Vietnam is an extraordinary country that touches the hearts and souls of all who visit, leaving them wishing for more time to explore and discover its unique culture. Whether you eat your way through a country, are looking for the best beaches or want to get off the beaten track, Vietnam is the place for you.
With accessibility improving every day, largely because of the increase in English speakers, this is the perfect time to visit Vietnam. It is still off the radar of the average traveler, but just traveled enough that you can build your dream adventure and feel like you know what to do and what to avoid. Visit today to see the natural Vietnam and beat the hordes of tourists.
Vietnam’s culture dates back to 2,000 BC. Like many other countries in the region, its history is complicated, starting from the Dong Son culture that spanned thousands of years, and moving through many different leaders, lords, and dynasties.
Chinese, Khmer, and Indian cultures, as well as the French culture during colonial rule, have all influenced Vietnam.
Much of Vietnam’s history is brought to life for visitors through various architecture, museums, and tours, like the tours through the tunnel systems under Ho Chi Min City (Saigon).
By exploring such places you will be better able to understand Vietnam through the eyes of locals, and to see how their long history has been shaped into the culture we see today.
Foodies around the world seek out authentic Vietnamese cuisine, because it’s simply the best. It’s always fresh, tasty and healthy. Whether you are eating at a food stall or in a restaurant, the food is heavenly.
Pho noodle soup, spring rolls, banh mi (Vietnamese baguette), sticky rice and seafood are everyday staples that you need to try. The food will be kind to your taste buds and your wallet, with fresh seafood dinners for two costing anywhere from $8 to $20 (on average).
You can enjoy such seafood dinners at a restaurant, or if you are more daring on a beach, having them cooked right in front of you while you watch the sunset.
Vietnam’s geographical location makes it a prime location for indulging in some of the best fruit around. It can provide you with some of the classics like watermelon, pineapple, bananas and mangos, but also introduce you to some unfamiliar tastes like mangosteen, durian, and lychee.
Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee worldwide! That’s saying a lot when you consider that most neighboring countries are more consumed by tea than coffee.
Vietnam can offer you classic black coffee, or its more famous specialty iced coffee (coffee with condensed milk; it sounds too good to be true and that’s because it is). Your coffee can also be made with coconut milk, egg yolk or even yoghurt!
Coffee lovers are in seventh heaven in Vietnam, with coffee shops on almost every street, and café’s to suit everyone’s taste. These are great places for meeting locals or travelers. Or just relax and re-energize, giving your feet a break from all the walking.
Natural Beauty: Beaches and Mountains
Vietnam is endowed with 3,000 kilometers of pristine tropical coastline, resulting in some of the best beaches in the world. Luckily most of its beaches aren’t crowded with tourists like Thailand or Philippines, but we recommend going now before everyone finds out.
The mountains here are otherworldly. Stretching from the east to the west coast and rising out of the ocean, these karst mountains need to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Many hikers can spend their whole trip exploring these peaks via small roads and winding trails.
Put simply Vietnam’s natural beauty is unmatched. It contains a handful of World Heritage Sites: Halong Bay, Phon Nha Ke Bang Caves, Hoi An Ancient Street and Cham Islands.
Even if you can’t make it to all the World Heritage Sites in Vietnam, some of the landscapes and views found in even the most normal places are breathtaking and worth seeing.
Vietnam can create a great budget vacation while still meeting your quality needs. With a wide selection of hostels at very cheap prices, you will be able to spend your money how you want.
For those looking for something a little nicer, you will be very pleased with what your money can buy. Typically a 5-star hotel in Vietnam will cost you about the same as a 3-star hotel in the USA.
Although the language barrier can seem intimidating at first, once you take a step out of your comfort zone you will find that communicating is a lot easier than you had thought. This is because the locals really try to understand you, and are able to communicate quite well through body language.
When you may feel overwhelmed by the new culture, language, and places, the locals are more than willing to help you, and they’ll do it with a smile.
When visitors are lost, some locals have even been known to walk them to where they are trying to go, just to make sure they get there safely.
For those seeking adventure, look no further than Vietnam. Whether it’s exploring local culinary mysteries, small alleys filled with souvenirs or mountain roads on motorcycles, Vietnam offers adventure for all. It’s just waiting for you to discover it.
Cities and villages alike will be full of new challenges, which inevitably create the best stories and lasting memories. Our advice is to practice getting out of your comfort zone, and getting comfortable in the uncomfortable. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds.
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