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Hanoi travel guide

SIGHTS Vietnam Museum of Ethnology The  wonderful  Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (Ð Nguyen Van Huyen; admission 20,000d; h8.30am-5.30pm Tue-Sun) should not be missed. Designed with  assistance  from  Musée  de l’Homme in Paris, it features a fascinating collection of art and everyday objects gathered from Vietnam  and its  diverse  tribal people. From the  making  of  conical […]

Retrospective

Considering the events discussed in this book, no conclusion can be drawn in the sense of discovering some deep logic governing a presumed destiny of the Vietnamese people. Knowledge of the Vietnamese past in the English language accumulated in the late twentieth century in the shadow of war; academics,  journalists, and politicians accorded the chief […]

The Sino-Khmer War and renovation

Hanoi moved rapidly to unify the country. The Provisional Revolutionary Gov- ernment of South Vietnam was pushed aside and administrators were sent from  the north to establish the new regime in the south. Many Second Republic officials were killed and hundreds of thousands of people were sent to concentration camps, ostensibly to re-educate them to […]

The victory of Hanoi

When Ho Chi Minh died in mid 1969, Le Duan decided to enshrine public memory of him with the goal of conquering the south, thereby adding an aura of saintliness to the party’s policies and authority. The tightening of domestic social control became increasingly important not only to mitigate war weariness but also to maintain […]

The Second Republic

North Vietnamese leaders worried not only about the diminishing importance of their struggle in the context of world politics but also about the success of the Second Republic in stabilizing South Vietnam. Nguyen Van Thieu was not a very inspiring leader, but neither was he known for either excessive corruption or egregious abuse of power. […]

US redeployment out of Vietnam

When the two-sided four-party Paris peace talks began in early 1969, it was quickly apparent that they were little more than a propaganda platform. Hanoi was occupied with rebuilding its military capability in the south without the large southern component that had been sacrificed in 1968 and was content to delay serious negotiations until it […]

The communist offensive of 1968

Between the 1959 decision to force a military solution upon the southern question and the death of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963, Le Duan and his associates in Hanoi were constrained by party members who believed that economic development was a higher priority than military confrontation with the south and that, in fact, developing a […]

Formation of the Second Republic of Vietnam

Lyndon Johnson accepted the American commitment to defeat the communist attempt to take over South Vietnam, but he subordinated the implementation of this commitment to the presidential election of 1964 and to his ambitious domestic legislative agenda, which occupied him during the first half of 1965. Consequently, when, in March 1965, he opened direct American […]

Political turmoil in Saigon

Despite filling the role of “first among equals” during the planning and execution of the coup, Duong Van Minh was indolent and without ideas aside from removing Ngo Dinh Diem’s officials and abandoning his policies. In a matter of days, the structure of authority created by the Ngo Dinh brothers was dismantled and the strategic […]

Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem

The Vietnamese–American relationship unraveled in 1963 as a result of several factors. The flawed Laotian agreement of 1962 facilitated North Vietnamese use of southern Laos to supply communist forces in South Vietnam. This assisted Hanoi’s response to the challenge of strategic hamlets and of escalating American advisory, logistical, and air support activities. Harriman, the chief […]

The Kennedy escalation

At the end of 1960, American policy in Southeast Asia was in disarray with the Laotian situation threatening a Cold War confrontation and relations with Saigon in turmoil. During the next year, the administration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy developed new policies toward Laos and Vietnam that became the basis of subsequent US involvement in the […]

Ngo Dinh Diem between communists and Americans

The contradiction between French colonialism and American promotion of an independent, sovereign Vietnamese state had been a prominent aspect of US involvement in Vietnamese affairs in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In the late 1950s, although the French were no longer part of the situation, an analogous contradiction between controlling the policies of a […]

Start of a new war

The ascendance of Le Duan brought the southern question into the center of party policy. His request to shift from political to military action in the south was rejected by the party’s Central Committee when it met in April 1956. Instead this meeting subscribed to the “peaceful coexistence” line of Khrushchev’s speech and focused on […]

Hanoi

After shifting its headquarters from the mountains to Hanoi in late 1954, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam received large amounts of aid from China and  the Soviet Union, including food, consumer goods, military and industrial equip- ment, and money. But the greatest foreign presence in North Vietnamese domes- tic affairs was Chinese supervision of the […]

From Two Countries To One

Saigon After Bao Dai went to France in late 1953 to pursue possibilities for negotiating full independence with the Laniel government, Ngo Dinh Diem departed the United States for Europe, sensing that he may find a role in the changing situation. Ngo Dinh Diem’s youngest brother, Ngo Dinh Luyen (1914–1990), was a childhood friend of […]

The peace settlement

By 1953, the State of Vietnam had become an agglomeration of several elements.  A cluster of politicians, most of whom had been part of the Cochinchina separat- ist scheme of d’Argenlieu, gathered in Saigon around Prime Minister Nguyen  Van Tam. The Binh Xuyen was a crime syndicate in Saigon and Cholon in alliance with the […]

The beginning of United States involvement

Until 1950, the United States was uninvolved in the Vietnamese conflict. While supportive of France as a Cold War ally in Europe, the Truman administration refrained from providing direct assistance to French operations in Indochina, not wanting to be associated with what it viewed as a colonial policy. In early 1949, with the ongoing Berlin […]

Radicalization of the Viet Minh

Nguyen Binh, the Viet Minh leader in Cochinchina, continued a guerrilla war against the French and against the groups supporting Bao Dai until his death in 1951. He was able to establish bases in less-populated areas where the Hoa Hao or Cao Dai were not strong: in the Ca Mau region of the extreme south […]

A Franco-Vietnamese government

Although large numbers of Vietnamese rallied to the Viet Minh to defend  national independence, there were also many Vietnamese who saw the under- lying Viet Minh agenda of communist revolution as a threat to their vision of an  independent Vietnam. They viewed a renewal of French colonialism as an unlikely long-term prospect in a decolonizing […]

Outbreak of a new war

The central issue in subsequent Franco-Vietnamese negotiations was the status of Cochinchina. D’Argenlieu was determined to deny Ho Chi Minh’s government any claim to the south. At a conference held during April and May in Dalat, a  colonial resort in the Central Highlands, d’Argenlieu made it clear to the Viet- namese representatives from Hanoi that […]

Return of the French

Ho Chi Minh proclaimed Vietnamese independence and the Democratic Repub- lic of Vietnam at a Hanoi rally on September 2, but already the attention of his  new government was shifting from internal matters to the arrival of Allied  troops, ostensibly to disarm and repatriate the Japanese. At the Potsdam confer- ence in July, Allied leaders […]

The August Revolution

For Vietnamese in Tonkin and northern Annam, the winter of 1944–1945 was a time of famine with around one million people dying of starvation. The 1944 spring rice crop had been reduced by drought and insect infestation and the autumn crop had been reduced by a typhoon; however, by themselves these events would not have […]

Formation of the Viet Minh

After the destruction of the Indochinese Communist Party in Cochinchina in November 1940, the center of party authority emerged in Tonkin under the direction of Truong Chinh (given name: Dang Xuan Khu, 1907–1988), who had joined the Youth League in the late 1920s, had spent six years in prison, and had worked as a legal […]

Indochina At War

The Japanese arrive As the Sino-Japanese War raged just over the northern border and as war in Europe shifted from threat to reality, a fresh upsurge of religious excitement spread in western Cochinchina. In July of 1939, in a village near the Seven Mountains near the Khmer border, a sickly but charismatic young man named […]

New cultural patterns

Vietnamese history in the 1930s is much more than the story of communist activists, and not all members of the new generation were absorbed by politics. The events just narrated above were peripheral to fundamental changes taking place in scholarship, literature, society, and religion. The last decade without war  until the 1990s, this was the […]

Vietnamese politics and the Popular Front

During the prolonged suppression of the Vietnamese Nationalist Party and the Nghe-Tinh Soviets, Vietnamese students and young professionals in France organized protest demonstrations, resulting in many of their leaders being arrested and expelled back to Indochina or evading arrest and escaping back to Indochina. Most of these had participated in the Jeune Annam movement of […]

The French resort to the monarchy

For five years after the events of 1930–1931, the Franco-Vietnamese relationship was in a surface holding pattern while, beneath the calm, important changes were occurring among the Vietnamese. The governor generals during this time were men who had many years of administrative experience in Indochina and had risen to high positions under Sarraut in the […]

The soviets in Nghe-Tinh and western Cochinchina

Aside from the change in Vietnamese perceptions arising from the obduracy of the French regime that affected all Vietnamese regions, Tonkin was particularly responsive to developments in southern China that inspired Vietnamese efforts to  build clandestine anti-colonial organizations modeled on the Chinese Commun- ist and the Chinese Nationalist Parties. In late 1929, Nguyen Thai Hoc, […]

The new generation in Tonkin and Annam

Activist members of the new generation in Tonkin, galvanized by the events of 1925–1926, gathered in Hanoi and were initially involved in publishing efforts. The  level of French surveillance and censorship, however, stymied them, and in Decem- ber 1927 they organized the Vietnamese Nationalist Party under the leadership of  Nguyen Thai Hoc (1902–1930). This organization […]

Cochinchina and the new generation

A leftist coalition was elected to power in France in 1924. It included many politicians opposed to colonialism, which led in 1925 to the replacement of Merlin by Varenne, a Socialist politician who had expressed sympathy for Vietnamese aspirations. Although disowned by his own party for accepting the colonial appointment, Varenne believed that he should […]

The beginning of Saigon politics

One of the publishing ventures subsidized by the Sarraut government was a French-language Saigon newspaper, La Tribune Indigène, begun in 1917, which soon became the mouthpiece of Bui Quang Chieu (1872–1945), a man from the Mekong delta who in the 1890s had studied in France and obtained a degree in  agricultural engineering. From 1897 he […]

Domestic ferment with Europe at war

In 1911, inspired by the Chinese revolution, Phan Boi Chau organized the Vietnamese Restoration Society (Viet Nam Quang Phuc Hoi) in southern China and endeavored to rebuild a network of activists in Tonkin. The only results of  this were some assassinations and bombings in 1913, which attracted the atten- tion of French security agents who […]

The 1908 disturbances and their sequel

In Quang Nam, the operations of Phan Boi Chau’s Duy Tan Society, the modern- izing schools inspired by Phan Chu Trinh, heavy French demands for corvée labor  to exploit coal mines, the irresponsible behavior of Vietnamese magistrates, and a relatively large peasant population in distress all overlapped and, in March 1908, combined to initiate three […]

Franco-Vietnamese Colonial Relations

Intellectuals respond to the colonial regime By the turn of the century, many educated Vietnamese were endeavoring to think their way through the events of the French conquest, aiming to arrive at some vision of a future for themselves or for their country. Not all Vietnamese were concerned with ideas about a Vietnamese country. The […]

Formation of French Indochina

A new policy initiative was needed to sustain the colonial project in Vietnam. The man selected to implement this was Paul Bert (1833–1886), a man of science, professor of physiology, and staunch anti-cleric who entered politics as a follower of Gambetta, for whom he served as Minister of Education. He arrived at Hue in April […]

The French take Hue

King Tu Duc died in July 1883. During the last year of his life, whatever authority he still may have had was ebbing away as Rivière waited in Hanoi, new Qing armies crossed the border, and Vietnamese officials in the north prepared to resist the French despite their king’s passivity. Tu Duc seldom stirred from […]

The Sino-French War

By the end of the 1870s, the number of Frenchmen, both in Cochinchina and in France, who had given up on hopes of establishing a working relationship with Tu Duc was growing rapidly. Furthermore, the lack of effective authority in the north aroused French fears of intervention by China or by another European power. Advocates […]

Law and language in Cochinchina

The French naval authorities in Cochinchina were perplexed most of all by efforts to administer justice. The pre-French legal system had been administered by magistrates with a relatively high level of educational achievement in the system of examinations used by the Hue court to staff officialdom. These men were not only conversant with the law […]

Post-treaty disorder in the north

With the Treaty of 1874, the French appeared to have gained what Dupuis had initially sought. Treaty provisions opened the Red River, as well as the ports of Qui Nhon, Hanoi, and Hai Phong, to international commerce. French consuls were to be stationed in these ports with judicial prerogatives over any litigation involving Europeans and […]

The Treaty of 1874

During the late 1860s and early 1870s, Tu Duc, having lost possession of what had become French Cochinchina in the south, also lost control over the upland hinterland of the Red River plain, while his authority in the lowlands shrank to a few garrisoned administrative centers, primarily Hanoi, Son Tay, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, Hon […]

Formation of French Cochinchina

The inability to pacify the Red River plain and to eradicate the appeal of Le dynastic pretenders was a great weakness of the Hue monarchy and prevented concentration of the country’s resources against the French at Saigon. The Le Duy Cu rebellion of 1854–1855 in which Cao Ba Quat had played a part was followed […]

The French Conquest

French rule in Vietnam was established over a period of fifty years through a process that had several phases. Between 1857 and 1862, the French decision to launch an expedition against Vietnam was made and implemented, resulting in the Treaty of Saigon, which granted France possession of the region surrounding Saigon. Between 1862 and 1874, […]

The threat from Europe

The French navy was increasingly active along the Chinese coast in the early 1850s, collaborating and competing with the British and the Americans for treaty privileges and territorial concessions. But it was not until the end of the Crimean War in 1856 that Louis Napoleon was prepared to initiate a policy toward Vietnam. The British […]

Tu Duc’s accession and incapacity to rule

Until 1845, two men shared influence at the top of Thieu Tri’s court, Truong Dang Que and Nguyen Dang Tuan (1772–1845). Nguyen Dang Tuan was from Quang Binh, a short distance north of Hue. Both Nguyen Dang Tuan and Truong Dang Que had been prominent in implementing the administrative reforms and in suppressing the rebellions […]

Thieu Tri and the French navy

In 1838, when it seemed that he had prevailed over the last echoes of the Le dynasty, had perfectly unified the country, and had achieved his ambitions in Cambodia, Minh Mang celebrated by renaming his realm Dai Nam, “Great South.” Barely three years later, he died after a fall from a horse, amidst a war […]

Le Van Khoi’s rebellion and war with Siam

In the spring of 1833, Le Van Khoi was being investigated by Minh Mang’s officials for irregularities in supplying lumber to shipyards when news arrived that Le Duy Luong had been proclaimed king and that two or three provinces in the north had already come under his control. Le Van Khoi reportedly received a message […]

Background to Le Van Khoi’s rebellion

When Le Van Duyet pacified Nghe An and Thanh Hoa in 1819, he acquired armies of surrendered rebels and bandits who swore loyalty to him and to the king at Hue. When he went south in 1820 to deal with the Cambodian uprising and to thereafter be viceroy at Saigon, these armies went with him. […]

Minh Mang’s centralizing policies

Gia Long’s confidence in his fourth son as a man with his own mind was well placed. Minh Mang was an intelligent and active ruler with definite ideas about how to govern. Unlike his successors, historians have never viewed him as being manipulated by others. On the other hand, My Duong, the royal grandson who […]

Relations with the Khmer vassal

One of Gia Long’s final decisions would have a long-term effect on Khmer–Viet relations. In 1819, Gia Long decided to dig what became the Vinh Te and Vinh An Canals. Gia Long’s stated intention was to benefit Cambodia by creating a more convenient water route from the Khmer capital to the sea and to benefit […]

