A Travel Guide to Vietnam

  • By Bamaejuri Sohkhlet
  • on 21 Apr 2021
  • Categories : Culture, Welcome Guide

A country that embodies its long-standing traditions alongside constant urbanization, Vietnam has become the destination known for its complexities and uniqueness. With the coexistence of high-rise buildings alongside venerable pagodas, enchanting monuments and tranquil nature, Vietnam has solidified itself as one of the most diverse and enchanting places to visit.

Despite its complicated and tumultuous history, Vietnam has come out on top and is continuing to prosper, overcoming all adversity.

Some interesting facts about Vietnam:

  • Vietnam is also referred to as “The King of the Cashews”. The country produces more than 55% of the global supply of cashews and it is the world’s largest exporter.
  • The country is famous for its egg coffee “Ca Phe Trung”. It is a local and famous coffee beverage that includes whipped egg served over hot coffee.
  • The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s first President, is located in the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in Hanoi under the watchful eye of armed guards 24hrs a day.
  • Snake wine is very popular in Vietnam and holds an almost legendary status in the country. It is thought to improve health and vitality.
Man on bicycle

Figure 1. A man riding a bicycle in Vietnam (Source: Pexels)

For those planning to travel to Vietnam to complete an internship at this time, please be informed of the rules and regulations regarding COVID restrictions. You will also need the following documents to travel to the country:

  • A valid passport
  • The appropriate visa type
  • An entry permit
  • A medical certificate taken within 72 hrs showing a negative COVID-19 testA healthcare Declaration form

Once Vietnam’s borders begin to open again, you will be able to apply for the DH visa type to complete your internship in the country. For further information and updates on travel requirements, please visit the official government website of Vietnam.

Vietnam is a very diverse and historical country. This travel guide encompasses only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the country’s culture and beauty.

Hanoi

One of the first cities you should visit in Vietnam is none other than the bustling capital itself, Hanoi. The metropolitan buzz of the city, the swarming motorbikes, delicious street food, the magnetic nightlife and the intricate craftsmanship of embroideries and lacquerware will captivate you in every way.

Hanoi has the ability to engulf you in its enchantment with its historical and modern fusion of architecture and lifestyle. There are five main districts in Hanoi; Ba Dinh District, Hoan Kiem District, the French Quarter, the Old Quarter and the Tay Ho District. 

1. If your interests are geared more towards historical and cultural architecture, Ba Dinh District is the place for you. You will be able to explore Hanoi’s most important historical and cultural monuments that date back to the Ly Dynasty in the 11th century.

Traces of French colonization can be also seen everywhere in Vietnam and the most impressive of the colonial buildings are located in the Ba Dinh District. It is the residence of the governor-general of Indochina, now known as the Presidential Palace.

2. The Hoan Kiem District is known for its commercial, spiritual and cultural contributions to the city. If you want to escape the busy movements of the city, this district is the best place for that.

The Hoan Kiem Lake offers a peaceful and tranquil environment, with a trendy shopping street a block west of the lake, hotels and restaurants to the east, south and west and the beginning of the Old Quarter to the north end of the district.

Temple in Vietnam

Figure 2. Temple in Vietnam (Source: Pexels)

3. The French Quarter is an area in Hanoi where you can see the lasting influence of French colonization in the architecture of the buildings. After 1882, when the French gained full control of Hanoi, they started creating a city in their image.

Now, you will see Parisian-style buildings, boulevards and elegant villas along the grid of tree-lined streets and avenues. The streets south of Le Lai that include the Metropole Hotel and the Government Guest House are also considered part of the French Quarter because of their architectural features.

Woman selling fruits

Figure 3. Woman selling fruits on her bicycle (Source: Pexels)

4. The Old Quarter, also known as “The 36 Streets” after the guild that once operated there, is a great place to stay if you are on a budget as many of the cheap places to stay can be found in this district.

In this area, there are a lot of workshops for stone-carvers, furniture-makers and tinsmiths. There are also display spaces for merchandise that range from therapeutic herbs to prayer flags and shiny-wrapped chocolates.

The architecture in this area is also not one to be missed. It reveals the amazing history of the quarter-century, with the 15th-century houses that can also be found in Hoi An, temples, pagodas, Dinh and venerable banyan trees.

5. The Tay Ho District is the fashion district of Hanoi. This district is mainly popular among the city’s ex-pats who are mainly attracted to its exclusive residential developments, lakeside clubs, hotels and spas.

A small fishing lake called the Truc Bach created in the 17th century is now surrounded by little cafes. You can also find a number of temples, pagodas and a Museum of Ethnology.

If you want to start an internship in Vietnam, Hanoi is a great place to start your journey. Its rich and diverse culture will offer a lot of opportunities. You will gain a lot of knowledge from the intricate history it has weaved throughout the century.

Ho Chi Minh

Compared to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh is a fast-paced, hyper city. Its structure is geared towards economic success with its fine restaurants, extravagant hotels, bars and clubs and expensive imported goods.

However, its complex history has not been forgotten and you can see evidence and remnants of Vietnam’s past in the number of palaces and national museums that have been set up. If you want to learn more about Vietnam and its history, the first place to visit is the War Remnants Museum.

City Hall

Figure 4. The Ho Chi Minh City Hall (Source: Pexels)

The War Remnants Museum is the most popular and significant attraction in the city. It displays the evidence and the effects that modern warfare can have on a country.

Some of the weapons of destruction that were used during the Vietnam War are on display in the courtyard of the museum and photographs of the gruesome effects of the war are put up in a gallery inside of the museum. This museum will broaden your understanding of Vietnam’s past and provide you with different perspectives.

Another museum you can visit is the Ho Chi Minh City Museum. This museum was set up in the 1860s and used to be the headquarters of a French shipping company. It is now a place that houses a collection of historical books and pictures of the late Ho Chi Minh.

The Reunification Palace is another place to visit in Ho Chi Minh. Its long history has attracted many from around the world. It was first erected in 1871 to house the governor-general of Indochina. In 1954, when the French departed, it was made into the Presidential Palace.

However, in 1962 after sustaining extensive damage after an assassination attempt by two Southern pilots, the place was shut down. Later in 1966, it was renamed the Independence Palace but again renamed the Reunification Palace when the South fell in 1975.

People visit the palace to see the intricate designs and absorb the long and complex history of the structure. If you want to explore more facets of the city besides culture and history, you can visit the Ben Thanh Market. It is the city’s busiest market with stalls lined up on all sides.

Pepople selling vegetables

Figure 5. Vegetable market in Vietnam (Source: Pexels)

You can find anything you are looking for in this market from souvenirs and shoes to pig ears and fresh-water eel. If you are looking for food stalls, you can find many that sell Vietnam’s famous noodles pho, com and baguettes at the back of the market. In the evenings, seafood stalls start setting up along the sides of the market, attracting a mixed crowd of locals and tourists.

An internship in Ho Chi Minh is a great experience and opportunity to expand your avenues. There are a great number of cathedrals, museums and monuments to visit and explore in Vietnam and especially in Ho Chi Minh.

And if you start your internship with AIP, you will be sure to have an unforgettable international experience that is both professional and personally rewarding.

Transportation around the cities in Vietnam

There is a number of ways to get around the cities in Vietnam. One of the options is by cyclo. It will add a very Vietnamese touch to your trip to the country. Another option is to get around by taxi. It is best to get one from a reliable taxi company in order to avoid getting scammed.

Other options are to travel by bus, motorbike or rental cars. Foreigners do not usually take the bus but it is easier to hop on and off at your own convenience. A bike is a cheap way to get around the cities, although you would have to be quite careful and skillful when getting around during rush hour.

Rental cars are a good and safe option to get around the cities. It is also very convenient as you can travel anywhere you want without having to keep to a tight schedule.

Apply with AIP!

Vietnam is rich in culture and multifaceted in tradition. Apply with AIP to experience all that the country has to offer and gain all the knowledge and opportunities first-hand. If you want to explore and learn more about the country or any other Southeast Asian countries, visit our website and take a look at the programs we offer to best facilitate your international internship experience!

Internship in Vietnam

About author

A Social Science graduate from Mahidol University International College in Thailand. Passionate about writing, specifically on social and economic issues.

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