Famous tourist spots of Vietnam
Thursday, 03 January 2008

Famous tourist spots of VietnamVietnam's diverse natural environment, geography, history, and culture have created a great potential for the tourism industry. Vietnam's environment includes long coastlines, forests, and mountainous areas with beautiful caves. As well, Vietnam has a history and culture of ancient architectures, religions and cults, and traditional festivals.

Vietnam has a long coastline that extends along the eastern boundary of the country and wraps around the southern tip for 3,260 km, a distance geographically longer than the length of the country. Traveling from north to south or from south to north, tourists will find many beautiful beaches where, all year round, they can stay and enjoy the excitement of the seaside. There are more than 20 beautiful beaches along the coastline, such as Tra Co, Halong, Do Son, and Sam Son in the north and China Beach (Danang), Nha Trang, Vung Tau, and Ha Tien in the south. In particular, tourists can visit Halong Bay, which is a world natural heritage site, a creation of Mother Nature, with thousands of islands and rocks of different sizes and shapes, such as a dragon, a frog, a turtle, and a fighting chicken. Inside the big islands, there are huge and wonderful caves and grottoes.

Vietnam is a tropical country in the northern hemisphere. With its geographical diversity, the country has inherited many famous natural resorts such as Sapa, Tam Dao, Bach Ma, and Dalat. These resorts are usually located 1,000 meters above sea level; therefore, they have climates that are similar to those of the temperate zones.

Dalat City is not only an ideal tourist resort, but it is also a city of pine forests, waterfalls and many kinds of beautiful flowers. Coming to Dalat, tourists are diverted by the strong and tender melodies of the T'rung and Gong, two typical musical instruments of the highlanders commonly played at evening parties.

Vietnam has many famous national parks, which are great collections of precious plant and animal species of the tropical zone. The most famous national forests include Cuc Phuong in Ninh Binh province, Cat Ba on Cat Ba Island, Con Dao on Con Dao Island, etc. There are several regions in Vietnam that have been reserved as gardens and bird sanctuaries. At Minh Hai Sanctuary, there are more than 80 species of birds. At Tam Nong Sanctuary, there is a garden conservatory for redhead cranes, established as an information center for cranes funded by the International Fund for Bird Protection in Bergheim, Germany.

Vietnam has abundant mineral water sources found throughout the country, such as Quang Hanh hot stream in Quang Ninh province, Hoi Van mineral spring in Binh Dinh province, Vinh Hao mineral spring in Binh Thuan province, Duc My stream in Nha Trang, and Kim Boi mineral spring in Hoa Binh province. These areas have become resorts for health rehabilitation and relaxation attracting numerous visitors every year.

Vietnam has a long 4,000-year history, over which many valuable architectural heritages of rich oriental culture have been built. Many of these vestiges maintain their ancient appearances, such as the One Pillar Pagoda and Kim Kien Pagoda in Hanoi, Pho Minh Tower in Nam Ha province, Binh Son Tower in Vinh Phuc province, Tay Dang Temple, Chu Quyen Temple and Tay Phuong Pagoda in Ha Tay province, Keo Pagoda in Thai Binh province, and But Thap Pagoda and Dinh Bang Temple in Bac Ninh province. In the villages of the Central Coast of Vietnam, Cham Towers are the remarkable vestiges of this lost civilization. In particular, the royal architectures of Hue Ancient Citadel were recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Ha Long Bay

Image of Halong Bay, VietnamHalong Bay lies in the middle of the coastal area of Quang Ninh province, 180 km east of Hanoi. It is the edge of the Asian Continent, which has been dipped into the ocean with the deepest point of less than 200 metres. The water surface of the Bay is 1500 square km large with thousand of rocky islets and caves arranged by the miraculous hands of Nature.

"The World's Wonders" (les Merveiller du Monde) published by the Hachette in Paris in 1950 regards Vietnam's Halong Bay one of the world's wonders.

