From the breathtaking scenery of Halong Bay to the people of the Mekong Delta, immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture and splendor. Live to the rhythm of the locals by walking the famous mandarin road that crosses the country and connects Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh through Hue and Hoï An, cultural, traditional and spiritual jewels of the country.
It is a journey between forests and rice fields, lined with sweet music, scents, flavors … a true delight of the senses.
Vietnam, country of history and culture, has become one of the most popular Asian destinations thanks to its traditional cities like Sapa, but also the beauty of its Danang coast, the welcoming people of Bac Ha or the extraordinary landscapes of Ninh Binh.
Whatever your desires, a trip to Vietnam will satisfy the most difficult travelers.
Planning the perfect vacation can be a daunting task, and while the Carribean may be the first to mind, you really should consider some Vietnam travel.
I know what you are thinking, Vietnam? Yes. Vietnam is actually a great place to vacation in Asia. The South East Asian country is well known for its beaches, rivers, bustling cities and Buddhist Pagodas. The wonderful natural beauty is quite a fascination and its rich history and culture will certainly ensure you have a great time.
Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Vietnam
Attractions in Vietnam are plenty. There is something for everyone, whether you are a nature enthusiast or are simply amazed by history, you will not run out of places to visit.
- Ha Long Bay
Located in the Gulf of Tonkin, Quang Ninh Province, the Ha Long Bay is dotted with 1600 limestone islands and islets. It is literally translated to ‘Bay of Descending dragons’ and the thick jungle vegetation on top of each island forms a breathtaking view. Several islands are hollow with some supporting floating villages of fishermen. You certainly do not want to miss the overnight cruise in this beautiful bay.
- The Mekong Delta
This is the region to the South of Vietnam where the mighty Mekong river meets the South China Sea. The sprawling tributaries give the landscape an amazing view and the waterways have made the area fertile and perfect for rice paddies and orchards. Watching this delta in the amazing morning light should be on your to-do list.
- Hoi An Town
The ancient town of Hoi An Town offers an exciting mix of different cultures and heritage. If you are a lover of history, you will certainly appreciate the town’s old architecture. The town is home to Chinese temples, a Japanese-designed bridge, French colonial houses and old canals. Nighttime at the Hoi An Riverside will certainly be a memorable experience with the old-fashioned lanterns lighting the riverside. The great food, skilled tailors, friendly people and cozy atmosphere will certainly make enjoy your vacation.
- The Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi tunnels form an immense network through Ho Chi Minh City. Visiting these tunnels will give you a sneak peek into the lives of Vietnamese Soldiers, all the while enjoying a wonderful time at the war museums.
- My Son Hindu Sanctuary
This impressive Hindu-themed ruin has beautiful stone cultures, temples, and towers surrounded by tropical jungles. The sanctuary was initially built to honor the Hindu gods and goddesses.It was however destroyed with time and wars and was finally renovated by the French after a long time. The majority of the central complex, however, survived the bombs and part of the ruins have been rebuilt. This sanctuary is a must visit for all lovers of history.
- Ho Chi Minh City
Still commonly referred to as Saigon, the old capital city of Vietnam is a sight to behold. Although it shrank in size after the Vietnam war, the city has grown back to become the economic stronghold for Vietnam. There are several exciting places to visit in this beautiful city including the French colonial City hall, the reunification palace, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and most of all the Skydeck in Bitexco financial tower that lets you enjoy the breathtaking view of the city.
- Nha Tang
Some of the most beautiful beaches are found in Nha Tang. This coastal resort is a perfect destination for you to spend some quality time on your vacation. Relax and unwind on the sandy beaches while enjoying the view of the Yang bay waterfalls. You could also go scuba diving, surfing or hike to the Thap Ba Hot springs.
- Cham islands
The Cham islands are mountainous isles several miles from the coast of Hoi An. Although overnight stays on the islands are limited, you can have some fun during the day by doing some birdwatching or even going snorkeling. The largest island, Hon Lao, is just a few hours away from the coast. I’m sure the speedboat ride will be an awesome experience.
