Top ten tourist attractions in Vietnam

A travel list website that features the most amazing sights around the world divided into various “best of” lists on Touropia website: 10. Cu Chi Tunnels: The Cu Chi Tunnels are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located about 70km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City center. The tunnels, measuring 200km in total length, were used by liberation soldiers as hiding spots during the Vietnam War and were the base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels have become a popular tourist attraction, and visitors are invited to crawl around in the safer parts of the tunnel system. 9. Nha Trang: Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most popular seaside resort town located along the second most beautiful bays in the country. It features beautiful beaches with fine and clean sand and clear ocean water with mild temperatures. The city has about 300,000 inhabitants and is more lively and urban in character than other beach destinations like Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. It’s also a major scuba diving center of Vietnam. 8. Mekong Delta: The Mekong Delta is the region in southern Vietnam where the river approaches and empties into the sea. It is a very rich and lush area, covered with rice fields, that produces about half of the total of Vietnam’s agricultural output. Subsequently, life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and all the villages are often accessible by river rather than by road. 7. Mui Ne: The formerly little-inhabited beach south of the fishing village of Mui Ne has seen some serious development in the last 15 years. Due to strong sea breezes, it is a popular destination in Vietnam for kite and windsurfing. No trip to Mui Ne is complete without a trip to the famous sand dunes located a short distance north of the town. The vast sandy expanse provides some great panoramic views, especially during sunset. 6. Sa Pa Terraces: Sa Pa is a town in northwest Vietnam not far from the Chinese border. Rice terraces can be found in the Muong Hoa valley between Sa Pa Town and the Fansipan Mountain, on a backdrop of thick bamboo woodlands. Local mountain people, the Hmong, Giay, Dao, Tay, and Giay, grow rice on these paddy terraces, along with vegetables. 5. Phu Quoc Island: Located in front of the Cambodia coast, Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam. Phu Quoc is what Phuket would be if it hadn’t been overrun by development. The island features pristine tropical forests, undamaged coral reefs, and great beaches. One of its beaches, named Bai Dai (Long Beach), was chosen by the ABC News as one of five beautiful and clean beaches. Phu Quoc is famous for producing the best nuoc mam or fermented fish sauce in the world. 4. Hoi An: This fishing-village-turned tourist attraction is situated on the coast of the East Sea. Hoi An has been an international port from the 16th century although the serious shipping business has long since moved to the city of Da Nang. The heart of the city is still the Old Town, full of winding … [Read more...]

Life inside Cu Chi tunnels

According to Mr Dao, in 1962, 1963, Cu Chi people responded to the campaign of digging tunnels and so did Phu My Hung ward. Used to dig the tunnels since 14 years old, Mr. Nguyen Van Tien (born in 1935 in Phu My Hung ward) understand than anyone else the toughness of the days that he called “nest underground”. He recalled: “When I was small, seeing my parents digging, I also joined until the day the Party launched the campaign. That time, everyone was having impetus, together compete to dig. Those are the first day I fight.” Mr. Nguyen Van Tien was from Go Vap district. He said: “I remember the day I hold a small hoe to dig every cm of soil. Those day were like festival of digging. Everyone, woman, man, young, old joined. Everyone has his own job. There were clear assignments before digging: the old pull and trace earth, the young take turns to dig the tunnels.” Mentioning about the techniques to have such a system of thoroughly connecting tunnels, both Mr. Dao and Mr Tien confirm: “There were no one knows about the job. When you have no experience, you find it hard. But when you are familiar with it, it is like a piece of cake. The thing is how to keep secret.” Accordingly, the maker need to keep the main requirements like: Two sidewalls need to be vertical straight and even. There are no convexo-concave, the floor is flat, the ceiling is in dome form. The bleed valve is gradually small to the top, etc.” The tunnels are mainly the complex of layers of tunnels. To complete a system of long tunnels in hundreds of km, people need to be separated into groups and dig in the different areas or even different wards. Mr. Tien describe: “Each group in charge of a tunnel. The position of the mouth of tunnels is decided beforehand. People use their experience to make the tunnels connected. There were no contributions of modern science. The tunnels maker often based on the sound resounded from the other side to measure the accuracy of the tunnels direction or how far to it. It needs a close attention to recognize and meet each other underground in the dark.” … [Read more...]

