• Welcome to Vietnam

timeless charm

Vietnam is an exhilarating country to travel. Vibrant street life, exquisite food and epic landscapes are just the start of what you'll find here. A nation on the move, Vietnam balances cool urban culture with deeply rooted traditional values. In the cities, ancient pagodas sit just around the corner from sleek rooftop bars. In the countryside, life still follows the rhythms of the rice harvest, and there's always time for a coffee on the sidewalk. However you like to travel, Vietnam has treasures waiting for you. Below are a few handpicked ideas to get you started.


  • by Duc Tran, Chef and Restaurateur

    Duc on the elements of Vietnamese cooking 

    My earliest experiences with Vietnamese food came from my mother’s cooking. As a young boy, I often helped my mother raise ducks, chickens, and fish. We also had our own garden of veggies so at each meal we had ingredients from our own home.

    What makes Vietnamese food great is its freshness: all meals are prepared from scratch using only fresh ingredients, and we accentuate the flavour more with fresh herbs. The essential ingredients in Vietnamese cooking are ginger, garlic, onion for the bitter taste, sugar for the sweet taste, vinegar or citrus for the sour taste, salt for the salty taste, and fish sauce or soy sauce for the savory taste. And of course, fresh protein and herbs are important too.

    For example, take canh chua cá, a hot, sweet and sour soup with fish. This soup is made with a whole fish or leftover fish head, soft sautéed onion, tomato, pineapple, and fish sauce. Add extra chili and fresh coriander, serve with vermicelli, extra crisp fresh veggies and herbs on the side, and you have a full light meal with five tastes and all the essentials!

    Vietnam is great for food whether you’re on the beach, the streets, or at the market. For a real Vietnamese experience, try nhau (small bites) with a few local beers. Or go to the beach and have a seafood feast. Wherever there are lot of locals eating and drinking, that for sure is a jackpot!

    Discover more about Chef Duc's Vietnamese-inspired cooking on his website.

  • by Trung Tien Trinh, Local Fixer

    Trung on Vietnam's best adventure destinations 

    I’m lucky to have travelled the width and breadth of my country. It’s stunningly beautiful, its people are some of the warmest and liveliest in the world, and don’t even get me started on our incredible food!

    Vietnam has many off-the-beaten-track gems if you're up for an adventure.

    Pu Luong, north of Hanoi, is one of my favourite destinations. Here you can trek in the forest, swim in fresh rivers, cycle through the reserve and visit beautiful small villages. The Van Don archipelago is rarely visited by tourists, but has all the magical delights of Ha Long Bay with thousands of limestone islands and sandy beaches.

    If you love to travel by motorbike, head northeast to Ba Be National Park, where you can wind your way through mountainous Ha Giang with an amazing view of rice terraces all the way. ln Phong Nha, the ‘land of a thousand caves’, you can swim and camp inside the magnificent Tu Lan cave system, and even explore the biggest cave in the world, Hang Son Doong.

    The Mekong Delta is close to my heart too. It has its own unique vibe, with thousands of little waterways branching off from the Mekong. The early morning floating markets trade in local produce, exotic fruits, and rice, and you can always get a good bowl of noodles from the sellers.

    Find out how Trung connects Vietnam and the international film industry on his website.

  • by Linda Mai Phung, Fashion Designer

    Linda on the ethnic crafts and costumes of Vietnam

    People do not always know that there are 54 ethnic minorities spread all over Vietnam. Most of them have their own language and their own traditional dresses handmade with amazing details.

    Textile-making is deeply rooted in many of Vietnam’s ethnic groups. Their costumes define their identity, tell ancient stories or describe day-to-day life.

    The whole process requires time. For weaving, they need to grow the plants which will give the yarn or thread. The adornments such as pleating, dyeing or embroidery also require painstaking work. This is the beauty of each of these fabrics: they are all unique.

    The diversity of ancient textiles from one ethnic group to another is so rich and original. Every piece tells you with authenticity that Vietnam was and is at a rich cultural crossroads: graphics and patterns bear influences from China, Thailand, Lao, and even Nepal.

    Many craftsmakers open the doors to their workshop, usually a modest house where you can discover how they grow and dye, weave and embroider – all using time-honoured techniques.

    What amazes me is how these handmade cloths sustain the culture of these groups, sometimes of only a few hundred people remaining in a small village. I am always in awe of the richness of their costumes and the dedication they have to dress in their most beautiful attire, even in very remote regions.

    See how Linda uses ethnic Vietnamese textiles to make world-class designs on her website.

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