October 31, 2008

Dien Bien Phu Vietnam

Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam has its place in the minds of the Vietnamese as the battle ground that changed the course of history of the country. The famous battle of Dien Bien Phu was fought in the Dien Bien district of the Lai Chau province and today it has become one of the popular destinations in Vietnam.

During Operation Castor of the First Indochina War the French Union force fortified the region to draw out the Viet Minh forces. This resulted in the battle of Dien Bien Phu which resulted in the defeat of the United States backed French Union in the hands of the China backed Viet Minh forces in 1954. The victory of the Vietnamese over the French forces created a ripple throughout the world. The town has retained some of the remnants of the war like the Doc Lap Hill, the airport, and the command tunnel of General de Castries.

Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam is situated 500 kilometers to the northwest of Hanoi, Vietnam. Though it still draws tourists as the site of the famous war, Dien Bien Phu is also a town of exotic natural beauty. It lies in the 20 kilometers long and 6 kilometers wide Muong Thanh valley which is surrounded by mountains providing the small town with a spectacular view. Across the valley flows the Nam Rom River making the land fertile. This small town was the first place for the settlement of different minority people, another reason for visiting the place when you are sightseeing in Vietnam

China Beach Vietnam

China Beach, Vietnam, an endless expanse of unspoiled white sand beach, is one of the best beaches in Vietnam. It is more famous among the American and Australian soldiers for being the landing ground during the Vietnam War. China Beach lies a few kilometers to the south of Danang within close range to the Marble Mountains, one of the Vietnam popular destinations.
China Beach seems to still cling to its past horrors of war with the ruins of the military base like the helicopter hangars lying in the beach. Nevertheless, China Beach today is regarded as one of the preferred Vietnam tourist attractions with its expansive white sand beach and friendly people. China Beach today has grown to house a small community of guesthouse owners, marble statue shops, and other various trades.

With its vast expanse of pristine water and clean unspoiled beach, China Beach, Vietnam gives an invigorating experience to the visitors. A swim in the clear water or a long walk along the clean grainy sand that extends up to several kilometers is a must for the visitors here. For those who love a luxurious stay, China Beach has the best to offer in Vietnam, the Furama Resort. This is an award winning resort with best accommodation facilities along with a range of recreational activities like diving and water sports. This resort offers 200 luxuriously furnished rooms and suites.

The visitors to the China Beach, Vietnam, however need not be content with its pristine
waters and long beach. Other than the beach, Danang boasts of some of the best places for sightseeing in Vietnam. The Marble Mountain, consisting of a group of Buddhist temples built into the caves is the most popular one. The sight of China beach from the heights of Marble Mountains, Vietnam is a must for the visitors. Besides this, a drive from Danang to Hue, Vietnam through the Hai Van Pass, Vietnam is something not to be missed out.

China Beach, Vietnam can be easily reached by air and road. There is the Danang Airport, smallest of Vietnam’s three international airports. There are frequent flights to Hanoi and Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam as well as limited services direct to Singapore, Bangkok and Taipei.

Hai Van Pass Vietnam

Hai Van Pass, Vietnam is the highest pass in the country and one of the most scenic hillside roads in Vietnam. The meaning of Hai Van is wind and cloud or sea cloud. True to its meaning, wind in Hai Van Pass moves like a herd of horses galloping a number of miles and clouds seem to pour down from the heaven. One of the major Vietnam tourist attractions is the panoramic view of the Danang city, Tien Sa port, Son Tra peninsula and long white sandy beach from the Hai Van Pass.
Hai Van Pass, Vietnam is the last spur of the Throng Son Range that reaches to the sea. As described by a 17th Century Vietnamese scholar, Hai Van seems to stands with feet in the sea and its summit covered with clouds. The road over Hai Van Pass opened in the end of 19th century. The road over the pass is over 21 kilometers long and 435 meters above sea level. The drive over the pass gives the visitors thrill of tearing through the clouds on the winding road up and down the pass.

The pass is crowned with the vestiges of a fortified gateway built by the French which is now covered with moss. This gateway acts as entrance and exit points of Thuan Hoa and Quang Nam provinces. These points are indicated by the inscribed words “Hai Van Gate” on the one facing Thua Thein and “the most grandiose gateway in the world” on the one looking down on Quang Nam.

The view during the descending journey from Hai Van Pass, Vietnam is no less enchanting. Sightseeing in Vietnam is at its best here with the sequel of valleys and lagoons as the road descends lower. The first stop in this descending journey is the village of Lang Co sitting on the tip of a long peninsula separating a shallow lagoon from the sea. This scenic village is a good stop over place for a lunch or even a day with a beautiful beach to swim at or the village houses and the church to explore Vietnamese lifestyle.

This descending journey has much more to offer. The road between Danang to Hue passes by few small hills with its unique landscape just beyond it. The three hour drive from Danang to Hue, Vietnam is sure to leave the visitors asking for more. No wonder Hai Van Pass, Vietnam is listed among one of the most visited of the various Vietnam popular destinations.

Marble Mountains Vietnam

Marble Mountains, Vietnam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. It consists of five peaks. Located to the south of Da Nang city, these hills are made of marble and limestone. Nui Ngu Hanh Son is the Vietnamese name for Marble Mountains. It means Mountains of Five Elements. The five peaks are called Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (metal), Tho Son (soil) and Hoa Son (fire).

There are numerous tunnels and cave entrances in here which make it more alluring to the tourists. One of the caves had two large statues of gods guarding the entrance. Statues of Buddha are present inside many caves. Since 1975 the Marble Mountains has gained popularity as one of the major Vietnam popular destinations.

The Marble Mountains are also home to quite a few Buddhist sanctuaries. These are one of the greatest draws of Marble Mountains, Vietnam. The mountains were used by the war lords in the past to store their wealth and it was the responsibility of the monks to safeguard the wealth, the caves and the passengers. No one knows for sure how much wealth was hidden in these mountains. Only the monks as the custodians had the information and they were the only people who knew the various ways inside the mountains.

Beside the monasteries the area is prominent for stone sculpture making and stone cutting crafts. These are traditional practices and the Marble Mountains, Vietnam are renowned for its excellence in the field. In the mountains is the village of Dong Hai which has around 600 families involved in the business of stone engraving. The villagers are also skilled in jewelry and art work. Vietnam exports stones extracted from Marble Mountains. Recently the government has banned rock extraction in the area which has led to transportation of materials from the quarries in Quang Nam province.

There is a village at the base of Marble Mountains, Vietnam called Nui Kim Son meaning Mountain of Gold. Earlier it was the artisans from this village who made jewelry for the war lords. Today it is still the livelihood of many villagers.

Thuy Son (water) is the highest peak in Marble Mountains, Vietnam. Its fascinating beauty has resulted in its development as a major tourist attraction. Today it has turned into a popular tourist resort. The Tam Thai Pagoda is a major tourist attraction here. Carved into the mountains are atone steps that lead both to the Pagoda and the Huyen Khong Cave. This pagoda has an interesting history of its own. Earlier both Hindu and Buddhist gods were paid tribute here. Today it is devoted to Cham deities. The Huyen Khong Cave played an important role during the wars. It was one of the vital bases for the revolutionaries.

Cat Ba island Vietnam

The largest island in Halong Bay, Vietnam, Cat Ba Island, Vietnam is home to the Cat Ba National Park. The Cat Ba National Park covers an area of nearly 200 square kilometers. It has both forests and water bodies within its boundaries. The national park is an attraction to the tourists who enjoy hiking. To the east of the island is the Lan Ha Bay. This bay is famous for its excellent beaches and breathtaking scenery. The Cat Ba Island is home to two white sand beaches both located one kilometer from Cat Ba town. They are Cat Co 1 and Cat Co 2. These two beaches are interconnected by a seven hundred meters long wooden walkway.

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam is rich in flora and fauna. There are more than 600 different kinds of plants in this island. The wide variety of trees includes Bang, Goi Nep, Sang Le and Kim Giao. The island is filled with animals of rare species like the white headed langurs, deers and macaques. It is home to a number of sea animals like sea turtles, lobsters, coral, oysters and dolphins. All these features have turned Cat Ba Island into one of the major Vietnam popular destinations.

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam: Best time to visit

The best time during the year to visit the Cat Ba Island, Vietnam is October and November. The weather is best during this time of the year. During these two months the island experiences a pleasant weather to enjoy the national park, to walk on the beaches and absorb the stunning beauty of the island. Temperatures drop from December onwards thus having a chilly weather. March and April are wet, and June, July and August are hot with a high percentage of humidity.

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam: Getting there

To get to Cat Ba Island one can travel from Hanoi, Vietnam to Haiphong by train or bus and then to Cat Ba by a boat. One can travel directly to Halong Bay, Vietnam from Hanoi, Vietnam by a chartered helicopter and from there to Cat Ba by boat.

There are a number of agents who arrange for trips to the Cat Ba Island and ensure that your sightseeing in Vietnam is as hassle-free and as enjoyable as possible. Even hotels and cafes in Hanoi, Vietnam too arrange for tours to the island.

My Son Sanctuary Vietnam

My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam is located in the Quang Nam province which is 69 Kilometers south-west of Danang. It was an imperial city during the Champa dynasty, a centre for spirituality and worship between the 4th and the 12th centuries. My Son Santuary, Vietnam has been listed in the World Heritage site as well, for its exemplification of the heights of Cham architectural achievement and hence is one of the top Vietnam tourist attractions.

My Son Santuary, Vietnam is a large complex of religious monuments comprised of more than 70 architectural works built by the nobility of the Champa Kingdom deriving their cultural and spiritual influences from Indian Hinduism. Only 25 vestiges remain today as a standing witness to the reign of Chama Dynasty. These are temples and towers connected to each other through complicated red brick design to reflect the divinity of the king.

