Top Vietnam destinations to visit in 2016
Crazy and calm, exciting and relaxing, Vietnam is among the rare destinations where your experience can be
stretched to its limits. When it comes to tourism, Vietnam is a reverberating symphony of culture, history, landscape
and at its heart, the people. Traveling to Vietnam, you will find that these categories are not rigid but rather diverse
and dynamic. Every landscape you tread, every architecture you see, every dish you taste and every person you
meet has a story to tell you. Therefore, no matter what preferences you have, Vietnam can offer you your best travel
In 2016, Vietnam is forecasted be an even more ideal destination. Major international and regional events, especially
Hues Festival 2016 and Asian Beach Games 2016, will be held at various tourist destinations. Another reason why
Vietnam should be on your list in 2016 is about affordability. Although tourism has witnessed giant leap for the last
decade, in Vietnam, prices are low compare to other countries. Take for instance, while having a decent vacation in
Bali will cost you no less than $100 per person per day, a lovely two-day cruise tour in Halong Bay is only around
$140. The deal gets even better if you are a backpacker: it only costs you around $20 a day to discover and enjoy the
most expensive metropolises of Vietnam.
Below is a must-go list for you to start with:
Hanoi is a unique city where seemingly contradictory characteristics happen to exist in harmony. It is where the
people embrace rich cultural legacy while thriving to modernity and affluence. It is where you can easily find
thousand-year-old pagodas, colonial French-style buildings, and modern skyscrapers all located on the same street.
And it is where you can find hip-hop dancers showcasing their skills with daring moves in the same park where old
grandfathers are doing Taichi with a calm and relaxing demeanor.
When it comes to tourism, there are endless choices for a thrilling and satisfying excursion in Hanoi. In this city of
more than one thousand year of historical continuity, you can virtually walk through time as you visit various tourist
attractions and historical sites. Some of them date back to as far as the 1000s C.E., such as One Pillared Pagoda,
Temple of Literature and National University. The Old Quarter or the Ancient Streets, which is regarded as Base
Camp for many foreign tourists, is also a historical landmark as it was actually conveyed many centuries ago,
encompassing streets that made and sold all sorts of commodities. The sights of modernity such as high-rise
buildings with shopping, dinning and entertainment complexes, are, of course, visible everywhere in the city.
Bai Tu Long Bay & Cat Ba Island
Bai Tu Long Bay is one of the most beautiful seascapes in Vietnam. Located within the Gulf of Tonkin, they bay is
capable of leaving you in awe with its emerald waters and thousands of titanic islands and islets. Adjacent to Halong
Bay at its southwest side, Bai Tu Long Bay is even more mesmerizing than its counterpart because of the absence of
mass commercialization. Here, you will have the chance to visit Bai Tu Long National Park, which is the habitat of
hundreds of flora and fauna. Aside from these natural scenery, the bay is home to about 30,000 people. Most of them
live by fishing on Van Don, Quan Lan, Ban Sen, Ngoc Vung islands. A day tour to their offshore fishing villages will
offer you a glimpse into their simple yet back-to-nature lifestyle.
To the southwest of Bai Tu Long Bay is Cat Ba Archipelago which belongs to Hai Phong City. With green islands and
giant limestone islets, Cat Bas waters are consistent with the magnificent scenery of the surrounding seascapes. The
main island of the archipelago is Cat Ba Island, also the largest island in the Gulf of Tonkin. With an area of 354
square kilometers and a population of more than 8000 people, the island is a resort town with more than enough
infrastructure and facilities to support the influx of tourists and vacationing locals every summer. In spite of these
manmade development, a major area of Cat Ba is zoned as national park where diverse ecosystem, dense forests
and large limestone grottos are preserved.
Trang An Eco-complex
Located 100 km from Hanoi, Trang An Eco-complex is a part of Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, a 2000-
square-kilometer area that hosts various tourist attractions, ranging from natural scenery to religious architecture.
