Vietnam is a popular holiday destination for many reasons: majestic scenery, rich culture dating back thousands of years, the charm of its people and wonderful cuisine. As well as numerous interesting places to explore there is also plenty to do. From hiking the elegant Sapa Hills, cruising along the Halong Bay, dining like a King, fishing at night and much more.
Halong Bay Islands
Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most popular and spectacular attractions in Vietnam. There are more than 1,600 islands and islets that make up the bay. Thrill seekers will love the cliffs that are ideal for climbing and the beaches that host adventurous activities like kayaking, fishing, snorkelling and swimming. Visitors looking for relaxed options will find solace on board the cruise boats as they explore the coast.
Sapa, a mountainous town located in Northwest of Vietnam, is an area of surreal beauty with its dramatic terraced rice fields and beautiful hills. It is a great spot for short hiking and trekking trips. Taking an overnight train from Hanoi is the best way to reach Sapa, making it a popular destination on the tourist circuit.
Take a Class at the Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is one of the oldest sights in Hanoi. Founded in 1070, the temple is dedicated to Chinese philosopher Confucius and hosted Vietnam’s first university (in 1076) that initially accepted only those from noble families. It later opened its doors to all who wanted to study Confucianism, poetry and literature. The temple is a perfect showcase of traditional Vietnamese architecture.
Explore the Beautiful Beaches
After you’re done with the sightseeing and exploration – head to the beach and let the sun soak your skin, swim and have fun. The beaches of Da Nang, Mui Ne and Nha Trang are ideal for romantic getaways for couples and families, for water sports like wind surfing.
Dine Like an Emperor
The best way to experience traditional Vietnamese royalty is to eat like one. It is said that the Kings never ate the same meal twice in one year. The kings enjoyed a wide variety of food and as much as 50 courses at dinner and over 300 dishes served during special banquets. Restaurants like the Ancient Hue, Tinh Gia Vien and places such as Dong Ba Market; Lien Hoa continues to serve imperial cuisine.
Go Night Fishing with a Squid Fleet
Though Phu Quoc Island is renowned for its beaches, it is also frequented by local fishermen. If you get tired of sunbathing – opt to go for squid fishing duties instead. Resorts in this area offer squid fishing trips that allow guests to venture out to the deep waters, enjoy the epic sunset and go fishing at the onset of darkness. Later, you can enjoy a grilled meal of your catch.
Take Cooking Classes – Be an Expert!
Definitely, after your trip, you’ll start to crave Vietnamese food once you get home. The exotic flavours, spices, fresh ingredients and mouth-watering soups are difficult to resist. Want to impress folks at home? There are cooking classes all over Vietnam with popular ones in Ho Chi Minh City. A typical class entails; heading over to the market for fresh ingredients before going to the classroom for cooking lessons.