Vietnam has so much to offer that over 10 million international tourists visit it each year. From history and culture to wonderful food and friendly locals, Vietnam is simply stunning and it has a unique heritage. With towering mountain ranges, national parks, lakes, fields of rice and clear ocean waters, it is a place everyone has to visit at least once in their lifetime. Here are some of the historical locations in Vietnam you have to see:
1. Halong Bay Cruise
Halong Bay, with its cliffs and limestone towers, is immense. The bay is one of the top sites for travellers and nature lovers, and no trip would be complete without visiting its beautiful islands and incredible green waters. A road connects Halong City and the capital, Hanoi for easy accessibility. The Van Don International Airport also has connections to Ho Chi Minh City. It is worth noting the Vietnamese government has imposed regulations to try and reduce overcrowding in the bay by tourists. Boats now have to follow one of five routes through the bay. If you want to swim, it is only allowed on a few beaches.
2. The Mekong Delta
Take a trip to the Mekong Delta (also called Saigon by locals) in southwestern Vietnam, between Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia. One of the best ways to see Vietnam is to take a cruise on the Mekong River and witness the beautiful tropical scenery. Travel along the crisscrossing waterways and look out for houses on stilts, swaying palms, fishermen, floating markets and water buffalo. The food is great too, of course.
3. Cu Chi Tunnels
It takes two hours to drive from Ho Chi Minh City to the famous Cu Chi tunnels (pronounced Ku Chi). The 250-mile network of underground tunnels is a marvel of engineering. They were dug manually by the Vietnamese and Communist troops – the Viet Cong – to protect themselves from American forces during the war in Vietnam. Soldiers used the tunnels to live, transport supplies and messages, lay traps and to launch attacks. The Cu Chi tunnels are a popular attraction for tourists (as long as you don’t mind dark, narrow spaces) and they’re now part of a Vietnam War memorial park in Ho Chi Minh City.
4. Ho Chi Minh Quarter of Hanoi
Catch a glimpse of days gone by in the old Ho Chi Minh Quarter. The city has many historic sights and plenty of things to keep tourists occupied. Named after the father of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is affectionately known as ‘Uncle Ho’. He was the founder of Vietnam’s Communist Party. Make sure you pay a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. The city is also home to one of Vietnam’s most picturesque tourist attractions, the Temple of Literature. Enjoy the markets and shopping but be prepared to barter for goods.