Vietnam has become a popular tourist destination for casual travelers and backpackers alike. This is because the Southeast Asian country is home to a mix of history, culture, and nature. The country is located at the east of Indochina Peninsula. It has an estimated population of 92.7 million last year and is considered as the world’s 14th most populous country. The country is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, and the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia across the South China Sea to the east and southeast. Vietnam’s capital city has been Hanoi since North and South Vietnam have been reunified in 1976.
Some claim that Vietnam ought to be on top of everyone’s travel list. It boasts of dramatic landscapes, fascinating history, delectable food, and pulsating energy. It is described as being crazy and serene as well as thrilling and relaxing at the same time.
When in Vietnam, tourists should make sure to experience the wonderful flavors of the country’s street food. Gone is the need to dine at expensive restaurants since the best place to eat is with the food stalls on the sidewalk. Perhaps the most famous dish is the pho, which is a soup with flat, long rice noodles. It has two main types: the pho bo, made with beef broth, or the pho ga, made with chicken broth. These are usually eaten for breakfast. Another delicacy to try is the bun ca, which is a fish and pork based soup garnished with dill. Meanwhile, bun cha is char grilled pork served over rice noodles with herbs and dipping sauces.
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The country is also the second biggest producer of coffee in the world. Their coffee is famous for being served with sweetened condensed milk which balances out the coffee’s strong and bitter taste. A popular drink is the egg coffee, or ca phe trung, which came about when milk became scarce in 1946.
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Aside from the food, tourists can never truly claim that they have been to Vietnam if they have not found themselves being confused on how to traverse the streets without losing a limb. Traffic at the country’s major cities is infamous for seeming disordered and ceaseless. Motorbikes are the preferred mode of transportation, which actually adds to the hustle and bustle in these cities. The secret to crossing the street safely is to walk steadily at an even pace. With your predictable steps, the motorists can be assured to move around you. The country also provides “a nowhere else to be found” travel experience. Tourists can have the chance to stay with an ethnic family in the Northern mountain of Sapa or sand-surf with local kids in Mui Ne. You can also visit breathtaking landscape such as caves, exotic islands, and its beautiful beaches.
A homestay is one of the adventures in Vietnam that allows tourists to gain an immersive experience of the country’s local culture. Tourists stay in a remote village approximately 10 kilometers north of Sapa called Ta Van.
There is also the opportunity to help out at the rice fields to see how much hard work is needed for their craft. This will not only give you a better understanding of their culture; it also allows you to contribute to the local communities and villages.
Another adventure in Vietnam is the prospect of spending a night on a “junk boat” in Ha Long Bay. This may seem like something that is not luxurious because of its name but it was described as a hotel on a boat. Subsequently, you can also spend the day cruising along Ha Long Bay and watching people in floating fisherman villages.
You can also go kayaking in Vietnam and discover hidden caves in the area. These Vietnam trekking tours all go to either the Surprise Cave or Heaven Cave. The rock formations are brightened by various colors. For those who do not want to explore the caves, you can opt to jump off the cliffs instead for an exhilarating adventure.