Why Visit Vietnam?

Why Visit Vietnam?

boating backwaters in vietnam

Why Visit Vietnam?

 

There are so many countries I want to visit. Some of the top destinations on my list are Egypt, Thailand, Brazil and The Maldives. It wasn’t until I came across a travel review on Vietnam that I decided it was also a country I would have to visit at some point.

When I organize my holidays, I usually price flights to a number of destinations and choose the cheapest. At first I was surprised at how expensive it is to fly to Vietnam. After all, it is a long trip from the US to Vietnam. However, after looking long and hard I managed to find better airfares off-peak. I hadn’t planned to travel in March, but I am quite flexible with travel dates and am lucky I can do so. Plus, I figured it would be cheap when I got there.

I travelled with American Airlines from JFK airport in New York to Noibai Airport in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. The flight was delayed for about 2 hours, but other than that there were no other issues. I have elite flight status with AA so at least I got to hang out in the airport lounge while I waited. After you arrive in Hanoi, you can take a bus from the airport to Hanoi city centre and the journey takes about 30 minutes.

Before travelling I had heard that Vietnam is very scenic and cheap. I can confirm both of these rumors. Perhaps tourism isn’t as developed as in other Asian countries…but if you love an adventure, and our open minded and easy going, you are sure to love Vietnam. I spent three weeks in the country and tried to travel a bit. I enjoyed staying in Hanoi for a few days and paid under $20 per night for three star accommodation. Some of the tourist attractions I loved in this city were the Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre, the History Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can a mummified version of Ho Chi Minh himself. I also had the chance to escape the city and see the natural beauty of Vietnam at the Tam Dao Hill Station. Visiting Vietnam was a once in a lifetime experience and every time I leave a county in Asia I want to return.

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What to do in Dalat, Vietnam

What to do in Dalat, Vietnam

Dalat, vietnam

What to do in Dalat, Vietnam

In the next few paragraphs we are going to see what the main attractions are to do in Vietnam. This will hopefully give you a nice feel of the place so that you if you are going there then you will know what to visit and what not to miss out on while you are over there.

Easy Riders – If you do not have a lot of time in Dalat then you are best to book a tour with easy riders. The reason for this is because within 2 days you will get to see the whole Island. 2 days may seem a long time but you will see all you need to see within the country. You get an English speaking guide whose English is really good to hear and puts a bit of comedy in the tour. The price may sound dear at $70 per day however you do get quite a lot for your money but you do get the tour guide for 2 days and they put you up in a hotel for the night which you cannot grumble at. This is probably going to make you feel like you had an awesome holiday if you are going to book with easy riders.

Dalat Palace Golf Club – When you are in Dalat and you have had a couple of days looking at some tourist attractions you may want to relax for one day playing golf, if that is your type of thing. If you have brought your golf clubs with you or you are looking to rent some while you are over there then you best of coming to the Palace Golf Club. The Palace Golf Club used to only be a nine hole but with more people coming to play on this course they have decided to upgrade it to a 18th course. This means that you are able to stay out longer and enjoy playing in the sun and seeing some of Dalats amazing views.

Dalat Market – If you are looking to try out some new foods or looking for some cheap items to take back with you to your family then the market is defiantly the place to visit. It is a chance for you tee see what the locals eat and what type of products they sell. This market is open in the morning and closes late afternoon. This is a market not to be missed if you are going to visit Dalat.

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Luxury Travel in Vietnam

Luxury Travel in Vietnam

luxury travel in vietnam

Luxury Travel in Vietnam

Vietnam is not often associated with luxury holiday destinations more a port of call for experienced or sometimes fresh faced travellers.  Steeped in a rich history Vietnam boasts amazingly varied landscapes including mountain ranges, unchartered forests and pristine beaches.  This diverse country offers something for everyone and seeing it within a lap of luxury is now provided through Mirus Journeys.

