A long, narrow country squeezed in between the South China Sea and the Laos and Cambodia borders. Ranging from the lush rice terraces and forested mountains in the north and to the picturesque valleys of the Central Highlands and the fertile delta and beautiful beaches of the south. Included in the mix are booming cities, colonial towns, traditional villages and otherworldly islands. Let’s have a look at the 10 places to visit in Vietnam.
Vietnam is a land of striking landscapes
Situated on the banks of the Perfume River in Central Vietnam, Hue once served as the imperial capital of the Nguyen dynasty. Today, the vestiges of this former glorious period are reflected in the city’s architecture, culture and cuisine. Of the city’s monuments, the Citadel is the most famous. Once the seat of the Nguyen emperors, the Citadel is a sprawling complex of grand palaces, ornate temples, walls and gates. Another important landmark is the city’s official symbol, the Thien Mu Pagoda.
On paper, Tam Coc can be described as rice paddies surrounded by limestone cliffs and rock formations. Tam Coc is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful destination in Vietnam. The best way to explore is by boat, and you can set off on a rowboat that takes you up alongside the lush green paddies and between striking limestone cliffs. You’ll even float through three tunnels that run through the mountains, which were carved over time by the river itself.
Located in the remote northwest of Vietnam, the mountainous town of Sapa is known for culturally diverse population and its proximity to incredible scenery. From the town, there are many organised tours that aide tourists in mountain hikes and exploring the nearby rice paddies and remote villages. These tours present views of beautiful waterfalls and the opportunities to experience the food, customs and way of life among the local tribes.
One of the best-known destinations in the entire country is Halong Bay. Halong means descending dragons, which is indicative of the silhouette of the limestone outcrops that poke out from the water. Day cruises are a spectacular way to experience the beauty of this other worldly bay and to see as many of the islands. You can go swimming, look for caves, find some of the more remote, uninhabited islands while cruising through Halong Bay.
Ho Chi Minh City
Lying along the Saigon River near the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam, This City was formerly known as Saigon and served as the capital of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Today, it is the largest city of the reunified country, offering plenty of reasons to visit, from its blend of historic and modern attractions to vibrant shopping, dining and nightlife.
Let’s continue to explore remaining 10 places to visit in Vietnam.
Colourful floating markets, fruit orchards, rice paddies, bird sanctuaries and quaint villages are all what draw many to the Mekong Delta in southwestern Vietnam. Mekong Delta is nicknamed as “Vietnam’s Rice Basket“. It is an agricultural region made fertile by the maze of canals and streams fed by the Mekong River. Stretching from the Gulf of Thailand to Ho Chi Minh City, the delta region feeds more than a third of the country from its rich plantations, rice paddies and fish farms.
Located off the coast of the South China Sea, Hoi An is a beautiful, old city dating back 2,000 years to the Champa Kingdom. The city’s historic architecture, traditional culture and textiles make it a popular destination in Vietnam. At the heart of Hoi An is its atmospheric Old Town which is small enough to walk around easily. The narrow, winding lanes of the town are lined with beautiful architecture, traditional wooden houses and hundreds of tailor shops.
As the booming capital city of a reunified Vietnam, Hanoi is an exhilarating blend of eastern and western culture. French colonialism is visible through cuisine and architecture. Hanoi is packed with incredible temples, and a visit to the 11th century Temple of Literature is a must-do activity. Ho Chi Minh Museum and Mausoleum are also major attractions in Hanoi, and both are striking buildings from the exterior.
Located on one of Asia’s most beautiful bays off the coast of South Central Vietnam, it’s popular seaside resort city. Picturesque mountains, beaches and lush islands all make it a favourite destination among tourists, Vietnamese and scuba divers. Adorned with resorts, palm trees and a lovely promenade, Nha Trang’s beach is its main draw. Amusement and water parks provide fun for everyone with roller coasters and wave pools.
Year-round cool weather and pine trees are reasons Dalat was used by Vietnamese emperors and French colonials for summer retreat. Today, this charming town is a popular destination for those looking for relief from the heat. A walkable city, Dalat is a beautiful scene of French colonial architecture and villas set amid picturesque landscapes.
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