Vietnam Travel Guides

from Travel Insurance Direct
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The country of Vietnam (Socialist Republic of Vietnam), is situated in SE Asia on the southeast part of the Indochinese peninsula along the South China Sea and also bordering the Gulf of Thailand and Gulf of Tonkin. China is located to its north, with Laos and Cambodia to the west.


The country has mountainous and coastal areas with two fertile river deltas where most of the population resides. There is also the Mekong River to the south and the Red River to the north of the country.


The Vietnamese people descended from nomadic Mongols from China , along with migrants from Indonesia . The population today mainly comprises Vietnamese with some Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Thai, Cham and other mountain peoples. Vietnamese is the official language and English is increasing in usage. Some French, Chinese, Khmer and other mountain area languages are also spoken. The main religion is Buddhist, with Christianity (mostly Catholic and some Protestant) along with Muslim and other beliefs.


Hanoi , the capital city, has a history of wars, destruction and natural disasters, yet still maintains many of its historical places such as the Old Quarter, temples and pagodas. Also of interest are the opera house and President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. There are many beautiful lakes and gardens in the city area and shoppers will enjoy browsing the many shops selling traditional crafts of bronze, pottery, silver and embroidery, to name a few.


Vietnam has experienced plenty of political problems and since reunification the capital city has been Hanoi . The former capital city was Hue . To the south of the country is Ho Chi Minh City , which was formerly known as Saigon , and regarded as the main business centre of the country


Ho Chi Minh City is a big tourist attraction in Vietnam . It has much to offer, including museums, theatres and cultural places of interest. Despite its history, the city has beautiful architecture, mostly a blend of Chinese, Vietnamese and European cultures. The traditional blends with the modern with new buildings mixed alongside pagodas and churches.

A popular place to visit is Halong Bay in the northeast region of the country, and situated in the Gulf of Tonkin . Halong Bay comprises almost 2,000 islands of different sizes. Here can be found some truly spectacular scenery with many magical grottoes and caves to be explored, as well as archeological sites. This area also contains differing ecosystems such as coral reefs, tropical forests and salt water flooded forest areas. Halong Bay has been recognized officially as a natural heritage site.


Cat Ba Island in located in the Cat Hai District, Haiphong City . It is the largest island in the bay and very popular with tourists, having magnificent beaches for swimming in the clear blue water with the spectacular mountains behind. For those wishing to escape crowds, boat rides can be taken to nearby small islands with their caves and grottoes. Do Son is another popular beach area, located on a small peninsula between the Van Uc and Lach Tray Rivers . The beaches are tree-lined and surrounded by hills and mountains.

Vietnam ’s climate is quite diverse and can vary quite a lot between the south and the north. The north tends to be a more moderate climate being mainly cool and dry from Nov-Apr, with average temp 15C, and a hot and wet season from May-Oct with average temp approx. 29C.

The south part of the country is more tropical, being humid and hot for most of the year, but especially so from approx. Feb-June, with average temps from 24-31C. The central coastal area has a similar climate to the north, and the central mountains area has a similar climate to the south.


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