Major destinations

Hanoi

Hoan Kiem Lake (Hanoi).

 
Area: 3.324,92 sq. km

Population: 6,448,9 thousand habitants (April 2009).

Administrative divisions:
-10 urban districts: Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung, Tay Ho, Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay, Long Bien, Hoang Mai, Ha Dong.
 - 1 town: Son Tay
 - 18 rural districts: Dong Anh, Soc Son, Thanh Tri, Tu Liem, Gia Lam (Hanoi); Ba Vi, Chuong My, Dan Phuong, Hoai Duc, My Duc, Phu Xuyen, Phuc Tho, Quoc Oai, Thach That, Thanh Oai. Thuong Tin, Ung Hoa (former Ha Tay province) and Me Linh (a former district of Vinh Phuc province).

Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Muong, Tay, Dao...
Hanoi is the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the center of culture, politics, economy and trade of the whole country.  

Geography


Hanoi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of North Vietnam. It is encompassed by Thai Nguyen, Vinh Phuc provinces to the north, Hoa Binh and Ha Nam to the south, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces to the east, Hoa Binh and Phu Tho to the west.

Hanoi means "the hinterland between the rivers" (Ha: river, Noi: interior). Hanoi’s territory is washed by the Red River (the portion of the Red River embracing Hanoi is approximately 40km long) and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital, including Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu.

Climate: Hanoi is situated in a tropical monsoon zone with two main seasons. During the dry season, which lasts from October to April, it is cold and there is very little rainfall, except from January to March, when the weather is still cold but there is some light rain. The wet season, from May to September, is hot with heavy rains and storms. The average annual temperature is 23.2oC (73.7oF) and the average annual rainfall is 1,800mm. The average temperature in winter is 17.2oC (62.9oF), but can go down to 8oC (46.4oF). The average temperature in summer is 29.2oC (84.6oF), but can reach up to 39oC (102.2oF).

History


Hanoi is a sacred land of Vietnam. In the 3rd century BC, Co Loa (actually belonging to Dong Anh District) was chosen as the capital of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc An Duong Vuong (the King Thuc).

Hanoi later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions. Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very populations and rich residential center.

At different periods, Hanoi had been selected as the chief city of Vietnam under the Northern domination.In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar years (1010), Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly Dynasty, decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La, and so he rebaptized it Thang Long (Soaring Dragon).

The year 1010 then became an historical date for Hanoi and for the whole country in general. For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thang Long, then changing to Dong Do, Dong Kinh, and finally to Hanoi, in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theatre of many fateful events.

Tourism

Throughout the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities, Hanoi still preserves many ancient architectural works including the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples.

Famous sites include the One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (built in 1070), Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum...

Hanoi also characteristically contains 18 beautiful lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake..., which are the lungs of the city, with their surrounding gardens and trees providing a vital source of energy.

Many traditional handicrafts are also practiced in Hanoi including bronze molding, silver carving, lacquer, and embroidery. Hanoi has many famous traditional professional handicraft villages such as Bat Trang pottery village, Ngu Xa bronze casting village, Yen Thai glossy silk...

Transportation

By road: Hanoi is 93km from Ninh Binh, 102km from Haiphong, 153km from Thanh Hoa, 151km from Halong, 474km from Dien Bien Phu, 658km from Hue, 763km from Danang, and 1,710km from Ho Chi Minh City.

By air: Noi Bai International Airport, over 35km from the city center, is one of the biggest airports of the country with various international and domestic routes. There are domestic flights from Hanoi to Danang, Dien Bien, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Nha Trang and international flights to many countries in over the world.

By train: Hanoi Railway Station is Vietnam’s main railway station. It is the starting point of five railway lines leading to almost every province in Vietnam. 

