From the vertiginous rice valleys of Sapa in Vietnam’s north stretching to the fascinating bustle of the Mekong Delta in the south, Vietnam is home to a wealth of attractions that will seduce both budget and top-range travellers.
Welcoming foreign tourists and their dollars since the late 1980s, enterprising Vietnam has rapidly developed a well-trodden trail of attractions. Vietnam’s war-torn history—the French, Americans and Chinese have all left their own unique and not-often positive stamps on the nation—as well as its stunning and varied geography, amazing cuisine, plentiful beaches and near-endless shopping are all reasons to travel to the fast-paced Communist nation.
Our Vietnam travel guide is here to help you get the most out of each and every one of your trips to Vietnam. We begin with some simple guidelines below, aimed at first-time travellers to the country.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Nestled at the foot of limestone cliffs that began formation 400 million years ago, Phong Nha is the gateway to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, home to a series of world record-breaking caves.
Cuc Phuong National Park
Established in 1962, Cuc Phuong is the oldest national park in Vietnam and consists of more than 200 square kilometres of tropical forest and many grottoes, the reserve is rich in wildlife and natural beauty and also possesses historical significance, as prehistoric tools and ancient tombs have been discovered in some of the caves.
Bach Ma National Park
An old French Hill station stretching out over some 40,000 unspoilt hectares, Bach Ma National Park offers great hiking trails, waterfalls, slightly odd and very basic lodgings, a camp site and plenty of wildlife (keep that tent zipped up).
Nam Cat Tien National Park
A haven for lovers of nature and outdoor activities, Cat Tien National Park is one of six biosphere reserves recognised by UNESCO in Vietnam.
Yok Don National Park
Declared a national park in 1992, Yok Don is home to more than to 858 species of trees, 200 bird species, many reptiles, insects and 93 types of animal—unfortunately 32 of them are on the Red List. Large herds of gaurs, wild bulls, Eld’s deer and elephants once roamed Dak Lak province but deforestation, hunting and illegal wildlife trade has all but wiped them out.
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