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The political and administrative capital of the country, located in the heart of the Tonkin or Bac Bo, Hanoi with its colonial buildings, parks, tree-lined boulevards and lakes, is a charming and romantic city. It has preserved its centuries-old architecture and rich cultures.
Historically known as ‘Faifo’, Hoi An was a major maritime hub in Asia and the largest commercial port in Vietnam during the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, Hoi An is considered as one of the most charming coastal towns of Vietnam. A mixture of Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and French influences, it retains the feeling of the past centuries. Its magnificent collection of almost 850 ancient French colonial buildings, the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge and its pagoda and preserved streetscapes are just begging to be explored.
Located 170 km east of Hanoi in the Gulf of Tonkin, Halong Bay is recognized as one of the world most stunning natural treasures, with its spectacular seascape of limestone pillars, has been listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. With over 3,000 islets covering an area of 150 km² and its emerald water and numerous limestone caves, Halong Bay is truly a mystical site.
Located at an altitude of 1,600m above sea level near the Chinese border in the north-western Highlands, the former French hill station of Sapa is home to more than 30 ethnic minorities and the highest mountain of Vietnam, Mount Fansipan (3,143m). This area, with its spectacular mountain scenery and rice fields terraces, is a perfect spot to explore authentic hill tribe villages and for trekking opportunities.
Located 70 km south-west of Hanoi, rich in beautiful landscapes, Hoa Binh region, in the heart of the former Tonkin, is home to the Muong and Dao ethnic minorities and the first large reservoir in Vietnam. Further on, 60 km west of Hoa Binh, is Mai Chau a small village occupied by the White Thai minority. Easily accessible from Hanoi, the region offers an overview of the different ethnic minorities who are inhabitants of Vietnam.
The former imperial capital of the country from 1802 to 1945, Hue is often referred to as Vietnam’s most beautiful city and has long been a major cultural, religious and educational centre. Surrounded by moats, the intriguing Purple Forbidden City which served as the residence of the Nguyen Emperors was constructed by Emperor Gia Long in 1804. Largely destroyed during the American War, the remains of the citadel, which have been partially restored, still contain interesting sights.
Founded in 1888 and formerly called ‘”Tourane” by the French, Danang is Vietnam’s third international gateway. It has long been the busiest seaport and is now the main city in central Vietnam located midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Nowadays, except for a few architectural remains of the French colonial period and its famous Cham museum, the city is mainly an active business city and port.
Located along the Cambodia and Laos border, the Central Highlands are among the most remote areas and ignored in Vietnam. The region is filled with authenticity and has more than 30 distinct ethnic groups, some of which have preserved their ancient traditions. A series of picturesque landscapes, from Kontum via Pleiku to Buon Me Thuot, this region, although not very well visited, is a fantastic destination worth seeing.
Located at an altitude of 1,600m above sea level and 300 km from Ho Chi Minh City, endowed with favourable climate and a spectacular natural landscape, Dalat was developed as a resort by the French in the early 1900s, and many reminders of its colonial heritage remain. The city enjoys fresh air and cool weather all year round. It is famous for its green pine forests, colourful flowers and fruits. The rolling hills and fertile valleys are dotted with lakes and thousands of villas are nestled amidst the pine trees.
A tranquil coastal town, with its palm-lined sandy beaches and clear waters, Nha Trang’s prime activities are discovery of its green islands, snorkelling and diving, or just relaxing on the beach is an experience in itself.
A fishing town located 200 km north-east of Ho Chi Minh City, Phan Thiet is a perfect stop for beach holidays. In a nice setting with white sand beaches and coconut trees, the resort is also endowed with amazing spots such as the sand dunes, natural lakes and astonishing “red canyons”.
Located 150 km north of Ho Chi Min City, this natural national park is one of the largest in Vietnam with no less than 70,000 hectares. This region is filled with a dense rainforest where hundreds of species of animals are dwelling. Whether it is a woodpecker or a crocodile, numerous wildlife and tropical flora are present in this huge natural biosphere. It is a place for relaxation and discovery, ideal for the adventurers.
Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon, is the economic capital of Vietnam. It’s a bustling, dynamic and industrious centre and by far the most populous city of the country. The streets, where much of the city’s life takes place, are a myriad of shops, stalls, stands-on-wheels and vendors selling wares spread out on the sidewalks. The city churn, ferments, bubbles and fumes. Yet within the teeming metropolis are the timeless traditions and beauty of the ancient culture.
Considered as the rice basket of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is the perfect spot for ecotourism, bird watching and discovering Vietnam’s scenic beauty. With thousands of canals nourishing a variety of fruits, trees and tropical plants, the Mekong Delta is a real display of the rural life. Places of interest in the Mekong Delta include My Tho, Vinh Long, Can Tho and Chau Doc.
Located in the Gulf of Thailand one hour by plane from Ho Chi Minh City, the mountainous and forested Phu Quoc Island certainly has the most beautiful white sand beaches in Vietnam. Far from civilization, this unspoilt island with its crystal clear blue-green waters and wonderful coral reefs is definitely a recommended destination for peace and nature lovers.
Located 95 km South from Hanoi, Ninh Binh is a famous tourism destination. Among others, it hosts the Bai Dinh Pagoda, one of the largest Pagodas in South East Asia since its renovation in 2003. A stay in Ninh Binh will most certainly take you to Tam Coc for a wonderful journey along the river discovering the natural caves and karstic peaks of what is called “Halong Bay on earth”.