Halong City

Ha Long Bay

 
Area: 208.7 sq. km

Population: 185,228 habitants (year 2001)

Administrative division:

-Wards: Ha Khanh, Ha Lam, Ha Trung, Ha Phong, Ha Tu, Hong Hai, Cao Thang, Cao Xanh, Yet Kieu, Tran Hung Dao, Bach Dang, Hon Gai, Bai Chay, Hong Ha, Ha Khau, Gieng Day, Hung Thang, Tuan Chau
- Communes: Viet Hung, Dai Yen.

Ethnic groups: Mainly the Viet (or Kinh) 
  
Halong City, formerly the Hon Gai Town, is the cultural, economic and political centre of Quang Ninh Province. It borders Cam Pha to the east, the Yen Hung District to the west, the Hoanh Bo District to the north and Halong Bay to the south with the coastline of 20km.

The city is divided into two parts: East Halong and West Halong. The eastern part is an industrial zone where most of the province’s official buildings are also concentrated. The western part, also called Bai Chay, is the animated tourism zone.

Halong’s population are most having emigrated from other places to settle here. Halong Bay is famous internationally, and is recognized as a World Heritage by UNESCO for its thousands of natural islands. Also in the city, there are temples, pagodas and historical relics.In addition to the most active branch of tourism, there are other economic activities such as: trade, seaport, coal, marine products and the production of construction materials

Sapa

Area: 678.6 sq. km

 
Population: 55,000


Administrative division:

- Townlet:Sapa
- Communes:Ban Khoang, Ta Giang Phinh, Trung Chai, Ta Phin, Sa Pa, San Sa Ho, Ban Phung, Lao Chai, Hau Thao, Thanh Kim, Ta Van, Su Pan, Suoi Thau, Ban Ho, Thanh Phu, Nam Sai, Nam Cang.

Located 38km from Lao Cai City, Sapa is a mountainous district of Lao Cai Province. Sapa District is very well-known with Sapa Townlet, a beautiful and romantic resort.

At the height of 1,600m above sea level, the average temperature of the area is 15-18oC. It is cool in summer and cold in winter.

Visitor to Sapa in summer can feel the climate of four seasons in one day. In the morning and afternoon, it is cool like the weather of spring and autumn. At noon, it is as sunny and cloudless as the weather of summer. And it is cold in the evening. With no advance warning of a thunderstorm short and heavy rains may come at noon on any summer day. Subsequently, a rainbow appears, transforming Sapa into a magic land, which for years has been a constant source of poetic inspiration, lights up the whole region.

The best time to witness the scenic beauty of Sapa is in April and May. Before that period, the weather might be cold and foggy; after that period is the rainy season. In April and May, Sapa is blooming with flowers and green pastures. The clouds that settle in the valley in early morning quickly disappear into thin air.

Sapa has many natural sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Silver Waterfall, Rattan Bridge, Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave.Sapa is also the starting point for many climbers and scientists who want to reach the top of Fansipan Mountain, the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143m. Hoang Lien Mountain Range is also called the Alps of the North Sea area since Fansipan Mountain is not only the highest peak in Vietnam, but also in the Indochina Peninsula. The pyramid-shaped mountain is covered with clouds all year round and temperatures often drop below zero, especially at high elevations.

The first thing you notice when approaching the resort town are some detached wooden mansions and villas perched on a hill top or hillside, behind thick pine forests and almost invisible on this foggy morning. Old and new villas with red roofs now appear and now disappear in the green rows of pomu trees, bringing the town the beauty of European towns.

Fresh and cool air in Sapa is an idea climate condition for growing temperate vegetables such as cabbage, chayote, precious medicinal herbs, and fruit trees such as plum, pear...

Sapa is home to various families of flowers of captivating colours, which can be found nowhere else in the country. When Tet, the Lunar New Year Festival, comes, the whole township of Sapa is filled with the pink colour of peach blossom brought from the vast forests of peach just outside the town. Sapa is regarded as the kingdom of orchids. Here, orchid lovers are even amazed by the choice, when trekking in the forest filled with several hundred kinds of orchids of brilliant colours and fantastic shapes, such as Orchid Princess, Orchid of My Fair Lady’s Shoe. Some orchids are named after lovely singing birds such as the canary, salangane’s nest, and more.