Dynastic discipline

The fourth issue raised by Nguyen Van Thanh in 1812 proved to be his undoing. This was the succession question. Gia Long’s three eldest sons were already dead. The choice of crown prince was between My Duong, the eldest son of former Crown Prince Canh, who was in his teens and was Gia Long’s eldest […]

Siam and the question of Khmer vassalage

The third point in Nguyen Van Thanh’s message of 1812 had to do with the situation on the Cambodian border, which had just erupted into a new crisis. The competition between the Siamese and Vietnamese for control of Cambodia was in abeyance during the lifetime of Gia Long’s wartime ally, King Chakri, known posthumously as […]

Literature

Gia Long’s reign became famous in Vietnamese literary history because of three poets who have remained popular to the present time. One of them, Nguyen Du (1765–1820), came from a prominent family from Nghi Xuan district in Nghe An, near the coast just south of the Ca River. His father, Nguyen Nghiem (1708– 1775), was […]

The Nguyen Dynasty

Between north and south The country that appeared at the beginning of the nineteenth century stretching from the southern border of China to the eastern border of Cambodia had never existed before. The name Vietnam can be found in some earlier Vietnamese texts, and the Qing court used this name when recognizing the new country […]

A new peace

Sending word to his Laotian allies to renew their attacks, he sailed to Hoi An, landing troops to join with local men from Quang Ngai and Quang Nam who rallied to his banner. After collecting rice in Quang Nam and capturing more Qing pirates at sea, he sailed to Da Nang Bay and advanced to […]

From Dien Khanh to Binh Dinh

After breaking the nine-month siege of Dien Khanh, Nguyen Phuc Anh spent 1796 reorganizing his armies, making new appointments, inspecting agriculture, holding a literary examination, building ships, buying weapons, training horses, conscripting soldiers, and admonishing his generals, who were wasting their spare time on gambling and cockfights. When the south winds arrived in 1797, he […]

From Saigon to Dien Khanh

Unlike traditional Vietnamese warfare in northern Vietnam that was conducted during the winter dry season when north winds blew from the continent into the sea, Nguyen Phuc Anh’s campaigns were organized to catch the south winds that blew from the sea from late spring into autumn. His basic strategy was to move north by sea […]

Nguyen Phuc Anh at Saigon

In 1792, Nguyen Hue’s 11-year-old son, Nguyen Toan, was placed on the throne at Phu Xuan, and Bui Dac Tuyen, Nguyen Toan’s maternal uncle, ruled as regent. Although Nguyen Toan’s court was thereafter troubled with factional intrigues, for a decade it was a headquarters for marshaling resistance to the northward advance of Nguyen Phuc Anh’s […]

Nguyen Hue, the Quang Trung emperor

When Nguyen Nhac and Nguyen Hue had hastened south to fight each other in late 1786, Nguyen Huu Chinh remained in Nghe An. Nguyen Hue retained his family as hostages and expected him to watch the north for him. At Ke Cho, different groups of partisans gathered behind Trinh Bong, a younger brother of Trinh […]

Tay Son ascendancy and division

King Taksin of Siam was not reconciled to the ascendant position gained by the Vietnamese in Cambodia when Ang Eng was placed on the throne with Mou as regent in 1779. In 1780, he took an accusation of conspiracy as reason to kill fifty-three high-ranking Vietnamese refugees in Siam, including Mac Thien Tu and a […]

Resurgence of the Nguyen Phuc and decline of the Trinh

In the spring of 1777, Nguyen Nhac sent Nguyen Hue to Saigon with a large seaborne expedition. In a six-month campaign, Nguyen Hue defeated all the Nguyen Phuc armies, including those of Mac Thien Tu and reinforcements from Phu Yen. Nguyen Phuc Thuan, Nguyen Phuc Duong, and most of the Nguyen Phuc princes were captured […]

The Thirty Years War

The rise of Qui Nhon In the 1770s, war broke out among the Vietnamese. The immediate cause was an uprising in Binh Dinh Province against the misgovernment of Truong Phuc Loan. People in Binh Dinh had for generations borne the brunt of demands for soldiers, supplies, and transport to sustain Nguyen Phuc policy in the […]

Another cycle of Trinh misgovernment

In early 1751, the battlefield situation changed dramatically. Both Nguyen Huu Cau and Nguyen Danh Phuong were captured and killed after heavy fighting. Hoang Cong Chat was driven into the mountains of Hung Hoa. Le Duy Mat was pushed into the mountains of Nghe An and eventually forced up the Ca River to the Xieng […]

Trinh Doanh and the age of rebellion

Trinh Doanh was only 21 years old when he assumed power. He demonstrated a competence and a decisiveness that enabled the Trinh family to survive as lords of the palace for another generation. But most of his 27 years of rule were devoted first to surviving more than a decade of widespread rebellions and then […]

Trinh Giang and the collapse of government

During the early years of Trinh Giang’s rule, the literati enemies of Nguyen Cong Hang and Le Anh Tuan gradually gained influence amidst chaotic efforts to deal with a deepening agrarian crisis. The first question Trinh Giang had for his officials in 1730 was to explain why tax revenues were decreasing. The answer was that […]

Trinh Cuong’s reforms

When Trinh Can died in 1709, Trinh Cuong, then 24 years old, came to power surrounded by men keen to reform the government. One of Trinh Cuong’s first acts was to reissue “the six teachings” that had been promulgated in the late 1670s, just before Trinh Tac’s death: (1) great lords must not rely upon […]

Misgovernment in the north

In Samuel Baron’s words, written in the 1680s and later published in London as “A Description of the Kingdom of Tonqueen,” the city of Ke Cho is the metropolis of Tonkin … and may, for its capaciousness, be compared with many cities in Asia, and superior to most for populousness, especially on the first and […]

Nguyen Phuc Khoat, the first southern king

In 1738, Nguyen Phuc Tru died and was succeeded by his 25-year-old eldest son Nguyen Phuc Khoat. He ruled for twenty-seven years during a time when the Trinh were beset by vast, prolonged rebellions in the north and the southerners annexed the remaining territories in the Mekong plain that would become Vietnamese. He presided with […]

Politics and government in the south

Nguyen Phuc Chu was concerned with much more than the Mekong frontier. In 1697 and again in 1714 he fought brief wars with upland chieftains who threatened to cut the Cam Lo Road west from Quang Tri to the Mekong, a  route not only important commercially but also militarily because of its proxim- ity to […]

The South And The North Diverge

Relations with Cambodia When Nguyen Phuc Tan died in 1687, his 39-year-old second son, Nguyen Phuc Tran, came to power and shifted the seat of government to Phu Xuan, the modern city of Hue. Nguyen Phuc Tran’s elder brother, Nguyen Phuc Tan’s designated heir, had died three years before. Nguyen Phuc Tran’s short four-year rule […]

The last battle

Meanwhile, in the north, Trinh Tac and his literati advisors embarked on the most ambitious effort to reform government since the time of Le Tu Thanh, two centuries before. King Le Duy Ky died in late 1662. Trinh Tac selected one of Le Duy Ky’s sons, 10-year-old Le Duy Vu, to sit upon the throne. […]

Nguyen Phuc Tan, Trinh Tac, and the Nghe An campaign

During the three decades of the 1650s, 1660s, and 1670s, Trinh Tac in the north  and Nguyen Phuc Tan in the south made decisions that moved the two Vietnam- ese countries beyond the military impasse that became increasingly apparent in  those years. They were both strong leaders who took a detailed interest in government and […]

The far south

As described in earlier chapters, the Vietnamese had experienced centuries of contact, both hostile and peaceful, with the Chams and related upland peoples who spoke languages affiliated with the Malay peoples of the coasts and islands of Southeast Asia. By the seventeenth century, there had been much mingling of Chams and Viets along the southern […]

New leaders in an old war

After the Trinh army withdrew north in early 1634, there was a change of leadership in the south. Dao Duy Tu died later that year, and Nguyen Phuc Nguyen died a year after that. His son, Nguyen Phuc Lan, was 35 years old when he came to power in 1635. He was assisted by an […]

Maritime trade

While Western accounts feature the activities of European merchants in the two Vietnamese countries during the seventeenth century, Chinese, and for a time Japanese, merchants were more important in the overall economy of foreign trade for both the north and the south. Europeans joined a system of maritime trade that had its own Asian tempo. […]

Christianity

In 1651, Alexandre de Rhodes, already mentioned in connection with Trinh Trang’s 1627 expedition against the south, published a Vietnamese–Portuguese– Latin dictionary in Rome. It is the first dictionary to use a Romanized transcription of the Vietnamese language. Because of this, Alexandre de Rhodes is commonly thought to have invented the Vietnamese alphabet, but in […]

Trinh mobilization

In 1632, Nguyen Phuc Nguyen’s eldest son and heir, Nguyen Phuc Ky, who had been governing the southern territories from Dien Ban in Quang Nam since 1614, died. Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, now 70 years old, immediately designated his second son, Nguyen Phuc Lan, as his heir, keeping him at his side while sending his third […]

Dao Duy Tu and southern mobilization

Dao Duy Tu traveled throughout the Nhat Le River basin to study the terrain. The river collects water flowing from the mountains that is caught behind a large  stretch of coastal sand dunes sixty kilometers long and, on average, five kilo- meters wide, oriented from southeast to northwest. The river flows north and  enters the […]

War begins

During the 1620s the sons of Trinh Tung and Nguyen Hoang commenced a war that continued for fifty years and ended in stalemate. The exigencies of this war led to fundamental changes in both the north and the south, with the Trinh regime expanding its base of support to include the people of the Red […]

The south

In contrast, Trinh Tung’s uncle, Nguyen Hoang, spent his last years enjoying the adventure of building a new realm. Descriptions of his return to the south in 1600 after an absence of eight years abound with celebrations and expressions of joy. During the remaining thirteen years of his life, he traveled, he built temples, he […]

The Fifty Years War

The north For seven weeks in late 1618 and early 1619, sky gazers around the world watched what came to be called “the great comet of 1618.” Europeans called it “the angry star” because of the remarkable length and reddish hue of its tail and because it was visible even during daylight. Astronomers, astrologers, and […]

The Le restoration

After Mac Kinh Dien’s death in 1580, the Mac military position steadily weakened. Trinh Tung’s decisive defeat of the 1581 Mac invasion of Thanh Hoa was a turning point after which he gradually shifted from defense to offense. The last Mac effort to invade Thanh Hoa was repulsed in 1583. In that year, Trinh Tung […]

Outbreak of the Seventy Years War

The Le restoration movement was initially led by Nguyen Kim, a son of Nguyen Hoang Du who was briefly a major figure in the turmoil following Tran Cao’s uprising in 1516. In 1529, shortly after Mac Dang Dung took the throne, Nguyen Kim assembled his family and retainers and went to Laos where he submitted […]

Rise of the east

The fighting of 1516 and 1517 had devastated much of the Red River plain. Armed men brought destruction. Fire ravaged markets and villages. Famine spread through the countryside. Officials watched helplessly or ran for their lives. The dead lay unburied in heaps. The eastern part of the Red River plain, in the region of the […]

The Beginning Of Inter-Regional Warfare

Return of adolescent kings and great lords Le Tranh had six sons. The eldest, although reported to have been intelligent and well educated, was so obstinate that while still small he poisoned his mother because she opposed his will. But what most disqualified him to be king was that he liked to wear women’s clothing. […]

Expanding the borders

Le Tu Thanh’s agrarian policy was based on Le Loi’s effort to keep all land in  production by nurturing a peasantry of small landowners able to support them- selves and pay taxes. One of his first edicts was against idleness, exhorting rural  people to grow as much rice as possible. Tax rates for rice fields […]

Le Tu Thanh as ruler

Most of all, Le Tu Thanh’s intelligence and erudition enabled him to stay ahead of his entourage, to truly be “the leader” of the royal court. This was already clear during the first six months of his reign when, according to court annalists, virtually every aspect of government was in some way addressed. For three […]

Le Tu Thanh as teacher

In 1442, only fourteen days before the death of his father Le Nguyen Long, Le Tu Thanh was born in the countryside where his mother had found refuge from homicidal intrigues in the palace. After three years, he was brought to the palace to be educated with his three elder brothers, all being about the […]

Great lords and Le Bang Co

Six days after Le Nguyen Long’s body was carried back to Dong Kinh, Le Bang Co was made king. Nguyen Thi Anh, the queen mother, became the pivot of authority at court. She was designated as regent to rule “from behind the curtain.” She was from a Thanh Hoa family and established a working relationship […]

Great lords and Le Nguyen Long

During ten years of warfare, Le Loi gathered a large entourage of battle leaders. Ninety-three such men were listed on the 1429 roll of honor. They were not united by a common ancestor, as were the Tran princes two centuries before. They came from many families and many places, and most of them held the […]

A new dynastic structure

In early 1427, aside from collecting rice to feed soldiers, the chief aims of Le Loi’s  civil administration in the Red River plain were focused upon accumulating know- ledge of the population, finding qualified officials, and establishing rules for their  behavior. Family registers were compiled. Displaced people were sent back to their villages to grow […]

Le Loi

In late 1424, news of the new emperor’s proclamation and of Huang Fu’s recall prompted Le Loi to set out on a new trajectory. His earlier five-year career as a rebel leader in the Thanh Hoa uplands had ended with him back at where he had begun. During that time he had simply endeavored to […]

The abandonment of Ming Giao Chi

After 1424, Zhu Di’s successors abandoned the Giao Chi project because they deemed its cost to be greater than its benefit. Despite the accumulation of private fortunes by some Ming officials in Giao Chi, government there was a net loss for the state treasury. This problem may have abated if Zhu Di’s successors had been […]

Ming Giao Chi

The year of conquest, 1407, brought a social and economic disaster. With  disruptions caused by military operations, there was no harvest. Famine com- bined with an epidemic, and corpses piled up faster than they could be buried. Huang Fu rapidly established an administration that was integrated with gov- ernment elsewhere in the empire and conditions […]

A historic watershed

By mid 1407 the Ming announced that the Tran family was extinct and, report- edly in response to petitions from local leaders and elders, proceeded to organize  the imperial province of Giao Chi. Huang Fu, the senior civil official, immedi- ately began to establish a structure of government staffed by both local men and  men […]

Ho Quy Ly

During the few years of his rule, Ho Quy Ly presided over a blizzard of activity aimed at monitoring and suppressing dissent, mobilizing available resources to push back the Chams, and preparing for an impending Ming attack. His efforts  to control officialdom, private property, the marketplace, manpower, and edu- cation were steadily expanded. He sent […]

The Le Dynasty

Destruction of the Tran aristocracy The fortunes of the Ly and Tran dynasties waxed and waned in step with the Song and Yuan dynasties. There was a vital connection between regimes in the Red River plain and the successors to the northern dynasties that had governed  there during earlier centuries. Both sides carefully observed the […]

Le Quy Ly

Tran Kinh’s rising profile as leader of the royal family was accompanied by the appearance of Le Quy Ly, his maternal cousin, at a high level of government. Within two months of the Cham invasion, Le Quy Ly was put in charge of the Privy Council and given as wife a Tran princess who had […]

Tran Phu

Nine months after the death of Hien Tu, a group of Tran nobles led by Tran Nguyen Trac advanced into the palace to depose Nhat Le. Nhat Le escaped over a wall and hid under a bridge. His pursuers could not find him and dispersed. Nhat Le then gathered his followers and sent them to […]

