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BellaOnline's Southeast Asia Editor

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Vietnam – The World Heritage Sites


Vietnam is a socialist country in the easternmost on Indochina Peninsula. The country’s history is full of wars, conflicts and rebellion and the most brutal is the American-Vietnamese war. Although it was over in 1975, you can still find myriad reminders of the tragic conflict anywhere you go, and yet American tourists are mostly welcome by young generation who admire American culture.

This is a country of cross cultural influences; Indian and Hindu culture in the South and Chinese in the north. You will also find some French influences in Hanoi’s boulevard and food like baguette and coffee shop along the street; France invaded Vietnam in 1858 and made it one of the colonies in Indochina but eventually the country ousted the French in 1954.
Despite the war image of previous history, Vietnam is actually a country full of enchanting natural beauty and serene rural life.

Points of Interests
Vietnam has been attracting more international tourists since 1990s, particularly in coastal regions such as Ha Long Bay, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Other favorite destinations are: My Son sanctuary and Hoi An ancient city.

Ha long Bay Islands
Located in the northern part, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must see destination for visitors. Ha Long Bay means bay of descending dragons; the bay is famous for thousands of limestone karsts and isles of several sizes and shapes, beaches, grottoes and caves. It is often included in the lists of natural wonders of the world. There are some of 2000 limestone islets rising from emerald waters and more than 20 caves can be visited by tourists. Most of the islands are uninhabited and almost untouched by human being. You can take boat trips to explore the islands and experience its greatest wonder, sunset, sunrise and moonlight.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
This park is one of the largest karsts regions in the world with 300 caves and grottos situated in a limestone zone of 2,000 km. Phong Nha Cave is containing many rock formations and Ke Bang forest. The park was created to protect the eco system of limestone forest in Vietnam and it was opened for public in 2011. However, you are not allowed to hike or trek the park without a licensed tour operator because this area is close to Laos Border with military presence in the park. This National Park was listed in 2009 by UNESCO Heritage Site for its geological value.

My son sanctuary
My son sanctuary is a large complex of religious relics with more than 70 architectural works. It is a very attractive place for you who recognize the value of history and architecture. It was the capital of ancient Champa kingdom and a famous sacred site. The site was constructed by the King of Champa between the 4th and 12th centuries for worship. The Vietnamese-American war had destroyed the region completely and reduced many of the towers. However, there are still plenty of remains you can see.

Hoi An ancient city
It is a small port city on the coast of the South China Sea and recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This ancient city is very unique with well conserved buildings that display a harmonious mixture of local and foreign influences from the 15th to 19th centuries. Here you can experience old streets with ancient houses, pagodas, temples, wells and tombs with its traditions, beliefs, folk festivals and sophisticated culinary art.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Hanny Suriadi. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Hanny Suriadi. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Hanny Suriadi for details.

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