We know what you’re thinking, “Why only 10?”. The list could go on (and on), but these 10 reasons are a good starting point to describe what many travellers love most about Vietnam. Some highlights you’ll know well (hello, the street food), while others may come as a surprise. All are excellent reasons to start dreaming and planning your next Vietnam vacation.
The amazing local food
There’s no point in being modest about it. Here you can find the healthiest, freshest, most insanely delicious food on the planet. Get ready to roll and dip delicious bites with your hands, and get lost in bowls of noodles that will make you swoon. Vietnamese are used to eating at such a high level that competition on the sidewalks is fierce. Discovering their favourites – whether it’s steaming pho, crispy banh mi or steaming bun cha – is worth the trip alone.
The warm, hardworking people
Not every Vietnamese person you meet will become your new best friend, but many of them are willing to try. You’ve never met a fun-loving, hard-working, and willing group of people like the Vietnamese. We are resilient people and value family and friendships more than anything else. Take the time to get to know the stories of some of our 54 ethnic minorities, and enjoy our smiles and hospitality wherever you go.
The various destinations
A unique aspect of traveling in Vietnam is that no two destinations are the same. Our three main cities are totally different from each other. Winters are cold in the northern highlands, but the southern islands have good weather all year round. Even destinations that are an hour apart often have decades of difference in character and appearance. Having so many different places to explore and choose from is a big part of the fun.
The addictive coffee culture
In Vietnam, coffee is a tradition, a religion and a social glue in one. We love to gather on the sidewalk and chat for hours over coffee. That’s why there are thousands of coffee shops, from trendy to colonial, all over the country. We also like to get creative with coffee. Try a refreshing coconut latte in summer or a creamy egg latte in winter. But beware: Many travelers get addicted to our quirky brews.
You may have heard of the dreamy, karst-filled seascapes of Ha Long Bay and the misty terraced valleys of Sa Pa, but did you know that Vietnam is home to more spectacular sights? In the world’s largest cave, Son Doong, you can camp, climb and explore for days. Vietnam also boasts stunning mountain scenery in Ha Giang, thundering waterfalls in Cao Bang and breathtaking sand dunes in Mui Ne (be sure to bring your camera).
History around every corner
In Vietnam, you don’t have to go far to find treasures from another era. They are scattered throughout the countryside and hidden in the cities, as well as in eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The timeless capital of Hanoi is a goldmine for history buffs, with ancient pagodas, gates and houses woven into the fabric of the old town. In central Vietnam, the ancient imperial city of Hue is dotted with the tombs of feudal kings and their forgotten palaces.
The picturesque motorbike rides
There’s something about being on two wheels that makes you feel young and alive again. Or, at least, that’s how it feels to us. You haven’t really experienced Vietnam until you’ve seen our alleys and landscapes from the back of a bicycle. Explore like a local by hopping on a bike for an early morning ride through emerald rice paddies, or take a motorbike in the evening for a romantic ride along the banks of our lakes and rivers.
The energetic and youthful cities
Vietnam’s thriving cities are more thinly layered than a mille-feuille, and endlessly interesting, especially if you’re a foodie, photographer, culture seeker, or a combination of all of the above. Start in the parks, get lost in the temples, lounge in the backstreets, dine on the sidewalks, retreat to the cafes and head up to the rooftop bars to finish. In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest metropolis, there is something new every day.
The real adventures
Every once in a while, it’s nice to get lost in a new place. In Vietnam, just a few hours from the cities, you’ll find yourself in another world, with new adventures that will challenge you in the best way. Intrepid travelers will love the ethnic villages and spectacular views of Vietnam’s northern mountain ranges. Try rock climbing in the Huu Lung Crags, sign up for canyoning at Datanla Waterfall in Da Lat, or experience the caving adventure of a lifetime in Phong Nha. Why not?
The safest place to visit
We’re all a little worried about health and safety on the road, especially after 2020. Luckily, Vietnam has shown that it is prepared to combat any health crisis with decisive action and a strong community spirit. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam managed each outbreak so successfully that the country enjoyed long periods without transmission during which everyone could connect, relax and travel safely, which is what we all want to do after all.
(Source: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism)
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