Our journey of the day took us to Halong Bay, which literally means ‘dragon sent through the ocean’. It was quite a long drive, spanning around four and a half hours. The first half of the drive we slept and then we took a break at a Vietnamese handicraft outlet which offered beautiful traditional clothes, paintings, musical instruments and a variety of local food. After the break we continued our journey to Halong Bay. On the way to the actual harbour, we passed many rice paddy fields, mountains, farms and a lot of forestation. - Dayna
Vietnam Arts Trip
This morning, we paid a visit to the largest zoo in Hanoi. We knew that it would be very different to western zoos such as the London Zoo, however we wanted to do an activity that many local people do. When we arrived the first thing that struck us was how small the enclosures for the animals were. Though they were small, they were well kept and they had many objects specific to the animal to keep them stimulated (e.g. perches and branches for the birds). The zoo had a very large variety of animals for us to see, many of them were new to me. For example, I had never seen a hippopotamus before. Furthermore, due to the enclosures being small it meant that we could get very close to some of the most wild and exotic animals.
Day 4, 12TH July 2017, Hanoi
Today we woke up at 5:30 in the morning after a very long night the day before in order to catch a two-hour flight from Saigon to Hanoi. Upon arrival we gathered our bags and were greeted by a very friendly guide. On the transfer from the airport to the city he explained to us his views on the history of Vietnam – an interesting talk, although some of the details seemed a little biased and were not agreed upon by everyone.
11TH July 2017, Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City
On Tuesday the 11th in the morning, we started the day off with breakfast, after which we went to a museum displaying Vietnamese clothes through time. The place was called the Ao Dai museum and located in a little village. We were given a tour and looked at the various outfits and a guide explained when, where and who would wear them.
We travelled to the old presidential residence and political headquarters. It is named the “White House” and belonged to the southern part of Vietnam during the civil war. It was overrun by the communist north and has since solely been used as a museum. It was beautiful. The dull exterior architecture was surprisingly contrasted with beautiful design across all floors of the palace. We travelled from the very top where we had a great view of the city all the way to the depths of the basement bunker where we understood the workings of such a government stronghold
9TH July 2017, Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City
We all arrived at the airport in good time, and were looking forward to the 12 hours ahead. Most of us found it difficult to sleep, but we were able to revisit film classics such as: ‘Lego Batman Movie’ and ‘Sing’.