Vietnam travel Guide
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Pronounced ‘hway’, this deeply evocative capital of the Nguyen emperors still resonates with the glories of imperial Vietnam, even though many of its finest buildings were destroyed during the American War.Hue owes its charm partly to its location on the Perfume River – picturesque on a clear day, atmospheric even in less flattering weather. Today the city blends new and old as sleek modern hotels tower over crumbling century-old Citadel walls.
Da Lat, the capital of Lam Dong Province in southern Vietnam’s Central Highlands, is centered around a lake and golf course, and surrounded by hills, pine forests, lakes and waterfalls. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its distinctive temperate climate, Đa Lat was developed as a resort by the French in the early 1900s, and many reminders of its colonial heritage remain.
Tay Ninh town, the capital of Tay Ninh province, serves as the headquarters of one of Vietnam’s most intriguing indigenous religions, Cao Daism. The Cao Dai Great Temple at the sect’s Holy See is one of Asia's most unusual and astonishing structures. Built between 1933 and 1955, the temple is a rococo extravaganza blending the dissonant architectural motifs of a French church, a Chinese temple and an Islamic mosque.
Loud and proud (say it!), the high-rise, high-energy beach resort of Nha Trang enjoys a stunning setting: ringed by a necklace of hills, with a sweeping crescent beach, the city's turquoise bay is dotted with tropical islands.The shoreline has been given a huge makeover in recent years, with parks and sculpture gardens spread along the impressive promenade, while the streets inland reveal some quirky boutiques and a cosmopolitan array of dining options.
Hanoi marked its 1,000-year anniversary amidst much fanfare back in 2010, and although Western fashions, music, and food have long since elbowed their way into the once-impenetrable north, the city maintains a strong sense of identity. It’s a fascinating mix of old and new Vietnam, with Chinese and French influences, ancient culture, colonial architecture, broad tree-lined boulevards, and beautiful lakes.
Nowhere in Vietnam is changing as fast as Danang. For decades it had a reputation as a provincial backwater, but big changes are ongoing. Stroll along the Han riverfront and you'll find gleaming new modernist hotels, and apartments and restaurants are emerging. Spectacular new bridges now span the Han river, and in the north of the city, the landmark new D-City is rising from the flatlands.