The last from Vietnam, highs and lows + a photo diary

Greetings, friends!

What is up? Looking forward to sharing a last Vietnam post (I've also written about it here and here with you (with some DOPE pictures that I’m proud to have taken on my camera!) I’ll also be doing a guide for Vietnam, and posting it under Travel Guides, so be on the lookout for that.

I have to say, that will be a huge time suck, because I want to give you EVERYTHING you need if you wanted to do time in Vietnam. It’s a tricky country with a lot of things that I learned so these tips will be super helpful.

Also P.S. I just finished the Morocco travel guide, which is really thorough, so that will be up on travel guides for you to see by Friday. Super accurate, thorough and tested, if you want to go to Morocco anytime soon, just email me and we can talk about any questions or anything like that.

I think a highs and lows is the best way to summarize the last few weeks.

(I also made the tour group that we were with do a highs and lows at the last dinner, HA. All sixteen of us going through highs and lows over spring rolls and fried rice LOL).


Highs:

The people

I don’t know how to begin with how kind the Vietnamese people are. EVERY SINGLE kid under the age of 13 was cutely yelling ‘hello’ (in English) when we passed by and basically every person I interacted with had a smile on their face.  There is such a focus on family and a prioritization of the family unit, it was quite a contrast to my family, and the American family really. Families who are super independent and like mine, living all over the country. We leave when we’re 18, they stay at home when they get married, and even when they have kids. I think about half of my snaps were of the kids waving and saying hi, being cute as shit.

Being in the flow

Nothing like traveling to get you in the flow. Being in the flow is the state of being completely present and in the moment. Not thinking about what emails you need to respond to, about what you’re doing later that day. It’s the full focus on the person/place/thing where you are. It’s truly one of the best feelings there is. You’re also in the flow when you’re doing something creative, that you’re truly passionate about.


Lows:

Being disconnected

This was sort of sad, but also I can attribute to the good things happening in my life that I want to stay up on. I felt super behind with blogging, emails, life stuff and friends and really just kept up to post via social media. It’s super fun to share, but my perspective of things changes when I’m in the social media ‘zone’. If I am, then I will see things through the lenses of social media rather than as they are. Like, this is a beautiful Instagram or funny snap, vs. taking it as it is in the moment. But I was inspired that I WANTED to be blogging or sharing my experiences rather than just glad that I was away from the world I am trying to create for myself at home.

Anyone else feel me here?

The food (at times)

I know that traveling vegetarian is a bit harder, you have to tell people you’re with and make them aware of it, and just keep food on you like nuts and bars. Vietnamese food, like most, is based a lot on meat/seafood, so there was a lot that I wasn’t about to try or eat. Although everyone was super accommodating (Buddhists eat vegetarian all the time and the majority of the culture are Buddhists), you can only eat so much tofu dishes. Huge fan of our food in America, to be honest, we are spoiled with options and healthy choices.


Recap of the places we visited

Hanoi: Oldest city in Northern Vietnam, super populous and full of history. Not exactly my favorite place in Vietnam, but worth spending a few days. Like Bangkok in Thailand, or say, Times Square in New York City. Can be too much at a point.

Ha Long Bay: Insanely gorgeous, and when you see Vietnam photos you probably see this one. Ominous islands inside a bay full of jungle animals and overnight yachts. A must see.

Hue: Love Hue (pronounced whey) it’s a tiny village, that’s super welcoming and has lots of interesting things to see.

Hoi Ann: A beach town that’s growing pretty rapidly and has a lot of architecture that’s French/American. Lots to do here and I LOVED the city. Tourists and shopping felt super comfortable.

Da Nang: Another good one, super close to Hoi Ann on the beach.

Ho Chi Min City (previously known as Saigon): Most populous city in Vietnam, it’s south and gets pretty hot at all times. There’s everything you need in a big city here, every type of food, clubs, shopping and things to do. Lots of traffic, too.


Again, I’ll write a full guide soon, but it was truly an incredible and life changing trip. It was one of those where I’m back in L.A. like, what just happened? Where am I? 

Over two weeks is truly an optimal trip time, ha. It’s like when you’re at the point when you’re done with a place and ready to be back home.

Vietnam, I love you for the beaches, people, places and things, but L.A. I’m so glad to be back.

Do you guys have any good trips planned? Have you been on a vacation where you’re feeling so content with it, that you were ready to get back to life?

