1. The socialist state is actually S shape!
2. Crossing your fingers have a whole different meaning in Vietnam, that too an offensive one! So, although you maybe wanting some luck, this is not the way to do so for the Vietnamese!
3. With its sales and sheer presence, the country has earned itself the nickname of “Kingdom of Motorbikes”.
4. Ho Chi Minh was recognized by the UN as a man significant to the liberation and culture of Vietnam. He is called the father of the nation and still held in very high regard. His mausoleum in Hanoi is a state symbol honouring him for his doings for the country.
5. The Vietnam War (called the American War in the country) has been one of its worst tragedies which saw a loss of approximately 3 million lives.
6. Vietnam is the world’s second largest producer of coffee! And trust me, their coffee is delicious. Personally, I’m a typical desi chai person but when I was in Vietnam, I sipped on coffee for those two whole weeks! Egg coffee may sound weird to you but is a delicacy there and actually quite delicious. I highly recommend trying the egg coffee and coconut coffee both
7. It is also the biggest exporter of cashews in the world, holding 37% of the global market.
8. Snake wine is widely drunk in the country…….erm I cannot comment if its good since as clearly indicated above, I was busy sipping on the coffee!
9. It is also rich in wildlife and accounts for 16% of the world species.
10. Dear foodies, all this while you have devoted your undying love to food but did you know that Vietnam actually has gods of the kitchen? Before the celebration of Tet, the Lunar New Year, the Land Genie and the Kitchen Gods (Ong Cong and Ong Tao) ride on their carpets to heaven to give an annual report of each of the households to the God of Heaven. Yellow and red carps are thus released on lakes and rivers in the belief that these will help them make their journey. Altars are ready with food and water which they might need in between. Households can thus be seen preparing meals in honour of the gods who are said to bless them.
11. A unique art form popular in this country is that of water puppetry! And it has been around for over 4,000 years making it an important part of the Vietnamese culture.
12. As per ancient folklore, the Vietnamese also believe that are actually descendants of the dragons.
13. Meanwhile, their national animal is a water buffalo.
14. At a stretch of over 3,000 miles the Hang Son Doong cave is the largest natural cave in the world.
15. Surprisingly, Vietnam actually uses the traditional Latin alphabet.
Trip Leader Niyati’s Recommendations:
1. Hoi An. Sigh. It is nothing short of dreamy. Old Town with the colonial remnants and vibrant architecture, tiny streets packed with cafes and shops adorned with souvenirs and paintings, a narrow path filled with an old soul air that leads you to a lake. In the evenings, a gazillion lamps lit up all around, even near the lake, giving this place its UNESCO recognition. In Hoi An, you want to take lazy strolls, sip on your beverage, have conversations and get swayed away into an altogether different life. To get a little more idea about just how dreamy it is, here’s a poem I wrote on a place which has to undoubtedly be one of my absolute favourite.
Click here to check out some of the best cafes in Hoi An!
From Hoi An, visit the Ba Na National Park which is a slice of Europe in Southeast Asia. The amusement park requires you to take a cable car staring at green hills, it has a medieval styled castle and church, a beer garden, a number of rides and just makes for quite the fun filled day.
2. If you’re very eagerly craving the beach and have time in hand you can even head to Ang Bang beach.
3. And of course, you’ve thought of going to Halong Bay! While a number of people take cruises, they cost a bomb and by night time your view really isn’t as visible as you’d like. Instead a day visit to Halong Bay is what I’d recommend wherein you get to spend good 4 – 6 hours exploring it happily. Make sure to do kayaking at the caves because it makes for a stunning sight, one where as it darkens, the water seems to get a prettier shade of blue and green!
4. For making your visit to Halong, you should stay at Cat Ba. Not to forget that Cat Ba in itself has so much to offer! Cat Co beaches 1, 2 and 3 make for the ideal beach day to visit and splash around with your friends before you lay on the sand. Further, the national park’s hike takes you to the top to see the stunning sight of green hills in Vietnam.
5. Ninh Binh is yet another gem of Vietnam and one that is relatively a little lesser explored. Imagine Halong Bay in the middle of rice paddy fields! Imagine ancient pagodas overlooking the water. And imagine you cycling away on your vacation. That is Ninh Binh for you. ? It also has some hikes and trails for the adventurous ones!
6. And if you’re looking to enjoy the nightlife head to Hanoi! The Hoan Kiem lake at Hanoi makes for a pretty sight when it is lit up in the evening and the pagoda waits for you to taste the country’s culture. It also has some monuments. Then at night if you’re looking to let your hair down, head to Beer Street! On tiny stalls eateries serve delicious food and chilled beer and then you can make your way to the pubs thumping with music to merrily dance your night away.
Click here to check out some of the best cafes in Hanoi!
But most of all, the best thing about Vietnam has to be its people. The hospitality is unprecedented and you’ll find the folks smiling at you at all times. If you’re a sucker for a story, here’s one of a local girl I met in the town of Hoi An and how we spoke about love and life.
We organize trips to Vietnam a couple of times in the year! If you’d like to join us, get in touch to know the details of our next batch.
How to Reach:
There are direct flights from Delhi and Calcutta to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
For visa kindly refer to the following page on our website: