They say that if you do not try Phở, you weren’t in Vietnam. So when we arrived in Hanoi we went straight to the famous Phở 10 Lý Quốc for a serving of one of the best Phở Tái in town. This is a traditional Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, veal, spices, lime and chili. An absolute must!
Traveling by train in Vietnam is probably the safest and most comfortable way to get to know the country. One of the more famous routes, known for its wonderful views of the coast, is the Reunification Express. It links Hanoi with Ho Chi Minh, and is a total of 1,726 kilometers of railway running from the north to the south of the country.
One of the great tourist attractions of Vietnam is the Mekong delta and its floating markets. The Mekong River, which rises in Tibet, stretches across 6 countries of Southeast Asia to its mouth, in the south of the country. Each day the inhabitants of southern Vietnam convert the numerous river channels into impressive floating markets where they sell various goods such as fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and, of course, rice grown in the Mekong delta.
The Bánh mì is a typical Vietnamese sandwich in a baguette, a type of bread that arrived to Vietnam during the French colonization of Indochina. They can be found in almost any street stall in the country and are usually filled with vegetables marinated in vinegar, sautéed meats or tofu, salad, cilantro and a variety of sauces.
Halong Bay, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. More than 1,500 km² of beautiful natural waterscapes where numerous reed boats sail daily around more than 2,000 limestone islets.
Sapa is a small town in the province of Lao Cai, very close to the border with China. Over time it has become a must-see destination in Vietnam thanks to its incredible trekking routes through rice terraces and the variety of ethnic minority groups that live in the area.
Thousands of electrical cables cover the streets of Hanoi. You can find these endless tangles accentuating the wonderful chaos of the ancient capital of Indochina almost everywhere you look.
Trang An, known as the “Halong Bay on land”, is an impressive tourist attraction in the Ninh Bình area. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it includes Trang An, Tam Coc, Bich Dong caves and the Hoa Lu forest. Local women offer rowing boat tours through its wonderful caves and pagodas.
Vietnam is one of the most important rice growing centres and the Vietnamese are among the top five consumers of rice in the world. In the process of making rice noodles, so characteristic of Vietnamese cuisine, rice flour is mixed with water to form a thin pancake that will be steamed. After allowing them to dry on bamboo platforms, they are cut into slices of different thicknesses ready for consumption.
The chaos of Ho Chi Minh, former Saigon, is probably the most characteristic quality of capital of the country. Thousands of motorcycles cross its streets with no apparent order. Countless restaurants, bars, coffee shops and street stalls open their doors at almost any time in every corner of the city. This, together with its energetic inhabitants, is the allure of the great metropolis of southern Vietnam.