A Glimpse of Vietnam
Gracefully resting by the South East Asian coastline, Vietnam is a rhythmic blend of history, culture, modernisation and nature. Filled with visual dramatics right from the rustic living in Mekong delta, the magnificent caves system of Phong Nha, the marvellous French architecture at Hanoi, life in the valley of Sapa to the breath-taking Halong bay.
Vietnam became independent of Imperial of China in AD 938 and continued to flourish till the French colonisation in the mid-19th century. Although after the first Indochina war Vietnam was freed, yet divided into two rival states of- North and South Vietnam- with the US intervention adding to the political unrest followed the Vietnam War. It was devastating and one can see the aftermath of the horrid war even now. The country sure was destitute but not destroyed, Vietnam leaped with all its might.
Besides the many grand UNESCO world heritage sites the country also houses some dazzling Pagodas like the – Temple of Literature, Jade Emperor Pagoda, One Pillar Temple, Perfume Pagoda and so many more- All of them offer the same peaceful aura yet distinct history and rituals. I can go on writing about the alluring architecture and the natural beauty of Vietnam, but that should not overshadow everything else the country has to offer because in the right sense it is a complete sensory delight.
Must Visit Cities in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam. If you are visiting Vietnam you just cannot skip Saigon, for you get to see the harmony in the confusion. I encountered the high spirited living in District 1, the laid back lives and open spaces in District 7 and came face to face with Vietnamese culture in the District 5. Where to stay:I stayed in the Backpackers area in District 1, the place is chaotic and filled with tourists. The good part is that this is in the heart of the city so you can simply walk to the major places of interest. A dorm room would cost you around $ 7- $ 10 and a private room can cost anywhere between $ 10- $ 20. Pham Ngu Lao Street is a hub for hostels, with a new hostel coming up every month! It is the main street in the district, however the hostels are located in some extremely narrow alleys. Since all of these hostels promise same amenities and services you might have a hard time picking one out of the lot.
My recommendation: Phan Anh Backpackers Hostel373/6 Pham Ngu Lao, Ho Chi Minh CityT: (08) 3920 9235www.phananhbackpackershostel.com