Culture & History
Vietnamese culture is diverse, complex and represents a changing and varied history. The nation is famous for ‘trading quarters’ and streets that are usually well organised into specific crafts and materials. These are rich in indigenous crafts and reflect mercantile influences that have merged after centuries of external influence and internal tribal variance.
Ancient temples display distinctly Chinese influences in the north and Hindu origins in the south. Meanwhile, tree-lined avenues and grand state buildings reflect the styles of the French colonial period. It’s impossible to forget Vietnam’s key position close to the epicentre of East Asian power and prosperity.
Savor the culinary delights
Vietnam may contest the top spot for food in Southeast Asia for its incredibly outstanding and subtle flavours and diversity. Vietnamese cooking styles fascinate travellers with myriad street-food tours and cooking schools. Geography plays a vital role in making Vietnamese food so special. Chinese flavours influence the soups of the north, spices spark up southern cuisine, and herbs and complex techniques typify the central coastline. You can mingle with villagers, wander in many regional markets to sample local dishes and sip rice wine in a rustic way.
Adrenaline filled fun
Vietnam is blessed with a range of environments and activities that take advantage of the landscape. You can motorbike up the switchbacks on the jaw-dropping Hai Van Pass in central, kitesurf the tropical oceanic waters off Mui Ne, go hiking in the evergreen hills around Bac Ha or Sapa or canyoning in mountainous Da Lat. When your finished with all that effort there’s plenty of outstanding spas to relax in, from marble temples of treatments to simple family-run massage salons with backpacker-friendly rates.
Life in Vietnam is never boring, there are fantastic sights, incredible people, a wide range of flavours in outstanding regional culinary delights and, as an emerging economy, there has never been a better opportunity to start a new life in this beautiful country.