One of the most recognised of the Vietnam popular destinations, all temple towers in My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam were built on quadrate foundations each comprising three parts representing different aspect of religion. The solid tower base represents the world of human being, the sacred and mysterious tower body represents the world of spirit and the tower top built in the shape of a man offering flowers or of trees and animals representing things close to spirits and human beings.

My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam is a popular place for sightseeing in Vietnam. It is considered to be Champa’s counterpart to the grand cities of South-East Asia’s other Indian Influenced civilization like Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Lo Pagan in Myanmar among others.

My Son Sanctuary Vietnam

My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam is located in the Quang Nam province which is 69 Kilometers south-west of Danang. It was an imperial city during the Champa dynasty, a centre for spirituality and worship between the 4th and the 12th centuries. My Son Santuary, Vietnam has been listed in the World Heritage site as well, for its exemplification of the heights of Cham architectural achievement and hence is one of the top Vietnam tourist attractions.
My Son Santuary, Vietnam is a large complex of religious monuments comprised of more than 70 architectural works built by the nobility of the Champa Kingdom deriving their cultural and spiritual influences from Indian Hinduism. Only 25 vestiges remain today as a standing witness to the reign of Chama Dynasty. These are temples and towers connected to each other through complicated red brick design to reflect the divinity of the king.

One of the most recognised of the Vietnam popular destinations, all temple towers in My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam were built on quadrate foundations each comprising three parts representing different aspect of religion. The solid tower base represents the world of human being, the sacred and mysterious tower body represents the world of spirit and the tower top built in the shape of a man offering flowers or of trees and animals representing things close to spirits and human beings.

My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam is a popular place for sightseeing in Vietnam. It is considered to be Champa’s counterpart to the grand cities of South-East Asia’s other Indian Influenced civilization like Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Lo Pagan in Myanmar among others.

October 30, 2008

Can Tho Vietnam

Can Tho, Vietnam one of the largest cities of the country, is practically considered the ‘capital’ of Mekong Delta. Being the gateway to the paradise of Mekong Delta, Vietnam, practically no other urban city in Vietnam can match Can Tho in terms of its spectacular landscape. Bustling with life and color, Can Tho is like a painter’s stroke on the canvas of Vietnam. You must visit this place, one of the most frequented of the Vietnam popular destinations and that too with lots of time in hand.

The city of Can Tho, Vietnam is located exactly on the Southern Bank of Hau Giang, a tributary of the Mekong River. It is immediately behind Danang and is about 160 kilometers away from the Ho Chi Minh City. Can Tho’s busy city life can be credited to the fact that this province produces some of the largest amount of rice, vegetables, fruits in the whole country. They also have a flourishing fish production unit. Its sea port, being able to house some large ships from foreign countries is also a centre of lot of activity.

In spite of being a prime urban area, Can Tho’s picturesque location in the midst of meandering rivers, is what makes it a haven for tourism. Canal tours, the floating markets, the nearby villages, parks and other prominent attractions, the city offers plenty.
Some of the major tourist attractions in Can Tho, Vietnam are:

- Floating Markets in Can Tho: These are one of the distinctive features of this district and are of great interest to the tourists. Some of the most frequented floating markets in this area are Cai Be, Cai Rang, Phung Hiep, Phong Dien, Nga Nam and Long Xuyen. Of these the Cai Rang Floating Market is the most popular one. Apart from providing a lovely view of the busting activities, these markets are a great place to hangout as they have lots of floating restaurants also.

- Tourist Gardens in Can Tho: There are several riverside gardens all over Can Tho like My khanh, San Duong, Ba lang and Tan Binh. These gardens give a closer view of the flora and fauna of this place.

- Ong Pagoda in Can Tho: Situated right at the centre of the city, on Hai Ba Trung Road, near the Ninh Kieu Wharf, the Ong Pagoda is the place for all Chinese cultural and religious activities in Can Tho, Vietnam. Its colorful Chinese architecture is of special interest.

- Ninh Kieu Wharf: This is the heart of all industrial activities in Can Tho. Positioned on the bank of Hau River, it has a number of floating restaurants.Can Tho City Museum: Situated on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Can Tho this museum provides an overview of the native history, culture, customs and traditions.

- Army Museum: Situated on Hoa Binh just opposite to the City Museum, this Museum exhibits weapons, maps, photographs and other items from the Vietnamese War. It gives an idea of Vietnam’s long fight to freedom.

Can Tho in Vietnam is a fabulous place offering everything required for a charming vacation. Getting here is quite easy as it is linked to the other main cities of Vietnam, like Ho Chi Minh and My Tho by efficient bus services. The Can Tho bus stop is just 2 km north-west to the heart of the city.

Danang Vietnam

Danang, Vietnam is a town located in the western banks of River Han. Placed in the central part, it is the fourth largest city of Vietnam. With beaches, hills, heritage buildings and other lovely constructions adorning the city, Danang is definitely one of the most visited of the Vietnam popular destinations and must feature in your trip to Vietnam. Its lovely weather condition is another incentive for visiting this city.

Some of the major tourist attractions in Danang are:

Nam O Beach: Placed at a distance of 17 kilometers northwest of Danang, Vietnam, it offers environmental boat rides to places like Hoa Bac and Hoa Bang district.

