Cao Dai Temple
One of Vietnam’s most interesting cultural sites is just three hours outside of Ho Chi Minh City. The Cao Dai Temple unites a variety of deities, which are reflected in the unique mix of styles of the building elements. The exterior of the temple is almost a bit jumbled and playful with parts from pagodas, cathedrals, mosques and many adornments. The interior houses beautiful pillars with dragons and a unique, star-studded sky.
Temple City My Son
In a forested area in central Vietnam, southwest of Hoi An, researchers discovered around 70 buildings of the My Son temple complex. Until the 14th century, the temples were used by the highly developed Cham people and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Two dozen of My Son’s temples and pillars have been preserved and partially restored. They can be visited in a picturesque setting and give an idea of the former glory of the temple complex.
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The mighty and long Mekong River created a unique and exotic landscape of canals and river courses overgrown with lush greenery: The Mekong Delta. Almost everything is transported on the water and here you can admire the most beautiful river markets. The center of the Mekong Delta is the city of Can Tho with its markets, churches and monasteries.
Tay Do Citadel
The Tay Do Citadel in north-central Vietnam is considered an architectural masterpiece as it was handcrafted in just three months. This huge citadel of the self-proclaimed Emperor Ho Ly was built entirely of black granite blocks and not the usual clay. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The almost square and seven-century-old Tay Do Citadel attracts many history buffs.
Ban Gioc Waterfall
The journey to one of the most beautiful and largest, but also remote waterfalls on the northern border with China is a bit tedious. 300 m wide cascades, which form a 50 m high staircase, offer a unique idyll that makes the beautiful panoramic view unforgettable. The starting point for visiting the Ban Gioc Waterfall is Cao Bang. Equipped with a pass, the path leads by jeep and on foot through untouched nature and rice fields. Cone-shaped and densely overgrown mountains serve as an impressive backdrop, as well as the indescribable blaze of color of the flowers and mosses on the riverbank.
Vietnamese cooking in Hoi An
A leisurely boat tour on the Hoi River takes visitors to the Red Bridge Restaurant and Cooking School. You can learn a lot about the Vietnamese way of life and food culture in an interesting and funny way. The cooking school takes trips to the sustainable herb garden. Tra Que, you buy ingredients at the local market and prepare a delicious Vietnamese meal yourself under guidance. In the garden of the elegant restaurant you will find a quiet place to relax or to chat.
A popular and religious pilgrimage site for Buddhists is the Perfume Pagoda just 70 km from Hanoi. The extensive complex with many temples is built high in the mountains of Huong Son. During the Perfume Pagoda Festival, thousands of visitors flock here to worship Buddha. A beautiful approach to the pagoda is via the Yen Vi River. During the smooth ride you can see some of the outer temples and rock formations near the shore.
Son Tra Peninsula
In front of Da Nang, the 60 km² large and picturesque peninsula of Son Tra juts out into the sea. It is connected to the mainland by a suspension cable bridge. It offers fantastic beaches and coral reefs just below the water surface. Son Tra is home to diverse plants and rare coral species. Monkeys can often be observed in the wild and in the varied landscape. The Son Tra peninsula offers a beautiful view at sunrise from the mountain top of Ban Co. The clouds seem close enough to touch and the glittering sea surface sparkles like stars.
Nice souvenirs include lacquerware, reed mats, ornaments and furniture with mother-of-pearl inlays and ao-dais (traditional costumes of Vietnamese women). Shop opening hours: Mon-Sun 7.30am-12.00pm and 1.00pm-4.30pm.
All variations of rice, vegetables and fruit are on the menu; Seafood is the traditional weekly feast. Local specialties include com (rice soup), nem (pork mixed with noodles, eggs and mushrooms, then fried and served hot) and banh ghung (rice, pork and onion wrapped in large leaves and boiled for up to 48 hours), which is served cold is eaten.
Mostly Buddhists, but also followers of Taoism, Confucianism, Hoa Hao and Cao-Daï as well as Christians (mainly Roman Catholic) and Muslims.
Social Rules of Conduct
Manners: When greeting someone shakes hands. Clothing: Restrained everyday clothing is usually appropriate. Shorts are usually only worn by children. Photography: Airports, ports and similar facilities may not be photographed. Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in Vietnam on public transport and in public buildings such as schools, hospitals and offices. In Ho Chi Minh City, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public spaces, with the exception of entertainment venues. Tipping: Tipping is also appreciated in Vietnam, but not expected outside of the tourist areas and in the countryside. In upscale hotels and restaurants, a service charge is often included in the bill. As a rule, a tip of 5-10% is given in restaurants. Other service providers such as tourist guides, porters, chambermaids etc. also receive a tip. In a taxi, the fare is rounded up.
Best travel time
Subtropical in the north with hot summers and mild winters, tropical in the south. Monsoon between May and October. Vietnam is a year-round travel destination, with the south enjoying the best weather in winter and the north in November.
Area (sq km)
97,338,579 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year
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