With its theatrical landscapes, entrancing history, epic food and lively energy, Vietnam will captivate all of your senses and seize you from all angles.
Vietnam is a country of contrasts due to its geography. This makes the country unique as it offers travellers the ability to experience a multitude of landscapes. From the rice-cultivating tropical lowlands, to the rich-soiled, coffee-producing highlands, Vietnam offers a unique and varied travel experience.
Roughly 22% of Vietnam’s 87 million people live in the Mekong Delta, the fertile rice-basket of the country in the southern part of the country. The lowlands are continually sliced by rivers and streams filled with boats, yet it is here that you can also get a real taste of rural life in this region, affectionately known as the "rice bowl."
In the north in the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is perhaps the crown jewel of Vietnam’s beauty. The bay features thousands of limestone islands which take various sizes and shapes, each topped with tropical vegetation.
With many distinct climates and cultures, Vietnam is a stunning place. It’s easy to appreciate the country’s rice paddies, rivers, misty peaks and wondrous caves.
The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia, and also the world’s twelfth longest river (and the seventh longest in Asia). Its estimated length is 4,350 km and it drains an area of 795,000 km2, discharging 475 km3 of water annually.
Often referred to as the 'rice bowl of Asia' due to its plethora of emerald rice paddy fields, the Mekong River Delta is surrounded by fertile lands that showcase nature’s riches. The Mekong Delta is a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies. Boats are the main means of transportation, and tours of the region often start in nearby Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho, a bustling town in the heart of the delta.
Highlights include the Cai Rang Floating Market, the largest of its kind in the area, where boats laden with a myriad of produce promote their wears, and the UNESCO-listed Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve, where the river meets the South China Sea.
In the Thua Thua area, the delta transforms into narrow canals that snake past agricultural villages famed for their coconut palms and production of whiskey and wine. The region is also home to two spectacular religious landmarks: Cao Dai Temple and Cai Be Cathedral, whose distinct styles range from vibrant to austere.
Being a country with complex terrains, Vietnam is presented many attractive and spectacular caves by the Mother Nature.
One of the most impressive is Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh Province (central Vietnam). Son Doong Cave is 150 meters in width, more than 200 meters in height and at least 5 kilometers in length. The cave may be much deeper. With such a great area like that, Son Doong has become the largest natural cave in the world.
Quang Binh is not only famous for Son Doong Cave but also for “The kingdom of caves – Phong Nha Ke Bang”. Being a part of Ke Bang limestone area in Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Phong Nha Ke Bang is a large area that includes more than 300 spectacular caves in a great deal of size. The average measurement of Phong Nha Cave is about 8 meters in length, 83 meters in depth and 50 meters in height.
Trang An, Ninh Binh is a favorite destination for many travellers thanks to the magnificent natural beauty of the picturesque landscape and spectacular caves.
In this region, there are 31 lagoons, which connect with 48 caves. Some of those caves are more than two kilometers long such as Dia Linh Cave, Sinh Duoc Cave, May Cave. Each of them has a unique feature and beauty. Some of them are even recognized as archaeological relics.
Next, located on Bo Hon Island, Sung Sot Cave is the largest and the most beautiful cave of Ha Long Bay – a World Natural Heritage. The name of this cave comes from the fact that the area of the cave is very small but once you cross the narrow limestone interstice, you must be amazed and surprised by a new world, which is larger and more magnificent.
Plus, there's plenty more to choose from across the country. Be sure to put at least one cave system on your "must see" list.
Hạ Long Bay, in northeast Vietnam, is known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. Junk boat tours and sea kayak expeditions take visitors past islands named for their shapes, including Stone Dog and Teapot islets. The region is popular for scuba diving, rock climbing and hiking, particularly in mountainous Cát Bà National Park.
Ha Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islets. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. For many tourists, this place is like something right out of a movie. The fact is that Halong Bay features a wide range of biodiversity, while the surrealistic scenery has indeed featured in endless movies.
Yet Halong Bay is more than pretty rocks and waterways. Its tropical climate has given it a rainforest ecosystem of mangroves, bushes and plants, and the ocean waters and coastline conceal a vast marine ecosystem, with coral reefs and coves. As a result, Halong Bay contains thousands of species of flora and fauna. In 2008, the Hallong Bay Management Department concluded that more than 2,949 species call the area home, with 102 species listed as rare, even on a worldwide scale. More than a scenic boat trip, you’ll be passing through one of the world’s greatest and most diverse patches of nature when you visit Halong Bay.