|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.