Vietnam, an eastern-most country on the Indochina Peninsula in the South-East Asia, considered to have the highest economic growth in the world is one of the major tourist attractions.
From historical and cultural sites to scenic beauty, Vietnam has got something or other to match with the taste of all sorts of travelers. It is an ethnically diverse country with warm, friendly and welcoming people.
Read on ahead to discover some of the best places to visit in Vietnam…
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Hanoi, the small yet elegant capital city of Vietnam , previously called Thang Long is flanked by the lagoons and marshes of Red River Delta is the largest city and a popular tourist destination of the country. This city of romance is also known as “city of lakes” for it has a number of lakes with the Vietnamese style bridges due to its provincial landscape providing you to relax calm and freshen up.
The lakes are Hoan Kiem Lake, Halais Lake, Bay Mau Lake, West Lake and Truc Bach Lake. The city has several museums namely Vietnam Museum of Revolution with a unique but appreciative French-style architecture, Museum of History of Vietnamese Military which is the oldest museums in the city, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Vietnam Women’s Museum which is an honour to the Vietnamese women, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology which is the largest yet most interesting museums in the city and country as well, Vietnam History Museum.
It also has parks namely Thu Le Park known as Hanoi Zoo, Tam Dao National Park, an attractive Westlake Water Park, Thong Nhat Park and Bach Thao Park. This very city of mellow charm has Old Quarter, a tourist hub for shopping along with a Dong Xuan Mareket. There is One-pillar Pagoda, Ba-Dinh Square and the Temple of Literature which is the oldest school university in the country with luscious garden upon its entrance. But the most popular destinations are The Grand Opera House and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum which is just one-of-its-kind in the world with the remnants of independent Vietnam’s First President.
Ho Chi Minh City
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Ho Chi Minh City, also locally known as Saigon, situated on the west bank of the Saigon River, to the south of Hanoi which is the capital city of Vietnam, is the centre of commerce and culture, and largest city in the country. Once it was also called, “Diamond of the Far-East” and is the most populous city in Vietnam with its delicate luxuries, great food stalls, Chinese style pagodas and modern skyscrapers, keeping it in competition with other top-graded cities of Bangkok and Hongkong.
The trendy night-life of this effervescent city has well visited landmarks which serve to attract the tourists the most by reminding them of their past. Some of the must-visit places in this city are War Remnants Museum known to be the most famous, intellectual and remarkable historical museum.
Ben Thanh Market area which on exploring will definitely be a exhilarating experience, Fine Arts Museum near the Ben Thanh Market area, Ton Duc Thang Museum, Ho Chi Minh Museum-Dragon House Wharf, Dai Nam Park known to be the country’s top man-made tourism spot, Saigon Opera House with an elegant architecture, Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral and Pham Ngu Lao area which is famous as the tourist hub.
But Reunification Palace is the place to visit for sure with fascinating Government buildings and architecture for its remarkable significance in the Vietnam War. The best time to visit this city is in the dry season during the months of December to April.
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Hai Phong, the third largest and populous city of Vietnam lies on the heart of rust-coloured waters of Red River. It is famous among the tourists which can arrive there by Cruiser ships. Cat Ba Island, famous as Pearl Island serves to be the most popular tourist spots of this city with plenty of resorts and refreshing air. It also has a tropical forest, Cat Ba National Park with the country’s rich flora and fauna collection has a beach at its edge and is perfect for the ones loving to hike and trek, and in addition to it, there is an Elephant Mountain looking like a giant elephant.
There is a pure, impressive and graceful Du Hang Pagoda in the city which is the centre of Buddhism, Hang Kenh Communal House, Do Son Beach which is one of the most popular beaches among the northern locals of the country, and Trang Kenh which is a beautiful mountain landscape. Besides all these, there are amusement parks for children, a traditional trade village and many more, making this city to be a must-visit.
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Sapa, situated in the north western part of Vietnam in the province of Lao Cai near the China border, is one of the main market towns, and a major destination for the tourists. This town of Sapa seems quite bright and colourful due to the presence of local H’mong and Dzao people. It has a Sapa market and Bac Ha Market which is a lively and crowded main market of the city selling flowers from the nearby hills, local animals, textiles and handicrafts, etc.
The city also has a Hoang Yen Chao Castle which consists of unique and flamboyant architectures of Eastern as well as the Western styles. The Vietnam’s highest peak named Fansipan Mountain is situated here, some 3143 metres above the sea-level. There is Ham Rong Mountain which also marks its place in the list of must-visits.
Moreover, the here is also a Tram Ton Pass connecting Sapa to Lai Chau at a height of 1900 metres, surrounded by breath-taking mountains and has an amazing and spectacular thac Bac Waterfall at a height of 100 metres.The best time to visit this vibrant city is in the dry season in the months of March to May as well as September to mid December.
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Nha Trang, a coastal city lying on the South Central Coast of Vietnam, is a popular destination for the international as well as domestic tourists for its spectacular pristine white sandy beaches and deep blue waters, making it a famous spot for excellent scuba diving, back-packing, swimming, snorkeling, kite boardimg and island hopping. To complete the quench of your tummy, there is a Cho Dam Market with numerous restaurants selling authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
Po Nagar Cham Towers or ‘Thap Ba’ is a complex consisting of beautiful temples. There is Vinpearl Land, located on the world’s most famous bays named Nha Trang Bay, which is known to be “a twinkling pearl glued on the crown of the Sea Queen”. The Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam has an exhilarating aquarium show-casing the exact image of Nha Trang marine environment, and a Nha Trang Information Centre or Nha Trang Live gives you the complete information of the city. The best time to visit this place is before the rainy months of November to January.