Category Archives: Vietnam

Thai Nguyen: A Visit to Vietnam’s Tea Region with Footprint Travel

Thai Nguyen tea region Vietnam Footprint Travel tea tour from Hanoi

As tea lovers, Ethan and I were excited to visit the Thai Nguyen province with Footprint Travel’s Tea & Bike Tour. Thai Nguyen province is the premiere tea growing region of Vietnam and is famous not only for its green tea, but also for its beautiful Nui Coc Lake and mountain scenery. Located about 2 hours from Hanoi, this region is a popular local vacation destination for Vietnamese travelers who want to relax on and around Nui Coc Lake, but has yet to be widely promoted as a tourist destination for Westerners. A great place to add to your Vietnam trip itinerary if you appreciate tea and/or want a break from crowded Hanoi. There is much to do in this scenic province, but we focused our visit specifically on the tea-related attractions. Our private day tour from Hanoi with Footprint Travel included stops at a local tea growing plantation, a Read the Rest…

Drinks with a View: 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Ho Chi Minh City

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We love to find places that offer good views of a new city and the rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City provided not only an excellent opportunity to get a good orientation to the city, but also the chance to savor some delicious cocktails. Ho Chi Minh City, often still referred to as Saigon, is a booming city on the rise—quite literally! You’ll see the shorter historical French colonial buildings next to giant sleek glass-and-steel skyscrapers throughout the downtown area making for an interesting city landscape. We discovered that there are essentially two places to look for good rooftop bars in the city: hotels (old and new) and business towers. You have a wide array of choices from historical colonial-era hotels to up-and-coming glitzy nightspots, depending on whether you feel like contemplating the war-era days of Graham Greene or hanging with hipsters in a modern lounge. You can also have Read the Rest…

Guide to Halong Bay Cruises in Vietnam & Our Cruise with The Au Co

Halong Bay is considered one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Vietnam, and a Halong Bay cruise is a must-do on many travelers’ lists. Imagine an emerald bay peppered with about 2,000 tiny vegetation-topped islands which feature numerous caves, lagoons, coves, and coral reefs. This breathtaking UNESCO heritage site has recently received the honor of being named one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the world and is not surprisingly one of the most popular attractions in Vietnam. Most visitors need little convincing to visit, but the array of cruise options can be daunting as hundreds of boats ply across the waters of Halong Bay each day. Cruises range widely in price and companies offer a variety of cruise lengths, itineraries, amenities, and activities. We’ll share our tips on how to choose a Halong Bay cruise, answer common questions about Halong Bay cruises, and review our own recent Read the Rest…

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi: A Historic Hotel in Vietnam’s Capital

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel review Hanoi Vietnam hotels

The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi serves the dual role of being both a historical landmark and a luxury hotel. Opened in 1901 by two French investors, the French colonial-style hotel soon became one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic hotels and today is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Vietnam, This grande dame has not rested on her legendary laurels but continues to modernize and innovate, undergoing massive renovations over the past few decades, including the opening of an award-winning spa in 2009. Honored to be the first Sofitel Legend property (only a handful of Sofitel properties carry this distinction), the hotel offers three restaurants, three bars, seven function rooms, an exclusive Club Lounge, a heated swimming pool, a health club, and the luxurious Le Spa du Metropole. A unique offering by the hotel is a daily guided Path of History tour that provides guests with not only an opportunity to learn more about the hotel’s history Read the Rest…

Up at 4am: Early Morning Adventures in Hanoi Vietnam

Footprint Travel Hanoi Vietnam tour morning things to do in Hanoi

One morning while in Hanoi Vietnam, we got up before 4:00am to go on an early morning city tour. Crazy, right?! Now, we are not early morning people by any means, but we trusted our guide and reluctantly got ourselves out of our comfortable beds to explore Hanoi at 4:00am. We are so glad we did as there are things that you only have the opportunity to experience early in the morning in Hanoi and few tourists venture out at these hours. We explored chaotic early morning markets, witnessed the changing of the honor guards ceremony, joined the local early risers for tai chi at Hoan Kiem Lake, searched for a magic turtle, and had breakfast with the locals in the Old Quarter. All that before 8:00am! Interested? We’ll give you a list of places in Hanoi Vietnam you might want to visit on a morning venture of your own and Read the Rest…

Exploring Vietnam: A Hoi An Day Trip

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Hoi An is a postcard perfect historic riverside town that has been carefully preserved so that the Old Town looks as it did centuries ago; however, the town is hugely popular and the crowds might have you searching for some Hoi An day trip destinations. Hoi An is certainly a gem but we were feeling a bit claustrophobic in this UNESCO heritage town after a couple of days, so we decided to spend a day exploring the nearby area. We booked a day tour through eOasia which is an online booking website that consolidates local tours and activities in more than 12 different countries in Asia. The tour we chose included the temples at My Son, a local market, a local pottery village, and a relaxing cooking cruise along the Thu Bon River; however, there are also several other worthwhile day trip destinations in the area. We’ll give you some Read the Rest…

Finding Paradise in Vietnam: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay resort review

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is a beach getaway destination for the rich and famous and is Vietnam’s most exclusive resort, being accessible only by boat. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is situated north of Nha Trang on a calm bay with a golden sand beach and surrounded by tall boulder-strewn mountains. A total of 58 personal luxury villas are nestled along the beach, hilltops, and rock formations, each coming with a private plunge pool and butler service. Guests come here looking for privacy, relaxation, tranquility, and luxury. On our recent trip to Vietnam, we had the very exciting opportunity to spend a night at the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay and experience this exclusive resort for ourselves. We’ll share all the details and photos of our stay and tell you how you can arrange your own luxury stay at this little piece of paradise. Even if this is a little Read the Rest…

Afternoon Tea in Ho Chi Minh City: Taking a Break at the Caravelle Saigon Hotel

afternoon tea in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam high tea at Caravelle Hotel

If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, you may not be thinking about places to go for afternoon tea in Ho Chi Minh City. For most people, Vietnam does not conjure up images of high tea, but you’ll be surprised by how many of the old grand hotels—and some of the shiny new ones—are offering up some pretty fantastic afternoon tea menus. We found afternoon tea to be a much-needed respite from the heat, the crazy motorbike traffic, and the hustle and bustle of this clearly booming city. One of the grande dames of old Saigon, the Caravelle Saigon hotel, had just recently revamped their afternoon tea menus about a month prior to our trip, and we just had to stop by and have tea here. The Caravelle Saigon hotel now offers three tea menus—Traditional English, Vegetarian, and Vietnamese—and yes, after not being able to decide, we just had Read the Rest…