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Last updated : Nov 2009
Vietnam Travel Guide
Vietnam Travel Guide and Vietnam Travel Information - TravelPuppy.com
'Through the Bamboo Curtain'

Vietnam, a country too long associated with war, has at last won its final battle – to capture the imagination of the traveller. Elegant Hanoi now competes with its powerful sister Ho Chi Minh City (still affectionately called Saigon by its residents) for the attention of tourists seduced by the a wide range of old and new.

Elsewhere the ambiance is timeless. Early morning on the Mekong Delta brings the lively floating markets where fruit and vegetables are sold straight from the boats. The greenery of rice paddies spreads endlessly into the distance, interrupted only by the silhouette of water buffalo and peasants wearing conical hats tending to the young plants. In the north of the country, the colossal mountains soar over small villages where life remains the same as it has done for centuries, with traditional costumes still worn with pride. Old French hill stations survive all over the country and offer welcome refuge from the heat of the plains below. And in the South China Sea, the 3,000 chalk islands in Ha Long Bay should not be missed.

Hue, the ancient former imperial capital, transforms you back to a time of eunuchs and concubines. In every town, young women dressed in the plain but feminine national dress, the Ao Dai, weave their way through traffic on motorbikes. Only Vietnam could encapsulate the past and the present so perfectly.
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