Top Ten Vietnamese Attractions

Top Ten Vietnamese Attractions

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       Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by the People’s Republic of China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea, referred to as East Sea, to the east. With a population of over 89 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world. The Vietnamese became independent from China in 938 AD after their victory at the battle of Bạch Đằng River. Successive dynasties flourished along with geographic and political expansion deeper into Southeast Asia, until it was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. Efforts to resist the French eventually led to their expulsion from the country in the mid-20th century, leaving a nation divided politically into two countries. Fighting between the two sides continued during the Vietnam War, ending with a North Vietnamese victory in 1975. Emerging from this prolonged military engagement, the war-ravaged nation was politically isolated. In 1986, the government instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth has been among the highest in the world in the past decade. According to Citigroup the high growth will be continued and based on Global Growth Generators countries Index,Vietnam got the highest Index among 11 countries. These efforts resulted in Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007.

  1. Nha Trang Bay
    Nha Trang BayNha Trang Bay1Nha Trang Bay2 Nha Trang Bay3Nha Trang Bay4Nha Trang Bay5Nha Trang Bay6Nha Trang Bay7Nha Trang Bay8Nha Trang Bay9
    Nha Trang is a coastal city and capital of Khánh Hòa province, on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. It is bounded on the North by Ninh Hoà district, on the East by the South China Sea, on the South by Cam Ranh town and on the West by Diên Khánh district. The city has about 300,000 inhabitants, a number which is projected to increase to between 500,000 and 600,000 inhabitants by 2020 according to an estimation of Nha Trang Administrative Board Statistics. Nha Trang is well known for its pristine beaches and excellent scuba diving and is fast becoming a popular destination for international tourists, attracting large numbers of backpackers as well as more affluent travelers on the Southeast Asia circuit. It is already very popular with Vietnamese tourists. Nha Trang Bay is widely considered as amongst the world’s most beautiful bays. Tourists are welcome to participate in the Sea Festival, held biennially. Nha Trang was the site of the Miss Universe 2008 Pageant on July 14, 2008 and Miss Earth 2010 held December 4, 2010.Besides, Nha Trang was also approved to host 2016 Asian Beach Games. Historically, the city was known as Kauthara under the Champa. The city is still home to the famous Po Nagar Tower built by the Champa. Being a coastal city, Nha Trang is a center for marine science based at the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute. The Hon Mun marine protected area is one of four first marine protected areas in the world admitted by the IUCN. Commercial flights to Nha Trang no longer use the city’s municipal airport, but fly to the larger Cam Ranh International Airport, a former U.S. Air Force Base (built during the Vietnam War) located approximately 35 km south of Nha Trang (see the Transport section below for additional details). The French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin (who discovered the Yersinia pestis bacterium) identified himself with Nha Trang’s life for 50 years (affectionately known as Ông Năm). He established the Indochina Pasteur Institute (now known as the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute) devoted to research on the bubonic plague. Yersin died in Nha Trang on March 1, 1943. A street in the city is named after him, there is a shrine located next to his tomb, and his house has been converted into the Yersin Museum.
    Links: Top Ten Bays, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nha_Trang,
  2. Complex of Hué Monuments
    Complex of Hué MonumentsComplex of Hué Monuments1Complex of Hué Monuments2Complex of Hué Monuments3Complex of Hué Monuments4Complex of Hué Monuments5Complex of Hué Monuments6
    Huế is the capital city of Thừa Thiên – Huế province, Vietnam. Between 1802 and 1945, it was the imperial capital of the Nguyễn Dynasty. It is well known for its monuments and architecture. Its population stands at about 950,000 people.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_of_Hu%C3%A9_Monuments,
  3. Ha Long Bay
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           Hạ Long Bay (“Descending Dragon Bay”) is a popular travel destination, located in Quảng Ninh province, Vietnam. Administratively, the bay belongs to Hạ Long City, Cẩm Phả town, and part of Van Don district. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. Hạ Long Bay is a center of a larger zone which includes Bái Tử Long bay to the northeast, and Cát Bà islands to the southwest. These larger zones share similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate and cultural characters. Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 squarekm, including 1,960 islets, most of which are limestone. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. Hạ Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species. Historical research surveys have shown the presence of prehistorical human beings in this area tens of thousands years ago. The successive ancient cultures are the Soi Nhụ culture around 18,000-7,000 BC, the Cái Bèo culture 7,000-5,000 BC and the Hạ Long culture 5,000-3,500 years ago. Hạ Long Bay also marked important events in the history of Vietnam with many artifacts found in Bài Thơ Mout, Đầu Gỗ Cave, Bãi Cháy. 500 years ago, Nguyen Trai praised the beauty of Hạ Long Bay in his verse Lộ nhập Vân Đồn, in which he called it “rock wonder in the sky.” In 1962, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam listed Hạ Long Bay in the National Relics and Landscapes publication.
