VIETNAM

 

From the soaring peaks of Sapa to the lazy, winding rivers of the Mekong, Vietnam is a country of rich culture, untouched natural beauty, and fascinating history. Stretched along its endless coastline, a host of travel destinations provide ample opportunity to discover the undeniable spirit of Vietnam and its people. Explore the jaw-dropping landscapes of Halong Bay by boat, dine on local specialities in Hoi An’s charming Old Town, or tap into the high-octane energy of major metropolises like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where the ever-evolving nature of contemporary Vietnam is on full display.

HO CHI MINH CITY

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The southern counterpart to Vietnam’s northern capital, fast and freewheeling Ho Chi Minh City is the economic heart of the country. Its significant role in 20th-century history and dynamic energy make HCMC a fascinating city for foodies, art lovers, and history buffs.

CON DAO

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A sleepy island off the southern coast, Con Dao is decidedly quieter than Vietnam’s other beach destinations. Its wild, untouched nature – roughly 80% of the island is protected as a national park – and remote location have entranced those who venture off the beaten path to its shores.

DALAT

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At the end of the 19th century, French colonial residents chose the verdant hills and cool air of Dalat to serve as a stunning mountain retreat for those hoping to escape the heat of the coast. Over a century later, Dalat remains a popular getaway among both international travellers and HCMC residents. Stroll around charming Xuan Huong Lake, the epicentre of the town, or head out of town to trek through the dense pine forests of Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

NHA TRANG

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The shores of Nha Trang are home to Vietnam’s most famous mainland beach, located in the heart of a bustling coastal city. A sunny seaside destination by day, Nha Trang has an equally lively reputation for its nightlife, much of which takes place near the beach. On land, a clutch of historical and cultural attractions, from ancient temples to the local hot springs, give visitors insight into Vietnamese culture.

HOI AN

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A charming little town in central Vietnam, the UNESCO-recognised Hoi An was once a thriving port which saw traders from as near as China and as far as Europe doing business on the shores of the Thu Bon River. Nowadays, the quaint riverside neighbourhood boasts a rich culture all its own, from centuries-old houses built using traditional architecture to a host of culinary specialties. The tailors of Hoi An are also famous nationwide for their ability to fashion the finest custom clothing in the country.

HANOI

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From its vibrant Old Quarter to the stark, reserved architecture of historic Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi represents the spirit of Vietnam. Much like HCMC, its counterpart in the south, Hanoi is a dynamic and ever-changing metropolis, however citizens of the capital hold fast to tradition, preserving historical landmarks from throughout the country’s history, starting with the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake through the winding streets of the Old Quarter to the final resting place of Vietnam’s most revered national leader, Ho Chi Minh.

SAPA

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A world apart from coastal Vietnam, Sapa provides travellers with a glimpse into the lives of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups. Home to members of the Hmong, Tay, and Red Dao ethnic groups, among others, this quiet hill town is the jumping off point for those who seek a cultural connection with Vietnam’s mountain dwellers. Whether hiking to a local village for lunch or scaling Mount Fansipan, the “Roof of Indochina,” Sapa presents unparalleled views of the country’s mountains and a fascinating look into the customs and cultures of its people.

HALONG BAY

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The soaring limestone karsts of Halong Bay have long captivated travellers to Vietnam, and while there are far more visitors plying the waters of the bay today, its natural beauty has not diminished. Peppered with 1,969 individual islands, this stunning natural wonder attracts travellers hoping to spend a night or two on a cruise, exploring the bay’s beauty and historical significance through its lookouts and caves.