Darlene is a good friend of ours from Life's Golden Moments and today we get to hear all about her recent adventures in Vietnam! We went to college together, and consequently she married the best friend of Meggie's husband and they live in the same town today! It's been a blast to see the many places she and her husband go, including 15 countries alone in 2012! It's a riot! 

1. What's your favorite thing about Vietnam?
My favorite thing about Vietnam was the scenery and pho soup! I honestly wasn't a fan of pho soup before the trip but having authentic soup was quite the treat. And, you can't go wrong with a huge bowl of it for $1.25. Vietnam was a surprising beautiful country. We got to see the country side on our way to our boat tour and I loved seeing the workers in the fields. It was so picturesque. Then Halong Bay was another world in itself. 
2. What kind of a budget do you typically travel with?
My husband and I aren't the best at having a set budget. We are definitely bargain shoppers though. My husband is known to say that he will NEVER buy anything at full price. And, he never does. That said, when we travel, we travel cheap. We discovered Airbnb which is an awesome website to find places to stay (Traveling Triplets recommended it here!). You can get small apartments for the fraction of the cost of a hotel. On this particular trip, we found a boat tour in Halong Bay (on Airbnb) with a night stay on an island. This way, we were able to see the sights, eat, and sleep, all in one package. Before this great discovery, we were staying in hostels... which I wasn't the biggest fan of, but hey, we were able to do a lot more with our dollar. We also love to travel with other people and this cuts costs by sharing rooms, taxis, etc. We eat a lot of street food which is less expensive than restaurants and usually tastier! Just use your judgement when it comes to cleanliness. You don't want to get sick. We use a lot of common sense with our money and don't go crazy just because we're on "vacation" (but there are exceptions where it's worth the splurge).

3. Any recommendations for Halong Bay? 
We did a boat tour and island stay in Halong Bay. This is definitely the way to go! Two nights is definitely enough time because it all starts to look the same. The boat has enough room for about 16 people and there are two people to each room. They fed us all our meals on board and they definitely don't let you go hungry. To be honest, the food wasn't the greatest, but we stayed full.  The boat slowly took us to a cave and around different islands. It was so beautiful! The second day and night we stayed in a cute bungalow on an island. It was cold while we were there (bummmmmer!) but we still did some hiking. We saw lots of monkeys and saw some amazing views. The food on the island was awesome! I couldn't get enough. I would definitely recommend this way of seeing Halong Bay, and I would definitely recommend going when it's hot outside. 

4. In three words, how would you describe Vietnam?
Unlike anything else.
Thanks again Dar for popping in and sharing a bit of Vietnam with us! What a beautiful country. We visited Vietnam in 2009 and still have fond memories of the delicious pho and the hustle and bustle of the city! It's been fun to see what it was like in the countryside as well. If you're not convinced yet, I don't know what will!
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4 comments on GUEST POST - HALONG BAY

  1. Vietnam looks breathtaking!! Those monkeys made me smile. :) And the neat side trip she took to Halong Bay sounded awesome. I'll need to remember Airbnb for future travels...

    And now I'm craving Pho. :)

  2. Vietnam IS amazing! We spent 2 weeks there last month and Halong Bay was beautiful! The Pho is amazing, plus, I have to add, their coffee! We would drink a couple of cups each morning and find ourselves STILL wired at 10pm! Strong stuff! (And monkeys are only cute from a looong distance away. We learned this is India)

  3. Thanks for this post :). I love Vietnam


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