Vietnam is an exotic country full of harmony, natural beauty, rich spiritual heritage and interesting history. It was only a few years ago that it opened its doors to mass tourism. It offers its guests excellent infrastructure, different types of vacations, interesting national cuisine, traditional crafts and all at very reasonable prices.
Seaside resorts occupy a large part of the territory. Some of them are almost completely without people, in others the key is the nightlife. The beaches are covered with incredible white snow, which gives the appearance of perfect cleanliness. In the north is the famous UNESCO-protected Halong Bay.
There are thousands of islands out there that look like some fairytale. The Mekong River creates the largest delta in the world, and the capital is a mixture that is rarely seen – communism and Buddhism.
When to travel?
There are three times of the year. It is warm, humid and cold and temperatures vary widely across the country. The altitude varies greatly across the country, affecting the climate. In the higher mountainous areas, the winters are very cold and the temperature is below zero. The northern and southern parts of the country are also different.
The northern part – From December to April it is cold and humid, and as early as November temperatures drop significantly and rainfall increases. Other months are warm and then you should visit those parts.
The southern part – Here again the situation is different and one should avoid that part of Vietnam in the summer months, which is very humid. From June to November it is very humid and most of the season is a typhoon. It is clear to you that this is certainly not an ideal time for tourism.
We will present the cities you must visit and if you want to know about other places you must visit, check exploreonevietnam.com for a detailed travel guide.
1. Da Nang
Although much smaller in surface area than Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Da Nang is one of the country’s most important ports. This charming and quite unusual place, nestled on the shores of the South China Sea, at the mouth of the Han River, boasts the title of Central Vietnam Trade and Education Center, home to some of the best universities in the entire country.
2. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Most tourists escape from Ho Chi Minh City when they see traffic jams, but they make a big mistake, as they will not have the opportunity to discover the unique spirit of this city with hearty locals and some of the most delicious specialties in the world. The former name was Saigon.
Although most tourists are shocked when they first visit Vietnam’s largest city, residents of this city adore it and consider it a peaceful and tidy place.
The chaotic traffic congestion and the motorbike-filled roads drive tourists to other parts of Vietnam, but they make a big mistake because if they have time to socialize, they will discover the spirit, attitude and food of this city. What’s amazing is that over 3 million motorcycles are registered here.
The city never sleeps. If you are in the mood for parties, there are plenty of bars and cafes open until morning. Going out is only complete when you try street food. You can also go on a day trip, ride a small fishing boat through the largest delta in the world and have lunch on a river island in the middle of the jungle you will surely remember for the rest of your life.
During the Vietnam War, it was the capital of southern Vietnam.
There are many things to see here. All you have to do is wander around town and eat local food. It’s an experience in itself. But there are also places you should not miss. First of all the Old Quarter. It is also called the Hoan Kiem District, which is one of the major tourist attractions and also the business center of the city. There you will see many religious buildings, colonial buildings, restaurants, shops and many other things. It’s not a very big part of town, so you can go around walking.
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a must-see. One amazing story is known. Uncle Ho (as he was popularly called) was a very humble man and before his death demanded that no grand ceremony or mausoleum be made because he saw other communist leaders make their last resting places, the only goal he had for life it was to unite Vietnam and free it from the influence of those who exploited it. However, they did not obey him, so they embalmed him, built his mausoleum and exposed it to everyone for observation.
4. Hoi An
This small town has an incredibly rich history, it was once a major international port (16th century), today it is one of the most preserved cities in the country. Where to start? First of all, the old city center is forbidden to traffic, so it’s a dense walk around, old Chinese buildings, a Japanese covered bridge that also has a small Buddhist shrine, several temples and old, well-preserved traditional houses. Protected by UNESCO.
One of the important reasons why tourists stay here is tailors. In the old town, almost every other one is a tailoring shop, where several women are waiting for you, who immediately measure you and start selling what they know best, sewing. They have piles of catalogs and you choose the cut, the material, the color, the next day you come for what is ordered. A classic suit costs about $ 50, which is incredibly cheap.
Hue is the last city on our list of Vietnam and certainly a gem of Vietnamese imperialism. There is an imperial palace with numerous temples, gardens, surrounded by walls and of course a large mast with a flag. The Thien Mu Pagoda is only 4 km away from the city and is worth a visit, as well as several tombs of Vietnamese kings, usually as part of an organized half-day excursion. The tombs are incredible, real small stone towns, where you can see the splendor of the past and the veneration of the great emperors, mostly dating from the mid-19th century to the early twentieth.
You have to include this amazing country on your travel list. Vietnam had not been available for many years because of the post-war times when it was devastated, but now it is ready to offer everyone all the beauty.