Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: The sun finally peeped through the clouds as these junks - yes, that is what they are called; but don’t worry, they are quite sturdy - sailed through the beautiful isles of Ha Long Bay, one of the world’s natural wonders.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: The sun finally peeped through the clouds as these junks - yes, that is what they are called; but don’t worry, they are quite sturdy - sailed through the beautiful isles of Ha Long Bay, one of the world’s natural wonders.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: The Jade Emperor Pagoda is a Cantonese temple dedicated to the Emperor of Jade, a Taoist god. (It occupies a prime position on every tourist’s Ho Chi Minh City itinerary but I fail to understand why. The only thing that remotely interested me about this temple was the pond outside that was full of little turtles.)

Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh: Hoa Lu was the ancient capital of Vietnam back in the 10th century A.D. It still has many beautiful temples and pagodas all of which are dedicated to the royal families of yore.

Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh: Hoa Lu was the ancient capital of Vietnam back in the 10th century A.D. It still has many beautiful temples and pagodas all of which are dedicated to the royal families of yore.

Hanoi, Vietnam: What better place to take a gorgeous graduation photo than at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s oldest university dating back to 1070? That’s right - none.

Hanoi, Vietnam: What better place to take a gorgeous graduation photo than at the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s oldest university dating back to 1070? That’s right - none.

The Old Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City: A month before Christmas, Ho Chi Minh City had Christmas decorations everywhere… and I mean everywhere. From shop windows to the front doors of homes, from huge billboards to pop-up stores selling decorations, this city was begging for Christmas to arrive. The Old Post Office had this beautifully decorated majestic Christmas tree right in the middle of the hall, adding a touch of grandeur to the festive season.

The Old Post Office, Ho Chi Minh City: A month before Christmas, Ho Chi Minh City had Christmas decorations everywhere… and I mean everywhere. From shop windows to the front doors of homes, from huge billboards to pop-up stores selling decorations, this city was begging for Christmas to arrive. The Old Post Office had this beautifully decorated majestic Christmas tree right in the middle of the hall, adding a touch of grandeur to the festive season.

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City: Spying on a street vendor as she prepares delicious Vietnamese food. Honestly, if you’re going to Southeast Asia, ditch fancy restaurants and just eat street food. Refreshingly authentic.

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City: Spying on a street vendor as she prepares delicious Vietnamese food. Honestly, if you’re going to Southeast Asia, ditch fancy restaurants and just eat street food. Refreshingly authentic.

Old Quarter, Hanoi: A flower-seller going about her business on a crisp December morning.

Old Quarter, Hanoi: A flower-seller going about her business on a crisp December morning.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: Thousands of limestone karsts and isles, emerald green waters and a smoggy sky. 

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: Thousands of limestone karsts and isles, emerald green waters and a smoggy sky. 

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Motorbikes are ubiquitous in Vietnam and crossing the road is quite a task in itself! Upon being warned about crossing roads in Vietnam, I shrugged the thought off as being a piece of cake seeing as I am accustomed to Indian road madness… but noooo, Vietnam takes it to another level altogether! Not only is there utter disregard for traffic rules but the motorcyclists are all over the pavements too! Not a destination for the faint-hearted. Yet, despite the chaos, there’s seldom any blowing of the horn. Unlike in India.

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City: Ripe guavas with a dash of salt and grounded cashew nut makes for a delicious snack.

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City: Ripe guavas with a dash of salt and grounded cashew nut makes for a delicious snack.