Of all the beautiful countries in South East Asia, Vietnam is one of the most interesting and satisfying to visit. The 20th century was a difficult time in this former French colony, but since the 70’s Vietnam has changed a lot. They have created a unique nation that is proud of its independence, yet it has managed to preserve the best elements of its colonial era. Vietnam has many things in its favour. It is a beautiful country with diverse geography and a wonderful climate. It has an interesting and ancient culture and a friendly population that is happy to share it with the world. Their cuisine is legendary, and there are several tourist destinations that are more than worth the effort to see. Here are some of the highlights.
- Ho Chi Minh City: Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s most modern city, located in the south at the edge of the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh has all the infrastructure of a world class city. Including transportation, attractions, and first-class accommodations such as the Hotel Des Arts. It is a bustling busy city with a traffic system that is simultaneously chaotic and organic. There are several things to see, in and around the city. Such as: The Binh Tay Market, The Cu Chi Tunnels, the war remnants Museum, and the Cao Dai Temple. But just wandering through the streets, observing the culture and local merchants, gives you a glimpse of a people who have a clear identity, and vision, and pride in their nation. And make sure you tuck into some of that amazing street food. It doesn’t get better than that.
- Halong Bay: This is probably the most iconic tourist attraction in Vietnam, if not all South East Asia. It is one of the earth’s most beautiful natural harbours, Halong Bay features signature mountain islands rising from the pristine waters and creating a postcard view from nearly any angle. The view is made even better with the fleet of indigenous boats that can be rented for a pleasure cruise. Also nearby are cave tours and other natural wonders that will have you filling up your camera card in short order.
- Hoi An: The ancient City of Hoi An is a wonderful place to get a view of historically authentic Vietnam. This city has a great variety of ancient cultural influences, like Chinese temples and Japanese bridges. There are French cafés and loads of Vietnamese shops. Hoi An is a Unesco heritage site.
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: There is not many places you can go to view a major historical figure preserved in glass. Although Ho Chi Minh was portrayed as an enemy of the west. He is known as the liberator of Vietnam and considered a national treasure. The mausoleum is in Saigon.
Tourist attractions aside, you will enjoy the natural beauty and the lovely climate in Vietnam, wherever you decide to travel. There is authentic Vietnamese cuisine wherever you go and there is no better place to have a coffee. Especially at a colonial style café. Vietnam is the holiday you have been looking for, and it is a great starting point for a tour of South East Asia.