Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, bordering China, Laos and Cambodia. The country is a melting pot of influences stemming from its Imperial Chinese rule before AD900, French colonization in the 19th century, Japanese occupation in the 1940's and intervention by the United States which led to the Vietnam war that ended in 1975. Since then, Vietnam was unified under a communist government which started to open its doors to the world from 1986 onwards. The country blossomed starting year 2000 and is now one of the strongest growing nations of Southeast Asia.
Travel in Vietnam is rewarding with something for every type of traveller. Adventurers and sightseers will be delighted with Vietnam boasting two World Natural Heritage Sites – limestone wonders of Hạ Long Bay and Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. 40% of Vietnam is covered with mountains and tropical forests cover another 42%.
For the culinary adventurist, Vietnam is heaven. Sip excellent Vietnamese coffee by quaint roadside stalls, slurp down a delightful bowl of beef noodles (Phở), chomp down on French Baguette or Bánh mì stuffed with porcine delights or indulge in delicate rice paper wrapped spring rolls. The choices are endless.
With a coastline spanning 2,026miles (3,620km), Vietnam has plenty to offer lovers of the sun and sea with its many marine protected parks. Popular destinations include Nha Trang, Whale Island, and also the coastal town of Hoi An. Slightly off the beaten track, there is also Con Dao archipelago and Phu Quoc at the southern tip in the Gulf of Thailand. Nha Trang is especially suitable for families and new divers, with many dive operators, land and sea activities and accommodation to suit all budgets.
Enjoy a multitude of culinary delights of Vietnam, long stretches of beach, relaxing spas and snorkelling activities. Interesting historical sites to visit include Po Nagar Cham Towers and family fun can be had at Vinpearl Amusement Park at Nha Trang. For the more adventurous, take a bike tour, visit waterfalls or slather yourself in mud at the Egg Mud Bath. In Con Dao or Phu Quoc, you can visit the old prisons used during the Vietnam War.
Fly into Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh international airports and take local flights to connect to coastal cities like Nha Trang and Hoi An or even islands like Phu Quoc and Con Dao. Local airlines Vietjet and Vietnam Airlines have frequent daily flights from Ho Chi Minh and Jetstar is also active in Vietnam. Alternatively, take overnight sleeper trains or busses directly into coastal cities from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh and even Da Nang. Boat transfers will be typically arranged by dive operators and resorts to reach islands like Whale Island.