A country with a unique culture of more than four thousand years, filled with wonderful legends and historical monuments, a superb countryside with luxuriant tropical vegetation and beautiful sandy beaches alongside the South China Sea. This is the multi-facets, fascinating Vietnam we want you to visit.
Vietnam is a tropical country displaying green vegetation all year round. Visiting Vietnam, whether ancient or modern cities, mountain hamlets of ethnic minorities or quiet islands, is a great experience to get in touch with a laborious and industrious nation, where visitors are always welcome.
HIGHLIGHTS OF VIETNAM
Hanoi, an emperor’s capital since 1010 AD, the capital of French Indochina for half a century and the present-day capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam since 1945, Hanoi is a fascinating city with a rich heritage. Known as the gateway to the mountain region in the north and to the scenic Ha Long Bay, Hanoi is famous for its historic buildings, architectural masterpiece and beautiful landscape. Long the artistic and cultural heart of Vietnam, the first university in the country was established here in 1076 AD at the Temple of Literature to educate the sons of Mandarins.
The Old Quarter remains with its narrow streets, and the modern city centre offers colonial-era buildings and shaded boulevards. The verdant lakeside area, especially around the central Lake of the Restored Sword and the West Lake, are noted for their tranquillity and beauty. Famous landmarks include the One Pillar Pagoda built in 1049 AD, the Mausoleum of HoChiMinh, Ba Dinh Square and the Co Loa Citadel dating from third century BC.
Hoa Lu and Tam Coc Caves, the site of Vietnam's first capital, the Perfume Pagoda and Hoa Binh, the home of many ethnic minority groups.
Further afield, 160km to the east of Hanoi, is one of the natural wonders of the world, Halong Bay is recognized as the World Heritage. More than three thousand limestone islets and the calm blue sea surely attract most tourists. The sea dotted by local junks with sails offer a fantastic view for photos. Thien Cung cave and Dau Go cave are magnificent. However, there are 100 steps to climb up the caves and nearly 100 steps down. To the south of Halong Bay is Haiphong, Vietnam's third largest city and northern Vietnam's main port. The centre of Haiphong has many fine examples of French colonial architecture and it is also a convenient starting point for a trip to Halong Bay.
Sapa, bordering China in the far Northwest, is the place to see some of Vietnam's colourful hilltribes, in particular the H'mong and Dao. There is good trekking around Sapa and some spectacular scenery. Vietnam's highest peak, Mount Fan Si Pan (3,143m) is just a few kilometres from Sapa. Dien Bien Phu, to the Southwest of Sapa, was where the battle that finally ended colonial rule in Vietnam took place. The area around Dien Bien Phu is also home to many ethnic minorities. Mai Chau, in Hoa Binh Province, is set in a beautiful green valley and is known for its wooden stilt-houses and colourful hilltribe textiles. A three-hour drive southwest of Hanoi is Vietnam's oldest and best-known national park Cuc Phuong.
Hue, considered the most beautiful city in Vietnam, served as the country’s capital from 1802 to 1945. With a long history as a major cultural, religious and educational centre, it offers many interesting sites. The remains of the huge, moated Citadel, constructed by the Emperor Gia Long from 1804, contains the Nine Holy Cannons the Imperial Enclosure, the Palace of Supreme Harmony and the Halls of the Mandarins and the Thien Mu Pagoda are of special architectural note. To the south of Hue, Highway One crosses the spectacular Hai Van Pass. On the southern side of the Hai Van Pass is Vietnam’s fourth city Da Nang. Danang itself is a charming town located right on the Han River. Just to the south of Danang are five sacred hills known as the Marble Mountains which house many shrines and temples in their impressive caves. About 20km south of the Marble Mountains is the charming little town of Hoi An. Hoi An was one of the big commercial ports in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today, Hoi An remains most ancient architecture, houses of more than 400 years old. Ancient objects and handicrafts are for sale at most streets in the ancient quarter. Lantern festival on the 14th of every lunar month is the highlight of the town. Inland and a half-day trip from Hoi An is My Son, where the capital of the once great Cham Kingdom stood.
