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Even in this age where information travels fast, more is known about the American soldiers in the Vietnam War than about Vietnam as a whole. In fact, it is only in the recent past that people around the world have realized that there's more to Vietnam, in terms of being a tourist destination, than its war-torn past. A Vietnam travel guide is all that you need to open your eyes to the wondrous beauty of the country, the warmth of its people and the richness of its culture.
Your Travel Guide To Vietnam
If Vietnam holidays are what's on you mind, then delve into the Vietnam travel guide and strike up a cursory but helpful acquaintance with the country before landing there.
Vietnam is a south-east Asian nation, flanked by the People's Republic of China in the north, Laos in the north-west, Cambodia in the south-west and the South China Sea on the eastern fringe. In terms of the geographical area, Vietnam is the 65th largest country in the world, covering about 331,689 square kilometers. However, the massive Vietnam population, more than 85 million as on July 2005, makes it the 13th most populous country in the world.
Lofty peaks, dense woods, riverine valleys and massive deltas make up the diverse and striking Vietnamese terrain. The Vietnam climate is tropical monsoon in character, with around 85% humidity all throughout the year. However there are climatic variations within the country depending on the particular geographical region and the temperatures are usually higher in the plains than in the mountainous reaches where the winters are cold and summers, warm.
Vietnam Tourist Information
Vietnamese is the official Vietnam language, though Chinese, English, French and Russian are also spoken in certain pockets of the country. The Vietnam currency is the Dong and around January 2007, 1 US Dollar equaled about 16,000 Vietnamese Dong. Now this piece of information in the Vietnam travel guide is surely one of the prime Vietnam tourist attractions, especially for the travelers who are keen for some shopping in Vietnam.
Getting To Vietnam
Reaching Vietnam isn't a problem at all. Take a look at your Vietnam travel guide. You have options aplenty. There are many airlines around the world like the Thai Airways that operate flights to Vietnam's capital Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There's also an international airport at Danang.
Vietnam is connected to China via an international train service, one route commences from Beijing and another from Kunming. If you prefer traveling in style, take any one of the numeour cruise liners that make the stop at Haiphong in Vietnam.
More on Vietnam Tourism
There is no dearth of things to see and things to do in Vietnam. Vietnam is a country replete with spectacular and diverse natural beauty, most of which is unexplored and untouched. From the rustic French charm and the exquisite temple architecture of the capital city of Hanoi to the dramatic natural setting at Halong Bay, Vietnam has on offer sights that are exhilarating, enchanting and eclectic.
On your Vietnam vacations, make sure that you do not miss the Vietnam festivals & events listed in the Vietnam travel guide. These gatherings and celebrations are great ways to get intimate with the people of the country and understand their customs and beliefs.
Vietnam Tourist Attractions
Vietnam has long come out of its troubled past and the miseries and horrors of war and colonization. Vietnam today is a growing nation with Vietnam tourism as a major industry. Tourists flock to Vietnam attracted by the uniqueness in its culture, terrains, cuisine and its people. Major Vietnam tourist attractions include mountains as well as sea beaches, modern cities as well as traditional villages and historical cities as well as beach resorts. Sightseeing in Vietnam will keep your days full.
Some of the most visited tourist attractions in Vietnam are:
Old Quarter, Hanoi
This is the liveliest place in Hanoi comprising of nearly 40 winding streets packed with shops selling all kinds of goods. A unique feature of this place is that each street is named for its primary good or service or trades traditionally practiced by the original artisan guilds in the 13th century. The quarters of the early merchants, the ancient narrow building known as the tube or tunnel houses are some of the most popular Vietnam tourist attractions giving a glimpse into the lives of the inhabitants of ancient times. There are numerous art galleries, craft stores as well as cafes and pavement restaurants lined up in the narrow streets.
Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, Hanoi
This is one of the most revered Vietnam tourist attractions, visited every year by thousands of citizens and tourists. This is the final resting place of the country’s most notable historic figure Ho Chi Minh. Here the visitors maintaining a strict dress code, with a respectful behavior get to see the body of Ho Chi Minh enclosed in a glass case, which is a traditional way to honor famous communist leaders. Beside this is a museum with collections of military orders, manifestos and photographs commemorating the live and the role of the leader in the country.
One Pillar Pagoda, Hanoi
This structure was built in honor of the birth of a son to the heirless Emperor Ly Thai Tong after he dreamt of receiving a son from the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion. People come here to pray for fertility and wellbeing with great faith.
Temple of Literature(Van Mieu), Hanoi
This is the most sacred place for the disciples of Confucius. This structure is among the few remaining architectural examples of the 11th Century and is the site of the country’s first university in 1076.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
This place has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is renowned for its spectacular scenery and limestone grottos and caves. The bay is scattered with over 3000 tiny islands mystically emerging out of the pea green waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. This is one of the highlights of tourism in Vietnam.
