Growing up in Vietnam I used to listen to Andy Williams in Moon River echoing "there's such a lot of world to see". Now an ocean away, I realized there's such a lot of Vietnam to see. It used to be that when I thought of places to see in Vietnam, the farthest north I could think of was Quang Tri. Then I would imagine going down highway 1 to Hue, Qui Nhon, Danang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Phan Rang, Saigon, Vung Tau, Can Tho, and Ca Mau. Today Vietnam visit is no longer limited to just the areas south of the then DMZ. There are so many points of interest in the North that I will have to admit the need for a guidebook if not the local guided tours.
If you've never been to the North, you've probably heard of Hanoi and perhaps Hai Phong. I have known tourists venture farther inland to places like Thai Nguen, Ha Giang, Fan Si Pan, Son La, etc. I personally would prefer the coastal towns with a definte stop at the Ha Long bay.
Look at the map of cities in Vietnam. Now you see I already missed Dalat, a resort city in the central part. A visit to Vietnam cannot be complete without touring Dalat. This city is well-known since the French founded it in 1912. Here you will enjoy the pleasant weather and the abundant nature's beauties.
Visiting Vietname you cannot forget to talk about food. Expatriated Vietnamese would dream about the varieties of delicacies all over Vietnam. You don't have to drink snake blood cocktail or eat insect to experience foreign travel. I have friends who would invariably try the various food from the sidewalk stands and decided that they taste superior to the more luxurious establishments. To really enjoy Vietnamese food you should start eating Vietnamese multipurpose dipping sauce called nuoc mam pha or nuoc cham. See this link for how they make this sauce.
If you have visited Vietnam and have any suggestion as to how to experience the visit there, please write your comments here.