October is an excellent opportunity for Vietnam to reopen its tourism as the Covid epidemic is partly under control. Also, it is the beginning of the dry season in Vietnam’s north and south, which welcomes visits to Vietnam from now to the end of the year. Recently, Condé Nast Traveler, a British travel magazine, published a list of top destinations in Vietnam for October visits. In addition, it’s a chance to enjoy monumental natural spectacles and buzzing activities that abound everywhere. Let’s make a fascinating discovery in Vietnam in October in this account. It helps decide where to make your upcoming holiday trip, where to live, and what you do to relax after hard work in the city.
Hanoi is the first of the top destinations
Vietnam’s capital keeps up with time lost to the devastation of war and the government, which as recently as the 1990s kept the outside world at a distance. Its streets surge with stunning scooters among the noise of continuous blaring horns. Hanoi inherits layers of history that reveal French and Chinese occupations. Hence, it offers a glimpse into the resilience of diligent, persistent Hanoians. In the morning on the streets of the Old Quarter, city dwellers breakfast on noodles, or practice Tai Chi, or play Chinese chess. An animated painting would be an unforgettable memory for a visitor’s first trip out there.
Arriving in Hanoi, one of the ancient, historic capitals in the world, you can find French-style buildings, relic monuments, long-standing pagodas, and unique museums. Hanoi at night, one of the top destinations, is the time to explore the vibrant life of Hanoians on foot. Also, Hanoi is famous for being a French-style city along with delectable cuisine. It is a multi-cultural community that combines three Chinese, French and Russian cultures to inspire curiosity. Today’s Hanoi is quite different from the past. Modern cafes, world-class restaurants, and incredible art galleries invigorate Hanoi in a higher level.
Sapa, a must-visit to Vietnam
The magazine suggests that visitors take a must-see visit to Sa Pa, a misty rural town noted for impressive terraced rice fields in northern Vietnam. In Sa Pa, one of the interesting, popular walks is to trek up the terraced slopes. And living in a homestay with foothill tribes is to learn about their long-standing culture and rural life. For accommodation and hiking, you can find Sapa O’Chau, a nonprofit homestay and hiking service. These services give funds to the tribal community to improve village schools, to provide English courses for H’mong guides and street vendors. More than you enjoy natural scenes, culture and life, it is you who join your hand to the betterment of the community. The English training for vendors and H’mong guides offers them a livelihood as they can speak English with foreign tourists. A stone kills two birds.
Sapa town perches on the top of a deep valley of spectacular rice terrace fields, a source of rice up to now. They have been an agricultural region for centuries. On the way to Sapa, the backdrops get a backseat. But the eye-catching ribbons of the road lead the eye down to daily activities on the valley floor. White-water rivers meander through endless, immense rice fields, among lush green mountains stretching into an endless horizon or the distance as far as the eye can see. Additionally, you explore the highest peak in the region, Mount Fansipan, which crowns the rugged ridgeline topping over the town.
Halong Bay is known for its towering limestone pillars and tiny islets rising from the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Designated as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, Ha Long’s small islands are scattered among windy and wave-eroded, dotted grottoes. Hence, it’s a vision of natural beauty and, unsurprisingly, Vietnam’s undisputed tourist centre. Its sprawling city provides the main gateway to the bay, but its highrises give a disadvantage to the city. Many tourists pick cruise tours, including sleeping on board, while others head for Cat Ba Island. Further, stopping near scattered caves, visitors wander to view the impressive, magnificent formation of nature.
Lan Ha Bay
Standing in the south of Halong Bay, scattered islands and massive outcrops in Lan Ha Bay give a spectacular view. Lan Ha Bay has increasingly become popular all over the world, thanks to its underrated, unexploited and splendid nature. Undoubtedly, you visit it annually to find a pristine and less crowded spot. It adds some feelings of being isolated and untouched. Additionally, you get attracted to white-sand beaches that spread to the endless horizon. In fact, Lan Ha is an arm of Halong that extends to another province, offering an overnight boat tour, including a stop at a long beach. Or taking a kayak to get out of the water, a tourist explores almost 200 species of fish and 400 species of prawns and crabs.
In addition to seaboard activities, you take part in hiking, biking, and cliff climbing. You take only 30 minutes by boat to captivate harmful, breathtaking views of the bay. Among Halong Bay’s bays, Ha Lan Bay gains quality water for diving and snorkelling. In terms of accommodation, you have lots of options, such as hotels, hostels, homestays, and bungalows. If you get tired of the mainland, another choice is to spend your stay on a cruise or junk boat. Your night is surrounded by rock, water, and thousands of stars in the sky. The reasons for Lan Ha Bay as your destination are less crowded, less populated, more relaxing and even more beautiful.