Boats are always available to help tourists with Bay sightseeing. By passing numerous islets, each with different shape of animal you will enjoy a feeling of entering a world of fossil animals millions of years old. Halong has 1000 named islets (the number of islets unnamed has not been determined yet). Such names as the Dragon, Monkey, Toad, Turtle, Fighting Cock, Pot and Cup... . are called after their shapes. You can visit the Bay within one day, or it is possible to spend the whole month sailing and exploring hidden mysteries of every single cave.


Image of Sapa, VietnamSapa is a holiday-resort town lying at the altitude of 1600 metres. Built in 1922, Sapa is 38 km from the provincial town of Lao Cai. Its climate is moderate with average temperatures from 18oC to 23oC degrees. There are a lot of rains from May to August. In winter, it is often foggy and cold with tempetatures below freezing point and occasional snowfall.

In summer, Sapa is an ideal holiday resort. Around the town are gardens of temperate vegetables such as cabbage, kohlrabi, chayote... of precious medicinal plants and of fruit trees like peach, plum, pear, ...

Two kilometres away from the town are the Silvery Fall and Cane Bridge. The bridge over the Muong Hoa River is made of cane. It is extremely interesting to venture on it for the first time.

The Hoang Lien Son Mountain range lies 9 kilometres away from Sapa, with its highest peak, Fansipan, of 3143 metres.

Sam Son Beach

Sam Son Beach is 16 km from the city of Thanh Hoa. This is a wonderful seaside resort which the French began exploiting in 1906. It soon became a famous spot of the then-Indochine. A number of decades ago, many holiday villas were sonstructed here. Sam Son has a lot of beauty spot such as : the "Trong Mai" Mountain, the "Doc Cuoc" Temple, and "Co Tien" Moutain...

Bich Dong (Blue Cave)

Bich Dong is situated at the Dam hamlet, Minh Hai commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. A small boat will take visitors in a winding voyage around the mystic caves. In the 18th century, on a trip to Bich Dong, King Tu Duc, stunned by the great beauty of the rivers, mountains, caves and pagodas nestling on mountain sides, awarded the place with the title "The Second Best Cave" under the Southern Heaven.

Cuc Phuong national park

Cuc Phuong national parkCuc Phuong is 100 km southwest of Hanoi. It lies at the border of 3 provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa, and is 60 km from the sea. The forest is 25000 ha in area, of which one-third is limestone mountains from 300 to 600 metres high against the sea level.

The virgin forest was discovered in 1960 and hac been recognised as a national park. It has Dan Dan grotto, Ancient Men cave, hot springs with a temperature of 38 Celsius degrees, barashrea -htellata, dracontomelum... of nearly 1000 years old and from 50 to 70 metres high. Cuc Phuong has up to 2000 species of plants. Orchid alone has 50 species, some giving flowers and sweet smell all year round. Cuc Phuong has 262 species of vertebrates and many precious birds and animals such as: bear, horse, wild pig, tiger, panther, weasel, squirrel, monkey, ect. There are semi nature reserves with deer, samba deer, yellow monkey, underpants parrot, flying squirrel, flying lizard, etc... . Cuc Phuong is also home to hundreds of rare birds.

The Ancient Town of Hoi An

The Ancient Town of Hoi An -an old-time commercial port- was built between the 8th and 17th centuries. About 80% the residential structures of the town still remain intact. The infrastructure system - roads, lanes, bridges - still exists. Hoi An is a valuable and special tourist attraction both in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia. Hoi An looks like a traditional painting. Its houses are so close to each other. Their roofs are of uneven heights and moss-green. The town's residential houses are small, they look like toys made of baked clay and attached to the rock-garden. Its scenery bears a false and true feature of old paintings.

Hue - the ancient royal

Hue has more than one thousand years of history. When Hue was the capital of Vietnam (1802-1945), hundreds of valuable cultural architectures were constructed by the Nguyen Dynasty. Many relics of the former capital still lay their shadow over the Huong (Perfume) River. As time goes by, some of the city's relics have been destroyed and abandoned. However, because of its historical values, Hue has been recognised by UNESCO as a cultural heritage of the world.

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