Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the second largest city in Vietnam. Anyone who has ever visited Hanoi will probably tell you that it may be the most beautiful city in all of Asia. People have settled here along the Red River for a thousand years. Nestled along wooded boulevards among the city’s two dozen lakes you will find architectural souvenirs left by all who conquered this great valley, from the Chinese who first came in the last millennium to the French, booted out in our own century.
North East Vietnam is also the home of numerous ethnic minority tribes. They live in some of the most isolated places while subsisting through traditional means. Some of the tribes you may encounter on a visit to the Far North are the Tay, Nung, Zao, H’mong, and the San Chi tribes. Farther away in Ha Giang province, there are a variety of hill tribes numbering from several thousand members to only a few hundred people.
Halong Bay is made up of 1,969 islands of various sizes, 989 of which have been given names. There are two kinds of islands, limestone and schist, which are concentrated in two main zones: the southeast (belonging to Bai Tu Long Bay), and the southwest (belonging to Halong Bay). This densely concentrated zone of stone islands, world famous for its spectacular scenery of grottoes and caves, forms the central zone of Halong Bay, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Tây Nguyên region is home to a large population of ethnic minorities such as the people of Jarai and Ede and the people of Bahnar and K’hor. They have made up the majority of the region’s population for a long time. Central Highland contains in it many primitive forests and is protected in its national parks, such as Cát Tiên National Park, Yok Đôn National Park, Kon Ka Kinh National Park.