I’m not sure what to say about our month long backpacking adventure around Vietnam. He-Pobke and I went with one mission, and one mission only: eat our way through the country. (And go with no real agenda.)
Well we did pretty much that. We were organised and not organised at the same time. We knew where we wanted to go, but we didn’t know for how long, or how we’d get there. We just knew we had one month to get to the cities on our list: Saigon, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay, Sapa, the Mekong Delta, and Phu Quoc Island.
So we borrowed a pack and bought a pack and flew to Saigon in early August, he with his Lonely Planet guide, me with my two film cameras (Contax 645 and Leica M6). Together we planned to do a lot of shooting and writing, and hope that we’d both come back with enough to publish a book for all of our friends and family. And guess what? The book is being worked on as we speak. It’s an incredible thing to be able to be passionate about something, and share that passion with the one you love most in the world. As we travelled from city to city, He-Pobke furiously wrote in his Moleskin journal. Trains, planes, private cars, overnight buses, you name it. At night time, he’d read me excerpts so that I could revisit the memories we had just created as I’d drift off to sleep.
To say that Vietnam is one of those adventures we’ll never forget is an understatement. We ate our weight in food. We walked and walked and walked and walked. We met country folk who lovingly welcomed us into their homes where we shared meals and attempted to communicate with gestures and smiles and magic tricks (I impressed them with a few card tricks!). We rented a scooter and explored the countryside. We had a private tour guide take us on the back roads of Hue, where we bicycled 50k in the hot sun, and sought refuge in the homes of artists and carpenters and painters. We snorkelled (and I got viciously attacked by jellyfish) and swam and floated and kayaked. We marvelled at the beauty of ancient relics, and ingested as much history that was gifted to us. We had an adventure of a lifetime, and we are so grateful for having had the opportunity to experience such a beautiful country for four magical weeks.
I’m not sure when we’ll really soak in everything we saw, learned, heard, ate, touched, experienced. But I do know that I dream about the places we’ve been, and seeing these photos makes me remember the essence of Vietnam. I hope these give you a small inkling of what we adventured…And if you are ever planning a trip there, please do let me know – we have so many tips and advice and stories to share!! ☺