Cu Chi tunnels

Cu Chi tunnels


During the Vietnam War, communist guerrilla forces known as the Viet Cong dug a Cu Chi tunnels network to counter the better-equipped American and South Vietnamese forces. A network of tunnels ran under the Cu Chi district northwest of Saigon. Soldiers also used these underground tunnels to house their troops, communicate, transport equipment, set traps, and launch surprise attacks. Today, the Cu Chi Tunnels are a popular tourist attraction located in the Vietnam War Memorial Park in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Communist forces began to dig a network of tunnels under the jungle landscape of South Vietnam already in the late 1940s, when the war of independence with the French colonial power. The tunnels were dug by hand and only in small stages. Củ Chi tunnels – Wikipedia

Geneva Peace Conference

The first Indochina war ended with the defeat of the French, where Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, in Hanoi at 1945. However, at the Geneva Peace Conference in 1954, Vietnam was divided into two halves, creating socialist North Vietnam and capitalist South Vietnam. In the early 1960s, the United States began to increase its military presence in South Vietnam. At the same time, North Vietnamese communist auxiliaries and Viet Cong forces gradually expanded their tunnels further. At its peak during the Vietnam War, the network of tunnels was already about 250 km long, connecting the outskirts of Saigon to the Cambodian border.

As the US war effort relied heavily on aerial bombardment, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces went underground to survive. At the same time, successful guerrilla warfare continued against a much better equipped enemy. In heavily bombed areas, people spent most of their lives underground. They created underground tunnels with living quarters, kitchens, ammunition factories, hospitals and bomb shelters. In some quieter areas, they built theaters and rooms to listenin music to persuade the peasants to defect to them side.

War with the Cu Chi Tunnels

In addition to providing shelter, the Cu Chi tunnels also played a key role in combat operations against Saigon, where US soldiers and their allies were stationed. Lurking in the tunnels, the Viet Cong soldiers laid numerous traps for the US and South Vietnamese infantrymen, where in addition to the explosive charges and the collapse of the tunnel, they were trapped in some parts of the tunnel along with poisonous scorpions and snakes. To counter such tactics, the US military trained soldiers as so-called “tunnel rats”. These trained soldiers were usually small in stature, so that they could move successfully for several hours in narrow, dark tunnels, detecting various traps and looking for a certain location for enemy forces.

In January 1966, 8,000 US and Australian troops attempted to wipe out the Cu Chi district. The name of the operation was “Crimp”, which meant a large-scale bombing. After the frenzied bombing of the jungle area by B-52 planes, it was realized that there was little point as the enemy forces disappeared through the network of tunnels. A year later, a new military operation “Cedar Falls” was launched by about 30,000 Americans. The operation targeted Binh Duong province near the Cambodian border. The province was called the iron triangle, where enemies nested both in the network of tunnels and on the ground. After actively bombing the surrounding jungle areas and poisoning the rice fields with powerful herbicides, US tanks and bulldozers arrived to put the finishing touches on the operation. As a result, several thousand locals fled the region. During the TET New Year in early 1968, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces returned to the remaining tunnels that had been successfully used in their successful offensive to liberate Saigon.

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Vung Tau city

Vung Tau city


Vung Tau is located at the tip of a small peninsula in southern Vietnam, 90 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Peninsula is surrounded by Ganh Rai Bay, and the Saigon and Mekong rivers flowing into the bay. Vung Tau is a major holiday destination for residents of Ho Chi Minh City, both for weekend breaks and just a day trip as it is not far from Ho Chi Minh City. Vung Tau is famous for its beaches where you can enjoy the sunrise on one side of the peninsula and the sunset on the other. Vung Tau has a tropical climate with rainfall mostly from May to November and a dry season from December to April with an average annual temperature of 26.6°C. Vũng Tàu – Wikipedia


In the 14th and 15th centuries, the peninsula was an important landing place for merchant ships from Europe, and the name of the town, Vung Tau, translates as “anchorage”. Once upon a time, centuries ago, this place was also called swampland. In the 17th century, it was settled by the Vietnamese, who built many new Buddhist temples and monuments on their arrival. Under the reign of King Gia Long in the 18th century, pirates from the Malay Archipelago established their base on the peninsula, which later they caused problems for the merchant ships. The king sent an army to get rid of the pirates, which was successful operation. As a reward, the soldiers were given lands. During the reign of the Nguyễn dynasty, the province was called Biên Hòa and the village was called Tam Thắng (“Three Boats”) which consisted of three villages Thắng Nhất, Thắng Nhị, Thắng Tam.


