Traveling to a foreign country can be intimidating. Jet lag, language barrier, the lack of clean drinking water are only a few reasons that can make one opt for a destination closer to home. But, if you are bitten by the travel bug and want to experience that something extra in your travels then, Vietnam is the perfect destination for those on the lookout for adventure as well as tradition. The land is blessed with natural beauty, scenic landscapes, joyful and friendly people and distinct culture uncommon to other countries. In Vietnam you witness a perfect blend of humanity and harmony intricately weaved into the community and family life ensuring that your trip to the cultural hot spot will not be disappointing. Vietnam is a superb destination, if you want to taste complex flavors, view beautiful landscape and mingle with vibrant people!
Here are the top 7 reasons why I love traveling to Vietnam:
1. The Food – Vietnam is not one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite countries for no reason! The street side food of the country is something to die for. You will have missed out on the most important part of your Vietnam trip if you haven’t tasted a hot, steaming bowl of Pho served by an old woman on a mini table in an alley. The delectable meal makes you ignore the street dirt that gets mixed with your food as motor bikes zoom by. I am personally convinced that, it is this added street dust that makes the meals in Vietnam so lip-smacking!! Not just for food, but it is these street side stalls that become preferred venues for families to gather midday and for the elderly to relax well into the evening, a rare sight in most countries!
2. The Hustle – One thing is for sure, if you are looking for peace and quiet then Vietnam is hardly the place for you. The country and the people are lively and always bustling with energy. They are a hardworking culture; working, cooking, caring as well as extracting time from their busy schedules for a coffee with their loved ones. With a population density of 789 people per square mile and growing, the Vietnamese are extremely efficient with their time and space. This is one strong-willed culture that doesn’t dwell on the past and truly lives each day with happiness.
3. The Hospitality – For a country that lived in terror for almost 20 years and only recently opened their borders to the US in 1995, one might assume that Americans are not treated kindly in Vietnam. That couldn’t be further from the truth! The Vietnamese are friendly and warm and ever so eager to welcome foreigners. They have no qualms of sharing their home and culture; in fact they are very enthusiastic about it. Give them the opportunity to host you and you will find in them a lifelong friend!
4. The Motorbikes – There is one amazing sight in Vietnam that is probably not found elsewhere in the world! It wasn’t until I went to Vietnam that I realized how many people you can actually transport on a tiny Vespa. Seeing a family unit of five or an entire pig being hauled on the single 110 cc scooter is a common sight, which in itself is a dangerous, humorous and adventurous sight all rolled into one! In Vietnam the two-wheeler is the main mode of transport and is an important part of the Vietnamese lifestyle.
5. The Beaches – Enough about the people and the lifestyle of Vietnam! Like its culture and beautiful people, Vietnam is blessed with nature’s bounty too! With over 2,000 miles of coastline, Vietnam boasts some of the best beaches in the world. From the secluded island coves of Cat Ba Island in the north, to the bustling city beaches of Nha Trang in central Vietnam and the everlasting sunsets on west facing Phu Quoc Island, there is a little paradise in Vietnam for even the most discerning beach bum. Pair the sun, sand and water with plentiful, beachside food and drink service. The places here are so enticing and the services so impeccable that you will definitely feel that no other real estate investment could be as profitable.
6. Halong Bay – Halong Bay is a tourist destination not to be missed. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. It is situated to the east of the northern city of Hanoi. The bay consists of a dense cluster of over 1,600 limestone islands rising out of the Bay of Tonkin like a dragon. Most travelers opt for a lovely cruise through the bay past floating villages and enchanting grottos, with the not to be missed option of spending an overnight on one of the islands.
7. The Coffee – It won’t be inappropriate to say that a cup of coffee binds the people and the nation together! Locals spend hours catching up with friends, reading or surfing the web in the many coffee shops dotting the entire country; it won’t take long before you are addicted to the vibe and the joe. The best concoction is with ice and condensed milk (both cost extra) but at around $1.50 USD a cup, it’s a real treat and a sure try while you are there. And as a souvenir for friends and family you can bring back Vietnamese coffee by Trung Nguyen which is a cultural staple and will impress any coffee drinking hipster.