The Vietnam war was a long, divisive conflict that tore the country apart. But after 20 years of fighting, the war ended in 1975. The country wanted to rebuild itself after the war and one of the industries they wanted to open up to was tourism. However, even though it was safe to travel to Vietnam after the war, there were still few tourists who made their way to this part of the world. The tourism infrastructure was non-existent and the country was still in shambles. But this was all about to end. Ten years later, tourism started to really pick up and become a significant industry in Vietnam’s economy. You can say that it was in 1993 that the country really experienced a key milestone and that it was then that the world started to notice Vietnam. The reason for this is partly because of the Government change, which made it much easier for international visitors to obtain a visa. Still, the tourism infrastructure was still lacking, the services were poor and the quality standards were not as high as they are today. Vietnam was still a poor country that was trying to heal itself from the horrors of the war and the people were still trying to rebuild their lives. But when tourism in Thailand exploded, Vietnam started to learn from their success and tourist feedback. Why was tourism in Thailand so successful and what could they do to attract more international visitors?
Thanks to the ongoing improvement, the tourism infrastructure has rapidly improved and nowadays, the standard is very high, transportation works perfectly and you can find accommodation with a high standard almost everywhere in the country. From 2007-2010, the tourist influx started to explode and in 2019 there were about 15.9 million visitors coming from all over the world. Not only has the improvement of the infrastructure been beneficial for tourists, but also for the locals who lives there. Health services, walking streets, business opening hours, regulations and rules have all been improved.
If you would compare Vietnam to how it looked like after the war and to how it is now, you’d be surprised! Go to Ho Chi Minh City for example and you’ll see a city that’s very modern, with its tall skyscrapers, wide boulevards and plenty of cultural sights. If you’d like to experience more of the traditional Vietnam, go to the central parts and visit Hue and Hoi An, two exquisite towns that oozes history and beauty. No experience to Vietnam is complete though without visiting the capital city Hanoi. At the heart of the city, you’ll find the Old Quarter, arguably the most charming and historical place in the city and also where you’ll find most travelers. Hanoi is a pulsating city where modern meets tradition. If you’d like to learn more about the war, there are many museums you can visit throughout the country. Some of the most prominent ones lies in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit if you’re truly interested in what happened during the war. You can also visit the old Hoa Lo Prison, also famously known as Hanoi Hilton. Most of the prison has been torn down but the museum occupies the surviving structure.
Although Vietnam has developed rapidly after the war, it’s still in the process of developing. One of the biggest challenges that Vietnam is currently facing is the issue of sustainability. Especially now when the tourism industry is booming, it’s more important than ever to make sure that it develops in the right direction. Since this is still quite a new topic in Vietnam, there needs to be more awareness and education.
The tourism industry has certainly made a huge impact on Vietnam after the war and as it’s continuing to grow, more challenges will arise. But the Vietnamese are resilient and there is no doubt that the people will be prepared for this. The country is already one of the top names in the world when it comes to tourism and has become famous for its many beautiful landscapes, beaches, welcoming locals, stunning architecture, good tourism infrastructure and bustling cities. If you’re doubting whether to come here, you should definitely stop doubting and book your trip to this fascinating country.
Before you arrive, make sure that you have a Vietnam visa. Most nationalities are required to have a valid visa before entering the country, so make sure to check before you leave. There are three visa alternatives you can apply for: Visa on Arrival, E-Visa or go to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply with them. Do note that all of the visa types have its own perks and cons, so do your research before deciding with one suits you best.