With green & luscious rice fields and fabulous ancient temples, Vietnam is not short of sheer natural beauty, cultural legacy and old-school traditions. This eastern-most nation is on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia and is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and Malaysia across the South China Sea to the southeast. Vietnam has been successful in drawing a large number of visitors to its fold thanks to its breathtaking natural wonders and incredible historical attractions.
Kick-start the trip by heading over to its dynamic capital - Hanoi. Some of the attractions worth exploring are:strolling about the Old Quarter to capture the bygone era charm of the city, Tran Quoc Pagoda - one of the most ancient pagodas in the whole of Vietnam, the final resting place of Vietnamese Communist leader - Ho Chi Minh - perched in Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh's home - a simple and traditional stilt house, Ho Chi Minh Museum - devoted to the life and achievements of the revolutionary leader, Vietnam History Museum - home to a variety of military memorabilia and Hoan Kiem Lake - one of the major scenic spots in the city.
The next-in-line to visit is certainly the amazing Ho Chi Minh City. A few of the incredible sight-seeing points are: the extraordinary Cu Chi Tunnels - visitors can experience how soldiers used a comprehensive network of tunnels to travel about undiscovered by their enemies, Bitexco Tower - an ultra uber-modern office tower, Cao Dail Temple - hub of the Cao Dai faith, Jade Emperor Pagoda - this Taoist temple welcomes Buddhist worshiping, Mariamman Temple - serves as a community base for the small number of Hindus living in the city, and the Ho Cho Minh City Zoo - houses an array of animals from across Asia and the globe.
No trip to Vietnam is complete without heading towards the Ha Long Bay. Spanning 120 km long coast line, it is translated as 'Bay of Descending Dragons'. It is home to thousands of islands, packed with dense jungle vegetation, creating a splendid seascape of limestone pillars. Several of these islands are hollow, with massive caves. Others include lakes and a few support floating villages of fishermen. Nature lovers! Do make it a point to visit the Mekong Delta - located in southern Vietnam. This luscious region is coated with rice fields, that generates about half of the total of Vietnam's agricultural output.
Take some time out to visit the fishing village of Hoi An. Today, it is a striking tourist magnet and located on the coast of the South China Sea. Do make it a point to explore the Old Town, packed with winding lanes and Chinese-styled shops. Ocassionaly it is referred to as the 'Venice of Vietnam' due to narrow canals that flow through the town. Spend an ample amount of tume in Sa Pa Town. Housed in northwest Vietnam, rice terraces can be glimpsed in the Muong Hoa valley nestled between Sa Pa town and the Fansipan Mountain, with a background of thick bamboo woodlands. Rice and corn, along with vegetables are cultivated on these paddy terraces.
When it comes to shopping, be on the lookout for wooden water puppets, silk, lacquerware, ceramics, colourful hill-tribe bags, clothing and hand-painted silk greetings cards. As for cuisine, do indulge in local fare such as Pho (An omnipresent noodle soup, usually with meat) and Nem (Spring rolls with pork, noodles, eggs and mushrooms wrapped in rice paper, sometimes fried and served hot).
The stay options in Vietnam are abundant with the best luxury hotels, rental apartments and cheap accommodations available for the tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and taste.
The weather of Vietnam appears to vary significantly from place to place. The best time to visit would be spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October) for the temperatures are light and pleasant during this period.