Culture  10 Reasons You Need to Visit Vietnam (Part I)
26/08/201800:00 Josh Shepard


After motorbiking across Vietnam for three months, I decided it was my favourite country in Southeast Asia to travel. Vietnam is not only incredibly cheap, but the people are amongst the friendliest and most hospitable people I’ve ever met.
 

Although I’ll never understand the language, the food is amazing, the landscapes are incredibly beautiful, and the history is far more diverse than you’d ever imagine.

Here are 10 reasons why you must visit Vietnam.


1. Friendliest People in Asia 


The people in Vietnam have time and time again been so friendly and welcoming. It is not uncommon to have a group of twenty-something-year-olds in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City invite you over to their group. You’ll find the local are totally welcoming for a chat over a cup of coffee, even if you don’t understand a word of Vietnamese.

Leave the city and enter Vietnam’s smaller villages. Out here, there are quite a few family run homestays. These guesthouses offer you the experience of sharing dinner with the family, living the local lifestyle and getting to understand the true hospitality of the Vietnamese people.

Here’s a family I stayed with for three nights in Vietnam’s northern province of Cao Bang.

 


 

2. Great Food 

Pho noodle soup and Banh Mi bread rolls stuffed with pork are two of the staple Vietnamese dishes. While they are both amazing, there is so much more to this diverse cuisine.

Vietnamese foods aren’t spicy like dishes in Thailand or Cambodia. The flavours are subtler. Think of fresh vegetables wrapped in a rice paper spring roll for an entrée. A main course of steamed vegetables, omelette, and goat curry served with a side of steamed rice. A pot of green tea will help wash it all down.

Of course, the foods vary in different parts of Vietnam. As you travel this amazing country, you will discover hundreds of amazing dishes.

 



 

3. A Love for Beer 

Vietnam offers the widest range of beers in Southeast Asia. It seems that each city has its own brew. In Ho Chi Minh City, the famous beers are 333 (pronounced ba ba ba) and Beer Saigon. Up north in Hanoi, it is either Beer Hanoi, Larue or Halida. Of course, Hanoi also offers hundreds of Beer Hoi (homemade beer) variations.

 



 

4. Motobike Madness 

Ho Chi Minh City may look like motorbike madness in pictures, but this is just the beginning. Vietnam has an estimated 45 million road registered motorbikes, and probably about as many that are not registered. That’s at least double the number of motorbikes than people in Australia.

Places like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are so heavy filled with motorbikes and horns that crossing the road can seem a daunting task. Even crazier is the quantity of goods the Vietnamese carry on their motorbikes. Quite often the transported goods is larger than the bike itself!

 



 

5. Amazing Mountain Roads 

Vietnam’s beautiful roads were made famous on TV a few years back. The most famous route is the windy path between Danang and Hue known as the Hai Vann Pass. While tourists flock to Danang to make this one-day motorbike trip, there are actually other roads to explore.

Further north, roads such as the Ho Chi Minh Trail West and the
Mai Pei Leng Pass offer stunning views of the Vietnamese countryside. Parts of these roads are quite remote and offer a unique view into the rural Vietnamese culture. Travelers can experience these parts of Vietnam either by motorbike or by small intrepid type tour groups.

 


 

Follow Josh on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We'll be featuring more of his articles on Asia and Pacific travel in the future - stay tuned!

 

Josh Shephard is an intrepid traveler, blogger, and photographer on The Lost Passport. He spends his time exploring off-the-beaten-track destinations throughout Asia and the South Pacific. One day you will find him trekking through the jungle to a hidden waterfall, the next he'll be kayaking around some remote island you've never heard of. Why? To bring these amazing destinations to you!

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