What is Vietnam famous for? This question is commonly asked by tourists, especially those intending to travel to this country. For starters, Vietnam is a part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
With about 100 million people, Vietnam is the 16th most populous country globally. It borders China to the north and Laos and Cambodia to the West.
It is a premier hub for development and has a perfect amalgamation between the modern and traditional world. Needless to say, there are many beautiful things that Vietnam can offer to the world. For that reason, many consider this one of the most beautiful destinations in Asia.
Vietnam should be high on your travel bucket list if you want to experience sensational scenery, fantastic delicacies, and a whole new world of adventure.
But before you visit this place, it is important that you know the things Vietnam is famous for. By doing so, you can easily create a checklist of what you will go to once you are there.
10 Things Vietnam Is Famous For
It is undeniable that Southeast Asian food is top quality. Any gourmet would agree that the food in this particular region in Asia is brimming with a unique flavor. And Vietnamese food isn’t an exception, in fact, it’s one of the main reasons why Vietnam is so popular these days!
One of the best ways to experience Vietnam is by trying its iconic street food. You can see a lot of these food stalls on sidewalks in every busy district of the country. From noodle soups down to the popular “bun ca” or “pho,” all of these delectable delicacies can be found along the bustling streets of Vietnam. You can also try the “bun cha” or rice noodles with herbs, sauces, and pork as toppings.
You don’t need to wait for the night to come in before you can enjoy these street foods. Even during the day, they are already sprawling. Moreover, you can enjoy a lot of good local delicacies in Vietnam at a very low price.
If you live in a Western country, I’m pretty sure motorbikes are not that common on your roads. Yes. These vehicles are present, but cars outnumber them entirely.
However, things are different when you are in Vietnam. The streets of this country are filled with motorbikes (or motorcycles, if you want). It is quite amusing to watch them glide and outmaneuver the traffic because of their slim size. But on the flip side, you need to exercise the utmost caution, especially when you are crossing roads with all these motorbikes on the run.
One should know that the existence of these motorbikes made the traffic situation in Vietnam unpredictable and chaotic. These bikes might send you to the hospital if you are not careful enough. At first, it feels that crossing their streets is quite impossible. You must observe how the locals do it and replicate their movements. That should help you traverse their roads without being bumped.
It’s impressive how there aren’t more accidents as the bikes drive and cross each other with only centimeters between them. Both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi are the best cities to see this quite incredible show.
You have to visit Vietnam if you are a huge fan of kayaking. This is one of the perfect destinations for kayakers in Southeast Asia. The country is blessed with plentiful rivers, streams, and lakes where you can take your boat to paddle. Of course, if that sounds too difficult, there are a lot of rentals here where you can get your boat and paddle.
You should visit several places in Vietnam if you are up for some paddling action. One of them is the West Lake of the Ho Tay in Hanoi. There are no large waves here, which makes it a suitable choice for beginners. The view is excellent, too.
Other great kayaking spots in Vietnam are Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province, Phong Nha Cave in the Quang Binh Province, and the ever-famous Perfume River. Ensure that before you go on your trip, you have already secured your kayaking checklist!
The cave system in Vietnam is quite extensive. Even now, monstrous caves are still being discovered in the country’s various regions. If you are unaware of it, the world’s largest cave is also found here.
The Son Doong Cave had just been discovered in 2009. There were a lot of people who were astounded by it. Many experts became curious about this cave, from archaeologists to geologists and historians. It was only in 2012 that the cave was opened to the public. But still, there’s a limit on how many people can go to the cave. The trip is also being controlled, too.
Either way, if there’s an opportunity to explore the caves of Vietnam, you should grab it already. That’s one way you can fully enjoy your stay in Vietnam.
5. Halong Bay
Halong Bay is one of the finest natural wonders that Vietnam can offer to its tourists. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in the Gulf of Tonkin. There’s no exaggeration when locals describe this place as majestic and wonderful. Once you see this bay, you will be overwhelmed by its surreal beauty and wonders.
