When planning your next vacation and which visa stamp you want, I cannot recommend highly enough the beautiful country of Vietnam. It is one of my favourite countries and a place which I will always call home. From the very beginning the people were extremely friendly, the craziness of the country was captivating, the motorbikes zooming in and out of city life fascinated me, the smells of the street feed amazed me and the scenery really blew me away. Vietnam is both an incredibly interesting country to visit, filled with rich culture and history and also an incredibly cheap holiday destination. You can buy yourself a beer for just 20c and have dinner for $3! There really is no place like Vietnam. So, here it is, 5 Reasons To Get A Visa to Vietnam.
1. The scenery
If you’re looking to get a Visa On Arrival to a country that has it all- beaches, mountains, jungle, history, temples, cities and coastal roads then Vietnam is the place to be! You can enjoy the hustle and bustle and craziness of cities such as Hanoi and HCM which come with excellent night life, cheap beer, lots of energy and a real buzz about them.
Then there are more relaxed cities such as Danang and Hoi An, which sit right on the beach so you can soak in coastal life in a much quitter atmosphere that still includes the cheap beer. From Hoi An and Da Nang there are some amazing mountains to be climbed, waterfalls to be visited and Temples to be seen- more on that later!
For something a little more peaceful there are the beautiful rural villages in Mau Chau and Ninh Binh in the North and the Mekong Delta in the South. These places are full of lush rice paddies and the sound of birds and have many waterways and waterfalls to be explored.
Speaking of amazing waterways there is also the magical lime stone cliffs and caves of Halong Bay which are a UNESCO listed heritage site. Of course, we also can’t forget the mountainous regions of Phong Nha and Sapa, towering above you with spectacular views for miles around.
For a real treat take a motorbike, car or train and enjoy the Ho Chi Minh trail which goes from the North of the country to the South and takes you past the most phenomenal scenery. The best thing is how quickly it changes and just how much variety there is. You really can see beaches, mountains, waterfalls, temples and jungle all in one day!
2. The food:
For foodies, Vietnam is the place to be! It has everything you could wish for from spicy to savoury, from noodles and rice to hot pot, BBQ and spring rolls. (More on food later!) You really can find something to suit everyone when you visit Vietnam, from piping hot, fresh off the stand street food to local restaurants which serve you chopsticks and iced tea to Western restaurants that also serve Asian Fusion/ Vietnamese cuisine. Not a big fan of spice? Just ask the waiter or street lady to leave it out. Love a kick to your dish? Pile on the chillies! Some of the most popular dishes in Vietnam as BBQ noodles (Bun Cha), Noodle Soup (Pho), Rice noodle pancake (Banh Xeo) and BBQ chicken with honey bread- a Hanoian delicacy. You can also find cuisine from Thailand, Korea, China, Japan, Italy, France, the UK, US, India and pretty much everywhere else! (So don’t worry if, like me, you are a bit of a fussy eater!).
3. The Weather:
Ok, so crazy hot, humid weather may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I am a big fan of the hot, sunny weather in the South of Vietnam. There’s nothing like a scorching hot day, with blue skies and not a cloud in sight to lay by the pool or chill on the beach all day. Yes, it does rain quite a lot in Vietnam (Especially in the rainy season) but a little rain ever hurt anyone. Actually, with the heat, it’s actually quite refreshing. Just make sure you always carry a raincoat or umbrella with you- even if it looks sunny! The hot, tropical weather also means there are frequent thunderstorms which are truly spectacular. I’m talking flashing lightning that lights u the entire sky, forked lighting from the tip of the horizon all the way down to the ground, thunder so loud it sounds like the Earth might be going to crack in two, rain so heavy you can’t see anything in front of you. Watching these crazy lightning storms from the comfort of your hotel room or apartment, a rooftop bar or café is a truly great experience and one of my favourites of Vietnam. OK, not so fun to get caught in one but watching them from a nice dry place is truly exhilarating.
4. The craziness
I’ve eaten snake and drank rice wine. I’ve been on crazy pub crawls and ridden motorbike across the country. I’ve seen women dressed in clothes from head to foot in 40 degree heat to ensure they look as “white” as possible and don’t catch the sun, I’ve seen men with finger nails that are about 5 inches long and I’ve watched people doing early morning exercise classes in the park with everyone watching.
Vietnam is full of surprises so come and experience it for yourself!