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Vietnam is an exceptionally beautiful country with contrasting landscapes, from mountain peaks in the northern highlands, to its fertile network of flood plains in the south’s Mekong Delta. Vietnam also exhibits influences from across the region, with Chinese, Khmer and European styles of cooking, architecture and religion blending together. As well as remarkable natural attractions and a vivid cultural scene, Vietnam also boasts a superb selection of hotel resorts where relaxation, pampering and exceptional service make up the essential ingredients for the ultimate 5 star holiday.
Make sure you catch a boat cruise to Halong Bay to see the exceptionally splendid UNESCO protected limestone islands rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. This breathtaking site is a true spectacle, where the indigo, emerald and oyster colours of the landscape seem to come together in perfect harmony. Spend a couple of days on an elegant luxury junk boat and you’ll have the opportunity to explore the surrounding grottoes and caves, rich in biodiversity and a wonderful array of flora and fauna, as well as swimming and snorkelling in some of the area’s most beautiful, isolated beaches and lagoons.
Experience a less frenetic pace of life in delightful Hoi An, a city with colonial grandeur, majestic architecture and a lovely riverside setting. It boasts a selection of the country’s most elegant buildings, all of which are excellently preserved in a picture postcard perfect state. Unlike frenetic Ho Chi Minh and bustling Hanoi, in charming Hoi An, motorcycle traffic is restricted, and the attractive streets are lined with red lanterns, giving the whole city an otherworldly feel. Don’t miss the Japanese covered bridge, the ruins of My Son and a boat ride on the Thu Bon River.
The Mekong Delta is a startlingly fertile region of the country known as ‘Asia’s rice basket’, because this small area is single handedly responsible for more than a third of the country’s annual food crop. Easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City, a boat trip on the delta is an excellent way to get to know something of local Vietnamese life. This spectacularly beautiful region bustles with activity and, alongside lush fields of emerald crops, you’ll encounter farmers wearing their characteristic conical hats and colourful floating markets selling produce from the region’s orchards, paddy fields and fish farms. Everywhere you go, groups of lively local children will never be too far away, often chasing your boat and waving excitedly from either riverbank.
Situated on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi in the North of Vietnam is one of the region’s most attractive cities, with its elegant French colonial architecture, elaborate temples, pagodas, and tranquil lakes. Hanoi’s Old Quarter has been a buzzing centre of trade for centuries, and today you can still pick up locally made silks and souvenirs to take back home. Nha Trang on Vietnam’s east coast is a charming base for a luxury holiday, with its long stretch of pristine sand and some of the region’s best diving and snorkelling. After dark, the numerous bars, restaurants and nightclubs wake up, giving this city a buzzing, thumping party vibe. Of course, no holiday to Vietnam would be complete without a visit to Ho Chi Mihn City. The hot and humid capital, formerly known as Saigon, has a plethora of attractions from ancient pagodas to bustling markets, sleek skyscrapers and stately colonial buildings.
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