Sapa is most beautiful in spring. Apricot, plum and cherry flowers are splendidly beautiful. Markets are crowded and merry, and are especially attractive to visitors. Minority groups come here to exchange and trade goods and products. Market sessions are also a chance for locals to promenade and young men and women in colorful costumes to meet, date or seek sweethearts.

Visitors to Sapa will have opportunities to discover the unique customs of the local residents.
 
Hue City


 
Area: 70.99 sq. km

Population: 339.8 thousand habitants (2009)

Administrative Division:

- Wards:Phu Nhuan, An Cuu, Truong An, Phuoc Vinh, Vinh Ninh, Phu Hoi, Xuan Phu, Vy Da, Tay Loc, Thuan Loc, Thuan Thanh, Thuan Hoa, Kim Long, Phu Hoa, Phu Cat, Phu Hiep, Phu Hau, Phu Binh, Phu Thuan and Phuong Duc, Huong So, An Hoa, An Dong, An Tay, Huong Long, Thuy Xuan, Thuy Bieu.

Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh)  
  
Hue city is one of places which have many cultural heritage. Up to now, there is no place like Hue remaining a lot of originally historical vestiges as in this ancient Capital City.

On the northern bank of Perfume River has relics consisting of palaces, which were constructed as arc defensive ramparts with 11km length. This valuable construction includes more than 100 architectural works which were extremely reflected the life of Emperors and mandarins under reign of Nguyen.

Situated in the middle of hills on the southern bank of Perfume River are very beautiful tombs of Kings Nguyen. Among these tombs are the four famous ones with the name and the arrangements of the tomb reflected each Emperor’s points of view, personality and tastes. This is majestic Gia Long Tomb, imposing Minh Mang Tomb, poetic Tu Duc Tomb and magnificent Khai Dinh Tomb.

Hue is also an important center of Buddhism. In Hue and its surrounding still exist tens of pagodas constructed more 300 years ago, and a hundred of temples and pagodas built in the early century. Besides, Hue is a place where the royal music is originated, and a place with traditional famous dishes and sophisticated handicraft.

As a unique city of Vietnam still remains its form of City under Middle Age and the constructions of monarchic, Hue has become a big and invaluable museum. Therefore, vestiges in Hue ancient capital have been classified by the government as a very precious property and on December 1993 Hue has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

Danang City

My Khe beach
 
Area: 1,257.3 sq. km

Population: 887.1 thousand habitants (April 2009)

Administrative divisions:

- Districs: Hai Chau, Thanh Khe, Son Tra, Ngu Hanh Son, Lien Chieu, Cam Le.
- Rural districts: Hoa Vang, Hoang Sa.

Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Co Tu, Tay... 
  
Geography


Danang City is located in middle of Central Vietnam, between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, separated from Laos by the western Truong Son Mountains. It is surrounded by Thua Thien-Hue along the northern border and Quang Nam on the southern border. It is embraced by the East Sea with 150km of seacoast.

Topography is rather complex. The south is impressive Hai Van Pass with Mang Mountain 1,708m, Ba Na Mountain 1,487m. The east is Son Tra Peninsula, an ideal site of yellow sand beaches, historical remains, and rare bird and animal species. The south is Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains). The seashore is Hoang Sa archipelago with a large fishery.

Climate: Danang is located in the zone of typical tropical monsoon, temperate and equable climate. The city’s weather bears the combination of the north and the south climate characters with the inclination to the former.

There are two seasons: the wet from August to December and the dry season from January to July, cold waves are occasional but they are of average and short lasting. Average humidity is 83.4%.

Average temperature is about 260C, the highest is 28-300C in June, July, August, the lowest is 18-230C in December, January, February. In Ba Na Mountain, the temperature is 200C. Average rainfall is 2,505mm per year that concentrates during October and November.