Father of Cu Chi tunnels

Father of Cu Chi is a pure farmer, named Nguyen Van Bo. To mark the fact, Mr. Le Van Dao – former colonel who joined in digging the tunnels in the long time, said: “The tunnels were formed in the French war but it was very primitive. It was created by Mr. Nguyen Van Bo, a pure farmer. The first purpose of Mr. Sau Bo is to make the dug-out for local people to avoid bullet and bomb.” Realizing this is a good way, people do like him to avoid death. “That time, the whole village did like Mr. Sau Bo. In the first moment, the tunnels were quite effective though it was simple. They were even spoiled and not convenient. “ According to Mr. Dao, the tunnels were often made in the nulgar bamboo with 1.2m wide and 2m long. The tunnel cover is made from wood, which makes it easy to ruin. Then, when the Party launched the program to dig tunnels, until 1961, the similar simple tunnels like Nguyen Van Bo’s were detected. Mr. Le Van Dao remember: “After 1961, people knew more about tunnels. Especially the battle of Ke Doi forest in Phu Hiep village, Phu My Hung ward, Cu Chi tunnels. In this battle field, the number of dead and caught are huge, then there were a campaign of making tunnels. It was Mr. Sau Bo who was the one to guide people. At first, we did not make it because making the wrong choice of soil. Then we gained experiences and new technologies. The thing is most of the techniques are invented by the people who dug but no one were trained.” Accordingly, when digging the tunnels, the tunnels covers will 6m apart. “The covers were under the tree roof, so it is easy to be rotten. The covers now are built, then the water an wind cannot come in. In the empty area, the tunnels are made 10 m apart. The covers are embanked with rich soil and plant trees and weeds. The narrow tunnels are 5m deep, etc.”  remembered Mr. Dao. … [Read more...]

Cu Chi tunnels: Memories and times’ remark

About 70 km from North West of Ho Chi Minh city, Cu Chi tunnels is the firm base of Saigon – Gia Dinh High Command. This is the strong tool for the long-term resistance of Vietnam. Coming to Cu Chi, visitors will see the systems of tunnels with resounding feat of arms. This is the unique work with the system of underground tunnels with many floors and corners like a spider net of more than 200km. It has the place to eat, to have meeting, and to fight. The system express the unyielding and intelligence of Vietnamese people and Cu Chi people in particular. Apart of visiting the works that retrace the clear zone of Cu Chi in 1960 – 1975, the former sight of Cu Chi village before the war, the devastated sight of war to the village, the model of “strategic group” which was used by America to control the people, etc, visitors will see the honor temple of Duoc harbor martyrs. This is the project to welcome 20 years of liberation. You will also have a chance of visiting the temple ground with the theme “Unyielding Saigon – Cholon people.”; visit the project of rare woods collected from all over Vietnam with typical symbols like: “One pillar pagoda (Hanoi), Southern gate (Hue), Nha Rong harbor (Ho Chi Minh city). Visitors can also enjoy the pure fresh air and shopping in the areas of local specialties. Cu Chi tunnels are interesting destinations to visit and review the tradition, and that is the ideal outdoors activities and camping site for students and groups. … [Read more...]

Cu Chi tunnels: Yesterday and Now

Base on the tunnels, partners and fighting trench of Cu Chi, people and soldiers of Cu Chi districts made extraordinary feat of arms and exploits. American soldiers had to name Cu Chi “Dangerous secret area”. Forming in the French war with the local people’s contribution, until being recognized and destroyed by American soldiers, there have been still hundreds of km of tunnels. From this area, people and soldiers organized hundreds of battle fields to beat 20,000 enemies, 5,000 tanks, 250 aero planes and tens of boat. This is one the places that earns most of the human and material resources, then attacked to the central of Saigon in Mau Than New Year 1968. Many foreigners do not believe in the statistics of Cu Chi tunnels. For them, 200km of underground tunnels with systems of hospitals, schools, kitchens, etc with thousands of people living inside are impossible. Only until crawling in the tunnels themselves do they clear the doubts and gain the admiration for Vietnamese. Jimmy Craig, American visitor, has to burst: “Before coming to Vietnam, I have known about Cu Chi tunnels, however, I can still not believe that how can you build and keep exist in these tunnels. Even I saw it myself, I still think it is too small to live in.” After the war, from a dead area with tens of thousands of bomb and mine and dotted lands of landmine, people of Cu Chi have improved the land together. The landmines are replaced with the green paddy fields, schools, factories, etc. All are still there with steel mind of Cu Chi. The determination for beating enemies turns into the determination to build up the countries. The former underground tunnels became a giant vestige with big museum. Together with the handicraft village of “a glimpse of Vietnam” with more than 20 kinds of traditional handicraft, all creates a connecting tourism area to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. … [Read more...]