Agrarian unrest, Tran Hao, and Nhat Le

While royalty and literati maintained the forms of dynastic rule, an undercurrent of agrarian distress gathered momentum. The post-war famine of 1290–1292 had initiated a pattern of land being absorbed into the estates of royal family members and of peasants shifting into the status of royal slaves. Land once transferred to royal estates was never […]

Tran Manh and the late Tran literati

In the 1320s, as the older generation of Tran nobles died and the younger  generation showed little interest in government, Tran Manh came to rely increas- ingly upon a new generation of educated commoners, scholars of the Confucian  classics who entered government by taking written examinations. There had been no exams since before the Mongol […]

Farewell to the princes

For a few decades, the heroes of the Mongol Wars continued to lead soldiers, govern assigned territories, and offer advice at court. But they passed steadily from the scene. Tran Quang Khai, Tran Quoc Tuan’s closest friend and the hero  of the Battle of Chuong Duong, died in 1294. Tran Quoc Tuan, commander-in- chief and […]

Farewell to tattoos

In late 1288, tax exemptions were published proportional to wartime damages. But there were also long-term economic and social effects of the war. By autumn of 1290, a famine began that lasted for two years, causing taxes to be cancelled entirely. The Tran court distributed food to the poor for a time until overwhelmed by […]

The Mongols return

Military preparations preoccupied the Tran kings during 1282 and 1283. Weapons were forged and soldiers were trained. Men recruited to protect the kings were not allowed to study literature for fear it would diminish their fighting spirit. In autumn of 1282, the two kings called a conference of all their military leaders at a location […]

Living with danger

Alerted to the danger posed by their new Mongol neighbor, the Tran family moved quickly to further strengthen royal leadership. Within two months of expelling Uriyangqadai from the lowlands, in early 1258, Crown Prince Tran Hoang was made king and Tran Canh became the senior king. The practice of having two kings, one senior and […]

The First Mongol War

The situation on the northern border became volatile as Southern Song power faded under the blows of Mongol invaders. Conditions on the Song border deteriorated to the point that tribute goods could not be sent to the Song court because of bandits. Then, in late 1240, officials on the border in Lang Son  Province reported […]

Mobilizing resources: eunuchs, slaves, dikes, and war

An important class of people at court was eunuchs. As had been the case during the Ly dynasty, Tran eunuchs were typically the products of self-castration. Some young men took this route to gain access to the palaces and to the powerful people in them. An example of someone becoming a eunuch was recorded in […]

Poetry and language

Tran kings and princes were trained to appreciate and write poetry in the form of  “regulated verse” that had developed during the Tang dynasty (jintishi in Chi- nese, “new style prosody”). Very few poets during the Ly dynasty mastered this  form, but in the Tran dynasty it became the dominant mode. Ly dynasty poetry was […]

The Tran kings and princes were exceptionally well educated, and not only in the Confucian classics. They were also trained in Buddhism, and they were great builders of temples and stupas. Tran Canh read widely in the Buddhist sutras and the writings of Chan (Japanese Zen, Korean Soen, Vietnamese Thien) masters of the Tang dynasty, […]

Early Tran literati

The Tran did not simply replace the Ly but fought for many years to destroy the local powers that had been an aspect of the Ly system of government. While the Ly presided over a coalition of powerful local families, the Tran made sure that members of the royal family were in dominant positions everywhere. […]

The Tran Dynasty

Tran Thu Do The Ly family was based in the upper plains of the Red River where they enjoyed direct control of what was then the agricultural core of the country. The Tran family viewed matters from the perspective of the coast, which by the mid twelfth century had become part of a lively network […]

Collapse of the Ly dynasty

After Do Anh Di’s death in 1188, his assistant Ngo Ly Tin attempted to direct affairs but became the object of public humor instead. Ngo Ly Tin was a soldier who rose to prominence in the early 1180s, first by suppressing the banditry that had reached the level of rebellion under the leadership of the […]

Do Anh Vu and To Hien Thanh

Just as his father had sought to re-enact his grandfather’s expedition to Champa after designating him as crown prince in the 1060s, Ly Can Duc, after his  mother’s death and the settling of the succession question, showed an uncharac- teristic exuberance by personally leading an army in the field for the first time in  his […]

Ly Can Duc

Ly Dao Thanh died in 1081. In 1085, 19-year-old Ly Can Duc announced his majority by proclaiming a new reign title and appointing Le Van Thinh as chancellor. Le Van Thinh had risen rapidly as a protégé of Ly Dao Thanh. In 1084, he successfully negotiated border questions with Song officials. From 1085 to 1096 […]

The Ly–Song War

The Viets spent 1076 preparing defenses. It is recorded that, in late spring of this year, the 10-year-old king was taken to inspect a “water barrier,” which, considering the course of later battles, was likely an underwater obstacle sealing the Bach Dang estuary. The naval war began three months before major land battles and continued […]

Outbreak of the Ly–Song War

The war of the 1070s was closely related to the Song reform policies of Wang Anshi (1021–1086), who became powerful in 1069 with the patronage of Emperor Shenzong (r. 1067–1085). At this time, Song government was rent with conflict between reformers led by Wang Anshi and those who opposed reform, generally called traditionalists. Wang Anshi […]

Ly Nhat Ton

Ly Nhat Ton was the first king of the post-Tang era to enjoy an uneventful accession. Unlike his father and grandfather, he had not lived in the disturbed  atmosphere of Hoa Lu. He came of age witnessing and participating in the exuber- ance of Ly Phat Ma’s reign. His father had readily delegated important tasks […]

Ly Phat Ma

Ly Phat Ma, Ly Cong Uan’s eldest son, was the most vigorous and charismatic of all the Ly kings. He was born in 1000 at Hoa Lu when his father was rising to prominence at the Le court. In 1012, he was assigned to reside in the “eastern palace” built outside the walls of Thang […]

Ly Cong Uan

The Le succession wars were the context of Ly Cong Uan’s rise to the throne. Educated by monks in the heartland of Giao, Ly Cong Uan had a reputation for both erudition and martial prowess. Born in 974, he apparently began his career at the Hoa Lu court in the 990s when entourages formed behind […]

The Ly Dynasty

Hoa Lu During the forty years that Dinh Bo Linh and Le Hoan ruled from Hoa Lu (965– 1005), possibilities for rustic leaders from the southern provinces to govern the more populous Red River plain with its temples, schools, and heritage of imperial culture were fully explored and ultimately reached their limit. However, before this […]

A lesser empire

The Khuc were a prominent family from the old heartland of Giao Province, east of Hanoi. When the Tang dynasty was officially replaced by the Later Liang dynasty in 907, the leader of this family was Khuc Thua My. He transferred his allegiance from Tang to Later Liang and claimed legitimacy as a loyal imperial […]

The Nan Zhao War

The reconstituted Tang Empire that emerged in the late eighth century was based on a social and economic foundation that once again facilitated the rise of great families. The “equal field” system was abandoned and restrictions on land ownership were abolished. Taxation was shifted from a per capita enumeration to calculations based on cultivated land. […]

The Protectorate of An Nam

Less than two decades after having extended its southern frontier to Giao, the Sui dynasty collapsed in 618 and was superseded by the Tang. This transition was peaceful in Giao as Sui officials transferred their allegiance to the new dynasty. The Sui and Tang dynasties established a regime based on the success of prior Northern  […]

Imperial weakness and local heroes

When the Liang dynasty replaced the Qi at the beginning of the sixth century, provincial leaders fell into factions that either resisted or favored the new dynasty. The pro-Liang group gained ascendancy and ruled the province for two decades, until a new system of imperial rule designed by Liang was extended to Giao in the […]

Giao Province

Shi Xie was termed a “king” in Vietnamese writings of later centuries, but during his lifetime he posed as a loyal official of the Han court until this was no longer plausible, at which point he shifted his allegiance to the rising Wu dynasty in southeastern China, one of the three kingdoms that partitioned the […]

Shi Xie and the rise of the great families

For fifty years after Ma Yuan’s expedition, Han power was at its peak. Very little  information about the southern frontier during this time was recorded by imper- ial historians, which may be taken as an indication that, in the wake of Ma  Yuan’s frontier sojourn, the situation was relatively calm. When events began to be […]

The Han conquest

During the years 9–23 ce, the empire was in turmoil as a so-called usurper named Wang Mang tried to supplant the Han dynasty. Uprisings spread disorder in northern China, and fighting continued until a Han prince restored the authority of his dynasty. During this time, officials in southern China remained loyal to Han. Many Han […]

The Provincial Era

The empire comes south After conquering the Yangtze River basin and proclaiming the Qin Empire in 221 bce, Qin Shi Huang, “The First Emperor of China,” sent thousands of his soldiers over the mountains into the valleys and coastlands of what is now South China. He also sent convicts and women to establish a population […]

Pronunciation and spelling of Vietnamese names

This book does not include Vietnamese diacritical marks, which are an integral part of the Vietnamese alphabet. Some diacritics indicate tones and some indicate particular vowel or consonant sounds. Jesuit missionaries invented the Vietnamese alphabet in the seventeenth century, largely in reference to Portu- guese phonology. Consequently, readers who do not know Vietnamese but are  […]

Summary

The thirteen chapters of this book are organized on the basis of length and convenience and do not represent any scheme of periodization with which to conceptualize Vietnamese history. In terms of large themes, I am inclined to organize this material into four periods: first, the centuries during which what is now northern Vietnam was […]

Apologia

In this book I combine a chronological political narrative, expositions of inter- pretive themes, and discussions of geography, education, ideology, language,  literature, religion, society, government, economy, and warfare. Information surviving from pre-modern times is often very sparse, which is likely to disap- point the thirst of some readers for more knowledge than is available. I […]

Language

A large proportion of the modern Vietnamese vocabulary derives from Chinese, but linguists categorize the Vietnamese language as a member of the Mon-Khmer  family of languages. Although available comparative data for studying Vietnam- ese with other Mon-Khmer languages are limited, there is an abundance of  materials documenting the historical relationship between Chinese and Vietnam- ese. […]

Vantage

Vietnamese scholars have endeavored to project a sense of national identity back into the past as far as possible. In the modern period, it became common for Vietnamese to affirm a national history going back four thousand years to when archaeologists date artifacts that they have assembled and categorized under the name of Phung Nguyen […]

Introduction

Prologue When people first began to live on Earth, terrain was very different from what it is today. For tens of thousands of years, what we know as the country of Vietnam was the mountainous western edge of a broad plain. Now covered by the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea, this plain […]

Acknowledgemants

I wish to acknowledge my gratitude to four people who have provided inspir- ation for this book. The late Paul G. Fried (1919–2006), whom I encountered at  Hope College nearly half a century ago, gave me confidence in the importance of studying the past and in the possibility of becoming a historian; without his  encouragement, […]

Local Transportation

The public transport system in Vietnam is still in its nascent stage, although it does vary from city to city. The most convenient and safest mode of transport for travelers is by metered taxis. The local bus net work is getting better, and in many cities has become a viable option for travelers, although probably […]

Getting Around Vietnam

With the rapid development of Vietnam’s infrastructure, the country’s internal transport system is improving at a fast pace, and becoming more convenient and affordable. Railway lines run from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, connecting several cities en route, before passing on into China. Reasona bly comfortable and inexpensive trains are the most efficient mode […]

Travel information

Most visitors fly to Vietnam. The country’s domestic air transport system is good and getting better. The safety record is admirable, while the flights are mostly on time, and well connected to the main tourist destinations. Visitors from the US and Europe usually arrive via Bangkok or Hong Kong. From Cambodia, traveling by boat along […]

Communication

Once considered archaic and mostly unreliable, the communications network in Vietnam has improved dramatically over the years. It is now possible to make an international call or send an e-mail from all but the most remote of locations. Nearly everybody has a cell phone. Public phones, on the other hand, are quite limited. The country […]

Banking and Currency

In all major Vietnamese cities, as well as towns of appreciable size, financial services are abundant. Traveler’s checks can be cashed at banks, and well-established hotels accept them as payment. Shopkeepers are also happy to accept US dollars. While currency exchanges and Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are common in most towns and cities, this is […]

Personal Security and Health

Vietnam is one of the safest places to travel in the world. In addition to a very author itarian government, the country boasts a generally law-abiding society. Visitors can go about their activities in relative safety, although commonsense rules do apply. Sadly, petty crime is on the increase in big cities. Although violent crime is […]

Practical information

Vietnam today is a popular tourist destination, drawing an ever increasing number of visitors each year. Although the country opened up to tourism during the mid-1990s, since then, infrastructure and related facilities have gradually improved for the millions of tourists visiting each year. All major cities offer accommodations ranging from budget guesthouses to five-star hotels. […]

Outdoor activities and special interests

With its misty mountain tops, tropical forests, gushing rivers, and increasingly cosmopolitan cities, Vietnam today is a playground for a range of activities. The country’s relatively undeveloped coastline stretches for hundreds of miles, and is a water lover’s dream, with secluded beaches, pristine bays, and untrammeled surf. Trekkers and nature enthusiasts are drawn to the […]

Entertainment in Vietnam

The cultural climate in Vietnam is more vibrant, exciting, and promis ing than ever. Traditional music and theater, first performed centuries ago, are being strongly promoted through cultural festivals held all around the country. Although the nation’s rich artistic heritage draws international audiences, major cities also offer night clubs and modern multiplexes. Stately concert halls […]

Shopping in Vietnam

Until a few decades ago, the most memorable thing about a Vietnamese store was the emptiness of its shelves. Today, the scene has changed dramatically, as shops all across the country are overflowing with a variety of products, including distinctive conical hats, fine silk, designer clothes, colorful lamps, delicate ceramic ware, and elegantly carved bamboo […]

Where to Eat and Drink 2

Ho Chi Minh City Cholon Café Central An Dong International 18 An Duong Vuong Tel (08) 3833 6688 It’s worth skipping a meal before visiting this fantastic buffet in order to sample as many dishes as possible. Vietnamese, Japanese, and international cuisine is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An à la carte menu is […]

Angkor Practical Information

After years of much unrest, Cambodia has undergone economic growth and rapid development since the early 1990s. An important part of this process is its tourism in dus try, which has experienced a major boom. The credit for this is largely due to the rich cul tural heritage of Angkor, and the millions of visitors […]

Angkor Travel Information

Most visitors to Angkor arrive by air as the large number of international and domestic carriers servicing the country make flying a comfortable and viable option. Local as well as long-distance buses from Vietnam and Thailand provide an affordable alterna tive. However, though the highway from Phnom Penh has improv ed, the poor condition of […]

Roluos Group

These ancient temples have borrowed their name from the small town of Roluos. The oldest monuments in the Angkor area, the temples mark the site of Hariharalaya, the very first Khmer capital established by Indravarman I (r.877–89). Three main com plexes can be found here. To the north of Highway 6, on the way to […]

Banteay Srei

The remote temple complex of Banteay Srei (also known as Srey) or the Citadel of Women is famed for its exquisitely detailed carving. Executed in pink sandstone, the complex was founded in the second half of the 10th century by Hindu priests, and so, unlike most other mon u ments in Angkor, is not a […]

