It’s an unfortunate truth that many foreigners find it difficult to envision Vietnam outside the scope of its tragic war. Nevertheless, the beautiful country is one of the most diverse places of its kind. Home to incredibly diverse flora, fauna and landscapes, it’s often noted for being one of the most historical and culturally-rich countries in Southeast Asia.
It won’t take long for visitors to discover the beauty that is found around each corner. If you’re looking to travel to a country that has everything from lush, green mountains and jungles to coral reefs along with incredible history, I think you should bump Vietnam straight to the top of the bucket list! Interested in learning why? Here are five reasons you should travel to Vietnam.
1. The people are amazing
Vietnamese people are some of the kindest and most generous people I’ve encountered. They’ve encountered so many obstacles over the years, and yet, they do most everything with a smile. The older generation is the true backbone of the country and work in an industrious and noble manner, while the younger generation is benefiting from its recent developments. Get to know the locals and observe their way of life when you travel to Vietnam: you won’t regret it!
2. Vietnam isn’t overly touristic [for the most part]
When tourists flocked to heavily-treaded Thailand or mega-chill Indonesia, Vietnam remained quietly off the radar for years. Some of the country’s most beautiful destinations are relatively new, which is super exciting. For example, the biggest cave in the world, Son Doong Cave in the Phong Nha region wasn’t open to tourism until 2012. The cave features a jungle and river, and is large enough to fit a 40-story skyscraper within its walls. Although attractions like this are a bit on the pricy side, it is still immensely cheaper if you choose to travel to Vietnam than other parts of the globe.
I will add that, like literally any popular destination in the world, tourism has taken over certain spots. If you’re interested in a trip to Halong Bay, you’ll have to share the waters with a number of boats which can be disconcerting for some. While I will admit it took away some of the magic, I’ve also come to realize that it’s a bit like this everywhere – especially in Asia!
3. It’s extremely easy to budget in Vietnam
While it’s certainly not as ultra-cheap as traveling Northern Thailand on a budget, Vietnam is still one of the most affordable countries in the region. There has been a bit of inflation within the past few years due to a tourism boom, but the spikes are nothing major and definitely shouldn’t be a deterrent from experiencing some of Vietnam’s most unique travel opportunities.
4. The landscape is incredible
I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t been impressed the topography of Vietnam. From tall, black, cloud-hugging mountains to lush, thick jungles and the white sandy beaches and emerald waters in between, Vietnam has EVERYTHING. One of the most impressive spots is SaPa, a mountain community that survives solely on tourism. The magical terraces in SaPa were carved by the Black Hmong tribespeople over two thousand years ago by hand and remains home to most of their ancestors to this day.
5. The food is flavorful and fresh
Each Vietnamese dish encompasses flavors that aim to enhance the five main taste elements: salty, sour, sweet, spicy and bitter. Whether you’re after the infamous translucent spring rolls loaded with fresh greens and minced pork to Pho – the nation’s most known dish – you won’t be disappointed. Vietnamese take much pride in their food and have a number of dishes unique to certain regions, making sure those traveling through can always entice their taste buds at each stop.
So, what are you waiting for? Start saving money to get to Vietnam as soon as possible! If you’re interested in how to save money to travel, I’ve created a guide to help you along the way. If you’re interested, you can also check out how I saved money to travel by teaching in Korea. Have you been to Vietnam? What did you love (or dislike) about it?