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Sunday, August 08, 2010
When it came time to chose a place to go on our honeymoon, at first we were a little lost. Its your HONEYMOON - time to splash out, pull out all the stops for a fantastic-once-in-a-lifetime trip to somewhere amazing. No pressure, or anything. We briefly thought about going to the typical honeymoon spots - the Seychelles...the Maldives...Bali...and then we realized two things.
1. we would be bored out of our skulls. Yes we like to relax as much as the next person (or rather, the IDEA of relaxing), but we arent very good at it. Im all about laying on the beach...for an hour or two. Any more than that and I get antsy. And if you think Im bad - bring Brian to the beach without any entertainment and you pretty much should have brought a 5 year old (no offense, hun).
2. a two week vacation in any one of the world class resorts on these amazing honeymoon-centric places would probably break the bank, in several places. So, as amazingly beautiful as those places may be, we knew they weren't right for us.
Things we knew we wanted for our honeymoon -
1. a mix of activities - sea, city, hiking, culture, beaches....we wanted it all
2. preferably someplace that was NOT in Europe. If we are going for two weeks, we can afford a longer flight time, might as well aim for some place far away.
3. we wanted to stay in nice, 4 and 5* hotels, pamper ourselves a bit (we deserved it!) and not go bankrupt (another reason for not choosing Europe)
Conclusion - Vietnam here we come!
I actually love telling people that we've chosen Vietnam as the location of our honeymoon because I generally get a response like -
"Are we allowed to go there?"
"Isn't there a war going on there?"
"My dad went to Vietnam, ask him how he liked it"
And so on, and so on.
To be honest, Vietnam has grown in leaps and bounds as a tourist destination over the last decades or so. Sure, some of it is still a little rough, and there are MANY small villages off the
beaten path that dont have any cash machines/telephones/paved roads, but for the most part Vietnam has become a popular vacation destination. Major roads and highways are paved and easy (ish) to navigate (though you would never drive them yourself - hiring a driver to drive you around the country/city/region is cheaper than renting the car alone), the train system is frequent and fairly reliable (and a great way to cover a lot of miles while youre sleeping) and the number of world class hotels and spas is multiplying like bunnies every year. Basically - awesome.
We decided to focus on 3 cities/regions throughout Vietnam for our 2 week holiday. We would spend around 3 days in Hanoi/Halong Bay in the north...
5-6 days in Hoi An in the central Vietnam region (for the best beaches/maximum relaxation)...
and another 3 or so days in the south visiting HCM (Saigon) and the Mekong Delta.
Vietnam is a pretty small country sq milage wise - however it is long and skinny, so traveling north to south as we wanted to would probably several in country flights in order to cover it all in only two weeks. ONLY two weeks...we are so spoiled.
The wedding was in June, which made for a bad time to visit Vietnam. So, we decided to put it off until the fall. No problemo taking the honeymoon after the wedding - it gave us time to plan it and something else to look forward to. So we were thinking October. And then I spoke to a travel agent who said that Nov/Dec would be better, as we would have a better chance at avoiding the monsoons (avoiding monsoons - good idea). And thennnnn when said travel agent found out that we wanted to spend the most days in Hoi An, he suggested February. Or March. Or April. Huh? April? But thats like....10 months AFTER the wedding? Is that even considered a honeymoon at that point??
After lots of thinking (ok, probably about 8 minutes worth) we decided to be patient, put the Vietnam books down for a couple mos and move the trip to April. Of 2011. Im still telling EVERYONE I meet on the trip that its our honeymoon. So, now we wait for April.
The good news is that leaves us with an extra 2 weeks in our vacation bank for 2010....
Where will be spending these two weeks?
Anyone? Stay tuned to find out