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Nomads on the Road - Ariana Explores Hanoi

VIETNAM | Tuesday, 27 March 2012 | Views [2304]

Ariana Djajaputra works in the Customer Service Centre at World Nomads Group and recently returned from adventures on the road.

Where did you go?

My friends and I went to Hanoi, Vietnam. We chose this destination because we were wanting to go somewhere cheap, easy and on our bucket list of places to go. Ideally we would of loved to do both north and south of Vietnam but in the end we left our decision making up to reasonable hotel availabilities as it was a last minute trip.

What was your best cultural experience?

We did a day trip to a little village about an hour out of Hanoi, called Duong Lam and it was absolutely amazing. After spending my life in the hustle and bustle of busy Sydney life it was refreshing to go somewhere so peaceful like Duong Lam. After spending half the day there I would say we saw maybe 5 cars within the village.

Their main forms of transport are pedal bikes and scooters. Rather than seeing someone walk their dog down the street we saw someone walking their bull down the street before heading to the rice fields. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly; we met the cutest little girl who wanted to show us around her mum’s shop. I would definitely recommend anyone who goes to Hanoi should stop at Duong Lam.

3 Tips for other travellers?

Try ‘bia hoi’. Its said to be the most popular drink in Vietnam and the cheapest drink in the world. It is mostly found in small bars and on street corners. The beer is brewed daily and each bar gets a fresh batch delivered every day in plastic jugs. It is really light and refreshing and only a fraction of the cost of draft or bottled beer in the Western-style bars. 

Take your time exploring the ‘Old Quarter’, it is street after street of markets and if you’re there over the weekend, go to the night markets. But remember to not lose your temper when bartering with the locals.

Dress conservatively, especially when visiting pagodas and temples, which you will most likely do on a daily basis. I made the mistake of wearing a skirt that was a little shorter than acceptable, and even though I wore it with a pair of tights, it drew in some disapproving attention.

What was the highlight of your trip?

I would have to say the highlight of my trip was Duong Lam and Halong Bay. The natural sights of Halong Bay are breathtaking and something that cannot be missed. We did on overnight tour which was good because we got to really appreciate the sites. If I could I would go back in the summer time and go for a swim, the water was clear and beautiful but I wasn’t daring enough to swim in the 10 degree weather.   

The real beauty of Hanoi is its longstanding culture; it’s yet to be affected by the growing tourism that’s coming in. Its less touristy then most parts of Thailand that make your experiences in Vietnam seem more natural and authentic

And finally, what makes you a World Nomad?

I’m constantly travelling and always looking for my next big adventure!

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Nomads on the Road - Phil's Balinese Weekend

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Tags: hanoi, nomads on the road, travel, vietnam

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