Explore destination attractions in Vietnam
Destination attractions in Vietnam
Vietnam has an astonishing mix of natural beauty and cultural diversity. The scenery ranges from tropical jungle to dramatic karsts seen from winding mountain passes down to paddy fields painted every share of green in the palette.
Explore Destination Attractions in Vietnam
While the country’s 4000 year old history and 54 groups of ethnic minorities means the culture addicts will have plenty to explore, it’s no surprise that the 3,000km coastline stretching along the country with clear blue waters is the main draw for beach lovers.
Outdoor ones can find themselves lost in numerous national parks and nature reserves, and everywhere you go, you can taste its fantastic foods with want-some-more feeling.
Vietnam Food & Drinks
Vietnamese cuisine features a combination of five fundamental tastes including spicy (metal), sour (wood), bitter (fire), salty (water) and sweet (Earth). Common ingredients include fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, and fruits and vegetables.
With the balance between fresh herbs and meats and a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.
Though the mainstream culinary tradition throughout the country share some key features of freshness, herbs and vegetables, broths and display, Vietnamese dishes vary from region to region. From north to south, you will find a delicious variety on offer, influenced from China, Thailand, India and French.
In the north, the foods are often less spicy than in other regions. In general, northern cuisine is not bold in any particular taste but feature light and balanced flavors that result from subtle combinations of many different flavoring ingredients.
Notable dishes are pho – perhaps the most famous one, bun cha (rice noodle with grilled pork), cha ca La Vong.
The central Vietnam’s cuisine is known for its spicy food and sophisticated meals consisting of many complex dishes served in small portions, which sets it apart from the two other regions.
Hue, the country’s former capital is considered the culinary center of the region features highly decorative and colorful food that reflect the influence of ancient Vietnamese royal cuisines. Some signature dishes are bun bo Hue, banh khoai, cao lau
Food in the South is vibrant and flavorful as a result of the warm weather and fertile soil of the region. Southern people prefer to add more sugar in dishes than other regions. The vast shorelines also make seafood a natural staple for the South.
Ho Chi Minh, the biggest city in Vietnam, is one of the best 10 places in the world to have street food, according to Forbes. Popular dishes includes banh my, hu tieu, banh xeo
Vietnam Shopping Tips
Vietnamese art and antiques
Weather in Vietnam
- April to October: temperatures between 30-35°C with occasional bursts of heavy rain.
- December to March: temperatures between 10-15°C. February and March can be damp with drizzle and overcast skies.
Da Lat: cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March.
Da Nang and Hue: typhoons from mid-October to mid-December
November to April: hot and humid
- For the best balance, try the months of April, May or October;
- For those sticking to the south, November to February is dry and a touch cooler;
- From July to November, violent and unpredictable typhoons hit central and northern Vietnam.
If you are going to Vietnam during the Tet holiday – the biggest festival in the country, which often falls in late January or early February, it’s a nice idea but not ideal as the whole country is on the move and prices rise significantly.
- Bavet (or Moc Bai)
- Kaam Samnor (or Vinh Xuong)
- Phnom Den (or Tinh Bien)
- Donsavanh (or Lao Bao)
- Nam Phao (or Cau Treo)
- Nam Can
- Tay Trang
- Youyi Guan (or Huu Nghi Quan – English name is Friendship Pass)
- Hekou (or Lao Cai)
- Dongxing (or Mong Cai)
How to transport throughout Vietnam
The railway is the least developed transportation infrastructure in Vietnam. Most of the network was built during the French colonial period and has not been expanded up to now.
However there are various programs for restorations and upgrades. Nevertheless, trains are a more comfortable way to travel throughout the country though the prices are more expensive than bus.
The main cross-country railway from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City is commonly known as the Reunification Express. The line was originally built by French colonists in 1936 with a total length of 1,726km.
Repeatedly bombed during the war with the United States, the service didn’t start running properly again until 1976 when the Geneva Accords were signed, and divisions between North and South were resolved.
The train has two types of service, express (SE) and local (TN) with different durations depending on the number of stops.
Vietnam Practical Info
Telephone & post office
You can make international phone calls in Vietnam but the prices are not cheap. Vietnamese SIM cards are an affordable way of calling to other countries.
The postal service in Vietnam is reliable and there are courier services widely available. Do not put postcards into letter boxes, give them to your hotel or post or go to a post office.
Opening hours vary very little throughout the year.
Banks: 8am–3pm weekdays, 8am–11.30am Saturday
Offices and museums: 7am or 8am to 5pm or 6pm. Museums generally close on Monday.
Temples and pagodas: 5am–9pm
Jan 1 – New Year
Jan or Feb – Tet holiday
10th day of the third lunar month – Hung Kings Commemoration
April 30 – Reunification Day
May 1 – May Day (International Workers’ Day)
Sep 2 – National Day
Traveling with children
There have amazing beach but pay attention to any playtime in the sea as there are some big riptides along the main coastline. Some popular beaches have warning flags and lifeguards, but at quieter beaches parents should test the current first. Seas around Phu Quoc Island are more sheltered.
Baby supplies are available in the most cities and town, but dry up quickly in the remote areas. You’ll find cots in most midrange and top-end hotels, but not elsewhere. There are no safety seats in rented cars or taxis, but some restaurants can find a high chair.
Breastfeeding in public is quite common in Vietnam, but there are few facilities for changing nappies (diapers) other than using toilets and bathrooms. For kids who are too young to handle chopsticks, most restaurants also have cutlery.
The main worry throughout Vietnam is keeping an eye on what strange things infants are putting into their mouths. Their natural curiosity can be a lot more costly in a country where dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis are commonplace.
Anti-bacterial hand gel (bring from home) is a great idea. Also remember to keep their hydration levels up and slap on the sunscreen.
Beside some obvious points like don’t walk alone in late night or in remote areas or being seriously drunk, following are some advices you should take into consideration to ensure a perfect trip in this Asian country:
• When it comes to clothing, it is advisable to follow the local style of dressing.
• Female solo travelers are likely to become victims for pick pockets, bag snatchers and frauds. It is necessary to pay attention to your luggage and valuable items at all times.
• If traveling alone, you are likely to be bombarded with question about your marital status, home, family and personal life. It might be a bit annoying at first, but take it easy as it is just part of Eastern culture.
• Friends in Vietnam do not hug or kiss each other as greetings. So not to make any misunderstanding for your local male friends. Be sure to leave a copy of your itinerary with friends or family at your hometown and keep in touch with them regularly.
Money & cost
Health and safety
Health care in Vietnam varies in quantity and quality. Big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh have a good health care system while in remote areas are not.
Pharmacies can be found in almost town.
Before you go:
- Pack any medications in clearly labeled box
- Bring a letter from your doctor describing your medical conditions and medications
- If you have a heart condition, bring a copy of a recent ECG
- Don’t travel without health insurance.
- Vietnam is generally a safe country to visit.
- Emergency contact number: 113 (Police), 114 (Fire), 115 (Ambulance)