Vietnam was a wonderful place to go: its diverse range of energy and absolute serenity was a perfect mix for someone like me who wanted exactly that – a mix of crazy and calm. Touring in Vietnam took me through the extraordinary pace of cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, to the steamy serenity of the Mekong Delta, and to the wondrous amazement of Halong Bay.
It just so happened, however, that as soon as our crew arrived on our Halong Bay tour, I came down with an epic bout of food poisoning. This is not to discredit the tour in Vietnam: it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and besides, everybody knows that if you travel to Vietnam you know there is a risk of coming down with a disease of a toxic nature.
Luckily enough for me, though unlucky in the scheme of experiencing Halong Bay, this dreadful bout of food poisoning came at the end of the tour, though right at the beginning of the Halong Bay cruise. I was confined to my bed in the cabins of the boat, left to view the incredible limestone formations that have made Halong Bay a travel must-go from my room.
My travel mates came back from a day exploring the caves and beaches of Halong Bay absolutely astounded by what they had experienced. ‘You missed out man. Too bad you’re sick; we saw heaps of monkeys.’ My friend Max from Sweden said to me as I lay helplessly sweating on my matress.
‘Ahh f*** you!’ was the only way I could reply.
One of the great things about travel is that there is a real sense of community amongst you and your travel buddies. Everybody was really caring when it came to looking after the woeful me, who can’t stand being ill, especially when I travel.
As much as it made it okay that I had become ill at the very end of the trip, it was a shame that it had to end that way. That being said, I loved the experience, I loved the people I met, and have created long-lasting connections with the friends I made on this particular type of travel. I recommend travelling in Vietnam, there’s a good chance you’ll get sick, but you already knew that.