8 Reasons Why You Should Travel to Vietnam This Year

Reasons to travel to Vietnam – where should one even start? The nature, history and culture don’t even scratch the surface of the draw that this country has for travellers. Vietnam is slowly emerging as a hot travel destination, though as a whole it does not always top the “must see” travel lists – and this is surprising. So, to help you travellers who are truly missing out on the splendour of this country, here are just a few reasons why you should travel to Vietnam as soon as you can.

1. The nature

ha long bay

Vietnam is simply beautiful. It almost has every kind of natural landscape all within one country. The towering mountain ranges in the north around Sapa are lined with lush forests and footed by lakes, rivers, and terraced fields of rice. The limestone towers and cliffs amongst the immense Ha Long Bay are the number one sights for travellers and nature lovers alike. Vietnam is home to some of the biggest natural caves in the world in Dong Hoi and some stunning national parks such as Cuc Phuong around the town of Ninh Binh. The highlands around Da Lat are full of forests, natural rock slides, waterfalls and lakes and beaches along the coast are some of the finest in the world. Vietnam’s island of Phu Quoc is home to monkeys, a national park and is surrounded by barely touched beaches and clear ocean waters

2. The culture

The Vietnamese culture is very much still alive and well despite the bustling tourist industry. The street side food stalls and home-brewed beer in the bia hoi drinking spots can be found all around the cities and amongst the countryside. The countryside is still afloat with hardworking farmers, bison led equipment and modest homes which remind visitors of the backbone behind the flashy cities. The French occupation has also left its mark as well on the people and the towns. You can see the European architecture, the abundant café culture and see the locals meeting outside of them for traditional Vietnamese coffee and tea.

3. The food

vietnamese pho

Vietnamese cuisine is popular all over the world so why not come taste it at its source. Women somehow whip up delicious meals out of the contents of a single bag on the side of the road and tiny street stalls fill the alleyways offering up papaya salads and the popular meat and noodle soup, Pho. Fried and fresh spring rolls are served up at the markets and the amount of delicious dipping sauces can make your head spin. Try the giant seafood filled pancakes, the grilled corn on the cob or the warm banana cake in a coconut milk sauce.

4. The affordability

Even for a Southeast Asian country, Vietnam is cheap. Travelling here will stretch your money farther and wider and will allow you to have a more enjoyable trip. Hostel and hotel rooms can cost you under $5 a night and beer will only run you a couple of cents. Each meal can be eaten for under $2 and a nice meal for two people can cost you just about $10. Food, accommodations, transportation, activities and souvenirs, they all end up costing less in one week than you would spend in a day in some other countries. You will be able to afford to do more, eat more and see more when you travel to Vietnam.

5. The people

The people in Vietnam are some of the friendliest and accommodating people you will find around Asia. You are always greeted with smiles and the occasional hello. Everyone seems willing to offer help, especially to travellers and tourists. Questions will get answered quickly and people will seem to bend over backwards for you in order to help you out. Drop your groceries, its guaranteed that someone will help you pick them up. You will meet new friends and feel like you have found a family away from home.

6. The travel friendly setup

Sometimes Vietnam feels like it was made for travellers. With increasing dependence on the tourism industry for their economy, the Vietnamese have set up the country to be as travel friendly as possible. English is widely spoken in the cities and around the famous sites and restaurants in touristy places almost always have English menus. Most places are one stop shops for everything you need. Stay in a hotel and you will be given the options and resources to rent transportation, book sightseeing tours and get directions and recommendations for a great place to eat. No matter what you need to know or acquire, you can have access to it within minutes.

7. The activities

Image credits: Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

Besides the beautiful sites and cuisine, there is enough to do within Vietnam so you will never grow bored. Go trekking and shopping in traditional villages when you visit Sapa. Kayak, swim and tube in between beach lounging while in Ha Long Bay or trek deep into the cave system at Dong Hoi. Scuba diving, snorkelling and wind surfing are all viable options when you visit the beach towns of Nha Trang and Phu Quoc and canyoning and motorbike tours are popular with travellers in the highlands. Stick to the cities and listen to live music, see traditional dance and water puppet shows or take a cooking class and learn the language. There are endless activities for everyone’s different tastes.

8. The history

Image credits: jttlui

Vietnam’s history is one of its main draws for tourists. The country is filled with educational sites for visitors that documents the Vietnam war and other historic events. Start in Saigon and visit the emotion inducing war museum and imperial palace. You can see old war planes scattered around the city and visit the Cu Chi war tunnels to get an insider look at what the war was like for many soldiers. Scattered around the city are war monuments and in Hanoi, you can even visit the final resting place of Ho Chi Minh himself. Whether you like history or not, there is no doubt that you will learn a thing or two just by being in the country.

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