Whether you’ve been to Vietnam, live there, or have learned about it in school, most adults are familiar with its largest city: Ho Chi Minh. Though not the capital, Ho Chi Minh is a central part to Vietnam commercially and historically. It has a large modern metropolitan area but also many areas of historical importance.
Vietnam is home to a number of areas of historical status, many from the Vietnam War in the middle of the 1900s. One of the biggest historical Vietnam travel sites is the War Remnants Museum. This museum is not for the faint of heart, showing a clear picture of the brutality suffered by the Vietnamese citizens during this wartime. It is a place that shows another side to the story that many Western tourists have never seen before or learned about in their earlier history classes. Western tourists will also be able to read the captions either in Vietnamese or English, ensuring that more people can learn about the history.
Another historical museum to visit when travelling to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is the Museum of Vietnamese History. This museum is different from the War Remnants Museum by displaying exhibits about all of Vietnam’s history. Some of the time periods covered in the museum are: the Prehistoric Period, the Metal, Stone, and Bronze Ages, periods of fighting for independence from Chinese rule, and the later dynasties leading up to the 1900s. There are many artifacts displayed and events covered in this museum and it is a very popular travel spot in Vietnam for Western tourists. Just like the War Remnants Museum, captions are written both in Vietnamese and English.
The Independence Palace, or the Reunification Palace, is a historical landmark in Ho Chi Minh City. During the Vietnam War, it was where the President of South Vietnam stayed and worked and it was also where the end event of the war took place. Before that it was relevant in many of the dealings with France before the European country removed its troops from Vietnam in 1954. The Independence Palace was destroyed in 1962 by rebel pilots and was rebuilt to completion in 1966 before it was used during the Vietnam War. Now it remains as a historic landmark, with its old war room in tact and original tanks from the period able to be seen on the grounds of the palace. There are also widespread gardens and many interesting places to view in and outside of the palace. It is a place of importance to visit when travelling to the historical sights in Vietnam.
There is no shortage of historical things to see in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. The ones listed are only a few of the major ones, but there is still much more in the city to be seen. There are tunnels that were used during the Vietnam War and other historical architectural sites to behold. Travel to Vietnam and visit these sites for yourself! You will return home with a broader worldview and new historical knowledge about Vietnam.
When travelling in a different country, whether on vacation or there for business, it is important to know how you are going to get around. If the services are available and the price is not an issue, some people decide to rent a vehicle. Others may opt to use taxis or other car services to get around, especially in more metropolitan areas where parking can be a nightmare. In some smaller areas or environmentally conscious countries, bicycles might to be the preferred method of travel. And then there are the underground metro stations and places of international high-speed transit. No matter where you go, you are going to need to get around somehow, and the place that you travel to will have its own common transportation services that may be different from the ones you are used to. Even more importantly is the factor of being a foreigner, especially if you are planning on travelling to Vietnam.
Vietnam may prove to be a different travel experience for anyone who is more used to the Western customs of travel, though it isn’t due to the method of travel. One of the most used forms of travel for tourists is the taxi, and Vietnam also provides this service. The taxi cars with set fare rates that are known beforehand tend to be cheap and accessible if you are travelling about in a major city. It is also a preferred way of travelling at night due to its added safety. However, tourists should be cautious of taxis without set fare rates that are given before the ride, as some of these cars may use a faster ticking fare counter to hike up the price.
If you need to get from one end of Vietnam to another, you can avoid the added anxiety of hiked up fare rates for land travel by booking a plane ticket. There are a few Vietnamese airlines that offer international flights for good rates, and it will also cut down on travel time. Not travelling far enough to justify a car or plane trip? No problem! There is actually a method of travel in Vietnam that differs from some other places around the globe, and it is good for short distance travel if you’re not carrying luggage. Taxi scooters/motorbikes, known as xe om in Vietnamese, are an easy way to get around in Vietnam. Just make sure to hire your driver beforehand or at a reputable service center to ensure you and your wallet will not be taken advantage of.
Vietnam is a country filled with history, culture, and some very amazing landscapes. Many people travel there specifically to get a taste of this Vietnam experience. However, the tourist-targeting custom that surrounds many forms of the country’s public transportation system can be a turn off to many. If you are looking to have the best time in Vietnam, either try to get a paid tour guide to help you on your travels, or study up on the customs beforehand.
I was lucky enough right after college to travel around Vietnam for almost a year right after college. I truly loved the place and has a blast and it allowed me to learn SO much about a new culture. But after traveling all of Vietnam for almost a year, I definitely have been able to pick up quite the tips and tricks for traveling in a country that is quite peculiar. It was very hard in the beginning due to the language barrier and was unforgiving if you could not communicate.
The Keys To Success in Traveling Vietnam
In my following posts, I am going to help you become an expert Vietnam traveler before you even BOARD the plane to head to Vietnam. You will know all the best spots to go to and how to get around in a city that is going to be super unfamiliar. Vietnam is an absolutely beautiful place to travel in. You can find something new to do on almost every single corner you go down. One of the first and best tips I am going to give you, is to use a tour guide! The Vietnam tour guide will be able to help you know what are the best things to do at what times. Like, some things are really good to do in the summer months but absolutely terrible in their winter months.
Another great reason to use a tour guide is you will never find yourself stranded without a “lifeline”. If you do not know the language very well, the tour guide is required. BUT, if you do know the language and are ready for a real adventure, go out by yourself and explore. There is so much beauty in Vietnam, prepare to be amazed! (I still suggest that you take a tour guide and then go out by yourself)
If you have any questions before your journey to Vietnam, please feel free to hit up my Contact form and reach out!