Before I first visited Vietnam, my impressions of this unique country were largely born through Hollywood movies of the Vietnam War.
However, all those images of rich tropical forest, peasants in conical hats, and G.I’s shooting madly at anything were shattered when I flew in over Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon. And as the sun was setting, I could see the vastness of this city, a massive urban sprawl reaching out into the darkness.
I discovered a Vietnam of amazing diversity. It boasts of modern bustling cities with a rich French colonial architectural presence as well as a river life on the mighty Mekong Delta with floating houses and markets. There’s also the amazing photo opportunities at ancient ruins of temples. Let’s not forget the endless magic of Halong Bay, famous for its breathtaking limestone islands rising from the emerald green waters. Not to mention the minority hill tribes of the north and days spent lazing on beautiful beaches.
Vietnam is becoming an increasingly popular place to visit. Its newness to tourism plus years as a closed country to the Western world has added to its mystery and appeal. Thus, Vietnam offers something for everyone. Also, the days can be filled up with tours, shopping, sunbathing, trekking, boat cruising or snorkeling. Meanwhile, night times offer a chance to reflect on the day with a fresh cup of coffee in a cafe. You can also dine in a local Vietnamese or historic French restaurant or explore the nightlife.