Vietnam, certainly one of the neglected tourist destinations in South Asia deserves better attention from real travelers and travel book writers. Vietnam is very rich in culture, religious practices, and architecture. Another important tourist attraction of Vietnam is their stupendous food. The south Asian cuisine is world famous and it’s a mixture of Chinese, Indian, and Vietnamese.
Vietnam is full of Hindu and Buddhist temples that also deserve more coverage by travel bloggers.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and whatever minimum number of tourists that go there, land in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.
Mai Chau, Vietnam
If you travel 160 km from Hanoi in the southwest direction, you will reach the scenic Mai Chau district. The scene takes shape as you start climbing the mountains. The verdant meadows take your breath away and demand your sight to stay focused on the landscape even as you pass thick jungles and occasional mini waterfalls.
Mai Chau is the backbone of Vietnam’s agriculture. The rural people live a simple life living in bamboo huts and the chickens and cows give them company.
It is advised to stay for two days here to experience the true Viet life. You can choose to stay in any one of the local resident’s house, eat what they eat and explore the mountainous countryside on your own by borrowing a bicycle from the locals.
You can’t visualize what the two days stay in Mai Chau can do to your values of life. You may even decide to relocate to this laidback and dreamy valley in Vietnam.
That’s stunningly beautiful-isn’t it? Perfume Pagoda is obviously a place of Buddhist temples and is only about 75 km from Hanoi. The mountain you see in the background is called Huong Tich Mountain that carries another name, “Mountain of Fragrant Traces”.
The locals will take you to their favorite and most revered pagoda called Thien Chu which means Path to Heaven.
There are several more pagodas in Perfume Pagoda and is the place of several religious festivals that draw a large number of Vietnamese from all over their country.
A boat ride on the River Yen is a must for local pilgrims. The entire family enjoys a relaxing cruise.
Perfume Pagoda is Vietnamese’s important religious site and considering the number of tourists, several tour agencies organize a day of pilgrimage trip to this rural complex of Buddhist temples.
As you drive from Hanoi, you will come to the Three Village Temple that is locally known as Dinh Ba Thon. It is an ancient Buddhist temple and is located in a lovely place. Don’t miss it.
Bat Trang, Vietnam
It is inexplicable that a remote and small village outside Hanoi is the center of wonderful ceramics industry. Bat Trang can be reached after traveling 20 km from Hanoi. It is located on the shores of the Red River. This small village has been in existence for about a millennium.
It’s traditionally a village of potters who have evolved into ceramic manufacturing. Tourists can happily buy artifacts and figurines of ceramics at throwaway prices.
On my next virtual tour of Vietnam, I will take you to rice terraces.