Holidaying in Vietnam
Who would have thought that a Communist nation, secluded and closed to foreigners for so long, is now a trendy tourist destination for all types of vacationers? Vietnam, a former American and French stronghold in Asia, has indeed come a long way since the world war that has torn its countryside and metropolis so gruesomely. Nowadays, tourists craving for out-of-this world gastronomy, geographic sites, sceneries, beaches, shopping sprees and activities flock into the country bringing in much needed foreign currency and development turning this nation into one of the fast emerging vacation destinations of the next century.
For the past years, Vietnam has attracted a wide range of travellers, from those looking for an affordable getaway to those who have plenty of spending powers to extinguish. This is mainly due to the fact that the country offers so many choices as to its natural attractions (like the towering rice terraces in Sapa) and culture (like that found in the Mekong Delta).
We’ll walk you through the ins and outs of what it takes to make the most of your holidays spent in this country. Whether you plan to spend quite some time in Vietnam checked in as a well-to-do tourist for months or just for over the weekend as a backpacker with just touring the countryside at a moderate pace in mind, Vietnam’s national carrier --- Vietnam Airlines --- or other emerging affordable airlines can be of great, personalized service.
For starters, we highly recommend starting in Hanoi in northern Vietnam. This former capital city has been known for its chic, heavily French-inspired java pubs and internet cafes exponentially growing alongside the traditional Vietnamese stores offering all sorts of knick knacks. This is an excellent avenue to get that souvenir shopping to-do out of the way immediately. While you’re there, soak in the lifestyle of modern Vietnamese teenagers hanging out showcasing their well-polished motorbikes. But if you are hunting for great bargains for a whole wardrobe, stop by Hoi An, and you’ll sure find all the stylish items to clad yourself with from head to foot. This place is also best known for its sumptuous gourmets and exquisite cafes.
Next, move on to Ha Long Bay for the chance to marvel at the natural limestone formations or perhaps join the colourfully dressed natives of the Sapa hills as they tend to the rice paddy terraces of this mild climate region. For getting a glimpse of the past, on the other hand, the royal capital Hue is also worth seeing if you want to see the country’s imperially-inspired architectural infrastructures. Then go see the infamous demilitarized zone (DMZ) located in the central region of the country, just a train or bus ride away. This is a great opportunity for war veterans to soak in the elaborate history and pay homage to those who fought bravely during the American war. If you are intrepid enough and want to go further south and inland towards the highlands, you’ll get to rub elbows with the ethnic minorities, who managed to survive despite their political rift with the central government.
And of course, your holiday vacation will not be considered complete if you don’t stop by the following favourites in Vietnam. For beach front tourist sites, the best are found in Mui Ne and Nha Trang, with accommodations for both backpackers and high end vacationers. Or if you are after a more laid back experience still amidst an oceanic background of marine life, the Phu Quoc Island is highly recommended. For the more developed metropolitan areas, Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, is the place to be. We suggest walking around town to avoid the heavy traffic, the iconic trademark of this mesmerising place. For the ultimate “outback” experience, the Mekong Delta region is the happening place to experience nature and all its surprises. Here you can catch your food for the day and eat it al fresco while taking a leisurely boat ride along its many water routes. For best results, we recommend doing this on your own sans the help of any travel agencies or group tours to avoid getting scammed.
So take your pick of well-known or remote tourist favourites and plan carefully prior to arriving in Vietnam and we guarantee the chance of a lifetime filled with memorable trips and activities in this fairly new, opened country in Asia.