After experiencing a rather painful previous first day on our Mekong Delta Tour, our hopes weren’t exactly high for day 2. Initially, we had pictured the Mekong Delta Tour to be enriched with history, culture, and a raw glimpse into the day-to-day lives of the surrounding villages. Unfortunately, the sights that we saw and things that we did were gimmicky and made solely for the purpose of tourists, which was something we wanted to completely avoid. Here’s what you can expect on day 2 of this tour..
When I told friends I would be making a quick stop in Ho Chi Minh City during my Vietnam travels, one of the first suggestions I received was to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. Having nothing else pulling my attention in the city, I decided to make the day-long trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, which were used during the Vietnam War as a means for Viet Cong soldiers to hide in during battle. The tunnel system covers a large area of Vietnam and was critical in helping the Vietnamese soldiers fight against the Americans. While I do find the history behind the Cu Chi Tunnels incredibly interesting, the tour lacked authenticity, making the experience rather dull and overwhelmingly “touristy”.
Da Lat might be one of Vietnam’s best kept secrets. Viewed as a city unlike others in Vietnam, once you arrive in Da Lat, you won’t really feel like you’re in Vietnam. Though it is still a relatively busy city, Da Lat has a very laid-back vibe as it resides in a more open area with many hills. The Countryside Tour in Da Lat is a great way to learn and see a lot about the history and culture of the city, however, you’d be better off doing this tour on your own if you’re comfortable riding a motorcycle or by going on a private tour.
Hue, a two hour train ride north from Da Nang, is quite the hidden gem in Vietnam. Most people fly into Da Nang and head straight to Hoi An, but skipping out on Hue would be a big loss. As it’s still in the process of developing its tourism sector, there isn’t a large list of things to do in this city, however, the few things Hue has to offer are well worth the trip. Among these is a visit to the Imperial City in Hue: a former walled palace and fortress that was once the capital of Vietnam. Much of the Imperial City is still currently under construction, but you’ll be surrounded by temples and structures, and a rich history throughout.
On my recent travels in Vietnam, I fell head over heels in love with Hoi An the moment I stepped off the bus and into its beautiful, bright streets. While the whole of Hoi An is magical, it was Hoi An Ancient Town that completely captured my heart with its rustic yellow-walled shops and vibrant decorations strung about. As you’re walking through the Ancient Town, you’ll likely stumble upon a handful of quaint temples. Before you actually make it into the Ancient Town, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to pay an “entrance fee”. Here’s how to not get conned like the dozens of other tourists I saw.
You’ve likely heard about the incredible beauty of Tuscany: its Renaissance-era architecture and art, and unique landscape. There are many different cities, towns, and villages throughout the area that are well worth a visit while you’re traveling around. Each region remains distinct from its neighbors and offers visitors a glimpse at its history, culture, traditions, and life. Below are the 10 best places to visit in Tuscany that are an absolute must when you’re in the area.
Lucca, the capital city of the province of Lucca (confusing, I know) in Tuscany, is best known for its Renaissance-era city walls that are still standing today while many other city walls throughout Tuscany have collapsed. Lucca is a great city to stay in while you do day trips to various parts of Tuscany since it’s in a relatively central location. Aside from Lucca’s ideal location, the city has so much to offer visitors in terms of history, culture, architecture, and (of course) food. Whether you plan to stay for a day or a week, here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Lucca.
Florence, the capital city of Tuscany, is one of the most visited cities in this region with its numerous iconic sights, fashion and art industry, and lovely architecture. While Florence does have a handful of things to do that are worth your while for a visit, 24 hours is enough time to see, do, and eat your way through this city. Below is a list of the top 8 things to do in Florence, Italy.
If you’re traveling throughout or have previously been to Italy, it’s likely you’ve seen your fair share of cathedrals; big, small, impressive, or otherwise. One cathedral that sets itself miles apart from the others in Italy is the Abbey of San Galgano, halfway between Siena and Massa Marittima in Tuscany. This breathtaking building has an interesting legend to go along with its history, but its the remains of San Galgano’s structure that will completely capture your attention the moment you set eyes on it. Both unsettling and mesmerizing, you’ll be talking about the Abbey of San Galgano many years after your visit.
Though not necessarily familiar by name, once you’ve been shown a picture of any of the five little towns along the Cinque Terre with their brightly colored old buildings densely packed along the coast, you’ll remember seeing a photo and telling yourself that that is one of the places you’d love to visit. If you haven’t been already, hopefully this article will convince you to visit one of the five towns of the Cinque Terre; they are a true hidden gem in Italy and an absolute must if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, a splash of bright colors, deep blue-green waters, delicious food, and picture-perfect surroundings.