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.
During bombing raids, village life carried on underground: kids attended school, women gave birth and families watched movies. The tunnels are an amazing achievement of human toil, engineering and perseverance. If you only have time to see one site in the DMZ, this is it.
Exploring the DMZ
Sightseeing the former Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is revisiting an important chapter of Vietnam’s history. As the dividing line between North and South Vietnam, the area along the Ben Hai River saw some of the heaviest fighting of the entire war.
A Luoi is a mountainous district sandwiched between the A Shau Valley and the border with Salavan and Sekong provinces, Laos. Vietnam War veterans and historians will be familiar with the name, as it was the location of several US military bases that saw fierce battles, including Asho Airport and Hamburger Hill, immortalised in a 1987 film.
When we visit a city off the tourist trail, we try hard to uncover what makes the spot unique and worthwhile in its own right. But, when it comes to the provincial capital of Quang Ngai, we’re still looking—but it is the launching point for Son My—better known as the site of the My Lai Massacre.
In Kon Tum, there’s nothing on display in careful glass boxes, no black and white photos to hammer home lessons of the past. Kon Tum is about ghosts and scars.
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