The French Indo-Chinese government renamed the town Cap Saint-Jacques (VN. “Cap Xanh Giắc”) where in 1901 lived 5,690 people of whom 2,000 had arrived as immigrants from North Vietnam. On 4 April 1905, Cap Saint-Jacques was designated an administrative district of Bà Rịa Province. In 1929, Cap Saint Jacques was granted provincial status, and since 1934 it has been known as the town of Vung Tau. The mansion of the French Indochinese governor Paul Doumer is still a tourist attraction in Vung Tau, who later became the president of the France.

During the Vietnam War, Vung Tau was the headquarters for Australian logisticians and also the base for various US forces at various times. After the war, however, it was a hiding place for people who hid itself from the communists. From 1979 onwards, Vung Tau was the capital of the Vung Tau – Con Dao Administrative Zone. In 1991, the name was changed to Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province where Vung Tau officially became Vung Tau City, with an area of 140 m2, consisting of thirteen districts and one commune on Long Son Island.


Today, the role of the city port in the maritime sector has diminished, but the Vung Tau city still plays an important role in Vietnam’s offshore oil industry as the peninsula is home to the only base for Vietnam’s crude oil and natural gas. The peninsula is also home to a large number of Russian citizens since the headquarters of the Vietsovpetro corporation, established in 1981, is located in Vung Tau, which is a Russian-Vietnamese oil and gas joint venture. In addition to the headquarters, the town has shops, cafes, a Russian cultural centre, a Russian-language school, taxi drivers and also an Orthodox church. More than 600 professionals and their families populate this Vung Tau commune, which is also believed to be the largest commune of Russians in Vietnam.

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Nha Trang city

Nha Trang City


Nha Trang city is a resort town in Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa province, on the Bay of Nha Trang with its 4-kilometre-long beachfront. The city has a population of about 500,000, located 1,280 km from the capital Hanoi, 200 km from Phan Thiet (Muine) and 448 km from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). The economy relies heavily on tourism but also has a sizeable fishing industry and shipbuilding. Cam Ranh International Airport (CRX) is 30 km away from Nha Trang, and serving both domestic and international flights. Nha Trang – Wikipedia


Nha Trang Bay is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world with its 19 islands of varying sizes, making it an ideal beach holiday destination. The city attracting large numbers of foreign tourists as well as being very popular with Vietnamese tourists. Beautiful beaches, tropical lush nature, transparent sea water suitable for diving, and good warm sea temperature all year round make the city one of the most popular beach tourism destinations in Vietnam. Nha Trang has a tropical climate with mostly dry and rainy January to August, with typhoons mainly from September to December. The average annual temperature is 29°C and the coolest time is January with a maximum temperature of 24°C.


The Nha Trang city was formerly part of the Champa Empire, and known as Kauthara. The name of the city is derived from the Champa name Ya Trang (Red Legal VN: Cai River). In recognition of this religion and cultural centre, the ancient temple of Po Nagar, dating back more than 1200 years, still stands in Nha Trang.

Legend has it that Yang Ino Po Nagar (Lady Po Nagar) originated in the same mountainous province of Khanh Hoa. Lady Po Nagar sailed to China and married the son of the Chinese Emperor and together they later established the Champa state where Lady Po Nagar became the first Queen of Champa. Since 1698, the territory has officially belonged to the Viet Namese where, until the 16th and 19th centuries, the urban areas of Nha Trang were covered with thick jungle, and rich in fauna. During the French colonial era, the beach was transformed into a perfect beach which was slowly being adapted into a resort town. For American soldiers, Nha Trang city was the preferred holiday destination in the war time.

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Con Dao archipelago



The Con Dao archipelago is located in Vietnam’s Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, with a population of around 7,000 people. The archipelago is located 185 km offshore from the Vung Tau Peninsula and 80 km from the Mekong Delta. Half of the inhabitants are military border guards and the other half are fishermen. The largest island in the Con Dao archipelago is Con Son, where also is an airport, and varying levels of accommodation, from guest houses to 5-star resorts.

Separated from the mainland, the Con Dao archipelago is a paradise with beautiful sandy beaches, hidden blue lagoons, coral reefs surrounded by mountainous terrain, with the highest peak at 557 metres. The Con Dao archipelago is made up of 16 beautiful islands, 80% of which are covered by a national park. The national park is covered by thick jungle and is home to the unique black squirrel, macaws that feed on crabs and sea turtles, tropical fish and dolphins.

