For those of you who don’t know, Mitch and I are now in Vietnam. We contemplated going back to China but we eventually decided that, for now, our Chinese adventure was over.
It’s actually the second time I’ve been to Vietnam. You won’t find much about it on the blog because I started The Bristolian Backpacker after the trip. I’ve been meaning for a long time to write about my Vietnam travels, and I will at some point, perhaps this time around.
Despite renowned travel blogger Nomadic Matt explaining why he’ll never return to Vietnam, I have returned to Vietnam, because, despite what he says, I love it here. He says you get ripped off, and this can be true. We’ve been here nearly two weeks and, yes, we’ve been ripped off. I was also ripped off last time I was here.
However, you can get ripped off in any country. I used to live and work in London, and on a weekly basis would meet tourists who were ripped off. One even said to me once “I wouldn’t expect this in London,” but it happens a lot. Don’t let being ripped off take away from the beauty Vietnam has to offer. I have a lot of experience being ripped off and know people who have been mugged here. It’s awful, but it’s not a reason avoid coming. And it’s certainly not a reason to avoid returning.
When I came here 2 years ago I was a very different person to who I am now. It was my first time backpacking and I was on my own. I was very naive about travelling and learnt so much on that trip. I also learnt that Vietnam is a very easy country to travel in for first-time travellers.
So why go back?
Mitch and I were meant to go together to Vietnam last time but that didn’t go to plan. Naturally, he’s always wanted to go. I loved the country last time and was happy to go back. There is always more places to see and travelling with Mitch, as opposed to on my own, is a totally different experience.
The last time I went to Ha Long Bay I stayed on a boat in the heart of Ha Long Bay. This time, we went to Cat Ba Island and stayed on Monkey Island. And, right now, I’m in Sa Pa, a place I never had the joy of travelling to last time.
Already the trip is so different, I’m exploring new things and seeing new places. What’s more, I have that little bit of extra knowledge and familiarity, which helps.
I’m really happy to be in Vietnam. We both have three-month multiple entry visas and two months left until we have to be in South Korea for our flight to Vancouver. So who knows what’s in store?