- My Khe Beach: This beach is very popular among the natives and tourists alike. It offers many outdoor activities and is full of hotels, restaurants, and other services.

- Hai Van Pass: It is the highest pass in Vietnam, situated about 1,500 km above sea level. Literally the name stands for “pass of the ocean cloud” and is a truly beautiful place. From the peak of the pass you can see the Danang City, Tien Sa Port, Son Tra Peninsula and the sea shore, all from a birds-eye view.

- Marble Mountains: Located 12 kilometers westwards from the city, this place is one of the most charming tourist attractions in Danang. It is also known as the Ngu Hanh Son or ‘Mountains of the Five Element’. Its five summits are named accordingly; Thuy Son which means water is the highest, Moc Son meaning wood, Kim Son denoting metal, Tho Son signifying soil and Hoa Son is fire. This place is also well-known for its marble crafts.

Apart from these popular tourist spots of Danang in Vietnam, there are some other well-liked spots at such as Danang Cathedral, Caodai Temple, Tam Bao Pagoda, Pho Da Pagoda, Cham Museum, Dien Hai Citadel, Ba Na Mountains, Son Tra Peninsula and lots more.

Da Lat Vietnam

et amidst valleys, lakes, waterfalls on top of a 4,900 feet mountain, Dalat,Vietnam has all the ingredients for a lovely vacation. It was established during 1897 by Alexander Yersin, a French scientist, as a holiday resort for French commanders tired of the tropical atmosphere of Vietnam. The memory of its establishment remains even till date in the ruins of the colonial mansions and in the lovely pagodas built during that time. In the recent years, Dalat in Vietnam is one of the most popular of the Vietnam tourist attractions especially for the honeymooners.

The tourist attractions in Dalat, Vietnam comprises mainly of the natural beauties like lakes, waterfalls and parks. There are also few pagodas in this region which are worth a visit. Some of the popular places of interest in Dalat are:

- Xuan Huong Lake: It is a lovely lake in Dalat which stretches for nearly 5 kilometers. This lake was created from a dam project which got destroyed by a storm and then the current Xuan Huong Lake was built in its place in 1935. Here you can rent windsurfing boards and paddle boats to take a spin around the river, though most people generally prefer taking long walks around.

- Valley of Love: It is the popular name for Thung Lung Tinh Yeu Park, located about 3.2 kilometers away from the town centre. This is nice place for taking leisurely strolls and it also has a small lake where boating can be done.

- Ho Than Tho: It is popularly known as the Lake of Sorrow after an age old myth of a young girl having drowned here for her lover. This lake is very popular among the honeymooners.

- Prenn Fall: Situated at the bottom of the Prenn pass, nearly 10 kilometers from Dalat, this place is well known for its flora and fauna. People generally come here to see its wildlife.

- Gougah Fall: About 40 km away from Dalat, this waterfall has naturally separated water ways at the center of the fall.

- Lat Village or Chicken Village: This is the village of the Co Ho people, with a huge cement sculpture of a chicken at its centre.

- Linh Phuoc Pagoda: It is a very contemporary pagoda housing a statue of Buddha made of gold and also has a very fascinating garden around it.

Mekong Delta Vietnam

A holiday in Vietnam would be incomplete without a trip to the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Popularly known as one of the ‘Rice Baskets’ of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is located in the South Eastern region of Vietnam, where the Mekong River meets the sea. A pride of the Vietnamese and the one of the most popular of the Vietnam tourist attractions, the Mekong Delta is exceptionally rich in scenic beauty. It is a place unique in itself. There is so much to see and so much to do here that a one day trip would definitely not be enough.

Cultivation in Mekong Delta

Extending over an area of nearly 60,000km, the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is like a maze of the Mekong River tributaries. It is one of the most fertile areas of Vietnam; hence any spare land in between the waterways has been used for cultivation. The Mekong Delta is one of the main sources of agricultural products in the whole of Vietnam, contributing about 50% to the country’s total rice cultivation. Apart from this, here there are many sugar cane fields, vegetable gardens and orchards, growing various kinds of tropical fruits. The vast stretches of green paddy fields, criss-crossed by winding streams, surely makes an exquisite sight.

People and Life in Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta, Vietnam has a population of nearly 17 million, consisting mostly of farmers and fishermen. Life here revolves around the river; the homes and place of work are mostly near the river banks. Some natives, especially the fishermen, have even built houses on canoes. In a whole their lifestyle though simple, is indeed very fascinating and something that tourists love to see.

The Floating Market in Mekong Delta

The floating market had been initiated to make use of the vast extent of water in Mekong Delta. However it has now become one of the most distinctive features of this place. From around 5 am to 11 am every morning the floating markets in Mekong Delta are set up. The concept of a floating market is that, boats heaped with fruits and vegetables from close by orchards meet at the floating markets, from there the local dealers buy the goods to sell it again in the markets or to other cities. Floating markets in Mekong Delta also have floating eateries and gas stations and hence are flocked by tourists most of the time. Among the various markets spread all over the place, the Phung Hiep, located at a significant junction of seven main canals is by far the largest. When viewed from a bridge this market surely makes a fantastic sight.

