A Culture Trip – Things You’ll Only Learn if You Visit Vietnam
With a population of over 95 million people, a history that spans centuries into the past, and a unique culture shaped both by its neighboring Asian countries as well as colonists, Vietnam is truly a fast-paced blend of modern and ancient. While its beaches may not be as alluring as those of its neighbor Thailand, the country boasts a myriad of natural wonders that provide the perfect balance to its fast-growing urban hotspots.
For a modern traveler, a trip to Vietnam can be a challenge as well as a reward, and a life-changing journey. The following are just some of the most incredible life lessons that a globetrotter can pick up only by heading to this Asian country, so use them to inspire your next travel itinerary!
New appreciation of women
Most likely your travel to Vietnam will first take you to Ho Chi Minh, one of the most populous cities on the country’s map, as well as Hanoi, its capital. In the former, look for the avenue dedicated to the Trung sisters, while in the latter, you’ll find a temple in their honor. The sisters were army leaders rebelling against the Chinese ruling, and they are still the inspiration representing a different attitude towards the fairer sex.
Outside of its historic scopes, you’ll see Vietnamese women, such as Ha Phuong, dominating superstardom, all the way to field workers persevering as the backbone of the economy. Let’s also not forget about the matriarchal societies, such as the Cham, still present in certain Vietnamese regions. While the country still has so much to do in terms of political and social gender equality together with the rest of the globe, they still have a notable female presence in their history and contemporary life.
You’ll notice that the cities are densely populated and very hectic, even when compared to the most vibrant cities of the world. However, one major difference is how they use their streets and roads to traverse the country. Vietnamese are in love with motorbikes, and this fact alone is enough to make any tourist nervous. Fear not, however, as they will not only give you a unique vantage point to experience their local beehives, but also provide a convenient way to see more in less time.
Immerse yourself into this unique local experience by choosing a popular Vietnam motorbike route that can take you from the most hectic to the most tranquil spots in a matter of hours. However, it’s best to opt for a slower-paced exploration on a motorbike and take as many scenic stops as you please in order to absorb the beauty you’ll pass by on your way.
Extraordinary natural wealth
Vietnam compensates its lack of tropical beaches with lush green landscapes that stretch across the entire country. The renowned Halong Bay easily surpasses all expectations or online representations you’ll come across. It’s an entirely different take on coastal beauty, more rugged and untamed, but equally stunning to explore.
A boat ride down the Mekong Delta is another must-do for your visit as it will give you a beautiful escape from the bustling buzz of Vietnam’s cities. However, don’t skip a journey to the north of the country where their layered rice terraces dominate the view in all their glory, offering a picturesque alternative to the grey city streets.
Exotic tastes to tease your palate
In recent years, foodie tourism has exploded in Vietnam, but far from its original restaurant-hopping form. More people are rushing to the country to master the art of Asian food-making in the spirit of locally grown and harvested ingredients, in order to preserve the tropical, sumptuous tastes they can create. In the spirit of this culinary explosion, you can, and should, join a cooking class in Vietnam in order to truly savor their finest dishes made by local experts.
There is so much more to Vietnamese cuisine than those famous egg rolls we all love, so brace yourself for a galore of zesty aromas and clashes of tastes. The Canh Chua Ca is a Southern Vietnamese take on a classic broth meal, this time mixed with pineapple and tomatoes, while Che Chuoi is a sweet, creamy coconut soup with bananas for those with a sweet-tooth.
Bewildering landscapes interspersed with little concrete jungles, authentic historic heritage, and a contemporary way of life to confuse even the versed traveler make Vietnam the perfect destination for expanding horizons. These are just some among many lessons you’ll pick up on your way across the country as long as you keep your mind open to embrace the wonders Vietnam has to offer.