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Die Halong Bucht, Bild: JunPhoto / shutterstock

Vietnam – sweet, sensual and full of joie de vivre again

This country has awakened, and it is probably only thanks to the unshakable optimism of its inhabitants that it has survived the times of suffering, when it became the plaything of the powers. In hardly any other region on the map of colonial empires did Europeans find their lives as sweet and sensual as in Vietnam. The fascinating triangle of countries on the sluggishly flowing Mekong promised complete enjoyment with a way of life in which culture and cuisine also mixed to create a unique cocktail. Good morning, Vietnam! In the more than two-thousand-year-old metropolis of Hanoi and in the much younger Saigon, the turmoil of the Indochina wars is hardly noticeable. This country is again a hotspot of tourism in Asia.

Phu Quoc Island, Image: Jimmy Tran / shutterstock

The awakening of this nation cannot be overlooked. Neither in the lively cities with their frenzy of growth, nor in the villages of the green north with their endless rice fields. In the stream of the new era, people have long since come to terms with their pacified everyday life and by the way, they recommend themselves as friendly and open-minded hosts. The old inhibitions against tourists from a world foreign to them no longer exist. Vietnam is a largely safe and varied travel destination.

Some testimonies of the colonial era have survived the turmoil of the wars unscathed. And the poetry of the easy life has also quietly and secretly crept back into Saigon. Five million inhabitants call it home, and the former “Paris of the East” once again exudes the charm that made life in this city so pleasant over a long period of time. Today, “Miss Saigon” acts like a precocious teenager and feels right at home in this role.

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The numerous rice fields offer an impressive picture, Image: Blue Planet Studio / shutterstock

The venerable Dong Khoi Boulevard in Saigon is not only filled with people full of joie de vivre in the evening hours, on the banks of the Mekong people listen to the sounds of the on-board bands of the excursion steamers and at the gate of the temple Chua Thien Hau a few dragons watch over and at the same time symbolize luck and power. They and many other things in this interesting city are indications that this country is also committed to its history, even if it dreams of a golden future.

A trip through Vietnam leads to the white sand dunes of Mui Ne, to the palm trees and coral reefs of Nha Trang or to Long Beach, which is recommended as a land of milk and honey for divers and snorkelers. If you are planning a longer round trip through this country, you are opting for an exciting pleasure. Vietnam can even be explored by bike, as long as you are in good shape. The journey may also lead to the far north and to the rice fields near Halong and to the historic pagodas on the “Red River”.

Hikers explore the original Vietnam at Sapa, where the terraces stretch up to altitudes of 1,600 meters and where the ethnic minorities of the Dao and Mhong tribes still wear their traditional clothes. And if you like the backdrops of Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, you should take a look around Hanoi and thus in the metropolis that can be found on the maps today as Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam has done it: The country is back to what it always wanted to be. The heart in the Magic Triangle – blessed by Buddha and Mother Nature.

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Travel information Vietnam

Capital Hanoi
Form of government Socialist Republic
Socialist one-party system
Currency Đồng (VND)
Area approx. 331,690 km²
Population approx. 95,415,000 (2017 estimate)
Languages Vietnamese
Electricity grid 127/220 volts, 50 Hz
Area code +84
Time zone UTC+7