Vietcation

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men

Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam you were great! From AMAZING coffee to dramatic landscapes and epic food, Vietnam provided us with unique experiences and adventures we will take into our hearts. It was a time of exploring and also coming before God to pray for our next steps and intercede for those in our hearts.

Our journey

1. Ho Chi Minh

We flew from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh city. Ho Chih Minh is the largest city and the business and financial hub of Vietnam. Previously called Saigon, it has a prominent history going back hundreds of years. It was lastly occupied by US troops in 1975. After the North of Vietnam won the war, its name was changed from Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City in honour of the prime minister, a revolutionary leader of the communist party.

Ho Chi Minh is such a lively city. Steve and I were super surprised as all of the sudden it seemed for a few moments that we were not in Asia, but yet still very much in Asia (I can’t describe it). There are numerous districts with western classic colonial architecture mainly built by former French rulers. It was here that we took our first sips of the delicious Vietnamese coffee. The coffee was a highlight for us as we never tasted something like it. We would order it without sugar and milk and it had this rich notes of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Sometimes it was hard to believe it had no sugar at all. We also visited the Mekong river, the third longest river in Asia and got to taste the typical food and interact with locals.

2. Da Nang

From here we flew to Da Nang and again were quite impressed. Da Nang is this fast-developing city with amazing vast beaches, blue waters and nice food. You can really experience high quality tourism here.

There are also plenty of touristic things you can do such as watch the dragon bridge lighting and visit Bana Hills and Marble mountains.

3. Hoi An

Hoi An was our next stop. Hoi An is super touristy but also extremely beautiful and well-preserved. It was used as a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. It has both indigenous and foreign influences making it quite unique.

4. Hue

We then travelled to Hue, the imperial city.  It has amazing spots such as the imperial citadel and this abandoned recreation park. We also loved the food there!

5. Phong Nha

After Hue, we went to Phong Nha. We loved this place and would definitely recommend it. Phong Nha is so special! It was such an amazing experience to get a motorbike and drive around the countryside, full of farmland and a calm river. The highlights are really the caves and if you like caves like Steve love caves then Phong Nha is one, if not the best, place to visit. It is home to the biggest cave on the planet, Hang Son Doong, which is quite expensive to visit ($3000). But we were happy to have just visited the Phong Nha cave and the Paradise Cave, which are of extraordinary beauty, filled with stalactites and stalagmites.

6. Halong Bay

Our next destination was Halong Bay. Halong bay has a stunning scenery and the most beautiful and natural rock scene we have ever seen. It is the most popular tourist destination in Vietnam and when you are there you truly understand why this is the case. This area is a great example of God’s amazing creation.

7. Hanoi

We ended our journey through Vietnam in Hanoi. Although Hanoi is the country’s capital, the city is not so large and in our point of view does not offer enough value to justify consuming too much time there. There’s not a whole lot to do and to be honest it was my least favourite place we have visited in Vietnam. But, here you can get the tastiest “egg coffee”, which was invented in Hanoi and it is quite special.

Highlights and Lowlights

Of all our travels through Asia, Vietnam was our favourite country. It is beautiful, cheap, the food is delicious and the people are very friendly. We absolutely loved the coffee and we will always remember it!

It also has its downside. Unfortunately some cities are extremely crowded and noisy. Loud music and even construction work can be heard throughout the night. So if you are a light sleeper like me, it can get to you after a while. We definitely also experienced some cultural shock. Vietnamese people are mostly friendly and sometimes TOO friendly. But they are very excited that you are visiting their country and therefore you can easily become the center of attention, which can be overwhelming at times. Lastly, there are no rules, exist no etiquette or too much consideration for others. People will easily jump the queue and take your spot and almost walk over you. But at the end of the day, these are all experiences you take and make you reflect and grow by being more accepting and patient.

Intercession

In every step we took we felt and saw God’s blessing and protection. Everything went really well and even when it seemed that it was not going so well, we saw God’s favour. I cannot say that I recommend everyone to do long travels straight after marriage, that is ultimately between you and God. But for us it was a blessing. We have obviously experienced hurdles but it also strengthened our relationship as we literally only had God and one another to rely on.

We know that many do not have this opportunity, so we feel very blessed and humble before God that He has allowed and proportioned this to us.

During our time travelling we have been taking time to seek God, read His Word and pray. In Vietnam we found it more difficult to preach the gospel and communicate with people in general, so we focused on interceding through prayer.

We prayed daily for people that would come into our hearts, reached out to us or who we have met. Intercession is powerful, we should not underestimate the power of our prayers. Through Christ God has given us the authority to bind and loose in heaven whatever we bind and loose on earth. Even if we do not see immediate results or when it seems like things are only growing worst. God does not lie and His Word is true and we should hold on to what is good and have faith regardless.

We are currently doing a life-changing Kingdom Training by Lifeshare Network and this really touched me:

Prayer of intercession is an unspoken and unseen reality of the Kingdom of God. Rarely you will see the move of God over a region that hasn’t started with prayers of intercession. Every revival can be brought back through a season of prayers of intercession.


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