Tourism is one of the major components of the Vietnam’s economy. Tourist arrivals in this former French colony have been incredibly great. The country is known as a great destination for culture and nature enthusiasts, beach lovers, and backpackers. Even young adults will have a great time experiencing various adventures and exploring the different attractions of this socialist republic in Southeast Asia.
As simple as that – eat! Vietnamese cuisine is distinctive and can really mean a great experience for tourists. Eating bowls of noodles at small sidewalk cafes is one of the things that identify Vietnam. The cheap food (around $1) is simple but is enough to bring warmth and joy. Vietnam is also a producer of fresh vegetables, herbs, and seafood. Indulging in authentic Vietnamese dishes is a great way to get into Vietnamese culture – something that can be conveniently done on the streets or sidewalks.
One of the country’s famous dishes worth trying is the phở, a broth soup prepared with chicken meat or beef with rice noodles. It is considered as Vietnam’s national dish. Another dish worth trying is the fried fish morsels called cha ca. The banh xeo crispy crepe, nem ran crunchy spring rolls, and banh khot pancake, and nom hoa chuoi banana flower salad are also great dishes that represent Vietnamese flavor.
When it comes to drinks, the cheap beer on the streets of Vietnam can be an interesting treat. Also, the distinctive light draught beer called bia hơi is a great drink to try. It only has 3% alcohol and costs significantly cheaper than Western style beers. Vietnam also has the ruou de rice alcohol and the coconut wine called ruou dua. Local vodka is also relatively cheap in Vietnam.
Take a Ride
This may sound like something an elderly or middle-aged tourist would like to do. However, using the atypical transportation modes of Vietnam can be one great experience even for younger travelers. Vietnam has trains, buses, and taxis but if you want some adventure while commuting, try the motorcycle taxis called xe ôm. They are cheap and available almost everywhere. There are also sidecar motorbikes and pushing and pulling cyclos (xích lô and xích lôi) around, especially around the Saigon area.
An elephant ride is also worth looking forward to. Moreover, although this may not qualify as a mode of transport, it is worth mentioning that Vietnam has a very long cable car system that moves up to the top of Bana Mountain in Danang. Riding on it would mean a 5,042-meter ride that offers a bird’s eye view of various places.
Of course, going to various attractions is something any tourist would like to do – and Vietnam has a lot to offer. The country features a good number of heritage sites, national parks, biosphere reserves, and beach resorts. One of these is Nha Trang, Vietnam’s most famous resort town, offering beautiful beaches with clear waters and mild temperatures.
The Mui Ne, with its sand dunes and beaches, is also a great place to visit. It offers exciting opportunities for kitesurfing and windsurfing. The panoramic view of Mui Ne during sunsets is a sight to behold.
Additionally, tourists shouldn’t miss sailing or boating into Ha Long Bay. The Bay is considered as Vietnam’s foremost tourist attraction. Ha Long Bay offers magnificent seascapes and features numerous islands with huge caves, lush vegetation, limestone pillars, and areas inhabited by fishermen (referred to as floating villages).
Backpacking around Vietnam, especially for adventurous young tourists, can be a great idea. However, it can be quite a challenge. Crossing streets can be cumbersome if not risky. If you are lost, relying on your smartphone’s map or GPS service may not be an option. Nevertheless, friendly people can offer assistance.
Well, Vietnam has some notoriety when it comes to street crimes but that does not completely negate the fact that the country has friendly people. In many places, people gather to enjoy each other’s company, without smartphones or other mobile devices to tinker with while having conversations. It’s the not-so-modern atmosphere and society of Vietnam that makes it charming and really worth the visit.