Also let me know if you have questions, etc. Looking forward to chatting with you more this week.

Xo

Krista

UPDATES FROM VIETNAM: Basically a photo diary (part 1)

Hi guys!

What’s up? How’s the week been?  I feel so far from you, ha! :)

Writing an update from the Vietnam trip, from our hotel in Hanoi. Hanoi is a pretty populous city, and there are SO many people. What’s so incredible is that everyone is really just 'in the flow', and you don’t feel stressed at all by the amount of people in an area. It's more like a community.

The main method of transportation is the motorbike, and few people have cars except for transporting goods or if you’re wealthy/a government official. So, you see literally hundreds of motorbikes whizzing by. Honking like crazy, but everyone is calm and not angered by the amount of people in the way or going all sorts of crazy directions. In America, if you honk, you’re pissed basically and need to get someone’s attention, ha, not here!

The people here are so friendly and gracious and polite I can’t even believe it. You feel safe, and our guide told us that if you were to rob someone or steal, the community would get behind the victim, and seek out the person who committed the crime. Like a community that stands for good in a way.

You can see the effects of the war still, and remembering that it opened back up for tourism in 2000 (thanks Bill Clinton) there hasn’t been tourists for THAT long. It’s not clean, and lots of it isn’t ‘pretty’ but text book standards, but when you to major popular cities in the world, that often happens.

What’s fascinating to me is the vibe and feel of the people and how they interact. Seeing how communism plays in as well. There’s lots of abandoned half way built buildings, where people lost the capital to finish, and gave up. There are places where, you’d think, this is INCREDIBLE and that in the United States, so many entrepreneurs or business would eat this alive and build, build, build, but here they can’t afford that. Not saying one is better, just an observation.


What I'm wearing in this post:

Paige Denim Jeans

Forever 21 (Chanel Knock Off) Flats

Gap Boat Neck Stripped Tee (Similar from Old Navy and J.Crew)

Brady Melville Green Jacket (Similar from Shop Bop and Net-a-porter)

Ray Ban Sunglasses Round with Orange Tint


Also, everyone here wears masks because of the pollution problem in the city. Which is truly heartbreaking to think about. Globally, we need to get serious about taking care of our environment, because there should never be a place where you have to wear a mask to survive because we’re polluting the air so much and destroying the land. They also LOVE karaoke, which is amazing. But you have to be ‘serious’ when doing it, and ‘joking’ karaoke is not permitted – LOL.

We spent two nights on a boat in Ha Long Bay, which is what you see in most pictures, and what you saw in my photograph that I posted in my Vietnam packing guide previously. It’s where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed, obvi. It’s breathtaking, truly. You’re amidst giant tree covered rocks in the water, like statues. There are monkeys climbing and swinging from the tops, and it’s just super majestic.

Basically – if you’re in Vietnam this is 100% a must-do.

It’s been cloudy, which is a bummer, but I think if it was really nice it would make me explode. We did a kayak trip and a cave exploration which was crazy. They had colored lights shining everywhere so it was like a party cave, which is HILARIOUS.

I’m trying to learn more about the religion and culture, so I can speak intelligently to the people here. But, that takes time, ya know?

Oh yeah, and the food! So if you know me you know I like to eat like protein bars, avocado toast and juices all day basically. I’m truly the worst. So in a new environment, shit doesn’t go over too well. Being vegan is impossible basically and vegetarian is super hard. Secretly hoping to shed some lbs. with lack of interest in the fare, hehe.

I’m keeping up when I have Wi-Fi on snap (@hundredblog) and Instagram (@hundredblogla) so definitely follow along. Also so I can follow you! There is some crazy stuff to snap here, truly.

Some photos, which I am so happy with the photography opportunities here – insane!

Have you guys been to Vietnam? Or anywhere in Asia? What did you think? Also any tips for me, let me know! You guys know everything!

Can’t wait to have a proper catch up soon!

Xo

Krista


Where I’ve stayed so far:

Melia Hotel: Highly recommend. Super easy, great breakfasts and food, and it’s got an amazing spa. I had a 90-minute massage for $40 dollars, and there is a really nice gym, sauna and steam room.

Ha Long Bay Oriental Sails: Pretty big cabins and really big bathrooms for being on a boat! Great day trips to kayak and hike, and they're super friendly.