So treat yourself to a once in a lifetime holiday to Vietnam.  Start of in the countries capital, Hanoi at a luxury hotel like the Sofitel Legend Metropole just steps away from where the Opera House sits.  A classic hotel steeped in a rich history with all the grandeur of traditional Hanoi makes for a great starting point for your luxury Vietnam holiday.  Take advantage of the city’s most famed restaurant and savour beautiful French cuisine, mixed with family recipes and a famous Sunday brunch.

After savouring the delights of the Vietnamese capital then why not set off and explore what the rest of this beautiful country has to offer.  Central Vietnam offers some of the most colourful and vibrant areas for you to see in Vietnam.  You can visit the beautiful city of Danang on a breath-taking scenic drive over the Hai Van pass.  Danang is home to the ChamMuseum, where you can learn more about the Champa people and other ethnic minorities.  Danang is a vibrant place with tree lined boulevards, restaurants and some beautiful beaches to aid the mix of things to do in this wondrous place.

A great base to explore the region comes in the form of a stretch of beautiful white sandy beaches where 60 one bedroom villas and 40 pool villas are spread over 35 hectares of tropical gardens.  Known as the Nam Hai, located just 25 minutes from Danang and 15 minutes from Hoi An, this beachfront offers a beautiful and endless horizon, sensational cuisine and great location to explore the vicinity.

Once you’ve enjoyed this luxury resort and explored the many regions then why not take in some of the many islands along the Vietnam coastline.  Secluded coves and brilliantly white sandy beaches are scattered along the coast providing a beautiful step on to the secluded and luxurious islands.  A beautiful place to base yourself and see some sensational islands of the Vietnam coast are Con Dai which is a chain of 15 islands.

Located just off the south east coast each island is ringed with white sandy beaches, coral reefs and secluded bays.  The Six Senses Con Dao resort is set in an area of natural beauty, along a mile long golden beach and sheltered by forested mountains.

Explore the world and stay in some of the most naturally beautiful areas the planet has to offer.

Image (c)  jinkazamah

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The Top World Heritage Sites To Visit In Vietnam

The Top World Heritage Sites To Visit In Vietnam

Main gate. Citadel of Hanoi

The Top World Heritage Sites To Visit In Vietnam

Vietnam is a country that is certainly appearing on the tourist itinerary of many more people over recent years, and one of the reasons for this is that it is a real hotbed of archaeological sites and sites of historical importance.  From areas of exceptional natural beauty through to historic fortresses and Buddhist temples, Vietnam is full of locations that will delight and astound.  The recognition of a site by UNESCO is often one of the key indicators that a place is very important within a specific region, and here are some of the best sites in Vietnam.

My Son Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is located on the east coast of Thailand and is a complex of Buddhist temples from a variety of periods which are noted for their architecture and the carvings to be found here.  The earliest date from the fourth century, and tens of temples were built over the following thousand years on the site, with the most recent temple here dating from the fourteenth century.  This is one of the most important Buddhist archaeological sites in Asia, and it is the superb quality of the carvings that were cut directly on to the red brick that helps the site to stand out.

One of the most damaging events in the recent history of the site happened during the Vietnam War, where the forces of the United States destroyed many of these historical sites during sustained bombing.  Among the beautiful carvings to be found here, many of the craters where the bombs fell can also be seen.

Ha LongBay

Ha LongBay is one of the most famous sites in Vietnam, and the thousands of limestone islands emerging from the waters of the bay really make this a very special site.  The bay lies on the north east coast of Vietnam, and these sites are excellent examples of Karst limestone formations.  One of the reasons that Ha Long Bay is such a famous area is that it appeared in the James Bond film ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, where the numerous small islands were shown up very well in the film.

As well as being important because of the rock formations in the bay, the area was also recognized because of the fish, marine creatures and birds to be found living in the area.

