I loved Vietnam. I literally loved every minute of my trip. People around me, who go backpacking, mostly tend to go to Indonesia or Thailand, but I immediately booked my ticket to Vietnam when I had the chance.
Why? Long before traveling to the country I fell in love with nature wonders like Ha Long Bay, or the rice fields, or the bigger cities around the country. Those things made me book my ticket in the first place. But my trip got even better when I met some of the most amazing people from around the world, with whom I laughed, danced and traveled from north to south.
Vietnam was mind-blowing, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
While visiting Vietnam has almost been a year ago it still feels like yesterday. And I would like to keep it like this.
When people ask me about recommendations for a trip, or when they ask me about my most favorite trips, Vietnam crosses my mind quickly. I mean.. what not to love?
So today I am gonna tell you exactly what the things are that I just love so very much about this country, and with that I am going to try and persuade you to visit Vietnam soon!
Reason 1 – Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay alone is a reason to visit Vietnam. This UNESCO site will take your breathe away. A unique view existing out of almost a 1000 islands that surround you the minute you step off land and into a=your Ha Long Bay tour-boat. Ha Long Bay is something you cannot miss when traveling to Vietnam.. hell, Ha Long Bay is something you cannot miss as a traveler!
I loved Ha Long Bay, and during the three days I visited it I stayed at a private island, falling a sleep with the waves that calmly hit the beach, waking up, day after day with the sight of the many islands in front of me.
A total dream. More than you can imagine.
Reason 2 – The Food
If there is one thing I miss about Vietnam it is the food. Even as a vegetarian the food was to die for. And with the food I mean just about everything I ate: from egg rolls, to spring rolls, to noodles, to rice dishes to a morning breakfast with eggs, fruit and vegetables. I am a big fan of Asian food in general, but Vietnam definitely stole my heart.
Do not be afraid to try some street food once you are finally in Vietnam, and to follow your nose around the cities, because it is absolutely worth it!
Reason 3 – The Cities
I started my backpacking trip in Hanoi, a city I would love to go back to one day. While it took me some time to get used to in the beginning, seeing that Hanoi was my first real Asian experience, I definitely grew to love it. The hustle and bustle around the city is an experience like no other, and if you aren’t afraid for a bit of ‘happening’ you will absolutely love Hanoi.
Hanoi is also considered to be fairly safe, compared to other cities around Vietnam (which are also, still, very safe). One other city I absolutely loved was Hoi An, a very touristy city with lovely markets, shops and a completely different vibe.
In general, Vietnam cities have a lot of history and the cultural side is enormous so you will have no time to get bored around there.. and if so.. you can always eat your heart out at one of the many good restaurants and food stalls.
Reason 4 – The People
The thing that surprised me the most were the people. The Vietnamese speak really good English, and they are more than welcome to invite you into the comfort of their homes, their culture and their restaurants. They will love to get to know you and genuinely show interest in who you are.
Of all countries I’ve visited, I definitely think Vietnamese are some of the most friendly people I ever met.
Reason 5 – The History
Vietnam has, as you probably know, a really long, harsh and interesting history. While I knew about it and learned about the history all through high school, it never hits home until you see it for yourself.
During my time in Vietnam I learned a lot about the Vietnamese war. Our tour guide told us about the story of his parents and grandparents, showed us some war monuments, (un)exploded bombs they found and the most impressive and shocking of all: he showed us the tunnel complex where people used to live during times of war.
In the bigger cities like Hanoi and Saigon you can learn more about the war, visit museums and you can even visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh.
Reason 6 – The Backpackers Atmosphere
Vietnam was my first backpacking trip, so just for that it will always have a special little place in my heart, but I really, really loved the vibe of backpackers around the country. Vietnam has some great hostels, which truly are meeting points of young backpackers who travel around the country. I even kept running into the same backpackers in the different places I visited, so that made it quite fun! There are also, around the country, a lot of hotspots that I think are designed for young traveling backpackers, like some private beaches with a chilled vibe, and pubs like ‘The Pub With Cold Beer’ I told you about in previous articles.
Really, it’s just a great country for backpackers.