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Vietnam Information

Overview  |  History  |  Sightseeing

Hanging off the bottom of China and wrapped around Laos and Cambodia with a long China Sea coastline, Vietnam is an up-and-coming Southeast Asian destination. Perhaps better known for the Vietnam War that ravaged the country in the 1960s and ‘70s than its diverse tourist attractions, the country is fast becoming a firm favourite on the Asia tourist circuit and has moved on both politically and economically.

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With its sublime beaches, many people forego the rest of Vietnam. Yet the vibrancy of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are addictive. Other major tourist destinations include Da Lat, Nha Trang, Hue, Hoi An and the Mekong Delta.

Vietnam has a rich and varied history, much of which has been tumultuous, usually at the hands of outsiders. As such, there is a fabulous wealth of temples and palaces scattered around the towns, cities and countryside.

Although not the capital, Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon) in the south of Vietnam is the largest and liveliest city, featuring busy street markets, cafés, and bars that coincide nicely with ancient pagodas, temples and shrines. Lying in the far north is Hanoi, the capital, which has a cooler climate than Ho Chi Minh and also boasts many fantastic sights.

Hue lies roughly midway between the two main cities on the Perfume River and is one of the most popular smaller towns on the tourist trail, while nearby Hoi An is another must-see with its easy-on-the-eye ancient architecture.

Most beaches are in the Vietnamese south and are best visited early in the year outside the monsoon seasons. China, My Khe, Mui Ne, and Hon Chong beaches are among the most popular and have good facilities and transport options. The Mekong Delta is another wonderful facet of Vietnam and is within easy reach of Hoh Chi Minh, while the mountainous northern interior near Hanoi offers some superb trekking and hiking.

Every type of accommodation is available in Vietnam’s main cities and beach resorts, and choices are also often good in the larger villages and rural spots. Prices and service are often better than those found in neighbouring countries, and more and more mid-range and high-end hotels are springing up all the time. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City easily have the best hotel options, which generally include internet and extras such as spa treatments and sightseeing tours as standard.

Overview  |  History  |  Sightseeing

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