Prasat Kravan

Dating from the early 10th century, Prasat Kravan was founded by Harshavarman I (r.915–23). Comprising five brick towers, it is one of the smaller temples in the com plex, and was dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu. The temple, whose name means Cardamom Sanctuary, is chiefly remarkable for its brickwork and bas­reliefs. These represent Vishnu, […]

Ta Prohm

Perhaps the most evocative and mysterious of all the tem ple structures at Angkor, Ta Prohm, which means Ancestor of Brahma, was originally a Buddhist monastery, built during King Jayavarman VII’s reign. A stone stele at the complex describes how powerful the monastery used to be. At its peak, it owned more than 3,000 villages, […]

Prasat Neak Pean

One of the most unusual temples at Angkor, Prasat Neak Pean or Coiled Serpents is a unique structure dating from the late 12th century. Like much else at Angkor, it was founded by King Jayavarman VII. Dedicated to Buddhism, it is located in the middle of the now dry lake, North Baray. The temple is […]

Exploring Angkor Thom

The fortified city of Angkor Thom is spread over an area of nearly 4 sq miles (10 sq km). At its peak, it had a population of around one million. Of the five gateways into the city, the most commonly used is the South Gate, from which a pathway leads straight to the Bayon temple. […]

Angkor Thom

Remarkable in scale and architectural ingenuity, the ancient city of Angkor Thom, which means “Great City” in Khmer, was founded by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century. The largest city in the Khmer Empire at one time, it is protected by a 26-ft (8-m) high wall, about 8 miles (13 km) long, and […]

Architecture

Angkor-period architecture generally dates from Jayavarman II’s establishment of the Khmer capital near Roluos  in the early 9th century AD. From then until the 15th century, art historians identify five main arch itectural styles. The earliest, Preah Ko, is rooted in the pre-Angkorian traditions of Sambor Prei Kuk to Angkor’s east and the 8th-century style […]

Angkor Wat

The single largest religious monuments in the world, Angkor Wat literally means “the City which is a Temple.” Built during the 12th century by King Suryavarman II (r.1113–50), this spectacular complex was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, the Protector of Creation. The layout is based  on a mandala or sacred design of the […]

Preah Khan

Named for the sacred sword owned by the 9th-century king, Jayavarman II, Preah Khan temple complex was established by Jayavarman VII (r.1181– 1218), and functioned as a monastery and religious college. It is also believed to have served as a temporary capital for Jayavarman VII during the restoration of Angkor Thom following the city’s sacking […]

Phnom Bakheng

The ancient temple complex of Phnom Bakheng (also known as Bakheng Mountain) sits on a steep hill that rises 220 ft (67 m) above the surrounding plain. Built by King Yasovarman I (r.889–910) and honoring the Hindu god, Shiva, the Bakheng complex features one of the region’s first temple-mountains  a distinctive style of temple architecture […]

Siem Reap

Pronounced “See-em Reep,” Siem Reap literally means Siam Defeated, celebrating the 17th-century Khmer vic tory over the Thai Exploring the city Siem Reap has managed to retain its calm, rural ambience despite becoming increasingly busy catering to millions of visitors every year. Its relaxed, well-equipped setting provides the ideal place to unwind after a day […]

Exploring Angkor Archaeological Park

Set among dense green forests and neat rice paddies, the massive monuments at Angkor Archaeological Park are arguably the most remarkable and striking architectural masterpieces in Southeast Asia. Located north of Siem Reap, in the heart of Angkor, the vast Angkor Wat complex, with its imposing towers, and the great city of Angkor Thom, with […]

Introducing Angkor

The ancient capital of the great Khmer Empire, Angkor is, beyond doubt, one of the most magnificent wonders of the world and a site of immense archaeological significance. Located in dense jungle on the hot and torpid plains of western Cambodia, its awe-inspiring temples transport visitors into an enchan ting and mysterious world of brooding […]

Flora, Fauna, and Birds of Northern Vietnam

Under a thick, rich canopy of evergreen forests, the rugged mountainous hinterland of Northern Vietnam protects an amazingly diverse biosphere. Thousands of types of flora flourish here, as do a plethora of bird, mammal, and reptile species. However, a vast number of animals, many endemic to Vietnam, are currently under threat. Critically endangered species include […]

Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark

Vietnam’s northernmost province of Ha Giang contains unforgettable landscapes in the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, recognized by UNESCO as the first global geopark in Vietnam. Covering over 900 sq miles (2,500 sq km), this wonderland  of limestone peaks rise to an ave- rage of 4,920 ft (1,500 m). Visitors  need to acquire a permit […]

Cao Bang

Well off the beaten track in the high mountains along the Chinese frontier, the thickly forested area around the small town of Cao Bang is home to several ethnic minorities, including the Tay, Dao, and Nung. While the town itself is not particularly distinctive, its  surroundings are spectac- ular, and many visitors are  drawn to […]

Ba Be National Park

Located in a remote upland region, this lush park is centered on three linked lakes – Ba Be means Three Bays. Together they form the country’s largest freshwater lake area. Covering about 40 sq miles (100 sq km), the park is dominated by dramatic limestone peaks, waterfalls, and grottos. The region’s tropical forests are also […]

Hmong of Northern Vietnam

One of the largest ethnic minority groups in Vietnam, the Hmong or Meo were a nomadic group who emigrated from China to Vietnam in the early 19th century, and settled in the northern highlands. Known for their independent spirit – hmong means free in their language – the group has remained fiercely loyal to its […]

Bac Ha

A small town at 2,950 ft (900 m) above sea level in the Chay River massif, Bac Ha has a deserted air for much of the week. However, on Sunday mornings, it attracts hill peoples, such as the Dao, Tay, Thai, Nung, and the colorful Flower Hmong among many others from all over the surrounding […]

Sapa

With cascad ing rice terraces and lush vegetation, Sapa is perched at an elevation of 5,250 ft (1,600 m) on the eastern slopes of the Hoang Lien Mountains, also known as the Tonkinese Alps. Jesuit priests first arrived here in 1918 and sent word of the idyllic views and pleasant climate back to  Hanoi. By […]

Dien Bien Phu

Situated in a fertile valley near the Lao border, this historic town’s main claim to fame is the deci sive battle of Dien Bien Phu . In 1954, following French infiltration of the area, Viet Minh troops system atic ally  broke down the French posi- tion. In the end, General de  Castries, comman der of […]

Cuc Phuong National Park

Established as Vietnam’s first national park in 1962, Cuc Phuong covers 86 sq miles (223 sq km) of largely primary tropical forest, and is home to an impressive variety of fauna, including over 100 species each of mammals and reptiles, and more than 300 types of birds. The park is also famous for its range […]

Perfume Pagoda

Nestled in forested limestone cliffs, and overlooking the Suoi Yen River, Perfume Pagoda is arguably one of Vietnam’s most spec tacular sights. Located on Nui Huong Tich or Fragrant Vestige Mountain, the pagoda is actually a complex of around 30 Buddhist shrines. The most fascina ting of these is the Huong Tich Pagoda, which is […]

Son La

Bisected by the narrow Nam La River, the busy little town of Son La was once known as “Vietnam’s Siberia.” The infamous French-era prison, Son La Prison, which earned it this label, stands menacingly on a wooded hill. Son La’s isolation and cold weather were considered ideal conditions for the incarceration of Vietnamese nationalists and […]

Moc Chau

The semi-rural, market town of Moc Chau, surrounded by a plateau of the same name, is renowned for its tea planta tions and its burgeoning dairy industry. The generous yield of fresh cow’s milk, as well as the creamy yogurt and rich sweets made here are trans ported to Hanoi daily. Since Moc Chau is […]

Mai Chau Valley

Surrounded by the foothills of the Truong Son Range, this charming and fertile valley is dot ted with green rice paddies and small, quaint stilt-house villages. Most of the inhabitants here are White Thai. Well known for their hospitality, fami lies here  offer homestay faci- lities in stilt huts – an authentic  yet comfortable way […]

Hoa Binh

A pleasant little town, Hoa Binh means “peace.” Ironically, its strategic location next to the Song Da or Black River Valley made it the site of many  battles during the First Indo- china War .Relics from  these turbu lent times are displayed in the Hoa Binh Museum. A French landing craft and a destroyed French […]

Cuc Phuong National Park

Established as Vietnam’s first national park in 1962, Cuc Phuong covers 86 sq miles (223 sq km) of largely primary tropical forest, and is home to an impressive variety of fauna, including over 100 species each of mammals and reptiles, and more than 300 types of birds. The park is also famous for its range […]

Perfume Pagoda

Nestled in forested limestone cliffs, and overlooking the Suoi Yen River, Perfume Pagoda is arguably one of Vietnam’s most spec tacular sights. Located on Nui Huong Tich or Fragrant Vestige Mountain, the pagoda is actually a complex of around 30 Buddhist shrines. The most fascina ting of these is the Huong Tich Pagoda, which is […]

Ninh Binh

An ideal base from which to explore the southern part of the Red River Delta, Ninh Binh is becoming a popular tourist des tination. While the town itself is not remarkable, it does feature several interesting attractions in its vicinity. The historic site of Hoa Lu, 7 miles (12 km) north west of Ninh Binh, […]

Coral Reefs and Sea Life in Vietnam

Set amid the warm waters of the tropics, Vietnam’s 2,037-mile (3,260-km) long coastline, with its numerous off shore islands, is home to many resplendent coral reefs. These extend from the cool waters of Halong Bay in the north, through the warmer seas off Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, to the remote Con Dao Islands in […]

Cat Ba Island

The largest island in a  scenic sprawling archi- pelago of more than 350  islets and islands, Cat Ba is one of Northern Vietnam’s most delightful destinations. The island’s main appeal has always been its relative isolation and bucolic charm. Waterfalls, freshwater lakes, hills, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs are just some of the features of […]

Haiphong

The third-largest city in the country after Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Haiphong is the north’s most important port. Its strategic location made it the target of foreign invaders over the years. It also faced heavy  bombing during the First Indo- china War, and later, in  the war against the US. Having survived its […]

Bai Tu Long Bay

An island-peppered stretch of shallow coastal waters, Bai Tu Long Bay may not be quite as celebrated as Halong Bay, but it is just as spectacular. With hundreds of karst out crops, tiny islets, as well as a few large islands and lovely beaches, it is less crowded and more pristine than Halong Bay. The […]

Yen Tu Pilgrimage Sites

The holy mountain, Yen Tu, at 3,477 ft (1,060 m) is the highest peak in the range of the same name. It is named for Yen Ky Sinh, a monk who attained nirvana at the peak, about 2,000 years ago. Yen Tu became further renowned during the 13th century, when Emperor Tran Nhan Tong retired […]

Halong City

Formed in 1994 with the offi cial amalgamation of the towns of Bai Chay and Hon Gai, Halong City is bisected by the narrow Cua Luc straits, which is straddled by a new suspension bridge. Located to the west of the straits, Bai Chay is an affluent tourist town, home to a number of tour […]

Exploring Halong Bay

Sailing past the evocatively shaped islets and dramatic caves of Halong Bay can be a magical experience. At least an entire day can be spent exploring the islands and grottos, many of which house religious shrines. Most of the best-known sites lie in the western part of the bay and these are often overcrowd ed. […]

Halong Bay

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the magnificent Halong Bay is spread across a 580 sq mile (1,500 sq km) area, with more than 2,000 pinnacle-shaped lime stone and dolomite outcrops scattered across it. According to legend, the bay was formed when a gigantic dragon – ha long means descend ing dragon – plunged into […]

Exploring Northern Vietnam

The oldest settled part of the country, Northern Vietnam is unusually rich in culture and history. The fertile plains of the Red River Delta are full of ancient temples, clan houses, and pagodas, including the very scenic and highly venerated Perfume Pagoda. Farther north, neatly cultivated fields and urban settle ments give way to the […]

Northern Vietnam

Northern Vietnam is a rich repository of his tory and tradition, with many of the country’s oldest temples and fortresses. It is also blessed with great natural grandeur, ranging from the high moun tains and craggy canyons of the west, to the magical karst islands rising from Halong Bay in the east. In addition, the […]

Hanoi Street Finder

The stately city of Hanoi is divided into four principal districts. Named after the lovely lake at the center of town, Hoan Kiem District includes the bustling alleys of the Old Quarter, while the city’s former French Quarter is in Hai Ba Trung district. The other two districts are Ba Dinh, and Dong Da. Note […]

Hung Kings’ Temples

Believed by the Vietnamese to be the very earliest relics of their civilization, the temples of the Hung kings are located on Mount Nghia Linh. Built by rulers  Massive clay image of a warrior behind the altar at Thay Pagoda  One of the pleasing Hung kings’ temples, set amid lush greenery Jackfruit-wood statue, Tay Phuong […]

Tay Phuong Pagoda

This small temple is perched on top of a hill said to resemble a buffalo, and lies a short distance west of Thay Pagoda, hence its name, which means Western Pagoda. Originally dating from the 8th century, it is best known for its impressive collection of more than 70 finely carved, jackfruit-wood  statues representing incarna- […]

Thay Pagoda

Dedicated to the Thich Ca or the Sakyamuni Buddha, Chua Thay or Master’s Pagoda is named for Tu Dao Hanh – a 12th-century monk and master water puppeteer. The temple is mainly renowned for being home to more than 100 religious statues, including the two largest in Vietnam. Made of clay and papier-mâché, these giants […]

Museum of Ethnology

Located west of the city center, the Bao Tang Dan Toc Hoc or the Museum of Ethnology  offers informative and well- documented displays on the  country’s many ethnic groups. These range from the dominant Kinh to the  smallest minorities in the high- lands of the north and center.  Exhibits in the main building include elaborate […]

Co Loa Citadel

The first known capital of an  independent Vietnamese king- dom, this ancient fortress dates  from a time when mythological history was slowly evolving into historical fact. The stories surrounding its creation and subsequent fall rest on oral tradition long since written down but impossible to verify. Believed to have been built by King An Duong […]

Ho Chi Minh

Acclaimed as the leader and primary force behind Vietnam’s struggle for independence, Ho Chi Minh was born in 1890 at Hoang Tru village, near Vinh. After studying in Hue, Ho Chi Minh, then known as Nguyen Tat Thanh, left Vietnam in 1911 to travel the world. Influenced by socialist ideologies during his stay in Europe, […]

Kim Lien Pagoda

Situated on the northern shore of Ho Tay, the very attractive Kiem Lien Pagoda is somewhat out of the way, but well deserving of a visit. Legend has it that Princess Tu Hoa, daughter of 12th-century Emperor Ly Than Tong, brought her ladies-in-waiting to the area so they could cultivate silkworms for cloth. In 1771, […]

Ho Tay

To the west of Hanoi are two beautiful lakes, separated from the Red River by the great dyke to the north. The larger of the two is Ho Tay or West Lake, which is home to Hanoi’s sailing club. It is sepa ra ted from Truc Bach or White Silk Lake to the east by […]

Hanoi Citadel

For centuries, Hanoi Citadel was only accessible to the country’s rulers, but in 2010, it was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is now open to the public. Unfortunately, much of the site was destroyed by the French in the late 19th century, however, the surviving buildings are worth a visit. At […]

Temple of Literature

The oldest and possibly the finest architectural complex in Hanoi, Van Mieu or the Temple of Literature, was established in 1070, during the Ly Dynasty (1009–1225). Founded in honor of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, it served as a center for higher learning, edu cating future mandarins for more than seven centuries. The temple was modeled […]

Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House

Believing that the Presidential Palace was too grand for him, Ho Chi Minh, on becoming president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1954, arranged for a modest wooden structure to be built in a corner of the palace’s extensive grounds. Modeled on an ethnic minority  stilt house, this unassuming two- story structure is known […]

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

On the west side of Ba Dinh Square, a heavy grey structure, built of stone quarried from Marble Mountain near Danang, is Ho Chi Minh’s last resting place. An unassuming man, who prided himself on an austere, almost ascetic public image, Ho Chi Minh had allegedly requested that he be cremated and his ashes scattered […]

One Pillar Pagoda

Rivaling Cot Co as one of Hanoi’s most prominent icons, the Chua Mot Cot or the One Pillar Pagoda was constructed by Emperor Ly Thai Tong in AD 1049. Situated within the tiny Dien Huu Pagoda, also dating from the 11th century, this wooden pagoda is built, as the name suggests, on a single stone […]

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Established in 1990 – one century after Ho Chi Minh’s birth– this museum chronicles and celebrates the revolutionary leader’s life and achievements in an often bizarre series of displays. These include an eclectic mix of his personal memorabilia, as well as black-and-white photographs from his youth and the long period he spent abroad in Europe […]

Vietnam Military History Museum

Located at the southern end of the historic Hanoi Citadel and adjacent to the Flag Tower, the Vietnam Military History Museum is set in former French barracks, comprising a complex of 30 galleries. Tracing the development and history of Vietnam’s armed forces over the centuries, this museum is one of the most important war museums […]

Vietnam Fine Arts Museum

Housed in a fine old colonial building, the Bao Tang My Thuat or Fine Arts Museum boasts a varied and interesting selection of Vietnam’s artifacts, architecture, paintings, sculpture, and many other works of art. The exhibits are displayed chronologically, starting with a fine collection of Stone and Bronze Age relics on the first floor. Several […]

Lien Phai Pagoda

Lien Phai Pagoda or the Pagoda of the Lotus Sect, is one of the few surviving relics of the Trinh lords in Hanoi. According to the inscrip tion on the central stele, Lord Trinh Thap had a palace in this area, and one day his workers dug up a huge rock shaped like a lotus […]

Hai Ba Trung Temple

One of the most important temple complexes in the country, the Hai Ba Trung Temple is dedicated to the popular cult of deified heroes. It honors the heroic Trung Sisters, who were successful in expelling the Chinese for a brief period in the first century AD. Founded by Emperor Ly Anh Ton in 1142, the […]

National Museum of Vietnamese History

Originally known as the École Française d’Extrême-Orient, this museum was built in 1925. Designed by Ernest Hébrard, it heralded a new hybrid style of architecture – Indochinoise – incorporating several elements of French, Khmer, and Vietnamese styles. Anchored by an octagonal pagoda, the building is painted ochre-yellow, and offset by dark green shutters. And although […]

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel

Hanoi’s most prestigious and oldest hotel, the Metropole was built in French-Colonial style, with plenty of wrought iron and Art Nouveau decorations. Originally opened in 1901, it was for many years the most favored accommodation in all of French Indochina. Notable guests, both past and present, include actors, writers, heads of state, and many other […]

Opera House

Modeled on the Paris Opera designed by Charles Garnier, the Hanoi Opera House, also known as Nha Hat Lon or Big Song House, opened in 1911. It formed the centerpiece of French-Colonial architecture, not just in Hanoi, but in all of French Indochina. Before World War II, the Opera House was at the center of […]

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel

Hanoi’s most prestigious and oldest hotel, the Metropole was built in French-Colonial style, with plenty of wrought iron and Art Nouveau decorations. Originally opened in 1901, it was for many years the most favored accommodation in all of French Indochina. Notable guests, both past and present, include actors, writers, heads of state, and many other […]

Ambassador’s Pagoda

Established as a stopping point for visiting Buddhist dignitaries, Chua Quan Su or Ambassador’s Pagoda is named after a guesthouse that once stood here in the 15th century. The official center of Mahayana Buddhism in Hanoi, it is one of the most popular pagodas in the city, attracting hundreds of follow ers, especially during important […]

Hoa Lo Prison Museum

Located in downtown Hanoi, the infamous Hoa Lo Prison was  built by the French admin i- stration in 1896. Originally  intended to hold around 450 prisoners, by the 1930s the number of detainees had soared to almost 2,000, the majority of them being poli tical prisoners. During the Vietnam War, Hoa Lo Prison  achieved noto- […]

St Joseph’s Cathedral

Hanoi’s most important church, St Joseph’s Cathedral, also known as Nha Tho Lon, was inaugurated in  1886, and pro- vides a focal  point for the city’s Catholics. Built in the late Neo­Gothic style, the building, with its majestic spires, is architectur ally similar to a cathedral that might be found in any French provincial town. […]

Hoan Kiem Lake

Situated in the heart of Hanoi, this delightful body of water also lies close to the hearts of the Vietnamese people. Legend  has it that in the early 15th cen- tury, during the Ming Chinese  occupation, General Le Loi was presented with a magical sword by a divine, golden turtle, which lived in the lake’s […]

Water Puppet Theater

Originating in the Red River Delta, and believed to date back almost a thousand years, roi nuoc or water puppetry is one of the most authentic expres sions of Vietnamese culture. In times past, performances were held in villages, using rivers, lakes, or rice fields. Today, they are staged in large water-filled tanks at theaters. […]

Street-by-Street: Old Quarter

Buzzing with noise and activity, the Old Quarter is the oldest and most lively commercial district in Hanoi. During the 13th century, several artisans settled along the Red River to cater to the needs of the palace. Later, the crafts became concen trated in this area, with each street specializing in a particular product. Over […]

Exploring Hanoi

Hanoi’s most significant sights and districts are marked on this map. Hoan Kiem Lake is popular for romantic strolls, morning exercise, and evening entertainment. The natural focus of the city center is to the north of the lovely lake. Known as the Old Quarter or 36 Streets, this area is packed with every imaginable merchandise, […]

Ha Noi

The oldest and one of the most attractive capital cities in Southeast Asia, Hanoi exudes a rare sense of gracious charm and timelessness. At its core exists a 600-year-old ancient quarter, augmented by a century-old colonial city. Today, the rich cultural heritage of both blends in perfect harmony with growing modernization, as Hanoi claims its […]

Kim Lien

A pilgrimage site of sorts, Kim  Lien is celebrated as the birth- place and childhood home of  Ho Chi Minh (see p173), who was born in nearby Hoang Tru village in 1890. He stayed there until he was five years old, and then moved to Hue with his father. In 1901, how ever, he returned […]

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

This national park thoroughly deserves its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its enormous caves. The most accessible of these is Phong Nha Cave. Packed with underground grottos, stalactites, stalagmites, and river systems, it extends back into the hills for many miles. The main cavern is some 5 miles (8 km) deep, with […]

Dong Hoi

The capital of Quang Binh Province, Dong Hoi was once a charming little fishing village. However, mirroring Vietnam’s changing economic policies, it has evolved into a leading transit town. Though there are no major sights here, it is remark able to see how the town has recovered from the ravages of war. What was rubble […]

Demilitarized Zone

Though it lost all strategic and political importance after reunification in 1975, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) has  become a major tourist attraction and can be visited on a day trip from Hue or Dong Ha. Most tours start with the Hien Luong Bridge over the Ben Hai River, which once formed the  frontier, and a […]

Khe Sanh Combat Base

Situated close to the Laos border, the Khe Sanh Combat Base lies about 2 miles (3 km) away from Khe Sanh village, now known as Hoang Ho. It was initially developed as an airstrip by the Americans in 1962, and later enlarged and developed into a US Special Forces base charged with intercepting traffic on […]

Perfume River Boat Tour

One of the main highlights of a visit to Hue is a boat ride along Song Huong or the Perfume River. Though not very long, the slow-winding river is extraor dinarily beautiful. The effect is enhanced by the reflection of the Citadel, pagodas, towers, and the scenic countryside. Added to this spectacular view is the […]

Exploring the Royal Tombs

Scattered across the scenic countryside to the south of  Hue, the tombs of the Nguyen Emperors (see p45) are  among the area’s most compelling attractions. Although  13 rulers sat on the imperial throne between 1802 and  1945, only seven were given the honor of their own  mausoleum, or lang, as the others died during exile […]

Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien is easily one of the most abundant, biologically diverse reserves of its kind. This is remarkable in light of the fact that it was subjected to sustained bombardment by defoliants during the Vietnam War. Even further back in time, it was a place of pilgrimage, as evidenced by the discovery of ancient religious […]

Binh Chau Hot Springs

With more than a hundred natural hot springs reputed to be imbued with therapeutic properties, Binh Chau is not frequented merely by the rheumatic and arthritic. Although the mineral­rich mud and hot springs are obviously the main attractions here, the place is an amusement center as well. The Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort here is […]

Ho Coc Beach

Ho Coc Beach’s relative seclusion is its best feature. While popular with the Vietnamese as a week end destination, there is little public transport, only a few accommodation options, and a handful of simple cafés and restaurants. The beach is superb, with miles of clean, white sand, studded here and there with massive boulders. Environs […]

Long Hai

While the two cities grew, the stretch of coastline between Vung Tau and Phan Thiet was virtually deserted but a number of large resorts have now taken up residence. Home to the small town of Long Hai, this area is now rather exaggeratedly referred to as Vietnam’s Riviera. Nonetheless, the beaches are relatively unspoiled, prices […]

Vung Tau

The peninsula town of Vung Tau was once a pristine beach resort, known by the French as Cap St Jacques. It is still a very popular seaside getaway, but now that it is developed and home to an offshore oil industry, the quality of the water and beaches has been somewhat affected. On weekends it […]

Cao Dai Holy See

As the center of Cao Dai, a religion founded in 1926 comprising a mixture of many Asian beliefs, this vast complex draws nearly three million worshippers. The main attraction here is the Great Divine Temple – a massive structure that reflects an unusual mix of Asian and European architectural elements. Amid the vibrant pinks, greens, […]

Tunnel Complexes

Elaborate tunnel complexes, such as those at Cu Chi and Vinh Moc, have been used by the Vietnamese for centuries. The tunnels were a key part of guerilla warfare during the Vietnam War, and played a major role in defeating American soldiers. Claimed to extend more than 125 miles (201 km), the tunnels were dug […]

Nui Ba Den

There are two major attractions in Tay Ninh province, namely Cao Dai Holy See and Nui Ba Den or the Black Lady Mountain. Despite the proximity of these sights, few visitors visit Nui Ba Den, as it is off the beaten track and cannot be reached directly by public transport. However, those who do make […]

Cu Chi Tunnels

The small town of Cu Chi is famous for its elaborate network of tunnels, located at a distance of around 9 miles (15 km) from the town itself. There are two different tunnel systems here. The one at Ben Dinh village was used by the Vietcong during the Vietnam War. The guided tour begins in […]

One Pillar Pagoda of Thu Duc

This little pagoda, based on the earlier Lien Phai Pagoda in Hanoi, was built by monks who fled from there after the country was partitioned in 1954. During the Vietnam War, the temple was used by the Vietcong as an undercover camp. Despite President Diem’s efforts to destroy the pagoda, local support provided by the […]

Giac Vien Pagoda

Established by the monk Hai Tinh Giac Vien in 1744, this temple is located on the outskirts of the city, and is one of the most peaceful places around. Well known for its collection of more than 150 wooden statues, the pagoda seems to serve mainly as a dedication to the departed. Several large, beautifully […]

Phung Son Pagoda

Also known as Go Pagoda, the present complex was built between 1802 and 1820 on the remains of an ancient site. Local lore and, more recently, archaeological findings suggest that this was once the site of a complex belonging to the Funan Empire. According to legend, at one time the temple was to be moved […]

Binh Tay Market

The literal translation of cho lon is “big market”, and Binh Tay Market justifies the name. This grand marketplace is a pagoda- style tribute to trade. Originally a small collection of open-air stalls, a Chinese merchant took the initiative to build a permanent structure in 1826. Over time, it evolved into the huge emporium it […]

Quan Am Pagoda

This pagoda, also known as Ong Lang, was built by Chinese merchants in 1816 and honors Quan Am (or Kwan Yin), the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. The unusual pagoda is set in two parts, separated by a street. On the south side is a small plaza that adjoins a grotto set in a fish and […]

Thien Hau Pagoda

Also named Hoi Quan Tue Thanh, but commonly known as Chua Ba, or Lady’s Pagoda, this temple is dedicated to Thien Hau, Goddess of the Sea and Patroness of Sailors. Built in the early 1800s by the Cantonese congregation, this is one of the most popular and richly embellished temples in the city. The front […]

Cholon Walking Tour

Home to Chinese traders and merchants for more than three centuries, Cholon, which means big market, has long been one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most vibrant commercial centers. Also known as District 5, its markets are always busy and brimming with a wide range of specialty shops selling everything from silks, spices, and medicinal […]

Nghia An Hoi Quan Pagoda

Renowned for its  detailed wood- work and intricate  carvings, this pagoda is one of the oldest in Ho Chi Minh City. Built in the 19th century, the temple is dedicated to Quan Cong, a deified Chinese general, and Nghia An, his horse’s faithful groom. On entering, to the left are two of the pagoda’s most […]

Fine Arts Museum

At first sight, this handsome building, painted a burned yellow with white trim, appears typically French. Built on a large scale, the structure features columns and wrought-ironwork on windows and balconies, all topped with a Chinese-style tiled roof. Inside, the museum is home to three floors of Vietnamese art, which includes ceramics, lacquerware, sculptures, and […]

Ben Thanh Market

One of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, this huge shopping center was built in 1914 by the French, who named it Les Halles Centrales or Central Market Halls. Its most famous feature is the massive clock tower that dominates the neighborhood. Home to several hundred shopkeepers, the market offers an amazingly extensive and […]

Mariamman Hindu Temple

Dedicated to Mariamman, an incarnation of Shakti, the Hindu Goddess of Strength, Mariamman Hindu Temple caters not only to the small community of Hindus in Ho Chi Minh City, but also to the many local Vietnamese Buddhists, who worship here either looking for good luck or driven by superstition. Built in the late 19th century, […]

Xa Loi Pagoda

This was one of the most important pagodas during the communist revolution. Built in 1956, it was a center of resistance to Ngo Dinh Diem’s corrupt and anti-Buddhist regime in the early 1960s. Three of its monks immolated themselves publicly as a gesture of protest, and on one occasion, about 400 worshippers and clergy were […]

War Remnants Museum

Located in the former US Information Service  building, this exhibition has films,  pictures, and other items on display that document war atrocities committed by American, Chinese, and French soldiers in grim detail. Events are told from a Vietnamese perspective and are both moving and thought-provoking. Among the most disturbing exhibits are the formaldehyde-filled jars containing […]

Women’s Museum of Southern Vietnam

To bring to light the cultural and military contributions made by South Vietnamese women over the ages, the Women’s Museum of Southern Vietnam or Bao Tang Phu Nu Nam Bo was established in 1985. The ten rooms here span three stories and are filled with fascinating displays, ranging from military plaques and medals to a […]

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

Completed with aid from the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association in 1971, this is, by some measures, the largest pagoda in the city. Certainly, its eight-story tower, located immediately to the left of a high gate, is the tallest. Each side of the tower is adorned with an image of the Buddha in high relief. To the […]

