Vietnam travel guide – Lonely Planet

A land of staggering pure magnificence and cultural complexities, of dynamic megacities and hill-tribe villages, Vietnam is each unique and compelling.

Sensory Overload

Unforgettable experiences are all over the place in Vietnam. There’s the chic: gazing over a surreal seascape of limestone islands from the deck of a conventional junk in Halong Bay. The ridiculous: taking 10 minutes simply to cross the road via a tsunami of motorbikes in Hanoi. The inspirational: exploring the world’s most spectacular cave programs in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The comical: watching a moped loaded with honking pigs weave a wobbly route alongside a rustic lane. And the contemplative: witnessing a solitary grave in a cemetery of 1000’s of conflict victims.

History & Culture

Vietnamese tradition is complicated, numerous and represents one thing of a historical past lesson. The nation’s labyrinthine, teeming buying and selling quarters are wealthy in indigenous crafts and replicate centuries-outdated mercantile influences. Ancient temples show distinctly Chinese influences within the north and Hindu origins within the south. Meanwhile the broad, tree-lined boulevards and grand state buildings that grace the capital date from the French colonial interval. And it is unimaginable to overlook Vietnam’s pivotal place near the epicentre of East Asian energy and prosperity, for its cities’ skylines are outlined by clusters of glass-and-metal company HQs and modern luxurious lodges.

A Culinary Superpower

Thailand might contest the highest spot, however in Southeast Asia nothing actually comes shut: Vietnamese meals is that good. Incredibly refined in its flavours and excellent in its variety, Vietnamese cooking is an interesting draw for vacationers – myriad avenue-meals excursions and cooking colleges are testomony to this. Geography performs a vital function, with Chinese flavours influencing the soups of the north, spices sparking up southern delicacies, and herbs and sophisticated methods typifying the central shoreline, rightly famend as Vietnam’s epicurean scorching spot. And up and down the nation you may mingle with villagers, pattern native dishes and sip rice wine in Vietnam’s many regional markets.

Thrills & Chills

If you have got the payments, Vietnam has the thrills and chills. Some require a bit bodily effort, reminiscent of motorbiking switchback after switchback up the jaw-dropping Hai Van Pass in central Vietnam. Others require much more sweat: kitesurfing the tropical oceanic waters off Mui Ne or mountaineering the evergreen hills round Bac Ha or Sapa. And whenever you’re executed with all that adrenaline stuff, there’s loads of horizontal ‘me’ time to relish. Vietnam has excellent spas – from marble temples of remedies to easy household-run therapeutic massage salons with backpacker-pleasant charges.

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