1. Things to see and do in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City Gleaming skyscrapers sit side by side with ramshackle buildings and crumbling colonial houses. Monks pass deluxe car showrooms collecting alms and walk along sun-baked streets crammed with honking motorbikes. The Saigon River is constantly crossed by small boats and ferries weaving through larger boats. Ho Chi Minh Trail history tour See some of the Vietnam War sights by walking part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, used as supply routes by the North Vietnamese during the war. You can't fail to be intrigued by the network of tunnels excavated by the Viet Cong from which they launched regular attacks on the US forces. For a taste of life underground scramble through one of the narrow tunnels, specially widened for Western visitors. Hoi An Meander the narrow streets with their tiny shop houses, relax in a riverside bar and savour tasty local dishes. This is the place to buy souvenirs, silk items, T-shirts and ceramics. Whatever you do make sure you treat yourself by having clothes made at one of the many tailors. Hu The former imperial city of Hue is crammed with wonderful sights. The Imperial Citadel, suffering from the ravages and war and the tropical weather, Vietnam car rental is slowly being painstakingly renovated; riverside is the Thien Mu pagoda where novice monks peek shyly at the visitors; and the mausoleums of the Emperors, each unique in style. Meet the locals The best way to meet the locals is to pull up a low plastic chair in the pavement bar order some beer, order fresh peanuts and quails eggs and chat to the locals. Even with a language barrier, you'll be clinking glasses long into the night. Mekong Delta Explore the watery world of the Mekong Delta where channels of the might Mekong Delta crisscross the land and provide a fertile place to grow vast swathes of rice and fruit. Discover riverine towns, floating markets and small riverside industries and spend the night in a homestay with a farming family. Motorbiking It is becoming increasingly popular to hire a motor bike - invariably a Russian made 125cc Minsk - and ride it from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Riddled with all sorts of dangers, not least the vast amount of bikes in the cities, it is nevertheless an exhilarating way to see the country. Vietnam food tour River markets The river markets on the Mekong Delta are an unmissable sight. Life here is dominated by the mighty Mekong and much of Vietnam's rice crop is grow, and the floating markets are still an essential part of life in the south. Get up early to experience Can Tho floating market at its best. Dozens of wooden boats, many that have seen better days, carry the freshest fruit and vegetables. Smaller boats weave through them perusing the wares and the morning air is filled with the sound of good-natured haggling over price. Sapa hill tribes Sapa's stunning alpine scenery is home to several hill tribe villages where life continues pretty much unchanged. Many can be reached by jeep but to get to the more remote villages be
2. prepared to hike. The reward is an overnight in a stilthouse with a family resplendent in riotously colourful traditional costume.