Another bizarre yet interesting feature of the Mekong Delta is its Snake Industry. A snake buff, Lt Col Tran Van Duoc had set up the Dong Nam Snake Farm in 1977. It had actually been created purely to do research on reptile venom. However, now they also sell live snakes, which are used as food and for medicinal purposes.

So if you are planning trips to the Vietnam popular destinations, and if the Mekong Delta is on your itenerary, then it would be ideal if you house yourself at Can Tho, about 170 km away from Saigon. Known as the ‘capital’ of Mekong, it is a very busy Trade Centre, with a pretty large sea port. To accommodate the rush of tourists to Mekong there are several hotels and restaurants in Can Tho, Vietnam. It is also the best location to sight-see around the whole of Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

Phan Thiet Vietnam

Phan Thiet, Vietnam is located in the Binh Thuan province. 200kilometers from Saigon, it is on the southern most tip of Central Vietnam. Legend has it that Han Mac Tu, the disfigured poet spent his time in Phan Thiet waiting for the lady of his dreams, Mong Cam. With a population of around 100,000 people, it is the largest town in Binh Thuan province and one of the major Vietnam popular destinations.

The major industry in Phan Thiet is fishing. The proximity of the Ca Ty river and the ocean make it a perfect place for the development of fishing industry. From July to October is the peak fishing season of the region. During this season the boats in the sea form a spectacular sight. It is said that around 100 varieties of fishes are available in the waters around Phan Thiet, Vietnam. The total catches per year amount to around 70,000 tons. The availability of the huge amount of fish makes it a perfect place for the excellent production of fish sauce. This fish sauce is available all over Vietnam resulting in an annual production of nearly 17 million liters.

Phan Thiet is home to some of the most beautiful and the most visited of the Vietnam tourist attractions. To the east of Phan Thiet are some exquisite beaches, one of the greatest attractions in the region. They are totally different from one another. While some are lined with coconut trees, the others are next to vast sand dunes. There is the beautiful Bai Rang, 15 kilometer northeast of Phan Thiet, Vietnam. It is beautifully lined with coconut trees. This beach has the Da Ong Dia (boulders of the Earth God) and the Suoi Tien (Celestial Stream).

The most famous tourist attraction in Phan Thiet is the Mui Ne Sand Dunes. 12 miles east of Phan Thiet the sand dunes are nothing short of nature’s work of art. The elements of wind have given it a shape worth viewing.

Another attraction of Phan Thiet, Vietnam is its proximity to Cape Mui Ne. It is a 21km of long arc of fine sand with a perfect combination of the sun and blue pacific water giving rise to a spectacular view.

The town of Phan Thiet, Vietnam has an appeal of its own. The streets are lined with colonial villas. The Ho Chi Minh Museum and the Ong Pagoda are some of the major tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss on your Vietnam tours.

Phu Quoc Island Vietnam

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, is situated in the Gulf of Thailand. Located off the southern coast of Vietnam and Cambodia, it is the largest island in Vietnam. The 48 kilometers long and 28 kilometers wide island is closer to the Cambodian mainland than Vietnam. Phu Quoc Island forms a triangular shape and to the west of it is the Long Beach, the longest beach of the island. Most of the accommodations in the island are along this beach. There are other varied accommodations available throughout the island ranging from cheap bungalows to beach resorts. Duong Dong is the largest town in Phu Quoc Island situated to the north of the Long Beach. Even a few years back Phu Quoc was known for its fish sauce. Today it is known as one of the major Vietnam popular destinations.

During the colonial rule of the French and the war with America Phu Quoc Island was used as a prison. Ruins of the prison are visible even today. After Vietnam gained independence in 1975 this island was used as a re-education camp.

Nearly half the island lets you view the unspoilt beauty of nature. Phu Quoc Island is covered with forests and the beaches are deserted creating an enchanting environment in the island. It provides a spectacular view with the perfect fusion of its blue waters, sandy beaches, and beautiful landscapes. In a visit to the island do not forget to view the magical sunset from the beach. The famous beaches in the island, other than the Long Beach, are Bai Dan and Bai Sao. Away from the beaches are the pepper fields, the rain forest, and the Suoi Da Ban river with its waterfalls.

Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam: Getting there

Phu Quoc Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam, can be reached by both air and boat. It is less than an hour’s journey by plane from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Duong Dong. Vietnam Airlines make nearly four trips to the island everyday. Flights are available from Mekong Delta, Vietnam as well.

A ferry ride can be taken from the Rach Gia to the island. It takes around two and a half hours though it is better to avoid the ferry in rainy seasons.

Hue Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam is the ancient imperial capital of the 17th century and is located in central Vietnam. the city is one of the most visited of the Vietnam popular destinations. In modern times Hue is the capital of Thua Thien province lying on the banks of Huong River (Perfume River). Hue, Vietnam today stands with the relics of the past even after being heavily damaged during the Vietnam War. In 1993 UNESCO acknowledged the Complex of Monuments of Hue as a World Cultural Heritage Site.

