Thailand has been a popular holiday and honeymoon destination for many years, but sadly close and equally charming neighbour – Vietnam is often overlooked. Vietnam is known for its lively culture, wonderful cuisine and gorgeous natural scenery. The contented attitude of the locals helps provide a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere, they are well known to be polite and friendly to foreigners, making it a great country to visit if you’re not a seasoned traveller.
Vietnam is known for its delicious cuisine, which is healthy, inexpensive and tasty: it’s a great place if you are looking to indulge your taste buds. Lonely Planet explores the culinary charms of Vietnam:
“The Thais may grumble, but in Southeast Asia nothing really comes close: Vietnamese food is that good. Incredibly subtle in its flavours and outstanding in its diversity, Vietnamese cooking is a fascinating draw for travellers – myriad street-food tours and cooking schools are testament to this. Geography plays a crucial role, with Chinese flavours influencing the soups of the north, spices sparking up southern cuisine, and herbs and complex techniques typifying the central coastline, rightly renowned as Vietnam’s epicurean epicentre. And up and down the country you can mingle with villagers, sample local dishes and sip rice wine in Vietnam’s many regional markets.”
Home of natural beauty
Vietnam also boasts some beautiful landscapes and natural gems. Lush forests, paddy fields, golden beaches and towering mountains. Vietnam is a canvas of striking natural scenery. It’s home to the National Park Phong Nha-Ke Bang. The designated Unesco World Heritage site is filled with extraordinary caves, underground rivers and beautiful, towering mountains (the oldest karst mountains in Asia).
Ho Chi Minh City is the capital city of Vietnam. The city combines a variety of different flavours – upmarket bars, hotels and restaurants, with authentic street food and the bustle of city market stalls. The city also showcases some beautiful architecture, with many cultural and architectural wonders open to visitors to the city, such as the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883.
The Taoist temple Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the big draws of the city and gives you a look into the rich culture of the Vietnamese. Built by the Vietnamese people in 1909, in order to pay their respects to the Taoist god Ngoc Hoang, the temple houses a variety of stunning statues from the Buddhist and Taoist traditions, beautiful wood carvings and striking tilework. Ngoc Hoang, also known as the Jade Emperor, sits in statue form in the main hall, where locals regularly gather for mass. In addition, the city is the home of the War Remnants Museum, which provides visitors a look into the history of Vietnam and the war that took place there.
With its vibrant city life and natural draws, Vietnam is full of rich culture and beautiful natural scenery – it’s an exciting place to venture for your honeymoon.