy, waxing and pedicures. Yay!

It also has a 24-hour reception, which is something I find really important when I travel in case of emergency.

Price: USD 50 per night.

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Hanoi:ย La Storia Hotel

This 3-star property is located in one of the few quiet and tranquil streets left in the heart of the old town in Hanoi, and it looks super cozy with a great atmosphere! It is super close to the Hanoi Night Market (which I for one, am planning to enjoy), and offer great amenities for their guests.

Price: USD 50 per night.
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Halong Bay:ย Vietnam Open Tours

We finally decided to do the 3-day cruise instead of the 2-day cruise to Halong Bay. We have heard so many fantastic things about this beautiful place, and we want to enjoy it to its fullest! I think we have decided to go for the cruise arranged by Vietnam Open Tours – does anyone have any experience with this company? ๐Ÿ™‚

What really made us decide on this tour was the variety of it – we will not only be staying on board the boat, but we will have an overnight at Catba Islands andย Catba Sandy Beach Resort! In a bungalow! Over the water! WOW!

And there are so many fun activities included, which is absolutely perfect for us and exactly what we are looking for!

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LAOS:

Luang Prabang:ย Ock Pop Tok Mekong Villa

โ€œIn the early days, many students would come to the Living Crafts Centre to take classes, and once the classes were over, they did not want to leave and would ask if they could stay overnight,โ€ explains Ock Pop Tok co-founder Jo.

This was the start of this wonderful property and I just love it! It is located in this beautiful and peaceful setting right outside the town of Luang Prabang. Away from the bustling tourist centre and with only 4 beautiful decorated rooms – it is perfect for us! ๐Ÿ™‚

The villa is overlooking the Mekong River by the way, and offers stunning views of both the river and the surrounding mountains.

Price: USD 55 per night.

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Vang Vieng:ย Vieng Tara Villa

Okey, so this is one of the properties I am most excited about! It offers traditional villas among rice field! Can you believe what a beautiful and peaceful setting that must be? Neither can I, but I want to stay there so badly!

All the villas are beautifully furnished and fully equipped with facilities. The property also features a restaurant serving Asian dishes – yum!

Price: USD 60 per night.

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Vientiane:ย S-Park Design Hotel

I am actually having a hard time finding a hotel we really want to stay at whilst in Vientiane. It is important for us that it matches our criteria, has a personal and unique atmosphere as well as being affordable. ย Any tips are greatly appreciated here!

We have chosen S-Park Design Hotel, which is a new hotel built in 2015. It is located 1km outside the city centre of Vientiane, and offers modern rooms with the newest facilities. It is not the type of hotel that I would normally go for whilst traveling, but seeing it has a great standard compared to a lot of the other hotels, I felt it could be the right choice ๐Ÿ™‚

Price: 70 USD per night.

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CAMBODIA:

Siem Reap:ย Fancy Boutique Villa

This pearl of a hotel is located in the heart of the busy Siem Resp and is only 700 meters way from the pub street! I thought it would be a cool place to round up our trip, after spending a lot of nights in more secluded areas.

This property is nestled within private gardens, and boasts a spa centre and a fitness centre! AND a mini golf course! I donยดt play golf, but I surely will after this stay.

All rooms are either fitted with a patio, a terrace or a private balcony, and I can not wait to spend our last days of our Asia adventure here!

Price: USD 60 per night.

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And that was it for our hotel choices during our Asia trip this fall! We have not yet booked anything as I said, so not sure if this will be the final result before we get flying. At least it gives you an idea of what we are planning ๐Ÿ™‚

If anyone has any tips of where we should stay, please let me know ๐Ÿ™‚