My first adventures in Vietnam were spent exploring the Mekong Delta and the city of Can Tho in the south of the country. Vietnam is a beautiful place and when my husband and I arrived, it happened to be their Lunar New Year. We travelled by bus and motorbike (complete with huge backpacks!) to a beautiful secluded homestay. It was idylically located by the river and nestled down winding, narrow paths, too small for cars to get down.
Now, you would think that this would mean peace and quiet and I think that most of the time this part of the world is vey peaceful. However...not during Lunar New Year celebrations! It turns out that for Vietnamese families are addicted to karaoke! Now I'm not talking the odd karaoke sing-along after dinner, no, this was a serious business. Every family it seems has their own sound system which is cranked up to full volume and entire days are spent singing into the microphone. It was very surreal and quite an amazing experience to be cycling through this wilderness listening to Ed Sheeran and Adele being sung at top volume by grandmas and children alike!
When we visited Can Tho we got to experience a Vietnamese city and it was amazing how alive it came at night - so bustling, sparkly and lit up! We spent an entire evening wandering the night market looking at all the weird and wonderful food items that you can eat! Families head to the parks with their take away meals and children play hide and seek (and they rock, paper, scissors to work out who is seeking!).
Our Mekong adventure was a great way to start our time in Vietnam and eventually we worked our way back up to the bustling city of Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon. We visited the War Remnants museum which was very harrowing and powerful. It was full of photographs, memrobilia and stories of atrocities. It is fascinating and humbling to be travelling in a country in which such a terrible and long war is within such recent history. It is still within living memory. There are people in Vietnam who would have been prisoners of war and who experienced Agent Orange attacks. Vietnam is a communist country so is politically a very different and interesting place to be.