There are so many awesome things to do and see in Vietnam …. here are the top 10:
1. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its architecture and French influences. At its heart lies the Old Quarter where narrow streets are alive with cafes, markets and interesting shops. The famous Dong Xuan market sells flowers, fruit, clothing and handicrafts. The Hoan Kiem Lake is an oasis with a large population of turtles, a Pagoda on a small island linked to the shore by an lnsta-worthy wooden bridge. The Opera House was fully restored in 1997 and Is a beautiful example of French colonial architecture. Catch a performance and admire the magnificent interior.
2. For some history, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where their national hero was embalmed and the nearby museum and house of their former leader. The One Pillar Pagoda dates back to 1049 and the Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution demonstrates the struggle for independence. The Temple of Literature is Hanoi’s largest temple complex and was the centre of learning for centuries. The museum at Hoa lo Prison (also known as the Hanoi Hilton) held prisoners of war.
3. Take a street food walking tour to appreciate the culinary delights in Hanoi. Delicious dishes (include fresh spring rolls and a bowl of pho noodles, washed down with a beer and the local egg coffee. Enjoy a Vietnamese tea beside the track on Railway Street (a train passes through several times a day).
4. Eat at a training restaurant for disadvantaged youth. KoTo and NGO Dining are restaurants that provide culinary and hospitality training so that young people gain experience and a potential career in the growing hospitality industry. The atmosphere is terrific, food is delicious and cheap while helping to support local kids.
5. Travel like a local (or a tourist) via bicycle, cyclo, boat, train or on foot. A cyclo is a three-wheeled bicycle with a carriage at the front for the passenger while the driver uses pedal power. Enjoy a foot massage.
6. Take a traditional junk boat ride on one of the scenic wonders of the world, Halong Bay. Here the limestone landscape meets the sea to create stunning views. An ideal weekend away.
7. Hoi An – the ancient town in Hoi An is beautiful. There are cobble stone streets, traditional wooden buildings, bridges, cafes, specialty shops and market places selling flowers, tropical fruits, colourful lanterns and clothing. No cars are allowed in the old town and so explore the area on foot (or travel by cyclo). The town comes alive at night with music and night markets along the river front. Hoi An is close to Danang, the famous Marble Mountains and some nice beaches.
8. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is Vietnam’s busiest city and is located in the South. There is much to see including the Central Post Office (French Colonial architecture), Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, many impressive temples, pagodas and cathedrals as well as the BinhTay Market in the centre of Chinatown. Enjoy a sunset cocktail on the Skydeck of the ultra-modern Bitexco Tower.
9. Outside Ho Chi Minh City is the Chu Chi Tunnels offering visitors a sneak-peek into life of Vietnamese soldiers in 1948. There are over 120km of underground tunnels with living areas, armoury, hospitals, air filtration systems and command centres. This is one of the city’s most iconic attractions.
10. Sapa has panoramic vistas of lush green mountains, rice paddies, traditional villages and is the home of the Hmong ethnic tribe. Sapa is a fantastic spot to get off the beaten track, do some trekking, meet some local people and view the local textiles. Located 350km from Hanoi.
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