Travelling Vietnam – Where to Go
When travelling to Vietnam, it is important that you know the key places to visit so you can properly plan for your trip. If you intend to see most part of the country, explore the deltas and the highlands and then spend a couple days on the beach before you head back home, you’ll need at least a month. However, if you only have two weeks, focus on mainstream destinations and attractions. You also have the option to focus on a single region and enjoy it at your own pace.
Most people who travel to Vietnam start at Ho Chi Minh City where you can get that head-spinning introduction to this beautiful country. You’ll probably recognize it by its old name – Saigon. By Asian standard, this city is modern in every sense yet remain resolutely Asian with a French feel because of its colonial villas, wide boulevards, and lively café society. Compared to Hanoi, it is more developed and offer cosmopolitan feel. Yet, with its combination of French influences and vivacious street life, it offers a distinct charm that you won’t be able to resist.
From Ho Chi Minh City, you can easily reach other major tourists attractions such as Tay Ninh, which is the center of Cao Dai religion. Going to Tay Ninh usually include a stop-over at the Cu Chi Tunnels which is a huge war museum that gives you idea on the life of Viet Cong-era soldiers during the war.
You wouldn’t want to miss Mekong Delta as well which can easily be reached from Ho Chi Minh City. This is one of the country’s stunning rivers endowed with abundant orchards and lush quilt of rice paddies. This is also where you can experience the famous floating market.
From Ho Chi Minh City, you can head northeast where you’ll find some of the country’s finest beaches and the delightful sand dunes of Mui Ne. Further north, you can find another beach called Nha Trang, which is very popular to foreign tourists as it boasts lively nightlife.
Hoi An, which used to be a bustling seaport that was beautifully preserved by the Vietnamese government, is another must-visit spot. If you’re looking for great temples, head to the war-battered ruins of My Son, which is the greatest of the Cham temple sites. Not far away is Hué Imperial City. A walled palace and fortress towering by the Perfume River and is a UNESCO heritage site.
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) should be your next stop as it is just a hundred kilometres away from Hué. In here, you’ll find monuments in windswept hill that serve as a witness to the tragic struggle of Vietnamese people during the war. The trip to Hué usually just take a couple of hours; half-day at the most. For this reason, travellers usually go straight to Hanoi, which used to be the capital of Vietnam. This is where you’ll find dynastic temples, pagodas, lakes, national monuments, French-era villas, and government buildings.
From Hanoi, you can head to Vietnam’s most famous tourist attraction – Halong Bay. This is another UNESCO heritage site dotted with about 1,600 limestone islands. Travellers usually spend a day or two here simply adoring the place and swimming in the clear waters.
If you have more time, visit Red River Delta that offers the most dramatic mountain landscapes in all of Vietnam. The town of Sa Pa in the northwest is where you can find picturesque rice paddies and towering mountains.
TNK Travel Team