Maybe it’s the baby boom after the war: everywhere you look, you see young people working hard and partying harder. This is a country that was taught the fragility of life – and now embraces every moment of it.
The streets of its cities might be filled with millions of scooters vividly displaying the energy of a country going places, but Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hue offer rich contrasts. Imperial Hue is still quiet and pretty, while Ho Chi Minh City – the former Sai Gon - enjoys its reputation for hustle and bustle. Refined Ha Noi has café culture and old-world boulevards in French colonial style.
Viet Nam’s landscape is equally varied, making it a nightmare for past invaders but a treasure trove for today’s visitors. The 2,000 miles of coastline offer modern resorts on tropical beaches and uninhabited islands. The jungle interior is home to several national parks, while the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay, with its 2,000 or so limestone outcrops and islands, should also keep you busy for a while.