From 2018, I will try to summarize all the places I have been throughout the year. I did it not only to check my bucket list over the year but also to see how my dream was fulfilled over time. Let’s see where were my travel destinations over the year 2018.
Feb – Beautiful Phu Quy Island & The Tour from Bangkok to Pattaya
February was a special month as there was the Lunar New Year (or Tet Holiday in Vietnam). Usually, Vietnamese people try to do a few-day travel on the second or third day of the Chinese Calendar, especially urban people, as they have many days off for special occasions.
I was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City, and my schedule is similar to many people living in the metropolis. This year, I went to Phu Quy Island before Tet Holiday, and to Thailand on the second day of the Chinese New Year.
Phu Quy Island – A beautiful gem of the land Binh Thuan
The situation that took me to the island was unpredictable. Some of my new friends, who are the residents of the island, invited me to visit their home island after we just met from a charity trip. They were born and raised on the island. Then later they went to Ho Chi Minh City for university. Before their invitation, I even didn’t know about an island called Phu Quy, which belonged to Binh Thuan, Vietnam.
Phu Quy is a beautiful island with natural landscapes. It is not developed with tourism. Therefore, in some parts, the island can keep its nature and wilderness. On the other hand, the locals mainly stick to their fishing jobs as their main income to live. As a result, coming to the island, travelers can easily have a rustic, simple feel at the first step on the island. That is, somehow made an urban boy like me feel interested in the place.
There is only one bad thing, the island is currently serving the Vietnamese military. Hence, it’s very restricted for international travelers.
The New Year travel from Bangkok to Pattaya
This could actually be my first travel destination in 2018. As a Vietnamese, I usually consider a year only starting since the Tet Holiday. And this trip exactly started on the second day of my Lunar New Year.
Additionally, this 4-day trip to Thailand was the most important memory not to me, but to my parents. We always do a New Year travel with my parents’ best friends. However, one friend passed away. And that was our biggest loss of the year.
I blogged our Bangkok and Pattaya itinerary in 2018 not only to save our happiness on the trip but also to remember the best friend of our family.
Read more: Things to Do in Bangkok with Teenagers
Mar – Relax at Vinpeal Resort Phu Quoc
That was the first time my whole sister’s family came to Vietnam. It was an enjoyable trip, in a relaxed way. For a family trip, we focus on places and activities where our family can spend the whole day together.
We booked a package to relax at Vinpearl Resort Phu Quoc. In the resort area, we are able to use all the services included in the tour, including the Safari, Aquarium, and the big playground.
Apr – The Singapore and Malaysia Journey
It was an 8-day journey travel from Singapore to Malaysia with my very dear friends. We had a chef, a ‘know-everwhere’ girl, and me in a team of three went exploring all the corners of Singapore City, Malacca, Georgetown Penang, and Kuala Lumpur.
Our Singapore and Malaysia tour was not only about visiting all the beautiful places for sightseeing but also discovering the hidden gems, culture, and cuisine of the two countries. Especially the Indian food, the chef guy took me to Indian restaurants most of the time, at least 1 time a day for the whole trip. He loves Indian cuisine.
May – A Short Spiritual Trip to Con Dao Island
Mostly I go to the island as a spiritual tour. And all the time, visiting Ms. Vo Thi Sau was the main purpose. In my last post about Con Dao, I shared her story and some spots that travelers can visit on the island.
This was the second time I went to the island with my family. The last time was 4 years ago. Con Dao has not changed so much since I have been here last time. Some people told me because the island is so spiritual that they don’t develop it much. Or maybe they cannot develop it much. Whether it’s true or not, I had a great trip with my family, ate fresh seafood, and took some beautiful pictures. Those were good overall!
Jun – Explore the Whole of Phu Quoc Island with My Travel Team
Two times a year going to Phu Quoc was not enough to explore the whole island. The first time was simply to relax at a Phu Quoc resort. In the second one, I and my friends rented motorbikes and went around the island, discovering a lot of Phu Quoc attractions.
Even though I went to Phu Quoc Island for different purposes, all brought me full happiness. Nevertheless, I still missed many places that I wanted to put my feet on. Next time I travel to Phu Quoc, I will uncover all the hidden gems of the island.
Jul – Hello Canada, I’m Back!
My farthest travel destination in 2018. I came back to Canada primarily to attend my sister’s wedding. At this time coming back, brought me a lot of familiar feelings about a place where I used to live for nearly a year. Everything was still similar to the time I left.
Furthermore, one of the best things is, that I had time to spend with my gang. That was awesome!
While I’m typing this, I’m just missing Canada again!
Sep – Vung Tau, the Weekdays Getaway
What to do when you get fully stressed? I usually make a quick escape from the city to a random place. Most of the time, I choose the seaside like Can Gio, Vung Tau, or the mountainside such as Dalat. As those places are not far from Ho Chi Minh City, it’s suitable for a weekend break, or a short day trip.
This time, in the midweek of the beginning of Sep, I and my ‘partner-in-crime’ traveled by motorbike to Vung Tau city to enjoy the sea air, and the not-everyday foods.
List of the places I went for food in Vung Tau:
- Bánh Khọt Gốc Vú Sữa – 14 Nguyễn Trường Tộ Street, Ward 2, Vũng Tàu City
- Yogurt Cô Tiên – on the way to Vung Tau Lighthouse
- Ốc Nốc – 86 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa Street, Ward 3, Vũng Tàu City
Nov – A Business Trip to Da Nang
Actually, this was not my business trip, but my parents. I just followed them for a free trip to Da Nang as they covered everything for me, LOL.
Nevertheless, because we mainly went for business, we didn’t visit many places. We just went to the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang, and Hoi An Ancient Town as we stayed in Cocobay, a hotel located on the way going from Da Nang to Hoi An. Instead, we spent most of our time enjoying cuisine in the two cities, making our own Hoi An and Da Nang food tours.
Below is the list of the foods that we enjoyed at the two places:
In Da Nang:
- Bánh Tráng Cuốn Thịt Heo Mậu Đà Nẵng – 35 Đỗ Thúc Tịnh Street, Cẩm Lệ Dist.
- Bún Mắm Nêm Ngọc – K23 Trần Kế Xương Street.
- Mì Quảng – 78 Phan Thanh Street.
- Hải Sản Bé Mặn A – 11 Võ Nguyên Giáp Street, Sơn Trà Dist.
In Hoi An:
- Cơm Gà Bà Buội – 22 Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hội An City.
- Bánh Mì Phượng – 2B Phan Chu Trinh Street, Hội An City.
- Thanh Cao Lầu – 26 Thái Phiên Street.
Dec – Let’s Go to Chau Doc! & the Dalat Trip at The End of 2018
Ho Chi Minh City ⇔ Chau Doc City ⇔ Tra Su Melaleuca Forest
I just recently finished the fastest trip of the year 2018 with my friends, to Chau Doc City and Tra Su Melaleuca Forest. The whole trip only took me 21 hours including time moving to Chau Doc City, visiting Bà Chúa Xứ, wandering around Tra Su Melaleuca Forest, and coming back to Ho Chi Minh City. Although it was really fast but fun enough for a weekend break with friends.
Gorgeous Dalat in the Cold Days of Dec
Every time, Dalat City is the best place to start or end something. Simply because, Dalat, with its beauty in landscapes but slowness in life, always brings to visitors special feelings and memories.
It was awesome for me to choose Dalat as the last destination of the year. Besides all the best moments spent with my specialty and friends, Dalat is the ideal place to leave all the bad things, or sadness behind. Therefore, thanks to Dalat for being my last travel destination in 2018, and thanks for keeping all my sadness away from the year 2019!
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