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Vietnam

 

The first impression when you land in Vietnam is of total pandemonium. The traffic overwhelms you no matter where you come from. It is not the intense and non-stop traffic of the western cities or the chaotic and dangerous traffic of India. The agglomeration of motorcycles, scooters and cyclos are like a flowing river of traffic on the streets of Saigon, that intersects and intermingle with another similar river coming from the other side, and to your total amazement everybody passes unharmed. If you watch an intersection for a while this Brownian motion looks like a bunch of flies closed in a jar. Anybody who own a horn will use it continuously and pointless because after a while, maybe a little less than 1 week for a traveler, you learn to walk in the middle of the hellish traffic thinking about your stuff, ignoring it and being completely oblivious at the cacophony of sounds that surrounds you and in your mind the noise disappears… Maybe you were able to stop the world!
 The new Vietnam is business. Inheriting a lot from the Chinese who occupied the country for 1000 years in the past and influenced it in present, Vietnam is a country in full economic swing. 
Everything is business, from the high rises that come up in the large cities and the world banks that have the branches here, to the calls of ” buy from me”, “cheap”, money photo”, “motorbike…..maybe lady?”, “one picture, one dollar”, “give tip”, “same same…but different” are regular and all the foreigners are amused or annoyed by them. Some of these line made it even as logos on T-shirts. The tranquility you expect in SE Asia has nothing in common with Vietnam.
 But to judge Vietnam only by this would create a incomplete and unjust pictures. People are extremely nice and very helpful. They may try to do business but you may be able to notice that they care a lot to please and help you. For the youth I spoke with, the American War is just history. They greet you with "America good!" and their only thought is towards the future, all chatting in any free moment on the Internet and having cell phones that blast “Hotel California” in the middle of an forgotten village. 
The tranquil Vietnam enfolds to you in the countryside where the shades of green cannot but charm you. You have to admire the rice paddies traveling from South to North to discover that. The peaceful life is in the villages, where in the quiet sunset you can watch in silence, from the top of a hill, the chores done by the villagers in their households, or you can watch them during the day tilling the land with water buffalos and planting rice.
We visited Vietnam from South to North being impressed at the beginning by the intensity Ho Chi Minh City, the official name of Saigon after 1975. This city, that was a pearl of Indochina, is booming with business, with impressive hotels, banks and businesses.

We went South and we visited, the Caodai Temple, the headquarters of the Caodai religion, widespread in South Vietnam and latter we visited the Mekong Delta, extremely populated and full of floating markets.
From there we started to go North and we visited the hill station of Dalat, the sea resort of Nha Trang surrounded by its tropical islands, Hoian, that being spared of bombing in the war, preserves the traditional architecture of Vietnam, and Hue, the old imperial capital, that was heavily bombed by the North Vietnamese and American Forces, but still, in spite of the destruction, preserves old vestiges of the Imperial times.

Hanoi, the capital of the country, is surrounded by extremely beautiful sites that make a visit to the North of the country so attractive. Around the city are the old citadel of Hua Lu, the first capital of the unified and independent Vietnam of the 10th century, surrounded by the extremely picturesque karsts peaks of Tam-Coc, and also the holly place of the Perfume Pagoda. Halong Bay is the “jewel of the crown”, Vietnam’s major attraction, with its karsts peaks popping out of the sea. But any trip in Vietnam would be incomplete without a tour to the North, in Sapa and Ba Cha, to admire the markets populated by the local minorities dressed in amazingly colorful traditional costumes.

Watch our travel video and you’ll never forget these places!

 

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Vietnam Stock

12.5 hours of HD stock footage from these locations:

Saigon, Cholon, Mekong, Cai Rang, Dalat, Nha Trang, Hoian, Myson, Hue, Hanoi, Perfume Pagoda, Tam Coc, Sapa, Ba Cha, Cokly, Halong Bay

Vietnam Blogs