Vietnam through international visitors’ eyes
In the first half of this year, many Vietnamese tourism sites were cited by the international mass media as among the world’s best, serving as a source of pride and encouragement for those directly involved in the tourism industry.
Trip Advisor – the world’s premiere tourism website – selected Hanoi as one of top ten must-see travel destinations in 2014.
Ha Long Bay ranked fourth among the eight most beautiful sites in the world by Mymodernmet.com (the US) and was cited as one of 26 places that appeared to have arisen out of a fairy tale by the US-based website BuzzFeed.
The UNESCO-recognised bay was also listed among the top eight green spaces/ national parks in Asia by Agoda.com, one of the continent’s leading hotel booking websites.
The New York Times ranked Quang Binh eighth among 52 ideal destinations for visitors in 2014 while the US-based Business Insider and the National Geographic (Russian language version) selected Quang Binh’s Son Doong as one of 12 most impressive caves and an adventure tour in the world in 2014.
Son Doong cave
The travel column of UK newspaper “The Telegraph” named Danang’s Ba Na cable car system on its list of ten amazing cable cars around the world.
Serene Hanoi, Holiday Diamond Hue and Essence Hanoi were among Trip Advisor's 25 best hotels worldwide.
Marriott Hanoi was awarded the Best New Hotel Construction and Design in the Asia-Pacific region at the 2014 International Property Awards.
Thua Thien-Hue was honored as an ASEAN City of Culture in the 2014-2015.
The UK magazine Rough Guides viewed Hoi An ancient town - a world cultural heritage site in the central province of Quang Nam - as one of the 20 most interesting places in the world to explore at night.
Nha Trang was chosen as one of the most ideal destinations for 2014 summer by a prestigious travel website Price of Travel.
La Maison 1888 Restaurant at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort reached the top four most beautiful restaurants in the world, according to New York Daily and the Daily Meal.
The selection testifies to the fact that Vietnam is an ideal tourist destination for foreign visitors.
In the first half of this year, Vietnam received more than 4.28 million foreign visitors (up 21% against the same period last year) and 23.4 million domestic holiday-makers (up 7%), grossing VND125 trillion in total revenue (up 22%).
8 Vietnam's world heritages charming beauty
By 2014, following UNESCO’s recognition of Trang An as a mixed natural and cultural heritage of the world, Viet Nam has 20 world heritage properties including 05 cultural heritage sites, 02 natural heritage sites, 01 mixed heritage site, and other document and intangible cultural heritage properties.
1. Ha Long Bay
Located in the North-East region of Viet Nam, Ha Long comprises of the regions of Ha Long City, township of Cam Pha, and a part of the island district of Van Don. Ha Long Bay covers an area of 1,553 km2 and includes over 1,969 islands and islets of various sizes, 989 of which have been given names. The world heritage site is recognized with an area of 434km2 including 775 islands, forming a triangle with the island of Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto) to the west, the lake of Ba Ham (Three Shelter Lake) to the south, and the island of Cong Tay to the east.
Ha Long Bay is a great artwork of nature with a system of lively, mysterious and beautiful islands and caves containing important vestiges in the formation and development of the earth’s history and considered as the cradle of ancient Vietnamese. In addition, it is also a region of highly-concentrated biological diversity with many ecosystems of salt water-flooded forests, coral reefs, and tropical forests featuring thousands of flora and fauna species.
Ha Long Bay is not only recognized as world heritage (1994 and 2000), but also is voted as one of 7 new wonders of the world and always in list of the most beautiful bays of the world.
2. Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park
Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park with an area of 200,000ha, is located in Quang Ninh, Bo Trach, Tuyen Hoa and Minh Hoa districts (Quang Binh Province). It is considered as a huge geological museum of global values.
The karst formation has evolved since the Palaeozoic period (some 400 million years ago) and as such is the oldest major karst area in Asia. Subject to massive tectonic changes, the karst landscape is extremely complex, comprising a series of rock types that are interbedded in complex ways and with many geomorphic features. The karst landscape is not only complex but also ancient, with high geodiversity and geomorphic features of considerable significance. In April 2009, a group of cave explorers from British Caving Association conducted survey in this park and adjacent areas. The biggest chamber of Son Đoong is more than 8.5 kilometers in length, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide. In addition, Phong Nha- Ke Bang National Park also is home to a series of rare species in the list of Viet Nam and world Red Book.
