Do you like to eat mouth-watering food? Drink exquisite coffee? Explore UNESCO world heritage sites? You do! Well welcome to Vietnam. With its floating markets, world’s largest cave, delicious Pho dishes and incredible floating islands, it’s a truly unique country full of hidden treasures. The backpacker buffs here at STA Travel have put together 5 VERY important reasons why you should drop everything and head to Vietnam now. Read on wanderluster…
Also known affectionately as the ‘rice bowl’, the Mekong Delta is where the Mekong River meets the sea. It’s a network of canals, streams and rivers that all play host to rural Vietnamese life. Feel the hustle & bustle of the floating markets as local fisherman try to sell their catch of the day! If you’re after a taste of real Vietnam, be there at sunrise and you’ll slowly see the river come to life.
Son Doong Cave is the BIGGEST cave in the whole world, so big it can hold entire lakes and jungles! It was first explored in 2009 and has only been open to the public since 2012. Trips to Son Doong are still pretty limited and quite expensive. But don’t worry there are plenty of other caves to explore like the Hang En Cave, the world’s 3rd largest cave. Hang En means ‘swift’, taking its name from the swift birds that nest in the cave – just look at the size of it!
Trust us, as the second biggest coffee producer in the world, Vietnam knows a thing or two about coffee! But the ‘secret ingredient’ that makes it even tastier, is the fact that they use sweetened condensed milk – pure indulgence right there. Sipping on a hot cup of coffee and catching up on the morning’s gossip is an integral part of the culture, whether it’s in a cafe or on the street, coffee brings people together!
Escape the crowds and step into the tranquil paradise of Halong Bay. The UNESCO world heritage site, is a four hour drive from Hanoi but completely worth it! Stop for a moment and admire the giant 1,600 limestone islands as they rise out of the emerald waters – there’s honestly nowhere like it. You can take a 2 day cruise around the islands and sleep on an authentic Vietnamese junk boat under the stars. Oh and the sunsets, how could we forget to mention the incredible sunsets!
Vietnam is a foodie’s dream destination. The food is unique and the flavours will stay with you for a life time, most dishes are made up from a combination of salt (nuoc mam fish sauce), sweet (cane sugar), sour (kalamansi citrus fruit) and spicy flavours (tamarind and chilli peppers) – they’re fresh, tasty and not too spicy, as most come with chilli sauce served on the side! Make sure you sink your teeth into a few of these delicious dishes: Banh mi a French inspired Vietnamese sandwich, Pho a noodle soup flavoured with ginger, coriander spring onions and slithers of meat and Bahn Xeo an enormous rice pancake filled with shrimp, pork, egg and beansprouts. You need to try these for yourself!
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