Vietnam is an elongated coastal state in Southeast Asia. The country borders China, Laos, Cambodia, the Gulf of Thailand, and the South China Sea. The capital has been Hanoi since 1976. Vietnam’s area corresponds to about 93% of the German national territory. The country includes the river deltas of the Red River and the Mekong, the entire eastern coast of Southeast Asia and the long mountain ranges and plateaus of the hinterland. The north-south extension is about 1650 km, the east-west width up to 600 km, while the narrowest point in Central Vietnam is only 50 km wide. The geography of Vietnam is often referred to as a “bamboo pole with two rice bowls”, as the fertile river deltas in the north and south deliver rice and in between there are mainly mountains and forests. Vietnam has a species-rich fauna, which, however, is threatened by poaching and clearing of the forests. The population is approximately 90 million. 53 ethnic minority groups are recognized. The majority of the population does not belong to any religion, so around 82% are atheists. According to Hyperrestaurant, Vietnam is a one-party state in which the Communist Party of Vietnam is the unity party and thus has a monopoly on power. A visa is required for entry, which must usually be applied for before arrival. There are single entry visas (single entry) and multiple entry / re-entry visas (multiple entries) with a validity of up to three months. Vietnam is a one-party state in which the Communist Party of Vietnam is the unity party and thus has a monopoly on power. A visa is required for entry, which must usually be applied for before arrival. There are single entry visas (single entry) and multiple entry / re-entry visas (multiple entries) with a validity of up to three months. Vietnam is a one-party state in which the Communist Party of Vietnam is the unity party and thus has a monopoly on power. A visa is required for entry, which must usually be applied for before arrival. There are single entry visas (single entry) and multiple entry / re-entry visas (multiple entries) with a validity of up to three months.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the second largest city in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh. Approx. 7 million people live in the somewhat chaotic metropolis. A stroll through Hanoi’s Old Quarter is an absolute must. Countless mopeds throng the narrow streets, there are plenty of stalls and on the roadside you can also try typical Vietnamese cuisine. Since the old town has 36 alleys, it is also called the “quarter of 36 alleys”. At the southern end of the old town is the Hoàn Kiếm lake, the “lake of the returned sword”. According to legend, a fisherman is said to have received a magical sword from a turtle with which he succeeded in driving away the occupiers of the Myng Dinasty. Gratefully he returned to the lake as king, he returned the sword to the turtle and it turned into a dragon, who protects the lake today. The king built the turtle tower in memory. A giant stuffed turtle can actually be seen in the Jade Mountain Temple on another island in the lake. The lake is also known for its wonderful view over the city. For those interested in culture, the Thang Long water puppet theater at the northeastern end of Lake Hoàn Kiếm is a great place to go. Also worth seeing are the temple of literature with its green spaces and the national university. Another tourist attraction are the remains of the Thăng Long Citadel, the central area of which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. If you want to get to know Vietnam’s dark past and delve deeper into the history of the war, the former Hỏa-Lò prison in Hanoi is the right place for you. The Ethnology Museum, on the other hand, deals with the culture of the country, which is also recommended. In the evening, you shouldn’t miss a stroll along the banks of the Red River, which characterizes the cityscape of Hanoi. The best view is from the Long Biên Bridge. You can find everything on the weekend at Hanoi’s largest night market. It extends south from Dong Xuan Market.
Halong Bay is probably the most famous photo motif in Vietnam. It is located in northern Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin in the province of Quảng Ninh and covers an area of approx. 1500 km². According to official information, limestone rocks protrude several hundred meters from the water in 1969, most of them are uninhabited islands and rocks, although the limestone plateau is gradually sinking. The bay has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. The name Halong means “Bay of the Submerging Dragon”. The famous bay of Vietnam was also featured in James Bond. There are numerous tourist tours offered, whether with speedboats or kayak, everyone will find a suitable offer here. Either you start the tour from the mainland from the city of Hai Phong or what is more recommendable from the island of Cat Ba Island. It’s best to stay a little longer here, because the largest island in the bay not only has great beaches and a huge range of outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, rafting, etc., but there is also a beautiful national park to explore here. The rainforest that covers the limestone cliffs in the national park is truly fantastic and you have a great view of the island and the surrounding bay. A real dream island to relax for a few days.
The other usual Vietnam photos are mostly taken here, in the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is a region in the south of the country known for the Mekong River. This is where rice comes from and you should definitely see the region on a Vietnam trip. A very special highlight is definitely a boat tour to the floating markets. A good starting point for tours in the impressive river delta is the small town of Sa Dec. You can also go on a bike tour on Cu Lao Gieng, a small island in the middle of the river.
Ban Gioc waterfall
The Ban Gioc waterfall is one of the most beautiful in the world and should therefore definitely be on the travel plan when traveling through Vietnam. They are right on the border with China. The river Quy Xuân flows here in steps over several cascades with a width of approx. 300m. The waterfall can be explored with rafts from both countries, although it is easier from the Vietnamese side. You should also visit the area and take your time here, because the area is characterized by karst mountains and rice terraces. Not far is the limestone cave Nguom Ngao.
Other well-known waterfalls are the Pongour waterfalls, located 50km south of Da Lat, a city known for its nature and perfect for hiking.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
The national park is one of the most beautiful in the country. It is located in the province of Quảng Bình in north-central Vietnam, about 500 kilometers south of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. It is particularly known for its karst formations and limestone caves. The national park was included in the list of World Natural Heritage Sites in Vietnam by UNESCO in 2003. Among other things, there is the Paradise Cave, which was only discovered in 2005. In 2009 the Son Doong Cave was also discovered here. It is the largest cave in the world and there is even a rainforest in it – a true natural wonder. However, 2-3 day tours are also very expensive to get there. The tourism center is located in the municipality of Son Trach and can be easily reached.
There are regular domestic flight connections in Vietnam. The road network is satisfactory, especially on the coast the roads are better than inland. With a rental car you can tour Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which connects many sights. Car rentals are best rented with a driver, as traffic is chaotic and driving license recognition is difficult and expensive. Buses run all over Vietnam but are often overcrowded. Long-distance trains run daily from the north to the south and vice versa, most of them are quite comfortable. There are also some regional ship connections. There is also the possibility to visit the country by cruise. Those who prefer to go on an organized tour can join numerous small group tours, who set different priorities when exploring the country. There are also country combinations with Laos or Cambodia.