Vietnam is becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. With a stable government and growing economy, visiting Vietnam is both safe and fascinating for international travelers. No matter their interests.
For the traveler, Vietnam has it all. Incredible cuisine, fantastic wine tours, varied landscape ranging from foreboding mountains to lush jungle. As well as some of the most electric urban centers on the planet. Cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are modern hotspots. That, in many ways, are the equal of any city in the West.
Whether you are visiting Vietnam as a once in a lifetime event or returning again. You can find a multitude of things to do, places to go and events to participate in, unlike any others. The one thing that your visit to this country shouldn’t be is dull.
Visiting Vietnam: A Journey To Remember
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam, and the commerce center of the country. Although its capital is Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh is a thriving metropolis that is still known as Saigon to its residents. The city is an eclectic mix of architecture. With French colonial homes resting comfortably beside drab Communist concrete housing blocks near ancient pagodas.
This mix of architecture reflects the turbulent last century’s worth of history for this nation and shows in the economic status of many of the residents. Although Ho Chi Minh City is an economic powerhouse, that affluence has not spread all the way through the Vietnamese people who live there. The tourist enclaves are busy with street children selling tourist gewgaws to Westerners. Beggars still, make frequent appearances when they see a likely mark.
Where Hanoi is quiet and calm, Ho Chi Minh City is a thriving maelstrom of business. From the large corporations that make their home there to the budding entrepreneur selling cigarettes in the street, Ho Chi Minh City is a veritable 24-hour per day festival of sights, smells and sounds.
Hanoi, by comparison, is a sedate, romantic city which emphasizes the history of the country. Numerous archeological projects are being undertaken in the capital. A few of these are taking place in the heart of the city. Both cities have much to offer for the curious traveler, depending on their interests.
The Mekong Delta
Outside the cities, the varied landscape will appeal to any interests. Mountains, jungles, beaches and paddies all snuggle close together in this small country. Although the infrastructure is not as advanced as many Western countries, roads and tours abound to give access to the majority of Vietnam’s lovely vistas.
From the Mekong Delta in the south, home to the majority of Vietnam’s agricultural efforts to the mountainous jungles in the north, Vietnam is a beautiful and lush country. The people are friendly, and the food is incredible. Visits to the intricate rice paddy fields, orchards or endless swamps will give you memories for the rest of your life.
The Central Highlands
Visiting Vietnam’s Central Highlands is often neglected by travelers. Although not as tall and impressive as the northern mountain ranges, the Central Highlands have a quiet beauty of their own that keeps the influence of urban centers away. The Central Highlands are also the home for much of Vietnam’s budding wine industry. With its varied elevation and diverse ecological blend, this area supports a wide range of traditional, French-inspired and modern wines that can catch many visitors by surprise.
Taking one of the many wine tours offered in a country is a fantastic way to see a lot of the hidden treasures in visiting Vietnam. Not just in the Central Highlands, but in the southern part of the nation, as well.
Although the beaches along the coast draw many tourists tired of the hectic pace of Ho Chi Minh City or the sedate history of Hanoi. Most of the Central Highlands is off of the tourist path and a better reflection of Vietnamese society and attitudes; rather than the rapidly modernized north and south parts of the country.
Go for the view, stay for the wine
With massive mountains in the north, lush swamplands to the south and rocky highlands in the center, Vietnam has much to offer travelers. The landscape of this nation encourages independence and self-sufficiency within its populace. There is a national characteristic of overcoming difficulties, no matter the cost. This is still discernable no matter where you go.
Vietnam, as a tourist destination, has as much for the casual traveler as any other place on Earth. For those with an abiding interest or love in history, Vietnam was a focus of the Cold War and, for good or bad, the living, breathing example of the conflicts that wracked the world after the end of World War II.
Now, with the memories of that conflict fading. Vietnam has emerged as a beautiful and unique vacation destination that offers the amenities of modern society with long looks back to a simpler, more accessible time.