Learn the Vietnamese’s spirit and life in war time

The ground here is hard clay. But even so, the planning and construction was incredible. People, mainly the Vietnamese soldiers dug all this at a rate of just one or two meters a day with hand tools, filling reed baskets and dumping the dirt into bomb craters. They installed large vents so they could hear approaching helicopters, smaller vents for air and baffled vents to dissipate cooking smoke.  There were also hidden trap doors and gruesomely effective bamboo-stake booby traps. After one last wriggle, tourists will soon be tired but then come up at a snack stand where they are offered the taro root and green tea that the tunnel residents used to eat during war time. If tourists want to pose as a Cu Chi guerrilla, they can be showed by the local guide to dress up with broad-brimmed hat (non tai beo), rubber sandals (dep rau), loose-fitting blouse (ao ba ba), bandanna (khan ran). Besides, handicraft, such as lacquer and timber products are for sale which are cheap and suitable for souvenirs. Most impressive are a variety of items made from original war scraps. Nearby, for a dollar a bullet, visitors can have a go at firing an AK-47 or an aging US-made M16 after a quick training session on how to hold the gun and fire. It is said that Cu Chi Tunnels are a traditional rendezvous for many generations of city people and neighboring local people and is much appreciated by foreigner tourists when visiting Vietnam. With yesterday Cu Chi and today Cu Chi, the will to defend the country and aspiration for peace of Vietnamese people are mingled with each other harmoniously. With high humidity inside Cu Chi Tunnels, tourists are so dripping wet with sweat that they can hardly hold onto their cameras but will be able to have an incredible admiration for the people who lived and carried on their struggle here. … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s travel impression 2013

Though Vietnam’s economics still meets difficulties in general, there is still growth in tourism in 2013. Below is impressions about Vietnam’s tourism in the experts’ and foreign visitors’ evaluation. 1. Vietnam ranks second in Asia in world’s tourism development: This is the result of the global poll research which is just announced in Tourism Fare in London. 2. Cu Chi tunnels is one of the twelve underground tourism destinations in the world. The underground defense system of Cu Chi is in the list voted by CNN paper. 3. Hanoi is in top ten rising destinations in the world: In the list of 10 rising destinations in the world voted by TripAdvisor, Hanoi ranks eighth. 4. Mai Chau, Hoa Binh: is in top ten most interesting experience destinations in the world. This is the list voted by Business Insider. 5. Halong Bay is in top ten most beautiful coast land in the world: Hufflington Post online newspaper in America has voted 10 most beautiful coast land in the world. Vietnam with Halong bay is also in the list. 6. Hoi An ancient town in top 10 tourism city in Asia. The town is holding no 2 in the list voted by Conde Nast traveler magazine (America). … [Read more...]

Cu Chi tunnels have more for you

Not only discovering the underground mystery while coming to Cu Chi, you can also visit the lake emulated the East Vietnam sea and join in the amusement activities. To be born in peace and only know the war in books, there’s no reason to have a day in the steel land of Cu Chi to know more about history. About 70km from center Ho Chi Minh city, you have many choices to get to Cu Chi: car, bus, or even canoe from city center. The entrance fee is 80,000 VND ($4) for foreigners. The tribute temple of soldiers in the war appears in the entrance before you reach Duoc harbor, a peaceful well-aired area inside. After the Duoc area, you need to buy another entrance ticket to the tunnels (90,000VND or $4.5). This is the favorite parts of all visitors with the small models of Cu Chi tunnels in the whole. The system of 200km tunnels are opened in some parts. They are opened and lighted up to let visitors come inside. You will crawling along the tunnels with the stuffy air. But they are the memorable experiences. The whole underground city appears with the living rooms, the kitchen, the meeting rooms, etc. The war feeling is more clear when you have a chance to taste the cassava and sea-same right in the tunnels. Only some minutes crawling and creeping through the small tunnels, you will know about history of Vietnam’s soldiers. Coming back to the ground, you will feel the happy of back to the light and air. It is best to water your face and blown by dry air. The end of the tunnels have some small stalls with corn, water melon, coconut milks, etc. You will continue to see the museum of handmade weapon, the Hoang Cam kitchen, which are no less interesting than the area inside tunnels. Watching the traps by your own eyes, some may feel having goose-flesh. Not only a trip back to the history, you can also enjoy modern amusement activities in here. It is interesting to hire a kayak or a swan boat to visit the area of “East sea”, to visit the islands like “Bach Long Vi”, “Hoang Sa”, “Truong Sa”, “Phu Quoc”, etc. All the areas are properly arranged to create a beautiful land. If you like to reduce stress, there is nothing more interesting than swimming in the pool or joining in a painting war. A day in Cu Chi is more than you think. … [Read more...]

