For Vietnam, I decided to save my post until the end of my trip so I can give you the highs & lows.
We started off in Hanoi which is closer to the Northern part of Vietnam. One of My favorite parts of Hanoi was visiting the prison where McCain was kept. This prison was actually mind blowing. All over the prison there were pictures with captions talking about how the Americans were actually treated really well! The Vietnamese are basically trying to rewrite history and hide all of the mistreatment and torture that actually went on. When I asked our tour guide about it, she basically said they aren't permitted to talk about it (interesting, right?!) But overall, my all time favorite part of our entire vacation was a day excursion we took to Halong Bay. We took a sea plane and flew over the beautiful bay which had the most beautiful views I have ever seen. Once we landed, we took a boat tour all around the islands, something definitely worth your time.
After Hanoi, we made our way down to a small town in the south called Hoi An (it kind of got confusing because the names are so similar haha.) This was a beautiful little village right between a river and an ocean. Since Hoi An is known for their leather, my mom and I decided to get a few bags made which turned out amazing! You are actually able to design a bag and they take down all of the measurements and bring it to life. If you do end up doing this, I would recommend bringing in a bag, or pictures of the bag, that you want to copy (it makes it much easier).
After Hoi An, we headed to our last destination, Ho Chi Minh city. Our first stop was a tour through the underground tunnels which were used during the Vietnam war. This was incredibly fascinating because these tunnels were created and used by the North, who the South and US were fighting against. The tunnels gave the North an upper hand because as the American soldiers were wandering through the jungles in Vietnam, the Northern soldiers were able to create traps and bunkers underground. The tunnels had 3 layers so even if the land was bombed, the bottom 2 layers survived. Although the tunnels have been enlarged by 40%, they are still incredibly small (We were actually able to walk through them). The tunnels were miles and miles long all connected beneath the ground. This was definitely one of our trip highlights!
When we were in Ho Chi Minh, we also got a much clearer view of the problems the local people face with politics. Every Saturday and Sunday there are protests all around the city because the Vietnamese are so upset about the government & laws. To keep the people quiet, the government turns off the internet on the weekends (Facebook, etc) so the world can't find out!
All in all, this trip was one of a lifetime. If you ever have the chance to visit Cambodia or Vietnam, please feel free to contact me! I would love to share more but my journey to Australia awaits! I'll keep you updated with all the new and incredible opportunities Australia has to offer.