Vietnam

Cities


Cities

Dalat

Located 310 km north of Saigon, Dalat is Vietnam’s favourite honeymoon destination as it is nestled in a mountain valley at an altitude of 1500 metres above sea level. Here at the old French hill station the climate is temperate and the cool evenings attract tourists from all over Vietnam. This beautiful destination is dotted with lakes, cascading waterfalls, evergreen forests and gardens.

Danang

The third largest city of Vietnam, Danang is the gateway to Central Vietnam and a major port city. Here you can visit sites as varied as the Cham Museum which houses and displays the world’s finest collection of Cham sculpture. A visit to the shores of famous China Beach is on the cards along with a sightseeing tour of the Marble Mountains, each representing one of the region’s five elements.

Halong Bay

With thousands of exquisite limestone islands rising from the emerald waters, this bay has not been filmed many times – eg it featured prominently in the French film Indochine – it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in the early 1990s. According to legend, the bay’s beautiful scenery was carved out by a dragon as he made his flight towards the sea. Halong Bay is best enjoyed by a leisurely excursion on a junk, stopping occasionally for passengers to explore the area’s cliffs and caves.

Hanoi

Almost every Vietnam travel package includes a visit to the capital of Hanoi. Pulsing with life, the city is a modern kaleidoscope of restaurants, markets, boutiques and cafés which blends perfectly with a history and culture that has spanned hundreds of years.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon (as it is still called by many) was once known as the “Paris of the East” and ranks among Asia’s great megacities, with towering sky scrapers, densely packed street markets, chic new clubs and sidewalk vendors jostling for business. In the country’s commercial hub, visitors are greeted by evidence of a dynamic growth over the past decade and a surge into contemporary life which ensures it stays the country’s largest city.

Hoi An

This enchanting “living museum” ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site and invites visitors to explore either on foot or by cyclo pedal power. Its shop-houses, impressive pagodas and family chapels date back to the 16th and 17th century when Hoi An it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. It has since blossomed into an artists’ colony, with colourful shops, houses and a wide variety of handicrafts on display.

Hue

This ancient capital city was the cultural and intellectual centre of Vietnam. The ruins of the Old Imperial City, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed protected complex of courtyards and palaces surrounded by moats, impressive temples and libraries. Along the banks of the Perfume River are monumental tombs of former Emperors with a tranquil setting of forested-hills and lakes.

Mekong Delta

This huge river delta is often referred to the lifeblood of Vietnam and is home to a bustling rural culture of floating markets. Here you see boats chug past carrying fresh produce, flowers, plants up and down the many river branches and canals. The region is formed by intricate tributaries of the mighty Mekong River and is filled with rice paddies and mangroves and is rich in culture as it is in its mix of Chinese, ethnic Khmer and Vietnamese.

Nha Trang

One of Vietnam’s most beautiful beachside resorts, it features miles and miles of empty beaches, deserted bays, numerous islands and stunning coral reefs. Swim, snorkel and dive the days away. Sit back, relax and unwind in this paradise and enjoy wonderful seafood meals.

Sapa & Northern Highlands

The Northern Highlands of Vietnam are a wild and in most cases inaccessible region bordered to the north by China and west by Laos. Sapa is home to the diverse hill tribes, each distinguished by their colourful dress. The countryside is spectacular with deep valleys and high mountains, including Fan Si Pan (3143m), Vietnam’s highest peak. Vietnam’s most famous hill station is reached either by road or by a 12-hour overnight sleeper train from Hanoi.

At a Glance...

From the bustling cities of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and capital Hanoi to the glistening waters of Halong Bay with its countless islets, Vietnam has plenty to offer in the major tourist spots. Dalat is Vietnam’s favourite honeymoon destination while UNESCO World Heritage listed Hoi An is a virtual living museum. Then there are the beaches of Nha Trang and the imperial features of ancient Hue.