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For many Americans, Vietnam is deeply associated with one thing: The long and controversial war of the late 60s and 70s. As much as the war impacted the country, Vietnam is much more than that. It is a stunning country with nearly 2.5 times more coastline than California, peaceful rice paddies, rugged mountains and even a wonder of the world (Halong Bay). Here are 20 photos to inspire you to see for yourself how beautiful Vietnam really is.

RELATED: Vietnam War attractions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

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From south to north, Vietnam’s culture changes along with the climate. It’s a sizable country, running the same length as the U.S. West Coast, with many diverse landscapes. In the south is bustling Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon), filled with millions of motorbikes and amazing food. Here you will also find several museums and monuments about the Vietnam War, as well as the remains of the tunnels used during the war. Even further south, the cities give way to beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters.

In Central Vietnam, you’ll find many culturally significant cities like Hue and Hoi An. As you move away from the sea, the lowlands rise up into rolling misty hills and mountains. The villages and farms in the highlands of Vietnam are responsible for a sizable amount of the world’s coffee production. There are so many things to do in Hoi An you could spend a week exploring this vibrant city.

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Far up north the temperature is a bit cooler, the cuisine a little different and the landscapes out of this world. To the east of Hanoi, the rock formations of Halong Bay seem to spring straight out of the water and are often surrounded by an eerie mist. Even further north toward the border of China is Sa Pa, one of the country’s most photogenic cities. Surrounded by large rolling hills with rice terraces meticulously carved into the sides. Northern Vietnam is a must for any photo enthusiast.

If there is anything to spark your desire to visit Vietnam more than the scenery, it would have to be the food. In Vietnam, you might assume your plate will be filled with rice like main other Asian countries, but that’s not always the case. In the early part of the 20th century, Vietnam was heavily influenced by French colonizers. As a result, bread is a bigger part of the menu and it’s pretty amazing, especially as a banh mi baguette sandwich. If there’s another dish that Vietnam is famous for outside the country it would have to be pho, and it’s even better in Vietnam. There are tons of Vietnam destinations with amazing food but some of the best we found was in Hoi An.

The cost of accommodations, meals, and sightseeing is relatively low in Vietnam, adding to its appeal as a budget destination, plus flights to Vietnam are a lot cheaper than you might have thought from many U.S. hubs.


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Tagged: Photo essay

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Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog

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