Our bus to Hue wasn't actually a sleeper one. It left Hoi An at 8am and arrived at about 12pm. The distance between the two isn't that far at all and the views along the way were incredible. The center of Hue isn't too big at all, and the bus drop off point is only a few minutes walk from most of the main hostels. So, we checked in, dumped our bags and then headed for a wander. We stopped for lunch and had Bun Bo Hue - beef noodle soup, having been recommended the city's famous soup by a member of staff at the hostel in Hoi An. It was really tasty and definitely one of the better soups I tried on our travels. 

After lunch, we walked to the Imperial City, which if you've read about Hue in any guidebook, is one of the main things to do. It's 150k to get in (about a fiver) and it's huuuuge. There are lots of different buildings and things to see, and even some gardens. The day we visited it was really really hot, so it's fair to say we were doing a lot of shade hunting. If you're planning on visiting the Imperial City, I'd definitely recommend reading up on it before you go, there are signs and information boards everywhere, but you definitely need a bit of a general understanding to begin with! Also, storytime: one of the security guards by the palace slapped both Toria and I on the arse ?!? Love that. 

We then stopped at the Highlands Coffee cafe right by the entrance and had our first Banh Mi of the trip. Banh Mi, for those of you who aren't sure, is a baguette filled with meat and various salads/vegetables. We had the BBQ pork one and it was incredible, and was only about 60p! If you ever need a quick lunch/snack in Vietnam, Highlands Coffee is always a good shout. 

Fed and watered, we then headed to the markets. These were very similar to a lot of the other markets we'd been to, selling very similar stock at very similar prices. We also found a proper supermarket and having a wander around that brought me more excitement than I should probably admit. I don't know, there's something about foreign supermarkets. and buying snacks...

For dinner that evening we went to a restaurant called Nook, which had been recommended to us by the lady at our hostel. Now, the decor was lovely, very instagrammable: rooftop seating complete with fairly lights and colourful cushions. We both ordered the pork noodles, which weren't great and had immediate food envy when the table next to us had their burgers brought to them. So, moral of the story, order the burger. Always order the burger. 

The breakfast provided at the hostel was great, so after our banana pancakes we decided to rent a scooter and go for an explore. Now, neither of us had ridden a scooter before, but Hue was one of the quieter stops on our Vietnam itinerary so it seemed like the best place to give it a go. It was actually really good fun and thankfully no accidents were had. We drove to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tu Duc tombs, and had an explore of both. I'd recommend visiting both, and hiring a scooter is probably the best way to see them as they're pretty much in the middle of nowhere. 

For lunch, we had the famous Hue pork and lemongrass skewer rice paper rolls and they were AMAZING. An absolute 10/10. We then headed back to the hostel for a nap before getting back on the scooter and driving to the beach. It was about a 25 minute drive from the centre and is essentially just one long, fairly empty, road. The beach was lovely and pretty much empty. We definitely weren't in tourist territory as we were getting quite a few stares whilst at the beach and having a drink at a bar. We scooted back to the hostel and handed the scooter back. It cost £4 total to hire it for the day including helmets, so it definitely is a cheap, albeit slightly more dangerous, way of exploring the city. 

We had pizza for dinner, and oh my, it was incredible. If you're in Hue and want a pizza, head to Jalapenos. Think mozzarella, then add more, and then add even more mozzarella. Our bus wasn't until lunchtime the next day, so we had a leisurely morning and took the bus to Phong Nha at 13.30.

Very quiet, but lots of restaurants and friendly people

- Imperial City
- Thien Mu Pagoda
- Tu Duc Tombs
- The Beach

- Read up on the Imperial City before you visit
- Hire a scooter to see all the sights
- Order the lemongrass pork skewers - amazing !!!

Sunshine Hostel.

Another hostel in a good location, but was tricky to find initially, but people are more than happy to point you in the right direction. The beds were really comfy, each bed had curtains around it and breakfast was included. It was very well priced and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. 

With the bus timings, 2 days worked well for us

Ahhhh, Hoi An, the much anticipated Hoi An. Whenever we asked other travellers we'd met along the way which was their favourite stop in Vietnam, 99% all responded with Hoi An. Read any guidebook and it sings Hoi An's praises. It's fair to say it was one of the stops I was most looking forward to. We arrived off the sleeper bus very early in the morning and took a taxi to our home for the next few days: The Vietnam Backpackers Hostel. Thankfully, being a bigger hostel, arriving way before the check-in time wasn't a problem at all. We put our backpacks in a locked luggage room and went and napped on some sofas until a more reasonable hour. We then took full advantage of the pool facilities and sunloungers, and then got dressed ready for the day, all before 11am.

