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Choose Vietnam as your next holiday destination! This fantastic country has great food, friendly people, and amazing scenery. From perusing the stalls at their world-famous markets to experiencing their history and culture, Vietnam is sure to be a great holiday destination.
Vietnam's capital is today a rapidly developing city, thronged with motorbikes and scooters. The remains of its French colonial past are readily visible, as is an older Hanoi in the traditional streets of the Old Quarter. Cafes, street food vendors, and elegant restaurants all vie for your attention. Learn about Vietnam's more recent history at the Ho Chi Minh complex, from his mausoleum to his simple stilt house in the grounds of the presidential palace. Quieter moments can be enjoyed at the Hoan Kiem Lake in the city centre.
Hué, pronounced 'hway', is the former imperial capital of Vietnam. From 1802 until 1945, the Nguyen emperors made Hue their home, with a splendid palace behind the walls of the Imperial Citadel. Although Hue suffered much damage during the Vietnam War, what survives still resonates with imperial glory. The elaborate tombs of Tu Duc, Minh Mang and Khai Dinh are worth a visit. The evocatively named Perfume River flows through the city.
Can Tho is the largest town in the Mekong Delta, and the centre of economic activity in the region. With its bustling waterfront, busy shops, and restaurants, it is an ideal base for exploring the waterways of the delta region.
One of the highlights of any visit to Vietnam, Halong Bay's spectacular vistas are a thing of beauty. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the bay is host to thousands of limestone islands and rocks, clothed with forest, that rise from the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. An overnight or longer cruise allows boats to weave in and out of these islets, with opportunities to explore secluded beaches, fishing villages, swimming spots, sea caves, and kayaking.
Nha Trang is Vietnam's seaside party capital. Placed in a magnificent setting of a sandy crescent beach ringed by hills, it has all the amenities and nightlife requirements of a bustling resort. Just inland, however, are reminders of its history in the form of mysterious Cham towers of brick. The real glories of Nha Trang are its offshore islands and reefs, making it a prime destination for scuba diving and snorkelling.
The city of Danang has grown and developed in recent years with new buildings and development sites. The highlight is the Cham Museum, which records the art of the Champa kingdom that flourished in the area in the medieval period. Nearby is China Beach, a stretch of perfect golden sand with some of Vietnam's best beach hotels.
Saigon is Vietnam's commercial capital – a city plunging headlong into the 21st century on a wave of energy and entrepreneurship. Sleek modern developments jostle for space with older buildings from the city's colonial past. Discover designer boutiques, vibrant markets, world class restaurants, and tasty street food.
Once one of the major ports of south-east Asia, trade later passed Hoi An by, leaving a graceful charming old town rich in history and atmosphere. Old merchants' houses line the streets, alongside Chinese temples and assembly halls, and the iconic Japanese covered bridge. At night, the numerous cafes and restaurants, many of them lining the Bon River, provide a wonderful backdrop for an evening out. For a longer stay, hiring a bike or taking a boat trip will reveal quiet, traditional villages or sandy beaches, all within easy reach.
The delta region is Vietnam's “rice bowl”, producing much of the country's food. This includes a vast range of fruit and vegetables. Called Cuu Long, or “Nine Dragons” by the Vietnamese after the nine tributaries of the Mekong River that meander their way through the land, it is an area of green fields and orchards, criss-crossed by muddy rivers and canals. Busy towns contrast with the almost sleepy pace of life in the countryside.
Founded by Chinese refugees in the late 17th century, My Tho is the gateway to the Mekong Delta and the capital of Tien Giang province. As the nearest large town to Saigon, it is a busy economic centre, focused on the trading of rice and fruit from the delta's orchards and plantations. It is also the starting point for many day trips for a taste of river life, with boats departing for the mid-river islands.
With its mild, spring-like climate, Dalat is the antidote to the dry season heat. The French first developed the town amid the hills and pine forests, and it still retains much of its European atmosphere. Colonial-style French villas nestle among the lakes, waterfalls, gardens, and golf courses. Popular with domestic tourists, Dalat is the honeymoon capital of Vietnam.
Until recently, this island was only famed for producing Vietnam's famous fish sauce. Phu Quoc Island is now developing into a prime beach resort destination. Lying off the coast at the southern end of Vietnam, the island is fringed by white sand beaches with a densely forested interior. It makes the perfect place to relax after a busy tour.
Once a fishing village, Mui Ne has developed into a low-rise strip of hotels that fronts the impressive 10km palm-fringed beach backed by sand dunes. Loved by wind surfers and kite surfers. Phan Thiet is still a bustling fishing town, its harbour is filled with brightly coloured boats, and it’s also a developing beach resort. Both towns are easily accessible from Saigon, and sampling the fresh seafood is a must at both.