Vietnam is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. It boasts pristine beaches and beautiful mountains. In between the two, you’ll find mile after mile of grassy rice paddies.
Hanoi is the capital city and offers both an old town and a modern city center. You can see rich Vietnamese history in the Old Quarter, and enjoy modern amenities in new Hanoi. (Note the number of residents riding motor bikes!) Either part of town offers fantastic restaurants; exploring Vietnam’s native cuisine is simply a must when you’re traveling here.
Ho Chi Minh City (still often referred to as Saigon) is the busiest metropolis in Vietnam. It’s teeming with things to do, however. Be certain to visit the Opera House while you’re here. The History Museum and War Remnants Museum are also quite impressive. A trip to the marketplace here will yield many treasures to take home.
The Tonkinese Alps are also required visiting on a trip to Vietnam. The view from Sapa is incredible and you’ll be fascinated by the lifestyle of the hill people that live here. For years, Sapa was quiet and war torn, but it has seen a renewal in recent years, leading to a wealth of accommodations and restaurants. Still, the view is well worth the trip.
For the beach lover, Halong Bay is a great place to visit. There are 3000 limestone islets rising out of the misty sea here. It is truly one of Vietnam’s most spectacular places. You’ll have your choice of beaches, many with thick forests just above them.
There are three international airports: one in Hanoi, one in Ho Chi Minh City and one in Danang. Vietnam Airlines is the national carrier, but many other airlines serve these international airports, as well. You can find flights to Vietnam and other Asia flights here. If you’re traveling from China, you might want to consider entering the country via train, as the ride from Kunming, China to Hanoi is quite breathtaking.
Vietnam offers a wide range of accommodations, from internationally recognized chains to local guesthouses and hostels. You can find hotels in Vietnam here. Outside of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, guesthouses and small quarters are more the norm.