- The Imperial Citadel of Hue
This spectacular site was a political center which doubled up as the Capital for Vietnam, long before World war II. The Purple Forbidden city lies at the center of this citadel and was exclusively reserved for the royal family. The great thing about visiting this place is that you will only be a walking distance away from other spectacular attractions such as the Quan Thanh temple.
- The War Remnants Museum
This museum was opened to the public back in 1975 and it serves as a harsh reminder of the long and brutal Vietnam War. Vietnam travel will surely not be complete without a visit to this museum, previously known as the ‘Museum of American War Crimes’. Graphic photographs and grisly photos of the victims that suffered ‘Agent Orange’ are on display. You can also get a chance to see the ‘tiger cages’ which are believed to have imprisoned up to 14 people at a time. The guillotine, brought in by the French, is also on display. Up to 1960, the French and South Vietnamese governments used this to execute their prisoners. And you can find the answers for all your questions how long was the vietnam war and How many people died in Vietnam War
The visit to the war remnants museum can be a harrowing experience and I would not recommend taking children with you.
Traveling to Vietnam? Here’s what you should know.
Traveling to any place for the first time can be quite a challenge. For Vietnam, it can be more challenging given there are so many places you could visit. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Start out at Ho Chi Minh
If you do not have an elaborate guide of how your vacation will look, Ho Chi Minh could be the perfect place to start. The city, although modern, has quite a rich history and is home to some of the popular destinations. The mix of modern and ancient landmarks is a breath of fresh air and the good range of restaurants is a bonus for this city. I must say, it is a bit more expensive, as compared to other Vietnamese cities, but it is all worthwhile.
- Learn some basic Vietnamese words
This could go a long way in helping you enjoy your time there. You really don’t have to take Vietnamese classes for a whole year before the vacation. Simply learn a few words for greetings, and perhaps asking for directions. The Vietnamese locals are friendly and chatting up with them could be quite exciting.
- Arrange for medical insurance
Medical treatment in Vietnam is not free, therefore, planning for medical insurance cover before your departure is a must-do. The health facilities may not provide standard services, but you may decide to go for international facilities (which are a bit more expensive)
- Ask for permission before taking photographs.
What’s a vacation without photographs to capture the memories? You will definitely want to remember the beautiful places and the good memories. However, be sure to ask for permission first before taking any photographs, especially if it is in a minority place.
- Mind your taxis
Although the more famous taxi companies may charge you a bit more, you should opt for them. Always insist on a metered taxi. You could find yourself in a locked taxi and the only way to get out is to pay an extravagant fee. Consider booking a cab with Mai Linh and Vinasun when in South Vietnam while Taxi group is a great option in the North. Although a relatively small company, ‘Hanoi Star’ is also quite reliable.
6.It is a paradise for foodies
I wouldn’t be surprised if all your favorite memories of Vietnam revolve around their food. Vietnamese food is unique with its fresh ingeridients and minimal use of oil. Common ingredients used in traditional Vietnamese foods such as fish sauce, shrimp paste among others give the food a rich fine taste. The cuisine is truly unforgettable but you have to try it out for yourself. Make sure you at least try the Vietnamese national dish, Pho. It is basically a hearty meaty and noodle soup with fresh herbs eaten at breakfast.
- Traffic is hectic
Saigon is the city with the largest motorbike concentration in the world. There are hardly any crossroads and you could take some time before you get used to it. Cyclists ride illegally on the same pavements pedestrians use and lounge on. Ensure you maintain a slow pace and make yourself predictable on your route and walking speed.
If you haven’t been, then you should really put Vietnam at the top of your places to visit. A travel to Vietnam is sure to be an amazing experience. It would be better if you could plan your vacation for several weeks to allow you to enjoy the fabulous places enough.Ensure you do some extensive research on your Vietnam travel, to get the best deals out there. You could visit Vietnam at any time, but I would really recommend going during the spring. Everything is so much lovelier then!