Why Vietnam should be on your Bucket List
With breathtaking National Parks, beautiful coastal regions and famous caves and mountains to explore, Vietnam ticks all the right boxes for travellers who are excited by the idea of having an adventure and exploring the beautiful diverse elements of one country. As if the vast range of things to see and do aren’t enough, there’s also the fact that Vietnam is one place you can be sure won’t cost the earth, even though it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. Even more enticing is the fact that it’s a convenient destination to travel to, with inexpensive visas that can even be organised online.
For the history and geography buffs
Vietnam’s history is a rich one, overflowing with influences from all over the world, and dotted with conflicts and triumphs of its own. This is especially clear when visiting the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh, which takes tourists back into the past of the Vietnam War of the sixties and seventies and does a fair job in telling both sides of the story. Delve further into history and crawl through the very tunnels the Viet Cong utilised in the war with the USA. Admission is just under R60 per person and is sure to be one of the more unique tourist attractions you partake in. If you’re not one to dwell on the grittier side of a country’s past, you can find solace in one of the national parks, such as Cuc Phuong National Park. Covering 222 square kilometers, it does a brilliant job of showing off Vietnam’s phenomenally diverse landscape and wildlife, even giving tourists the opportunity to view rare wildlife including clouded leopards and Owston’s civet. This national park is also renowned for being one of the quieter parks and only has an entrance fee of about R25.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie...
Don’t miss Mui Ne. There is more to this fishing village than meets the eye. It’s the number one wind and kite-surfing destination, and the rolling sand dunes nearby are spectacular to behold. If you’re someone who can’t sit still, get adventurous in Sapa — Vietnam’s primary trekking area famous for its lush vegetation and mountains. The caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang are also home to Hang Son Doong, currently the largest natural cave known to man, and can be explored via an arranged trip that costs under R100 per person.
What to eat
You cannot visit Vietnam without trying the food at a local market. Vietnamese markets are not only very well-priced at about R30 per meal, but they also offer a large variety of fresh, delicious food. Leaving Vietnam without having tried pho — a brothy, traditional soup made with stock and jammed full of delicious noodles and fresh vegetables — would be sacrilege, and certainly the regret of any person who has travelled to Vietnam. In addition to being delicious, you can usually find a bowl of pho for just under R20. If you find yourself a little over markets (you’ll likely visit a lot of them), you’ll be pleased to know that most sit-down restaurants are also inexpensive and cost between R25-R55 per person ("western" food however, will cost you).
Over and above the exciting and enticing restaurants and activities listed above there are endless options for the keen adventurer to enjoy. What are you waiting for? Book your next Vietnamese adventure no matter your budget by speaking to one of our travel experts, or head over to our Asian holiday deals to see what is on offer.