BOLT Review : Vietnam ♡♡♡

We left Vietnam on January 13th and have had some time to reflect, process and talk about our time in there.  We are in Malaysia now which is a great place to do this. We love both Vietnam and Malaysia,  but the two countries are very different.

We were privileged to spend almost an entire month in Vietnam.  We visited 7 cities : Ho Chi Minh City  (Saigon), Mui Ne, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue, Ha Long and Hanoi. Each place had its own special charms and delights. We honestly enjoyed every spot! The following review is based on our overall experience.  We tried to capture the vibe of the different cities with the pictures.

Friendly People, Beautiful Sights, Ha Long Bay

Accommodations?  ♡♡♡♡♡
In every city we found small, clean, affordable, centrally located hotels.  We got great value, spending between  $12 to $20 a night, often breakfast was included.  Good WiFi, air conditioning and helpful staff and were a plus in every city.

The Poshanu Resort in Mui Ne was a luxurious treat for BOLT.

Food? ♡♡♡
The food in Vietnam was very inexpensive, well prepared and easy to find. Kathy liked Vietnamese cuisine better than I. I found it hard to get vegetarian protein, and there was not much variety or spiciness. We ate a  LOT of pho (noodles) and rice.

The streets of Hanoi always busy, great for walking and finding little sidewalk eating spots.

Value? ♡♡♡♡♡
The American dollar is very strong in Vietnam.  Meals for $2 each, hotel stays under $20, inexpensive museums, national parks and entertainment.

Hoi An was lots of fun, if kind of touristy.

Cultural Relevance?  ♡♡♡♡♡
One of the things we love most is visiting museums, historical and
religious sites. Vietnam has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and we visited 5 of them! It was great leaning so much about the culture and proud history of Vietnam.

Hanoi has a wonderful Ho Chi Minh Complex with his tomb and a museum.
The ancient citadel at Hue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lesbian Friendly?
We are not giving Vietnam any hearts in this area. This is not because we personally experienced any problems, we didn’t.  We just don’t know anything about LGBT issues in vietnam. Here’s a link to an article I found.
LGBT in Vietnam

We loved the Hoan Kiem Lake Park in Hanoi, people gather every morning for all sorts of activities.

Elder Appropriate? ♡♡♡
We have gotten pretty good at crossing busy Southeast Asian streets and are very careful about uneven sidewalks and potholes.  I think if your mobility is limited Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City would be a little difficult.  The smaller cities like Hue, Ha Long Bay and Hoi An would be better choices and are great for vacationing.

We loved meeting and talking with these young women students in Hue.
Da Nang was so much fun at night!

Black Folk? ♡♡
The Vietnamese people we met were very friendly and we felt no discrimination or prejudice.  However we were clearly a novelty in Vietnam. People were especially fascinated with Kathy’s locs, gently pulling them. We were often asked to take pictures with locals and many people actually rubbed our skin. It was very different from our experiences in Thailand and Malaysia. Not negative, just different.

So, in conclusion, Vietnam gets a loving 3 1/2 hearts from BOLT with a possible return visit. Hope you enjoy this review.  Questions? Please email us at

Da Nang, City of Beautiful Beaches
Kwan Yin, Overlooks Da Nang
This Post Office, designed by Gustave Eifell is one of the many historic sites in Saigon.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay

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