Most people have a vague idea of what Vietnam is about. Apart from the socialist association and rich history (courtesy of the cold wars of the 60’s and 70’s), this Asian rice producing giant with over 90.3 million inhabitants has largely remained unknown in the mainstream media (apart from the negative points of course) compared to other parts of the world. As a result, there are many unknown, positive sides you will wish you knew, for lack of better words. Fortunately, this article presents some of the top 8 sides of Vietnam you’ve probably read about somewhere (but not sure where), or have never heard about entirely.
Ho Chi Minh City
The rest of the world firmly knows Saigon as the capital of Vietnam- probably because of the unforgettable dull past. To the internal city officials however, Ho Chi Minh City is the city always on the move. It’s the socialist republic’s center of commerce, governance and corporate activity. The city has all you can look for in a great city. With attractions carried from both the old days of the cold wars, to the new, Ho Chi Minh City is full of marvels any traveler would love to discover.
Breathtaking Scenic Beauty
There are so many things which define beauty but Vietnam is a manifestation of true beauty. From the cascading rice paddies, to the misty peaks of hills, Vietnam, especially the northwestern side, is extraordinarily stunning to visitors and locals. Travelers can get a proper glimpse of the flowing beauty on hikes, and other outdoors.
Water, Water and More Water
Vietnam is full of rivers, tributaries and water canals. There is water, virtually everywhere you go in this beautiful country. Water channels especially, crisscross the low lands with their sources comfortably situated in the highlands. As one would expect, there are numerous settlements, social hubs, and other fun attractions around these water points.
There are very few countries that boast of enough water points to support general commerce. Vietnam has a unique market setting different from the general, open air market setting in most parts of Asia. Vietnamese floating markets sell groceries, fruits (water melons, pineapples, etc.) and other things to the early risers in the country, as well as visitors. While these tend to be everywhere with solid river banks, floating markets are a spectacular view in the riverbank town of Cai Rang.
Food is a crucial part of the Vietnamese culture. Food surrounds you wherever you go. While Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are undoubtedly the most illustrious cities in this country, Hoi An is the renowned culinary powerhouse in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The country’s culinary prowess are vast and range from general rice dishes in five star hotels and restaurants to small dishes at street eating spots, among others.
Staggering Coastal Scenes
You’ve probably seen some amazing coastal scenes in James Bond movies, but nothing close to the vast post card perfect coastal views of Vietnam. Research has shown that Vietnam houses close to 2,000 limestone islands which make perfect coastal scenes for visitors. Most global travelers consider these limestone islands, and the vast Halong Bay as the most spectacular coastal scene in the whole of Asia- yet it’s something the rest of the world doesn’t really know.
While a huge majority of Vietnamese people live in the countryside; there are an ample number of urban dwellers who perpetrate the country’s rich history. Hanoi in particular, is the country’s quintessential city. You’ll find everything from the county’s old temples to old propaganda posters of the 70’s among other things here.
Massive Rice Beauty
Do you know that rice fields make such spectacular views? Vietnam is the world’s largest exporter of rice after Thailand. Given its vast lands and ever flowing waters, the country is blessed with, man-made, breathtaking rice terraces. The Sa Pa terraces, which are located in northwestern Vietnam near China, make for great rice field beauty.
From the above list, it’s clear that Vietnam is indeed, a country of many sides not known to most people. From the unique capital, to the renowned culinary centers and the floating markets, Vietnam is a country with plenty.