Despite its complex past, exotic Vietnam is gradually making its way onto the tourist map thanks to its stunning scenery, compelling culture and warm hospitality. Adventure-seeking backpackers on extended Southeast Asian jaunts have sung its praises for decades, but it’s starting to appeal to a wider range of visitors too. Although still rarely one of the first destinations people think about when planning a vacation, this country on the South China Sea has an incredible amount to offer travelers of all budgets and interests. Here are ten reasons why Vietnam should be on your travel radar.
1. It’s a Foodie Paradise
Vietnamese cuisine is becoming renowned around the world thanks to its reputation for being exceptionally healthy. Subtle flavors like lemongrass, ginger, coriander and mint enhance fresh vegetables, meats and seafood without a lot of oil, dairy or heavy sauces. Traditional cooking combines up to five fundamental tastes: sour, bitter, sweet, spicy and salty. From noodle soups to rice dishes, dumplings, pancakes, curries, salads, fish and pastries, Vietnamese flavors feature something for everyone’s culinary preferences. Specialties vary from region to region, so there is more diversity in this cuisine than you might be aware of. In the coastal areas, for example, seafood is a particularly delicious and highly affordable choice. You can also find French gastronomy influences in this former Indochine colony.