"Facts about Vietnam" was last updated on Sep 24, 2012
Despite tragic war events, Vietnam has for years been and still is, an attractive destination for backpackers and tourists.
Vietnam is intriguing in so many ways, but my top reason is the food and the culture.
So, where in earth is Vietnam?
Vietnam shares borders with China in the north, Laos and Cambodia to the east. You can easily visit Vietnam from Laos and Cambodia through land crossings (PS: Check visa rules).
I (the editor) haven't been to Vietnam myself, but my cousin and friends have been there. All tips and advice on Vietnam are theirs ;-)
Almost 90 million people live in Vietnam. The capital is Hanoi and the largest city is Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon).
About 40% of the population is named Nguyen, but it feels more like 80%. Almost everybody I met in Vietnam, had Nguyen as their last name.In Norway, every Vietnamese I know has Nguyen as their last name. I bet you know someone too :-)
Today, the Cu Chi tunnels are a huge tourist attraction in Vietnam.
You have noodle and soup dishes, baguettes and so much more!When travelers talk about Southeast Asian food, they often think about Vietnamese or Thai food. And sometimes Malaysian food. Vietnamese food is inspired by Chinese and French cuisine making the dishes less spicier than Thai food.
It's not as mad as the Full Moon parties in Thailand, but there's something to the partying as well. To mention a couple of attractions, you have Halong Bay and trekking around Sapa in the north, and cultural hotspots like Hue and Hoi An in central Vietnam.
Facts about Vietnam: Sapa in north Vietnam
You'll find more mountain trekking in Dalat. You can go beach bumming in Mui Ne and Nha Trang in the south (Mui Ne is far less touristy), water puppet shows and War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh city, and of course the Cu Chi tunnels and the Mekong Delta boat trips.
Ah, before I forget, Phu Quoc island in the far south is also great for beach lovers! ;-) Start your day with a diving trip or sunbathing, then maybe a visit to the Phu Quoc prison or go swimming in the pools of Suoi Tranh waterfalls.
If you're more up for off-the-beaten-track adventures, it's easy to hire a bike and cruise around on your own.
Another thing that makes Vietnam so exciting, is luscious landscapes, endless stretches of rice fields and countless villages along the way.
Vietnam sounds perfect, huh?
I don't want to give you the impression of an effortless and 'perfect' Vietnam. Vietnam has also its backsides. Scams is one thing. It is said that scamming is a national sport in Vietnam. We've been scammed a couple of times while we were traveling there, but nothing serious and life-threatening.
You might also go crazy by the city traffic, but that's just normal for any Asian city :-)
All in all, Vietnam is an ideal destination for backpackers because there are so many interesting sights and activities in the country, and because of the cheap food and accommodation.
Happy trip! :-)
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General information about Hoi An
Get an introduction to Hoi An as a backpacker destination, and practical info on how to get there by air and bus.
Accommodation in Hoi An Vietnam
Wondering about where to sleep in Hoi An?
I'll give you some useful advice, and also a review of the hotel we stayed at in Hoi An!
Hoi An Restaurants
So, where are all the good restaurants in Hoi An?
Get our reviews of the places we went to in this lovely town. And you should see the photos! ;-)
Sights and Activities in Hoi An Vietnam
What are the must-sees and must-do's in Hoi An?
Here's a couple of things you can try.
Culture of Vietnam
Get to know Vietnamese culture through the eyes of a traveler!
Here's a simplified version of culture of Vietnam :-)
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