Original post my husband, Andy Smith-Dane at Andy Dane Photography

Andy-Dane-(vector)

We got married on 8th June and then jetted off to Vietnam for three weeks. We flew into Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and then out of Hanoi, so we got to see a lot of the country.

We saw so much, and I took so many photos, that putting it all in one blog just seemed a bit silly. So I’ll be splitting it up into three blogs covering each week.

Vietnam is amazing, the people are incredibly friendly and the scenery is just stunning. Although parts of it are slightly insane, crossing the road will never be the same again!

We spent the first couple of days just wandering around Ho Chi Minh City and getting acclimatised to the weather, it was *hot*, high 30’s degree C, combined with a humidity of around 90% and there was just no escape from it unless you were in an air-conditioned room. The streets were constantly buzzing with life, from street sellers and motorbike-taxi’s to just people going about their everyday business, the streets just hummed.

Crossing the road was interesting, nobody stops, you just have to walk through the sea of motorbikes as they dodge and weave around you. You soon get the hang of it though, and by the second day, we were hardly hesitating at all.

We found a lovely little playground for Jessica to have some fun in and burn off some energy, and she quickly made friends with some of the Vietnamese kids. Language barriers just don’t exist when you’re 3.

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Then after a couple of nights in the city, we were picked up by our tour guide for a 3-day tour of the Mekong Delta.

The Mekong Delta covers a huge area of southern Vietnam, there are masses of paddy fields between the rivers and a thriving fishing community. We spent a couple of days alternating between buses and river boats to explore the area. We saw them making sweets from coconuts, husking rice and making rice cakes and several fishing farms (which are just under people’s houses!)

 

The Cai Rang Floating Market was amazing, mainly wholesalers selling on to shopkeepers and the like, all of the big boats gather together in the river and the smaller vessels approach you with their wares as you circle around them. Loads of fresh fruit, hot noodles soup and cold drinks on offer, be prepared to haggle though, as the initial price you’re offered is probably far over the market value. While it might still seem cheap to us, paying over the odds damages the economy of Vietnam. It was a great experience seeing all of the different generations of people working together on the floating markets, and the fruit they were selling was all lovely.

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Jessica coped with it all remarkably well considering the heat and change in diet. She made a few friends on the tour of the Mekong Delta and I think she was a little sad when we went our separate ways.

After the tour, we had a few hours to grab some dinner in Ho Chi Minh before we got our first train of the honeymoon. An overnight soft-sleeper train from Saigon to Nha Trang. Booking the tickets was simple enough and the train was really comfortable, nice soft beds and air conditioning.

But that was the end of our first week, so I’ll leave it there and continue in another blog for the second week of the honeymoon – Nha Trang, Whale Island, Hoi An and Hue.

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