Vietnam – Introduction
Vietnam is a country with astonishing and breathtaking natural beauty with a unique heritage. Every visitor leaves the country with unforgettable experiences. Sail over the seascape of Limestone islands from the deck of a traditional junk boat in Halong Bay to worlds most spectacular cave systems in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to witnessing a solitary grave in the cemetery of thousands of war victims to walking through the evergreen hills and scenic villages of Sapa mountains, Vietnam offers different experiences.
A Brief History
Vietnam went through a long and costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies known as the Viet Cong against the South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The war ended with the withdrawal of U.S. Forces in 1973. The Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975 and the country was later unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Today Vietnam is a self confident and fast developing country. Country’s progress is evident in the booming metropolises.
Vietnamese food offers incredibly subtle in its flavours and outstanding in its diversity, the local cuisine is a fascinating draw for traveller’s. One can enjoy the local streed food or try their hand at learning the local cuisine at one of the many cooking schools. Chinese flavours influence the soups of the north and the spices add flavours to the southern cuisine along with the herbs adding flavours to the central coastline. One can visit the countryside, mingle with vaillagers, sample local dishes and sip rice wine in Vietnam’s many local markets.
Top 5 places to visit in Vietnam
- Halong Bay was designated a World Heritage site in the year 1994, it is located in north-east Vietnam and is known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. The bay is dotted with 1600 islands and islets and covers an area of 1,500 Sq Kms. Typicaly visited by Junk Boats, one can either do a day trip or a overnight trip. Ideally a overnight trip is highly recommended.
- Hanoi the capital City of Vietnam. The city blends with the new vibe and offers a charm of old Asia. Chaotic Old Quarter is at the heart of Hanoi with its narrow streets and local vendors set up shops near the street. One will find the locals in conical hats pass by on their bicycles, or a tourist enjoying a Cyclo ride in the old quarter. Hanoi is where the paradox of modern Vietnam comes alive and the capital has a ancient history, colonial past and a modern outlook.
- Hoi An is located in Central Vietnam and known for its well-preserved ancient town, cut through the canals. Hoi An a former port city reflects the same in its architecture with mix of eras and styles from wooden chinese shops and temples to colourful French colonial buidlings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses ana a iconic Japanese covered bridge with its Pagoda.
- Ho Chi Minh (earlier known as Saigon) is a city in southern Vietnam and played a very criticial role in the Vietnam war. Famous for the French colonial landmarks including the Notre-Dame Cathedral, 19th Century Post office and the food stalls lined in the streets around the famous Ben Thanh Market. Independence palace known is Reunification palace is also a important landmark of the city.
- Sapa a mountain town in North Western Vietnam, is a popular trekking base. The town overlooks the rice fields of Muong Hoa Valley. Sapa offers spectacular mountain views on clear days. Fansipan Legend Cable car near Sapa offers breathtaking views of Hoang Lien Son Range and Muong Hoa Valley.