Welcome to a world where the colors are more vivid, where the landscapes are bolder, the coastline more dramatic, where the history is more compelling, where the tastes are more divine, where life is lived in the fast lane. This world is Vietnam, the latest Asian dragon to awake from its slumber.Nature has blessed Vietnam with a bountiful harvest of soaring mountains, a killer coastline and radiant rice fields, Vietnam is a cracker. Inland, peasant women in conical hats still tend to their fields, children ride buffalos along country paths and minority people scratch out a living from impossible gradients.Vietnam is a nation of determined optimists who have weathered war after war, survived colonialism and communism, and are now getting to grips with the wheeler-dealer world of capitalism. Fiercely protective of their independence and sovereignty, the Vietnamese are graciously welcoming of foreigners who come as guests not conquerors.Dont believe the hype. Or the propagandist party billboards that are as common as statues of Uncle Ho. Believe your senses, as you discover one of the most enriching, enlivening and exotic countries on earth.To escape the buzz of millions of motorbikes, head west to the watery landscape of green fields and sleepy villages in the Mekong Delta. Theres adventure galore to be had on Phu Quoc Island and stunning white-sand beaches to relax on. Back on the east coast at Mui Ne Beach, youll be faced with a similar dilemma: action or inertia?Hoi An might weigh you down – but in a good way – youre bound to add kilos of made-to-order clothing to your luggage. With an estimated 300 to 500 tailors working in this beautiful city, this is fashionista heaven.To feel the intellectual, cultural and spiritual heartbeat of Vietnam, make a stop in the old imperial capital, Hu. Home to palaces and pagodas, tombs and temples, and host of the biennial arts festival, the Festival of Hu (www.huefestival.com), its the place to go for historical, cultural and culinary stimulation.In Hanoi, the countrys captivating capital, rise early to watch the city exercise by Hoan Kiem Lake, then pay your respects in person to Uncle Ho at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (a truly surreal experience). See if you can locate pickled fish street in the Old Quarter (its somewhere near wooden bowls street), and cool off with draught beer at bia hoi junction (a truly rewarding experience).Eventually youll be enticed out of the city by the stunning offerings of the countrys northern provinces. Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of Halong Bay and its 2000 limestone karsts, nor the experience of trekking around mountainous Sapa.Vietnam has it all. Go expecting the unexpected, be ready for an adventure as much as a holiday, and Vietnam will deliver.
Top Attractions of Vietnam
Nha Trang is Vietnams most popular seaside resort town located along the second most beautiful bays in the country. soft skills . It features beautiful beaches with fine and clean sand and clear ocean water with mild temperatures. The city has about 300,000 inhabitants and is more lively and urban in character than other beach destinations like Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. Its also the scuba diving center of Vietnam.
Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located about 40 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during the Vietnam War, and were the base of operations for the Tt Offensive in 1968. The tunnels have become a popular tourist attraction, and visitors are invited to crawl around in the safer parts of the tunnel system.
Mekong River (Mekong Delta)
The Mekong Delta is the region in southern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea. It is a very rich and lush area, covered with rice fields, that produces about half of the total of Vietnams agricultural output. Subsequently, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and all the villages are often accessible by river rather than by road.
The formerly little-inhabited beach south of the fishing village of Mui Ne has seen some serious development in the last 15 years. Due to strong sea breezes it is a popular destination in Vietnam for kite- and windsurfing. No trip to Mui Ne is complete without a trip to the famous sand dunes located a short distance north of the town. The vast sandy expanse provide some great panoramic views especially during sunset.
Sa Pa Terraces
Sa Pa is a town in northwest Vietnam not far from the Chinese border. Rice terraces can be found in the Muong Hoa valley between Sa Pa town and the Fansipan Mountain, on a backdrop of thick bamboo woodlands. Local mountain people, the Hmong, Giay, Dao, Tay, and Giay, grow rice and corn on these paddy terraces, along with vegetables.
Located in front of the Cambodia coast, Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam. Phu Quoc is what Phuket would be if it hadnt been overrun by development. The island features pristine tropical forests, undamaged coral reefs and great beaches. One of its beaches, named Bai Dai (Long Beach), was chosen by the ABC News as one of five beautiful and clean beaches. Phu Quoc is famous for producing the best nuoc mam or fermented fish sauce in the world.
This fishing-village-turned-tourist-attraction is situated on the coast of the South China Sea. Hoi An has been an international port from the 16th century although the serious shipping business has long since moved to the city of Da Nang. The heart of the city is still the Old Town, full of winding lanes and Chinese-styled shops. It is sometimes called the Venice of Vietnam because of the narrow canals that cut through part of the town.
Hoan Kiem Lake (Hanoi)
Located in the historical center of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as the locals favorite leisure spot. Hoan Kiem means returned sword, and the name comes from a legend in which King Le Loi was given a magical sword by the gods, which he used to drive out the invading Chinese. Later he returned the sword to the Golden Turtle God in the lake.
Thien Mu Pagoda (Hue)
With seven stories, the Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue is the tallest pagoda in Vietnam. The pagoda overlooks the Perfume River and is regarded as the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital. The temple was built in 1601 during the rule of the Nguyn Lords. The initial temple was very simply constructed, but over time it was redeveloped and expanded with more intricate features.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is situated in north Vietnam round a 120 kilometer long coast line and is literally translated as Bay of Descending Dragons. The top tourist attraction in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay features thousands of islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, others islands include lakes and some support floating villages of fishermen.
