Around Vietnam by a foreigner's diary

Published:  01:21 Tuesday - February 26, 2013

Around Vietnam by a foreigner's diary

Hello Hanoi – Hello Vietnam! – that is the extract in the Jenny Coad’s diary.

The extracts in Jenny Coad’s diary posted in Dailymail show his feelings, thoughts and shares about his journey around the beautiful S-shaped country. Let’s enjoy photos and read the author’s sharing, feeling when travelling in Vietnam.

 “Coming to Southeast Asia, my friends asked me “where will you go?”, and I said that, “I go to Vietnam”. To me, Vietnam is exotic but is very simple and rustic – that is a special beauty attracting people.

“The S-shaped country with long coastline, smooth sands, and tropical islands makes me moved with the charming scenery here. It is so hard to forget painful memories about the war of two countries; they will leave the indelible mark. However, it is weird that whenever I ask people here how they feel about American tourists, I got the same answers: they always welcome us.”

Hanoi was the first place in my journey. I stayed here when Vietnamese celebrated Lunar New Year. The weather was quite cold but people seemed to forget the frozen because of being excited to prepare for Tet. My heart was happy and less stuffy when seeing crimson peach blossom and kumquat trees in the street.


On Tet holiday, members in the family will gather together, commemorate the ancestor and wish everybody in the family, friends and teachers the best, and give children lucky money. I was very happy when receiving lucky money from an old man, and of course, I always kept it with me as the lucky.

There were many places to visit, but I did not have enough time. I visited Ho Chi Minh mausoleum where his body was stored. When visiting Hanoi prison where the soldiers worked, I felt consternated with images in front of my eyes. Hanoi with 36 streets is the old town established from the 11th century, and always crowded with trade transaction. However, how people here can keep the elegance is still a mystery to me.

Coming to Hanoi, the most impressive thing to me was street food. There were many stands in the sidewalk, people sit on the small plastic stools and enjoy porridge, white rice vermicelli, grilled chicken leg or a bowl of hot rice noodle… if  you have chance to go to Hanoi, let’s try this experience and you can find yourself  while eating “phở” in Hanoi.

Remembering my friend’s advice, I had relaxing moments when I released my soul in the exotic beaches and spectacular caves in Halong Bay. I experienced and discovered the primitive beauty of Ha Long bay, a huge water-color painting that is very vivid with thousands of large and small caves…this was really a marvelous destination.

After leaving Ha Long, I moved to Hue and Hoi An – located in the central coastal region. My first impression is cool and airy atmosphere here – it is really different than the stuffy atmosphere  in Hanoi.

In Hue, I can visit many remains of the past when kings held power, remains of tombs, shrines…Tomb of Tu Duc king was decorated elaborately with the charming landscape. It is one of the most beautiful shrines of Nguyen dynasty.

Khai Dinh royal tomb was built in 1920 after Khai Dinh king held power. About architecture, the tomb was not a traditional architecture because it had the blend of eastern and western architecture in the past and in the present with the unique work of art of porcelain painting.

Hoi An – a small and quiet city located beside romantic Thu Bon river. People in Hoi An are very friendly and sociable. They do small business along the long streets with ancient wooden houses that made me comfortable and pleasant. When the night falls, along the small streets, there are ranges of sparkling and fanciful lanterns. It gave me an unforgettable feelings – the warmness and peace.

I also had chance to visit the tunnel of Cu chi before going to Saigon. This was the system of tunnel in the deep underground and I had to crawl to be able to move in the tunnel. The life in the tunnel lacks of light, the environment is wet and hot; I really admire the will and braveness of people and soldiers sacrificing for the country.

If you want to play with white sand and blue sea, you cannot miss wonderful Phan Thiet beach or Phu Quoc Island – the biggest island in Vietnam with many hills, primeval forests and abundant ecosystem.

Besides the bustling and vibrant lives of people in Saigon, I experienced and learnt more about custom and friendly people here. If the elegance of people in Trang An always made me warm, the vitality and activeness of hospitable people here made me excited.

Before finishing the journey to Vietnam, I visited Con Dao. Frankly, this is a real heaven of relaxing and discovering nature. With its blue beach and abundant ecosystem, I felt like all of the most beautiful landscapes were in front of my eyes. I felt warm and peaceful in my soul when releasing my soul in the blue sky here.


People often said that small islands in Con Dao formed a string of pearls in the immense sea. Each island has its own beauty, large islands, small islands, different shapes, surrounding large islands with smooth sand. It was pity for me not to visit all islands here, but I made sure to come back to enjoy the taste of heaven.

When going back my country, I would tell my friends about your beautiful country, about friendly and hospitable people, intriguing food, interesting experiences, and romantic and charming beauty as heaven. Now I am willing to sing the compliments to the attractive country.

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