These are the top 10 reasons why Vietnam should be the first choice for your upcoming trip.
Reason #1: Breathtaking landscape
While no match for Niagara Falls, Sydney Opera House or the Grand Canyon, Vietnam is a hidden gem that only those visiting the country themselves will be able to see. Vietnam is not short of World Heritage Sites with Halong Bay, Phong Nha Ke Bang caves, Hoi An Ancient Street and Cham Islands are all recognized for their intense beauty.
However, it is the non-heritage site that will surprise you further. Da Lat, for example, is too picturesque to miss. French style villas sitting next to a pine forest, bordered by strawberry garden. You feel like you are in Europe but the local market scenes speak otherwise.
Whether a must-see site or an off-the-beaten-path attraction, you will not be disappointed.
Reason #2: Friendly and hospitable locals
Like many other neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has a precious treasure; its people. Everywhere you go, you will be welcomed by smiles and help from the locals.
People from Hue, for example, are famous all over the country for their royal-like attitude. Those from Hoi An are known for being honest. And if you have time to spend in the Mekong delta of Vietnam then you will be well received by local farmers.
Reason #3: Affordability
Vietnam is a well-known destination among budget travellers. Though the price is climbing monthly at a daunting rate, it is still much cheaper than travelling in other continents.
There is something for all budgets with a 5 star resort in Da Nang costs the equivalent of a 3 star hotel near JFK airport in New York. For budget travelers there are a plenty of hostels and guest-houses in most cities.
Food costs are lower and the street food is among the best in the world. Even in the biggest cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, you can get by on $15 a day.
Reason #4: Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
Who does not like coffee? While there are no Starbucks there is the French drip coffee that can be found in every street in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Why rush in a country like Vietnam? Enjoy a cup of black coffee (ca phe den) or iced coffee with condensed milk (cap he sua da) and watch life go by on a corner of the street.
For those who would like to take some coffee home, visit Café Mai (79 Le Van Huu, Hanoi) or Highland Coffee (26 Le Loi, Ho Chi Minh City).
Reason #5: Off-the-beaten-path travel experience
Vietnam has all the off-the-beaten-path experiences that you are looking for. From staying with an ethnic family in the Northern mountain area of Sa Pa, to taking photos over the sunrise in Hoi An or sand surfing with local kids in Mui Ne. You can do it all.
The best part about Vietnam is that there are so much to discover.
Reason #6: Exquisite cuisines
Vietnamese food goes beyond pho and spring rolls and varies by regions. Fresh vegetables continue to dominate the tables, while meat and poultry are rising in popularity. Near the beaches such as Nha Trang and Da Nang, you can find plenty of fresh seafood caught in the morning and served at dinner for very affordable prices. A big size king crab costs about $8 and can be shared between 2 people.
Reason # 7: Fast and easy immigration process
Applying for a visa to Vietnam seems stressful at first. But Vietnam visitor visas can be granted upon arrival. And you can apply online for your approval letter via a number of online travel companies. The visa letter should be emailed to you after 2 days.
Reason #8: It’s a natural thing
Think Vietnam and many still think about a war-torn country. Vietnam is more than just a war memory. Its natural beauty is something worth talking about.
There are National parks a plenty and you can enjoy a variety of activities. Camping and birdwatching in the tropical forest of Cuc Phuong or Cat Ba; renting a jeep and touring Cat Tien national park or a wind-surfing crash course in Nha Trang.
The bad news is that tourism has brought a lot of commercial activities into nature. The good news is that there is still a lot more to see and enjoy.
Reason #9: Traditional festivals
Thanks to its history, rich tradition and Buddhist influence, Vietnam has festivals organized all year round. Many of which are unheard of in the West and really fun to learn about.
Tet holiday, for example, is an ideal time to see how families celebrate their love for their ancestors and for each other. Tet should not be mistaken or called Chinese New Year, which may even be an insult to some nationalists. It resembles the Lunar New Year in many ways, but modified with a Vietnamese feel in it. In Hai Phong, the buffalo fighting festival is a well-known occasion where the winning buffalo will get killed and presented to the village god.
Even public holidays in Vietnam are worth joining. If you visit Vietnam on the 2nd of September you will see nationwide parades. All the streets will be adorned by red flags and fireworks take over the sky at night.
Reason #10: World famous beaches
What is more relaxing than spending time in the blue water under the shining sun? Let the waves of Da Nang, Nha Trang or Mui Ne relieve all the stress of the busy day-to-day life. Vietnam has several of the world’s top beaches. And most of them are safe to swim at.
There are plenty of opportunities for water-sport activities as well. In Nha Trang you can kitesurf and wind surf. In Da Nang, enjoy one of the world-class beach resorts for couples and families alike. In Mui Ne, enjoy the quiet with some added wildness while planning for your seafood dinner.
For beach fans, Vietnam should really be on your list.