FREE VIP Privilege Club in Vietnam

Despite rapid development, Vietnam manages to retain its rich cultural heritage and sublime natural beauty. Even the big noisy cities such as Hanoi and Saigon, possess undeniable character and charm. Tourism has undoubtedly affected the mountain towns and ethnic villages in the north; however, they are still worth visiting. Most visitors stick to the main tourist hubs, but straying off the trodden tourist trail can be incredibly rewarding.

The coastal town of Ha Tien is situated on the Gulf of Thailand, just five miles from Vietnam’s border with Cambodia. The town’s cluster of limestone rock formations create a network of caves, which are home to a series of temples. The surrounding region is also incredibly scenic with white sandy beaches, sparkling water and picturesque fishing villages. The Western Central Highlands are located along the border with Cambodia and Laos, and receives few visitors. The region’s diverse agriculture and multitude of ethnic groups provide a fascinating landscape for exploration.

Activities

The geography of Vietnam provides the ideal terrain for an array of activities and unlimited adventure. In many areas, the landscape doubles up as an adventure playground, which has been thoughtfully designed by nature. Whether it’s climbing, caving, trekking or golfing, the natural elements of the landscape provide an ideal arena for the activity, while its outstanding natural beauty enhances the experience.

Vietnam is a relatively flat land providing the perfect terrain for cycling. Undisciplined traffic in the cities can be hazardous for cyclists, however the countryside has little traffic flow so cyclists can enjoy safer travel. Horse riding is a fun activity for all the family, and treks can be taken along the beach, through the countryside or into the mountains.

With more than 3000 kilometres of coastline, Vietnam is a great place to enjoy water sports. Snorkelling and scuba diving provide a window to the thriving, colourful world that lies under the water. A rainbow of exotic fish and a bed of coral swirl in a kaleidoscope of vibrant colour. Vietnam’s coastline also features hidden caves, concealed lagoons and meandering river caves, these can be explored by kayak.

Climbing is becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam, with a prominent scene emerging in the Halong Bay area. An army of craggy outcrops provide the ideal topography for rock climbing. Climbers scaling these limestone cliffs are rewarded with a bird’s eye view of this stunning coastal region. Rafting on Vietnam’s fast flowing rapids provides the ultimate adrenalin rush. The powerful force of nature ushers rafters through unspoilt scenery, where exotic birds and a vibrant world of wildlife reside. Elephant trekking is the most enjoyable way to explore the rainforests, with the king of the jungle providing an exhilarating ride.

Climate

The climate in Vietnam varies greatly from the north to the south. Tropical monsoons occur from October to April in both the north and south, and from May to September in the center. This is when most of the country's rain falls. Vietnam is almost totally dry throughout the rest of the year and it can get exceptionally hot all year round, though the north has a cooler time between October and April.

Tourists to Vietnem may find it best to travel between the shifting of seasons. Temperatures around the country often reach 40C in the height of the hot and rainy season (May to September), but the northern highlands and Hanoi can often seem chilly in the winter.

Culture

The Culture of Vietnam, which is the agricultural civilization based on the wet rice cultivating, is one of the oldest of such in the Asia Pacific region.

Long periods of domination and interaction with its northern neighbor, China, has resulted in Vietnam's historic inclusion as part of the East Asian Cultural Sphere, known widely as Chinese Cultural Sphere with the accepting Confucianism as the philosophy of Mandarin class. However, the major stimulation of Vietnamese culture's development comes from indigenous factors. That is, Vietnamese culture with village culture as its representation is foundation that belongs to Austro-Asiatic culture and Chinese influence and Indianization have just only been enrichment.

Festivals

Vietnamese and Chinese Lunar New Year (TET), is the most important Festival of Vietnamese people. This scared Festival sometime between late January or early February (depend on Lunar Calendar ) and Tet has become so familiar to the Vietnamese that when Spring arrives, the Vietnamese, wherever they may be, are all thrilled and excited with the advent of Tet, and they feel an immense nostalgia, wishing to come back to their homeland for a family reunion and a taste of the particular flavours of the Vietnamese festivities.

During the spring until the afternoon of the 30th day of the 1st lunar month, and especially on the day of the full moon of the first month, tourists from Ho Chi Minh City and the provinces of the south pilgrimage to worship and sightsee. Starting at the bottom of the mountain, tourists climb one half of the mountain to Saint Linh Son's communal house and then follow a path that leads to a pagoda. This pagoda offers vegetarian meals. Tourists can eat as much as they want, but should donate some money to the pagoda; the amount of the donation depending on the budget of the tourist.

Food

With the balance between fresh herbs and meats and a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food can be considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide, including many kinds of local food such as special noodle soup (pho), spring rolls, grilled shrimp paste, grilled minced fish.

Vietnamese cuisine is a style of cooking derived from the nation of Vietnam with fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables all commonly used. Vietnamese recipes utilise a very diverse range of herbs, including lemongrass, mint, Vietnamese mint, long coriander and Thai basil leaves. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for freshness of the ingredients and for the healthy eating style. The most common meats used in Vietnamese cuisine are pork, chicken, fish, and various kinds of seafood. The Vietnamese also have a strong vegetarian tradition influenced by Buddhist values.

Religion

The earliest established religions in Vietnam are Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Significant minorities of adherents to Roman Catholicism, Cao Dai, and Hoa Hao and smaller minorities of adherents to Protestantism, Islam, Hinduism, and Theravada Buddhism were established later, in recent centuries.

The majority of Vietnamese people classify themselves as non-religious, although they visit religious temples several times every year. Their everyday behaviours and attitudes are dictated by the synthesis of philosophies which can be traced from many religions, especially Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Those religions have been co-existing in the country for centuries and mixed perfectly with the Vietnamese tradition of worshiping their ancestors and national heroes. That special mix explains why the people there find it hard to say exactly which religion they belong to.

Travel Tips

Greetings
Dap is a form of handshake and friendly gesture that has recently became popularized in western cultures. Often used in cricket (touching the gloves), referring to fist bump. The term dap may have originated as an acronym for dignity and pride.
The Law
Do not get yourself involved with drugs. Penalties for drug offences are very severe in Vietnam.
Do not support any manner of wild animal abuse. Never purchase any products or souvenirs made from wild animals including reptiles like snakes, monitor lizards, and also turtle shell and ivory.
Drop your garbage into a waste container. In an effort to keep the city clean and healthy, the fine will be imposed on a person who spits, discards cigarette stubs, or drops rubbish in public areas.
Observe all normal precautions as regards to personal safety, as well as the safety of your belongings.


We hope these guidelines are helpful during your stay in Vietnam. More detailed information about Vietnam provinces are available by clicking the appropriate listing in our Main Menu. This is where you will also find a selection of businesses that are offering benefits and discounts to Asia Privilege Club Members.

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