THE PEARL OF INDOCHINA
Being part of the 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 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 gaining a fascinating insight into the 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 night life before exploring the blissful archipelago of Con Dao and its exquisite tropical paradise.
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
Political system: Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party state
Land area: 332,698 km2
Religion: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism
Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
Official language: Vietnamese
Climate: Tropical Monsoon and temperate climate
Drives on: Right side
Plug type: A,C,G
ChanhMuoi : Salty limeade
Nuoc Mia: Sugar cane drink
Ca PheSua da: Vietnamese iced coffee
Tra Viet: Vietnamese lotus tea
Bia Hoi: Fresh beer (Saigon beer, Bia Hanoi beer, 333, Tiger)
Ruou Ran: Snake wine
Ruou Can/De: Rice wine/liquor
GoiCuon: Vietnamese spring rolls (national dish)
Nom Hua Chuoi: banana flower salad (national dish)
Pho: Vietnamese beef noodle soup (Hanoi)
Cha Gio: Deep fried pork spring rolls (Saigon)
Banh Xeo: Shrimp omelette filled with rice noodles and spicy sauce (Southern Vietnam)
Cao Lau: Pork croutons, thick rice flour noodles and bean sprouts (Central Vietnam)
Banh Chung : Steamed rice dumplings wrapped in “la dong” leaf and pickled leeks
Canh Chua: Hot and sour meatand rice noodle broth (Mekong Delta)