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Visiting Vietnam: Enjoying Paradise

Updated on December 1, 2011

Visiting the Wonders of Vietnam

Vietnam is preparing for a record-breaking amount of tourism this year. And no one will be disappointed. Considered the safest country in Asia, Vietnam offers everything you would expect to find in a...well, paradise. The beaches, the cities, the old and new architecture, the tours, the cuisine, the shopping, World Heritage site and so much more.

For more information about this vacation destination that ranges from Hanoi in the North to Saigon in the South, see below:

Background - Vietnam's ancient culture dates back 4,000 years and is now a blend of an indigenous culture with influences that are Polynesian, Chinese and Western, with a population of almost 90,000.

Geography - Vietnam is a long, narrow nation located in Southeast Asia on the eastern edge of the Indochina peninsula. Neighbors include China, Cambodia and Laos. Vietnam covers an area of about 128,123 square miles.

Nature - Vietnam has mountainous terrains, wetlands, forests, and a long coastline. There are 270 types of mammals, over 800 bird species, 180 type of reptiles and 80 different amphibians.

Deciding on a Destination:

Hanoi (or Ha noi), literally translates to the "city between the rivers" and is the capital and second biggest city. The center of tourism and trade, Hanoi is truly a busy city center where you will see hundreds of motorbikes, buses, SUVs and thousands of pedestrians.

The area known as the "Old Quarter" is considered the heart of the city. Although it is modern in appearance, it is the structures beyond the new where the traditions from over a thousand years ago are preserved. This back place is popularly known as the "36 streets" even though there are more than 70 streets making up the labyrinth. Here you will find family-owned shops selling food, coffee, silk, artwork, toys and much more.

Saigon, or Sai Gon - is also known as Ho Chi Minh City or HCMC, and is the largest city in Vietnam. It was the capital of the former Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The Reunification Palace is located here and was the home of the president of South Vietnam when it fell to the North on April 30, 1975. This frenetic city has a wide range of cuisines where you can sit and interact or people-watch. You can pick up something quick to eat in the marketplaces or visit a high-end restaurant serving Vietnam cuisine - as well as French and Southeast Asian.

Da Nang - is the largest city in central Vietnam and the fourth largest in Vietnam. This important port is home to about 700,000 people. Da Nang is known for its beautiful white sand beaches. A famous attraction is the Cham Museum which exhibits over 300 statues, sculptures and reliefs.

Hue - is the cultural heart of Vietnam. Hue is a town filled with architectural and historical wonders. Here you will find the former imperial palace.

Hoi An - is also a destination for history and natural culture. Hoi An is a perfectly preserved 18th-century port town. It has a reputation for its colorful silk lanterns and custom tailors.

Hoa Lur - is the legendary ancient capital, built more than 10 centuries ago.

Ha Long Bay (or Bay of Descending Dragons) is the most well-known tourist destination because it is a UNESCO World Heritage site with some of the world's most beautiful natural scenery. The bay has thousands of limestone karsts and isles rising from emerald green waters. There are endless amounts of beaches, caves and grottoes. The shallow waters contain more than 450 different kinds of mollusks and over 200 fish species.

Must Visit:

The Mekong River Delta - is a must. Often referred to as the Mighty Mekong River Delta, you can view the sights on a boat, a bike or in a jeep. And try a delta delicacy (see Food Stops next).

Food Stops:

Delta delicacy - Along the Mekong River Delta the popular delicacy is the fried elephant ear fish with ginger sauce which can be found at family-run restaurants throughout the area.

The places to eat include:

Lemon Grass - in HCMC is right in the city center and considered one of the best.

Mango Rooms - has a reputations as the hippest little restaurant between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Cuisine is modern Vietnamese.

Yellow Flower (Hoa Vang) - a genuine Vietnamese place with lots of good food.

Pho 2000 - specializes in national dishes.

DMZ Bar - DMZ (as in Demilitarized Zone) has low-cost drinks, favorite types of Vietnamese foods and lots of pasta and pizza.

Beverages - Enjoy fresh beverages wherever you go, made with local fruit which includes jackfruit and dragonfruit.

Where to Stay:

Name Hai - is a high-end resort located on the beach. It is spectacular, thus the price of about $600 per night. The spa here features private cabins overlooking a lagoon.

Park Hyatt Saigon - is near the opera house, the city's top restaurants and runs about $300 nightly.

La Residence - overlooks the purple-tinted Perfume River. It is located in a former governor's home. Cost is about $150. nightly.

More Recommended Hotels and Areas:

HCMC - Equatorial Ho Chi Minh City is an international five-star hotel. Also located here is the five-star Rex Hotel.

Da Nang - Sandy Beach Non Nuoc Resort is located on what is considered one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world.

Hoi An - Golden Sand Resort & Spa is also a five-star hotel.

Phan Thiet - Seashore Resort & Spa, located on a white sandy beach.

There is so much to do, eat, see, and destinations to pick from - enjoy!

For more world-wide travel destinations see links below for Thailand, Europe, the Islands and the US:


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    • CountryCityWoman profile image

      CountryCityWoman 6 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      I've always wanted to sail around the Mekong River Delta. By the way I just opened a travel mag and there was a lot of talk about Vietnam. It's on my list. I'd love to do that luxury resort on the lagoon. And just the name Perfume River appeals to me.

      Thanks for all the info - and rated up!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Definitely on my list - the Mekong River Delta and the World Heritage site. I'm a big city woman and would like to see both Hanoi and Saigon. Hmmmm. Love the sound of those refreshing beverages.

      Great hub. Thanks a million and rated up!