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Exploring Sights And Cuisine In Vietnam

By Michael Bamidele
20 November 2021   |   10:00 am
Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia. Located at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, it covers 311,699 square kilometres and with a population of over 96 million; it is the world’s fifteenth-most populous country. Its capital is Hanoi and its largest city is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). One of Vietnam’s strongest draws…

Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia.

Located at the eastern edge of mainland Southeast Asia, it covers 311,699 square kilometres and with a population of over 96 million; it is the world’s fifteenth-most populous country. Its capital is Hanoi and its largest city is Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

One of Vietnam’s strongest draws is the diversity of its natural beauty and landscapes.

Places

The Tu Lan Cave system

The Tu Lan Cave system is an intricate web of 10 caves amidst dense jungle, rocky mountain slopes, and underground rivers. It is around 43.5 miles (70 km) from Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Its otherworldly landscape made it feature as a backdrop in blockbuster Kong: Skull Island (2017). The caves can be explored on one-, two-, three- and four-day tours with Oxalis.

Hạ Long Bay

Hạ Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. The Bay is dotted with 1,600 limestone islands and islets and covers an area of over 1,500 sqm. The best way to go is on an overnight cruise. Mornings are for watching the sunrise, practising tai chi or sightseeing in the caves. Afternoons are spent swimming, kayaking or simply relaxing on the sun deck.

Mỹ Sơn

Mỹ Sơn is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples in central Vietnam, constructed between the 4th and the 14th century by the Kings of Champa, an Indianized kingdom of the Cham people. The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is Bhadreshvara. The Mỹ Sơn temple complex is regarded as one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. One of the largest caves in the world, and certainly the largest in Vietnam, is Hang Son Doong. Approximately three million years old, Hang Son Doong Cave is an incredible destination, unlike anywhere else on the planet. The cave is enormous, and it is possible for dozens of people to camp within it at a time. Bright blue water pools are located in the cave, and a river runs through it. 

Food 

Travel around Vietnam, and you’ll find that tastes and dishes vary from North to South. In the capital, locals may lunch on bún chả with slices of pork belly, while the Saigonese wolf down bánh xèo (crispy pancakes) rolled with greens and dipped in sweet-and-sour fish sauce. In the former Imperial City, meaty bún bò Huế is a breakfast favourite, while in Hội An, you can’t beat a bowl of toothsome cao lầu noodles for a quick snack.

Pho

Considered Vietnam’s national dish, Pho is a soup dish consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat (usually beef), sometimes chicken. Pho is a popular food in Vietnam where it is served in households, street stalls and restaurants countrywide. 

Chả cá

Chả cá is a Vietnamese grilled fish dish, originally from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Fatty catfish is marinated in spices and grilled, then stirred with lots of spring onions and dill on high heat right at the table. Eating chả cá in Hanoi is an experience in itself. The most important element of good chả cá is the marinade. Original recipes are kept secret in family-run restaurants for generations.

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