One of the best things about studying at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) was the 10-week semester. While all my friends in San Diego still were still studying for finals, I was finished with my semester and ready to travel home. At this point I had a few options, I could go home a few months early and twiddle my thumbs or I could take a detour and travel through Vietnam. I picked the latter.
I was in the northern city of Hanoi for a total of 10 hours. I flew up late on a Thursday night and woke up early Friday morning to catch a three-day, two-night boat cruise out of the famous Halong Bay.
After the three-hour bus ride from Hanoi to the harbor, I and a British girl from the hostel boarded the party cruise with 20 people from all over the world!
We all ate lunch together and took advantage of the amazing landscape for pictures. The rest of the day was spent jumping from the boat, kayaking and relaxing.
The second day some of our group left and took the smaller boat back to the harbor, while the rest of us cruised through all the limestone rocks and passed “floating communities.” After stopping to cliff jump, we pulled up at Freedom island, our second night’s accommodation. The island was no more than 100 feet wide, but it was still amazing. We had the whole island to ourselves for the rest of the day.
I spent the second weekend in the cold mountain town of Da Lat. Its known for waterfalls and canyoning, which is exactly what I did! The first day we were in Da Lat, three buddies and I rented mopeds and took a ride out to Elephant Waterfall. It was epic!
The second day we signed up for a canyoning tour that was $40 USD. It was worth every penny! We ended up absailing three times, cliff jumping over a waterfall and sliding down a waterfall (backwards and upside-down).
Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon
I spent most of my time in HCMC (formerly known as Saigon before the war) volunteering through IVHQ at a small Orthopedic and Rehabilitation hospital!
Besides taking blood pressure, cleaning wounds, mixing medications and watching surgeries (best experience of my life) the other volunteers and I got the ultimate tour of HCMC. We visited the Mekong Delta, The War Remnants Museum, The Reunification Palace, The Cu Chi Tunnels, The Artinus 3D Art Museum and of course The Air 360 Sky Lounge!
Thank you for reading! And remember, don’t run while crossing the street!
Dillon Morgan is pursuing a bachelors degree in kinesiology. This fall he is studying functional anatomy, exercise rehabilitation and sport medicine at University of Technology, Sydney.