We were sat by the pool when we spotted an Australian couple who'd been in our hostel room in Nha Trang. After discussing our individual sleeper bus experiences we decided to hire bikes and go for an explore. The hostel was fairly near the beach, so that's where we headed. This was our first attempt on the roads in Asia, and to be fair, it wasn't too bad at all. Thankfully the roads were empty and the junctions had traffic lights, so I'd definitely recommend cycling down to the beach, it was really good fun.

The beach itself was lovely. White sand and crisp water. I had, unfortunately, got rather sunburnt a couple of days before so didn't really get to make the most of being at the beach. There were a few restaurants right on the beach front, so we had lunch at the nearest one.  After cycling back, we spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool. Now, the hostel was lovely, but it did feel an awful lot like being on Love Island. Let's put it this way, we were soon approached by 'Top Shagger Toby' and his laaaad friends and treated to their lads lads lads spiel.

That night we decided to go out out, so headed to Sunshine Hostel with a big group of others from our hostel. What's the significance of Sunshine Hostel I hear you ask? Well, let me tell you... For 100k (about £3.50) you can have unlimited drinks between 8 and 10pm. The hostel also has a pool, in the main area by the bar, which I ended up in fully clothed. I was pulled in by a random boy who was never to be seen again, thanks buddy. Spending the rest of the night looking like a drowned rat wasn't ideal, but yanno, as a backpacker I should've been grateful for the wash.

It's fair to say we weren't feeling too peachy the next day, those unlimited vodkas had definitely hit. We had the free breakfast at the hostel - I had the pancakes - and spent the morning by the pool, lounging in the sun. Once we were feeling a bit more human we took a taxi to the old town and went for a wander. That evening we just had dinner at the hostel and headed to bed pretty early. It's fair to say the day was a bit of a write-off.

The following day we woke up, had breakfast and were in the pool by 8. That early bedtime clearly cured us. We spent the morning in the pool, showered and then had lunch at the hostel. We took a Grab taxi to the old town and wandered the markets, each buying some new clothes. Hoi An is known for it's tailoring - there are tailors every few meters each producing handmade garments within 24 hours for a very cheap price. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to have anything made, but having seen the pieces other travellers we'd met had had made, I'd definitely recommend doing it.

Whilst wandering the market a Vietnamese lady offered to paint my nails for about 60p, so I ended up following her through the market to her home, and sat in her front room whilst she painted my nails. That afternoon we took a boat trip along the river, which was really nice. We were one of the only boats around, and it was only Toria, the boatlady and I onboard, so it really was peaceful.

That evening we had dinner by the riverside whilst we waited for the sun to set. We each lit a lantern once it was dark and put them in the river. Seeing Hoi An at night was beautiful, with all the lanterns, but very very busy! If you're planning on going, be prepared for a lot of pushing and shoving. That evening there was a karaoke night at the hostel so we ended up going to that. It was pretty good fun, definitely more so after a few vodkas. 

A prettier city with a much slower pace

- The Beach
- The Old Town
- Shopping in the markets
- See the lanterns in the evening
- Have some clothes tailor-made

- Use Grab to book taxis, they're much cheaper than the usual taxis
- Buy things from the market stalls that are slightly further out, they tend to be cheaper

Vietnam Backpackers

Despite feeling a bit like Love Island, the hostel itself couldn't be faulted. It was clean, the showers were amazing, breakfast was included and the beds were really nice, we were lucky to be in a room that didn't have bunkbeds! It was definitely a party hostel, so if you're looking for a relaxing few days, I'm not sure this is quite the place for you. 

3/4 days - there's quite a lot to do, and it's more relaxing than other places
Another month, another Birchbox. Now, I'm going to say from the very beginning that I think this is my favourite one to date, ever. You can read my posts on the other boxes I've received here and here if you fancy a comparison. Okay, so I may have lied, the contents of this box is my absolute favourite, I'm not so sure about the print of the box. It's pretty, but not my usual style. Sidenote: what does one do with their old boxes? They're far to pretty to throw away, but I'm not entirely sure what to use them for... Any ideas?

Anyway, back onto the box. This months theme is all about slowing down into Autumn, relaxing and being cosy - all things I can most definitely get on board with. This box came with the usual 5 products and then an extra one; a sample vial of Hugo Boss' The Scent Intense Perfume. I've given it a whiff and it's nice. Unfortunately, that's about all the description I can provide you, I'm no Ratatouille.

The other products included in the box were:

BeautyPro Silver Foil Mask - This is a warming sheet mask and claims to brighten, even skin tone and improve radiance

Winky Lux Strobing Balm - I received the shade 'Radiant Pink'. It's a cruelty-free pinkish cream highlighter

Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask - A hair mask used to treat dryness and repair split ends, yes please.

