|Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)||Eco-Lodges|
|Size: 331,698 km² / 128,069 mi²||Favorite Restaurants|
|Landscape: rainforest, beaches, mountains, river deltas, highlands, coastal lowlands|
|Activities: hiking, diving, snorkeling, river excursions, wildlife watching, swimming, surfing|
Vietnam is arguably one of the most interesting and exciting destinations in Southeast Asia. Many know it for the war that was fought there, but the “new” Vietnam has evolved far beyond it’s violent past and the strict communist rule that followed the war. This country has seen a renaissance of business, commerce, and freedom. With this exciting new era there’s a huge surge in tourism (especially of the eco variety) as well as new restaurants and other amenities. That being said, the old Vietnam of markets and village life is still alive and well. Boasting a 3,444 km / 2,140 mi long coastline, you can find a beach for every day of the year here. And while colonialism rarely does anyone any good, the French left behind a legacy of great bread and cuisine making Vietnam a food lover’s delight.
TOP SPOTS IN VIETNAM
Can Tho Province is one of Vietnams most dynamic and exciting destinations. Located in the heart of the Mekong Delta, the floating markets here are an absolute wonder to experience. Here, locals buy and sell fruits, vegetables and other goods from brightly-colored sampans and small boats. The most popular are the Cai Rang and the Phong Dien markets. The former, located on the Hau River, is the larger of the two and will give you a sense of the sheer volume of business that goes down here each and every morning. The latter, on the narrow Can Tho River, which is smaller and therefore a bit more crazy and hectic, provides a more intimate experience, as you can get right into the mix. The action starts at dawn, and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make sure to add a cruise through the canals on your way back from visiting the markets. This peaceful float through tiny villages and farms is a nice way to unwind from the hectic hustle and bustle of Vietnamese commerce in full swing.
- Cai Rang Market near Can Tho
- Cai Rang Market from our little boat
- A soup boat at Cai Rang Market offers delicious breakfast
- The sticks on the boats at Cai Rang Market indicate what is sold
- Cai Rang Market consists of pretty big boats selling their produce
- Cai Rang Market is, like most floating markets, at its busiest at dawn
- Local woman on the way to Phong Dien Market
- Phong Dien Market consist of only small boats and is therfore more cozy and bustling
- The marketers at Phong Dien are only women
- Phong Dien Market is a festival of chitchat, merciless haggling and colors
- It's easy to lose track at Phong Dien Market
- Phong Dien Market is a real experience if you come in a boat just as big as the local marketers'
- Visit Phong Dien Market in a tiny boat and ind yourself surrounded by countless women trying to sell you ten things at a time
- Life along the Mekong Canals
- Farmer harvesting lotus flowers in a Mekong Canal
- Footbridge over a Mekong Canal (not for the faint at heart!)
- After we had ordered lunch Michaela was given a snake that entertained us until our meals were brought