In present times Hue, Vietnam looks like a massive open- air museum with hundreds of temples, pagodas, palaces and tombs making sightseeing in Hue one of the most popular of the Vietnam tourist attractions. Some of the best tourist attractions in Hue, Vietnam are
- Imperial Citadel
This is one of the foremost of the Vietnam tourist attractions with a sprawling complex of temples, pavilions, moats, walls, gates, shops, museums and galleries with features from Vietnamese history.

- Tombs of Emperors
These are located along the Perfume River mostly dating from 19th to 20th Century. The finest of these tombs are Tomb of Tu Duc, Tomb of Minh Mang and Tomb of Khai Dinh.

- Thein Mu Pagoda
This is one of the most beautiful architectural structures in Vietnam, situated on the left bank of Perfume River. It is a seven storey tower constructed under the reign of Emperor Thieu Tri in 1844.Hue, Vietnam is also known for the Hue Festival which is a major annual event. It is a nine days event to celebrate the culture, court music and the ancient traditions of this historic city. Other festivals in Hue include the Nam Gion Festival where participants from the Royal Palace are involved in the ceremony. Few other festivals in Hue, Vietnam are Royal Palace Night a three day festival, Truyen Lo and Vinh Quy Bai, both to honor the ancestors.

One major tourist attractions in Hue is shopping. The main article to shop here for is silk painting which has been a distinct feature of Vietnam for centuries. Other items include calligraphic artwork on silk, lacquer, stone and wood.

Hue, Vietnam can be reached by flight or road. The airport in Hue is called Phu Bai Airport which receives domestic flights and runs connecting flights from Hanoi. Several train also run everyday between Hue and other major Vietnam citities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang. There are public buses as well on this route.

Nha Trang beach Vietnam

Nha Trang a small town in Vietnam, located in the Khanh Hoa province is widely recognized because of it gorgeous beaches. In fact Nha Trang is often referred to as the ‘Seaside Resort’ of Vietnam. Having vast tranquil beaches and the finest climatic conditions, the Nha Trang Beaches, Vietnam are perfect for a lovely holiday.

Of the 6 major Nha Trang Beaches in Vietnam, Tran Phu is the most popular one. It is one of the most activity filled of the various Nha Trang beaches. It is also has the Tran Phu Street running parallel to the beach for its entire span, which is a beautiful avenue adorned with a lush green centre and pretty street lamps. Many key hotels, eateries and bars are lined along the street. Being the most frequented one the Tran Phu Beach is also the most crowed of all the Nha Trang beaches.

The other Nha Trang beaches, Vietnam though less popular than Tran Phu are perhaps lovelier and more soothing. The Northern part of Nha Trang and some of its islands flaunt beaches like Hong Chong beach and Dai Lanh Beach. With lovely scenic beauty these beaches are amongst the finest beaches in Vietnam and are surely a treat for the eye.

Apart from unwinding yourself in the midst of nature, you can also indulge yourself in some of the various outdoor activities that the Nha Trang Beaches, Vietnam has to offer. Here you can go for a swim in the sea, play football or badminton, perform Tai Chi, a kind of Chinese meditation popular in Vietnam and many other activities. Sun bathing is another favorite pastime popular among the tourists. The Nha Trang Beaches in Vietnam also invites long leisurely walks. It is no wonder that the Nha Trang beaches, Vietnam are recognized as the most frequented of the Vietnam popular destinations.

Ho Chi Minh city Vietnam

Ho Chin Minh City, formerly Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam named after the late communist leader Ho Chin Minh, who led the nation against both France and the U.S.A. Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam has been historically a political and administrative centre of Vietnam. Today Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam is a rapidly developing, dynamic, and the economic capital of Vietnam. It is perhaps the heart and soul of Vietnam.

The bustling industrious centre of Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam also harbors the ancient traditions and culture of Vietnam and bears the influences of French colonial rule. Life in Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam resides in the city streets, markets, shops, pavement cafés and vendors selling their goods on the sidewalks.

Besides soaking in the rich culture and ethos of Vietnam on the streets, the visitors are also offers a number of tourist attractions in Ho Chin Minh City. Some of these are

- Emperor Jade Pagoda (Phuoc Hai Tu or Chua Ngoc Hoang)
This is a place of worship and an excellent example of a Chinese temple. The temple is an ancient architectural extravaganza with elaborate woodcarvings and sculptures depicting local deities.

- Market of Cholon
The ancient Chinese quarter of Cholon or Chinatown is the best place in Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam to observe the hustle and bustle of trading.

- Notre Dame Cathedral
Located in the heart of Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam, this French built twin tower cathedral occupies scenic Paris Square. It has been a familiar landmark in Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam since 1880s and is one of the major Vietnam tourist attractions.

- Cu Chin Tunnel
This is the underground tunnel built and used by the Viet Cong during both French-IndoChina War and the Vietnam War. It took 25 years to construct this tunnel and it stands today as a symbol of struggle of the Vietnamese people in one of the most famous battle grounds of Vietnam War.

