5 Awesome Reasons to Fall In Love With Vietnam
With lots of everything from stunning landscapes to fascinating history, epic cuisine and pulsating energy, Vietnam is a feast for the senses and dazzles you from all angles. Peaceful paddy fields give way to frenetic urban centers like Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi. Boutiques fill the French colonial buildings in the enchanting old quarters of the big cities. Around Vietnam, lush jungles and jagged karst peaks beckon the adventurous.
Vietnam is at once eccentric and serene, thrilling and relaxing.
The story of Vietnam begins in the northern Red River Delta with a legend of powerful dragon lord and mountain fairy. The Vietnamese state was started in the north, with Hindu Cham in the center and various Khmer kingdoms (Cambodia) around Mekong Delta. The neighboring Chinese dominated the north for 1000 years, introducing Confucianism, the art of ceramics and ancestor worship. In the 17th century, French missionaries arrived and converted it into a French protectorate which lasted until 1954. Events lead to the tragically bloody Vietnam War that ended in 1975. Each era has left its mark on the land and the gentle yet resilient people. Today Vietnam is once again ripe for an invasion – by tourists!
2. Cruises & Boating
Vietnam offers many geological wonders as you travel from north to south. Up north, eons of limestone erosion has created natural wonders like Ha Long Bay and Tam Coc (Three Grottos) near Hanoi, both are UNESCO World Heritage sites. In the south, the huge Mekong Delta serves up lush rice paddies, tropical orchards, bustling markets and a host of riverine commerce. Vietnam’s serene beauty is best enjoyed by boat.
For centuries, Vietnamese cooks have been assimilating the techniques, ingredients and recipes of the conquerors and neighbors, like the Chinese and the French. The cuisine is fragrant with fresh basil, mint and lemongrass; versatile fish sauce, handy rice, and abundant seafood and shellfish from two thousand miles of coastline. You’ll enjoy Banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich), summer rolls and all manner of sweet, sticky desserts. Foodie alert! The famous Pho noodles are just the beginning!
4. Picture Perfect Scenic Views
Misty mountains, vibrant rice terraces, the breathtaking red sand dunes of Mui Ne, the emerald seascape of Ha Long Bay and amazing white sand beaches along the tropical coastline all make memorable photos for your albums and social media posts.
5. Cool Cities
The passing centuries have left Vietnam with a rich culture that manifests itself in many interesting ways. Hanoi offers a quirky temple in Hoan Kiem Lake while Hoi An city responds with its beautiful Japanese covered bridge and the venerable Tan Ky House. Hungry for entertainment? Catch a performance of Vietnamese’s unique water puppet shows. Don’t miss the old French Quarters in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (the former Saigon) as you explore these cities.
Vietnam should be on the top of everyone’s travel itinerary. It’s that simple. With its dramatic landscapes, this beautiful country will electrify all your senses.
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