3. The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
Located in the heart of the capital of Viet Nam, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long has total area of 18,395 ha including the Archaeological Site at 18 Hoang Dieu street and other remain relics such as Ha Noi flagpole, Doan Mon Gate, Doan Mon Gate, the House D67, Hau Lau Palace, North Gate, the wall and eight gates of royal step-over places of the Nguyen Dynasty.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - a complex of relics are associated with the history of Thang Long - Ha Noi Citadel.
As a monumental building, the Thang Long Citadel was built during many historical periods and became one of the most important monuments of Viet Nam. Through many ups and downs of history, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long has quietly changed excluding Forbidden City.
At the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, archaeologists have unearthed a large number of royal pottery items over many periods.
The archaeological findings such as coins and ceramics from China, Japan, West Asia… are proofs of a cultural exchange center in the region in the past.
4. Citadel of the Ho Dynasty
Situated in communes of Vinh Tien, Vinh Long, Vinh Quang, Vinh Yen, Vinh Phuc, Vinh Ninh, Vinh Khang, Vinh Thanh and Vinh Loc Town (Vinh Loc District), Thanh Hoa Province, the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty was constructed of large limestone blocks in the area between the Ma and Buoi rivers. The citadel of the Ho Dynasty was built in 1397 by Ho Quy Ly who was the highest-ranking mandarin of the Tran Dynasty at the time. It was also as the the capital of Dai Ngu (the country name of Viet Nam in the Ho Dynasty).
The citadel of the Ho Dynasty is considered as a unique stone citadel in Viet Nam, East Asia and Southeast Asia of the late 14th – early 15th century.
5. Complex of Hue Monuments
Located along the Perfum River, the Complex of Hue Monuments was built by Nguyen Dynasty from the early 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.
Becoming the first world heritage in Viet Nam in December 1993, the Complex of Hue Monuments is an outstanding demonstration of the power of the vanished Vietnamese feudal empire as well as an symbol of an eastern feudal capital in the early 19th century.
These architectural works of a high cultural and historic value include Kinh Thanh Hue (the Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (the Royal Citadel or Imperial City) and Tu Cam Thanh (the Forbidden Citadel) clustered together, symmetrically placed along the longitudinal axis and facing to the south.
Besides splendid palaces, majestic tombs and beautiful landscapes, Hue Ancient Capital still remains intangible and tangible cultural values representing for the wisdom and spirit of Vietnamese.
6. Hoi An Ancient Town
Situated on the north bank of Thu Bon River, Quang Nam Province, Hoi An Ancient Town was a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century.
Remaining many religious buildings (pagodas, temples, churches, ancient wells, tombs, assembly halls, etc...), Hoi An Ancient Town is a well-preserved example of a traditional Asian trading port, is an outstanding material manifestation of the fusion of cultures over time in an international maritime commercial centre.
Over centuries, many traditional foods, customs, ceremonies, cultural activities and religious beliefs have been still preserved. In 1999, Hoi An Ancient Town was recognized as the World Cultural Heritage.
7. My Son Sanctuary
Located in Duy Phu Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province, My Son was built for the first time in the 4th century under the reign of Bhadravarman for worship of God Shiva-Bhadresvara. But later on, the temple was destroyed. At the beginning of the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman had rebuilt and rebaptized Sambhu-Bhadresvara. My Son Sanctuary was found in 1885. Of the 225 Cham vestiges that was founded in Viet Nam, My Son possesses 70 monuments and 32 epitaphs, the content of which is still being studied.
8. Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex
Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex was recognized as Viet Nam's first mixed heritage by UNESCO on 23 June, 2014. Covereing an area of 61,720 ha in Hoa Lu, Gia Vien and Nho Quan districts and Ninh Binh City, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex includes Trang An Eco-tourist Site, Tam Coc- Bich Dong Landscape, Hoa Lu Ancient Citadel and the Hoa Lu primeval forest.
Being called as an “Ha Long Bay on land” with numerous caves, mountains, valley, trees and historic relics, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex is considered as an outdoor geological museum because it is entirely surrounded by bow shaped limestone mountain ranges lying on a delta wetland area.