Things to do in Vietnam
As an incredibly diverse country, the list of must-dos in Vietnam runs long. Most travellers will begin in the main cities, braving the bustling streets in Hanoi and the karaoke bars in Ho Chi Minh City. Towards the coastline and Vietnam's beach towns such as Nah Trang and Mui Ne also lure their fare share of holidaymakers. Their glistening waters, swaying palm trees, spectacular sunsets and cheap prices proving irresistible to backpackers.
But for all the well-trodden tourist paths in Asia, Vietnam is one of the few places left in the world that can still provide adventure, and a reasonably safe one at that. For all its problems and petty crime, danger is a rare trait in Vietnam - unless, of course, you're attempting to cross the road. There, you're on your own! In the north of the country lies the capital, Hanoi, and the regional hilltribes. On the central coast, the ancient city of Hue was the home of Vietnamese royalty, while Hoi An is a charming seaside locale. In the south is the lush fertile lands around the Mekong Delta and the economic centre of Ho Chi Minh City.
Away from the bustle of the major cities, Vietnam's countryside is where explorers will be in their element and tours are a particular highlight. Join one and you can cruise around the majestic Ha Long Bay, enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime farm stay along the Mekong Delta, explore the cave systems in Phong Nha and cycle to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
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Stay in Hanoi for longer than a night and Hoan Kiem Lake is unavoidable. The majestic lake is widely regarded as the heart of the city with much of public life revolving around the lake and its public promenade.
One of Ho Chi Minh City’s most popular attractions is the Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Independence Palace, and the home and workplace of the South Vietnam President during the Vietnam War.
If museums and palaces aren’t your thing, the Cu Chi Tunnels are bound to appeal to your curious side. The immense underground tunnel network was utilised during the Vietnam War, acting as a base for the Viet Cong during several military campaigns.
Located on the south central coast of Vietnam, Nha Trang is a major tourism hub and the capital of the Khanh Hoa province. Its biggest drawcards are its beaches and scuba diving, earning it the title of 'Scuba Diving Centre of Vietnam'.
With more than 2,000 years of history, Hoi An is a city rich with culture, charm and stories to tell. The historic city is located on the coast of the South China Sea and is a popular tourist haunt.
Vietnam's Mekong Delta is a canal community of riverside towns, villages and people dependant on the waterways and seasons for survival and an uniquely beautiful and intriguing place to visit. The biodiverse and fertile region is seen to best effect from the water to fully appreciate the river lifestyle.