Wow what a contrast to Cambodia! We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City a little sceptical, but soon found that we were going to like Vietnam very much! It all started with a little love affair with a restaurant which the hotel owner recommended to us, we ate 4 meals there in 2 days! It was a big old converted mansion with little cooking stations all over the place serving different sections of the restaurant. We just ordered dish after dish, and even after we'd stuffed ourselves full, it still came to about 5pounds each! HCMC was a great city to visit, as there were hardly any westerners there, mostly Asian tourists and wealthy Viatnamese people, and it had a bit of a cosmopolitan feel to it. We didn't realise that Vietnam has the 17th best economy in the world, and it really showed in HCMC. Cambodia on the other hand, is recognised as a 3rd world country, which seemed odd as they are right next to eachother. We still managed to find a nice dingey hotel though to suit our 3pound per night budget! With no natural light, we had the best nights sleep as it was nice and dark in the morning!
Next stop was Mui Ne, as we were ready for some more beach days. Well, we had heard the beaches were nice, but they were REALLY nice! Turquoise water which was actually cold (much better than warm when it's 30 degrees and you're trying to cool down!) and beautiful white sand, we really weren't expecting it to be so idillic. Mui Ne is also the kite surfing 'place to be', and it was relaxing watching all of the pro's working the waves in the breeze. Again, we found another food heaven at a restaurant on the beach, were we ordered 'clams' but actually got grilled scallops, 20 of them! All for 2pounds! We both said we would definitely come back here for a holiday, and it was also super cheap for really nice accomodation. On one of the 4 days we were there, we rented bikes and rode 15km to the yellow sand dunes, where little children were waiting to hire out sheets of plastic to us so we could ride down the dunes on them!
Hoi An was next on the trip, 17 hours north of Mui Ne, and we found it to be a tailor-made heaven! We spent 3 days there, which we thought were going to be more beach days, but it ended up being days of endless appointments to choose and alter our new wardrobe which we had tailor made! James got suits, shoes and ties, Em got shoes, boots, coats and a dress, all made from 100% wool, silk or leather all for less than you could buy 2 decent suits for in England! We had to buy a whole new suitcase to cram it all into, but it will be so worth the hassle of an extra luggage! Hoi An as a place was beautiful too, it is world heritage site, very historical and picturesque. The accomodation was a bit pricier, but so worth the extra dollars. If anyone we know is going there, get your clothes made at Bao Bao's, the ladies there are lovely and will make anything you want!
So we loved Vietnam, the food, the people, the shopping! And would definitely come back in the future! Next stop, Laos!