Le Van Duyet Temple

Dedicated to General Le Van Duyet (1763–1831), this is perhaps the best example of a temple devoted to a national hero rather than to a deity or religion. Le Van Duyet helped suppress the Tay Son Rebellion, and was lauded by Emperor Gia Long. After Van  Duyet’s death, he was repudi- ated by Emperor Minh […]

Jade Emperor Pagoda

One of the city’s most ornate pagodas, this small house of worship honors the King of all Heavens, Ngoc Hoang or the Jade Emperor – chief deity of the Taoist pantheon. Built by the Cantonese community in 1909, its pink façade is almost simple, but the tile roof is an intricate work of art, as […]

Museum of Vietnamese History

Built in a classic pagoda style, this very attractive museum, also known as Bao Tang Lich Su, contains a vast collection of artifacts, spanning almost the entire history of Vietnam. Relics from the beginning of the nation’s cultural evolution can be seen in the form of prehistoric implements and tools. These are followed by bronze […]

Independence Palace

Set on well­maintained and spacious grounds, this historic building is a prominent symbol of the country’s political history. During the 19th century, Independence Palace was the  site of the Norodom Palace, former residence of the French  governor general. It was later occupied by South Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem, and named the Presidential Palace. In […]

General Post Office

Designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel between 1886 and 1891, Buu Dien Trung Tam or the General Post Office is one of the most attractive buildings in the city. Its massive façade is coral colored with a cream trim and also features carvings of the faces of famous philosophers and scientists, below which are finely […]

Notre Dame Cathedral

The basilica-style Notre Dame Cathedral, or Nha Tho Duc Ba, is the largest church ever built in the French Empire. When it was completed in 1880, its 40-m (120-ft) spires made it the tallest structure in the city. At first glance it seems to be brick-built, but in fact, the façade is made of red […]

Rex Hotel

Located in the center of the city, the Rex Hotel has played an important part in Ho Chi Minh City’s history ever since its construction in the 1950s. Originally built by French colonial developers, it quickly became a focus of the social and military activities of American soldiers during the Vietnam War. It was from […]

Bitexco Financial Tower

Since opening in 2010, this building has become Saigon’s newest icon and an emblem of the city’s rejuvenation. The tallest building in the city, its slender, tapered shape with a helipad jutting near the top is visible from everywhere in the city center. The main attraction for visitors is the Saigon Skydeck on the 49th […]

Ho Chi Minh City Museum

Once the French governor general’s residence, this, like many of the city’s buildings, looks as if it were shipped in pieces from France and reassembled here. Light grey with white trim and a colonnade, it strikes a commanding presence. The spacious halls, with high ceilings and chandeliers, are a much sought-after venue for wedding photographs. […]

People’s Committee Building

Designed by French architect P. Gardes and completed in 1908, the People’s Committee Building, once known as the Hôtel de Ville, is probably the most photographed building in the city. It was outside this building in 1945, that thousands of people congregated to establish the Provisional Administrative Committee of South Vietnam. Still the house of […]

Continental Hotel

With its stately façade, the Continental is the grande dame of hotels built during French rule. The hotel is set around a courtyard, which is well-shaded with frangipani  trees, while inside, the red- carpeted staircases retain their  original tropical hardwood. The structure, for the most part, has been spared the “modernization” visited upon some other […]

Municipal Theater

A superb, French-Colonial style building, the Municipal Theater or Nha Hat Thanh Pho was built in 1899 as a concert hall for the French. Still referred to as the Opera House, the hall served temporarily as the headquarters of the South Vietnam National Assembly in 1956. A graceful staircase leads up to the entrance, which […]

Caravelle Hotel

When it opened on Christmas Eve in 1959, the Caravelle Hotel, at ten stories, was the tallest building in the city. At its gala launch, the hotel was praised by the local press for its central air-conditioning system and bulletproof glass. Its designers were considered almost prescient as the hotel became a central headquarters for […]

Street-by-Street: Dong Khoi

Arguably the liveliest part of the city, the area around Dong Khoi Street is the very nerve center of Ho Chi Minh City. Dong Khoi Street itself became famous during the French era, and was then known as the Rue Catinat. Home to stately hotels, elegant boutiques, and cozy cafés that coexisted with bars and […]

Exploring Ho Chi Minh City

The most prominent area in the city is around Dong Khoi Street in District 1, boasting fashionable shops, museums, and fine dining. It also features examples of French-Colonial structures, such as the Municipal Theater, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the General Post Office. To the north are sprawling residential areas and the historic Jade Emperor Pagoda, […]

Ho Chi Minh City

The largest city in Vietnam is also its commercial capital and is fast becoming the nation’s window to the world. Buzzing with frenetic activity, cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City looks outward, listens to pop music, and drinks French wine. Existing alongside the high-rise hotels, shopping malls, and chic restaurants are ancient pagodas and colonial buildings, […]

Vietnam At A Glance

A long and narrow country with amazingly diverse terrains, Vietnam encompasses the magnificent and remote valleys of the northwest, the high peaks and plateaus of its mountainous spine, and the pristine beaches and warm tropical waters of the southern coasts. The mighty Red River in the north and Mekong River in the south give rise […]

The Vietnam War

From 1954, South Vietnam, under the leadership of President Diem, was propped up politically and financially by the US. Under Diem, communists and Buddhists were persecuted, whereas the North was hostile to Catholics, many of whom fled to the South. The entire nation was reeling with unrest and strife, and the time was ripe for […]

The History Of Vietnam

The early history of Vietnam is obscured in the mists of time and legend, but tracing its journey through the centuries of recorded history tells the story of a nation constantly besieged by foreign invasions and civil wars. This historical narrative – from the reassertion of independence in AD 979, after 1,000 years of Chinese […]

The Climate of Vietnam

Though Vietnam has a tropical climate, there is considerable diversity from north to south and from coast to highlands. In general, the seasonal monsoons bring heavy rains between May and October, while it remains relatively dry from November to February. The hot season bet ween February and April can be uncomfortable, with temperatures reaching up […]

Vietnam Through The Year

Most traditional festivals in vietnam have close links with chinese cultural traditions, and follow the lunar calendar, which has only 29.5 days a month. accordingly, the solar dates change annually, and festivals do not fall on fixed dates. Secular holidays, by contrast, are fixed to the Western calendar, and often associated with the country’s recent […]

Tet Nguyen Dan

As the country’s single most important festival, Tet Nguyen Dan or Festival of the First Day marks the onset of the lunar new year. Celebrated as a time of rebirth and renewal, this spring festival serves as an opportunity for thanks giving and paying homage toances tors. Preparations begin a week before Tet, as people […]

Architecture

Vietnam’s long history of foreign invasions has left a legacy in the form of diverse architectural styles found throughout the country. Indigenous architecture in the shape of “tube houses” and single-story pagodas exist alongside buildings that reveal foreign influences. The ancient buildings of the central coast indicate the Cham influence, while Chinese elements are reflected […]

Traditional Music and Theater

Vietnam has a long and rich heritage of music and theater, combining both indigenous and foreign influences. Its repertoire of musical traditions plays an intrinsic role in the country’s many theater forms, and includes folk songs, classical music, imperial compositions, and the unique court ship melodies of various ethnic minorities. This multifaceted legacy is deeply […]

Religions of Vietnam

The three most prominent strands in Vietnam’s religious tradition are Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, known collectively as Tam Giao, Three Teachings, or Triple Religion. Added to this are the indigenous customs of spirit worship, ancestor veneration, and the deification of Vietnam’s patriotic heroes – all practiced widely. Cao Dai is a recent syncretic religion based […]

Peoples Of Vietnam

Vietnam is home to a diverse mix of 54 officially recognized ethnic groups. Of these, the Kinh or ethnic Viet of southern Chinese origin, make up around 86 percent of the population. Settled along the coast and in the Red River and Mekong Deltas, they share the plains with the Hoa or ethnic Chinese, as […]

Landscape And Wildlife

Vietnam is one of Asia’s most ecologically diverse countries. Habitats range from the cool mountains of the northwest, through the narrow coastal plains and high land plateaus of the center, to the delta regions of the Red and Mekong Rivers. Especially noteworthy for wild life enthusiasts are the expansive national parks of Northern Vietnam, filled […]

A Portrait Of Vietnam

Lush green mountains, scenic beaches, ancient pagodas, and the allure of a fascinating culture attract millions of visitors to Vietnam each year. The country emerged from the 1990s as an increasingly prosperous nation, with a strong tourism industry, largely due to economic reforms and an effort by its people to rebuild after the war and […]

What to Buy in Vietnam

Sprawling traditional markets, sidewalk hawkers, and even the odd shopping mall in vietnam offer a wide range of attractive and unique items. almost any thing wearable is usually a good bargain, be it clothing, foot wear, or jewelry, while handi crafts such as ceramics, basketry, lacquer ware, and even paintings by local artists make splendid […]

Flavors of Vietnam

Over the course of history Vietnam has absorbed many culinary influences but has still managed to preserve its own distinct cuisine. The long period of Chinese domination left its mark on Vietnamese cooking, not least in the use of chopsticks, soy sauce, and bean curd. Western tastes were also imported during French colonial rule, notably […]

Where to eat and drink 1

The Vietnamese are passionate about food, which means that fresh ingredients and experienced cooks are bountiful. Whether opting for a quick bite or a full meal, visitors will find an amazing variety of eateries throughout the country, from pushcarts, roadside stalls, and sidewalk cafés to pizzerias and gourmet restaurants. Washing down tasty treats is easy […]

Where to stay 2

Ho Chi Minh City 1.Cholon Hotel Equatorial Luxury 242 Tran Binh Trong Tel (08) 3839 7777 ∑ equatorial.com/hcm This exclusive high-rise hotel to the west of the city center has superb restaurants, including The Orientica. Windsor Plaza Luxury 18 An Duong Vuong Tel (08) 3833 6688 ∑ windsorplazahotel.com Rooms on the top floors of this […]

Where to stay 1

Accommodations in Vietnam run the gamut from historic boutique hotels and plush resorts to basic guesthouses. Luxury hotels are found in all large cities and beaches, while budget lodgings are available throughout the country. Major hotels offer amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, restaurants, and even nightclubs. Resorts, many of which are concentrated along the […]

Exploring Hue Citadel: Imperial City

At the very heart of the vast Hue Citadel lies the Imperial City, also known as Dai Noi or the Great Enclosure. Over the past few years, this historic and unusually evocative part of the Citadel has undergone extensive restoration work, which has allowed more than just a glimmer of its former glory and grandeur […]

Hue Citadel: Imperial City

Designated a World Heritage Site in 1993, the Citadel was established by Emperor Gia Long (r.1802–20) in 1805. The huge fortress comprises three concentric enclosures – the Civic, Imperial, and Forbidden Purple Cities. The Citadel was designed using the rules of Chinese geomancy, along with the military principles favored by French architect Sebastien de Vauban. […]

Hue

One of the most significant cultural and historic centers of Vietnam, the former imperial city of Hue is celebrated for its tradition of intellectual thought, Buddhist piety, and the sophistication of its cuisine. Despite the damage it suffered during the Indochina Wars, it remains a place of great beauty, with the Perfume River flowing through […]

Thuan An Beach

One of the best beaches in the Hue region, Thuan An is located at the northern end of a long, slender island that runs all the way south from the mouth of the Perfume River, almost up to the little town of Phu Loc. The beach is in many ways comparable to the one at […]

Lang Co Beach

To appreciate the full beauty of the Lang Co Peninsula, it is best to first catch a glimpse of it from the summit of the Hai Van Pass or from the wonderful, atmospheric train ride between Hue and Danang. Looking north from here, an idyllic picture in shimmering blue, white, and green appears. A narrow […]

Suoi Voi

A popular weekend destination for the inhabitants of Hue or Danang, Suoi Voi, also known as Elephant Springs, is named after a huge rock that resembles the animal. This is a wonderful bathing spot, not usually frequented by visitors. On the way from Hue, in order not to miss its tucked away location, look out […]

Bach Ma National Park

Located in the Hue- Danang provincial frontier, at an elevation of 4,757 ft (1,450 m), Bach Ma National Park was originally established as a hill station in the 1930s by the French. The Viet Minh did not take kindly to this imperialist occupation, and the area was subjected to many attacks during the First Indochina […]

Cham Art and Sculpture

The Cham Empire existed in Vietnam for around 1,600 years, from the 2nd century AD to its downfall in 1832. Today, a thriving Cham community survives, but all that remains of their ancient kingdom is its artistic legacy, which reached its zenith in the 8th to 10th centuries. Part of this heritage is architectural, visible […]

Danang

Situated almost halfway along the country’s coastline, on the western bank of the Han River, Danang is one of the fastest-changing places in Vietnam. It is the fifth largest but third most important city. Though not a major destination in its own right, Danang is an excellent hub for exploring several nearby attractions, and is […]

Ba Na Hill Station

A conveniently close getaway from Danang, this old French hill station is set at an altitude of 4,593 ft (1,400 m), and is often shrouded in clouds or mist. In its French heyday, during the early 20th century, it is said to have been home to more than 200 villas, as well as restaurants and […]

China Beach

The long stretch of beaches between Danang and the Marble Mountains is known to the Vietnamese as the My Khe, My An, and Non Nuoc beaches. However, these white sandy shores were known to US servicemen as China Beach and were later highlighted by an eponymous popular TV series. Though banned by the government, a […]

Exploring My Son

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, My Son is best visited in the early or late hours of the day to avoid the stream of visitors. Although centuries of pillage and more recent bombings have taken their toll, the ruins provide a glimpse into a fascinating Indianized culture. Evocative as the complex is, the groups […]

My Son

A religious center between the 4th and 13th centuries, the Cham site of My Son became known to the world when French archaeologists rediscovered it in the late 1890s. Traces of around 70 temples may still be found at My Son, though only about 20 are still in good condition. The monuments are divided into […]

Architectural Styles of Hoi An

Hoi An developed most of its uniquely eclectic townscape between the 16th and 19th centuries. During most of this time, it was a major port open to several foreign influences. The Japanese established a community west of the Covered Bridge during the 16th century, while the Chinese founded many communities in the center and east […]

Street-by-Street: Hoi An Old Quarter

Possessing an impressive historical and cultural legacy, Hoi An is a mosaic of various cultures. Its Old Quarter is redolent of an ancient period, along with a sense of timelessness. Its historic buildings, attractive tube houses, and decorated Chinese community halls have earned it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In efforts to […]

Hoi An

Located on the north bank of the Thu Bon River, the picturesque historic town of Hoi An was an important trading port from the 16th to the 18th century. Attracting traders from China, Japan, and even Europe, the town acquired a rich cultural heritage, rivaled by few other cities in Vietnam. Designated a UNESCO World […]

Exploring Central Vietnam

Home to some of the most spellbinding historic sites in the country, Central Vietnam’s natural beauty is no less compel ling. On the drive between Hue and Danang, the Hai Van Pass, surrounded by rolling hills and green valleys, offers the most spectacular views. As a base for exploring north of the pass, the old […]

Central Vietnam

Bound by the forested peaks of the Truong Son Range to the west, with the white shores of the South China Sea to its east, Central Vietnam is a study in contrasts. It offers several fine beaches as well as a rare assortment of historical treasures, including four of Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely […]

