Emerging Destinations: Vietnam
In the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization’s World Tourism Barometer published at the ITB Berlin last month, the report concluded that emerging Asian nations, and especially Vietnam, were the driving factors for the remarkable recovery in global tourism growth following the economic crisis of the last several years.
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, is what the French nickname their, “Pearl of the far East”. Chinese immigrants call it “Cho Lon”, meaning “Big market”, but whatever you may name this fascinating place, it’s a destination you will surely want to visit one day.
Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent state of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, 60 kilometres from the South China Sea and 1760 kilometers south of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
The city’s hub is still adorned with wide elegant boulevards and historic French colonial buildings. The most prominent structures in the city centre are Reunification Palace, City Hall, the Municipal Theatre (also known as the Opera House), and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Some of the historic hotels are the Hotel Majestic (dating from the French colonial era) and the Rex Hotel. The Caravelle Hotel was a hangout for American officers and war correspondents in the 1960s and 1970s.
October 2010 officially marked 1000 years since the establishment of Hanoi. On this occasion, the city was named by Frommer’s Travel Guide as one of the world’s “Top Destinations 2010”. Hanoi has been inhabited since at least 3000 BC and has had many names throughout history, all of them of Sino-Vietnamese origin. Hanoi, as the capital of Vietnam, is also the Political, Economic, Cultural, and Scientific and Technological center of the country. Thanks to its geographical vantage point, being situated along the Red River’s banks of the Northern Delta, Hanoi enjoys a favorable position as an important domestic and external trading centre.
Hanoi offers visitors the finest of what a Vietnamese cultural tradition of over a thousand years has to offer. The city hosts more cultural sites than any other city in the country, including over 600 pagodas and temples. Even though some relics have not survived time and wars, the city still continues to lure visitors from all corners of the globe.
Did you know
Ha Long Bay is considered to be the most beautiful vista in entire Vietnam. It consists of 1,969 islands and islets situated in the Gulf of Tonkin.
This zone is known for its spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Ha Long Bay has been recognized as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
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