Mind-blowing Vietnam is a paradigm of Oriental resilience - the turmoil of its recent past replaced by a positive new energy in what is now one of Asia’s most up-and-coming travel destinations. A land crowded with images and opportunities caught in a period of transition between time past and time future. Discover them now before the moment passes! It’s not only Vietnam’s pervasive sense of ancient enigma and cultural tradition that will stir your imagination. A glorious coastline boasts vast stretches of pristine beaches, while inland a dense patchwork of green rice paddies leads to soaring pine forest-clothed mountains. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offer an irresistible fusion (or should that be ‘confusion’) of old and new – French colonial echoes striking their own bizarre note. In short, it’s a holiday destination in its own right.
Meet some of the best kept secrets in Asia in a region that still remains relatively untouched by mass tourism. For some a journey of discovery through Vietnam may seem an adventure enough in itself. For those who want to stir more adrenaline into the mixture, though, a number of outdoor activities are available – from biking and hiking (perhaps along the winding trail to the town of Sapa in the north, a former French hill station amid stunning scenery, and home to some of Vietnam''s most colourful hill tribes) to elephant-riding, canoeing, kite-surfing or sea and river-kayaking.
Nightlife & Party with Locals
Though Vietnam cannot claim dazzling nightlife as one of its ‘USPs’, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi do have a modest number of ‘nightclubs’. These tend to be disco-style – either Vietnamese (soft drinks only!) or Western (more glitzy, more expensive and noisier). Some ‘ex-pat’ and foreign bands play more varied music in hotels, bars and clubs. Karaoke is ‘big’ throughout Vietnam.
Gourmet Cuisine & Dining Out
There are allegedly over 500 Vietnamese dishes, with rice, fish and other seafood prominent. Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and other main cities have a good range of eateries, with virtually every world cuisine - especially Chinese and French – represented (ask locals where to eat, though, and they''ll often point you to the inexpensive outdoor street stalls and restaurants). Hanoi is home to pho (rice noodles in chicken or beef broth), Vietnam''s most famous dish, and other northern specialities.
World''s Best Scuba Dive Sites
With some 2,000 miles of coastline, it can offer some of South East Asia’s finest beaches. From Danang on the central Vietnam coast down to Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam''s dive sites are some of the most unfrequented in South East Asia. This area is renowned for its pristine beaches and clear blue coastal waters. Nha Trang, edged by warm seas abundant with marine life and dotted with over 70 islands, is the gateway to Whale Island, a popular diving resort.