Travel Asia With A Taste Of
France In Vietnam
The French played a major role in Vietnamese History. In 1858,
the French took over Danang in southern Vietnam and their influence
widened throughout the country. In 1954, the French surrendered to
the Viet Minh and French colonial control in Vietnam ended.
Take The Reunification Express
from North To South Vietnam
A trip on the Reunification Express is far more than just a rail
journey - it is the experience of a lifetime.
Construction of the Reunification Express rail link between
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City started in 1899 and was completed in
1936. However, the rail link was out of service for many years due
to various wars.
In 1975 the re-establishment of the rail link
between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City became a symbol of unity for all
Vietnamese, hence the name Reunification Express.
Visit Asia and travel Vietnam to Hoi An. Here a
lady sells cups of tea and another local sells freshly caught
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Travel Asia and travel Vietnam to Nha Trang.
Traveling to Asia? Visit the street markets in
Hanoi, Vietnam on your tour.
To be honest, accommodation on the Reunification
Express is not very comfortable, but the trip is a great Asia
My accommodation on the Reunification Express was in a shared
four-bed carriage. Top bunks are cheapest and, lower bunks are more
expensive, because they have better views and storage space.
Food is included in most Reunification Express tour packages, but
cabbage and mackerel stew on boiled rice was not to my liking.
Vendors follow the official
trolley selling snacks etc.
There are several tour operators running escorted tours of Vietnam
including travel on the Reunification Express. The best ones are in
small tour groups of 3 to 8 people.
A sample itinerary to use when you travel Asia to
Day 1. Arrive Hanoi for a tour
group meeting and get together for a group dinner.
Day 2. A road trip from Hanoi (5
hours on surfaced but uneven roads) to Halong Bay. A lunchtime boat
cruise on the secluded Halong Bay, marvelling at the 3000 limestone
peaks that emerge from the sea. There is the opportunity to visit
caves where you'll see stalagmites and stalactites.
Days 3 - 4. Explore Hanoi by foot,
taxi, bike or cyclo. The Old Quarter is a great place to buy enamel
bracelets, silver, silk and embroidery products. Many Hanoi tours
include a traditional water puppet show in the evening. It was
interesting to see but got a bit boring after a while.
On the 4th night the tour usually boards the
Reunification Express traveling overnight to Hue.
Days 5 - 6. Hue. Hotel
accommodation is usually arranged in Hoi. Hire a cyclo or bicycle
to visit the famous Hue citadel. The Dong Ba market alongside the
river is fascinating to wander around.
Your Hue tour might also include a visit to one of
the elaborate tombs of the Nguyen emperors and one of the Buddhist
temples that line the Perfume River.
Days 7 - 8. This part of the
journey to the ancient town of Hoi An, is spectacular, traveling
over the Hai Van Pass and through fishing villages. Hoi An is a
great place for souvenir shopping for t-shirts, paintings or
ceramics. There are plenty of tailors in Hoi An ready to make
clothing for you. They all boast a range of Vietnamese silks,
Japanese silks, cashmere and cotton fabrics. A guided walking tour
of Hoi An is money well spent.
Days 10 - 11. Leave Hoi An and
return to Danang to catch the daylight train to the swaying palms,
turquoise waters and white sandy beaches of Nha Trang.
The next day cruise the beautiful off-shore islands
and visit an island village. That night join the Reunification
Express once more for the overnight journey to Ho Chi Minh City
Days 12 - 13. Explore Siagon with
its 8 million people. A highlight for many will be a day tour to
Saigons Cu Chi tunnels. Although this may be a bit gruesome for
some, it is a part of history and is worth seeing.
The Cu Chi tunnels were constructed by the Viet
Minh, then expanded by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. The
tunnels were used by the Viet Cong to conduct covert operations and
to quickly hide from the enemy. Most tours include the opportunity
for the fit to crawl through a section of the tunnels and learn
about the underground hospitals and kitchens.
Enjoy planning your travel Asia vacation and
definitely include a Vietnam tour on the Reunification Express.
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