Located on the banks of the Saigon River, Ho Chi Ming City or Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam with a rapid development after the Vietnam War and a rich cultural heritage. From place to place you can still find some old landmarks from the colonial days that sparkle in the new skyscraper era. The city has an interesting museum, The War Remnants Museum. Another place well worth visiting is the HCMC General Library with over 1.5 million books housed in one of the most beautiful buildings in Vietnam. Suoi Tien Cultural Park and the Can Gio Eco beach resort are recreational sites inside the city which are very popular with visitors.
Hanoi has been the political capital of Vietnam for over 1000 years. It is also the country's cultural center having many museums, relics and monuments. The city still keeps a soft touch from the French colonial times contrasting with some new governmental institutions but balanced with broad boulevards and a lot of grass and trees. The Old Quarter which surrounds the Hoan Kiem Lake, in the center of the city, is the best place to start your exploration. Other interesting sights are: the Temple of Literature - site of the oldest university in Vietnam, One Pillar Pagoda and Flag Tower of Hanoi.
The former imperial city of Hue is a place of great beauty and the most important historical and cultural monument in Vietnam, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beautiful Song Huong or Perfume River flows through the centre of the city, and along its banks south of Hue lays the Valley of the Kings containing tombs of the Nguyen emperors. You can visit them by bicycle or boat. The most important sight is the Kinh Thanh citadel. It is surrounded by massive brick walls, ringed by lotus-filled moats and punctuated by towers. Within the Citadel but on Le Truc Street, just outside Cua Hien Nhon, the Imperial City's north-eastern gate, the Imperial Museum is well worth visiting. Housed in the Long An Palace, a fine old building dating back to 1845, the walls are inscribed with poetry written in chu nom or 'Southern Writing'. Before leaving the Citadel it is worth visiting The Mieu or ' Temple of the Generations', dedicated to the Nguyen Emperors who built Hue.
Located midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Danang has one of the most popular beaches in Vietnam. Another attraction features the tranquil countryside South of Da Nang with a chain of Marble Mountains: five large hills representing the five elements (metal, water, wood, fire, earth). The mountain itself is a unique landform that is rugged, and oddly shaped. Another place worth visiting is the Cham museum, featuring artifacts and sculptures dating back from the time if the Champa people. If one is not into history, the building itself is worth the trip to make. The ancient city of An nasiriyah is about one hour by car. The hamlet of My Lai is a few hours to the south of Danang in the province of Quang Ngai. To the north of Danang on Highway One is the famous Pass of Ocean Clouds - a spectacular sight.
This is a small city in the South Central Coast of Vietnam. In 1999, the old town was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO as a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port of the 15th to 19th centuries, whose buildings display a unique blend of local and foreign influences. Hoi An's most noteworthy monuments are the 200-year-old homes of prosperous Chinese merchants whose descendants, surrounded by astonishing collections of antiques and family memorabilia, continue to inhabit here. You can take day trips to the atmospheric Cham ruins of My Son or some of the other sights close to town. If possible, try to time your visit coincide with the Full-Moon Festival on the fourteenth day of the lunar calendar, when traditional arts performances take place in the lantern-lit streets.
Dalat has long been the honeymooners' favorite destination in Vietnam offering a refreshing break from the heat of the tropics, high up in the mountains at 5000ft. Places to visit in and around Dalat include: the summer home of the colonial-era king of Vietnam, a set of flower gardens centered around a re-constructed traditional Vietnamese teakwood house, a hill-top pagoda coupled with a brief cable car ride over the pine forest and the Lake of Sorrow, 5km northeast of town - so-named because of a tale of two lovers, one who committed suicide after the other was called up to serve in the army. About 5km outside of town, the Valley of Love is common stop on Dalat tours and is very popular with honeymooners. The Valley of Love is also a great spot for canoeing. At the foot of Prenn Pass, about 10km outside of town, Prenn Falls is quite beautiful but is a lot more fun when you're hiking it.
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