    Links: Top Ten Natural Wonders, Top Ten Bayshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ha_Long_Bay,
  4. My Son Sanctuary
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    Mỹ Sơn is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa (Chiêm Thành in Vietnamese). The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is “Bhadresvara.” Mỹ Sơn is located near the village of Duy Phú, in the administrative district of Duy Xuyên in Quảng Nam province in Central Vietnam, 69 km southwest of Da Nang, and approximately 10 km from the historic town of Trà Kiệu. The temples are in a valley roughly two kilometers wide that is surrounded by two mountain ranges. From the 4th to the 14th century AD, the valley at Mỹ Sơn was a site of religious ceremony for kings of the ruling dynasties of Champa, as well as a burial place for Cham royalty and national heroes. It was closely associated with the nearby Cham cities of Indrapura (Đồng Dương) and Simhapura (Trà Kiệu). At one time, the site encompassed over 70 temples as well as numerous stele bearing historically important inscriptions in Sanskrit and Cham. Mỹ Sơn is perhaps the longest inhabited archaeological site in Indochina, but a large majority of its architecture was destroyed by US carpet bombing during a single week of the Vietnam War. The Mỹ Sơn temple complex is regarded one of the foremost Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. It is often compared with other historical temple complexes in Southeast Asia, such as Borobudur of Java in Indonesia, Angkor Wat of Cambodia, Bagan of Myanmar and Ayutthaya of Thailand. As of 1999, My Son has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%E1%BB%B9_S%C6%A1n,
  5. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
    Phong Nha-Ke Bang National ParkPhong Nha-Ke Bang National Park1Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park2
    Phong Nha – Ke Bang is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bố Trạch and Minh Hóa districts of central Quang Binh Province, in north-central Vietnam, about 500 km south of the nation’s capital, Hanoi. The park borders the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in the province of Khammouan, Laos by the west, 42 km east of South China Sea from its borderline point. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is situated in a limestone zone of 2,000 square km in Vietnamese territory and borders another limestone zone of 2,000 square km of Hin Namno in Laotian territory. The core zone of this national park covers 857.54 square km and a buffer zone of 1,954 square km. The park was created to protect one of the world’s two largest karst regions with 300 caves and grottoes and also protects the ecosystem of limestone forest of the Annamite Range region in north central coast of Vietnam. Phong Nha-Ke Bang area is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves and grottos with a total length of about 70 km, of which only 20 have been surveyed by Vietnamese and British scientists; 17 of these are in located in the Phong Nha area and three in the Ke Bang area. After April 2009, total length of caves and grottoes are 126 km. Before discovery of Son Doong Cave, Phong Nha held several world cave records, as it has the longest underground river, as well as the largest caverns and passageways. The park derives it name from Phong Nha cave, the most beautiful of all, containing many fascinating rock formations, and Ke Bang forest. The plateau on which the park is situated is probably one of the finest and most distinctive examples of a complex karst landform in Southeast Asia. In April 2009, the world’s largest cave Son Doong Cave, was discovered by a team of British cave explorers of British Caving Association.
    Links: National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phong_Nha-Ke_Bang_National_Park,
  6. Son Doong Cave
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    Son Doong cave is a cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. The cave is located near the Laos-Vietnam border. It has a large fast-flowing underground river inside. The cave was found by a local man named Hồ-Khanh in 1991. The local jungle men were afraid of the cave for the whistling sound it makes from the underground river. However, not until 2009 was it made known to the public when a group of British scientists from the British Cave Research Association, led by Howard and Deb Limbert, conducted a survey in Phong Nha-Ke Bang from April 10-14, 2009. Their progress was stopped by a large calcite wall. According to Limbert, this cave is five times larger than the Phong Nha cave, previously considered the biggest cave in Vietnam. The biggest chamber of Son Doong is over five kilometers in length, 200 m high and 150 m wide. With these dimensions, Son Doong overtakes Deer Cave in Malaysia to take the title of the world’s largest cave.
    Links: Top Ten Caves, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_Doong_Cave,
  7. Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi
    Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - HanoiCentral Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi1Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi2Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi3Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi4Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi5
    The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the cultural complex comprising Thăng Long Imperial City during the Lý, Trần, Lê dynasties and Hanoi citadel during the Nguyễn Dynasty. The remains are roughly where the Hanoi Citadel stands today. The royal palaces and most of the structures in Thang Long were destroyed in the late 19th century, and today the ruins of the Thang Long Imperial City are still being excavated. The central sector of the imperial citadel was listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site on July 31, 2010 at its session in Brazil.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thang_Long_Imperial_City,
  8. Hoi An Ancient Town
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           Hội An is a city of Vietnam, on the coast of the South China Sea in the South Central Coast of Vietnam. It is located in Quảng Nam province and is home to approximately 120,000 inhabitants. The city possessed the largest harbor in Southeast Asia in the 1st century and was known as Lâm Ấp Phố (Champa City). Between the 7th and 10th centuries, the Cham (people of Champa) controlled the strategic spice trade and with this came tremendous wealth. The boats still used today in Hội An probably have the same hull shape as those used by the Champas for ocean voyages. The former harbor town of the Cham at the estuary of the Thu Bồn River was an important Vietnamese trading center in the 16th and 17th centuries, where Chinese from various provinces as well as Japanese, Dutch and Indians settled. During this period of the China trade, the town was called Hai Pho (Seaside Town) in Vietnamese. Originally, Hai Pho was a divided town with the Japanese settlement across the “Japanese Bridge” (16th-17th century). The bridge (Chùa cầu) is a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to one side.
