Vietnam resonates in history and public imagination as a symbol of resistance, a David who stood up to the might of the Goliath in the 1960’s and sparked off worldwide protests and support with an entire generation singing for them, from the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and John Lennon. Now, almost half a century later what attracts tourists and travellers smitten by the wander- lust bug is a curious mix of its French colonial past, tradition and modernity. Here is a short list of the places one MUST visit when in Vietnam, and to add to your list, the country is now offering the Indian passport holders an easy on arrival Vietnam Visa.
1. Nha Trang
One of the least talked about sea- side destinations and yet one of the most picturesque in the entire Southeast Asia is Nha Trang. If one wants to avoid the rush and the crowded beaches of the now well documented beaches of Thailand and Phuket, this is the place to touch down. The beach is the star attraction, if you are the sunshine- on- your back kind of person and even for the ones interested in scuba diving.
2. Ho Chi Minh City
The largest city of the reunified nation, Ho Chi Minh is a must visit to feel the pulse of a rapidly developing country. A perfect place to experience the nightlife, and a wonderful shopping destination, this is the hub for all your travel souvenirs.
The saying, its “Hanoi or Bust” probably sums up the importance of visiting this centre of culture and history. It is a visual treat and the rustling and bustling urban life is something one must savour during a visit to Vietnam. A must try– the delectable street food that is sure to give you gastronomical orgasms.
4. Mekong Delta
The “rice bowl” of the country, this is a natural marvel. The nine tributaries of the river Mekong pumps in the water and added to it are fruit orchards, rice paddies, sugar cane groves, bird sanctuaries. Picturesque and serene, you should not be missing this.
This city once served as the capital of the Nguyen dynasty. The past, both historical and cultural is now reflected in the city’s architecture, culture and cuisine. The star attraction would definitely be the Citadel. It is a Citadel is well spread out geographical space full of grand palaces, temples and gates. The presence of the Thien Mu Pagoda adds an old religious charm to the city.
6. Ha Long Bay
The natural beauty will transport you to the locales mentioned in Fantasy Literature. The Ha Long Bay boasts of more than 2,000 islands covered with intriguing caves and lakes and is a treat for the photographer in you.
Generally, one must obtain a Vietnam visa from one of the Diplomatic Missions of Vietnam to enter the country. But to the relief of the tourists, you can also procure a visa on arrival via Vietnam-Visa. The process definitely is a breather and the costs doesn’t leave a hole in your pocket. Its just 21 USD (approximately 1400 INR) per person for a month long visa.
The three major airports, Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh, are places where the visa can be easily obtained on production of relevant documents. The process is smooth and hassle free and once done, a new experience awaits outside the glass walls of the airport. The best part of travelling to Vietnam apart from the exquisite vistas, is that its relatively less expensive. 1 INR is equivalent to 333 Vietnamese Dong (yes, that’s the currency). Roaming around the cities, transportation, cab rides wouldn’t really cost you a dime, and moreover, a good time spent in a local pub, will cost you not more than 300-400 INR. The only thing that’s expensive, might be is to find a cheaper flight to the country. But that’s definitely worth it!! So, if you are still thinking, do not – anymore! Scroll down, to the process and apply for Vietnam visa.
Vietnam is a country that was always associated with a rich culture and heritage spanning several decades. Its rich flora and fauna, the exquisite hiking trails through the hills of Sapa was much to offer to the adventurous minds. To the historically inclined, its walls speak of history, and unique marriage of the western and asian architecture. It’s really the place to be.