Jillian here. Today I’m so, so very excited to share our amazing travels to Vietnam. You might be wondering, why Vietnam? There are so many reasons to travel to this beautiful country. It’s always been a place I’ve longed to visit after hearing travel stories from family and friends. It was everything I hoped. Eye-opening, gracious, breathtaking, and delicious. The food, oh my, the food was so good!
To begin this trip we enlisted the help of a travel agent, our trusted partners at Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels, and Cathay Pacific Airways. This was by far our biggest adventure as a family, so working on the ultimate trip itinerary was super important. Together they created the perfect balance of comfort, spontaneity, and discovery. And while there were a few hiccups along the way, (what trip is not complete without a few?), it was a true dream. Looking at these pictures, I still can’t believe we did it. Okay, enough talk… let’s go travel, shall we?
First stop: Hong Kong. We traveled via Cathay Pacific in their updated premium economy class. I’d never been on a 14 hour flight. It’s a doozy, so the premium economy offers bigger seats, more leg room, business class dining, and you can arrange lounge access. Above is what we feasted on as soon as we arrived in The Cabin Lounge in Hong Kong. It was so nice to try the local fare right off the plane. Even if was at 6am!
Two hours later we arrived in Hanoi where we drove straight to our hotel, the Sofitel Legend Metropole, a gorgeous colonial hotel right in the center of town. We felt like we were in the Paris of Vietnam. Actually, to our amazement, Gustave Eiffel designed a main bridge in Hanoi. Just a little fun fact for you. Once we got settled we walked leisurely around the Old Quarter soaking up the new surroundings. The sounds of honking street bikes, the smells, and the language were intoxicating.
Phó all day, every day!
A tourist must is to take a rickshaw ride around the old quarter. It’s so thrilling. We still laugh at some of the video footage from this experience. A couple of yummy food spots to check out: the perfect Banh Mi, French colonial restaurant, best sticky rice; you can check out this link for more foodie options in Hanoi.
Our next stop was Halong bay. The running joke was, how long to Halong? Ha! It was a very long 3+ hour drive from Hanoi, but SO worth it. Breathtakingly beautiful, right? We boarded a Bhaya Cruise for one night. For a little more luxury you can also take a Paradise Luxury Cruise. It was so nice to get out on the water, sip a glass of wine, and watch in wonder at all the large rocks we pass by. Very relaxing! While we only chose to stay one night, you can take longer cruises amongst less boat traffic.
When traveling to far away places I love engaging in conversation with other travelers, curious about where they’re from, where they’ve been, and where to next. You’re part of this unique group of explorers. Well explorers, our next stop is Nha Trang, the southern coast of Vietnam. A beautiful fishing culture. Pop by tomorrow for more of our adventures in Vietnam.