I love to travel, and even though must of my trips are to the United States, I frequently get a chance to visit Europe and neighboring Asian countries mainly because of their close proximity to Vietnam, and other times because of work related conferences. Yes, even High School teachers get to travel for work!
However, sometimes the best place to travel to is just under your nose. So here I made a mini list of my top favorite places for tourists and locals that never truly explored Vietnam.
One of my favorite destinations, Hue city is home to the aromatic Perfume River. The river gets its name because of the perfume like scent given from the fallen flowers, upriver from the city of Hue, during autumn. So it goes without saying you should visit this place in autumn so you could take in the full aromatic effect of this floating bouquet.
2. My Son
My Son is one of the ancient cities in Vietnam. During the Champa kingdom it was used by kings and then current rulers for Hindu religious ceremonies. If you feel like you are in a scene from an Indiana Jones movie, what with the breathtaking plant covered Hindu temples in the middle of the jungle and such, then don’t worry, I feel the same way every time I visit this place.
3. Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta is one of Vietnam’s main agricultural cities. It is surrounded by the Mekong River and has the perfect combination of climate and landscape for all the fruit orchards, sugar cane groves, and the fields of rice paddies. Those and the vivid colors of the floating markets makes this destination one of the most visually stunning sites to spend time in.
4. Ha Long Bay
If you have ever read fantasy books Like the Death Gate Cycle, or watched fantasy movies like Pirates of the Caribbean or Harry Potter, and wondered where did the makers or the authors get their inspiration from, well, Ha Long Bay is the answer. The Bay is a cluster of forest covered islands that house caves, sink holes, and grottoes, some small, some large, all surrounded by an aqua green colored water that give this place an out of this world look. It reminds me of the floating mountains from the movie Avatar but instead of air these “mountains” are floating on water.
5. Ha Noi
You knew I couldn’t finish without listing my favorite place to visit in Vietnam, Ha Noi. This place has it all. It survived the Vietnam wars to become the capital city of current day reunified Vietnam. Because of its French Indochina influence, Ha Noi is filled with beautiful tree lined boulevards, boutique coffee shops, French colonial architecture, and many modern day cultural attractions like open-air museums and an Opera House. This place is as close to Paris as you will get but with the unique Vietnamese touch. A great place to visit but even a better place to live in!
There are definitely more places to visit here in Vietnam, some that I still haven’t had the chance to visit myself, like Sapa, which I hear is a great place for long hikes.
There are many things you can do with the internet but the best thing you can do right now is to book your flight online and use this list as a kick starter for your visit, and you can always come back again for the other equally magnificent places!