Welcome to a world where the colours are more vivid, where the landscapes are bolder, the coastline more dramatic, where the history is more compelling, where the tastes are more divine, where life is lived in the fast lane. This world is Vietnam, the latest Asian dragon to awake from its slumber.

Nature has blessed Vietnam with a bountiful harvest of soaring mountains, a killer coastline and radiant rice fields, Vietnam is a cracker. Inland, peasant women in conical hats still tend to their fields, children ride buffalos along country paths and minority people scratch out a living from impossible gradients.

Vietnam is a nation of determined optimists who have weathered war after war, survived colonialism and communism, and are now getting to grips with the wheeler-dealer world of capitalism. Fiercely protective of their independence and sovereignty, the Vietnamese are graciously welcoming of foreigners who come as guests not conquerors.

Don’t believe the hype. Or the propagandist party billboards that are as common as statues of ‘Uncle Ho’. Believe your senses, as you discover one of the most enriching, enlivening and exotic countries on earth.

To escape the buzz of millions of motorbikes, head west to the watery landscape of green fields and sleepy villages in the Mekong Delta. There’s adventure galore to be had on Phu Quoc Island and stunning white-sand beaches to relax on. Back on the east coast at Mui Ne Beach, you’ll be faced with a similar dilemma: action or inertia?

Hoi An might weigh you down - but in a good way - you’re bound to add kilos of made-to-order clothing to your luggage. With an estimated 300 to 500 tailors working in this beautiful city, this is fashionista heaven.

To feel the intellectual, cultural and spiritual heartbeat of Vietnam, make a stop in the old imperial capital, Hué. Home to palaces and pagodas, tombs and temples, and host of the biennial arts festival, the Festival of Hué (www.huefestival.com), it’s the place to go for historical, cultural and culinary stimulation.
In Hanoi, the country’s captivating capital, rise early to watch the city exercise by Hoan Kiem Lake, then pay your respects in person to Uncle Ho at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (a truly surreal experience). See if you can locate ‘pickled fish street’ in the Old Quarter (it’s somewhere near ‘wooden bowls street’), and cool off with draught beer at ‘bia hoi junction’ (a truly rewarding experience).
Eventually you’ll be enticed out of the city by the stunning offerings of the country’s northern provinces. Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of Halong Bay and its 2000 limestone karsts, nor the experience of trekking around mountainous Sapa.
Vietnam has it all. Go expecting the unexpected, be ready for an adventure as much as a holiday, and Vietnam will deliver.

Why travel to Vietnam?
Vietnam is a country that has fought numerous wars and undergone much suffering. Yet you will find not trace of either war or suffering.
It’s a real wonder! A unique country where traditions that are thousands of year old are still alive and respected. A country where young generation – among the youngest in the world – do not talk of war and bitterness but welcome all, including Americans, as they say: “if you come as a friend, I will open my hands and hear for you”.

How to you make this voyage of discovery? It’s like having three metre tablecloth but six-metre table. You will never come to an end. The variety of landscapes, events and hospitality make the possibility endless. Vietnam meets the demand of every taste and character. You prefer jetting from city to city? No problem, Vietnam Airlines is modern, young and safe and the service matches (sometimes, depends on the mood of the crew) that of all the world’s great airlines. Maybe you would like to travel the country by bus, but not miss comfort and punctuality. No problem, buy a Sinh Café open tour ticket. Their modern air-conditioned, spotlessly clean buses from Halong, north of Hanoi, to the southernmost Cuu Long (Me Kong Delta) destination.
You can stay overnight, visit the World Heritage treasures of Hue, Hoi An, My Son, the world unique Champa sculpture museum of Danang, or the white beaches of Nha Trang, the mountain freshness of Dalat or the southern metropolis Ho Chi Minh City and continue with the next Sinh café bus. The prices are ridiculously cheap.
You want to see the country from a canoe? Contact Ho Guom Travel (or Buffalo Tours) in Hanoi. They will provide you with all the equipment and guidance needed to discover the sea, its shores, rivers, lakes and caves. Closer to nature you can not be.
What about biking on up to the mountains? Or riding on the Honda Harley Davison Motorbikes roaring countryside. Several companies can lead you to the top of Vietnam’s many ranges. There, you will enjoy breathtaking views and fresh drinks and a curious conversation.
You mean that there is nothing for a sea paraglide fan like you? Error: Muine’s sea beach starts every day punctually in the afternoon. Fresh wind and smooth waves and the professional equipment from several serious shops clean up your monster city pollution spoiled lungs.
In the rare case you like this year to walk, Vietnam is your heaven. Exploring the rich flora and thousands of birds is best by foot. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to storm the 3.100-meter-high Mt Phan Xi Pang in northern Vietnam or dawdle past the many gardens, paddy fields and villages in the South.

Ernest Sagemueller, Photo CC by vinzouil

From Trip Advisor
You're curious? Oh, so why don't you think of coming? Here are some of the reasons why you should visit "her" - the charming-like-a-girl Vietnam:
1. "She" is a new place. It's not touristy like in Thailand and many places you go, people got stunned by your appearance.

2. "She" is safe and friendly. The majority of people in Vietnam are farmers, pure farmers. Many of them have never learnt of much apart from the village they were born in. Naturally, they're almost all friendly and safe to be around. Moreover, the communist government does a good job in ensuring securities all over the country. Nothing of a crime has happened to tourists for the last decades.

3. "She" has lots to see: A thin country stretching for thousands of Km from North to South. It has beautiful mountains with colorful and rich culture hill tribes. It has beaches and many of those are considered best in the world but still, they're not touristy. Sound cool enough? Not end yet, she's home to 7 UNESCO World Heritages. Almost anywhere you go, you're stumble on a World Heritage.
4. "She" is marvelous, but money-saving. If you want to, then 1 US dollar could buy you a basic lunch or dinner. Wandering around and you want to find somewhere to sit and drink? Normally, you don't have to pay more than one dollar for it. Cheap accommodations and services are everywhere around the Old Quarter in Hanoi and Pham Ngu Lao street or Bui Vien street - Sai Gon (if you're traveling on a tight budget). If yours is not a tight budget? Never mind! You can also find the world top hotels and resorts in here.

5. Is travel here convenient? Sure, many companies operate the open bus (good quality in general) and they run almost to every capital cities in the country. Moving around is very easy. If ya want to take it easier? Well, lots of tour companies everywhere you go. You don't have to work on where to go when you wake up 2morrow.

6. After all, traveling is to experience the difference. And Vietnam is different from any place that you have been!

So, Vietnam? Why not!