- War Remnants Museum
One of the most famous tourist attractions inVietnam, this museum bears witness to the sufferings of the Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It has on displays various artifacts and photographs documenting the events during this period

Several other attractions of Vietnam tourism resides in Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam namely the Reunification Palace, Ho Chin Minh Museum, Central Post Office, Zoo and Botanical gardens and the Cho Ben Thanh Market.

Sapa Vietnam

On the Hoang Lien Son mountain range is Sapa, Vietnam. It is a picturesque village near the Chinese border in north-east Vietnam. Sapa is one of the most enchanting of the Vietnam popular destinations. It is situated among the greenery of the high Tonkinese Alps. A visit here lets you enjoy the beauty of a village built during the French colonial days. The village was built to avoid the summers in Hanoi. The village has a serene beauty. It is a land of complete peace and delight. The village can provide a fulfilling experience even with limited amenities. Sapa is one of those rare places in Vietnam which have the ability to provide a glimpse of the tribal life as it existed a couple of centuries ago.

The population in Sapa, Vietnam is a mix of many ethnic groups like Hmong, Red Dao, White Thai, Giay, Tay, Muong, Hao, and Xa Pho. The people of each group can be identified through their different style of dressing. There is the beautiful Muong River cutting through the village and providing the guests with a heavenly view. The tourists sleep in the tents or in the houses of the villagers.

Sapa, Vietnam: Things to do

- Visit the famed “Love Market”: Sapa, Vietnam is famous for the “Love Market”. It is a busy place on Saturday nights. On this day of the week young men and women assemble to court and sing tribal love songs. The songs are about the singers’ abilities at work. While the women here are very hard working, the men love to spend time drinking and smoking.

- Trek to local hill tribe villages: Sapa is one of the best places to go trekking. It gives the perfect environment to explore the area on foot and absorb all the beauty that is laid out in front of you.

- Climb Vietnam’s highest peak- Fan Si Pan: Fan Si Pan is the highest peak in Vietnam. It rises up to 3,143 meters. It has become a favorite with the young trekkers who love to trek just for the fun of it.

Sapa, Vietnam: Best time to visit

The divine beauty of Sapa, Vietnam makes it one of most popular of the various Vietnam tourist attractions. Now if you are planning Vietnam holidays, then spring and autumn are the best times of the year to plan a trip to Sapa. Summers and winters may be avoided. While the summers are wet the winters are tremendously cold with temperature dropping to the freezing mark.

Hanoi Vietnam

Located on the banks of a mighty river, the River Red, Hanoi has served Vietnam as its capital for more than thousand years. The charming city has undergone a lot of foreign influences and preserves the cultural impact of all these conquests. The culture therefore has become varied and makes for a very interesting subject of study. Initially devastated by the War, Vietnam became accessible to tourists from1989 and more after that, as measures were taken to develop the South East Asian nation as an exotic tourist destination.

Tourism for every country is important as it opens up avenues to a strong economy as well as building up new relationships. The geographical beauty as well as the cultural ethnicity has lured a large number of tourists to this wonderful island destination.

Features of Hanoi Tourism

- Hanoi is served by an Airport, Noi Bai Airport from where you can rent a car to reach downtown Hanoi. Hanoi also enjoys a good railway network and bus service. Once in the city you can move around on feet.

- For a comfortable stay in Hanoi, there is a wide range of accommodation selection available for you. You can choose from five star accommodations to budget ones and guest houses. Wherever you stay, the warmth of the Hanoi hospitality will be the same.

- Being the cultural center of the country, Hanoi is strewn with historical relics of all sorts and of different ages. Some are worth visiting like The Temple of Literature, Flag Tower of Hanoi, One Pillar Pagoda, Hoan Kiem, The Old Quarter and many more.

- The interesting city is home to many museums too like the Vietnamese National History Museum, National Museum of Fine Arts, National museum of ethnology to name a few.

- The old streets, now part of The Old Quarter have been well known for the different trades and merchant house holds that use to deal with jewellery and silk traders.

- The most popular place to visit is the West Lake, the largest lake in Hanoi. The surrounding area is dotted with temples and a spectacular floating restaurant.

- The night life of this city is equally live as the daytime. There are several clubs, bars, cafes and restaurants where you spend an evening with your family.

- The restaurants specialize in the local delicacies. For a night time shopping experience you can visit the night market that operates during the weekend. Other shopping malls like Hang Da Market and Dong Xuan Market are equally famous.

- For adventure lovers too Hanoi has something on offer. The tourism of Hanoi has taken measures to develop adventure sports like kayaking, rock climbing and trekking.

- The colorful festivals of Hanoi are another reason to attract tourists to this South East Asian country. The festivals are a great time to learn about the local customs and beliefs.

With so much to offer, Hanoi is definitely an interesting place to visit. Its charm lies in its simplicity and will captivate you in no time.

