Founded on an island in the beautiful Red River Delta over ten centuries ago, this ancient port is our gateway to Vietnam's capital, Hanoi. Here, Here, Ho Chi Minh lies in state in a vast mausoleum of marble from the Marble Mountains, while nearby is his simple home. Visit romantic Restored Sword Lake in City Center, the lotus-shaped One Pillar Pagoda and the 11th-century Temple of literature or take a stroll in lush parks.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
"Ha Long" means "where the dragon plunged into the sea," a mythical event fabled to have created this spectacular bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, dotted with 3,000 islands, honeycombed with grottoes and surrounded by secluded beaches. A huge sea beast, the Tarasque, is said to live here to this day. The most famous grotto is the vast Cave of Wooden Stakes, where 13th-century folk hero, Tran Jung Dao, stored sharp bamboo stakes he later planted in the river bed to impale Kublai Khan's invasion fleet.
Da Nang, Vietnam (Hue)
Ancient treasures surround Da Nang, former bastion of the Champa Kingdom. Many of the temples in the area are dedicated to the god Shivva, the creator and protector of the Champa and the Cham dynasties. The stone sculptures at the Cham Museum, revered Marble Mountains, and the religious sanctuary of My Son Valley are all just a short distance from Da Nang. Three hours away is one of the main attractions of Vietnam, the city of Hue. Behind four ornate gates stand the palaces, temples and flower gardens of the ancient imperial city of the Nguyen kings. From 1802 to 1945, this enchanting city on the banks of the Perfume River served as Vietnam's capital.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Saigon)
With its neoclassical architecture and tree-lined avenues, Ho Chi Minh City was known as the "Paris of the East" during the French occupation. Much transportation in Vietnam's largest city remains foot-powered. Bicycles and pedaled taxis, called "cyclos," fill the streets. Visit the Botanical and Zoological Gardens in the eastern part of the city, the graceful 17th-century Gia Lam Pagoda, and the National Museum filled with artefacts chronicling Vietnam's 4,000-year history.