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Wanderlust ::: Vietnam

When I first started planning our Thailand honeymoon in the early spring of 2009, I was lucky enough to stumble across Hither and Thither, a fascinating travel blog written by Ashley and Aron Bruhn who are native Californians living in New York City. I was really impressed by the detailed account of their honeymoon in Thailand and found their recommendations and comments immensely helpful when planning our trip. I’ve been a huge fan ever since. You could spend hours reading their travelogues covering all the amazing places they’ve been, and I also really enjoy reading about their life here in NY. I always wonder how they manage to fit it all in! Also in the works? A baby boy on the way which Ashley has been writing about on her new blog, Baby Mine. Considering I found Ashley and Aron while researching Thailand, it seems so fitting that Ashley is taking us to Southeast Asia again, but this time for a future trip she hopes to take with her family. p.s. I want everything on her packing list ::: Luster

::: From Ashley ::: I think it was a feature in Gourmet Magazine that first brought on my case of Vietnam wanderlust. The glossy spread featured steaming street food, colorful lanterns, enchanting bays, chaotic moped traffic, and talked of an exotic and fragrant place where a French colonial past had left a unique culinary mark. Having traveled to Southeast Asia for our honeymoon in Thailand, I can’t wait to go back—and a trip to Vietnam is top on my wish list.

We would start in Hanoi—sampling the café culture and wandering through narrow passageways, alternately touring Belle Époque French villas in the French Quarter and Buddhist complexes built on limestone cliffs (at the nearby Perfume Pagoda)—before detouring to see the greens of the rice paddies around Sapa, the ancient Cham tower-temples of My Son Sanctuary ,and the limestone towers of Halong Bay (where we might board a traditional junk boat or find more quiet and get up-close by kayak).

In Hue, we’d rent bicycles and explore the fortified Imperial city, before heading south. Along the way, we’d take time to relax at one of the resorts along the 400-mile stretch from Hue to Nha Trang, and board boats to go diving in the clear life-filled waters around offshore archipelagos.

In Hoi An, perhaps after putting in an order at a custom tailor in the Old Quarter, we’d do our best to capture the faded colors of this trading port, preserved since the 15thcentury, as well as the vibrant ones at the riverside fish market.

It would be a dream to set up camp for a few days at the Con Dao Islands—at the luxurious Six Senses resort with a view of the turquoise South China sea—before finishing the trip in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), rich with history.

Ashley’s Packing List:

1. Day tripper pant

2. City Walk Fedora

3. Sunglasses

4. Iris Jacket

5. Essie Clambake

6. Madewell Bike Bag

7. Salina Sandals

8. Isabelle Dress

9. Scenic route shirtdress Madewell

10. My son

11. Scarf

12. Theory colsten top

13. Swiss Army Bicycle

14. Triwa watch


Thank you, Ashley!

For more Wanderlust destinations, be sure to check out Belize |  Ireland |  St. Petersburg |  Dubrovnik, Croatia |  Marfa, Texas |  Vancouver Island |  The Amalfi Coast |  and Reykjavik


Images: 01 Banh mi | 02 Can Tho | 03 Dalat falls | 04 Six Senses | 05 Vietnamese coffee | 06 Hoi an | 07 Halong bay by Owen Franken | 08 Hue Market | 09 My Son Sanctuary | 10 Nam hai resort in Hoi An | 11 Phu Quoc | 12 Lemongrass pork skewers | 13 Saigon | 14 Sapa | 15 Sapa Highlands | 16 Hue | 17 Hue | 18 Vietnam stamps here and here | 19 Halong Bay Junk Cruise

Content by Ashley Muir Bruhn of Hither and Thither | Layout & Graphic Design by Jennifer Cameron of Luster


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  1. Posted April 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm | #

    I’m planning a trip to Vietnam at the end of this year and this has got me so excited, and given me a few ideas aswell.

  2. Lindsey
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm | #

    My boyfriend and I are leaving for Vietnam in two weeks. Our itinerary is similar to yours, but we are going to the other way around (HCMC up to Hanoi). We also wanted to stay at the Six Sense Resort, but it was about $1500/night (just a little less than we are spending for our whole trip!). So we settled for the Con Dao Resort. Hope it is as amazing as the photos from your pretend trip look! And really hoping I don’t get eaten alive by mosquitos :o)

  3. Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm | #

    vietnam is simply stunning. I loved hoi an the most, such a wonderful place, right out of a fairytale!!

  4. Posted April 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm | #

    This post is beautiful! And I love the packing list, such inspiration for my summer travels!

  5. James
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm | #

    Those turquoise waters are so beautiful. Adding Vietnam to my travel list!

  6. hillary
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm | #

    thank you so much for sharing this. i never knew how much i wanted to see vietnam, until now. love both of your blogs!!

  7. Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:44 am | #

    There is so much beauty in this post, wow!!! I love it all!

  8. Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:51 pm | #

    What incredible vistas! So varied and yet all so beautiful! And love all Ashley’s picks – am totally coveting that Club Monaco jacket!

  9. Posted April 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm | #

    wow, what an amazing trip this would be. i’m dying to take a trip like this — take me with you as well!

  10. Posted April 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm | #

    Thank you so much, Jennifer! The way you pulled the images together looks even better than I could have imagined. I’m so excited to have been given the push to come up with an itinerary–as soon as the baby can wear sunscreen and bug repellent, right?

    • Luster
      Posted April 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm | #

      I am so glad you love it! So cool that you have your whole trip planned already! Knowing the both of you, your baby will inherit the ability to travel well, and I predict will see many incredible places. Thanks so much again, for being a part of this. xo

  11. Posted April 22, 2011 at 10:28 am | #

    Looks so amazing!

  12. Sophie
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:32 am | #

    So gorgeous! What a dreamy trip. Can I come with you guys??

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