There are many things Vietnam is famous for, thanks to its ancient history, diverse culture, and quintessential natural landscapes. Check out our list of What Vietnam is Known for to add to your Vietnam travel list.
1. Vietnam War
Also known as the Second Indochina War, the Vietnam War was a fight between North Vietnam, which was supported by communist allies, including the Soviet Union and China, and the government of South Vietnam, which was supported by anti-communist allies, including the United States. To most Vietnamese, it was a resistance war against Americans to defend themselves and the country. When I need someone to write a paper for me, topics about the Vietnam War are one of the areas worth exploring.
Though not many people want to be reminded about the war as the only thing that Vietnam is known for, it was a significant milestone in Vietnam’s history. Historical landmarks, therefore, have always been a top attraction in your Vietnam travel plan. There are many historical locations related to the Vietnam War that you should pay a visit to. Some top interests include the Cu Chi Tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, and the Reunification Palace.
Read more on Worthy Vietnam Tours to Understand the Vietnam War
2. The Capital Hanoi
Located in the North of Vietnam, Hanoi is home to the Old Quarter and many historical attractions. While Ho Chi Minh City is known as a bustling modern city, Hanoi is a nostalgic ancient capital. The city used to be the citadel of several previous dynasties, from the Hung Kings to the Trinh-Nguyen Lord Civil War.
3. Motorbike Madness
As a developing country, the motorbike is the main transportation in Vietnam. Almost all Vietnamese adults have their motorbike, hurrying to their destinations daily. Thousands of motorbikes on the streets in rush hour have somehow become an emblem of what Vietnam is known for. In other words, the Vietnamese life moves on two wheels. According to the statistics in 2016, there were around 7.43 million motorbikes over the population of 8.3 million in Ho Chi Minh City. Among which, over 1 million motorbikes are brought into the city by migrants, making the total number of motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh City the highest in the country.
4. Ao Dai
Ao Dai is the most well-known Vietnamese traditional garment, which both men and women can wear. Despite being a traditional costume, the Ao Dai is quite popular in Vietnam today. Ao Dai has become required for many female teachers and high school students. It is also a statement uniform for female staff in some companies, including banks, hotels, and travel agencies. Besides, Ao Dai is always a standard for weddings and other formal occasions. Vietnamese especially strongly prefer Ao Dai for celebrating Tet and important meetings.
5. Vietnamese Coffee
Coffee is one of the most essential parts of Vietnamese culture. Vietnamese coffee is widely known for its unique, robust flavor. Its special preparation process includes the ground roast coffee beans going into a small filter, then having some boiled water added to release the flavor. Some common types of Vietnamese coffee that you can find in any part of the country include Black Coffee (Ca Phe Den) and Milk Coffee (Ca Phe Sua).
6. Pho and Vietnamese Rice Dishes
Being one of the top agricultural regions, Vietnam is one of the largest rice exporters in the world. Rice, therefore, has always been an integral part of what Vietnam is known for. Almost every meal of a day of Vietnamese is based on rice.
A typical day in Vietnam often starts with a bowl of Pho and ends with a dinner of white rice with some meat and vegetables. There is a wide variety of rice dishes, including Bun Cha, Banh Canh, Bun Bo Hue, Bun Thit Nuong, Banh Khot, Banh Xeo, Banh Cuon, and Vietnamese spring rolls.
7. Vietnamese Street Foods
Like many other Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam is a heaven of street food. Traveling to Vietnam will surprise you with its unique culinary culture. Every city and province has its specialties, thus serving you a wide range of Vietnam’s famous dishes. The cheapest and most delicious places to try street food are in local markets and food stalls along the street. Some of the best street foods include Banh Trang Tron, Banh Mi, Balut, Papaya Salad, Snails, Banh Trang Nuong, Banh Cuon, and Banh Xeo.
8. Vietnamese Beer
Since Vietnam is one of the biggest beer consumers in Asia (according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade), Vietnamese beer culture is an enjoyable experience you should have once in your life. Coming to Vietnam, you can feel the beer culture on every corner, street, and anytime. Sitting on a small plastic chair along pavements, cheering, and enjoying a few beers with your friends and family is common. Also, you can try various types of beer within a reasonable budget range, including Bia Hoi (draft beer), bottled/canned beer, and craft beer.
9. Ancient Town Hoi An
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage town, Hoi An is one of the most worth-visiting places in Vietnam. The city was a flourishing port between the 15th and 19th centuries. In the 1990s, people started considering this town the “Venice of Vietnam” due to its picturesque landscapes, preserved French colonial architecture, and peaceful vibe. Besides its beauty, Hoi An boats a variety of local specialties that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Some of those are Cao Lau and White Rose Dumplings, which can offer you a pleasant taste of Vietnamese local food.
10. Vietnamese Natural Landscapes
Although Vietnam is a small country, several picturesque and breathtaking natural landscapes captivate backpackers all over the world. Vietnam will amaze you with the diversity of the scenery, ranging from white-sand beaches and beautiful natural caves to immense majestic mountainous areas. Some tourist attractions in Vietnam are Nha Trang, Da Nang, Vung Tau, Phan Thiet, and Sa Pa. It would be incomplete without mentioning Ha Long Bay, the quintessential scene of what Vietnam is known for, with many sun-drenched beaches and a fantastic system of floating limestone karst formations.
In Vietnam, many natural masterpieces originate from Vietnamese rice culture. The Vietnamese terraced rice field is considered one of the most specific delegates. The terraced rice field, also called the “stairway to heaven”, is located mainly in the Northern mountainous areas of Vietnam like Sa Pa. This special field is the result of the creative work of the ethnic communities in the Northwest of Vietnam. Due to living in the high mountains, they had no choice but to create terraces on the slopes of such peaks to keep water for growing rice. This gradually becomes an incredible landscape that reminds people of what Vietnam is known for.
11. Vietnam Countryside
The Mekong Delta, called the Nine Dragons River Delta, is a rich and lush area in Southwestern Vietnam. The delta is a network of nine distributaries that all bring plenty to rice fields and make the delta a rice bowl of Vietnam. The Mekong Delta will greet you with a lively vibe, colorful floating markets, beautiful rice fields, and unforgettable local specialties.
One of the most well-known floating markets in Cai Rang is located in Can Tho. The market is a fantastic sight of hundreds of boats packed with various fruits, foods, and flowers. This fascinating culture will give you valuable experience of the picturesque agricultural communities in Vietnam.
Read more on What to do at the Mekong Delta
Summary of What Vietnam is Known for
Being a Southeast Asian country with a diverse culture, tasty food, and many beautiful landscapes, Vietnam is a worthwhile destination. Have a look at Vietnam at a Glance for more information about the country, and check out our guides for Vietnam travel tips and a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture.