Vietnam is a country steeped in scenic splendor. This includes eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites (second-most in all of Southeast Asia). Vietnam is a living, breathing postcard. There is so much to see, so much to explore, so much nature and culture to delve into…
The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Vietnam is the warmth of the welcome. Foreigners are treated as honored guests.
The Vietnamese are gracious. Their smiles are infectious. Their thirst for joyous exchange is unsurpassed. There’s no ulterior motive in play. The Vietnamese feel if you’re visiting their country, then you are their guests and they are your hosts.
You’ll feel right at home—sometimes literally. It’s not unheard of for Vietnamese to invite a total stranger into their house for tea. And don’t be surprised to find yourself invited to join locals at their tables in restaurants. You’re apt to be greeted by children on the street, wishing to engage you in English. English is compulsory in all Vietnamese schools—there’s a genuine thirst for English language competency.
The Vietnamese are festive folk. They’ve got holidays and festivals for darn near everyone and everything. From celebrating teachers to students, physicians to parents, women to writers. Even ghosts and lanterns have their own day. Of course, there are the major holidays: Reunification Day and TET (the massive, days’ long New Year’s celebration). Basically, whenever you happen to arrive in Vietnam, you’re bound to find a festival, party, or celebration in the works…
Vietnamese food is as healthy as it is varied. The Vietnamese have managed to master the art of creating dishes that both taste good and are good for you. Fish are caught locally; meat and poultry are raised locally. Vegetables and fruits (of great abundance and variety) come from local gardens. Even what is referred to as “Street Food” or “Fast Food” is prepared with fresh ingredients.
Vietnam owns a fascinating food heritage and history, distinctive and unique flavours, iconic recipes and well-known delicates. The Vietnamese dishes are a harmonious, perfect and pure combination, which remind us for a hearty home meal. Vietnamese cuisine has a charm that spreads to every street, corner and carved its way to popularity around the world, constantly attracting food-lovers to come and enjoy.
While Vietnam is not a large country (about 331,700 km2), it is diverse. Parceled into 58 provinces, cities and 5 main cities, Vietnam boasts 3,260 km of coastland and more than 3,000 large and small islands. Vietnam is a tropical country with lots of rivers, lakes, deltas, and wetlands. Vietnam is also known for its mountainous regions—from the North to the South and including the much-ballyhooed, Central Highlands.
Each province has its own dialects, customs, and culinary styles. Vietnam is also home to a number of ethnic minority groups. They live in villages (often remote) and maintain their cultural identities. People like the Tay and Thai, the Muong and Nung (among others) are happy to share their traditions with guests.
And the price is right. Foreign currencies (particularly the dollar, yen, euro, and English pound) carry a lot of weight in Vietnam. Between the low cost of goods/services and the generous rate of exchange, visitors will find Vietnam a most affordable destination.
Of course, Vietnam is more than beaches and jungles, rice paddies and waterfalls, pagodas, and Ao dai (the traditional silk, tunic dress suit worn by Vietnamese women). Cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Nha Trang (to name a few) manage to blend old-school charm with 21st Century style and convenience. Ultra-modern hotels and resorts, museums, cinemas, nightclubs et al.
What is unique to Vietnam, is that you can travel so seamlessly from modern to ancient, from city to countryside, from mountains to beaches. That’s what makes Vietnam such an attractive tourist destination. You can pack in so much variety, no matter the length of your stay.
Flying from one fabulous haven to another rarely takes more than an hour. As a result of this close proximity, buses, railways or rental cars are also great options to get around. You can cover a lot of ground, hop from landmark to landmark with ease and comfort and take in wonderfully scenic views along the way. Of course, for the truly intrepid traveler, touring the country by motorbike (rentals are available everywhere) is a fabulous option. You can canvas the country in a few short days.
The bottom line is Vietnam is a country that makes it easy to bolster your itinerary—it’s budget-friendly and logistically convenient. Come see for yourself. Explore relax and play around this exotic destination. Interact with the people and enjoy the tactile experiences of the myriad adventures that await you.
Why visit Vietnam? Because if you don’t, you’ll leave a gaping hole in your bucket list…