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The Sensational Chaos of Vietnam

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Mai Chau, Vietnam

Anyone who’s attempted to cross a street in Hanoi or enjoyed a night out in the Backpacker’s District of Ho Chi Minh City will tell you just how indescribably stimulating the country of Vietnam is.

Now due to my fluctuating levels of maturity in the context of all things stimulating (LOL, huh?), I struggled to find another word that did this country justice.

Vietnam is, simply put, the most stimulating country I’ve ever been to.

Nha Trang, Vietnam
The beach bum life at its finest // Nha Trang, Vietnam

And as I retrieve my head from falling too deep into the gutter, I truly can’t remember another country that’s triggered all five of my senses in the same way, hence the word sensational as part of the title. Me so punny, right?

You see, in Vietnam, your senses are constantly being provoked: seeing, smelling, farting, tasting, hearing, and touching anything and everything around you.

Doing your best to process and make sense of the beautiful chaos that is this country.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Twinning at the park // Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

If you haven’t already read my blog about 10 Reasons You Need to Visit Vietnam, Like Yesterday, you really oughta have a little more respect for yourself and read it.

As this was my first Busabout tour in Asia, the bar could not have been set any higher as I was pleasantly surprised at how much Vietnam had to offer.

If you have any desire to visit Vietnam one day, your senses will surely be in for a treat! So sit back and enjoy this stimulating post (that’s what she said) of photos that describe my incredible Vietnam Adventure.


Hanoi, Vietnam Mai Chau, Vietnam Da Lat, VietnamNha Trang, Vietnam Hoi An, VietnamWhether you’re looking outside of your hotel, lounging in a hammock off the side of the road, or riding a luge through a flowery forest of glory, your eyes are constantly met with aesthetic droplets, as if Jesus Himself shed a tear at the beauty of His own creations.

Every time I walked down the street, I found myself showing Tourettes-like symptoms as I constantly raced my eyes through every direction, trying to grasp the different type of beauty I was experiencing.

Your eyes will simply never be bored in this country.


Hanoi, Vietnam Mai Chau, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Phong Nha Ke Bang, Vietnam Phong Nha Ke Bang, Vietnam

The irony about being in Vietnam and eating like you’re feeding a family of 4 on a daily basis, is that you’ll probably never gain more than a pound.

It must be something in the water, I swear!

I ate like my stomach was a bottomless pit for weeks and somehow dropped five pounds (but don’t worry, being back in good ol’ Murica, I’ve picked up 3x that amount since, God bless it).

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I’ve never come across a more accurate depiction of my life // Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnamese people are very petite and whatever magic is intercepting their oxygen to carbon dioxide inhalation and exhalation process, it’s just unfair.

And one simply doesn’t visit Vietnam without trying some authentic pho (which is pronounced ‘FUH’ if you’d like to not sound like a tourist), and don’t be surprised if you find yourself having it bright and early for breakfast, and perhaps lunch, and if you’re an overachiever, also dinner.


 Hoi An, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

While this is Southeast Asia, I think one should be prepared to always be smelling something. Whether it’s food, plants, alcohol, or quite frankly, fecal matter (by using fecal instead of poop, does this make me an adult)?

While the sights will hit your eyes hard, the smells will hit your nose twice as fast.

It’s also important to note that if you rent a motorbike (for all of $2-$5/day), you should invest in an oxygen mask, as the engine pollution at those stoplights can get pretty heavy and congested!


Hoi An, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Whether a kind and persistent Vietnamese woman is in your ear trying to sell you the latest (and obviously authentic) pair or Ray Bans, there’s also the constant sound of horns.

It’s hilarious just how few seconds can pass without someone honking their horn.

Actually, that’s a lie. Because every, single second a horn is being honked and I invite you to try and prove me wrong.

It’s both amusing and terrifying as you, the lonesome tourist, just want to get to the other side of the road and join the chicken, and here’s a little tip.

