"Vietnam" Top 5 Page for this destination Vietnam by iwys
Vietnam Travel Guide: 12,839 reviews and 32,375 photos
Vietnam is a poor country, but a great one. Factory workers earn no more than $50 per month, waitresses $40. Yet, people still keep on smiling: all 80 million of them.
The country has a turbulent history and reminders of war are everywhere. The Chinese invaded and occupied Vietnam for a thousand years. They were finally driven out by Vietnamese forces in 1426, who repelled several more attempted Chinese invasions over the next four centuries.
The French launched their first attacks against Vietnam as far back as 1847 and by 1887 they had taken control of the entire country. Then came invading Japanese forces, who ruled Vietnam from 1940 to 1945. The French soon took control of the south again, but in the northern half of the country Ho Chi Minh established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Fighting broke out between the Vietnamese and the French in 1946, reaching its climax at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. It was then agreed to partition the country along the 17th parallel into North and South Vietnam.
In 1956 the first American military advisors arrived to train the South Vietnamese army. More and more Vietcong infiltrated the South throughout the late 50s and early 60s and soon large areas of countryside were controlled by the communists. By 1963 the number of American military advisors in the South had increased to 16,000. In 1964 the first attack on the North was made by American bombers and in March 1965 US troops landed at Danang. More than 2,700,000 Americans served in Vietnam and 58,148 died there. President Nixon withdrew all American forces in 1973 and Saigon finally fell to the communists on April 30, 1975, leading to the reunification of the country.
The Vietnam War sites are big business, so much so, that some places, like Cu Chi, are in danger of being turned into war theme parks.
Many people think that travelling around Vietnam will be difficult, but the country has a fantastic support network for backpack travelling. The Sinh Cafe and Kim Cafe agencies are especially helpful. Their open bus tickets, which enable you to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, stopping off at all of the major cities along the way, are great value at under $20. Accommodation is amazingly cheap too. I stayed at a really nice, brand new hotel in Hue, with airconditioning, en-suite bathroom and satellite TV for $7 a night.
The Mekong Delta, or Nine Dragon River Delta, is the region in south-western Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches... more travel advice
Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City as it is known nowadays, is bursting with exotic sights, sounds and smells, lively, noisy, a... more travel advice
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- 4 Cities
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