South East Asia is a region that has been influenced by colonial masters. Both Britain and France spent long periods there and the impact of the French is certainly still evident in architecture throughout Indo China. The American influence, following its involvement in the War before Vietnam unified, also makes Vietnam an interesting destination for USA tourists wanting to see today’s country. However the appeal of Vietnam goes far beyond these three western countries. Other Asian tourists enjoy Vietnam and so do the people of Turkey, a country that straddles Europe and Asia.
Modern day Turkey is a republic founded in 1923 which evolved after centuries of Ottoman rule; the Ottomans came from Central Asia and so today’s Turks naturally look both west and east for holidays. Vietnam is one of the countries that is increasingly getting their attention. There are direct flights from Istanbul to Hanoi with Turkish Airlines so it is quite natural for Turkish travellers to consider a holiday in Vietnam.
Everyone from Turkey contemplating Vietnam travel requires a visa though there is little difficulty in obtaining one for a period sufficient to be really able to explore this wonderful country. It makes sense to not only look at a good tour company that can offer a variety of different tours but also seek advice on obtaining a visa at the same time. Enquiries will be welcome for both.
There are several highlights in the country and it is likely that advice about Vietnam will be included for those considering a Vietnam holiday.
The point of entry into Vietnam from Turkey is almost certainly going to be Hanoi, certainly for those flying from abroad. Hanoi is the Capital of Vietnam. It is certainly worth spending some time in this city of wide French style boulevards, stunning colonial architecture and historical pagodas. Within the City there is a stunning lake, Hoan Kiem which means ‘’returned sword’’ because legend has it that the lake provided King Le Loi with a sword to repel the invading Chinese and he returned it to the Gods once that was done.
This bay and its innumerable islands is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a cruise on its waters should be included in any Vietnam travel package. There is 100 km of coastline dotted with small fishing villages.
The mountains to the north near the Chinese border include the Sa Pa Terraces where villagers grow rice and vegetables as they have done for years. This is a poor region of Vietnam but certainly a place to teach those who travel to Vietnam more about the rural life in the Country.
There are many beautiful beaches in Vietnam and most Vietnam travel packages will allow tourists to enjoy some time relaxing by the coast.
One of the highlights of Turkey is Cappadocia and its fairly chimneys. Within Central Anatolia the Hittites constructed underground cities several levels deep as a defence mechanism back in the 4th Century BC. The Cu Chi Tunnels of the Viet Cong that were used during the War against the Americans will be a particular attraction to Turkish holidaymakers who have already experienced something similar in their own country or even those who have yet to visit Cappadocia.
This former capital of South Vietnam (known as Saigon at that time) is a mixture of skyscrapers and traditional architecture. It is the largest city in Vietnam and a place to continue to enjoy the Country’s wonderful cuisine.
This delta region of fishing villages and farmers is the most fertile region in Vietnam. A cruise during a holiday in Vietnam is a must and most Vietnam itineraries will include some time on the River.
The Vietnamese people are naturally friendly and hospitable. Oversea visitors will see that everywhere. What they will expect, and quite rightly so, is respect for their culture and religion and in this sense they are very similar to the Turks. The religions may be different, Buddhist in Vietnam, Muslim in Turkey but neither people are intolerant of other religions.
It is polite to ask before taking photographs of people
The head is the most important part of the body so be careful not to touch someone’s head while feet are regarded as dirty so never point with feet or indeed point in general
Dress modestly at religious sites
When accepting or giving something do so with both hands.
Photocopy important documents and keep everything you do not need with you in a safety deposit box.
Turkish and Vietnamese culture has its similarities. You are welcome to bargain but try to avoid offence or loss of face. It is sensible to agree a price for taxis which will be relatively inexpensive anyway.
Government offices and agencies will be closed at weekends. The normal day is 0800 to 1700 with an hour for lunch. Banks should be open from 0730 or 0800 until 1630 and then Saturday mornings until 1130.
Vietnam travel is relatively safe though it is a matter of using common sense in cities at night time as it is throughout the world. Always carry a card of your hotel so a taxi driver will understand where you want to go. Travelling on organised Vietnam tour packages means you are unlikely to be exposed to any problems.
Turkish people are increasingly looking further afield for their holiday to Vietnam. South East Asia has become a popular destination after the conflicts of the 20th Century became history. Good tour companies in Vietnam offer a service which includes a cheap Vietnam visa service, advice on the country and the behaviour the friendly people would like to see. Nothing is unreasonable and travelling around the country on a Vietnam travel package, Turkish people are likely to enjoy a country that may be different in so many ways but similar in many other ways; pride in the history and culture of their country.