Quang Ngai

This sleepy provincial capital is a hidden gem, with ancient archaeological finds within a short driving distance. Environs Son My was the site of the appalling My Lai Massacre of 1968 and a chilling Memorial  Park has been set up in the sub- hamlet of Tu Cung. A dark, granite  museum documents the events in […]

Sa Huynh

Known for its palm­fringed beach and salt pans, this attractive little fishing port is most celebrated as the site of the pre­Champa culture of Sa Huynh, which flourished around 2,000 years ago. In 1909, 200 burial jars were unearthed, the first of many more finds in the area. Unfortunately, no artifacts of this bronzeage society […]

Quy Nhon

A substantial fishing port with reasonable beaches, Quy Nhon sees few visitors barring those who overnight here to break the trip between Nha Trang and Hoi An. Long Khan Pagoda, Quy Nhon’s most revered Buddhist temple, is located right in the center of town on Tran Cao Van Street. Dating back to the early 18th […]

Kontum

This remote, laid-back town receives relatively few visitors, yet rewards are plentiful for anyone prepared to wander this far. Despite being heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, Kontum has retained two beautiful French-colonial wooden churches and a few French-style shopfronts. As the town has few attractions of its own, most visitors come here to explore […]

Yok Don National Park

The largest of Vietnam’s national parks, Yok Don covers almost 470 sq miles (1,200 sq km), extending along the Cambodian frontier and cut through by the mighty Dak Krong or Serepok River. The park is home to leopards, tigers, and wild elephants, but of the 67 species of mammal, no fewer than 38 are endangered, […]

Buon Ma Thuot

The capital of the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, Buon Ma Thuot makes a great base for exploring the remote lakes, rainforests, waterfalls, and hilltribe villages of the surrounding areas. The government claims that ethnic Vietnamese, or Kinh, now make up the majority of the local population, but the indigenous minority peoples, the Ede […]

Lak Lake

Lying in the center of the picturesque Dak Lak Plateau, this large, serene freshwater lake was once a favorite retreat of former Emperor Bao Dai, who built one of his hunting lodges on its banks. Although the surrounding hills have been largely stripped of forest, there are still spectacular views across the lake. The area […]

Dalat

In the mid-1890s, the physician Alexandre Yersin visited Dalat and recommended it as a suitable location for a hill station and sanatorium. By 1910, the town had become a popular summer retreat for French colonists seeking a cool escape from the heat of the plains. Today, Dalat draws tens of thousands of Vietnamese honeymooners and […]

Beaches Around Nha Trang

The numerous beaches scattered along the sandy shoreline to the north of Nah Trang, together with the small archipelago of pretty islands that lies just out to sea, add significantly to this seaside resort’s appeal. Several tour companies organize day tours and usually offer a seafood lunch and plenty of iced beer. At the quieter […]

Nha Trang

A bustling city and major fishing port, Nha Trang is also Vietnam’s primary beach resort, with numerous comfortable hotels and a wide range of restaurants specializing in seafood. An elegant promenade by the seafront overlooks the Municipal Beach, which is usually packed with travelers sunbathing and vendors selling their wares. The busy Central Market, Cho […]

Phan Rang–Thap Cham

A twin city located on an arid coastal strip known for its grape and Cham textile prod uc tion, Phan Rang–Thap Cham is an important road junction linking the coastal provinces with Dalat and the Central Highlands. Thap Cham means Cham Towers, and  three of the country’s best- preserved Cham religious  complexes are situated here. […]

Mui Ne Beach

A 12-mile (20-km) strip of palm-shaded white sand, Mui Ne Beach (Ham Tien) curves from just east of Phan Thiet to the small fishing village of Mui Ne. The coast is backed by two excellent roads that run parallel to the beach along its entire length. By the end of the 1990s, the beach had […]

Phan Thiet

This pleasant seaside town features an active fishing fleet and a port extending along both banks of the Ca Ty river. For visitors staying at nearby Mui Ne Beach, the town is convenient for both shopping and exploration. Phan Thiet was once at the heart of Panduranga, the last semi-independent Cham principality, which was finally […]

Ta Cu Mountain

The scenery around Ta Cu is flat and arid, and the mountain, although only 2,100 ft  (650 m), affords spectacular views of the coast on clear days. Linh Son Truong Tho Pagoda and Linh Son Long Doan Pagoda, both established in the mid-19th century, are important sites for the many Buddhist pilgrims who come to […]

Exploring South Central Vietnam

With its numerous beaches and easy accessibility, the long coastal strip of South Central Vietnam sees many more visitors than the interior, and the resorts of Mui Ne and Nha Trang make good bases from which to explore much of the southern coast. Travelers tend to hurry past the fishing towns in the north of […]

South Central Vietnam

Covering much of the ancient Kingdom of Champa, South Central Vietnam possesses a densely populated coast scattered with fishing towns and quiet beaches, as well as a substantial hinterland inhabited by indigenous minorities. The resort towns of Nha Trang and Phan Thiet and the honeymoon hill station of Dalat are firmly on the tourist itinerary, […]

Phu Quoc Island

Claimed by Cambodia, this kite- shaped island played a key role in Vietnam’s history as the base for French missionary Pigneau de Behaine, who sheltered the future emperor, Gia Long, during the Tay Son Rebellion. Around 31 miles (50 km) long and just 12 miles (20 km) wide, the island is still relatively undeveloped, with […]

Ha Tien

Overlooking the idyllic shores of the Gulf of Thailand, and surrounded by limestone promontories, Ha Tien is one of the more attractive towns in the delta. With its riverfront having undergone a major clean­up and a vast new suburb growing to the west of the town center, it is also one of the fastest developing […]

Chau Doc

Life and commerce in Chau Doc, a bustling border town, centers on the water. Many people live not only by the river in stilt houses, but on it in floating houses. The town’s exceptionally busy market is also located along the riverfront. During a period of several centuries, control over Chau Doc has passed between […]

Houses in the Mekong Delta

Home to thousands of people who live not only beside the river, but on it, the Mekong Delta is known for two of Vietnam’s most distinct forms of houses – stilt and floating. While stilt houses line the steep banks, villages of floating homes occupy the river, completely independent of land. Resting on tall bamboo […]

Rach Gia

A prosperous port town, Rach  Gia boasts many religious build- ings such as the charming Pho  Minh Pagoda, which houses an order of mendicant nuns. Its Twin Buddhas, one in Thai style and the other Vietnamese, sit companionably in the sanctuary. The sprawling 200­year­old Phat Lon Pagoda has a unique sanctuary, surrounded by many small […]

Con Dao Islands

A cluster of 16 islands, Con Dao may be remote but, with its remarkable forests, wildlife, and beaches, it is one of the most astound ing destinations in Vietnam. Declared a nature preserve in 1993, Con Dao National Park covers a massive portion of the archipelago, stretching across 154 sq miles (400 sq km). About […]

Flora, Fauna, and Birds of the Mekong Delta

The rich soil and lush green habitat of the Mekong Delta is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, with new ones still being discovered. Dense mangrove swamps and tropical forests cover a large portion of the delta, while a range of fruits, such as mangoes, papayas, and bananas, grow in abundance. […]

Bac Lieu

This small town is primarily an agricultural center, with a major part of its revenue coming from the shrimp and salt farms located along the coast. Most visitors use the place as a base to explore the region, including the nearby sanctuary. The town  features some fine French- Colonial build ings, such as the impres […]

Soc Trang

This lively town is famous for its festivals and religious sites. Once part of the Angkor Empire, the entire province is home to 90 Khmer, 47 Chin ese, and 30 Vietnamese pagodas, many of which are in Soc Trang itself. Of the ten annual festi vals held here,  the largest is the carniva- lesque Khmer […]

Rice Cultivation

Rice is Vietnam’s primary food staple and the country’s most vital cash crop. The rice industry employs almost 80 percent of the country’s population in one way or another. The majority of rice pro duction in Vietnam takes place in the Mekong Delta, the fertile soil of which has contributed signi ficantly to making Vietnam […]

Can Tho

The largest city on the delta, Can Tho is one of the most delightful destinations in the south. Bordering six provinces, it serves as a transportation hub for the region, as well as a major agricultural center, with rice milling as its main industry. The city is also an ideal base for day trips, especially […]

Vinh Long Boat Tour

Possibly the best way of experiencing the timeless, bucolic character of the Mekong Delta is by taking a boat ride along the dense network of narrow canals around Vinh Long. Making its way through the small islands of An Binh and Binh Hoa Phuoc, the tour offers a close look at life on the river. […]

Cao Lanh

Although the town itself is not remarkable, the drive to Chau Doc via Cao Lanh is pleasant. The Dong Thap Museum, which displays many of the traditional implements used by delta farmers and fishermen, including a large model of a boat and fish traps, is a worthwhile stop. The Soviet-style War Memorial is a big […]

Vinh Long

A small town on the bank of the Co Chien River, Vinh Long is mostly used by tourists as a base for exploring the islets dotting the waters around it. How ever, the town itself is also worth visiting. Vinh Long’s large, French-Colonial Catholic church draws atten tion to the fact that the area was […]

Tra Vinh

With its large Khmer, Christian, and Chinese population, Tra Vinh is distinguished by the diversity of its places of worship. Of the many Khmer­style religious buildings, Ong Met Pagoda is distinctive for its portico posts surmounted by four­faced images of the Buddha. The 10­ft  (3­m) tall gilded stupas, mound- shaped reliquary monuments,  are dedicated to […]

Ben Tre

Being off the tourist trail, Ben Tre does not get as many visi tors as other delta cities, thus providing a rare glimpse into an ancient river town still living by its traditional ways. The capital of Ben Tre Province, this town is famous in Vietnam for its coconut candy, and is lush with vast […]

Phoenix Island

Midway between My Tho and Ben Tre are numerous small islands, the best known among them being Con Phung or Phoenix Island. This was the lonely bastion of the Coconut Monk. On this small spot of dry land, he built his quaint little temple complex. On a circular base, about 75 ft (25 m) in […]

My Tho

Because of its proximity to Ho Chi Minh City, My Tho, on the northernmost tributary of the  Mekong River, is the most popu- lar day­trip destina tion in the  delta. It is an ideal base from which to hire a boat and cruise along the canals, stop ping along the way to explore the surrounding […]

Exploring Mekong Delta and Southern Vietnam

The Mekong Delta is a unique region where life on the water has remained unchanged for centuries. Closest to Ho Chi Minh City, My Tho is known as a launching pad for boat tours, as is Vinh Long, which lies to its south. Can Tho, the delta’s largest city has several lively floating markets in […]

Mekong Delta And Southern Vietnam

Life on the delta revolves around the Mekong River, with its green expanses of paddy fields, thick orchards, and intricate patchwork of canals. Floating houses, markets, and fishing boats bob on the rivers, while the islands boast dense forests and beautiful white-sand beaches. Amid the bells, drums, and chanting of the delta’s many pagodas, an […]

Ho Chi Minh City Street Finder

Finding your way around the narrow streets and winding alleys of Ho Chi Minh City can be a challenging experience. The city is divided into 19 quan, or urban districts, and five suburban districts. Vietnamese addresses are usually straightforward but they are more complicated in Ho Chi Minh City because  the same street begins new […]

Flora, Fauna and Birds of Northern Vietnam

Under a thick, rich canopy of evergreen forests, the rugged mountainous hinterland of Northern Vietnam protects an amazingly diverse biosphere. Thousands of types of flora flourish here, as do a plethora of bird, mammal, and reptile species. However, a vast number of animals, many endemic to Vietnam, are currently under threat. Critically endangered species include […]

A Portrait of Vietnam

Lush green mountains, scenic beaches, ancient pagodas, and the allure of a fascinating culture attract millions of visitors to Vietnam each year. The country emerged from the 1990s as an increasingly prosperous nation, with a strong tourism industry, largely due to economic reforms and an effort by its people to rebuild after the war and […]

Discovering Vietnam

The following tours have been designed to take in as many of the country’s highlights as possible in a limited time. The first itineraries outlined here are two 2-day tours of Vietnam’s major cities: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Additional suggestions are included in case visitors want to spend more time in either city. […]

DISCOVERING VIETNAM

The following tours have been designed to take in as many of the country’s highlights as possible in a limited time. The first itineraries outlined here are two 2-day tours of Vietnam’s major cities: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Additional suggestions are included in case visitors want to spend more time in either city. […]

Fishing In Yen Bai

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Yen Bai If you are moving from an other country into the Yen Bai city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Yen Bai has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Vung Tau

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Vung Tau If you are moving from an other country into the Vung Tau city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Vung Tau has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Vinh Yen

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Vinh Yen If you are moving from an other country into the Vinh Yen city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Vinh Yen has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Vinh Phuc

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Vinh Phuc If you are moving from an other country into the Vinh Phuc city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Vinh Phuc has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Vinh Long

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Vinh Long If you are moving from an other country into the Vinh Long city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Vinh Long has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Vinh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Vinh If you are moving from an other country into the Vinh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Vinh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more fish. Fishing in [...]

Fishing In Viet Tri

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Viet Tri If you are moving from an other country into the Viet Tri city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Viet Tri has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Vi Thanh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Vi Thanh If you are moving from an other country into the Vi Thanh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Vi Thanh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Uong Bi

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Uong Bi If you are moving from an other country into the Uong Bi city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Uong Bi has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Tuyen Quang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Tuyen Quang If you are moving from an other country into the Tuyen Quang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Tuyen Quang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Tuy Hoa

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Tuy Hoa If you are moving from an other country into the Tuy Hoa city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Tuy Hoa has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Tra Vinh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Tra Vinh If you are moving from an other country into the Tra Vinh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Tra Vinh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Tien Giang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Tien Giang If you are moving from an other country into the Tien Giang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Tien Giang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Thua Thien Hue

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Thua Thien Hue If you are moving from an other country into the Thua Thien Hue city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Thua Thien Hue has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike [...]

Fishing In Thu Dau Mot

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Thu Dau Mot If you are moving from an other country into the Thu Dau Mot city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Thu Dau Mot has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike [...]

Fishing In Thanh Hoa

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Thanh Hoa If you are moving from an other country into the Thanh Hoa city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Thanh Hoa has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Thai Nguyen

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Thai Nguyen If you are moving from an other country into the Thai Nguyen city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Thai Nguyen has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Thai Binh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Thai Binh If you are moving from an other country into the Thai Binh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Thai Binh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Tay Ninh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Tay Ninh If you are moving from an other country into the Tay Ninh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Tay Ninh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Tan An

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Tan An If you are moving from an other country into the Tan An city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Tan An has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Tam Ky

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Tam Ky If you are moving from an other country into the Tam Ky city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Tam Ky has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Tam Diep

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Tam Diep If you are moving from an other country into the Tam Diep city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Tam Diep has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Song Cong

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Song Cong If you are moving from an other country into the Song Cong city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Song Cong has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Son La

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Son La If you are moving from an other country into the Son La city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Son La has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Soc Trang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Soc Trang If you are moving from an other country into the Soc Trang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Soc Trang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Sam Son

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Sam Son If you are moving from an other country into the Sam Son city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Sam Son has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Sa Dec

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Sa Dec If you are moving from an other country into the Sa Dec city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Sa Dec has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Rach Gia

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Rach Gia If you are moving from an other country into the Rach Gia city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Rach Gia has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Quy Nhon

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Quy Nhon If you are moving from an other country into the Quy Nhon city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Quy Nhon has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Quang Tri

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Quang Tri If you are moving from an other country into the Quang Tri city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Quang Tri has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Quang Ninh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Quang Ninh If you are moving from an other country into the Quang Ninh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Quang Ninh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Quang Ngai

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Quang Ngai If you are moving from an other country into the Quang Ngai city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Quang Ngai has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Quang Nam

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Quang Nam If you are moving from an other country into the Quang Nam city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Quang Nam has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Quang Binh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Quang Binh If you are moving from an other country into the Quang Binh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Quang Binh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Pleiku

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Pleiku If you are moving from an other country into the Pleiku city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Pleiku has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more fish. Fishing in [...]