Ha Long Bay Vietnam

Heavenly Castles on Earth

Halong Bay is the jewel in the crown of Vietnam’s travel destinations. One hundred and seventy kilometers from Hanoi, in northeastern Vietnam, Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth. The bay is a magical blend of land and sea with thousands of limestone islands and islets in a myriad of shapes and sizes.

The shapes are as varied as the sizes and many of the islands have been given names, derived from their shapes, such as Voi Island (Elephant), Ga Choi Island (Fighting Cock), Qua Chuong Island (Bell) and Mai Nha Island (Roof); incredibly 989 of the islands have been given names. Numerous islands contain caves and grottos, some hidden away for millions of years, but now accessible to explore and marvel at their immensity and spectacular displays of stalactites and stalagmites.

The bay is bordered on the south and southeast by the Gulf of Tonkin, on the north by China and on the west and southwest by Cát Bà Island and encompasses an immense area of 1553 square kilometers.

According to local legend, long ago when the Vietnamese people were fighting foreign invaders, the Gods sent a family of dragons to help them defend the land. The dragons spat out jewels and jade, which transformed into the islands and islets dotting the bay. Their miraculous handiwork formed a great wall blocking the invaders path.

With the invaders repelled and the people safe again, the family of dragons became interested in more peaceful endeavors and decided to stay to enjoy their stunning creation. Hence the name Ha Long (Ha: descending, Long: dragon). The island where the dragon children attended to their mother was named Bai Tu Long (Bai: attend to, Tu: children, Long: dragon) and the place where the dragon children wriggled their tails as they frolicked in the sea was called Bach Long Vi (Bach: white – the color of the foam from the wriggling tails, Long: dragon, Vy: tail).

Whether or not you are a believer of legends you will be lulled into a sense of peace and contentment by the magical and surrealistic seascape of Halong Bay.

The tranquil emerald green waters and the captivating vistas of the seemingly countless jutting limestone mountainous islands will soothe the soul and stimulate the senses. Few places in the world offer a more breath-taking glimpse of the awesome creativity of Mother Nature.

The Halong Bay World Heritage Site is universally recognized for the significance of its exceptional geology and distinctive biodiversity, and the rich culture of the local people adds to the charm and enchantment of cruising the bay.

October 29, 2008

Hoi An Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam is a small town in Central Vietnam on the coast of South China Sea. Located at the estuary of the Thu Bon river, Hoi An was a busy international commercial port in the 16th and 17th centuries. Herein Chinese from various provinces, Japanese, Dutch and Indians had settled down during the same period. Today Hoi An stands as an example of ancient architecture and is declared as a World Heritage by UNESCO for being one of the best preserved ancient Southeast Asian trading ports.

Hoi An Vietnam

Hoi An Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam is one of the most popular of the Vietnam tourist attractions. It lures the tourists in Vietnam, with its ancient charm of temples, shrines, Chinese style tile-roofed wooden houses and a unique blend of Japanese and Chinese architecture. A vacation in Hoi An, Vietnam would be an ideal one for those looking for a break from the busy city life with peace and tranquility around.

Some of the popular tourist attractions in Hoi An, Vietnam are

- Old Houses
Phung Hung Old House built believed to be built in 1798 is the most visited among all others. This three storied house has a mix of Chinese and Japanese structural designs and used to be a shop house of merchants. The other similar Old Houses in Hoi An, Vietnam are the 200 year old Tan Ky Old House, the well preserved Quan Thang Old House and the Diep Dong Nguyen Old House.

- Temples and Shrines
These are the most visited places for sightseeing in Hoi An, Vietnam. The prominent among them are the Tran Family Worship House built in 1802 by the Tran family, the ethnic Chinese shrine called Truong Family Chapel, Japanese Tombs, Quang Trieu Assembly Hall and Phuc Kien Assembly Hall.

- Beaches, Islands and Lagoons
These are the most popular Hoi An, Vietnam tourist attractions. Among the beaches the Cua Dai Beach famous for sunbath and fresh seafood is widely visited. Cham islands , a cluster of 7 island and Hai Van Pass with hills, valleys and lagoons are no less popular.

- My Son Holy Land
Located 60 kilometers from Hoi An, Vietnam this UNESCO declared World Heritage Site houses 17 temples and towers of 13th and 14th centuries belonging to the Champa people.

- Museums, Churches and Pagodas
Some of the prominent museums are Hoi An Museum of History and Culture, Museum of Sa Huynh Culture and Hoi An Museum of Trade and Ceramics. Some pagodas and churches are also worth a visit in Hoi An, Vietnam like Cao Dai Pagoda, Chuc Thanh Pagoda and the Hoi An Church.

- Shopping
Hoi An, Vietnam offers a good selection of Vietnam art, handicraft and clothes with more than 140 shops in the city as in 2002. The cloth market is filled with small tailor stalls that are cheaper than shops elsewhere.

Getting to Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam is easily accessible by rail and air, another reason for it being one of the prime Vietnam popular destinations. The nearest airport and rail stations are at Danang. There are regular traveler buses running to Hoi An, Vietnam from various other cities of Vietnam.