If you plan to start your trip to see the charm of olden Vietnam, begin with Hanoi, the capital of the country. Rich in history, the Old Quarter is a bustling area of narrow streets where you can stroll through streets and soak in the French-colonial architecture. Hoan Kiem Lake emphasized as the heart of the city along with Truc Bach and West Lake, are among the must-visit attractions. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is one of the famous attractions here in the capital and it was named after the revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh who defeated the French in 1954. People lovingly referred to him as “Uncle Ho”. Visitors can pay respects to Ho Chi Minh, whose body is preserved in a glass case, only accessible from a reach at certain hours in the day. Hanoi is serviced by Noi Bai International airport and can be reached by buses and taxis. Travelling to major tourist attractions is easy here and the weather in the months from April to June is particularly stunning.
A major attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Halong Bay is where tourists can cruise on green waters that offer views of beautiful islets far and wide. Multiple islands lined with tall limestones and covered with lush greenery are great spots for scuba diving and hiking. Trekking at Cat Ba National Park to the rock climbing spots is worth every effort for the mountain climbing enthusiasts, offering magnificent views of lush valleys from the top.
Another one of Vietnam's treasures is the ancient town of Hoi An. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this quaint town is known for its preservation of a beautiful amalgamation of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and French colonial architecture. One can wander around the narrow streets here bounded by colourful shops. The canals in Hoi An are among the most famous in the world, and a sampan ride is highly recommended at dawn or dusk. The Hoi An Night Market, another highlight of this town is a lively experience. Bright lanterns on the Thu Bon river and streets lined with local vendors make this market a photographer's haven. Tourists can shop for souvenirs, clothing items, accessories, handmade products and many more at bargained rates here.The sandy blue beaches or dine-in restaurants with gorgeous views facing the sea are characteristic of the town of Da Nang. A hotspot for tourists, Da Nang can be toured with the help of taxis or simply hiring a scooter. A little outside from the town, there is a road which leads to a hillside coast road and furthermore to Son Tra Peninsula, a dense forest area home to a rare monkey species named Red-Shanked Douc. They are said to be endangered and do not engage much with humans. One can safely spot them from a distance. Hue and Nha Trang are few other places known for having time-honoured Buddhist temples and beaches as well.
Talk about this part of the country and Ho Chi Minh is the first thing that clicks instantly. Presence of both street shops and skyscrapers makes this tourist spot a buzzing city altogether. Taking a flight from Hanoi is the fastest way to reach here rather than a 30-hour long bus ride or a direct flight is also available from a bunch of countries. To explore hidden beaches of Vietnam hop a bicycle and ride onto the coastal roads of Mui Ne or Con Dao, as both of them are at the most southern part of the country. Not many tourists decide to take them as availability of hotels is infrequent here.