Welcome to the last post of ‘WHAT’S IN SOUTHEAST ASIA?‘ blog series.
Last week I posted about Thailand.
Well now, I’m gonna show you the very last country in Southeast Asia but not least and it is called Vietnam!

According to WIKIPEDIA,
Vietnam officially known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam has an extensive state-controlled network of schools, colleges and universities, and a growing number of privately run and partially privatised institutions

The official national language of Vietnam is Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt), a tonal Mon–Khmer language which is spoken by the majority of the population.

The French language, a legacy of colonial rule, is spoken by many educated Vietnamese as a second language, especially among the older generation and those educated in the former South Vietnam, where it was a principal language in administration, education and commerce; Vietnam remains a full member of the Francophonie, and education has revived some interest in the language

What can you do in Vietnam?

As we might heard a lot about Vietnam, war history is the only one we’ve known about it. Movies and media give a lot of information about Vietnam, but they ‘frame’ it so ‘interesting’ and we know that.

Despite all the news and history we knew, Vietnam have a lot of places to offers and it really touching you by their own story.

Once a lesser-known destination, Vietnam has become widely popular in recent years. With Hanoi consistently ranked among the world’s top 10 destinations by TripAdvisor, one can now find European tourists as far as in Ha Giang, one of the most remote mountainous provinces.

Ha Long Bay
The bay is famous for its scenic ocean karst topography and is often included in lists of natural wonders of the world. Ha long Bay is a bay located in the area of the Gulf of Tangkia, north of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The Ha Long Bay archipelago is made up of 1,969 islands, both settled and uninhabited. These can be accessed from various ports, though in the special case of Cat Ba you can also arrive either by car, motorbike or bus or combined bus/boat.

This unique UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular place for tourists and it is good to know that large parts of Ha Long Bay are officially protected from development. The islands vary greatly in size and shape as well as structure.

The islands can be accessed from various ports, such as
-Haiphong, a large historic port city at the mouth of the Red River that and the fourth largest city in Vietnam

-Halong City, spanning a portion of the northern part of the archipelago. Note that there are multiple ports within this town, in that at least one port exists that is wholly distinct from that of the tourist boat piers.

-Cai Rong, a small port serving the north-easterly part of the archipelago.

As one of favorite island in Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba or the home of the endangered cat: Ba langur, a national park, numerous caves and the most popular destination in Ha Long Bay for tourists. It can either accessed by local bus and ferry from Hanoi’s Lương Yên bus station (recommended), by tourist boat from Halong City (a five hour ‘hard sell’ ordeal; this is what the hordes of Hanoi package tourists do), or by local bus or ferry from Haiphong (less scenic).

Mỹ Sơn
Mỹ Sơn is a set of ruins from the ancient Cham Empire in the central coast of Vietnam. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is commonly visited as a day trip from Hoi An and Danang cities.

Much of the site was destroyed by US carpet bombing during the Second Indochina War (US: Vietnam War; Vietnam: American War.) It is considered one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia, and one of the most important heritage sites of this nature in Vietnam.

The name Mỹ Sơn means beautiful mountain in Vietnamese. The temple complex is located in a valley, surrounded by mountains, the sides of which are covered in thick jungle. Hon Quap (Cat’s Tooth Mountain) overlooks the site, its crooked peak mimicked by the architecture of some temples’ roofs. These mountains are the source of the Thu Bon river, a holy river which flows through the site.

Most people visit My Son on tours. Since the ruins are relatively small, the park is easily overwhelmed by the large volume of visitors. It is best to visit in the late afternoon when the tour groups have departed. Most tours depart by 2:00 PM.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang

Phong Nha has now become well known as one of the most beautiful and interesting areas of Vietnam. Tourism in the area is booming, and the choice of transport, eateries, accommodation and tours improves all the time. Coming to Phong Nha really does provide a chance to get out in the real Vietnam on a bicycle or walking and soak it up.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang is full of large cave systems, the most famous being the Son Doong, Paradise Cave, Hang En and Phong Nha Cave. An 2013 it was announced that tours to the largest cave in the world.

The best way to see the National Park is on a tour, as you get a lot of information from experienced guides. The Phong Nha Farmstay National Park Tour is the original and best, but there are now some cheaper options which aren’t as good.

Con Dao
Con Dao islands are a group of 16 islands. The largest island is known as Con Son.

Con Dao served as a prison island for political prisoners during the French colonial era, when it was known as Poulo Condore, and in later years the Saigon regime imprisoned opponents of the regime in the infamous cells known as the “tiger cages”. The old prison buildings are still standing and are open to the public as is a small museum tracing the island’s history.

Con Dao has the best diving and snorkeling in Vietnam. The coral is relatively untouched and very impressive, with giant coral heads (relative to the rest of Southeast Asia). The marine life includes turtles, rays, giant barracuda, cuttlefish, cobia, and dugongs as well as a whole host of tropical reef fish. There are sixteen islands to choose from. Water clarity ranges from 10M to 20M, but during the winter, prevailing winds may limit access to all of the dive sites.

Ha Giang
Ha Giang is a province in the northeast region of Vietnam, impresses visitors with its high karst plateau, steep hills, winding roads and ethnic diversity. It is ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking and camping with a lot of ancient views to offer.

Rice terrace of Hoang Su Phi is an upland district of Ha Giang Province, it takes around 100km by bus from the center of Ha Giang to Hoang Su Phi. recognized as National Heritage in 2012, Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields is an ideal destination for sightseeing as well as photographers.

Hmong King Palace is located in Xa Phin Village of Dong Van District, which is around 24km away from the district’s centre. This is not only a historical relic but also a fabulous architectural landmark of local ethnic groups. This edifice is also a destination always interested many visitors.

Lung Cu Flag Tower was built on the top of Dragon mountain, in the district of Dong Van and modeled on the flag tower of Hanoi. At the foot tower, there is a commemorative house, where displays production tools, costumes and cultural products of the ethnic groups in Ha Giang. The staircase that leads to the summit has 389 stone steps but to reach the top of the tower, you must also climb a spiral iron staircase of 140 steps.

Dong Van Old Town is located in the middle of valley surrounded by rocks. The common architecture here is the two-story house and yin and yang roofs.

NB: Vietnam using Dong (VND) as their currency.

There are few things you could do in Vietnam even there’s a lot of things you could explore and much more than the list I made.

It just a thing when you’re a perk of being a Southeast Asian, you have a lot of similarity but there’s something different in that. Which is our uniqueness and foreign like to come.

That’s it for Vietnam!
About 2 or 3 months ago, when I decided to create this content series, I never thought that this is gonna work. So many obstacles I need to overcome and some motivation to push me.

Not only that, the thing is I never go to the countries I write before. Not like all the countries, but like 50% of it I never visiting before. And the word of ‘mess’ showed up for like a week.

But you know what? Everyone have their own way to lead. So I did some research for this series, I mean thanks to wikipedia (for a lot of reason you contributed the most to my blog) and some videos from YouTube vloggers!

They are my inspiration to keep writing and what content I could write. With this last post of Vietnam, I hope you guys could enjoy Southeast Asia and thanks for stoping by!

(Note; As you might see all the pictures are credit to @visitvietnam @ig_vietnam and @sixsensescondao you should check their Instagram!)

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