Tourism

Danang is an ancient land, closely related with the Sa Huynh cultural traditions. Many imposing, palaces, towers, temples, citadels and ramparts, the vestiges from 1st to 13th are still to be seen in Cham Museum

Danang has other various interesting attractions as Ba Na Tourist Resort, Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains) as well as the Linh Ung Pagoda, Han River, and My An, Non Nuoc beaches, stretching on dozens of kilometers...

Transportation

Road: Danang is 108km from Hue, 130km from Quang Ngai, 763km from Hanoi, and 947km from Ho Chi Minh City.

Air: The Danang International Airport is 2.5km south-west of the city center. There are domestic flights to some cities. There are direct flight from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Siem Riep, Taipei and Singapore to Danang City by Vietnam Airlines, PB Air, Siem Riep Air way, Far Transportasion and Sil Airway.

Train: Thong Nhat Express train, which connects Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, stop in Danang.

Water: There are marine routes to international and domestic ports. Tien Sa and Han River ports are located in a very wonderful position. 

Nha Trang City


 
Area: 251 sq. km

Population: 362, 000 people

Administrative division:

- Wards: Vinh Hoa, Vinh Hai, Vinh Phuoc, Vinh Tho, Ngoc Hiep, Van Thang, Phuong Son, Xuong Huan, Van Thanh, Phuong Sai, Phuoc Tan, Phuoc Tien, Phuoc Hai, Phuoc Long, Loc Tho, Phuoc Hoa, Tan Lap, Vinh Nguyen, Vinh Truong.
- Communes: Vinh Luong, Vinh Phuong, Vinh Ngoc, Vinh Thanh, Vinh Hiep, Vinh Trung, Vinh Thai, Phuoc Dong.

Ethnic groups: Mainly the Viet (or Kinh).
  
The coastal city of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa province, Central Vietnam, lies on the trans-Vietnam highway, 1,278km from Hanoi, and 448km from Ho Chi Minh City.

Nha Trang is endowed by nature with deep, quiet and warm waters all the year round, surrounded by archipelagoes, islands, mountains and white sand beaches - a wonderful and attractive tourist resort.

To the north of Nha Trang stands the Chong mount which looks like a wide open hand over the sea. Far offshore, the Yen (Swallow) Island appears with lush green colours where salangane nests have been harvested for years to make the traditional "bird’s nest" tonic and food.

The 7km white sand beach of Nha Trang is often called Vietnam’s Mediterranean Area, considered one of the jewel along Vietnam’s long stretching coast line. Nha Trang is sunny all year round, with an average temperature of 23?C due to northern winds.

The rainfall is less than anywhere else in the country and the area is not threatened by storms since it is protected by the Truong Son Mountains and Ca Pass. From Ca Pass, one can see Ro Bay (Vung Ro), Hon Do...

Hon Tre Island is 36km? and belongs to a group of islands located southwest of Nha Trang. It takes two hours to reach Hon Tre Island by rowboat and only 20 minutes by ferry.

Nha Trang benefits from topographical advantages of the sea, islands, mountains, and deltas. West of Nha Trang, there are endless mountain ranges where a wide variety of animals and birds live.

Nha Trang has many specialties. Especially, bird’s nest soup, or swallow’s nest soup is very famous in Nha Trang and round Vietnam. The magnificent coral seabed in Nha Trang makes it ideal for scubadiving and snorkeling.

Nha Trang Bay is recognised as one of 29 most beautiful bays in the world.

Dalat City


 
Area: 390.5 sq. km

Population: 197,000

Administrative divisions:
-Wards:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
-Communes:Xuan Tho, Xuan Truong, Ta Nung, Tram Hanh

Ethnic groups: M’nong, Ma, Co Ho... 
  
Dalat, capital of Lam Dong Province, is located approximately 308km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. At an elevation of 1,500m, Dalat bears the look of an Old French city. It was founded in 1897 when Doctor Alexandre Yersin recommended that the area be developed as a resort town. Dalat has many natural and artificial lakes such as Ho Xuan Huong, Than Tho, Da Thien, and Tuyen Lam bordered by lines of pine trees, which are a well-known feature of Dalat. A trip to Dalat is not complete until one goes to the Dalat Flower Gardens.