When crossing streets, forget what your parents told you. Don’t look both ways, just GO!

And when you go, for the love of all things anti-Trump right in this world, DO NOT STOP.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Casually crossing the street like a pro, despite being on the brink of death // Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

These local bikers are so good and efficient at not killing each other, ha.

But seriously, as soon as pedestrians start walking, they’re timing your steps and figuring out whether to speed up and go in front of you, or slow down and zoom behind.

If you stop in your tracks and panic, you throw off the entire group of 300 bikers who are crossing the intersection in that moment.

Don’t do it. Don’t be that person. Don’t be that guy.


Mai Chau, Vietnam Nha Trang, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Mai Chau, Vietnam Hoi An, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Nha Trang, Vietnam

It’s quite easy to go to a country and allow the cliche-ness (RIP English language) of the tourist attractions to let it feel like just another traveling experience.

If you haven’t read my post detailing my thoughts on what it was like visiting the war museums and war tunnels knowing its history with America, I encourage you to read that after this, over HERE.

Vietnam, while gorgeous, stimulating, and incredibly dynamic, needs to be visited with an eager spirit and open mind.

Mai Chau, Vietnam
Drinking rice wine in a hammock, as you do // Mai Chau, Vietnam

Nothing and yet everything, makes sense. The crowded and yet orchestrated chaos on the streets during prime time dinner and drink hours is electrifying.

Everything goes. People are in their element. Nobody seems worried or stressed. Teenage boys huddle with their friends throwing down massive platters of a whole lotta things I can’t pronounce.

And that’s why I fell in love with it so much.

It’ll continue to rank in my top 10 countries visited list [out of 30 so far] because of how much it blew me away.

Phong Nha Ke Bang, Vietnam
Zaaaamn Zadddy, whatcho name is? // Phong Nha Ke Bang, Vietnam

Curious as to what flight deals you can catch to get to Vietnam? Check out my favorite flight app HERE.

Just from a quick search on the app, I can see that a round trip flight to Ho Chi Minh City (where I spent the most time), can start around $700 depending on your departure city and month!

See my screenshot of that search below, and feel free to click the image to navigate to the page and see for yourself!


Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Dinner with the Busabout Gang! How un-sober do I look? Don’t answer that. // Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Vietnam Pinterest
If you’re in it to win it, then PIN it!
Seriously, I was Dr. Seuss in another life. Or at least his red-headed stepchild? Someone help me with a catch phrase here. Meep.

And if you’d like to do the same tour I did with Busabout Asia, peep the video below for more information and feel free to reach out with any questions!

Also check out some of my favorite Instagram posts from the tour below:

Eating in Asia is almost like playing a game. A game where you have to strategize about which food will be less likely to give you explosive diarrhea. I’d like to add that “explosive” might be an understatement. The food is just different than the western food you might be used to, so the body just needs a little time to adjust. Adjusting to the feeling of sh*tting out your intestines on a regular basis. But once/if you survive, it only gets better. Glad we could have this healthy discussion about poop as mature adults. Any other fecal inquiries can be directed to FixMyFeces(@) with the subject title of “Liquid Lava” and an opening line describing the color accordingly (i.e. Shrek Green) just to help keep things organized. Thanks! 😭💩👍 #busaboutasia #busaboutvietnam #vietnam #poop #lol

A photo posted by Gloria ✈ (@glographics) on

You cast the net, I’ll steer. #RelationshipGoals

A photo posted by Gloria ✈ (@glographics) on

When life looks majestic, but you still gotta pick out your wedgie 😭 #FeminineFails #TomboyTales

A photo posted by Gloria ✈ (@glographics) on

As well as some video clips highlighting my favorite moments and memories!

  • Anna Papagiannopoulos

    Love you and miss you Glo!

  • God, these pictures are just everything. I’m moving closer to Vietnam in the next few weeks and am crossing my fingers that I’ll get some time to visit it. Especially now after reading this post.