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  • Last Updated: 06th October 2016

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Sightseeing in Vietnam

Vietnam is a country blessed with natural beauty in the form of caves, limestone islands, expanses of unspoilt jungle, pine forests and breath-taking mountains. The country is also known for its rich cultural heritage and is famous for its food, ancient ruins, many temples and traditional festivals.

Fascinating architecture

Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long
Modern-day Hanoi was once named Thăng Long. The city was the political hub of Vietnam for 13 consecutive centuries and served as the capital for eight centuries. In recent years numerous ancient relics have been excavated from the site of Thăng Long Royal Citadel, many of which can be seen in the National Museum. Foundations of palaces, ancient roads, ponds and wells were also unearthed.

The flag tower of Hanoi
Now part of the Vietnam Military History Museum; the flag tower of Hanoi is part of the ancient Thăng Long Citadel. This iconic tower was built in 1812 and was originally a military post.

Thiên Mu Pagoda
This seven-storey temple is the tallest religious building in Vietnam. Located in Hue, Thiên Mu Pagoda was built in 1601 and has been expanded and altered over time. The temple, which sits on the northern bank of the Perfume River, has become the unofficial symbol of the former imperial capital.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
One of the most popular attractions in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the final resting place of iconic Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh. Construction was started in 1973 and the mausoleum was modelled on Lenin's mausoleum in Russia. Ho Chi Minh's remains were embalmed and encased in glass in the mausoleum (albeit against his wishes).

Archaeological Sites

Mỹ Sơn
Mỹ Sơn is a group of abandoned and partially ruined temples located on the central coast. Mỹ Sơn was once a significant site for Hindu ceremonies, and the kings of the Champa Kingdom (and Cham people) built over 70 temples here – devoted to the Hindu God, Shiva – between the fourth and fourteenth centuries AD.

Củ Chi Tunnels
This sprawling network of tunnels was used by Viet Cong guerrillas during the Vietnam War. Located 40 kilometres north-west of Ho Chi Minh City, the Củ Chi Tunnels are a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can crawl through safer areas of the tunnel system.

Museums

The Museum of Cham Sculpture
This museum is located in Da Nang, central Vietnam. It is named for its collection of artefacts from the Cham people, an ethnic group of south-east Asia. Before the museum was built, the site was called the “garden of sculptures” and many Cham sculptures collected in Da Nang, and elsewhere, were kept there. The museum was first opened in 1919 and was designed with traditional Cham elements to the architecture.

The War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum was opened in 1975. Included in the museum’s collection are graphic photographs taken during the Vietnam War, as well as American military equipment such as aircraft and weapons. The museum also exhibits photographs that show the effects of prenatal exposure to the chemical “Agent Orange” which caused birth defects in many Vietnamese children.

National Parks and Wildlife

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park
Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is mostly tropical rainforest and has many significant geomorphic features such as underground rivers. The park features an impressive 70-kilometre cave system, which includes the world's largest cave.

Many endangered animal species can be found in the park, including black bears, tigers and elephants.

Cúc Phương National Park
Cúc Phương National Park is located in Ninh Binh Province. It’s an island-based park with beautiful tropical rainforest that’s inhabited by a large variety of mammals, birds and reptiles. The park is considered one of the best bird-watching spots in Vietnam.

Cát Tiên National Park
Cát Tiên National Park is situated about 150 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City. It is one of the largest lowland areas of tropical rainforest in Vietnam and home to 40 species of animals listed as endangered by The International Union for Conservation of Nature. These include Asian elephants, sun bears, yellow-cheeked gibbons, mouse deer and tree shrews.