The longitudinal shape of Vietnam makes it an ideal country for a linear route. Except for the northernmost part, the rest of the country is a narrow strip of no more than 150km wide, and most of the highlights are near the South China Sea. Vietnam is rich in historical cities, beautiful landscapes and a nice seaside. It is a very densely populated country, so it is a perfect place for cultural tourism. There are three interesting ways of crossing Vietnam from north to south or vice versa: by night bus to save some money, by train to enjoy the authentic side, or by plane to save time. If booked in advance planes can be quite cheap.
Here are the Vietnam Top 5
Hanoi is a 1000 year old city that served as the political center of Vietnam during most of its history. It is the national capital, main northern city, a big railroad junction and a good starting point for some of Vietnam’s most spectacular destinations. The city itself lies on the banks of the Red River and its branches, surrounded by mountains to the north and west.
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is a set of more than 1600 islands in the South China Sea, 100 km east of Hanoi. It is a spectacular bunch of limestone hills, dotted by magnificent caves and lakes. More than a half of them have been given names by the locals according to their shape. The biggest island Cat Ba is home to a national park. Around 1600 people live in 4 fishing villages.
The cultural and spiritual center of Vietnam, Hue appeared on the world map when the Nguyen dynasty established its capital there in 1802. The city is dominated by the large Citadel that once hosted the Imperial City, inside which the royal family had its forbidden city. To the west of the city, near the Perfume River several tombs of the emperors are real architectural gems to be discovered.
The Beautiful city of Hoi An still retains the spirit of an ancient port town, with buildings dating from the 15th to 19th century. Its Old Town is a witness of Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese influences. Hundreds of old houses and temples have been restored and opened to tourists. Apart from that, Hoi An has an exquisite location on the Thu Bon River, 5 km from the sea, giving it additional charm.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and its economic motor. Lying less than 100km away from the Mekong delta it is the perfect starting point for some excellent excursions. Much of old Saigon was lost during in the Vietnam war, but several splendid colonial masterpieces still dominate the city center together with newly built high rise commercial buildings.
More photos of Ho Chi Minh City HERE