Thursday, 12 December 2019
DISCOVER VIETNAM

GETTING TO KNOW VIETNAM

From lush, rugged mountains, shimmering paddy fields, and beautiful beaches to river deltas and remote tropical islands, Vietnam has stunning natural landscapes, as well as vibrant cities both ancient and modern. Its geographical diversity is reflected in its varied peoples and regional cultures.

 

HO CHI MINH CITY

 

Hot and frenetic, the moped-filled streets of Vietnam’s largest city and commercial capital are the most dynamic and cosmopolitan in the country. More famously known as Saigon, the former French capital city offers a wealth of grand colonial buildings and a wide range of sights. From brightly colored pagodas to humble mosques and ornate Hindu temples, fascinating museums, busy markets, street food stalls, cafés, bars, and restaurants, there is a buzzing atmosphere both day and night.

  • Best for :

Colonial architecture and a vibrant culture

  • Home to :

Jade Emperor Pagoda; Cao Dai Holy See

  • Experience :

Riding a moped around the city, as the locals do

 

MEKONG DELTA AND SOUTHERN VIETNAM

 

You are never far from water in this region, the rice bowl of the country. Here you can get a glimpse of authentic rural life. Experience one of the famous floating markets or simply cruise down the river past brilliant-green rice paddies and villages of floating or stilt houses. Relax on the golden sands of the rugged tropical islands that lie off the coast, or spot some birdlife in the wetlands.

  • Best for :

Discovering rural Vietnam

  • Home to :

Can Tho; Con Dao Islands

  • Experience :

A boat tour along the canals around Vinh Long

 

SOUTH CENTRAL VIETNAM

 

Famous for its white sand and azure sea, the coastline of South Central Vietnam has a string of beach resorts where there are ample opportunities for watersports and diving. Further north is deserted stretches of unspoiled sand. The cooler uplands of the interior house tiny villages sprinkled over the rugged landscape, populated by many indigenous minorities. The region also has beautiful lakes, coffee plantations, and Yok Don, Vietnam’s largest national park, home to a huge number of flora and fauna.

 

  • Best for :

Lazing on the beach and diving

  • Home to :

Nha Trang; Dalat

  • Experience :

Sampling the excellent Highlands coffee; visiting  the hill tribe villages of Tur and Ako Dong

 

CENTRAL VIETNAM

 

Some of Vietnam’s most famous archaeological sites and best-preserved historic towns can be seen in this region, which is steeped in history. Here you can enjoy some of the best vegetarian cooking in the country and the sophisticated imperial cuisine of the former royal capital Hue. Head into the Central Highlands to visit some of the most significant battle sites of the Vietnam War, along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. With the oldest karst mountains in Asia and numerous cave systems and underground rivers, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is truly awe-inspiring.

  • Best for :

Learning about Vietnam’s history and culture

  • Home to :

Hoi An; Hue

  • Experience

Visiting some of the major battle sites of the Vietnam War

HANOI

 

A melting pot of cultures, the oldest capital in Southeast Asia is a sprawling city with an ancient center and a French colonial quarter surrounded by sleek skyscrapers and interspersed with parks and tranquil lakes. The cultural heart of Vietnam, Hanoi is the birthplace of the nation’s most delightful theatrical format, water puppetry. Discover Vietnam’s history and culture at a range of superb museums, concert venues, and theaters. Every backstreet is full of small kitchens where you can pull up a plastic chair and indulge in authentic, delicious street food among the locals.

 

  • Best for :

Museums; shopping for silk; lacquerware and handicrafts; water puppet theater

  • Home to :

The Temple of Literature

  • Experience

Wandering the atmospheric streets of the Old Quarter

NORTHERN VIETNAM

 

Karst outcrops form a dramatic seascape in Halong and Bai Tu Long bays and Cat Ba Island, and stretch inland to Ba Be and Dong Van, while the stunningly beautiful coastal landscape has golden beaches and coral reefs. The Red River Delta is lined with ancient temples and pagodas, while to the south are the tropical forests of Cuc Phuong National Park. The real joy of visiting this region, however, is the chance to venture into the remote hills in the north and northwest and encounter the diverse hill-tribe peoples and dramatic upland scenery.

 

  • Best for :

Stunning karst landscapes sea and on land

  • Home to :

Halong Bay; the Perfume Pagoda

  • Experience :

A homestay with hill people at a stilt house in the Mai Chau Valley

 

Perhaps the most popular route for touring Vietnam, this itinerary takes you from the north to the south via some of the most important historical sights and idyllic beaches.

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