Fishing In Phuc Yen

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Phuc Yen If you are moving from an other country into the Phuc Yen city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Phuc Yen has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Phu Yen

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Phu Yen If you are moving from an other country into the Phu Yen city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Phu Yen has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Phu Tho

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Phu Tho If you are moving from an other country into the Phu Tho city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Phu Tho has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Phu Ly

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Phu Ly If you are moving from an other country into the Phu Ly city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Phu Ly has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing in Phan Thiet

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Phan Thiet If you are moving from an other country into the Phan Thiet city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Phan Thiet has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Phan Rang Thap Cham

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Phan Rang Thap Cham If you are moving from an other country into the Phan Rang Thap Cham city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Phan Rang Thap Cham has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with [...]

Fishing In Ninh Thuan

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ninh Thuan If you are moving from an other country into the Ninh Thuan city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ninh Thuan has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ninh Binh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ninh Binh If you are moving from an other country into the Ninh Binh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ninh Binh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Nha Trang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Nha Trang If you are moving from an other country into the Nha Trang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Nha Trang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Nghe An

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Nghe An If you are moving from an other country into the Nghe An city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Nghe An has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Nam Dinh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Nam Dinh If you are moving from an other country into the Nam Dinh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Nam Dinh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In My Tho

Top 10 Places for Fishing in My Tho If you are moving from an other country into the My Tho city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. My Tho has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Mong Cai

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Mong Cai If you are moving from an other country into the Mong Cai city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Mong Cai has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Mekong Delta River

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Mekong Delta River If you are moving from an other country into the Mekong Delta city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Mekong Delta has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many [...]

Fishing In Long Xuyen

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Long Xuyen If you are moving from an other country into the Long Xuyen city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Long Xuyen has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Long Khanh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Long Khanh If you are moving from an other country into the Long Khanh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Long Khanh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Long An

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Long An If you are moving from an other country into the Long An city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Long An has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Lao Cai

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Lao Cai If you are moving from an other country into the Lao Cai city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Lao Cai has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Lang Son

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Lang Son If you are moving from an other country into the Lang Son city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Lang Son has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Lam Dong

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Lam Dong If you are moving from an other country into the Lam Dong city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Lam Dong has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Lai Chau

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Lai Chau If you are moving from an other country into the Lai Chau city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Lai Chau has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Kon Tum

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Kon Tum If you are moving from an other country into the Kon Tum city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Kon Tum has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Kien Giang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Kien Giang If you are moving from an other country into the Kien Giang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Kien Giang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Khanh Hoa

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Khanh Hoa If you are moving from an other country into the Khanh Hoa city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Khanh Hoa has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Hung Yen

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Hung Yen If you are moving from an other country into the Hung Yen city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Hung Yen has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Hue

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Hue If you are moving from an other country into the Hue city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Hue has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more fish. Fishing in [...]

Fishing In Hoi An

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Hoi An If you are moving from an other country into the Hoi An city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Hoi An has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Hoa Binh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Hoa Binh If you are moving from an other country into the Hoa Binh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Hoa Binh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ho Chi Minh City

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ho Chi Minh City If you are moving from an other country into the Ho Chi Minh City city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ho Chi Minh City has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with [...]

Fishing In Hau Giang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Hau Giang If you are moving from an other country into the Hau Giang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Hau Giang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Halong Bay

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Halong Bay If you are moving from an other country into the Halong Bay city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Halong Bay has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Hai Phong

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Hai Phong If you are moving from an other country into the Hai Phong city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Hai Phong has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Hai Duong

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Hai Duong If you are moving from an other country into the Hai Duong city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Hai Duong has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ha Tinh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ha Tinh If you are moving from an other country into the Ha Tinh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ha Tinh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ha Tien

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ha Tien If you are moving from an other country into the Ha Tien city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ha Tien has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ha Nam

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ha Nam If you are moving from an other country into the Ha Nam city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ha Nam has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ha Long

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ha Long If you are moving from an other country into the Ha Long city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ha Long has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ha Giang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ha Giang If you are moving from an other country into the Ha Giang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ha Giang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Gia Lai

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Gia Lai If you are moving from an other country into the Gia Lai city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Gia Lai has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Dong Xoai

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Dong Xoai If you are moving from an other country into the Dong Xoai city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Dong Xoai has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Dong Thap

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Dong Thap If you are moving from an other country into the Dong Thap city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Dong Thap has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Dong Nai

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Dong Nai If you are moving from an other country into the Dong Nai city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Dong Nai has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Dong Hoi

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Dong Hoi If you are moving from an other country into the Dong Hoi city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Dong Hoi has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Dong Ha

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Dong Ha If you are moving from an other country into the Dong Ha city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Dong Ha has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Dien Bien

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Dien Bien If you are moving from an other country into the Dien Bien city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Dien Bien has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Dien Bien Phu

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Dien Bien Phu If you are moving from an other country into the Dien Bien Phu city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Dien Bien Phu has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike [...]

Fishing in Dak Lak

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Dak Lak If you are moving from an other country into the Dak Lak city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Dak Lak has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Da Nang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Da Nang If you are moving from an other country into the Da Nang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Da Nang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Da Lat

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Da Lat If you are moving from an other country into the Da Lat city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Da Lat has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Chi Linh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Chi Linh If you are moving from an other country into the Chi Linh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Chi Linh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Chau Doc

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Chau Doc If you are moving from an other country into the Chau Doc city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Chau Doc has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Cao Lanh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Cao Lanh If you are moving from an other country into the Cao Lanh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Cao Lanh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Cao Bang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Cao Bang If you are moving from an other country into the Cao Bang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Cao Bang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Can Tho

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Can Tho If you are moving from an other country into the Can Tho city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Can Tho has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Cam Ranh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Cam Ranh If you are moving from an other country into the Cam Ranh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Cam Ranh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Cam Pha

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Cam Pha If you are moving from an other country into the Cam Pha city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Cam Pha has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ca Mau

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ca Mau If you are moving from an other country into the Ca Mau city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ca Mau has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Buon Ma Thuot

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Buon Ma Thuot If you are moving from an other country into the Buon Ma Thuot city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Buon Ma Thuot has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike [...]

Fishing In Binh Thuan

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Binh Thuan If you are moving from an other country into the Binh Thuan city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Binh Thuan has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Binh Phuoc

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Binh Phuoc If you are moving from an other country into the Binh Phuoc city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Binh Phuoc has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Binh Duong

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Binh Duong If you are moving from an other country into the Binh Duong city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Binh Duong has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Binh Dinh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Binh Dinh If you are moving from an other country into the Binh Dinh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Binh Dinh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Bien Hoa

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Bien Hoa If you are moving from an other country into the Bien Hoa city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Bien Hoa has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ben Tre

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ben Tre If you are moving from an other country into the Ben Tre city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ben Tre has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Bao Loc

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Bao Loc If you are moving from an other country into the Bao Loc city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Bao Loc has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Bac Ninh

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Bac Ninh If you are moving from an other country into the Bac Ninh city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Bac Ninh has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Bac Lieu

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Bac Lieu If you are moving from an other country into the Bac Lieu city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Bac Lieu has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Bac Kan

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Bac Kan If you are moving from an other country into the Bac Kan city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Bac Kan has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Bac Giang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Bac Giang If you are moving from an other country into the Bac Giang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Bac Giang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Ba Ria Vung Tau

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ba Ria Vung Tau If you are moving from an other country into the Ba Ria Vung Tau city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ba Ria Vung Tau has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with [...]

Fishing In Ba Ria

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Ba Ria If you are moving from an other country into the Ba Ria city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Ba Ria has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In An Giang

Top 10 Places for Fishing in An Giang If you are moving from an other country into the An Giang city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. An Giang has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more [...]

Fishing In Hanoi

Top 10 Places for Fishing in Hanoi If you are moving from an other country into the Hanoi city and you are concerned that you may struggle to indulge your passion for angling then don’t worry. Hanoi has plenty of ponds, rivers and reservoirs teeming with carp, trout, pike and many more fish. Fishing in [...]

Quang Binh

Quang Binh is a province in Vietnam, about 490km south of Hanoi. The entire area spans 8,037sqkm and serves as home to a population of more than 800,000 people. The city of Dong Hoi is the provincial capital. Quang Binh has diverse terrain with everything from mountains to lowlands, forests and islands, as well as [...]

Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is 120km south of Hanoi, famed for its tranquil countryside typical of northern Vietnam. While Halong Bay has karst islands sprouting out of the emerald water, Ninh Binh has karst mountains sprouting out of the sea of green rice fields. On Halong Bay, travelers take luxury junk cruises amid the islands; at Ninh [...]

Vinh

Vinh is in the north of the Central Region of Vietnam. The capital city of Nghe An is Vinh City, 300km south of Hanoi. Vinh is famous for its harsh weather characterized by red-hot summer, floods, drought and freezing cold winter. Nghe An was known as the "bakery of Indochine" among the French troops. Nghe [...]

Kon Tum

Kon Tum Province is located in the northernmost area of the Central Highlands of Vietnam with mountains, coffee plantations and hill stations above 1,000m in elevation. The region of Kon Tum is home to many ethnic minorities whose life has been basically untouched by far. Kon Tum is not on the travel itineraries of most [...]

Pleiku

The little town of Pleiku, and its surrounds, in southern Vietnam played host to the first conventional battle of the Vietnam War. Today the village stands reconstructed as a quiet, friendly frontier town. The NVA (North Vietnamese Army) attack on Pleiku in 1965 sparked what became known as the Rolling Thunder campaign. Some 10 years [...]

Buon Ma Thuot

Buon Ma Thuot may not be as well known as other places in Vietnam such as Hanoi, but it is worth seeing. It is the provincial capital of Dak Lak (or Dac Lac) Province and approximately 360 kilometres from Saigon, deep in the Central Highlands of the country. Despite being one of the biggest towns [...]

Lai Chau

Nestled in a valley, this small northern town is surrounded by spectacular mountains and the Da River. While there has been a recent increase in tourism to the area, these precious dollars unfortunately reach only a few and it is a poor town. Lai Chau has been particularly successful in trading both timber and opium. [...]

Dien Bien Phu

Best known as the setting for one of the most decisive battles in Vietnam's recent history, Dien Bien Phu is a remote heart-shaped valley just 35kms from the Lao border.

Son La

Head east of Dien Bien Phu and you'll reach paddy and banana plantations nestled amongst limestone hills - entrance to the small town of Son La. Although small, Son La is an industrious, interesting and welcoming town. Wander round taking in the charm of this isolated provincial capital, and be sure to check out the [...]

Mekong Delta

Vietnam’s most fertile region, the Mekong’s riverine environment is simultaneously unique and beautiful. From Vinh Long, travel by sampan along narrow canals to tropical fruit orchards and bonsai gardens; sample freshly-picked fruits and the local delicacy, fried elephant ear fish; and navigate though the waterborne bustle of the area’s famed floating markets. Many of our [...]

Da Lat

A slice of Europe in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, Dalat found favour with the French rulers for its cool climate. Today, Dalat’s mild temperatures are popular with TUI’s travellers, as is the town’s attractive landscape of colonial villas, gardens, lakes and rolling hills. Dalat’s colourful market features locally-made specialities such as artichoke tea, candied [...]

Nha Trang

Its fine beach, island and mountain views, fresh seafood and gentle sea breezes have endeared Nha Trang to many a TUI traveller. We spend time cruising the waters of the South Centre Sea, stopping to swim from our boat and visit an island fishing village. Whether eating on board, in the spectacularly located villas of [...]

My Lai

The small town of My Lai is best known for the tragedy that betook this area, known to locals as Tu Cung Hamlet, at the hands of US Charlie Company on March 16, 1968. The massacre of civilians in the hamlets of Son My Village, now known in history as the My Lai Massacre, is [...]

Hoi An

The small town of Hoi An is the perfect place to break your journey midway through Vietnam. Located on the country’s magnificent central coast, this one-time trading port retains an old world ambience and a rich historical quality that resulted in its recent listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Let TUI escort you through [...]

Centre Beach

Not far from Danang lies My Khe - better known as the famed Centre Beach. US and Australian servicemen were helicoptered in here for R&R; during the Vietnam war. A great expanse of white sand stretches out before a rough ocean just 7kms from Danang's centre. Taking in Centre Beach from the heights of Marble [...]

Hue

Vietnam’s 19-20th Century capital under her last royal dynasty, Hue is a quiet and attractive city home to some of Vietnam’s most impressive feudal remnants. TUI will guide you through the landmark Citadel, once the residence of the royal family, where we climb the Citadel’s colossal Ngo Mon Gate for views over the Thai Hoa [...]

Reunification Express

It's not the Orient Express, but Vietnam's Reunification Express is a great, fun way to travel. We use this train on our Grand Adventure, Inside Vietnam and Cambodia, Cycling Vietnam and New Vietnam tours (although note that New Vietnam travellers can take the flight option). Conditions on the Reunification Express are basic. It has four [...]

Mai Chau

Located in a beautiful upland valley, Mai Chau is a mosaic of rice fields, bamboo groves, and scattered settlements of the White Tai people. It is the Tai who give this valley its unique atmosphere, with their picturesque villages of bamboo and timber houses raised on stilts. Tai women are skilled weavers, with looms in [...]

Halong Bay

With its thousands of limestone islets emerging from the South China Sea, Halong Bay is Vietnam’s premier natural attraction. Now a World Heritage site the bay’s towering cliffs, jungle-topped islands, hidden caves, grottoes and calm waters are a must-see for any visitor to the north of Vietnam. Cruise this magical environment with TUI, aboard a [...]

Sapa

Located in Vietnam’s remote north west mountains, Sapa is famous for both its fine, rugged scenery and also its rich cultural diversity. Its lush, deep river valleys, in the shadows of Vietnam’s tallest peak Mount Fansipan, are home to Blue H’mong and Red Dao communities, who continue to maintain their strong traditions and warmly welcome [...]

Hanoi

Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi is a city of numerous captivating faces. The traditional commercial bustle, street markets, chaotic traffic and fascinating shophouse architecture of the Old Quarter contrast dramatically with the quiet lakes, historic temples, shady city parks and regal architecture of the French colonial districts. Hanoi’s 1,000 year history has lent the city this [...]

Cu Chi Tunnels

Just 70 kilometres northwest of Saigon lies one of the most fascinating historical sights of Vietnam's recent conflicts. The beginnings of the Cu Chi tunnels date back to Vietnam's struggle for independence from the French, but it was not until the American War that the tunnel network was widely expanded to cover a total distance [...]

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

One of Asia’s most vibrant and welcoming cities, Saigon (as it is still popularly known) is a cultural melting pot with something to offer every traveller. Join TUI to discover the many faces of this city - our home in South East Asia. District 1 is the best place to start with its many historic [...]

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