Official Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Religion: Buddhism, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Christian, animism, Islam
Capital: Hanoi (population 3.5 million)
Per Capita Income: $333
Languages: Vietnamese, English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese and Khmer
Currency: Vietnamese Dong
(~14,000 dong = $1.00 US)
Our Route:  We started in high-flying Ho Chi Minh City (a.k.a. Saigon), having flown in from Siem Reap, Cambodia.  We then took a plane to Da Nang, where we shot down the coast to the beautiful old town of Hoi An.  After six days in Hoi An, we took a bus (yikes!) to the ancient capital of Hue, where we spent two brief days before again returning to Da Nang for a flight direct to Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital.  We spent almost two weeks in the northern part of the country, visiting Hanoi and Halong Bay before taking the 10-hour train ride to Sapa (near the town of Lao Cai on the map), where we spent 5 days before returning to Hanoi.  We then flew out of Hanoi, direct to Vientiane, Laos.


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