To travel the world is to feel truly alive, fulfilled, and happy. Sometimes, the road will take you to a nearby town you have never visited; and other times, the road trip of a lifetime awaits in a bustling exotic country halfway around the world. If you’re considering taking on a grand exploration adventure in a faraway land; then Vietnam should definitely be next on your list. Between the chaos of the cities, the breathtaking natural sceneries, and the vast cultural heritage spanning several millennia, it can get quite difficult not to fall in love with this gem of the South China Sea. Here are a few ways to explore your Vietnam bucket list for an exotic cultural experience.
5 Ways to Explore Your Vietnam Bucket List
Visit Hanoi, the bustling bastion of Communism
The Capital of Vietnam is truly a sight to behold. There are about a million reasons why you should start your Vietnam exploration tour right here in the bustling beehive of a city that’s home to almost eight million people. Famous around the world for its rich cultural heritage and centuries-old architectural landmarks, this is a place every traveler will appreciate for its beauty, authenticity, and diversity.
Hanoi has a bit of everything, from distinct communist architecture to imperial-era heritage buildings, all the way to Chinese and French influences that shaped the look and feel of the city throughout the centuries. While here, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the bustling and downright chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets will take you through the very heart of town and show you what the Vietnamese are all about.
Dig deep into the culinary heritage of the country
Vietnamese food takes the concept of exotic cuisine to a whole new level. Keep in mind though, the country is a tourist hotspot. So you will be served some common dishes to appeal more to your dietary habits and preferences at your hotel and the promenade restaurants; but that’s not what Vietnamese cuisine is all about. What you want is to discover the dishes the locals eat.
Sure, go ahead and taste the famous Vietnamese Pho, or the Banh Mi sandwich that is irresistibly reminiscent of a typical hoagie; but don’t forget to delve into the street markets in search of food cart vendors and their unique culinary delights. Don’t miss the zesty Banh Cuon or the Bot Chien found at any street-side food vendor in Saigon. You will have to wait in line, though.
Explore the flora and fauna of the Mekong Delta
Another unique ecosystem is way down to the south of the country; in a region where the Mekong River dissipates into a seemingly never-ending maze of swamplands, rivers, islands, and floating villages. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to breathe in the Mekong Delta; and celebrate its bustling way of life in all its glory.
A trip to the Mekong Delta is one of the best Ho Chi Minh city day tours you can take. Some of the unforgettable activities to add to your Vietnam bucket list are eating fresh local produce from floating markets, fishing, canoeing etc. This fertile region is a true biological treasure trove; as this is the home to more than a thousand indigenous animal species found nowhere else in the world.
Experience a road trip of a lifetime
One of the biggest reasons travelers opt to take a prolonged escapade in Vietnam is its breathtaking natural scenery with a wide array of distinct ecosystems in every region coupled with numerous urban gems waiting to be explored. The north region of Sapa, for instance, bordering China is all majestic rice paddy fields draped in endless vivid green; perfect for trekking and feeding your never-ending wanderlust.
On the other hand, the south is where the famous Ho Chi Minh City resides. This is your golden opportunity to experience the local way of life; by combining an adventurous Vietnam motorbike route that will take you through every urban hotspot, notable national park, and all along the expansive coast overlooking the South China Sea. Motor-biking is extremely popular here. And there is no better way to live out a Vietnam bucket list adventure of a lifetime than by discovering every city and every natural wonder on your own terms.
Learn the history of the land first hand
Vietnam is most popular for its 20th-century conflicts, and nobody would blame you if the Vietnam War was everything you knew about Vietnamese history. However, Vietnam has so much more to offer in terms of cultural heritage. Every city stands as a vivid testament to various cultural, religious, and political influences that shaped the country as a whole. You can find beautiful temples and religious landmarks everywhere from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and Hue on the other end of the country.
Vietnam is one of those countries that never fails to make a lasting impression on a traveler. Its culture, its unique way of life; the breathtaking sightseeing spots dotting the expansive landscape, all of it makes for a Vietnam bucket list experience you are bound to remember.