The temperate climate of Dalat is suitable for flowers such as orchids, roses, lilies, and camellias.

Nowadays, tourists not only limit themselves to Dalat; they also visit the area of Langbian Highland and the ethnic minorities. Langbian Mountain’s highest peak at 2,165m is very tempting for climbers. From Lom Bieng Klo peak, one can see endless green mountains reflecting the silver rays of the sun. Many tours are organized in the area, including parachuting and climbing.
 
Ho Chi Minh City


 
Area: 2,098.7 sq. km2

Population: 7,123.4 million (April 2009)

Administrative divisions:
- Districts: District 1, District 2, District 3, District 4, District 5, District 6, District 7, District 8, District 9, District 10, District 11, District 12, Tan Binh, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan, Thu Duc, Go Vap, Binh Tan,Tan Phu.
- Rural districts: Nha Be, Can Gio Hoc Mon, Cu Chi Binh Chanh.

Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Khmer, Cham... 
  
Geography


In the core of the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is second the most important in Vietnam after Hanoi. It is not only a commercial center but also a scientific, technological, industrial and tourist center. The city is bathed by many rivers, arroyos and canals, the biggest river being the Saigon River. The Port of Saigon, established in 1862, is accessible to ships weighing up to 30,000 tons, a rare advantage for an inland river port.

Climate: The climate is generally hot and humid. There are two distinctive seasons: the rainy season, from May to November, and the dry season, from December to April. The annual average temperature is 270C. The hottest month is April and the lowest is December. It is warm all year.

History

Many centuries ago, Saigon was already a busy commercial center. Merchants from China, Japan and many European countries would sail upstream the Saigon River to reach the islet of Pho, a trading center. In the year of 1874, Cho Lon merged with Saigon, forming the largest city in the Indochina. It had been many times celebrated as the Pearl of the Far East. After the reunification of the country, the 6th National Assembly in its meeting of the 2nd of July, 1976, has officially rebaptized Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City. The history of city relates closely with the struggle for the independence and freedom of Vietnam.

Tourism

Ho Chi Minh City is the big tourism center in Vietnam, attracting a large of visitors to Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City has various attractions as Ho Chi Minh Museum, formerly known as Dragon House Wharf, Cu Chi Tunnels, system of museums, theatres, cultural houses... Recently, many tourist areas are invested such as Thanh Da, Binh Quoi Village, Dam Sen Park, Saigon Water Park, Suoi Tien, Ky Hoa..., which draw numerous tourists.

Despite its quite recent past, Ho Chi Minh City nevertheless possesses various beautiful buildings, displaying a characteristic combination of Vietnamese, Chinese and European cultures. These include Nha Rong (Dragon House Wharf), Quoc To Temple (National Ancestors Temple), Xa Tay (Municipal Office), Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre as well as many pagodas and churches (Vinh Nghiem, Giac Vien, Giac Lam, Phung Son pagodas...).

After more than 300 years of development, Ho Chi Minh City presents many ancient architectural constructions, famous vestiges and renowned sights. It is remarkable for its harmonious blending of traditional national values with northern and western cultural features.

Transportation

Ho Chi Minh City is the main junction for trains, roads, water, and air transportation systems for domestic trips and for foreign destination.

- Roads: Ho Chi Minh City is 1,730km from Hanoi, 99km from Tay Ninh, 30km from Bien Hoa (Dong Nai), 70km from My Tho, 125km from Vung Tau, 168km from Can Tho, 308km from Dalat, and 375km from Buon Ma Thuot. The City has National Highway 13 which connects Vietnam with the rest of Indochina.

- Train: Thong Nhat express train connects Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, vie many provinces in Vietnam.

- Air: Tan Son Nhat International Airport, 7km from center of city, is the biggest airport with many domestic and international routes. There are flights from Hanoi and Danang to Ho Chi Minh City and between the City to many regions as well a lot of countries on over the world. 

 
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