Why travel to Vietnam? It seems that many people are not fully aware of all the amazing sites to visit in this country. If you like traveling to Asian countries, you will probably think that everything that’s written in this article is common knowledge. However, if you have yet to discover the beauty of Vietnam, this article will be a great starting point for you.
So, where should we begin? Let’s start by mentioning probably the best known city in Vietnam – Saigon, today known as Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City
One tour of Ho Chi Minh City is enough for the tourist to understand the rich cultural history and heritage of the former Saigon. One can find both traces of French colonial era and a strong Chinese influence here. All the tourists who love seeing different architecture styles in one city will be more than happy with the diversity of styles to be found in this magical city. The images bellow might seem like they were taken on two different continents, but the fact is, both of these beautiful temples can be found in Ho Chi Minh City.
Buddhist Temple, traditional architecture, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Dennis Jarvis. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.
Notre Dame, French colonial era, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Jesper Hjertstedt. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is another city worth your time. It is well connected with Ho Chi Minh City so organizing the visit to both of these cities will not be a problem. This city, just like the previous one, had many different names throughout history, and that just goes to show its rich history. And once a city has a rich history, it is without the shadow of a doubt interesting from the tourist point of view. That’s why tourists worldwide have flocked to Hanoi in the past few years, voting it one of the best world’s destinations on prominent travel websites such as Trip Advisor. In Hanoi, one can visit numerous museums, temples of different religions (traditional Vietnamese pagodas as well as Christian churches) and the famous Opera House.
As a tourist eager to get to know the Vietnamese culture, you’ll probably enjoy the Vietnamese Museum of Ethnology, where you can see different traditional artifacts and everyday objects gathered all over the country.
Hanoi, Temple of Literature (also known as Temple of Confucius). Photo by Stefan Fussan. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.
There is one more thing every tourist will enjoy in Vietnam – traditional Vietnamese cuisine. It should be every traveler’s goal to experience the culture through its traditional food, and if you agree with this viewpoint, Vietnam will have a lot to offer. Let’s begin this delicious list by mentioning Pho, probably the symbol of Vietnamese cuisine. This popular stew is made of rice and beef, and it can be eaten all day long, from breakfast to dinner. There are almost twenty different kinds of Pho, and once you taste it, you will understand why it is so popular.
Another popular Vietnamese dish is Cha Ca. Again, like with many Vietnamese dishes (and Asian in general), Cha Ca contains rice, but unlike Pho, it includes fish, as well as aromatic herbs that are used as a spice. If you prefer adding more vegetables to your dish, you can always opt for the traditional Vietnamese vegetable salad – it contains papaya, cucumbers and carrots; however, there is one ingredient vegetarians won’t appreciate – pork. As an addition to this salad, Vietnamese chefs often add the traditional sauce called nuoc mam.
Vietnamese cuisine also offers a wide variety of desserts, such as Xoi – rice with fruits and sugar, or Banh deo (or Moon’s cake) – made of fruits and rice flour.
This list is just a brief overview, and if you’d love to explore traditional Vietnamese cuisine, you should definitely book a culinary vacation in Vietnam.
Pho, Vietnamese cuisine. Photo by fabulousfabs. License: CC BY 2.0.
As you all can see after reading this article, Vietnam is a destination that has a lot to offer to anyone interested in Asian culture, to people who love different styles of architecture, or simply to any gourmand out there who is always on the lookout for delicious dishes.