HO CHI MINH CITY - ( formerly
Saigon ) HCM city is Vietnams largest city. Its architecture
has been influenced by the French
colonisation in the 1800ís and the American influence
during the Vietnam war. There are museums which provide
graphic details of this war. Nearby are the incredible
Cu Chi tunnels. These were commenced in the 1940ís
and took 25 yrs to construct. They were used by the
poorly equipped peasant army, firstly against the
French and then the Americans. They are hundreds of
kms long and were used by the Viet Cong to coordinate
their war effort. They contain living areas, storage
facilities, kitchens, hospitals and command centres.
DALAT - This picturesque town
is situated high in the mountains with many lakes
and waterfalls and is surrounded by evergreen forests.
There are colourful markets where the local villagers
bring their produce.
NHA TRANG - This is an attractive
resort town with some of Vietnams most stunning beaches
and coastal scenery. A cruise to one of the many islands
to swim, snorkel, relax and have a beach massage.
Nearby is Cam Ranh Bay the controversial naval and
BUON MA THUOT - This small town
is in the Central Highlands and is the capital of
Dac Lac province. There are many ethnic hill tribes
living in the nearby forests and National Parks.
PLEIKU - This
town is situated in the Central Highlands and is a
market town in the centre of a vast fertile valley.
Many of its population are from the nearby hill tribes.
An attack by the Viet Cong in 1965 against US military
advisers stationed here resulted in a rapid escalation
and build up of American troops.
QUI NHON - This town is situated
on Vietnams central coast and was an important US
base. There are many fishing villages
scattered along the beach.
HOI AN - Its geographical position
made it one of S.E. Asia's major ports during the 17th,
18th and 19th centuries. Dutch, Portugese, Japanese
and French influences provide a vast array of architectural
designs. Nearby is Danang and the infamous China Beach.
HUE - This is the place that
the US forces first landed in 1965. Less well known
is that in 1858 the French forces also began their
campaign here. Hue was the imperial capital from 1802
to 1945 and is one of Vietnams cultural religious
and educational centres.
HANOI - Leave the motor bikes in Hue and fly to Hanoi which
is the capital of Vietnam and is located in the heart
of the Red river basin. It has beautiful parks, lakes,
tree lined boulevardes, fine buildings, musuems and
HALONG BAY - This spectacular
bay has 3000 islands rising from the clear, emerald
waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The islands have beaches, caves and grottoes and is one of Vietnams natural
wonders and is a world heritage listed site. The name Halong means " where the dragon
descends into the sea."