Vietnam, one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit. The land of staggering rice paddies, rich culture, mega-cities and preserved tribal villages. An exotic place that caters to all types of tourists’ tastes.
Take it all in
Travelling through Vietnam will leave your senses overloaded. From the extremely busy streets of Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City to the calm, lush countryside staggered with rice paddies in Sa Pa, and the ancient homes and streets in Hoi An filled with lanterns. If you open your heart you will discover her rich history, while you live in the present and see her hopes for the future. My favourite, unforgettable experience was trying to cross the streets, dodging all types of transport. Taking a bus to Halong Bay and savouring the spectacular seascape from the deck of a junk.
History and Culture
Vietnam has a complex and diverse culture. When you visit the quaint hill-top villages you can see women in tribal costumes working in their fields or trying to make extra money by selling handmade trinkets to tourists. In the cities, it is normal to see monks in their religious dress walking amongst young people in modern clothes wearing traditional jewellery to show their heritage. Modern Vietnamese are proud people, and proud of their heritage. Look for authentic indigenous crafts from the tribes instead of buying mass-produced souvenirs. Due to Chinese influence, you will find ancient temples with Chinese architecture in the North, and temples with Hindu origins in the South.
Expand your palate in Vietnam
Regular travellers to Asia might say Thai cuisine is the best. However, in my opinion, Vietnamese food is at the top of the list. Every bite is an unforgettable experience. Street food is cheap and delicious, the local spices and herbs will blow your mind and entice your appetite. If you are a coffee drinker, try the egg-coffee in Ha Noi, it might seem strange but it is one of those things that you can only do in this spectacular place. When travelling to the Mekong Delta, make sure you have some fresh, handmade coconut candy, and try to keep some to take home, if you can. Lastly, for tea lovers, take the time to explore the different types of tea Vietnam has to offer and you will not be disappointed.
If you are an adventurist, Vietnam has something for everyone. Due to the variety of travel modes available you will have the advantage of touring the country at your own pace. Be careful of scammers and make sure you understand what your responsibilities and rights are. You can rent a car, take a taxi, bus, train or domestic flight depending on how far you want to go, and seeing backpackers walking is no strange sight. Travel along the jaw-dropping Hai Van Pass with care, or plan a trip from the North to the South, stopping at the small villages for local food and very budget-friendly accommodation. Make time to immerse yourself in the culture and traditions. For the extreme adventurers, kitesurfing, hiking, cycling are available to get your adrenaline pumping. If you are in the mood for some downtime, you can find spa parlours and herbal baths to soothe your aches and pains.