Best Beaches in Vietnam
Just a short trip from Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau is one of the most popular beach resorts in Vietnam and it tends to get very crowded during the months of December through to May. The beach doesnt compare to other beaches in Vietnam, but its close proximity to HCMC makes it a popular summertime destination.
Phan Thiet is an old Cham outpost that is renowned for both its fishing fleet and its fish sauce (nuoc mam). Visitors to Phan Thiet will know they have arrived when they can smell the pungent aroma of fish sauce in the air. The town, which has a populartion of approximately 75,000 people, is a picturesque fishing town that usually has hundreds of multi-hued fishing vessels floating nearby. The nearest beach is a few kilometers east of town, but the biggest tourist attraction is 22 kilometers away at Mui Ne Beach. With its rolling sand dunes, smooth water, a clean beach and swaying palm trees, many travelers to Mui Ne insist that it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.
Mui Ne Beach
Any time of year, Mui Ne Bay in Southern Vietnam boasts hot, sunny weather, stunning landscape, and miles of fine white sand beaches. This beautiful resort area is famous for its gorgeous beach and sand dunes; world-class windsurfing and kite surfing.Mui Ne, being in such close proximity to Ho Chi Minh City, attracts a lot of attention from residents looking to escape the city for a weekend of fun in the sun. Local attractions include a golf course designed by Nick Faldo, fishing villages, remote sand dunes, and fresh seafood 24/7.
Hon Chong Beach, Ha Tien
Hon Chong Beach is a silky white sand beach with calm tropical water. The beach is located in Ha Tien, which is on the border with Cambodia. The entire area shelters some really nice beaches. Other nearby attractions include Tien Cave and its interesting rock formationThe Hai Tac islets are also a nice option, especially for scuba drivers. The islands are accessible by boat from Ha Tien, and the biggest of these islands, Ho Doc, also has some splendid white beaches.
From the southern area of Vung Tau to south-central Phan Thiet, you can expect to see long stretches of beach. Unfortunately, most of it has remained inaccessible. If youre interested in sampling some of the beach life here, head to Ho Co, a serene sandbar that is located about halfway along this stretch of property.
Located between Da Nang and Hoi An, China Beach is most famous for its 20-mile stretch of luscious beachfront property. This is where US troops landed during the Vietnam War in the 1970s. It is also known for being a hangout for US soldiers, and over the years, it has transformed itself into a stunning Asian beach destination that boasts upscale comfort, service, and amenities.
Nha Trang Beach
Known as the Vietnamese Riviera, Nha Trang is a six-mile stretch of beautiful fine white sand beach, rolling blue water, lush green mountains, and gently swaying palm trees. This international beach destination has clean, clear water, excellent diving conditions, and it has a great reputation for having some truly spectacular party boat cruises. Boat trips are perhaps the number one tourist activity in Nha Trang. Most of them offer a full day of scenic viewing along with home-cooked meals and loads of ice-cold beer.
Doc Let Beach
34 km north of Nha Trang lies picturesque Doc Let Beach. Home to stunning beach resorts and clean white sand beaches, Doc Let is a great place to go if you want to avoid the crowds at Nha Trang.
Lang Co Beach
Lang Co Beach is located just 45 minutes away from Hoi An. The area, which has recently been voted as one of the top 30 beaches in the world, is famous for its breathtaking natural scenery that includes soft white sand, crystal blue water, lush tropical forests and green mountains. The beauty of Lang Co was legendary among kings from the Nguyen Dynasty who came here to build their palatial complexes for vacation.
Con Dao Islands
Idyllic beaches are on offer at the Con Dao Islands owing to the isolated location off the coast. The islands have been protected from tourism because of their remote location, and because of this, youll find some of the most pristine beachfront property in all of Vietnam.
Phu Quoc Island
Explore scenic Phu Quoc Island by motorcycle and discover sparkling white sand beaches backed by lush jungle all on your own. We recommend visiting Long Beach, Ong Lan Beach, and Bai Sai.The island has a handful of mid- to low-end beach resorts for accommodations, and it is well on its way to becoming a total beach resort destination. Some travelers have even argued that the Phu Quoc is well on its way to being the number one choice for best beach in Vietnam because it has the whitest sand in the country and some of the most stunning sunsets in all of Asia.
The north central coast of Vietnam has dozens of beaches that dont often figure into the itineraries of most travelers to the area. Although most beaches in northern Vietnam arent equipped with beach facilities, they still offer a wonderful break away from Vietnams northern cities. Between the months of July and August, the coastline is battered with heavy rain and typhoons and the heat and humidity are at their worst.
Bai Chay Beach
Bai Chay Beach draws crowds of beachgoers from the capital ciy of Hanoi, especially on summer weekends. Although the beach is nowhere near as idyliic as the beaches in southern Vietnam, it is still a delightful getaway if you have limited time for a beach vacation in Vietnam.
Halong Bay is best known for its towering limestone outcroppings rising out of the sea, stunning sunsets, and authentic junk boat tours. Its not a place that one would naturally think of when looking for a beach vacation in Vietnam, but youll probably be surprised to learn that Halong Bay has several small beaches that will simply blow your mind away.