So, this is a different post today as I wanted to write about our experience over the last few days. Unfortunately, after Vietnam was cleared of COVID- 19 it raised its ugly head again over the past few days, primarily from tourists from the UK from a recent flight into Hanoi.
This has therefore affected our trip massively. We arrived in Ninh bihn to hear a lot of the town has already been quarantined. We had planned to stay here for 5 nights and were super excited at the prospect of long lies, long walks through the incredible Kaarst mountainous landscapes and swimming in the pool I have been so excited for! The following morning we awake to messages that half our group had been stopped by the police and were unable to leave their hotel. The next kicker was that 1 of the girls on our bus was also on the flight which carried a covid-19 positive passenger. Therefore, they were unable to leave, and we were told we had to go to where they are staying and join them in quarantine.
Luckily, 5 of the passengers were on a boat trip, we were in a separate hotel and by the time we all collected ourselves the police had closed down the hostel and wouldn’t let anyone in. We had managed to escape and could at least make it to Hanoi where we would stay in isolation for the next few days and await their results.
After uncertainty and many worried emails frantic google searches and a few cries, we decided regrettably so to cancel the rest of our trip and come home. I was beyond devastated; I still am now as I continue to type this post. For me Northern Vietnam was going to be the highlight of our S.E.Asian trip for me and now since the past few days of bad news, worry and ongoing anxiety, we both feel the best option right now is to cancel.
It's a weird feeling and it has never made me miss home more, I understand what real panic feels like in a situation which I have no control over. I have felt helpless the past few days, emotional, scared and uncertain of everything and who to trust - not to mention having this longing feeling to get back to NZ and start fresh. Maybe now is the right time.
I am writing this based on our experience of Hanoi the past few days and I can tell you, it’s the worst place we have been. The panic has swept the city. Police have closed many hotels, attractions, restaurants, bars, cafes and the atmosphere here is disastrous for tourists. We have heard of hotels refusing UK passport holders entry, daily police checks, and hour long interrogations. We have certainly tried to make the most of it, but unfortunately it has been increasingly difficult and we just want to go home.
What I do want to touch on is how amazing the Vietnamese working in the tourism industry have been. Despite the risk that every traveller is causing right now, we have never felt more welcome (not in local supermarkets or away from the tourist area) but in our last hotel here, we felt safe. I managed to cancel each and every accomo for the next 2 weeks and our cruises, buses and tours, pretty much cancellation free. Everyone understand how awful this situation is and the response support I have received had been outstanding.
I love Vietnam and despite the issues the government is doing what it can to protect it's people and to that I am truly grateful for. We are of course caught in the crossfire but understandably so and we respect the wishes of the government 100%, despite it being an incredibly nerve-wrecking time.
This was my experience and I hope it doesn’t deter anyone from visiting this simply beautiful country. It truly is amazing, and we can’t wait to return in the future once the Covid-19 scare has been eradicated.
For now, it’s trying to get a flight home and start again!
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!