Vietnam differs in a lot of ways from its Southeast Asian neighbours. The source of this lies amongst other things in the moving history of the country.For about 1000 years Vietnam the country was reigned over by the Chinese. Furthermore the French colonised Vietnam 1858 for about 100 years, which was mostly to ease the trade with China by sea. Just in 2013 Vietnam celebrated 40 years of diplomatic relationship with France to celebrate the French-Vietnamese friendship.
1. Vietnamese cuisine
The top reason has to be the food. It is just amazing how different the cuisine of the Vietnamese people is from the rest of the southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Laos or Cambodia. As a result you won’t be able to find a more diversified, light and healthy cuisine than here. By all means the most famous dish has to be the Pho which is a rich clear noodle soup served with different meats as well as fresh herbs, chillies and sauces you add according to your taste.
2. A hint of France in Southeast Asia
The colonisation ended 1954 but you will still find a lot of French influences every now and then. From catholic churches to the big coffee culture in the country, which is known to be especially strong and bold in flavour. Therefore the coffee is mostly drunk with some sweet condensed milk at the bottom of your cup and if you like with some ice – super refreshing. Also you will find amazing breads which mostly are famously used for the Bahn My, the Vietnamese baguette sandwich
3. The Vietnamese friendliness
The Vietnamese are extremely friendly and helpful hosts. The language barriers may exist but they can be overcome easily with your hands and some gestures. It is not unusual to sit in a restaurant and some Vietnamese locals just invite you for a beer or pay for your food.
4. Hanoi´s Old Quarter
If you come to Vietnam for the first time you should definitely look for accommodation in the old quarter. In this place massive new impressions will patter onto you. Next to many souvenir and shopping possibilities you will find great food at almost every corner and small alleyways exposing the daily life of the locals to you. You should also try the local daily fresh brewed Bia Hoi. This beer is easy to drink and a glass will cost you only about INR15!
5. Budget travelling
Vietnam is definitely one of the most budget destinations. If you go for the right stalls a meal won’t cost you more than about INR40 – 80.Accommodation is also super cheap. In the Old Quarter we mentioned earlier you can find great social dorm rooms including breakfast and free beer every day for about INR160 – 240. Travelling by bus or train will also cost you less than INR800 per ride depending on the individual fare.
6. The Hai-Van-Pass
The Hai-Van-Pass is one of the most beautiful roads in Vietnam. In general buying or renting a Bike in Vietnam is really cheap and the roads are all gorgeous but you definitely shouldn’t miss out on this Pass. Driving to beautiful mountains and all of this right next to the open sea. A popular way to start from is Hue from where you either take the Pass to Da Nang. The pass itself is just 20km long but including the total journey from Hue to Da Nang and making stops on the way for the amazing beaches and views it is a perfect day trip.