From Hanoi, you must travel for four hours until reaching Halong Bay. The journey is quite rigorous, though, as some of the paths are not yet cemented. Furthermore, there are hundreds of tourists as well who are pursuing the same thing as you. Fortunately, the spectacle of this bay will make these difficulties genuinely worth it.
One of the highlights of Halong Bay is the protrusion of thousands of islands. Some of the islands are even sitting on top of another island. If viewed from far, these formations look like they are strips of mountains.
You can witness the best of Vietnam’s natural wonders in Sapa. This is a hilly region in the northwest part of the country. The place is filled with green vegetation, thanks to the abundance of plants, grasses, and trees here.
However, Sapa is most known due to the seemingly geometric rice terraces. These rice terraces have been cultivated for hundreds of years already. Yet these man-made formations are still perfectly preserved. Towering peaks surround these rice terraces, creating a picturesque effect.
The best part about Sapa is that it can be reached quickly. It is only a short drive from Hanoi. Because of this, a lot of tourists are visiting it. A train ride can also take you to this beautiful destination.
If you are longing to experience some of the finest beaches in Asia, you should visit Vietnam. While it is true that their beaches are not commonly featured on international tourism platforms, most of the locals would really flaunt the quality of their sands and seas.
You see, it is not only Thailand and the Philippines that take pride in their white sand beaches. Vietnam has them as well. Good examples are the Mui Ne and Nha Trang. Both can actually rival the world’s best. These are already getting the attention they deserve. But still, compared to other beaches in other countries, the beaches in Vietnam are not overcrowded.
Aside from these two destinations, if you want to enjoy island beaches, we suggest that you travel to Phu Quoc and Con Dao, as they have some of the best beaches in Vietnam.
8. Hoi An
Another famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vietnam is Hoi An. This one is commonly touted as the “Venice of Vietnam” due to its idyllic atmosphere and romantic aesthetics. Hoi An is downright picturesque. There’s no doubt about that. In fact, your trip to Vietnam will never be complete if you don’t set foot in this place.
The good news is that Hoi An is not located in some remote areas of the country. It is just located in its heart, specifically in the periphery of Danang. It attracts a lot of tourists every year because of its unparalleled beauty.
The rich history of this place makes it remarkable as well. Some of its features are due to the amalgamation of different cultures in Vietnam. For instance, the canal setting is because of the French colonial regime that once ruled the country.
You can experience Vietnam by just visiting Hoi An. There are a plethora of specialties in Vietnam that are only offered here. Moreover, the White Rose Dumplings and Cao Lau are pretty much served here daily.
9. Noodle Soups
Interestingly, Vietnam is popular due to the quality of the noodle soups that they create. Among all the dishes Vietnam has to offer, noodle soups ate at the top of the list. The most famous noodle soups are called Pho.
Pho is present on most dining tables during breakfast. However, they are also widely available at any time of the day, especially if you are on the streets. You can also get them raw in the market. Get all the necessary ingredients and practice cooking it by yourself. Or maybe go to a cooking class in Vietnam?
Aside from Pho, Bun Bo Hue is another iconic noodle soup in Vietnam. It is cooked using beef bone broth as a base. It is incredibly flavorful and delicious. In fact, it is so tasty that even the legendary Anthony Bourdain went to the town of Hue, where the soup is said to have originated.
10. The Locals
Of course, the greatest asset of Vietnam is its people. They are polite and cordial. They have this impression of simplicity and humbleness on them. It is quite rare to see a Vietnamese that is quite haughty. Furthermore, these people are highly industrious. Productivity is always the name of their game.
Therefore, if you are in Vietnam, make sure that you can befriend one of them!
Are you excited about your upcoming trip to Vietnam? If so, which of these things would you like to experience first?
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Author Bio: Nolan Verma, an owner of KayakNV.com, is an active kayaker and outdoor wanderer. He has been to many places in the world in the pursuit of adventure and thrill. He is also good in scrutinizing equipment that is related to these fields. Primarily, Verma has a passion for kayaking and fishing, so he spends more time on writing for kayaking websites.