Hue is a city in itself in central Vietnam. There are several Vietnam tourist attractions in here namely the Huong RiverPerfumed River), many historical buildings like the Royal Citadel, Flag Tower, Royal Palace, and Royal Tombs. (
Vietnam is home to many more tourist attractions like the War Remanants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta and My Son Sanctuary in Danang. Tourism in Vietnam is a growing industry in now, and the visitors are no less enthusiastic about the rare and unique Vietnam tourist attractions.
Culture of Vietnam
Vietnam tourism is on a high these days. Globe trotters are gushing about the sights and sounds of Vietnam and the stunning natural beauty of the country but even then precious little is known about the culture of Vietnam, and let alone the diversity and profundity of it.
The Various Aspects Of the Culture Of Vietnam
The various facets of Vietnamese culture, its music, dance, arts and architecture will give you an idea about its antiquity and richness.
Music And Dance In Vietnam
It is said that the best expression of a people is in their dances, because bodies don't lie. So if you want to know about Vietnam and the Vietnam culture, try to empathize with the various forms of Vietnamese folk dances. For the Vietnamese people, these dances are ways to give vent to their feelings, beliefs, desires and aspirations, as also depict their daily activities.
The diversity of the culture of Vietnam is no more best expressed than in the music forms prevalent in Vietnam. There exist myriad motifs in Vietnamese music, from chamber music to ritual music, from ensemble music and folk music to the musical accompaniments in theatres and poetry sessions. Besides there are regional variations too.
Arts And Crafts In Vietnam
The arty side of Vietnam is yet to be revealed to the world at large. But even a casual glance at the culture of Vietnam and you won't fail to notice the vibrant arts and crafts scene, made up of the exquisite ivory and jade-glazed ceramic works of the Red River Delta, the blue-white ceramic art pieces originating in the royal art studios and the village of Bat Trang and the wood-carved wonders.
Architecture Of Vietnam
The culture of Vietnam is a heady blend of beauty, aestheticism, harmony and grace and the architectural creations herein reflect these attributes in large measures. Take a tour of the Vietnamese temples and monasteries. The predominantly pagoda form of architecture will leave you gaping at its sheer magnificence. You have the numerous pagodas of the Son La Mountains in North Vietnam or the Giac Lam Pagoda of Ho Chi Minh City, where the concrete and wooden edifices are readily mistaken as dreams.
The dizzying diversity of the culture of Vietnam spills into the country's cuisine as well. The gastronomic delights of Vietnam span an entire gamut from Buddhist veggie wonders to meat dishes like the beef noodle soup and the Banh Chung to exotic ensembles like the balut and dishes made from dog and snake meat.
Muslim Tour Package Hanoi-Halong Bay-Hoa Lu-Tam Coc 5Days
Itinerary in brief
Day 1: ARRIVAL HANOI (D)
Upon arrival at Noi Bai International airport, meet by our representative and transfer to hotel for check-in. Dinner at local Halal restaurant.
Day 2: HANOI – HALONG (B/L/D)
After breakfast, take Hanoi city tour covering Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & residence, One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature (The 1st University of Vietnam ) .After lunch, proceed to Halong town . Halong Bay was awarded by UNESCO as a natural heritage in 1994 .This four hour drive will show you the diversity of the North Vietnam villages and rice fields along the journey. A sumptuous dinner awaits you at local restaurant (Seafood only, no Meats). Stay overnight in Halong City
Day 3: HALONG – HANOI (B/L/D)
After breakfast, half day boat trip in Halong Bay to view multi-shaped rocks and visit the dramatic caves , grottos such as: Paradise Grotto and Wooden Stakes Cave. Lunch will be served on boat with the fresh seafood. Return to Hanoi, sightseeing at Hoan kiem Lake , 36 ancient street and shopping .After dinner at local Halal restaurant ,enjoying the Water Puppet Show .
Day 4: HANOI-TAM COC BICH DONG-HANOI (B/L/D)
After breakfast , drive to Tam Coc and climb board a tiny boat for a peaceful cruise up the river (Tam Coc was known as Halong Bay on land ). Tam Coc is best explored by boat as there are a series of interlink caves and rowing through these natural marvels is quite a thrill. Then, visit to Bich Dong (Blue grotto) . After Lunch at local restaurant , return to Hanoi , visit to State Theater(Opera House) and Tran Quoc Pagoda . In evening, a sumptuous dinner awaits you at local restaurant .
Day 5: HANOI (DEPARTURE HANOI) (B)
After breakfast, free and leisure until transfer to airport for departure with a sweet memories.
This is a sample itinerary so the cost really depends on your hotel choice, number of people in your group and time of travel. An indication of the cost for this itinerary is between US$147 -US$1061 per person based on four people travelling in high season.
We act responsibility by contributing to local communities, ensuring we work with reliable suppliers and paying our staff and guides a fair wage, so that you, the traveler, can sit back and enjoy your holiday in the knowledge that you have booked through a well established, professional, reputable and responsible tour operator. For more information about us please click here.
