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Head to Vietnam for an immersive holiday experience

From diverse natural beauty and deli food to spectacular structures, Vietnam has it all

Hoi An Lantern Festival

The paper lantern festival creates a picturesque landscape where recyclable paper lanterns are lit around the Hoai river and the ancient town. In a nod to sustainability, candles are used in the colourful paper lanterns, creating an almost ethereal atmosphere in the twinkling moonlight. Standing on the banks and watching the hanging lights that decorate the surrounding buildings reflected in the river is a splendid experience. The best place to view this in Hoi An is the area between the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Cau An Hoi Bridge.

Hoi An Night Market and Street Food

To ensure that the local community derives economic benefits, the 300-meter-long street showcases over 50 vendors offering healthy and sustainable food, exotic delicacies, clothing, jewellery and accessories at the Hoi An Night market that overlooks the Thu Bon River. Some of the popular street foods include insect delicacies such as roasted silkworm pupae said to be protein-rich. The fried grasshoppers and crickets, the coconut worms, stink bugs roasted with lemon leaves, ant eggs and more are tourist favourites. The crispy Vietnamese crepe Banh Xeo- a blend of rice flour, turmeric and coconut cream- is also worth trying.

Cable Car & Golden Bridge at Bana Hills

Cable car and Golden bridge at Ba Na Hills feature in the Guinness Book of World Records including for the longest gap, heaviest cable and the greatest change in elevation. This five-kilometre-long route triggers a feeling of riding into the future. Spectacular views of Danang and the surrounding forests are what you can expect as you step onto the famous Golden Bridge which is held aloft by a pair of giant hands.

The Coconut Boat Ride

Enjoy the stunning scenery and life along the coast while onboard a sturdy all-natural vessel, a basket boat, that takes you on a 30-minute ride in Hoi An. The boat’s circular shape distributes the weight evenly and visitors get the chance to row as well. Float across the meandering canal, stop to take photos, and marvel at the skills of the local guides. Ranking high in biodiversity, the country is known for protecting endangered species and takes several measures to encourage sustainable tourism protecting local communities, culture and heritage.

Saigon Dinner Cruise

Shimmering lights twinkle in the sky as we sail across Ho Chi Minh city. The lavish dinner cruise is indeed the best way to admire the Bitexo Tower, enjoy traditional local music and view the city’s landmarks bathed in evening lights. The sumptuous Vietnamese flavourful cuisine with locally sourced fresh ingredients is appetizing and sure to appeal to foodies.

Artinus 3D Art Gallery

This is the first 3D museum in Ho Chi Minh City and boasts amazing optical illusions along with traditional artworks by well-known artists. This is one of the popular places for tourists who want to discover another face of the big city. Making use of light effects and painting techniques, the artworks create an optical illusion that allow you to step inside a cave, dangle on a bridge above a sea or even fight a T-Rex while you’re there. This family-friendly museum spans over two floors and features fascinating artworks from 9 diverse categories. You can find giant optical illusions in categories such as Ocean, Animals, Masterpiece, Vietnam, Egypt, Fairy Tales, Giants, Strange House and Love. Yes, Love!

Vietnamese Cooking Experience

With a cuisine indigenous to the country, there’s no disputing that Vietnam is a foodie’s paradise. Noodle dishes are a big aspect of this cuisine. A lot of food comes in five colours for you to know its easily Vietnamese food: white, green, yellow, red and black. Chefs are on hand to offer one-one-one classes or group classes and it’s a great place to learn alongside friends or make new connections.

Visit to the Bee Farm

Providing community-curated local tours and caring for the natural world is of priority for the inhabitants, and a visit to the Island close to the Saigon Delta clearly spells this out. Learning about the way honey is made and how the bees work together in harmony is quite insightful. Visitors to the Island are treated to a local nutritious honey tea made from raw honey and homegrown lemon. Royal Jelly, which is said to enhance immunity, is also available here.

Cu Chi Tunnels

One of the places that portrays the tenacious spirit of the Vietnamese, Cu Chi tunnels is a perfect example of what can be done to preserve the environment while showcasing the country’s heritage and history. An immense network of tunnels built by Vietnamese soldiers during the war, they have now been reconstructed and fitted with a few facilities allowing visitors to get a feel of what soldiers experienced during the war.

Making the traditional rice paper

Edible rice paper also called bánh tráng or bánh đa nem is a hot favourite for the Vietnamese. Ingredients of the food rice paper include white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, and water. Nowadays, flavours like salted shrimp, coconut or versions made with the potent durian fruit are also available. They’re a staple on dinner tables across the country. They are fried, baked on an open flame or eaten like crackers. Handmade ones trump the factory made.

Source: Gulfnews