We left Vietnam five days ago. In this time I’ve been catching up on blog posts and doing massive quantities of laundry. I’ve also been reflecting on all the things that made our trip through Vietnam so amazing that we want to go back. Right now. This surprised us as we have read over and over again how Vietnam is not tourist friendly and how low the return rate is for tourists. We are quite perplexed by the reports. So, what’s so great about Vietnam that we want to go back?
I’ve already shared with you the breathtaking scenery, the inspiring cultural aspects, the beautiful beaches and the great shopping. All of which should already place Vietnam high on your list of must visit destinations but there’s more.
First, there’s the amazing food. We ate many versions of pho (noodle soup) and banh mi (sandwiches on baguette). Every single one was delicious. We sampled xoi cha cua (sticky rice with crab), banh khoai (rice pancake), nem lui (grilled kababs), ban beo (water fern cakes), banh nam (banana leaf wrapped rice cake) and many more deliciousness that I cannot recall the names of now. My mouth is salivating writing this.
To wash it all down, you’ll want something cold. And that’s where Vietnam’s surprising beer culture comes in. Every city has its own beer to offer, usually for a $1 CAD. In Hoi An, we even got mugs of local draft beer for 20 cents.
And for the perfect trifecta of delicious food and cheap beer you add exceptional service. This was consistent throughout Vietnam. From the street food stall to the nice hotel, you can expect to be warmly welcomed and attentively served. And they’re not doing it for gratuities as they are not expected in Vietnam. We have seen restaurant servers and owners chase down customers to give their money back to them.
Which brings me to my last point about why Vietnam is so great. It’s the people. The Vietnamese are genuine, honest, and hardworking. I’m sure you can find a few who are not but in general that’s what we found. I think travelling with children makes us more approachable and we’ve had conversations with locals that I don’t think we would normally have had. I am thankful for these exchanges as they gave me a glimpse into Vietnamese life.
We would happily return to Vietnam in a heartbeat. For now, I’m off to finish the laundry and re-pack as we hit the road again in three days time. Catch our next adventures in Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai while we tag along with Marc on his speaking tour.