You might have seen Vietnam in those old American war movies but there is a lot more about the country that they do not show you. The people are amazingly friendly and hospitable. For example, people from Hue are known all over the country for their attitude towards visitors; elegant and sweet. Everything in Vietnam is also amazingly affordable. This is what makes Vietnam a popular destination for budget travellers. Their prices for 5 star hotels are about the same as a three star hotel anywhere in America and they have hostels for even lower budget travellers. Here are a few other reasons to visit Vietnam:
Some of the best food in Vietnam is enjoyed on the small plastic stools at the side of the street. Street food in Vietnam is nothing short of exhilarating. At any time of day, you will find people engrossed in conversation enjoying street food at the market or outside stores. From the iconic Pho, to the Bun cha (grilled pork served over rice noodles with dipping sauce and herbs), there are very few places on earth where the street food matches up.
Vietnam is truly a hidden gem when it comes to the landscape. There is more than one incredibly beautiful place to visit, starting with the world famous UNESCO World heritage site, the Halong Bay. This one of the most spectacular places to visit in the world, and worth the four hour drive from Hanoi and wading through the sea of tourists waiting to visit. Other places to schedule on your amazing trip to Vietnam include the hill station of Sapa in Northwest Vietnam and the Son Doong cave, which is the largest cave in the world.
If you have never had the joy of experiencing fresh food, then Vietnam is the place to go. Here, everything is freshly caught, freshly slaughtered or freshly harvested. From the seafood market, where everything was caught between four and five hours ago, to the meat market where the meat is literally glistening with fresh blood, you will be spoiled for choice. You will also find fresh herbs, and fruit such as mano, papaya, jack fruit and one of the world’s smelliest fruits, the Durian. Fair warning though, the durian is not for the faint of heart.
Even your local Starbucks with Pumpkin spice latte cannot compare to the French drip coffee that is found on every street corner in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The black coffee called ca phe den or the iced variety with condensed milk called ca he sua da, are to die for.
Experience rich Vietnamese culture through their festivals, many of which are largely unknown. The Tet holiday for example will show you how the locals celebrate family, and their love for their ancestors. Just don’t call it the Chinese new year, or the locals will be a tad peeved.
Vietnam is one of the countries that grant visas upon arrival. So pack your bags and go experience a wonderland.