You have just completed a tourist destination in North Vietnam. Now, it’s time to visit Hue, Middle Vietnam. Indeed, you are interested in learning about a city chock-full of historical stories, from romantic poems to ancient accounts. As a result, it leads you to pleasure and fascination you can’t resist. The Kings of the Nguyễn Dynasty built their careers. They created their feudal capital next to Huế’s picture-like riverbanks and on the top of its forested hills. In addition to Hue’s imperial legacy, it offers you a different range of refined, royal cuisine. Apart from gastronomic essence and imperial meals, you learn about how to eat like a king.
You can cycle along two sides of rice paddles or in the middle of photogenic streets for outdoor activities. And the tile-roofed Thanh Toan Bridge offers immense pleasure, peaceful tranquillity, and healthy relaxation. You fly your soul with flocks of ducks swimming along a small lake in the vast open-air or the paramount scenery of the water flowing on the Perfume River. After gaining total energy, you learn about French-style architecture. It has existed nearly one hundred years old, creating the luxurious beauty of the city. It gives you a feeling of living in the environment of the classic Western style. However, after time and the obstacles of the war, the French-style buildings still preserve charmful cultural values and their history.
Hue’s complex is not just a political hub but also cultural and religious monuments built under the Nguyen Dynasty, one of the royal dynasties in Vietnam’s history. The plan of the capital respects oriental philosophy, and the physical conditions of the city. The structure of Hue’s complex attracts international and domestic visitors as it stands in the natural, charming environment of the site, and is aligned with five elements, such as earth, metal, wood, water and fire; and five colours, like yellow, blue, black, and red. Hue’s monuments, such as the citadel, temples, and tombs, respect geomantic principles.
Nowadays, due to the ravages of the war and the weak management of the administration, some of the monuments are in ruins. Thanks to the aid of UNESCO, many of them are in the status of restoration. Also, international expert standards of conservation ensure the authenticity of the Hue complex. There exist concerns and threats of flooding that raise alarms among national and international organizations. In addition to natural damage, out-of-controlled development in the city folk is another concern for the relevant organizations. These warnings would damage the outstanding universal value of Hue’s complex.
Ho Chi Minh City
Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the top destinations
One of the most relic sites in Ho Chi Minh City is Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 1880s by the French. The cathedral’s distinctive neo-Romanesque style stands out thanks to the all-red brick facade. More than that, the brick was imported from Marseille. On the top, two bell towers contain six bronze bells to ring during the day. In addition, there exists a lovely, peaceful garden in front of the cathedral. In a garden, a Virgin Mary statue exists, which locals claimed to have shed tears for a while in October 2005. Hence, flocks of curious visitors from every corner poured into the church’s surroundings. They wanted to see the figure with the hope of witnessing a miracle or praying for their beloved ones.
Apart from its status as one of the city’s prominent attractions, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedra holds religious services for the locals and ex-pats. Generally, the time of mass services starts at 9:30 on Sunday. Prayers or worshippers in formal dress from every corner of the streets gather even outside the church. It gives a holy, solemn scene. Further, on Christmas eve, thousands of young people flock to the heart of the city to take part in the mass. It’s a giant flock of men who slowly move towards the church. Some people standing far away from the church pray on the holy night. The crowded setting still remains far into night as there are two mass services on that day because there are too many prayers.
Central Post Office Saigon
The Saigonese are proud of the Central Post Office in Ho Chi Min City as it is one of the most ancient monuments. It preserves remnants of the French administration and was the one-time greatest post office in Southeast Asia. Along with nearby Notre Dame Cathedral, both of them became cultural sites. Visiting these monuments, you admire the French architects’ styles. Also, you have an occasion to imagine daily life in Vietnam under the Indochinese Empire. The building includes arched windows, looping arches, marble floors and wooden shutters that appeared in the late 19th Century.
Inside the Central Post Office, there existed telephone boxes, registered and regular letter counters, and parcel services. However, they are now a reminder of the Post Office’s one-time service that came to an end due to the advance of technology. You see a big portrait of President Ho Chi Minh hanging near the ceiling. On the walls are two maps of Vietnam and Cambodia, on which one displays the telegraph lines, the other Saigon’s region. Also, you see two wings that sell souvenirs, postcards and reasonable lacquerware. You can do a buying spree with these items to offer your beloved ones and buddies.