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The most eastern country in Indochina, Vietnam is a resilient nation with a tumultuous history. Plagued by war for many years, Vietnam is now deservedly at peace and moving forward as a bourgeoning tourist hotspot. Influenced heavily by China and Buddhism, Vietnam is very much a traditional country where ancient customs are still practiced. Traditional Vietnamese food is also valued and a highlight for most travellers.

Vietnam: Tomb of Emporer Khai DinhTomb of Emporer Khai Dinh

Ho Chi Minh City blends tradition with modernity to create a truly unforgettable experience. Scooters stream past ancient pagodas and spice markets neighbour skyscrapers. This is also the city where Vietnam accommodation is at its best. Luxury has an affordable price tag here while guest houses offer an authentic Vietnamese experience. If you're hunting a bargain, wander through the buzzing Benh Thanh Market where haggling is a must and people-watching is a highlight. Ho Chi Minh City, still affectionately known as Saigon, is also a great place to learn about Vietnam's history of war. Visit the retro Reunification Palace and gripping War Remnants Museum.

Vietnam: Sapa HillsideSapa Hillside

Vietnam's capital Hanoi may be a little smaller and quieter than Ho Chi Minh City, but by no means is it a dull city. Here the streets still flow with an endless sea of scooters, while tourists and locals haggle in the countless streets of market stalls. History is also more prominent in Hanoi than in Ho Chi Minh City, particularly the French colonisation period which added touches of Parisian chic to the existing oriental flair of the city. While here, don't miss walking across the iconic red bridge of the Rising Sun to Ngoc Son Pagoda. The One Pillared Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are also popular attractions worth visiting.

Few can resist travelling to Vietnam without swimming at its magnificent beaches. One of the country's biggest coastal hotspots is Nha Trang, located on the south coast. Beloved for its turquoise waters and grass beach huts, Nha Trang is an urbanised beach town well equipped for tourists and a hub for scuba diving. For something a little less crowded, Mui Ne is a charming beach town complete with swaying palm trees, pristine sand and luxury resorts. To discover some of the country's more secluded islands and beaches, consider a Vietnam tour.

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