Discover Vietnam


Discover: Breathtaking Views of Vietnam

Saigon once again became famous because of the musical Miss Saigon. Vietnam became famous because of the Vietnam War where a Cold War era of military conflict occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia until the fall of Saigon in 1975. There was a time when the Chinese Junk or boat was only use for sailing. During the olden days these boats were made of bamboo rafts but today luxury cruising is possible aboard this boat. It starts by an early morning drive from Hanoi which takes about 3 hours to the boat. Hotels usually accommodate such request from guests to take them to where these boats are.

Ha Long Bay cruise includes free lunch as it cruises along this beautiful bay. Most of the meals are served buffet style. The real attraction of this short cruise is the limestone rocks that look so compelling and dramatic against the rich backdrop made by nature and its surroundings. Since these waters were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List they are well maintained and are well-preserved. The tour usually includes a stop on an Island to swim. Sometimes hiking towards the peak of the bay to see the entire panoramic view is offered as well.

Mekong River cruises are also famous where a tourist can take once a lifetime trip in these waterways from Southern Vietnam. The small fleets that can be taken are the Mekong Eyes, Dragon Eyes and Gecko Eyes which offer holiday cruises on style. Taking a cruise onboard will take guests into the area where floating markets are. See farmers plating rice in the paddies.

Before leaving the hotel a tourist is ask for his passport and the hotel receptionist keeps this overnight. Do not worry though since they will return this the next day. This is a normal part of the process of staying in Vietnam which is a strange custom to practice. Public transportation is cheap when in Vietnam. Taking a ride on the green colored bus costs about $0.10(4,000 VND). This is cheaper than taking a ride aboard the shuttle bus for $0.72 (15,000 VND).  A tourist can buy pirated DVDs which are sold $0.48(10,000 VND) a piece.

As depicted in the Broadway play Miss Saigon, Vietnamese girls can be rented for a night or several nights when in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). This city is famous for its Escort services. These are known as the Red Light district of Saigon. For $20 an hour these girls can be rented out as “companions” for any foreigner who likes this sort of thing. One thing that Vietnamese are famous for is that they nod yes to any type of questions when asked in English.

One of the famous attractions in Vietnam is a trip to the tunnels of Cu Chi. These underground tunnels are located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon). During the Vietnam War these tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas to hide from attackers. A small city was built under these tunnels complete with hospitals and living quarters. Some of these tunnels are made even wider in order to accommodate guests. Keep in mind that these tunnels were man-made since simple tools and bare hands were used to build them in the 1940’s. Expect to pay $5 for a half day guided tour which does not include the admission fee to these tunnels. The entrance fee is less than $4.

Vietnam also offers motorbike tours since this is a great way to cover long distances while seeing the countryside. It also makes a tourist feel like the locals since most of the people in Vietnam use motorbikes or bicycles to get in around Vietnam. For professional bike riders Vietnam Motorbike Tours offer VIP premium and budget tours all year round. This is run by an Australian and Vietnamese enthusiast. This duo wants to share the offbeat track tour of Vietnam not seen on regular tours.

Kayak trips and visit to a local fishing village can also be part of the package that a tourist chooses. Having a guide on hand can make the trip more enjoyable. Other offers might include wine tasting which charges $15 but if a guest refuses to participate in one he can do so. Sleeping in the cabin while the placid waters lull the guests to sleep is a worthwhile experience for anybody who would dare to take such an adventure. Other tours such as this offer early morning trips to caves such as the Sung Sot cave (Surprise Grotto).

Dong Hai is a stone carving village. A quick tour will reveal artisans busily carving traditional pieces of stone into Buddhas and other figurines. Jewelry making is another type of family business that a guest can see in this place. The Marbles use for these figurines comes from the Marble Mountain which is a group of five marble and limestone hills located in Ngu Hanh Son district of Dong Hai. It is in Dong Hai where a guest can shop for inexpensive women’s shoes.

Vietnam is famous for its Pho Noodles. These are made from fresh or dried noodles the choice is up to the dining patrons. There are many variations to these noodles which includes soups and other dishes. Spicy beef and noodles are usually offered during weddings but can be ordered. Traditionally these noodles were eaten during the morning but now it can be eaten anytime of the day if anyone feels like sipping the delicious soup.

Snake wine is a famous alcoholic beverage drink in Vietnam. This drink infuses whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. Some say these drinks have curative powers which is said to invigorate a person according to Traditional Chinese medicine. This wine is said to be an aphrodisiac and is sold from $14 to $65. Many fabric silk shops that are popular amongst Vietnamese people are located in this place. Another option is to go to Toan Think Silk which sells genuine Vietnamese silk sold in a fixed price. A trip to Vietnam is truly breathtaking.