Cu Chi tunnels excursion

Upon arrival at the destination, visitors should take a briefing and watch the documentary film before proceeding with visiting walk. Add the tip that the tactical and strategic importance of Cu Chi tunnel system was terrific. The National Liberation Frontier in the south – the anti Saigon regime armed forces – could proudly say they were very close to capital of Saigon within a distance of 35 km as the crows fly. And, every military move from Saigon to Tay Ninh and Cambodia could be watched by Cu Chi guerillas and thus, the alarm would be sent in time to the frontier’s leaders. Next, an American tank is a good group photo stop but if you wonder why delay mine was used to knock down it, refer to this. At that time, all American tanks were equipped with a simple device which would ignite any possible mine ahead. The guerillas were smart enough to “invent” the delay mine with ten to fifteen seconds delayed after being ignited. It would go off certainly while the tank was running over. The most interesting moment is the duck’s walk for 30 – 40 meters underground. Remember to have one photo shot when stepping up from underground and do not miss another one with the local guide in guerrilla uniform who just guided you through. A good way to end up your visit to Cu Chi is a stop at Ben Nay Restaurant for lunch and a view of the peaceful countryside. The other option is to take a canoe ride from Ben Duoc site down along Saigon river back to downtown. Many more photos you will certainly take and unintentionally, you are showing, with war memory left behind, a country at peace and a society with dynamic people. Source: SGGP … [Read more...]

Tranquility of Vietnam’s historic Cu chi tunnels

Most tourists arriving in Ho Chi Minh City are encouraged to head off to the Cu Chi tunnels, many of course in the dark about their true purpose or history apart from maybe a loose understanding that they are related to the war years. I even read recently that U.S. media giant the 120km-long restored tunnel system, which was part of a national network and essential to the revolutionary soldiers during the French and American wars, as one of the world’s top underground tourist attractions. But what the normal blurbs and facts do not inform you is that the area, located around 60km from Ho Chi Minh City, is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in this part of the country. I recall my fellow Scot Greig and I decided to embark on our first-ever bike trip to the tunnels two years ago. He made his way from District 5 to pick me up for our epic journey into the unknown. We had both never ridden a motorbike before moving to Vietnam but there was only one way to learn, and we were confident enough to give it a go. Armed with our smartphone maps, we hit the road and only made a few wrong turns to find the tunnels, as there were no huge signposts leading the way to the Cu Chi tunnels in the eponymous district. Or maybe they were in Vietnamese, not that we noticed. The traffic was not actually as bad as we had thought but we did see a guy with a broken leg with blood gushing out on the way home. It was a scorcher of a day with cool winds flowing through our hair, well that is if we had any. Once we arrived unscathed, we were not sure where to go. But instead of asking, we went on our merry way in search of adventure. Who needs a tour guide? We walked for about half an hour and had to turn back. Of course we had gone the complete wrong way, not noticing you had to nip through some trees to find the hidden entrance. Who likes easy things? We watched some videos about the tunnels, which have been preserved for tourists, before heading to see them for real. The first time you go down is a bit daunting, but once you have popped your cherry, the rest are a breeze, as long as you can fit through them, that is. Beer bellies need not apply. Of course the tunnels were much smaller back in the day; they have been extended to fit tourist frames. I cannot even imagine the discomfort of the soldiers or villagers cramped underground. I suppose when your life is on the line, you do what you have to do. We headed towards one bunker area but were stopped by the guy who obviously thought we were Americans. Maybe some spots are off-limits to certain nationalities. Despite our best attempts at Russian accents, he wouldn’t relent. Maybe next time we can sneak a look to see what we missed out on. Probably nothing and he was leading a different tour but my vivid imagination likes to think different. So we did our usual touristy snapshots of half in half out the tunnels, among the ones that if you went down you may … [Read more...]