The image that many people will have of Vietnam is one that is dominated by the country’s portrayal in Hollywood films, but the reality is that the country is far removed from what it was during the Vietnam War. The country has seen significant development in the infrastructure, and many of the cities now provide a city centre that is often just as developed as a western city. However, there has always been an air of mystery about Vietnam, and this is still present today drawing visitors from across the world to visit every year, and here are some of the best cities to visit.
The capital city is the second largest in the country, and is a wonderful place to visit as it has a wealth of history and interesting architecture to explore, as well as being one of the most important cities in the country. The city has seen significant development since the 1990s, and this has seen the thousands of people who would commute by bicycle be largely replaced by people commuting by motorbike. The shopping in the city is very good, and there are now modern shopping malls along with the quaint Vietnamese markets.
One of the most beautiful sights in the city is the amazing Turtle Tower, which is a three storey building rising on a small outcropping of land in the middle of the Sword Lake in the middle of the city. The city also has a series of museums and exhibitions that include the gatehouse of the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ which was where prisoners of war were taken during the Vietnam War.
Ho Chi Minh City
Saigon, as the city is still often called in the west, is the largest city in the country and is one of the major tourist cities in Vietnam, attracting millions of visitors every year. Many of the classic buildings in the French style are still to be found in the city, including the Hotel Majestic and the Notra-Dame Cathedral, and the boulevards of the city centre are still a great place to explore.
The city still holds many memories from the Vietnam War which are remembered in the WarRemnantsMuseum and the Museum of Vietnamese History, and the Cu Chi Tunnels are a network of tunnels running beneath the city which were used by the rebels, and can be explored with a guide.
The coastal city of Hue is one that still holds importance in Vietnam, and is a particularly interesting place to visit due to its range of historic buildings and monuments. Today the city has a population of around 350,000, and is particularly noted for the prevalence of vegetarianism among its people.
The range of ancient buildings to be found in the city is noted by UNESCO for their importance, and the ImperialCity is a formidable city inside which lies an impressive city. There is also the Thien Mu Pagoda, which is one of the most impressive buildings in the city, and was built at the start of the seventeenth century.
Mui Ne is a city on the south coast of Vietnam that has seen a significant growth in tourism over recent years, with wonderful beaches and blue seas that make it a great destination. The brightly colored fishing boat fleet in the harbor are all traditional boats that look as though they are taken straight from a postcard, while the white sand dunes to the north of the city are stunning. The growth in tourism has seen the area become particularly popular as a water sport destination, with windsurfing and kite surfing both being popular.
Another of the important trading cities in Vietnam, Da Nang lies on the east coast of the country, and is an important base for visitors as it lies within easy reach of many important sites in the region. The archaeological site at My Son was firstly noted for its Buddhist architecture, but significant bombing by US forces during the Vietnam War damaged much of the site, and there are still many craters to be seen across the site. Da Nang is also a short distance away from the remarkably beautiful MarbleMountains, which are small marble and limestone hills rising from the valley floor. These are home to stunning caves that have been intricately and elaborately decorated.