    Links: Top Ten Lanterns, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoi_An,
  9. Cao Dai Temple
    Cao Dai TempleCao Dai Temple1Cao Dai Temple2Cao Dai Temple3
           Cao Đài, or Đại Đạo Tam Kỳ Phổ Độ (Great Religion [of The] Third Period [of] Revelation [and] Salvation) is a syncretistic, monotheistic religion, officially established in the city of Tây Ninh, southern Vietnam, in 1926. Concerning the term Cao Đài, literally, Cao means “high” and Đài means “dais, as in a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it.” Figuratively, it means that highest spiritual place where God reigns. Caodaiists often use the term Đức Cao Đài (Venerable Cao Dai) as the abbreviated name for God, the creator of the universe, whose full title is Cao Đài Tiên Ông Đại Bồ Tát Ma-ha-tát (translation: Cao Dai [the] Ancient Sage [and] Great Bodhisattva Mahasattva). According to Caodaiists, the full title was purposefully chosen by God because within it is representations of the Three Teachings: Saint, Sage and Buddha. Caodaiists credit God as the religion’s founder. They believe the teachings, symbolism and organization were communicated directly from God. Even the construction of the Tây Ninh Holy See is claimed to have had divine guidance. Cao Đài’s first disciples, Ngô Văn Chiêu, Cao Quỳnh Cư, Phạm Công Tắc and Cao Hoài Sang, claimed to have received direct communications from God, who gave them explicit instructions for establishing a new religion that would commence the Third Era of Religious Amnesty. Adherents engage in ethical practices such as prayer, veneration of ancestors, nonviolence, and vegetarianism with the minimum goal of rejoining God the Father in Heaven and the ultimate goal of freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Estimates of the number of Cao Đài adherents in Vietnam vary, but most sources give 2 to 3 million. An additional 30,000 (numbers may vary), primarily ethnic Vietnamese, live in the U.S., Europe and Australia.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cao_Dai,
  10. Temple of Literature
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           The Temple of Literature is a temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The compound also houses the Imperial Academy. Although several Temples of Literature can be found throughout Vietnam, the most prominent and famous is that situated in the city of Hanoi, which also functioned as Vietnam’s first university. The temple was first constructed in 1070 under King Lý Nhân Tông and is dedicated to Confucius, sages and scholars. The Imperial Academy was the first national university of Vietnam. It was constructed in 1076 during the reign of King Lý Nhân Tông for training the talented men, including crown princes, for the nation. For nearly 1,000 years, it has preserved its ancient architectural style of many dynasties and precious relics at the sanctuary. The various pavilions, halls, statues and stelae of doctors are places, where many offering ceremonies, study sessions and strict exams of the Dai Viet took place. The temple was reconstructed during the Trần (1225 – 1400) and subsequent dynasties. Through the years, the temple have been destroyed various times by wars and other disasters, and have gone through several major restoration works in 1920, 1954, and 2000. Today the site is one of the important historical and cultural sites of Hanoi and the country and still used for organizing cultural and scientific events. In honor it is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese đồng banknote.
    Links: Temples, Top Ten Libraries, Top 100 Spiritual Texts, Top 100 TextsSculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Literature,_Hanoi,
  11. Bonus: Citadel of the Ho Dynasty
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            Citadel of Hồ Dynasty (Vietnamese: Thành nhà Hồ; also called Tây Đô castle or Tây Giai castle) is a citadel in Vietnam, constructed by the Hồ Dynasty (1400-1407). It is located in Tây Giai commune, Vĩnh Lộc district, in Thanh Hóa Province, in Vietnam’s North Central Coast region. Tây Đô castle is rectangular in shape. Its north-south side is 870.5 m in length and its east-west side is 883.5 m in length. There are four gates: one at the south (fore gate), one at the north (back gate), one at the east (left gate), and one at the west (right gate). The southern gate is 9.5 m high and 15.17 m wide. The castle was constructed from stone blocks, each of which is 2 m x 1 m x 0.70 m size on average. Except for its gates, the castle is mostly ruined.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citadel_of_Ho_Dynasty,
  12. Links: Top Ten Vietnamese Hotels, Top Ten Vietnamese Restaurants, Temples, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam,