After a 40-minute ride on a bumpy, rented motorbike (a.k.a. scooter) we arrived at what we thought would be a mountain pass up to the Golden Bridge. That wasn't the case. Read the full post to hear why the Golden Bridge outside Da Nang, Vietnam didn't meet my expectations. Just in case you need to make a quick decision, here's everything you need to know to see the bridge.
Just in recent years, Ho Chi Minh City became known for its craft beer scene. I made this tour for craft beer lovers like me who want to try all the city's unique beers, even if they have a limited amount of time. Visiting the breweries in the order I suggest below adds up to only 2.7 km (1.7 miles) of walking. However, you can get a taxi (or order a Grab motorbike taxi for extra fun) anywhere along the route.
After our long flight, Ethan and I decided to treat ourselves. He needed a haircut and I told him to wait until we were in Vietnam. We found a funky barber shop where tattooed barbers played rap music and cut designs into fades. Ethan and I don't know much Vietnamese yet, but we came prepared with a picture and his barber was able to copy it perfectly. He paid ₫80,000 which equals $3.45 or €3.03.
We left Chicago on a chilly gray day and landed in a lush, green country full of life. A border patrol agent checked our passports and took our photos. After feeling a little nervous throughout the whole planning phase, we were glad to receive little pink stamps in our passports saying "Republic de Cuba, 26 Oct 2018, José Martí." (If you love passport stamps as much as I do, you'll be happy to know we got another upon exit.) Some people say Cuba is like another world. It definitely feels like a place frozen in time. It's charming, colonial, and decaying. Still, despite years of uncertain economic circumstances, the people there are full of energy. Everywhere there are neighbors in the streets chatting, bartering, smoking, and playing.
If you've never visited before, some aspects of culture Havana, Cuba will surprise you at first. Here are five challenge you're sure to experience after arrival. 1. Feeling terrified your taxi will run someone over Taxis are the main mode of transportation around Havana and the rest of Cuba as well. We read that the driving was crazy before we arrived, so we were somewhat prepared for that. Drivers used their car horns on a wide range of occasions—equally when they were happy and when they were upset—at other taxi drivers, at pedestrians, and at their friends. If you are out walking in areas like Old Havana (Habana Vieja) where the streets are very narrow and used both as a road and sidewalk, and hear a horn, it's best to move to the side as quickly as possible.
To access the internet in Cuba, you' need to buy a wifi card. They only be used in wifi zones—usually public squares. You can also access wifi in most hotel lobbies (though these should be avoided if you're an American on the "Supporting the Cuban People" visa). You'll know you've found a wifi zone when you see a bunch of people with their heads bowed down toward their smartphones. Everyone—local and tourists alike—must access the internet this way. Locals do not have data plans on their smartphones.
ViaHero planned a 10-day Cuban vacation for my new fiancé and I in November 2018. As a travel blogger, I have always organized my adventures on my own. But, as a US citizen, the more I researched, the more nervous I became about the technicalities—especially the many different visa types and their various requirements.