Three quick facts about Vietnam: a little over 100 million people live there, football is the country’s most popular sport, and the local street food is out of this world. There is also the issue of a lengthy civil war that forms an integral part of the country’s history, but it hasn’t dulled the spirit of the people.
We list here some things you may want to do before traveling to this country and while there.
You will want to read books about Vietnam from residents’ perspectives before you travel to act as guides into the country. While war isn’t any average person’s cup of tea, it is an integral part of Vietnamese history for thousands of years. Learning about how Vietnam has grown from its wartorn past helps provide some background when visiting this country.
‘Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans,’ – Wallace Terry
The war was brutal on those in the frontline and for the black soldiers, they were predisposed to discriminatory biases in the already tormenting situation. The book that we think is as easy as read as the enchanting essays on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, shows that black soldiers that made up 23 percent of total fatalities were exposed to rampant discrimination. According to the book, they were discriminated against during promotions assignments, and even their living conditions were not the best, and it wasn’t all rosy coming back into the ‘real world’ post-war. You can find some free writing samples online in the matter.
This is only one of the thousands of books written to cover the country’s war and tragic history, and anyone who visits Vietnam may want to read that part of its history out of respect and information, sad as it may be. Other book recommendations are:
- The Quiet American
- Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An
- The Sorrow of War
Explore Essential Vietnam
Make sure to tick off these boxes mentioned below, from the places to eat to the locations you must visit for a fulfilling experience of Vietnam. This essential information covers everything a traveler would want to know, whether you are in college or university during summer break or just traversing the country to tick it off your Vietnam bucket list.
Vietnamese Cuisine You Do not Want to Miss
It would not be a complete listing of Vietnamese cuisine without Pho, right? This simple but heartful dish made of fresh rice noodles, salty broth, a generous sprinkling of herbs, and chicken or beef is served in bowls and slurped over conversations for posterity. It’s part of traditional Vietnamese food, so you will always find a street vendor selling some bowls of this goodness in Hanoi or Saigon.
This dish is so phenomenal that it has a street named after it. The norm with the country’s cuisine is really simple: chunks of fried fish cooked in garlic, ginger, turmeric, and dill. You can enjoy some of Cha Ca La Vong in the much cheaper part of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem District.
Want some healthy crepe for breakfast or brunch? Think Banh Xeo, a crepe stuffed with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts, all garnished with fresh herbs typical of any Vietnamese dish. You can also wrap it in rice paper or lettuce leaves, then dip it into any sauce the chef recommends if you want to eat it like a local.
The Sights in Vietnam
You can soak in so much knowledge about the cities and the country as a whole from one comprehensive guided tour into Vietnam. While the country has so many places to visit, we will only list a few that should be on the course of your travels.
Ha Long Bay
The beaches in this part of the world are in a class of their own. Over the turquoise waters are hundreds of boats offering trips into the bay so you can watch everything from a beautiful angle. You will also get some education while on those cruises that will take you to smaller, uncrowded islands. See Luxury Cruises You Can Take in Ha Long Bay.
A Cat Ba Island Hike
If you are an adrenaline junkie that also loves challenging hikes, you may want to book a trip into Cat Ba’s rainforests. The Cang Viet Hai Trail is quite challenging as it is 18kms of slippery paths, knotted plantation, and undisturbed flora and fauna. You may be inspired to write an essay about the forests once you get back to school.
War Remnant Museum in Ho Chi Minh City
Want some first-hand information on the Vietnamese war? The War Remnant Museum is one of the best places to learn the Vietnam War and how the war changed the country.
Conclusion on Vietnam: What to Read, Where to Go, and What to Eat
There is a lot more worth writing home about when you take a trip into Vietnam. This country has so much to give, whether you want to immerse yourself in culture, hike some of the most scenic areas, or enjoy some good food.