North to South Vietnam Bahn Mi Hunt

By David B · May 2, 2016

The Trip — North to South Vietnam Bahn Mi Hunt

Duration — 10 Nights

Origin — Perth

Type of Trip — Hiking, Culture, Food, Motor Boating

Trip Dates and Comments — December. A bit rainy this time of year in the north but don’t let that stop you!

Mode of Transportation — Aeroplane

Arrival Logistics — Landed in Ho Chi Min City, then immediately took an internal flight to Hanoi. Had a taxi waiting that had been arranged by our hotel which took about 30 mins.

Cost per Person — $1000 - $2000

General Route — A few nights in Hanoi to met a friend and eat all the Vietnamese food. Off to Sapa in the north west to hike in the mountains. Headed east to the coast to visit the iconic Ha Long Bay. Back to Hanoi for an internal flight to central french esque city of Hoi An. Another flight south to Ho Chi Min for arts tours, museums & cultural vibes.

Accommodation — Mostly in hostels though they more resemble hotels in Vietnam given it is quite cheap. Stayed one night on a junk boat. And a few nights with a local family at their homestay courtesy of Air Bnb.

Main Activities — Hiking, Cultural experiences, Food, Motor boating, hunting for the best Bahn Mi in all Vietnam.

Food and Drink Highlights — Street food is everywhere. Highlights were the banh mi (best sandwich in the world), the bun bo salads, grilled banana leaf fish and rice flour pancakes. Vietnamese iced coffee is a treat also. Did a cooking course which was excellence. Also (somewhat counter-intuitively) had the best Indian I have ever tasted at Baba’s Kitchen in Ho Chi Min.

Essential Packing for this Trip — Bring gumboots if hiking in Sapa during the wet, or just go bare foot like I did. Do not take your flash pair of Nikes unless you want to excavate all the mud off later. Nice thin rain jackets are good as it can be quite rainy yet hot. Or just a good umbrella. Other than that wear your normal clothes, everyone that lives there does!

Our Experience

Sometimes it’s the second time you visit a place that it really comes to life. I have this inkling about Ho Chi Min City. Next time round I would skip Hoi An (there are tailor’s everywhere!) and leave north and south for separate trips (geographically it’s a long, long country). The city formerly known as Saigon feels like you just need to scratch the surface for it to burst open everywhere. Start with Sophie’s Art tour!

David in Vietnam

David in Vietnam

Best Bits

Sophie’s Art Tour in Ho Chi Min City. It tells the history of Vietnam through it’s art and we found this much more insightful than the State run museums, which can often lack detail.

David in Vietnam

Worst bits

We had several local women assist us on our half day hiking tour. They were great and shared with us about their daily lives and families. But at the end of the hike during lunch they started aggressively pressure selling souvenirs. It’s then you realise the women haven’t been paid to help you on the tour, you feel both awkward and heartbroken for them, but also trapped and lied into buying cheap junk that you don’t want. It’s basically a scam doesn’t help anyone.


Rate the overall trip — 7/10

Rate the activity on your trip — 7/10

Rate the ease of logistics — 6/10

Value for money — 8/10

About The Traveller

Gender & Age Range
Male, 25 - 35

I’m from
Perth, WA

My favourite trip as of late
Nusa Lembongan

Travelling Style
Book the first night and wing it from there!

I like to go on the following types of trips
AirBnb, Culture, Historical, Scuba Diving, Camping.

It’s a dealbreaker when
You have food poisoning in an 8 person dorm.

Continent I know the best
Australasia / Oceania

David in Vietnam

First Last Name

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

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