Viet Nam’s most charming city, Ha Noi is home to about 4 million people.Less vibrant and more reserved than its cousin to the south.Ha Noi is a great place to explore on foot.If Ho Chi Minh is defined by hustle and bustle and people on the move.Hanoi’s trademark is green parks and tranquil lakes.
The city is divided into districts, many of which take their name from a lake within the district’s boundaries.Each district has its own charms.Perhaps the most interesting district, is that of Hoan Kiem.At its center is Ho Hoan Kiem ( Lake of the Restored Sword). A broad path encircles the lake ,attracting residents to its shores throughout the day.At dawn you will find young and old walking , jogging, practicing TaiChi and playing badminton..After dark, young couples walk hand in hand or seek privacy under the trees and on the numerous park benches at the water’s edge.To the north and west of the lake is Hanoi’s famed old quarter with its confusing maze of narrow cobblestoned streets.Home to numerous guest houses,mini-hotels,art galleries,restaurants and shops, the old quarter is worth a day of aimless wandering and discovery.Many visitors, particularly backpackers,choose this area as their base in Hanoi.
South and east of the lake, the wide tree-lined boulevards of the old French quarter offer a stark contrast to the confusion of the old quarter.The French colonial influence, obvious throughout the city,is particularly evident here.Many colonial villas are now home to embassies, upscale hotels and restaurants.
Ho Chi Minh city.
Fasten your seatbelts as Ho Chi Minh City is a metropolis on the move – and we’re not just talking about the motorbikes that throng the streets. Saigon, as it’s known to all but city officials, is Viet Nam at its most dizzying: a high-octane city of commerce and culture that has driven the whole country forward with its limitless energy. It is a living organism that breathes life and vitality into all who settle here, and visitors cannot help but be hauled along for the ride.
Saigon is a name so evocative that it conjures up a thousand jumbled images. Wander through timeless alleys to ancient pagodas or teeming markets, past ramshackle wooden shops selling silk, spices and baskets, before fast-forwarding into the future beneath sleek skyscrapers or at designer malls, gourmet restaurants and minimalist bar
The ghosts of the past live on in the churches, temples, former GI hotels and government buildings that one generation ago witnessed a city in turmoil, but the real beauty of Saigon’s urban collage is that these two worlds blend so seamlessly into one.
Whether you want the finest hotels or the cheapest guesthouses, the classiest restaurants or the most humble street stalls, the designer boutiques or the scrum of the markets, Saigon has it all. The Saigon experience is about so many things – memorable conversations, tantalising tastes and moments of frustration – yet it will not evoke apathy. Stick around this conundrum of a city long enough and you may just unravel its mysteries.
Ha Long Information
Ha Long Bay is located in the northeastern part of Vietnam and constitutes part of the western bak of Bac Bo Gulf, including the sea area of Ha Long City and Cam Pha Town and part of Van Don island district.It abuts Cat a Island in the southwest.Toward the west is the shore with a 120 kim-long coastline.It is located within east longitude and within north latitude.The site is 1553 sq km with 1969 islands of various sizes of which 989 have been named.
The islands in Ha Long Bay are mainly limestone and schist islands most lying in the twon main areas: the southeastern part of Bai Tu Long Bay and southwestern part of Ha Long Bay.These islands represent the most ancient images of a geographical site having a tectionic age of from 250 million to 280 million years.They are the result of many times of the karst created the unique Ha Long Bay in the world.In a not very large area,thousands of islands with different forms look like glittering emeralds attached to the blue scarf of a virgin.The area where many stone islands concentrate has spectacular scenes and world famous caves and is the center of Ha Long Bay Natural Heritage , including Ha Long Bay and a part of Bai Tu Long Bay.
The area is recognized as the World Natural Heritage that is the area of 434 sq.km with 775 islands.It looks like a giant triangle with Dau Go Island( in the west).Ba Ham Lake ( In the south) and Cong Tay Island ( in the east ) as tis three angle points.The nearby area is the buffer area and areas classified as national beauty spors in 1962 by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Wiewed from above, Ha Long Bay lookis an extremely vivid huge drawing.This is a wonderful and skilful masterpiece of the Creation and of nature that turns thousands of dumb soulless stone islands into fantastic sculptural and artistic works of various graceful shapes, both familiar and strange to human beings.Thousands of islands emerging uneven in the fanciful waves look strong and magnificent but also mild and vivid.Amidst these according to their shapes and forms.This one looks like somebody heading toward the shore.Hon Dau Nguong ( Human Head Island);that one looks like a dragon hovering above the sea surface:Hon Rong ( Dragon Island) another looks like an old man sitting fishing: Hon La Vong; some look like big sails struggling amidst the wind to each other abover the sea.Hon Trong Mai ( Male and Female Chicken Island) and amid the vast sea stands an island like a big incense burner like a ritual offering to Heaven.Hon Lu Huong( Incense Burner Island ).All are so real that people are taken aback by them.Those stone islands have experienced unpredictable changes over time and they take different shapes from different angles of view.Here, we come to realize that thay are not dumb inanimate things but are vivid and soulful.
