Shamsa and Adam give Beachroad Magazine the lowdown on their roadtrip to Vietnam situated on the South China Sea Vietnam is known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks and dont forget the street food....
NAMES? // Shamsa and Adam.
NATIONALITiES? // Emirati and American.
HOMETOWN ? // Dubai.
WHERE ARE YOU? // Hanoi, Vietnam.
HAVE YOU BEEN TO VIETNAM BEFORE? // It’s our first time.
WOULD YOU GO TO VIETNAM AGAIN? // Definitely - it’s been such an amazing experience.
WHERE DID YOU STAY? // The Intercontinental, West Lake in the Hanoi.
HOW DID YOU GET THERE? // Emirates Airlines from Dubai directly to Noi Bai Airport.
THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRIP? // It has to be the food!.
WHY SHOULD SOMEONE VISIT VIETNAM? // The people in Vietnam are so friendly and welcoming. The food is amazing and its just a beautiful place to visit!.
FIVE TIPS FOR A TRAVELLER HEADING TO VIETNAM? // If you are visiting around Tet (Vietnamese New Year) be prepared that a few things will be closed for the first few days (it won’t affect your trip too much). It is an amazing time to witness all the celebrations and festivities around the city. (if you do go at this time be prepared for a little rain and some mosquitoes).
Download the “Grab” app - this is a cheap and easy way to get across the city with options ranging from scooters, to taxis to sharing cars Although many websites will tell you that US Dollars are accepted everywhere (and they are) you will always be given change in Vietnamese Dong. So it is just better to change your money directly to Dong to avoid getting ripped off with the exchange rate.
TRY AS MUCH STREET FOOD AS POSSIBLE! // Street vendors are absolutely everywhere - so take advantage of the super tasty and super cheap dishes. Most Vietnamese food is quite light so you can easily make multiple stops for a bite to eat as you walk around the city. Make sure you try Hot Pot ‘Lau Bo’, the ‘cook it yourself’ gas grill called ‘Nuong’, Pho, Bun Cha, Bun Thang and the Vietnamese sandwich Banh Mi - mmmmm. The Vietnamese are also really into their coffee so be sure to try it- but be warned, it is strong!
As in any big city, be prepared to do a lot of walking - this is the best way to get around and get lost in the beauty of Hanoi. You will find something interesting on every corner.
WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS? // The Temple of Literature is a must, The Old Quarter is a great area to be as it is bustling with restaurants and street vendors, shopping, markets and temples Tong Duy Tan which is known as ‘food street’ is the best place to be when you’re getting peckish. Madame Hien - a more upscale restaurant in Hanoi by a French chef Didier Corlu who has dedicated his menu to his Vietnamese mother in laws recipes
Ha Long Bay - although we didn’t get the chance to visit this time, this is a must do according to all the locals.
Emirates fly direct to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi from DXB.