Most visitors to the North arrive in the country’s capital, Hanoi - the city is abuzz with sights, sounds, smells, and fabulous food - a delight to the senses! Narrow laneways lead to hidden cafes, ancient temples sit beside towering modern buildings, and swarms of motorbikes zip around serene lakes. Hanoi also has dozens of museums as well as the mausoleum and former home of Ho Chi Minh, the country’s most important political figure.
Escaping the busy capital, travelers are treated to some of Vietnam’s most stunning landscapes. The Northwest is full of mountainous terrain inhabited by several ethnic minorities. This area is well known for its trekking and is also home to Vietnam’s highest peak, Mt Fansipan. To the east of Hanoi lies the fertile Red River Delta and endless miles of farmland. Further afield is Halong Bay, a remarkable section of the Gulf of Tonkin filled with emerald waters and limestone cliffs.
Central Vietnam is the country’s cultural heart with ancient wonders and rich traditions. Hue was the seat of the Royal Imperial Court for centuries and its influence is seen today in the city’s architecture and culture. Several elaborate tombs and the mighty Citadel are still standing and modern buildings continue to incorporate design elements reminiscent of the era. The city’s food reflects the culinary demands of the former emperors and is regarded as the best in the country. Further south, Hoi An remains seemingly untouched from its years as a popular trading port. The traditional houses, tailor shops, and local markets are a delight to explore. The center is also the country’s narrowest strip of land and the scenery is extremely diverse. The stretch of land referred to as ‘the Central Highlands’ is another trekking destination for exploring Vietnam’s ethnic hill tribes.The Southern
Southern Vietnam is dominated by Ho Chi Minh City, a modern, bustling city full of wide boulevards and highrise buildings. Travel just a short distance north and you can reach the fabulous beaches of Mui Ne, Phan Thiet, and Nha Trang as well as the cool highlands of Dalat. To the far south lies the Mekong Delta, where the Mekong River splays out in to thousands of tributaries. The winding canals, floating markets, and tiny villages of this area are an incredible sight to behold.