Science, Technology, Engineering, Math — have deep roots in Vietnam. The strong education system and English proficiency, Vietnam is an attractive choice for outsourcing and more than 53% of vietnamese citizens and 100% of employees speak english.
The Easy Ground Transport: If you're in no hurry, Vietnam's land transportation system is an excellent travel option — you don't get there as fast, but you enjoy the view and the relaxation you get from journeying at a more leisurely pace. Vietnam Travel by Train, for instance, takes advantage of the "Reunification Express" that travels the whole length of the country; travelers departing from Hanoi can ride the first-class Livitrans train car overnight to the historic city of Hue.
Convenient To Travel: Car, motorbike, train, bus, or plane, traveling within Vietnam is incredibly easy and convenient. When traveling from one city or destination to another, we preferred taking the sleeper train. There were four bunks in each room, however we got lucky and had the room to ourselves!Accommodation for backpackers and other tourists is abundant, which means you never really have to worry about not being able to find a place to stay.
The architecture in Vietnam is an interesting one, with some architecture being influened by the French and some being influenced by ancient Asia.On your visit to Vietnam it won’t be long before you notice that some of the buildings look similar to ones you may find in some parts of Europe, well that is because some buildings still stand from the French colonial days. A lot of the buildings that still stand today were designed by the French, providing some parts of Vietnam with a look that is really easy on the eye.If European architecture isn’t your thing then don’t worry because there are plenty of ancient pagodas in Vietnam that have been beautifully designed, these ancient pagodas can make you feel as if you have gone back in time. Interesting architecture around Vietnam: Saigon – Central post office, Saigon – Opera house, Hoi An – The streets of the ancient town, Hoi An – The pagodas within the ancient town, Hanoi – The old quarter & Dalat – Train Station.
Vietnam is incredibly diverse in terms of scenery. From beaches and jungles to giant cities, you can find it all within the 127,881 mi² that makes up this country.The emerald green waters with beautiful jungle topped limestone islands make up Ha Long Bay in the North. While a beautiful white desert lies in the southern beach town of Mui Ne! The views alone are one of the biggest reasons why you should visit Vietnam.If you have the time, you should travel all over this amazing country. During our 2 week adventure, we flew into Saigon then headed to Nha Trang, Hoi An, Tam Coc, and Hanoi to experience the cities, beach, and local life.
Vietnamese food is known to be both healthy and robust in flavour, thanks its generous combination of fresh herbs and greens, paired with rice, noodles, seafood, pork and beef. A typical meal includes rice or noodles, a meat or seafood dish, a vegetable dish, soup and nuoc cham (fermented fish sauce) for dipping. Pho (rice noodle soup) is essentially Vietnam’s signature dish, but there are other equally mouth-watering delicacies such as banh mi, banh xeo, ca kho to (caramelised fish in clay pot), and xoi xeo (sweet sticky rice).It's hard to pin down what exactly makes Vietnamese food great, but the influences from China and France come through in foods like cao lau noodles and banh mi.Beer is another major Vietnamese preoccupation — every major city seems to have its own brand of beer, from Hue's Huda to Saigon and Hanoi's eponymous brews.
Few countries can match the diversity of Vietnam’s landscapes. From the tropical idylls of the south to the stepped rice fields of the north, Vietnam is filled with expansive beaches, untouched islets, towering mountains, and tropical forests housing thousands of rare wildlife species. Adventure seekers can explore the world’s largest cave (and over 200 more caves) in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park while the Sand Dunes of Mui Ne offer thrilling activities, such as sandboarding and quad biking.
The second largest coffee exporter worldwide, Vietnam boasts an excellent coffee culture in the green tea continent. Black coffee, coffee with condensed milk, coffee with coconut milk, coffee with egg yolk, coffee with yoghurt; try it all. The locals love their coffee and for good reason, it’s incredible! You can order it from the many cafes, street stalls, or chains that line the streets.Some must try creations include coconut coffee, white or black iced coffee, and the amazing egg coffee (our personal favorite)! The Vietnamese utilize unique ingredients to create coffee so good you will never want to finish it.
