Vietnam has a number of memorable attractions. World recognition has resulted in several places being included in lists of places with natural, historical or cultural significance. Some people visit Vietnam to sample its cuisine or see places that they first heard about during the unfortunate Vietnam War. Others have seen images of its coastline which is magical; all 3,400 km of it. Few are disappointed after a single holiday of just a couple of weeks.
How to get there
Vietnam’s internal transport is fairly good. The main international airports are Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south with domestic connections to Danang allowing those on a holiday in Vietnam to access the central region where there are so many things to see. Rail links are also good though to reach the more remote parts of the country it is a matter of finding buses. Sometimes travel may be slow but there are rewards for perseverance.
Those of organised Vietnam private tours will have everything arranged for them.
Best time to visit
There are regional differences in the climate so planning a visit depends on the regions involved. It is likely that if you intend to visit all parts of the country you will have periods of clear skies and sunshine as well as rain elsewhere.
Heritage Sites in Vietnam
When it comes to world heritages in Vietnam, they fall into six different categories and here are some examples of each which are likely to be included within Vietnam travel packages:
Natural heritage sites:
• Halong Bay in the north-east is a part of Bac Bo Gulf. There are nearly 2,000 islands and cruising within the Bay is a truly relaxing experience. Tourism is important yet the local fishermen and their families live as they have always done.
• Phong Nha in central Viet Nam has enormous geological significance. There are underground rivers and grottos, a huge variety of stone from quartz and sandstone to granite and limestone.
Cultural heritage sites:
• Hoi An a town on the Thu Bon River in Quang Nam Province is close to Danang in Central Vietnam. Its importance is due to the ancient buildings, narrow streets, pagodas, tombs and wells. There is a mixture of traditions and culture still evident today.
• Hue was the ancient capital during the Nguyen Dynasty from the beginning of the 19th Century until the end of the Second World War. Its complex of monuments especially in the Imperial City area demand a visit for those that decide on Vietnam travel.
Mixed Heritage Site:
• The mountainous region of Trang An has a unique landscape of karst mountains, natural rain forest, rivers and caves which enchant anyone who sees them. There is much that appeals to anyone interested in archaeology including pottery and tools as well as temples and palaces.
Intangible cultural heritage forms:
• Nha Nhac Court Music, strongly influenced by the Chinese, was played in the Ho Dynasty but reached its height during the Nguyen Dynasty through the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th. Its preservation by Tu Cung, the mother of the last king resulted in the rebirth of the style in the 80s and recognition by the Ministry of Culture.
• The Gongs made in the Central Highlands by the ethnic tribes whose lives have changed little over time. Those tribes regard them as sacred; they can be as large as 60 cm by 120 cm and different tribes have different ‘’rules’’ about their playing. Whenever there is a ceremony of any kind in this region the gongs play a role.
• King Tran Nhan Tong understood the importance of text in the early days of Truc Lam Zen Buddhism in the 13th Century. The wood blocks used for such text were mostly lost but in the late 19th Century at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda over 3,000 woodblocks were created to record the writings of monks from the 14th Century.
• The Nguyen Dynasty Records involves 773 volumes, all hand-written. There were 11 kings in the Dynasty which ruled for a century and a half until the end of World War II. All are authenticated, written in red ink and specific script.
Global geological park:
• The Dong Van Karst Plateau is a minimum of 1.000 metres above sea level; a very special limestone area. Some of the fossils found there date back 540 million years.
This is just a flavour of the World Heritages in Vietnam. If you are considering a Vietnam holiday be sure to include some of them on your trip.
Read more: Vietnam heritage tour