Vietnam is an amazing place. In one moment you can be in rural villages where the people there farm and fish, harvesting rice and honoring old traditions. In the next moment, you’ll be surrounded by tall skyscrapers on a bustling street where vendors sell freshly made snacks and meals, where scents manage to mingle with sounds and things never seem to stop.
The wide world of Vietnam is likely to surprise you with its lively cities and hard-working countryside. Rich cultures you have never experienced are here in full force, even as modern innovations and technologies continue to grow within the busy cities. Indeed, Vietnam is like many countries in its struggle to bring both technology and tradition together. However, because the two are still relatively separate, this gives you the chance to enjoy luxury accommodations while you tour the entire span of Vietnam culture and society. From imperial cities to lush, open wilderness, Vietnam has something to offer everyone.
If you want to start off in the exciting city, visit Ho Chi Minh City first. It is still popularly known as Saigon to locals, and it is the largest city in Vietnam. For over 300 years this city has existed, slowly but surely building upon itself with newer and more updated buildings and technologies, which allow you to see street vendors along the corners with traditional foods, but sleek cafes that serve high end drinks. It’s a unique mix of shops, houses, and even offices. Museums and centuries old pagodas still stand there today.
For something a little more laid back, try Nha Trang. Palm-lined boulevards and modern hotels mingle with fancy villas and sandy beaches. You can relax in your room, on a balcony, or on the beach itself. Or you can visit the Oceanographic Institute and its amazing aquarium and then go visit the Lang Son Pagoda.
The Mekong Delta is a buzzing hub of activity where over half of Vietnam’s agricultural output comes from. This is true river culture where people live on some of the small islands and produce coconut candy and honey. Can Tho is the biggest city in the delta and is renowned for it’s floating market.
Hanoi has been the capital for over a thousand years and endures even today. It has weathered wars, invasions, and more, but it hasn’t given up. Hanoi is teeming with life, from young people on scooters to families traveling down the roads. You’ll find a unique mix of French and Chinese here.
No matter what you decide, see if you can visit more than one place during your trip because Vietnam has so much to offer.