Much of Vietnam is still a very rural, undeveloped country and it’s easy to feel unsafe or at ease in such environments. And both Cazzy and I have felt that unease quite a few times on our journeys around the world so far. However, with Vietnam, we only ever felt content and safe to be travelling through each destination. We never had any fear that we were getting unduly ripped off or that we would be the victims of some sort of crime unless we were incredibly careful. Of course, we took all the same precautions we do in every country we go to, such as not staying out too late and not having money on show. But nonetheless, Vietnam feels like a very safe country to visit.
Shoppers with a taste for ethnic fashion and handicrafts will find a shopping paradise here. From earrings and scarves to traditional women’s outfits, you’ll find great offers throughout the whole country. In Hoi An you can also get speed tailors to make your suit and dress in just a day.
Festivals in Vietnam offer visitors the best opportunity for getting up close and personal with the myths, customs and fun-loving spirit of this proud nation. Despite undergoing modern developments, Vietnam is still a predominantly traditional country, with thousands of pagodas and shrines dedicated to Buddha as well as various deities and iconic figures. There are also plenty of cultural events that are only celebrated during certain times of the year (or years), so check out our guide of the best festivals in Vietnam to see if one pops up during your travels.
Buddhism is still practised by the local population to this very day, where hundreds of glittering pagodas and shrines can be found across the country. In Hanoi, The Perfume Pagoda is at the centre of a very revered and sacred site featuring a maze of shrines built into the limestone cliffs of Huong Tich Cave. Another unique religion in Vietnam is Cao Daism, which combines Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam. The Cao Dai Temple on Phu Quoc Island is a must visit, featuring a bright technicolour exterior and relics of prominent religions from around the world.
Beaches in Vietnam are popular spots for tourists and locals looking to escape the bustling city life. After several trips to Vietnam, you’ll soon learn that no two beaches are the same, from Da Nang’s My Khe Beach for tourists looking to stay in the centre of all the action, to the tourist-free Qui Nhon that’s increasingly popular amongst savvy travellers. Not only is Vietnam surrounded by 3,000 kilometres of soft sands and clear waters, there are also plenty of secluded coves and islets fit for snorkelling, island-hopping, and scuba diving.
Due to its turbulent history with the American and French, Vietnam has plenty of war sites, museums, and prisons, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The most popular war site is Chu Chi Tunnels, located 70km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. With over 120km of underground tunnels, most of which fitted with trapdoors, living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, armoury, hospitals, and command centres, you get to explore a small part of the Chu Chi Tunnels and fire an M16 rifle during your visit at Chu Chi Tunnels.
Now this is where we feel Vietnam excels in comparison to its neighbouring countries. The range of places that the country offers is incredible. Not only is there a variety of interesting towns and cities to visit, but the difference between these places makes Vietnam a very exciting country to travel. Places we explored on our visit to Vietnam : Saigon, Dalat, Nha Trang, Ninh Van, Tuy Hoa, Qui Hhon, Quang Ngai, Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue and Hanoi
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!
