Endowed with stunning beaches, breathtaking sceneries and colorful cultural traditions, Vietnam has become more appealing to international tourists as U.S. travel site www.thrillist.com has recently named Vietnam as one of the must-visit destinations in Southeast Asia.
In an article released by a Canadian travel blogger, identified as Lewis Kelly, foreign travelers are recommended to take a tour to the fast-rising Southeast Asian country which has been ranked seventh among the world’s 20 fastest-growing travel destinations, according to a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The author provided a variety of choices for first-time travelers with a list of the country’s some popular sightseeing spots including the UNESCO-recognized World Heritage site Halong Bay in Quang Ninh Province, Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi City, the Notre Dame Cathedral in HCMC, Hue royal tombs in Thua Thien-Hue Province, the UNESCO-listed ancient town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province, An Bang Beach in Hoi An and Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang Province.
Apart from the famous tourist sites, Sapa, the misty town in the northern province of Lao Cai, is touted as a must-see place for tourists to immerse themselves in cool weather all year round, admire the spectacular terraced rice fields and poetic valleys, and explore the diverse cultures of ethnic minority groups.
Thien Mu Pagoda in the former imperial capital of Hue is also on the list of ideal destinations in Vietnam. The scared site where foreign tourists can discover a lot about religious life of locals offers a striking overlook of the peaceful, tranquil and poetic Huong (Perfume) River that is associated with the image and reputation of Hue City.
Vietnam has been increasingly appealing to international visitors as Hoi An is named as one the world’s top destinations in 2017 by TripAdvisor users, who also selected Dalat and Sapa as the best choice for a wonderful vacation of the year, according to a Vnexpress report.
Hanoi and HCMC have recently been listed among the cheapest cities for backpackers by Price of Travel, a travel site collecting information on accommodation, transportation, attraction, food, and drink prices in 200 cities worldwide.
The country is striving to turn the tourism sector into an economic spearhead, which is expected to attract an estimated 20 million international tourists by 2020.
Last year, the country earned total tourism revenue of VND400 trillion (around US$17.7 billion), with more than 10 million foreigners visiting the country last year. International tourist arrivals to the country in the first half of the year surged 30.2% from the year-ago period to 6.2 million, according to data of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Especially, the country is preparing to offer visa exemptions for citizens in major source markets such as Asia and Europe to bring in more foreign travelers in the coming years.