Boasting the nickname of Inland Halong Bay, Trang An Eco-complex is packed with limestone mountains, jungle,
caves and river. The most popular way to travel through this area is on small rowing boats. Cruising on serpentine
river of sparkling emerald water, tourists will feel immersed in the refreshing atmosphere and enthralled by the
The boats will take you to the limestone caves along the river. More precisely, you will go under the mountains by
boat. There are 9 caves in total and each has its own shape, size and formation. Some caves are so big that once
you are inside, everything is surrounded by darkness and you cannot even see their end. Some has its own historical
legend such as Wine-brewing cave, which is believed to have some connection with Dinh Tien Hoang, the ancient
king who unified Vietnam a millennium ago. At some points of the journey, the water is so calm and clear that you can
see the algae and fish floating and swimming below.
Where the nostalgic and poetic ambiance can be felt from the quiet corner of the streets to the mossy walls of
imposing citadel, Hue is a city of its own class. Being the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945, Hue hosts an array of
old palaces, citadels, tombs, and temples. Magnificent as the impression that these structure may give, Hue,
contradictorily, is renowned for its solemnity and quietness. Maybe this can be traced to the history of Hue, the last
imperial capital of the last dynasty of Vietnam, and later on a city that suffered unimaginable horror during the bloody
Vietnam War. No matter what the reason is, Hue can be aptly compared to a lady that harbors deeply in her heart a
sad story that manifests in the poetic atmosphere of the city.
Endless words and phrases of poem have been invented to describe the dazzling charm of Huong River, the most
precious treasure of Hue. However, the beauty of the river is beyond word, especially at sunset when you have to see
it to believe it. The experience of stepping into a Romantic painting!
Though no longer the capital of Vietnam, Hue can still proudly boast its title of the center of Vietnamese cuisine. Once
home to the most extravagant dynasty, Hues cuisine has developed into an art, with every dish being perfect from
the look to the taste and encompassing the finest of Vietnamese gastronomy.
Danang/ My Khe beach
Voted as the best city to live in Vietnam, Da Nang is a combination of modernity and tranquility. Unlike Hanoi and Ho
Chi Minh City, which often face the nightmare of traffic and pollution as well as many hassles regarding urban
planning and development, Da Nang is blessed with large area relative to its population. Revamped infrastructure,
modernist buildings, surreal bridges (at night), clean boulevards and friendly people have become the widely
recognized qualities of the city.
Located in a superb location for developing tourism, Da Nang has been regarded as the most attractive destination
by many Vietnamese families and foreign tourists. Natural wonders range from white-sand beaches to tropical forests
on Son Tra Peninsula and manmade attractions ranges from Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort to Fantasy Park Indoor
A maritime city, Da Nang is most renowned for its beaches, among which My Khe is the most beautiful. Indeed, this
slightly sloped strip of crystal water, white sand and poplar trees was voted by Forbes Magazine as one of the worlds
six most attractive beaches in 2005. Before 1975, My Khe was reserved exclusively for U.S. GIs stationed in South
Vietnam. Nowadays, My Khe is dotted with hotels catering to all kinds of tourist demand.
Hoi An is an ancient town, located in Quang Nam Province. With mild climate and strategic location, Hoi An used to
be one of the busiest port in Asia, attracting merchants ships from China, Japan and Europe during the 17th and
18th centuries. Trade not only brought material prosperity but also cultural values, especially in terms of artifacts and
architecture, to Hoi An. However, during the colonization period of 19th, Hoi An lost its position as the primary port of
Central Vietnam to Da Nang which was being developed by the French. Since then, Hoi An became a quiet and
peaceful old town, unaffected even during the turbulent years of the wars and the following mass-urbanization period.
Thus, most of the cultural and architectural values of this city have remained intact.
Hoi An has the unique charm to mesmerize any tourist with its atmospheric and delightful ambiance. Free from the
modern curses of traffic and pollution, Hoi An offers its visitors the exp