I’m sitting in a coffee shop inside a central mall in my home city. Surrounded by a lot of people who go shopping in the mall, I nearly forget that I’ve just gone through a critical year with a lot of remarkable events to the world in general and to my life in particular. Yes, the biggest one is the coronavirus, which causes my list of travel destinations in 2020 had no new places added.
Honestly, I intended to skip this year’s lookback because I haven’t traveled to many places, all thanks to Covid. However, by seeing people do buy their stuff for the new year, life keeps running, so why do I have to skip a thing that I do every new year.
This post, perhaps, is a little different than the two before. But it still covers all the places I visited within the year, even those are domestic places. So here they are.
Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai
Actually, this is my father’s hometown. The city is just about 1-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. And actually, again, this city has nothing for an adventurous, sightseeing, or discovering trip. In contrast, you can find a lot of indoor entertainment and relaxation at places such as karaoke, restaurant, coffee shop, massage, spas, etc. at quite good prices.
Honestly, I just came to the city to visit my cousin and stay there for a few days to avoid the noise and hustle in my home city. Yes, in a year that had so many bad things happened and I couldn’t travel to places, going to a place that is different from my home was truly good to keep my creativity for the works. Fortunately, my hometown sometimes inspired me to keep up with stuff. That was also the reason why I got to this place many times in 2020. By the way, the foods there were so delicious and cheap too. It is another reason that I go to my hometown.
Van Gia and Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa
Have I told you that Van Gia is my wife’s hometown? Yes, that was why it was one of my popular travel destinations in 2020. I took my wife to visit her family at the place as well as to get our vacation time together. And if you haven’t read my blog or know about Île de la Baleine and Whale Island Resort, they are all in the same area.
Additionally, Van Gia is in the same Khanh Hoa province as Nha Trang City. Therefore, we didn’t miss our chance to visit the most tourist seaside in Vietnam. In fact, Nha Trang is just about 1 hour’s drive away from Van Gia. And the city offers many types of activities for relaxing and exploring such as mud bathing, partying in a rooftop bar, islands discovering, etc.
Not sure if it was good or bad, but because of the coronavirus, Nha Trang opened a great opportunity for domestic travelers with many services, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment at more good prices. For example, I paid only $14 for a night at a 4 stars hotel compared to about $50 a night if it’s in a normal tourist condition. It sounds ideal, isn’t it?
Da Nang and Quy Nhon Cities
It was a trip at the beginning of Jul when I and my wife planned to visit a friend living in Da Nang. We then spent a day at Quy Nhon on the way driving back. In case you don’t know, Da Nang is the worthiest living city in Vietnam. This beautiful city has a lot of kinds for discovering in both the mountain and the sea. Unfortunately, I haven’t written any post to introduce the city to you, but I will definitely do so in the year 2021.
Perhaps I will never forget this trip because it happened a few weeks right before the second wave of coronavirus in Vietnam, causing the city to have an extreme case of quarantine. Anyways, we took our chance to wander around Ba Na Hills, an amusement park located high on the mountain of Da Nang. The park brought us to the atmosphere of a European city and entertained us with thrilling games. Nevertheless, there were so many people in the city as it ran a campaign to attract visitors to overcome the bad tourist situation. As a result, it created chaotic scenes in some places.
In contrast, Quy Nhon brought to us a more peaceful feeling. The hidden gem of Vietnam hasn’t rushed to have travelers to the city. Thus, we found some places to enjoy our private and relaxed times. Especially, as in my guide to travel Quy Nhon city, its cuisine was still cheap and delicious too.
Da Lat City
I will never forget the point I started to travel to Da Lat city 4 years ago after a long time since I was a kid, I haven’t come to the land. Since that, I travel to the city many times a year. It was the same, Dalat became one of my most visited travel destinations in 2020. I went to the place many times that I forgot the actual number.
As the highland is just about 3 hours away from my wife’s hometown, Van Gia, we took chances to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and fine cuisine there. Honestly, I extremely loved the life there, it was running slowly. And when there was no way for me to travel internationally, Da Lat is absolutely the top place that appears in my mind when I think of travel destinations for a getaway. Trust me, it’s truly great!
I went to Vung Tau about 3 times in 2020. Indeed, Vung Tau is always one of the first travel destinations that appear in my mind every time I think of a seaside getaway. From Ho Chi Minh City, I can go to Vung Tau at about 1h50′. It used to be longer, but thanks to the Long Thanh – Dau Giay highway, the trip is shortened.
To me, Vung Tau is the top remarkable place that stores a lot of beautiful memories of my family. Because of its near location to Ho Chi Minh City, my family usually choose it for our vacation, especially when I was a kid.
One more time, in 2020, Vung Tau enlarges its memory to store my family’s beautiful moments. Yes, my grandpa was too old he hardly moved around, especially on a long trip from Ho Chi Minh City to this sea city. Nevertheless, I and my family tried our best to take him to this place, where he has a lot of memories of the past. My grandpa was extremely pleased. Evenly, he said “this year is the happiness year for him”, and we took him to the place that he had so many feelings about. A few months later, he passed away and rested in peace. And I believe that he was so satisfied that he had an experienced, interesting, and beautiful life with his posterity. I always miss him so much and I’m happy that we had beautiful memories together.
Con Dao Island
At least once a year, I take a spiritual trip to Con Dao Island. Honestly, it’s just about something that I believe it will bring good luck to me when I do so. But it’s actually good and Con Dao is mainly a spiritual travel destination, goest alongside its well-known history.
In May 2020, I and my wife’s family took a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao island. I went there a few times before but it was their first time ever. They listened and felt curious about my story about the island, and about Ms. Vo Thi Sau, who was a Vietnamese soldier in the Vietnam war. Nowadays, the locals all worship her as their god who brings peace and prosperity to the whole island. Particularly, many businessmen and businesswomen come and wish for their businesses to thrive. As a result, the island currently is crowded most of the time, especially during the peak season. And my wife’s family visited the island to witness its miracle as well as to pray for their health and business too.
An Giang and Can Tho City
It was the days at the beginning of Mar, I and my wife family traveled to An Giang and Can Tho on a spiritual trip. Actually, An Giang with its Chau Doc city was the main travel destination in the trip. I think you remember my fastest getaway to An Giang before? Yes, that time we came to the same place to visit Bà Chúa Xứ temple and the melaleuca forest too. Similar to me that I go to Con Dao island almost every year, my wife’s family travels to Chau Doc yearly.
Can Tho has Ninh Kieu Wharf, which is also the most attractive point of the city. You may hear about the floating market where people sell the specialties and fruits of the area, you can find those here. And that’s the reason that we drove about 4 hours from Chau Doc to Can Tho, so my wife’s family can travel and experience the floating market for the first time ever.
At the wharf, we got on a ship and ordered foods from their menu to enjoy our dinner on the river. The ship left the wharf and took its customers around in about 2 hours while they were serving their folk songs. The next morning, we came back to the wharf and find a boat that carried us to the floating market, about 20 – 30 minutes away. The market had all kinds of local fruits and foods that the people sold on their boats. Surely, you will find the market unique and interesting with all the new experiences that you ever have.
Just about 10 travel destinations in 2020, but I think it was enough to make a year of coronavirus less boring and a bit more experience. Anyway, I hope that the world will be better in general and the coronavirus will end soon in particular, then we all get back to our track of discovering the broad life. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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