Being part of Imperial China for more than a millennium, colonised by French, occupied by Japanese, bombed by Americans – after the yearlong conflicts and agitation, Vietnam is finally emerging from its shadows. Its traditional charm and rare beauty were buried in the war for centuries, yet the resilience of the country is outstanding and Vietnam is rapidly opening up to the outside world.
Vietnam`s landscape is sublime: the Red River Delta in the north, the Mekong Delta in the south and the endless patchwork of brilliant green rice terraces in between. Long, sandy beaches grace the coast, while inland there are soaring mountains and lush forests. And all this surreal allure is home to a hospitable nation, that is, according to an old legend, descended from a blue dragon and a fairy.
The striking scenery and sights of Vietnam`s mountainous north cannot fail to amaze. Sailing around the spectacular limestone peaked islets of Halong Bay on board a traditional junk boat and appreciating the karst rise above serene rice paddies in Tam Coc, often called the inland version of Halong Bay. Visiting Sa Pa, where one can meet one of the most remote hill tribes in the world and trekking in the rugged Tonkinese Alps. Arriving in the hectic Hanoi, Vietnam`s gracious capital, tasting the goodies of the glorious Vietnamese cuisine.
Heading down to the cultural imperial city of Hue to admire the grand temples, tombs and palaces. Travelling further down the beautiful coastline to central Vietnam and finding the absolute relax on the beaches of Hoi An, while getting a made-to-measure suit done in this picturesque riverside town, which is home to over 300 tailors.
Vietnam`s scenic south is blessed with a beautiful coastline and idyllic offshore islands; it is home to the famed Mekong Delta – one of the world`s greatest river regions, and sizzling Saigon – the original “Pearl of Orient”. Cruising the Mekong allows one to discover colourful floating markets, fishing villages and life of river traders. In Ho Chi Minh, one can gain a fascinating insight into Vietnam`s compelling history while squeezing through the remarkable Cu Chi tunnels, and heading to Nga Trang is a ‘must’ to enjoy some sunshine and its lively nightlife before exploring the blissful archipelago of Con Dao and its exquisite tropical paradise.