Vietnam Country Guide


Northern Vietnam
Vietnam's capital of Hanoi (the country's second largest city) is located in Northern Vietnam and the main destination in the region. Northern Vietnam is relatively poorer and culturally distinct from Southern Vietnam. However, the region harbours some of the most magnificent views of the country and the chance to visit indigenous hill tribes. Major destinations outside of Hanoi include the highland town of Sapa, natural wonders of Halong Bay and the historical battlefield of Dien Bien Phu.
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Halong Bay by David Tennent

Central Coast
The Central Coast is situated between Northern Vietnam and Southern Vietnam, stretching from the Gulf of Tonkin in the north, along the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand in the South. The ancient city of Hue is the home of the Vietnamese kings (Nguyen Dynasty), who ruled from the early 19th century until 1945. Hoi An was an ancient trading port and today features one of the nicest old seacoast towns in Vietnam with the city's Old Town declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Central Highlands
The region features
lush forest-covered hills and home to several indigenous tribes but receives relatively fewer foreign visitors compared to Southern Vietnam. Life in the region revolves around agriculture and rural homes range from small bamboo huts to large communal long houses. A major destination for many visitors to the Central Highlands is Dalat, the old French hill-station with its year round spring-like climate. Dalat is also a good base to discover the region since it is connected to nearly every major city in Vietnam.

Night market in Dalat by Roy Kim

Southern Vietnam
Southern Vietnam is the country's
economic engine, built around Ho Chi Minh City and also includes the Mekong Delta, the rice basket of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's largest city, with a metropolitan population of more than 9 million. It is also the most visited destination in the country, offering visitors its historical and cultural sites, museums, markets and regional cuisine. Life in the Mekong Delta revolves around the Mekong River and its maze of smaller rivers and canals interspersed with villages and markets.

Country Guide
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