After spending four days in Ninh Binh for Christmas we took a sleeper bus to the Indo-China mountains, also known as Sa Pa. Sleeper buses are freaking amazing and we should have them here in the UK. The beds are comfortable and my inner child joyfully enjoyed knowing I’m sleeping comfortably on a bus! Imagine if we had sleeper buses from Scotland to Cornwall, and you’d wake up to your destination!
Sa Pa was a place Jon really wanted to get to, considered a very special place by travellers because how many people can say they’ve visited the Indo-China mountains? Due Vietnam being a very long country, the weather tends to differ all year round depending where you are. For us traveling in December, the south of the country was beautiful and hot but the north was bitterly cold, even colder than the UK. We were not fully aware how cold it would be or that in Sa Pa, no hotel that we found had central heating which made our stay feel even chillier.
Ninh Binh, AKA: Tam Coc, was a favourite destination of mine whilst in Vietnam. When tourists say they are staying in “Ninh Binh”, they’re actually residing in Tam Coc, which is a small town situated within the city of Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh itself is run down and doesn’t have much to offer so when booking accommodation, be careful you don’t choose a place within the city and miles away from Tam Coc. There are plentiful places to stay within Tam Coc, again we simpley arrived and shopped around for best price when bartering with hotel owners. There was one particular owner whose hotel we liked but was fully booked up. Not wanting to lose customers he asked us if we minded staying in his second hotel which so brand new, he hasn’t finished it yet and didn’t have regular staff either. We said yes for a bargain price which included breakfast and it turned out to be a beautiful hotel too. Motorbike rental was also offered.
Ho Chi Minh or Saigon as it is also known was our first destination in Vietnam. Our over all plan was to travel up from the South of Vietnam, hop over to Cambodia and from Cambodia fly to the North of Vietnam to end our trip. The reason being was because during our time out there, the middle of Vietnam was flooded and it was monsoon season plus I really wanted to see parts of Cambodia. We were in Ho Chi Mihn for two days before heading out to the Meekong.