In January 2017 we decided to take our girls on their very first flight that their father would be piloting, so we packed our bags and headed to Vietnam for two days.
We flew with Jetstar on the Dreamliner direct out of Melbourne, which is an overnight flight. I tend to like these flights better as we’re all great travellers, so slept almost the whole way to Vietnam. We arrived at 2am local time and raced off the plane to join the visa line, but still waited over an hour to get the sticker in our passport. I would highly recommended obtaining your visa before leaving Australia - that way you can go straight through immigration and eliminate the wait time. Hastwell Travel & Cruise can assist you with obtaining the correct Vietnamese visa.
Once at our hotel room we caught up on some sleep then ventured out to explore the streets of Vietnam. Compared to other Asian countries that we have been to like Bali and Thailand, I found the streets quite clean, the people were friendly without being pushy and most of the time they were more interested in asking if the girls were twins or not.
We strolled through the local markets as we always like to buy the girls something traditional from each area we visit, and they picked out some Vietnamese clothing. I informed them that they were pyjamas and as you can see they were a huge hit!
As we were only in Vietnam for a couple of days, we pre-booked a tour to the Mekong River before we left home and found the price reasonable compared to the local rates. We had our own private car and tour guide which was worth it as we could then stay at one place as long or as little as we chose.
Our tour guide was very informative, and we learnt a lot about Vietnamese culture and history. We drove past some rice paddies and in the middle of the fields are tomb stones. They bury family members on the property according to Feng Shui as it relates to the family’s good fortune and is very important however once they are buried, no-one else will buy the land it as it is considered bad fortune! Our guide went on to tell us about an extremely wealthy but childless lady who had cancer and stipulated in her will that she is to be buried in the dining room of her huge home to ensure that no one else would buy it.
Our first stop was at a very lush, green Vietnamese garden where they had two fishing ponds and a traditional Vietnamese man fishing with a homemade fishing line. Watching the tourists have a go was very entertaining as they just couldn’t get the hang of it!
We then went on to view a man-made Buddhist Temple and wow!! The colours and the detail in the architecture was incredible. As soon as we stepped inside we could feel the spiritual presence.
Next stop was the Mekong River where we were escorted to our private boat. We cruised along the river for about 30 minutes, we all had a comfortable seat and it was very relaxing, passing fishing boats and fishing huts on the side of the river.
Our afternoon was made even more enjoyable by watching ladies make lollies out of coconuts, being entertained by Vietnamese singers, visiting a bee farm and tasting some honey tea which was delicious. The girls held a python, we watched a family trying to catch carp with a wire basket and then rode in a horse and cart that took us for a traditional lunch of pho soup, rice, carp and chicken.
We really loved the tour and highly recommend it, especially if you have kids. Everyone was very friendly and invited us to experience their way of living but most of all the girls loved it!
While Kim slept in preparation for work, we ended our trip with some girl time - swimming, more chicken pho soup followed by ice cream and an evening walk ending with pedicures.
We can’t wait to go back to explore more of Vietnam. We loved it and so will you!