Tag Archives: SE Asia

The essential Vietnam itinerary: what you shouldn’t miss in this captivating country

The essential Vietnam itinerary includes Ha Long Bay

Photo by CC user Disdero on Wikimedia Commons

Finally planning that trip to the Far East, just like you said you would one day? If you are having a hard time picking a specific country, we suggest going with Vietnam.

Full of culture, natural wonders, and a fascinating but tragic history, booking a holiday of a lifetime to Vietnam will create memories that you will treasure for the rest of your days.

Wondering what you should see during your time there? This post will highlight three spots you shouldn’t miss if you can help it.

1) Saigon

Start your grand tour of Vietnam in Saigon. Known officially as Ho Chi Minh City, this country’s most populous city has a number of attractions worth your time.

Start with the Reunification Palace, where the president of South Vietnam resided until the North crashed through its gates with a tank in 1975, officially ending the Vietnam War.

Largely kept as it was back in the 70’s, this building offers a glimpse into how the elites of South Vietnam lived back then.

The War Remnants Museum offers a more sobering look into the realities of the Vietnam conflict, as displays show how it impacted everyday civilians and the environment.

There is also an assortment of military hardware on display inside the building and out, from machine guns and mines to planes and tanks.

Before departing Saigon, be sure to go on a day trip into the Mekong Delta, where you’ll get a chance to see how rural Vietnamese carry on their day-to-day lives in a place where there is more water than dry land.

2) Hoi An

Located in the central portions of the country, Hoi An is a city whose preserved architecture and artistically-talented citizens have earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.

The centre of the Cham Kingdom for almost 2,000 years, its role as a trading port has kept it relevant to this day, as tailors here still engage in the art of crafting amazing clothing in accordance with the wishes of their customers.

The best time to experience this town is after dark, which is when its multi-coloured paper lanterns create an atmosphere that you won’t soon forget.

Those looking to get in a day at the beach will also want to take advantage of its underrated frontage on the South China Sea, as it goes largely unnoticed by tourists that are (rightly) obsessed with the aforementioned attractions.

3) Ha Long Bay

In the north, many visitors are often split on whether to go to Sapa or Ha Long Bay. While both have their charms, we recommend the latter if you are pressed for time.

Held up by many in Vietnam as a wonder of the world, the limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay are spellbinding when first encountered by those that approach them.

While in Hanoi, book a cruise that will give you at least a couple of days out there, as the natural beauty of this spot will make it hard to leave after just one day.

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A tiny city-state that has attracted people from across the globe over the years, Singapore has developed a dining scene that has become the envy of the world.  Drawing on a strong base that developed from the cities’ initial diverse population of Malays, Indians, and Chinese, and fleshing out in recent years as workers from every other corner of the world has come here to work in Singapore’s booming corporate economy, you won’t be hard pressed to find a good meal here. Continue reading