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Vietnam has a striking landscape. The deltas of the Red River and the Mekong is where you will encounter the paddy fields, dragonflies, buffaloes and conical-hatted farmers that constitute the classic image of Vietnam. In stark contrast to the pancake-flat rice land of the deltas, you have the surreal-looking limestone islands in Halong Bay, the inland karts-mountains of Cao Bang and the beautiful mountain tracks you can hike and where you can explore tribal villages near Sapa and Bac Ha.
Vietnamese people are energetic, direct, sharp in commerce and resilient by nature. There is an equally marked difference between north and south. If you have ever spoken to a traveler who has been to Vietnam then they will probably have told you about the reticent, thrifty, law-abiding northerners that lack the dynamism and entrepreneurial know-how of their southern compatriots.
Food in Vietnam is simply stunning! Incredibly subtle in its flavors and outstanding in its diversity. With the balance between fresh herbs and meats and a selective use of spices, Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. The soups of northern Vietnam are definitely a clear influence of China while spices sparking up southern cuisine and myriad herbs are typical for the central region.
Vietnam has a lot to offer. Below we made our own selection of places we think are definitely worth a visit.
Almost every aspect of social, devotional, and family life revolves around the procurement, preparation, and shared pleasure of food. The food of the north is heavily influenced by China with its stir-fries and noodle-based soups. As you move south, there's more flavor blending with nearby Thailand and Cambodia.
We noticed that often restaurants make their own creations which don’t have a common name (which is a pity as we would love to share these delicacies!). Garlic pumpkin, fish in a tomato sauce with herbs and many more. Explore and enjoy!
Vietnam is at its best from October to April; the summer can be uncomfortably hot and often rainy. However, the climate varies from region to region, so consider local weather patterns if you’re visiting only one or two places.
Travelers regardless of their respective nationality have to apply for a visa to Vietnam, except those who enjoy visa exemption. It can be done upfront online via vietnamvisa.govt.vn
Hoi An, Vietnam