Our team are well trained, bursting with information and eager to help put together a customized quote for you so please enquire here.
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Green Trail Tours - Traveller Tips for Vietnam
GEOGRAPHY: Vietnam stretches over 1600 km.along the eastern coast of the Indochina Peninsula. The S-shaped country is broad in the north and south and very narrow in the centre. Almost 80% of Vietnam consists of mountains and hills. The TruongSonMountains extend almost the length of Vietnam along the borders with Laos and Cambodia.
VISAS: All visitors are required to have a valid visa to enter Vietnam. A one-month tourist visa is usually sufficient for most visitors though it is possible to arrange 3-month and 6-month multiple entry visas for regular visitors. All visitors must obtain visa approval from the Vietnamese Immigration Department before a visa is issued.
MONEY: The currency issued by the Vietnam State Bank is the dong (abbreviated "d" or VND) which is used informally throughout the country. Bank notes in denominations of 200d to 100,000d are presently in circulation. The exchange rate is approximately 18,000d = US$1. Australia Dollars are accepted in many hotels, restaurants. Banks are open Monday to Friday and some are open Saturday morning. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at banks, some international hotel and some exchange bureaux but can be difficult to change outside of the major cities. Visa Card and MasterCard are now accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops.
ELECTRICITY: Electric current in Vietnam is 220 volts and will operate all Australian appliances. Always carry a torch with fresh batteries. Recharge photographic batteries regularly.
CLOTHING: Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors to Buddhist countries should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings and shoes should be removed before entering a private home
CLIMATE / WEATHER: Vietnam’s weather conditions are pleasant for visitors throughout the year. The WINTER monsoon comes from the northeast between October and March with wet chilly conditions in the north, but dry warm temperatures to the south. From April to October the southwest monsoons bring warm, humid weather to the whole country.
LANGUAGE: Because Vietnamese has six different tones, it is a difficult language for most foreigners to speak despite the fact that the Roman alphabet is used in modern Vietnamese. The same word can have six different meanings depending on the tone used to pronounce it. In the cities and larger towns English is becoming popular and is now spoken by many younger people while some of the older generation still speak fluent French. Russian and Chinese are also spoken by some people
ACCOMMODATION: All group tour hotels have been especially selected. All have private western bathroom facilities. Laundry service can launder clothing within 24 hours. It is not customary for all hotels to have refrigerator and tea/coffee facilities.
FOOD / DRINK: The cuisine of Vietnam comes as a pleasant surprise to many visitors and is definitely a part of the Vietnam experience not to be missed. One of the characteristics of Vietnamese food is that it is always fresh being bought the same morning straight from the market. Food is usually prepared with a minimum of oil and served with the ubiquitous fish sauce called nuoc mam. Typical Vietnamese dishes you can expect to try include pho, a type of rice noodle soup eaten for breakfast, cha gio, deep-fried spring rolls and goi ngo sen, a delicious salad made with lotus stems, shrimps and peanuts. Due to the strong Buddhist influence in Vietnam, vegetarian food is widely available.
SHOPPING: Souvenirs to look out for in Vietnam include lacquerware, silk, conical hats, woodcarvings, hill tribe fabrics and handicrafts, embroidery, marble, ceramics, silver jewellery, antique watches and paintings. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have the best choice when it comes to shopping but Hoi An in the centre of Vietnam is also a very good place to hunt for bargains.
TOILETS: Public toilets can sometimes be difficult to find. Take every opportunity you can to use clean toilets in hotels and restaurants. Make this a habit on your stay.
HEALTH: Consult your medico or visit the Traveller Medical and Vaccination Centre for professional medical advice well in advance of your departure, Wash hands before and after eating. Carry ‘wet-ones’,anti bacterial handwash, insect repellant, band aids and emergency medicines eg. Diarrhoea. Drink plenty of water and have adequate rest. Seek medical care, if needed. Don’t take risks with health and personal hygiene.
SAFETY / SECURITY: Always maintain a high level of personal security. Cash or wallets in pockets, obvious jewellery and open bags attract unwanted attention. Beware of pickpockets in crowded places. Lock your case, Carry a hotel card so that taxis know where to take you.
LUGGAGE: All passengers are limited to TWO items of luggage each. One case with maximum weight weight of 20 kg. and maximum size of 70 litres. It is essential to lock this case. One piece of hand luggage with maximum weight of 5 kg. It is advisable that hand luggage consist of a ‘daypack’ to carry camera, water, toilet paper, umbrella, hat etc.
TIPPING: Tipping for good service is not expected but is always appreciated in these developing nations. It is customary, though not compulsory, to tip tour guides and drivers at the end of a tour. Hotel and station porters should also be tipped.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: All group tour passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with Asian Trail Tours if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.