The main centres of the Central Highlands from north to south are Kontum, Pleiku, Buon Ma Thuot and Dalat. The Central Highlands are home to many ethnic minority groups and the stilt-house villages of the Ede, Jarai and Bahnar communities can be seen in this area. This region is also well known for its tea and coffee plantations. Dalat, A truly delightful city hidden away in the central highlands at an elevation of 1,475 metres, Dalat affords cool mountain air and spectacular views of wooded mountains, pine forests, beautiful lakes and waterfalls. It was established as a hill resort by the French in the early 1900s and today is famous for its fresh vegetables and flowers as well as being the honeymoon capital of Vietnam. Outdoor pursuits such as walking, cycling, horseback riding and golf take advantage of the stunning landscape and temperate climate. Dalat boasts the first golf course in Vietnam, commissioned by Emperor Bao Dai in the 1920s, which has been redesigned into a scenic 18-hole course.
The south-central coast has Vietnam's best beaches and the best-known beach resort is Nha Trang with its stretches of white sandy beach and swaying coconut palm trees. Some of the attractions of Nha Trang are the many restaurants serving seafood specialities, the Long Son Pagoda with its enormous Buddha statue and the Po Nagar Cham Towers built between 7th and 12th centuries. About 100km to the south of Nha Trang on Highway One are probably the best examples of Cham architecture, the Po Klong Garai Cham Towers at Phan Rang. Po Klong Garai Towers are perched on top of a rocky hill surrounded by prickly pear cactus plants. Continuing southwards on Highway One is the fishing port of Phan Thiet, a great place to rest up for a few days at one of the many attractive new beach resorts that have opened in recent years. Phan Thiet, recognized as one of the most idyllic seaside resorts in Vietnam, is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches, charming fishing village, archeological remains of the Cham past, desert-like sand dunes and numerous types of rare flora and fauna. To the east are the famous sand dunes of Mui Ne Beach. For golf enthusiasts, the Ocean Dunes course, located by the sea, is a prize-winning links-style course designed by Nick Faldo.
Known as “The Pearl of Far East”, the largest city and the commercial, communications and transportation heart of Vietnam, the dynamic and bustling Ho Chi MinhCity (formerly Saigon) represents a blend of old and new. Distinctive architecture includes traditional Chinese pagodas and neoclassical buildings alongside gleaming skyscrapers. The twin towers of Notre Dame Cathedral dominate the city skyline, and the ornate yellow and white façade of city hall is one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. Important sites also include the modern Reunification Hall and the Giac Lam Pagoda, probably the oldest pagoda in the city.
Cu Chi Tunnels used to be the most fierce and war-torn area in the south of Vietnam. Local people dug nearly 156 miles of tunnels for hiding and fighting against the French and American troops.
The southern most part of Vietnam is the region known as the Mekong Delta, where the mighty Mekong River empties into the ocean. This is an area of fertile farming land, lush tropical orchards and numerous canals and waterways. The major delta towns are My Tho, Vinh Long, Can Tho and Chau Doc. Places worth visiting in the delta region include numerous floating markets, riverside cottage industries, tropical fruit orchards and bird gardens where thousands of white egrets congregate in the late afternoon to roost in the tree tops. An eccentric mix of Cham and Khmer cultures, with side by side floating farmhouses, Islamic Cham minority settlement and a mystic Buddhist mountain. The rarely visited island of Phu Quoc lies off the eastern coast of the delta in the Gulf of Thailand. Phu Quoc is blessed with some beautiful beaches and clear seas and is famous throughout Vietnam for the production of black pepper and fish sauce.
Your partner in Vietnam, Mekong Delta Travel, an experienced tour operator, will provide you with many interesting tour packages with tailor made programs designed to fulfil your wishes and dreams. We would like to invite you to: