Most people associate Vietnam with the devastating Vietnam War and yes it was a terrible time with consequences still felt to this day. However, the country is so much more than the war. It is home to some of the friendliest people who will go out of their way to help you, stunning scenery at every corner, and a history that goes back thousands of years. With that said, let’s take a look at 10 reasons why you should visit Vietnam.
1. Amazing food
Vietnamese cuisine has been creating a splash around the world and making people drool over its refreshing and umami taste. Despite the prevalence of Vietnamese food around the world, there is something about having authentic cuisine in its home country that just makes it all the better. Everywhere you go in Vietnam you will be treated to some amazing food that will tickle your taste buds. The most famous dish to come out of Vietnam, the pho, is made differently everywhere so you get to try different variations depending on which city or province you are in. Other dishes you need to try while in Vietnam are banh mi, bun cha, banh xeo, Goi cuon, and more.
2. Natural beauty
Vietnam is blessed with some of the most stunning sceneries you’ll ever come across in your lifetime. The scenery across the country is so varied that the best part about it is that no two places are alike. If you go north you’ll come across the highlands of Sapa, magnificent mountains like Mt. Fansipan (the tallest mountain in Vietnam) that is perfect for trekking, and limestone karsts jutting out of bays. Go south and you’ll witness the majestic Mekong Delta with its mangrove forests. Right along the middle, you’ll get to experience the sandy beaches of Danang and quaint picturesque towns like Hoi An.
3. Friendly locals
Everywhere you go in Vietnam, you will be welcomed with open arms. The people here are some of the friendliest and most hardworking people you’ll ever meet. Even if you don’t speak an inkling of Vietnamese, the locals will still go out of their way to help you if you ask. No matter where you are in the country, whether it’s in the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City or a small town off the beaten track, you will find people who are willing to help you with a smile. So, if you are in Vietnam, remember to be respectful and take the opportunity to get to know the locals.
4. Halong Bay
Halong Bay deserves its own mention in this list and for good reason. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam and is visited by thousands every year. Located in North Vietnam, just a few hours away from Hanoi, this unique bay is worth the visit. While here, the best thing you can do is go on an overnight cruise in a traditional junk boat and witness the stunning scenery all around you. Another fantastic thing to do here is to go island hopping. Halong Bay is home to hundreds of small islands that are great for a mini-vacation within a vacation. All around the bay, you will also find plenty of caves you can explore on your own or with a tour company.
Vietnam for all that it has to offer is a relatively cheaper country compared to its neighbors, especially the tourist juggernaut, Thailand. You can spend an entire day in Vietnam without having to spend more than $50 to $55 per person, per day. For an entire week of vacation, it will usually cost around $350 to $360 including accommodations. You will find cheap, clean, and comfortable backpacking hostels all over the country for as less as $10 or even $5. Food in Vietnam is one area where you can splurge without making a dent in your wallet. Most of the time, food will cost around $10 or even less depending on where you want to eat.
Vietnam is known around the world for the devastating Vietnam War or American War as it is known here. Most people don’t know anything beyond the war. However, the country has a long and rich history dating back millennia with a total of eight UNESCO World heritage sites across the country. One of these sights is the My Son Cham ruins which date back to the 4th century. Both the Old Quarter of Hanoi and the city of Hue with its temples and tombs are also a gold mine for history lovers. You can also find remnants of recent history in the famous Cu Chi Tunnels and Hoa Lo Prison among many others.
The country is a mix and match of so many cultures from the Khmer to the Chinese to the Indians to the Japanese to the French. So many cultures came together to create a unique way of life here in Vietnam. Another thing that makes Vietnam such a unique place you need to visit is its ethnic minorities. There are a total of 54 recognized ethnic minorities living within the borders of Vietnam. Each minority tribe has its own unique way of life that is fascinating to observe and interact with.
8. Easy visa process
If you are planning to travel, one of the most daunting things to do is to get through the visa process. Vietnam provides two main ways through which you can get a visa done- the first is through an online method provided by a government-recognized company like BDATrip and the second is through the nearest Vietnam embassy or consulate. The government of Vietnam also exempts visas for a total of 24 countries. For instance, citizens of Brunei do not require a visa to visit Vietnam for a maximum of 14 days. However, if their stay extends beyond 14 days, they will have to apply for a visa.
Vietnam is a relatively safe destination for tourists, including female solo travelers. The country prides itself on its friendly locals who go out of their way to help tourists. There is very little violent crime in this country. However, petty crimes like pickpockets may occur around crowded areas. But if you use your common sense you won’t need to worry about any crime at all.
10. Coffee culture
If you are a coffee lover, then Vietnam should be your dream destination. When a country prides itself on its coffee, you can bet it’s amazing. The country is one of the biggest exporters of coffee in the world and has a very high number of coffee drinkers as well. Everywhere you go in the country you’ll find cafes and small street stalls selling all kinds of coffee from black coffee or even coffee made with condensed milk and sometimes even egg yolk.