Reasons to travel to Vietnam – where should one even start? The nature, history and culture don’t even scratch the surface of the draw that this country has for travellers. Vietnam is slowly emerging as a hot travel destination, though as a whole it does not always top the “must see” travel lists – and this is surprising. But if you are still hesitating about why you should head to Myanmar, then check out these 14 sensational reasons and prepare to be amazed!
Vietnam is known for the gazillion scooters roaming around the cities and the country sides. You can grab a "xe om" or rent a cheap scooter to explore various regions of Vietnam on your own. Unless you are feeling very brave, we recommend you avoid scootering around the larger cities like HCMC and Hanoi. The traffic there appears to have no rules. The trick to crossing the street is to walk steadily, at an even pace. If you're moving at a predictable rate, the motorcyclists will move around you. Eye-contact with oncoming bikers doesn't hurt either. The most important thing is to keep moving and not to stop or speed up. Once you've got the hang of crossing the street, you can really appreciate the beauty of the organized chaos.
Trekking on the rice paddies nestled in Sapa valley may be a must-do thing that you should experience if travel to Vietnam. This walk will remain in your memory for years to come. The spectacular Muong Hoa Valley is protected from both sides by the majestic Hoang Lien Son Mountains. These mountains are home to many amazing local tribes, such as the Black Hmong Tribe! We would strongly recommend you visit Sapa when the amazing cascading-down-the-mountain rice fields are in full bloom or when the fields start to turn gold. This will allow you to truly capture the scenery at its’ best.
Vietnam is one of the oldest cultures in South East Asia, dating back to 2000 BC, and it has has a complicated history starting from its native Dong Son culture and spanning thousands of years. The country has been influenced by Chinese, Khmer, and Indian cultures, as well as French colonialism. Whether you like history or not, there is no doubt that you will learn a thing or two just by being in the country.
Street food is a trademark of Vietnam. Vietnamese cuisine is also very popular all over the world so why not come taste it at its source. Women somehow whip up delicious meals out of the contents of a single bag on the side of the road and tiny street stalls fill the alleyways offering up papaya salads and the popular meat and noodle soup, Pho. Fried and fresh spring rolls are served up at the markets and the amount of delicious dipping sauces can make your head spin. Try the giant seafood filled pancakes, the grilled corn on the cob or the warm banana cake in a coconut milk sauce. From pho noodle soup, spring rolls, banh mi and sticky rice to seafood, Vietnamese food is always tasty, fresh and healthy.
Vietnam has 3,700 kms of coastline, with beaches ranging from garbage-strewn and overcrowded to stunning pockets of paradise. And there are plenty of the latter. The waters are also great for diving near more tropical locales, with the rainbow colors of coral reefs, unique fish and underwater plant and fungi life. There is nothing like lying back on a beach in Phu Quoc, Mui Ne, Nha Trang or Phan Thiet and sunning yourself silly while enjoying a good book.
Vietnam is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary subterranean landscapes, with the most popular of the country’s caves the gigantic Hang Son Doong. So big it has its own weather system, the caves could accommode a 40-storey skyscraper, or let a Boeing 747 pass through.
As the second biggest producer of coffee in the world, Vietnam knows a thing or two about coffee. Strong and flavourful Vietnamese coffee makes converts as quickly as it raises pulses. French colonists might have introduced coffee to Vietnam, but the morning cup of ca phe soon became a local habit. With variations that make use of yoghurt, eggs and even fruit, Vietnamese coffee has developed a style of its own.
The Vietnamese nation has been around for over a thousand years, and doesn't look as if it will be going away anytime soon. The passing centuries have left Vietnam with a rich culture that manifests in many interesting ways. Architecture? Hanoi delivers with the temple in Hoan Kiem Lake; Hoi An responds with its Japanese Bridge and the venerable Tan Ky House. Entertainment? Catch a performance of Vietnamese Water Puppets. Fine art? Visit Kim Bong Village and take home an intricate carving or two. To see Vietnam's culture in action city-wide, visit during one of Vietnam Festivals; the fun of local celebrations during Tet (the New Year) will make the horrible traffic worth it!
Vietnam is simply beautiful. It almost has every kind of natural landscape all within one country. The towering mountain ranges in the north around Sapa are lined with lush forests and footed by lakes, rivers, and terraced fields of rice. The limestone towers and cliffs amongst the immense Ha Long Bay are the number one sights for travellers and nature lovers alike. Vietnam is home to some of the biggest natural caves in the world in Quang Binh province and some stunning national parks such as Nam Cat Tien, Cuc Phuong in the north and on the islands of Con Dao and Phu Quoc in the south. The highlands around Da Lat are full of forests, natural rock slides, waterfalls and lakes and beaches along the coast are some of the finest in the world. Vietnam’s island of Phu Quoc is home to monkeys, a national park and is surrounded by barely touched beaches, remote islands and clear ocean waters.
The people in Vietnam are some of the friendliest and accommodating people you will find around Asia. You are always greeted with smiles and the occasional hello. Everyone seems willing to offer help, especially to travellers and tourists. Questions will get answered quickly and people will seem to bend over backwards for you in order to help you out. Drop your groceries, its guaranteed that someone will help you pick them up. You will meet new friends and feel like you have found a family away from home.
Speaking of vistas, Halong Bay, the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Gulf of Tonkin, is every bit as spectacular as people say. It IS worth the roughly four hour drive from Hanoi, and it IS worth fighting the swarms of tourists to see. The bay used to be littered with a lot more trash, but with recent clean-up efforts, it's much better these days. The 1,600 islands jut out of the sea, seemingly one on top of the other, creating a dramatic scape of mountains, sea and sky.
A UNESCO World Heritage town, Hoi An is one of the most picturesque, lovely places to visit in all of Vietnam. Located in the center of the country, just outside of Danang, Hoi An used to be a flourishing port town from the 15th to the 19th centuries, before the Thu Bon river silted up and basically halted trade in the region. Fortunately in the 1990s, the town was declared a World Heritage site and tourism has since revived the so-called "Venice of Vietnam." Thanks to the international residents -- from the Chinese and Japanese to the French -- during the port years, Hoi An boasts a variety of local specialities that you can't find anywhere else in the country. Dishes like Cao Lau and White Rose Dumplings are reason enough to visit Hoi An, and when you factor in the gorgeous, canal-side setting and preserved colonial French architecture, it really does become a national treasure.
There is so much to discover in Vietnam, and it is the perfect destination for the explorer searching for a unique experience. If you are searching for raw adventure, you will find memories here that you will not find anywhere else. The cultures and traditions of the past are not lost here. It is a developing country that is embracing the customs of the past. It is not uncommon to see women walking down the street in 'ao dia,' traditional Vietnamese dress while the latest Vietnamese rap song is playing from someone's radio.
Vietnam’s temples are most commonly found in its cities – little oases of calm surrounded by the buzz of everyday life. Lose yourself in the beautifully-preserved architecture and incredible stone carvings while learning more about the multiple faiths of this fascinating culture. Vietnam’s most stunning temples include Hanoi’s towering Tran Quoc Pagoda, the colourful Cao Dai Temple in Ho Chi Minh City, and Hue’s Thien Mu Pagoda – which also has panoramic views of the Imperial City and Perfume River.