Inside the stone islands are various breath taking caves, such as Thien Cung, Dau Go,Sung Sot, Tring Nua, Tam Cung and others.Thsea are rally magnificent palaces of the Creation on earth.Long ago, Ha Long Bay has been called by the great national poet Nguyen Trai:” a wonder of the earth erected towards the high sky” .Many men of letters from all over the world have been taken aback at the grandiose scenery of Ha Long.They seem to get puzzled and incompetent as their treasure of vocabulary is not rich enough to depict the splendor of this place.
Ha Long Bay is also attached to glorious papes of Vienames history with famous sites such as Van Don a bustling trade port in the 12 century , charming Bai Tho Mountain, and not very far away from here is the Bach Dang River which witnessed two famous naval battles of the Viet’s ancestors against invaders.Also Ha Long is one of the cradles of human kind with the glorious Haa Long culture in the late Neolithic age, discorered at such archeological sites as Dong Mng , Xich Tho, Soi Nhu and Thoi Gieng.
Ha Long is also home to great biodiversity with typical eco-sytems like mangrover forest, coral and tropical forest.It is also home to thousands of plants and animals of numerous species for example shrimp, fish and squid.Some species are particularly rare and can be found no where else.
With such special values, at the 18 Session of Unesco’s Council of World Heritage held on 17.December 1994 in Thai Lan, Ha Long Bay was officially placed on the list of the World Natural Heritage.In 2000, Unessco recognized it as the World Heritage for the second time for its geographical and geomorphologic values.This confirms the global premier value of Ha Long Bay.
Hue is located in Thua Thien prefecture and is in the central part of Vietnam.Located 660 km from Ha Noi and 1080 km from Sai Gon, Hue has always been considered the fulcrum of Vietnam’s most well known ancient capital beause of the local mispronunciation of the word Hoa in Thuan Hoa.
Since the 16th century, Thuan Hoa due to its strategic location,has been a very prosperous area.The Nguyen Lord chose this area to be their headquarters.Nguyen Anh made it Vietnam’s capital city in 1802 after he defeated the Tay Son and ascended to the throne with the name Gia Long.King Gia Long ( 1762-1819) was credited for bulding and fortifying Hue from the very beginning.Since then, successive king of the Nguyen Dynasty has added to the foundation set by his predecessors.
Hoi An Information
A highlight of any trip to Viet Nam, Hoi An is a town oozing charm and history, having largely escaped the destruction of successive wars. Once a sleepy riverside village, it’s now quite definitely a tourist town – with hotels, restaurants, bars, tailors and souvenir shops dominating the old centre. Despite this air of irreality, Hoi An’s charisma pervades.
The local People’s Committee periodically clamps down on touts, and while this doesn’t mean a completely hassle-free visit, a stroll down the street is usually more relaxed here than in Hue or Nha Trang Hoi An is pedestrian-friendly: the Old Town is closed to cars and the distances from the hotels to the centre are walkable. It’s a great place to hire a bike.
Known as Faifo to Western traders, from the 17th to 19th centuries it was one of Southeast Asia’s major international ports. Vietnamese ships and sailors based here sailed all around Viet Nam, Thai Lan and Indonesia
Perhaps more than any other place in Vietnam, Hoi An retains a sense of history that envelops you as you explore it. This is especially true on ‘Hoi An Legendary Night’. Every month on the full moon, motorbikes are banned from the Old Town, which is transformed into a magical land of silk lanterns, traditional food, song and dance, and games in the streets.
Every year during the rainy season, particularly in October and November, Hoi An has problems with flooding, especially in areas close to the waterfront. The greatest flood ever recorded in Hoi An took place in 1964, when the water reached all the way up to the roof beams of the houses. In late 2006 the town bore the brunt of the worst typhoon in 50 years.
There’s plenty to do in Hoi An. Emphatically the most enchanting place along the coast, this is one spot worth lingering in.
The Mekong Delta is the bottom half of Vietnam’s two rice baskets ( the other being the Red River Delta in the North).This vast delta is formed by the deposition of the multiple tentacles and tributaries of the might Mekong River which has its origin in the Tibetan highland plateau 2,800 miles away.From its source, the river makes its way through China, Myamar( Burma),Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam before flowing out into the South China Sea.The Mekong’s Vietnamese name, Cuu Long, means Nine Dragons for the nine mouths that terminate the flow of this great river as it is absorbed by the sea.The people of south Vietnam are often very pround of the richness and vastness of this land.When referring to the rice fields in this area, they often say “ co bay thang canh” meaning the land is so large that the cranes can stretch their wings as they fly.Today, the region is one of Vietnam’s highest producer of rice crops,vegetables and fruits.