Located along the eastern half of the Southeast Asian Peninsula is the country of Vietnam. A country that has geography which is comprised of uneven wooded uplands and fertile river valleys; it is a land of legend and culture. The Ha Long Bay situated along the coast of Vietnam is just one of those regions whose roots are based on legend. The rocky islands made out of limestone were believed by the locals to have been created by a dragon that had smashed up these stones and scattered them all over the Bay.
Ho Chi Minh City is the capital city of Vietnam. This bustling commercial center is located on the banks of the Saigon River. For many travelers visiting the country of Vietnam, this is their first stop since it is here where the Tan Son Nhat International Airport is located.
The lush forests that cover the country are fed by the mighty Mekong River that cuts through the entire country, its warm tropical climate and monsoon season. These lush green forests had also been the venue of the ferocious Vietnam War which lasted for 18 years. This resulted to the economy of Vietnam. In 1975, after North Vietnam had won the war, the southern region was united with the north making it the country that we know today. It is currently rebuilding its economy by maintaining good trade relations with its neighboring nations in Southeast Asia as well as Japan and Eastern Europe.
Vietnam is home to 54 different ethnic groups. Many of them continue to live in the upland regions of the country. Despite modern advancements, these ethnic groups continue to live their lives as they have always had for centuries. Indeed, travelers visiting Vietnam are amazed at the diversity of the cultural heritage and its tolerance to the practice of different customs. It is not surprising to see Buddhist temples, Christian churches, Islam mosques and Caodaism temples situated side by side each other in the city.
One of the favorite tourist attractions in Vietnam is the Bai Tho Mountain. Rising 106 meters above sea levels, tourists visiting this majestic mountain marvel at the poem that has been engraved on the side of one of its cliffs under the order of Emperor Le Thanh Tong in 1468. Another favorite tourist spot is Bai Chay. It is well-known for its pristine beaches which are dotted by many pine trees around the area.
The best way to experience the rich cultural heritage in this vibrant country is to visit the local market place. Apart from being able to sample some of the finest in Vietnam cuisine, the local market place is also the place where a number of different cultural festivals are being held. First time travelers are encouraged to take a ride down the floating market along the Mekong River Delta for a unique experience. Instead of going through from one stall to another, the market owners row their boats with their goods. You will also be able to see floating little restaurants where you can be able to have a hot bowl of noodles, something that you can only do in Vietnam.