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The Vietnam Guide Part I: What to see

As you all may know I am from Vietnam and every 3 years I come back to Vietnam to visit my grandparents and my relatives. I also travel a lot with my family and saw quite a lot. Usually we are 6 weeks in Vietnam, but this time I was only 3 weeks there, I still got around though.

I just want to share some impressions outside the tourism side and also some tips what to see and what to eat there.
In this post I want to share with you first of all what you should definitely see in Vietnam:

But first: Every place I have already visited is marked as a link in the text and in the headline, so you can get more details if you are interested in the city. I also worked together with my friend Thao Nhi Le, blogger from DAPHALE. She visits Vietnam more often than me and also travels a lot around Vietnam, a few links will lead to her blogposts about Vietnam.

WHAT TO SEE

THE NORTH

Although I am from the North side, I have to say the South side is much more attractive to me but the North also has a few spots you should definetely should see:

HANOI

The capital of Vietnam has a lot of traditional buildings to offer and a lot of boutiques. It is also home of the famous food ‚bun cha‘.
If you want to go shopping, you should go to Hang Non Street, there is even a street with only women boutiques. Most of the streets are named after the product which is sold at the street like ‚leather street‘ , ‚silk street‘ and so on.
If you want to know more of Hanoi, just click on the link, I will tell you all about where to eat and what to do there in more details

HA LONG

Ha Long is a beautiful bay in the North and has wonderful caves which you can visit in a tour. The place became more and more touristic throughout the years and it is worth paying this place a visit!

Photo by Thao Nhi Le ( DAPHALE )

Photo by Thao Nhi Le ( DAPHALE )

CAT BA

Cat Ba is near Ha Long, but I have never been there. This place has a national parc with rare animals and plants. Cat Ba is also the biggest island in Ha Long bay and an UNESCO biosphere reserve.

TRANG AN AND BAI DINH

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Bai Dinh is a beautiful place with the biggest temple in Asia. I would recommend you to go on a day where it is not very sunny, it can be very exhausting going all these stairs up. I didn’t make it to go to every big statue in this temple because I was too exhausted, I couldn’t even breath anymore because it was so exhausting! Plan a full day to enjoy this beautiful place, if you are interested in the history of this place, you can take a tour guide.
Just a few minutes away is Trang An, I would recommend you to go there after Bai Dinh to relax and chill on the boat.
There are almost only women who will guide you and row the boat, you can do that too if you want to. The scenery is beautiful and you even float through some caves which is very exciting!

SA PA

I haven’t visited this place yet, but telling from the pictures I saw, it is amazing! Sa Pa is located at the border of China and 380 km away from Ha Noi. My family in Vietnam told me the best time to visit Sa Pa is from September to November. During that time it isn’t that hot anymore, but you have to bring warm clothing with you because it can get very cool at night.

THE SOUTH

The South is more western than the North, it is also more modern here and I love being in the South. I would recommend to visit only the South if you don’t have a lot of time.

HUE

Hue is not really the South, but it is located at the central of Vietnam. I just went there to see my relatives but never actually did some sightseeing there. I just know that Hue is an ancient city with a lot of imperial buildings and memorials. If you are interested in history, Hue is worth a visit!

DA NANG

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This is where my grand aunt lives. Da Nang has beautiful bridges, you should definetely take a walk there at night! The dragon bridge is probably the most famous there, but there are a lot of other bridges too, for example the love bridge. Near Da Nang are a lot of attractions and places to visit just as Hoi An, Cu Lam Chao, Ba Na Hills and Vu Hanh Son, which you can all do as a little tour for a day and come back to Da Nang.

HOI AN

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The city of lamps is even more beautiful at night! You have to stay there at least over one night, all the lights are so magical when they glow in the dark. You can also let a little light float over the river and make a wish.
If you want to know more about Hoi An, just click on the link.

NHA TRANG

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Nha Trang is very touristic and a beautiful place to visit. There is also an island called ‚Vinpearl‘ which you can reach with a cable car. I haven’t been there in a while, but you can get more informations here.

DA LAT

I just stopped at Da Lat only for a few hours, but apparently Da Lat has a lot more to offer than just the beach. Among Vietnamese people it is famous for its waterfalls, a lot of people like to take their wedding photos there.

MUI NE

If you love to go surfing, this is the place. Mui Ne has high waves in my opinion, which is why I wasn’t able to go swimming there, but I like it a lot. The beach where I went to is full of jellyfishes, sea shells, etc. very natural finished.
A lot of Russians live here in this area, which is somehow interesting to me, because I never experienced a foreigner community in my homecountry.

If you stay a little longer at Mui Ne you have to visit the sand dunes! It is not far away, there are two, a red one and a white one. Both of them are worth the visit! I went there once and couldn’t get enough of what nature has to offer to us! You can also rent a quad and cruise through the dunes.

Not far away from Mui Ne are the fairy streams, which is a little river you can walk. You just need to take of the shoes and then you can enjoy nature very close.

Photo by Thao Nhi Le ( DAPHALE )

Photo by Thao Nhi Le ( DAPHALE )

HCMC – HO CHI MINH CITY

Ho Chi Minh City or also called Saigon by us is an impressive city. It is a contrast to the capital city in the Northern Part of Vietnam. I went there twice and I love it there, but it is also more dangerous. A lot of thieves are there so you have to take care of your belongings very well. HCMC has a lot of international restaurants, shops and sky bars – If you want to see more of HCMC go to DAPHALE’s blogpost.

PHU QUOC ISLAND

Phu Quoc is a little island which is famous for its fish sauce. I haven’t been there, but you can see on this picture which a friend sent to me, that it is very beautiful.

MEKONG DELTA

Mekong Delta is a beautiful place and as big as the Netherlands. Floating markets are all over the place there and the most famous places are My Tho, Can Tho and Chau Doc. Thao Nhi visited this beautiful place and I hope I can get there too one day!

Photo by Thao Nhi Le ( DAPHALE )

Photo by Thao Nhi Le ( DAPHALE )

I hope I could help you with my brief short guide, so you have little idea where to go and what to see in Vietnam. If you want to know more, just contact me, I’ll be happy to help you!

Also check my other blogposts about the different parts in Vietnam, the next blogpost will be about famous Vietnamese dishes you definitely need to try out!

Love

Luna

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