The history of this tiny Asian nation reads like a romantic folklore legend, full of epic battles, heroic struggles and cultural shifting events that culminate to create something unexpected. Vietnam continues to reinvent itself. With 65% of its population under the age of 25, this isn’t hard to do. Even though Vietnam is rather small, due to its long and skinny shape, 89 million inhabitants call this country home. From a war torn history to a future full of prosperity, courtesy of foreign investments, Vietnam continues to be one of the more interesting places to visit in Southeast Asia. Here’s a look at the top ten sights in Vietnam that every tourist should visit.
Imperial City in Hue
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This sprawling compound of Asian architecture was built by an army of ten thousand workers in 1804 at the request of then-Emperor Gia Long. A moat and walls that are two meters thick surround the palatial compound. Inside the walls are thrones, shrines, tombs and accommodations fit for royalty. A smaller compound reinforced with even more walls, known as the Forbidden Purple City, sits within the confines of the first set of walls. The Purple City was reserved for the family of the Emperor and his trusted delegates. The Imperial City at Hue was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1993 and is one of many such sites of World Heritage distinction in the country.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
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Ho Chi Minh City (Or Saigon) is where old Vietnam meets new Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the Vietnam equivalent to New York City – a city that never sleeps. New high rise buildings and skyscrapers share ancient space with traditional structures of historical and cultural significance. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) features a surprising amount of French Colonial architecture, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and Hotel de Ville. Shopping, entertainment, cultural tours and a thriving night life make Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) the place to see and be seen in Vietnam.
Floating Markets On The Mekong Delta
Source – davem
The Mekong Delta region of Vietnam appears untouched by the progress that is apparent in large cities. Here, locals still make their livings by working the land, growing what they eat and selling the excess. They peddle their wares (usually produce or other food items) via small boats that float along a series of winding tributaries. Shoppers motion to the drivers of the boats to approach the shore so that they can make their purchases. It is truly a unique shopping experience that no one traveling to Vietnam should miss.
Source – yilka
Source – jcberk
Source – jlascar
A trip to Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi is like a vacation in itself, due to the number of attractions to see. Some of the must see sights in Hanoi are the Temple of Literature, Opera House, Ba Dinh Square, Hoan Kiem Lake and the One Pillar Pagoda.
Beaches Of Vietnam
Source – christophk2003
Due to one entire side of the country being bordered by water, there are miles and miles of beaches in Vietnam. Some are tourist oriented while others are frequented only by locals. There are some that are secluded and have yet to be explored. So wherever you go in Vietnam, chances are there’s a beach nearby. However, if watching the sunset on a Vietnamese beach is on your list of things to do, you’ll have to do it on the beach at Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s southernmost beach. It’s said to be the only place in the entire country where you can see the sunset.
The Caves of Halong Bay
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Halong Bay, located four hours east of Hanoi, is another one of Vietnam’s World Heritage Sites. The bay contains over 2,000 limestone islands and a network of numerous caves. Twenty of them are open to visitors and include some of great historic significance.
Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve
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Situated at the top of Mount Ba Na (with a height of almost 1,500 meters) the Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve is one of the most unique nature areas in the world. The Ba Na-Nui Chua Nature Reserve is home to sixty types of mammals, nearly 180 species of birds and 17 species of reptiles – not to mention over 500 varieties of native Vietnamese plants.
My Son Holy Land
Source – timhill
My Son Holy Land is an ancient spot of historical, religious and cultural significance in Vietnam and also another one of the country’s World Heritage Sites. My Son where some of Vietnam’s original inhabitants – the Champa – once dwelled. Dating back to the 2nd century, the site has many ruins of original buildings, temples and altars of the Champa people.
Tam Dao Tourist Area
Source – anhpt
The Tam Dao Tourist Area located in the northern portion of Vietnam is a popular vacation spot with tourists due to its temperate climate year round. It’s a quaint village like area transformed into a tourism hotspot by the French within the last century. Shopping, dancing, dining and country living are some of the amenities that tourists can enjoy in the regions’ cool climate.
Ban Gioc Waterfall
Source – gibbyli
The Ban Gioc Waterfall, located in the Trung Khanh District of Vietnam is a multi-tiered waterfall bordering China. The waterfall is hailed as the most beautiful in the entire country. The waterfall is nestled between green mountains and lush plant life among quiet village communities.
- Tap water in Vietnam is not safe to drink so make sure you have plenty of bottled water when you go.
- Always ask permission before taking photographs. This is especially important in rural, minority areas.
- Dial up Internet is widely used in Vietnam so prepare for a slower connection than you are used to, if you plan to utilize Internet services while in the country.
Tags: ba na nui chua, ban gioc waterfall, beach, caves of halong bay, floating markets, hanoi, ho chi minh city, imperial city in hue, mekong delta, my son holy land, nature reserve, phu quoc, places to visit, tam dao, vietnam