Daily Concepts Charcoal Sponge - A charcoal cleanser/sponge hybrid, a 2-in-1.

Lord and Berry Magic Brow - A brow pencil with a spoolie, I received the shade Brunette

Don't all of these products actually sound good? The one I'm most excited to try is the charcoal sponge - what a great concept. Once I've given it a fair trial I'll definitely come back with a full report. The hair mask is something that I definitely need in my life. My hair is always a bit dry, regardless of the amount of hair oil I use and the fact that I don't use any heat on it. Hopefully, this Amika one will be able to work some magic on this barnet.

I'm going to save the facemask for a proper pamper session, a chilling on the sofa under a blanket with a tea in hand kinda pamper session. I usually use a pomade in my brows, but I think having a pencil in my brow inventory is going to come in so so handy. In a rush? Use a pencil. Going away? Just take a pencil.

I think my least favourite product of the box - from my first impressions - is the highlighter. Whilst I love the concept and formula of it, the colour isn't something that I usually reach for. I'm personally way more of a champagne/gold highlighter kinda gal, but once I've given it a go maybe I'll be swayed to the pink side.

So, overall, I do really really like this box and would say it is my favourite to date

Have you ever received a Birchbox?
Which of these products do you like the sound of the most?

Whilst I absolutely sing the sleeper buses praises, the worst thing about them is the time that you arrive in the new city. They leave between 7 and 9pm and hence arrive at various destinations at 4/5/6am. Whilst the latter isn't too bad, the former is a bit of a hassle when the hostels etc don't allow check-in until late morning. Now, the bus stop in Nha Trang was very near the beach so we decided to head down there to see the sunrise, backpacks in tow, and were surprised by how many other people were already at the beach. Lots of the locals head there really early to exercise whilst it's not too hot, and there were all sorts of activities going on.

We headed to our hostel and just sat around until a more reasonable hour of the morning playing on our phones.  We got talking to a big group of boys and ended up spending the day with them. They were heading to the nearby waterfall, so we decided to go with them and all ordered a minibus. This worked out at a really decent price, so it's definitely worth sharing transport with other people at your hostel!

Now, climbing the waterfall was not a walk in the park. I, being me, wore my sturdy 90p Primark flip-flops blissfully unaware of the climbing and scrambling ahead of me. The waterfall had three main pools, and arrows showing you the route to each one. I got to the second pool and gave up - I'm not sure how a broken neck would've gone down with my travel insurance provider. Quit while you're ahead people, quit while you're ahead. The rest of the group continued to the top so I just sat chilling in the sun, watching a Vietnamese family have a BBQ. The pools were really refreshing to swim in and the views were incredible - the waterfalls are definitely worth visiting!

That evening we all went for dinner and cocktails together and then ended up at a beach club until the early hours.

When we finally made it out of bed the following day we headed to the ticket office to book our next sleeper bus. Unfortunately, the bus was fully booked for that day so we ended up staying in Nha Trang an extra night. After some lunch, we headed to the beach, despite the dark grey clouds, and lasted all of about half an hour before it started to rain. For dinner that night we wandered out of the tourist hotspot and down some sideroads into a more residential area. We got a few funny looks - I don't think tourists frequent that part of town very often. The food was delicious and well worth wandering to find. Once we'd paid the bill we walked down to the beach and on the way stumbled across a huge shopping mall full of an eclectic mixture of shops. It's fair to say it would be easy to kill an afternoon or two in there.

The following day we went on a snorkeling trip that we'd booked through our hostel. The trip included three different snorkeling stops and lunch on the boat, and it was fab. We saw loads of different fish and coral, even if the latter was a bit dead and discoloured. Once back at the hostel we showered and napped, and then had dinner on the hostel roof, followed by a few Saigon beers on the beach.

We were a bit stuck as to what to do with our extra day, after not being able to take the bus the day we'd planned, so ended up at the cinema of all places. Mamma Mia 2 was at the top of my to be watched list, and after finding a cinema online that was showing it that day in English, it felt only right. After the film we had some dinner and then got ready for our second sleeper bus experience.

A not too busy city with lovely beaches

- Climb the waterfall (not in 90p flip-flops)
- Go snorkelling
- The beach

- Choose a hostel with breakfast included as it makes life so much easier
- Book sleeper bus tickets asap to avoid being disappointed if they're fully booked
- Take a fair amount of money with you if you're going on a night out, drinks aren't quite as cheap as you expect

Mojzo Dorm
Again, this hostel was in a fairly good location, was very clean, and the beds were really comfy. Each bed came with a lockable drawer for your belongings too. Breakfast was included - and was delicious - and the staff were really friendly. Can you tell I loved this place? I'd highly recommend.

3 days would have been perfect for us, our fourth day felt a bit of a waste