Vietnam is a country located in south-east Asia on the South China Sea. We travelled through Vietnam for five weeks, starting in the south and ending in the north. The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi, which is the second largest city by population. Vietnam is famous for many dishes, including Pho. Pho is a noodle soup you can have with beef or chicken (I prefer beef).
Cu Chi Tunnels
During the Vietnam War, Viet Cong used tunnels to hide and sneak up on the enemy. The tunnels were only 2 feel tall and 2 feel wide. The tunnels were also used to get places without the enemy seeing them. It took 20 years to build the tunnels and the Vietcong’s only used a hoe to dig. The ground was hard as a rock so it took a very long time to build. Luckily the Viet Cong’s didn’t have to worry about the tunnels collapsing because the ground is so hard. The earth that the Vietcong’s dug from the tunnels was used to fill up bomb craters. If someone got hurt they’d have to take the injured solider through the tunnels to get to the hospital. Since the tunnels are so small the soldiers would have to push or pull the injured solider through the tunnels to get to the hospital.
Hoi An is located in central Vietnam along the Thu Bon river. Hoi An is famous for lanterns, tailors and food. At night the streets of Hoi An are lit up with beautiful and colourful lanterns. While we were in Hoi An my brother and I when to a lantern making class. To make a lantern, first you need to make or buy the frame for the lantern. At our class we didn’t make the frame because it would have taken one day and most of the frames are made in factories. After you have a frame you need to choose a fabric to glue around the frame. Once you glue the fabric you can tie ribbons on the bottom of the lanterns to make tassels. When you’re done that, you’re pretty much done your lantern!
At our hotel you could rent bikes to bike around the city. Unfortunately our hotel didn’t have kids’ bikes for my brother and me so we only rented two bikes for my mom and dad. Luckily the bikes had an extra seat at the back of the bike so my brother and I sat on the back. We biked to many places including a vegetable garden, a rice plantation and a boat factory. We also biked to an eroded beach called Cu Dai Beach. Since the beach was heavily eroded you couldn’t see any sand, just water crashing against a retaining wall. While we were biking along Cu Dai Beach we came across a resort that was destroyed by the erosion. Half of the resort is now a pile of concrete and garbage, while the other half is an abandoned resort. On the broken side you could see items that you would find in typical hotel room like bathtubs, sinks and beds. Cu Dai Beach use to be one of the most popular beaches in Vietnam, but since the erosion, it’s completely abandoned.
While in Vietnam we visited the My Son Temple. My Son is an area in the jungle with lots of Hindu temples. The Hindu temples are 1,200 years old and still standing. Most of the temples were destroyed during the Vietnam War by the US air force dropping bombs. When you walk around My Son you can see lots of bomb craters from the war. When the French lost the war in Vietnam, they chopped off some of the statue heads and took them back to their country. Right now you can find the heads in the Louvre in Paris and the bodies in My Son. Near the temples there’s a large mountain. The bricks used to build the temple were made from the sand from this mountain. The bricks were stuck together by a glue made from tree resin and brick powder. After the temple was built they made a huge fire around the temple to heat the bricks to make sure they stick together. While visiting My Son we had a guide that explained lots of information about the temples. The temples were very interesting and you could even enter some of them.
Shivananda Yoga Ashram, Dalat
In Vietnam we stayed in a yoga resort for five days, including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. At the yoga retreat we had a very full schedule. We woke up at 5:30am and went to bed at 10:00pm We had 2 yoga classes a day. One in the morning and another at night. We also had this thing called chanting. Chanting was held for an hour and everyone sat on cushions and we chanted. At the resort we stayed in simple cabins with a washroom and beds. Dalat is a cold part of Vietnam and our room didn’t have heat so it was very cold. The meals were vegetarian with no desert!!! The meals were served on a typical Indian thali and a bowl for soup.
On New Year’s eve we stayed up until midnight, had a talent show, drank hot chocolate and had brownies (that was the only time you were allowed to have treats at the yoga resort!).
I had an amazing time in Vietnam trying many delicious dishes and making beautiful lanterns. Vietnam is a beautiful country that I recommend everyone should visit!