When most Americans think of Vietnam, they think of the tragically bloody Vietnam War. Vietnamese, on the other hand, see the Vietnam War a part of a successful process of decolonization: the defeat of the French and retreat of the Americans is as much part of their national creation myth as the American Revolution is part of America's. Many Vietnam War sites in the country reflect this view. Historic war sites in Saigon have been turned into memorials or museums depicting the inevitable triumph of the Vietnamese nation — the Cu Chi Tunnels depict the covert struggle of the Communist guerrillas against the invading American forces, the War Remnants Museum focuses on the savagery of the war effort, and the Reunification Palace marks the site where the South Vietnamese government finally submitted to Communist forces. Further north in Hanoi, Ba Dinh Square has become ground zero for the deification of Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh — the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House on the grounds of the Presidential Palace all depict different pictures of the life of Vietnam's George Washington. A former French prison in the middle of town has been converted into a museum honoring the struggle of Vietnamese against colonialism — the Hoa Lo Prison (also known as the "Hanoi Hilton") depicts the horrors that Vietnamese prisoners had to undergo at the hands of their French jailers. A single room is dedicated to the American POWs who were confined here, but that picture is studiously airbrushed to present the Vietnamese in the most humane light possible. All these sites are invaluable pilgrimage destinations for war history enthusiasts and Vietnam War veterans alike. The Vietnamese are gracious hosts — GIs visiting Vietnam War sites are treated with respect and kindness.
Cycling Throughout Vietnam, you will find places that you can hire bicycles to explore independently during any time at leisure you have in your itinerary. Some hotels offer free bicycle hire or if not, they will be able to recommend a good local hire shop nearby. Remember to always check the condition of the bicycle you are hiring before heading off and if needs be, request for the seat to be adjusted and the tyres to be pumped up!
Vietnamese food is wonderful so why not learn how to cook some of our favourite dishes by taking a cooking class with a local chef. Hue or Hoi An are both great places to do a cookery class and many hotels and restaurants now
offer either shared or private cookery classes. A couple of schools that that we have experienced, and know to be well run, are:
• The Red Bridge Cookery School, Hoi An - shared classes in a stylish restaurant next to the Hoi An River.
• Ms Vy's Cooking School, Hoi An - create your own Vietnamese street food with an expert chef. Ms Vy's shared classes used to take place at the Morning Glory Restaurant but are now at her new restaurant ‘The Market'.
• Ancient Hue Cookery Class, Hue - shared cooking, or vegetable carving, classes take place in the atmospheric grounds of this palatial Vietnamese restaurant which is famous for its imperial cuisine.
Beaches & watersports Vietnam has about 3500km of coastline and there are many good beaches in central and southern Vietnam, as well as on some of the islands such as Phu Quoc and Con Dao. A wide range of watersports can be arranged locally, including diving. Nha Trang is the traditional home of diving in Vietnam but there are also good diving areas off Con Dao and Phu Quoc islands and also off Cham Island, which is a boat ride away from Hoi An or Danang. Surfing is also growing in popularity in Vietnam - with the coast close to Danang, and Vung Tao, boasting some good surf. Mui Ne is fast becoming a hot spot for kite surfers.
Evening entertainment: We have also outlined a few suggestions for evening entertainment. Your guide will be on hand to assist with making any bookings and advising on transportation to the venue.
Water puppets (Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City) Hanoi is the best place to catch a performance of the ancient art of water puppetry, although should you not get time in the capital there is also a decent water puppet theatre in Ho Chi Minh City. Water puppet shows originated in the Red River Delta area surrounding Hanoi and have been performed since the 11th Century. Shows last just under an hour and run several times per day, but they do sell out so ask in advance if you would like this to be booked.
Hanoi Opera Hanoi's 100-year old Opera House is something of a landmark in the city, and is located on the southern edge of the Old Quarter in the famous August Revolution Square. Performances of classical music, dance, and opera are held on most evenings .
AO Show (Ho Chi Minh City) A very impressive mix of dance, acrobatics, and circus held in the Saigon Opera House usually 3 or 4 nights per week - performance days are irregular Performances last around one hour and make an exciting, modern contrast to the water puppet or traditional dance shows.
Night markets As with much of Southeast Asia, night markets are a fundamental part of city life and will always be worth a visit. Hanoi's Dong Xuan Market takes place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday evenings in the heart of the Old Quarter; Dalat has its infamous ‘shouting market' (vendors are especially boisterous), while Hue has a picturesque market stretching along the banks of the Perfume River. Phu Quoc also has an excellent night market in Duong Dong where you can find cheap souvenirs and excellent street food.
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