The Hue Monuments

Today Hue is a reasonably large city on the east coast of Vietnam, but on the banks of the PerfumeRiver near to today’s settlement is the historic is a historic citadel and forbidden city where only the most important people in the country were allowed access.  The grand stairway and the historic buildings around the citadel still give the impression of an imposing city.  There are also a number of tombs for some of these emperors to be found along the banks of the river, and make this site a must visit for anyone who will be spending some time in the area.

The Imperial Citadel Of Thang Long

The city of Hanoi is one of the most important cities in Vietnam today, and one of the indications of the history of the city is the citadel of Thang Long, which is one of the old names for Hanoi.  For the majority of the old imperial citadel there are only ruins remaining, as the majority of the buildings, including the KinhThienPalace, were destroyed by French during their occupation of the city.  There are a few remaining remnants of the citadel that can still be seen, including the North Gate, but most impressive is the Flag Tower of Hanoi, which was surprisingly spared.

PhongNha-KeBangNational Park

This National Park is one of the most impressive areas in the whole of Vietnam, with a number of mountainous regions and river valleys that make it a wonderful place to visit.  It is the network of caves and underground rivers that have helped to gain recognition for the area, with the formations of stalagmites and stalactites being discovered.

The area is also revered by cavers as the area has one of the longest underground rivers in the world, and in these underground caves are some of the best sandy beaches ever found underground.

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The Top Cities To Visit In Vietnam

The Top Cities To Visit In Vietnam

Top cities to visit in vietnam. Ho-Chi-Minh.City, Vietnam

The Top Cities To Visit In Vietnam

The image that many people will have of Vietnam is one that is dominated by the country’s portrayal in Hollywood films, but the reality is that the country is far removed from what it was during the Vietnam War.  The country has seen significant development in the infrastructure, and many of the cities now provide a city centre that is often just as developed as a western city.  However, there has always been an air of mystery about Vietnam, and this is still present today drawing visitors from across the world to visit every year, and here are some of the best cities to visit.

Hanoi

The capital city is the second largest in the country, and is a wonderful place to visit as it has a wealth of history and interesting architecture to explore, as well as being one of the most important cities in the country.  The city has seen significant development since the 1990s, and this has seen the thousands of people who would commute by bicycle be largely replaced by people commuting by motorbike.  The shopping in the city is very good, and there are now modern shopping malls along with the quaint Vietnamese markets.

One of the most beautiful sights in the city is the amazing Turtle Tower, which is a three storey building rising on a small outcropping of land in the middle of the Sword Lake in the middle of the city.  The city also has a series of museums and exhibitions that include the gatehouse of the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ which was where prisoners of war were taken during the Vietnam War.

Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon, as the city is still often called in the west, is the largest city in the country and is one of the major tourist cities in Vietnam, attracting millions of visitors every year.  Many of the classic buildings in the French style are still to be found in the city, including the Hotel Majestic and the Notra-Dame Cathedral, and the boulevards of the city centre are still a great place to explore.

The city still holds many memories from the Vietnam War which are remembered in the WarRemnantsMuseum and the Museum of Vietnamese History, and the Cu Chi Tunnels are a network of tunnels running beneath the city which were used by the rebels, and can be explored with a guide.

Hue

The coastal city of Hue is one that still holds importance in Vietnam, and is a particularly interesting place to visit due to its range of historic buildings and monuments.  Today the city has a population of around 350,000, and is particularly noted for the prevalence of vegetarianism among its people.

The range of ancient buildings to be found in the city is noted by UNESCO for their importance, and the ImperialCity is a formidable city inside which lies an impressive city.  There is also the Thien Mu Pagoda, which is one of the most impressive buildings in the city, and was built at the start of the seventeenth century.

Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a city on the south coast of Vietnam that has seen a significant growth in tourism over recent years, with wonderful beaches and blue seas that make it a great destination.  The brightly colored fishing boat fleet in the harbor are all traditional boats that look as though they are taken straight from a postcard, while the white sand dunes to the north of the city are stunning.  The growth in tourism has seen the area become particularly popular as a water sport destination, with windsurfing and kite surfing both being popular.

