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1989/2020

First/Last visit:

Number of visits:

4

Personal Rating:

33/193

UNESCO Sites visited:

8/8

Places Visited:

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, My Tho, Vung Tau, Ba Ria, Can Tho, Cai Rang, Rach Gia, Ha Tien, Phu Quoc, Sapa, Lao Cai, Bac Ha, Haiphong, Halong, Hoa Lu, Tamc Coc, Ninh Binh, Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Nha Trang

Highlights:

Hanoi the Old Quarter with its narrow streets, Thang Long Imperial Citadel with its Flagtower UNESCO, Mausoleum of the legendary Ho Chi Minh, nearby is "Uncle Ho's" stilt house where he lived 1958-1969. There is also a museum about his life. Presidential Palace. Temple of Literature dedicated to Confucius anno 1070, hundreds of stone turtles. Bach Ma is the oldest temple in Hanoi, Hoa Lo Prison nicknamed as "Hanoi Hilton" used for US POW's. Hoan Kiem Lake with Ngoc Son Temple, nearby is the traditional Long Water Puppet Theatre, St. Joseph's Cathedral (inaugurated 1886), Halong Bay UNESCO in the Gulf of Tonkin with thousands of islands, a natural wonder, best discovered on board a traditional junk for overnight, you get what you pay, many operators to choose from. Tam Coc with is breathtaking scenery, join a trip by rowboat on the Ngo Dong River, about 3 hours including stops at the carst caves. Citadel of the Ho Dinasty UNESCO. Ho Chi Minh Quan Am Pagoda with a fantastic roof decoration, and nearby Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda, both located in Cholon, Cathedral Notre Dame (1877-1883), the War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace (constr. 1962), City Hall and roof terrace of Rex Hotel for a sundowner, Cu Chi underground tunnels used by the Vietcong in the war against the Americans and the Saigon regime, attend a Water Puppet show. Can Tho Phung Hiep Floating market early morning for great photos. Phu Quoc Duong Dong with its colorful fishing vessels and seafood restaurants, Long beach near the capital, Bai Dai Beach for swim and surf, also Vung Bau Beach. Sapa Formerly French Hillstation, often shrouded in mist, can get cold here, plenty of cakes and coffee, superb local markets selling Hmong tribe handicrafts. Treks to Mt. Fansipan (3143m), the highest mountain in whole of Indochina. Silver waterfall. Bac Ha has an amazingly beautiful Sunday market with many colorful hill tribes selling their products, but the highlight was the Saturday market in Can Cau, 20km north of Bac Hau, one of the best markets I have seen in Asia. Locals buy water buffalos, horses, goats, fresh food and products from China, tourists go for local handicraft, many tribes, very colorful. Hue UNESCO was the political capital from 1802-1945 visited the Citadel with the Imperial Enclosure, on the banks of the Song Huong River are the Imperial Tombs like Tu Duc's, Minh Mang's, also worth a stop is the Thien Mu Pagoda made 1601. Phong Nha Ke Bang UNESCO impressive caves, yes plural, it is more than just the Paradise cave, it is also an interesting karst landscape, and the National Park. Danang Museum of Cham Sculpture, Bana Hills Cable Car to the Golden Bridge, a truly unique structure, the Marble mountains with its natural caves and small temples. Hoi An Old Town UNESCO biggest attraction is the Japanese covered bridge, constructed 1593, it is like a grand open air museum on the banks of the Thu Bon river with nice colonial buildings still standing. River cruise, Night market. Cua Dai Beach, it can get crowded. Nha Trang Po Nagar Cham Towers, Long Son Pagoda, huge beachfront. My Son sanctuary UNESCO situated in a lush valley, it became the religious centre of the Champa Kingdom about 1000 years ago. Most of the Cham sculptures are in Danang's famed museum.