Blessed with a ravishing coastline, emerald-green mountains, breathtaking national parks, dynamic cities, outstanding cultural interest and one of the world’s best cuisines, Vietnam has it all.
Vietnam is a nation going places. Fast. Its people are energetic, direct, sharp in commerce and resilient by nature. This is an outrageously fun country to explore, the locals love a laugh (and a drink) and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialise with them and hear their tales.
Home to historical sites, fantastic food and the country’s most iconic beach, central Vietnam deserves to rate as a top priority for travellers. The destination includes three must-see Unesco World Heritage sites – history-seeped Imperial Hué, architecturally impressive Hoi An and the sacred ruins of ancient My Son.
Graceful historic Hoi An is Vietnam’s most atmospheric and delightful town. Once a major port, it boasts the grand architecture and beguiling riverside setting that befits its heritage, but the 21st-century curses of traffic and pollution are almost entirely absent. Whether you’ve as little as a day or as long as a month in the town, it’ll be time well spent.
Hoi An is a shopper’s paradise and a great location for foodies. Food in Hoi An is tasty. There are three dishes that Hoi An is particularly famous for:
Cao Lau, a dish of rice noodles which are not quite as slippery as pho and a bit closer in texture to pasta. The secret is the water used to make it, and authentic cao lau uses only water from a special well in the city. The noodles are topped with slices of roast pork, dough fritters, and this being Vietnam, lots of fresh herbs and veggies.
White rose (Banh Bao Vac), a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose.
Wonton dumplings (Hoanh Thanh), essentially the same as the Chinese kind, served up in soup or deep-fried.
Places to visit:
Hoi An ancient town: Now a Unesco World Heritage site, Hoi An Old Town is governed by preservation laws that are well up to speed. Several buildings of historical and cultural significance are open for public viewing, a number of streets in the centre of town are off-limits to cars, and building alterations and height restrictions are well enforced.
Kim Bong carpentry village (2,5km): Explore the village and weave through small hamlets on bicycles with visits to family temples.
Thanh Ha pottery village (4km): The village is well-known for pottery products like cups, bowls, pots, jars, and flower pots.
Tra Que village (3km): A little green village to discover the rural life in Hoian with cycling, cooking class, preparing soil, planting and watering vegetables, etc. Have fun being a Vietnamese farmer and take some nice photos. A great way to learn about local life
Cua Dai & An Bang beaches (2~4km): The beaches boast fine white sand, clear and blue water which make it ideal for swimming and other sea sports.
Marble Mountains (24km): The Marble Mountains include five mountains which were named in accordance with the 5 respective natural elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth in the early 19th century by King Minh Mang.
Museum of Cham Sculpture (40km): built in 1915 the museum displays approximately 300 sculptures collected from Cham temples and towers throughout central Vietnam.
My Son Holy Land (50km): UNESCO World Heritage Site, ruins of the ancient Cham empire.
Cham Islands (by speed boat): UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Cu Lao Cham - a good place for scuba diving and snorkeling activities.