Da Nang

Another of the important trading cities in Vietnam, Da Nang lies on the east coast of the country, and is an important base for visitors as it lies within easy reach of many important sites in the region.  The archaeological site at My Son was firstly noted for its Buddhist architecture, but significant bombing by US forces during the Vietnam War damaged much of the site, and there are still many craters to be seen across the site.  Da Nang is also a short distance away from the remarkably beautiful MarbleMountains, which are small marble and limestone hills rising from the valley floor.  These are home to stunning caves that have been intricately and elaborately decorated.

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The Top Adventure Activities To Enjoy In Vietnam

The Top Adventure Activities To Enjoy In Vietnam

exploring vietnam adventure tours

The Top Adventure Activities To Enjoy In Vietnam

 

Although Vietnam has enjoyed a troubled history, it is a country that has flourished in the last two decades since the Communist Party loosened the reins on a market economy at the end of the 1980s.  This wonderful country boasts some truly beautiful natural sights and some amazing history, and is a great place to visit.  There are a wide range of activities that people can enjoy outside of the major cities, and many of the adventure activities have found a new base in the wonderful countryside and waterways of Vietnam.

Kayaking

Kayaking can be enjoyed both in the sea and on the rivers of Vietnam, with the lightweight easily paddled boats being ideal for exploring the coves and isolated bays on the coast.  They are also perfect for paddling on some of the calmer rivers of Vietnam, which allow the kayakers to explore the inlets and tributaries of the larger rivers by themselves or in organized groups.

One of the most popular places in Vietnam to go kayaking is in HalongBay, where the quiet waters provide great conditions for exploring, with lots of different places to explore.  Another popular place to go Kayaking is the mighty MekongRiver, with many organized groups arranging week-long trips along the river.

Trekking

Another popular activity that visitors to Vietnam can enjoy is trekking, with its stunningly beautiful coastline and wonderful mountain and jungle treks to explore too.  The treks here range from challenging routes to shorter routes that show off some of the best of the scenery in Vietnam.

One of the most popular areas for trekking is the province of Cao Bang in the north-west of Vietnam, which has some wonderful mountain scenery and a number of waterways, with the highlight being superb views of the large Ban Gioc waterfall.  The CucPhuongNational Park is another beautiful location to visit, and trekking here takes visitors through some of the dense tropical forest which many people will associate with the country.

Boat Tours

With so much of Vietnam being more easily accessible to boat than motor vehicle, taking a boat trip around some of the coastline or up one of the many Vietnamese rivers is a very popular activity.  One of the most popular is a trip on one of the small boats up the Mekong Delta, which departs from the important city formerly known as Saigon, which is now called Ho Chi Minh City.  Along with the adventurous river trips, there are also plenty of boat trips around the scenic HalongBay that are also very popular.

Mountain Biking

One of the sports to which Vietnam is particularly suited is mountain bikingwith its rolling hills and steep hillsides with plenty of streams and obstacles.  Many of the more established paths offer fun tracks along the valley floor, while those looking for more adventure can hit the hills and enjoy excellent downhill cycling with boardwalk bridges, fords and rides through woodland and in the open.  The climate is usually warm and sunny in season, and there are centers in Dalat, Hanoi and Hue which are all wonderful places to visit.

Diving

With such a wonderful coastline it is natural that Vietnam will draw plenty of people looking to dive and to explore the waters of the area.  Most of the sites are considered particularly suited to newer divers and nature lovers, as there are large numbers of smaller fish to be found in the waters near Nha Tran and Con Dao.  A short distance off the east coast of Vietnam is the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, and this is one of the most popular dive sites due to its exceptional coral and biodiversity to be found in these waters.

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Written by aroundsoutheastasiaSarah

Sarah teaches English i Thailand and has travelled extensively around Southeast Asia. She blogs at Travel Tales from Asia
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