The best time for diving and snorkelling is from February to October with water visibility of 20-30 metres. In the calm you can dive to the underwater shipwreck, and diving is offered for all levels with certified instructors. Côn Đảo – Wikipedia


As the Con Dao archipelago is only eight degrees from the equator, it is almost always dry tropical climate with daily sunshine. The warmest months are June, July and August with temperatures of 37 C and cooler winds. In March and April there is less wind and the average temperature is around 33 C. The wind is also strong in the summer. The coldest period is from September to January where the temperature is 28 C.


Con Dao Island can be reached by plane from Ho Chi Minh and Can Tho airports and by helicopter from the Vung Tau Peninsula. Since July 2017, a new speedboat service (Superdong Speedboat JSC) has been opened linking Soc Trang city (Tran De port) in Mekong Delta province, and Con Dao island. The boat can accommodate 306 passengers and reaching destionaion within 2.5 hours.


Con Dao has been part of the Khmer Empire and an archipelago called Koh Tralach until the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century. The Con Dao archipelago has been used as a trading port for centuries by Arab, Spanish and Portuguese traders. The archipelago was also the stopover of Marco Polo in 1294, who sailed from China to India and sought shelter from a storm in the Con Dao archipelago. Later the archipelago belonged to the Malay people, whose name in Malay was Pulo Condore where ‘pulo’ itself means corruption. Malay has the status of the official language in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore today.

In the 17th century, the archipelago was settled by the Vietnamese, and by the 18th century it belonged to a British-Indian company. By 1862, the Con Dao archipelago was officially recognised as part of the French colony, and renamed Grande-Condore. Grande-Condore (Con Dao) Island was also known as Devil’s Island during the French colonial era, where political prisoners and undesirables were held, so Con Son was a hell on earth for thousands of political prisoners, many of whom were unfortunately never released.

In 1975, with the liberation of Saigon, the prison was closed where you can now find a prison museum open to the public to reflect the history of Con Dao. Today, the Con Dao archipelago is famous for its striking natural beauty, with beautiful sandy beaches, hidden blue lagoons, coral reefs surrounded by a mountainous landscape. The largest beaches are An Hai, Lo Voi, Dat Doc, Ong Dung, Dam Trau.

Read more: Phu Quoc Island  |  Can Tho City

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Dalat city

Dalat city


Dalat city (Vn: Đà Lạt) is the capital of Lam Dong Province. Located on the Langbiang Plateau at an altitude of 1,500 m above sea level. In the centre of the city lies the 2 square kilometre, Xuan Huong artificial lake. Da Lat is called the City of Eternal Spring and is a medium-sized Vietnamese city reminiscent of the French Alps. The streets are spacious with elegant French colonial villas, and the locals are very friendly. Dalat a great hideaway for escaping both the hustle and bustle of the city and the heat. The town and its districts grow a variety of berries, fruits, silk, tea, coffee, flowers, rice and much more. Da Lat – Wikipedia


Be aware that the mountain climate is much cooler than elsewhere along the Vietnamese coast. Dalat is known as the city of eternal spring with daytime temperatures between 15°C and 24°C. The highest temperature ever recorded is 31.5°C and the lowest -0.6°C. The dry season is from November to March, with rainfall mostly from April to October. During the rainy season, the waterfalls are most massive, and the best time to visit.


Vietnam’s central highlands have been inhabited since time immemorial by the Degar tribes, who consider themselves the descendants of the Champa kingdom. The Degars have always fought against all invaders, as they did against the Viet Cong troops. 

When the Langbiang Plateau became part of French Cochinchina, many colonial doctors attributed many diseases to the hot tropical maritime climate, and the first expedition was sent to the plateau in 1890. The expedition was joined by French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin and chemist Louis Pasteur.

After a successful expedition, permission was sought from the French governor Paul Doumer to start construction on the Langbiang Plateau, which would offer the lure of an escape from the hot and supposedly unhealthy hot tropical maritime climate. The construction was immediately approved by the French governor, and the city was to be called Dankia. The town plan was drawn up by Ernest Hébrard, and the town was to be a white privilege and amenity, serving both a medical purpose and a symbolic function in maintaining white supremacy.

The French faced many hurdles in the construction and the project took a couple of decades to complete. By the end of the 1920s, the colonisers had created a French social space, a city of rehabilitation, leisure and education. The city was built many villas, wide roads, health centres, golf courses, parks, schools and houses. A power station, a water station, a hospital and a market were also built.


In 1930, Dalat became a town, officially inhabited by 6 French, 2 Vietnamese and 1 Chinese. According to some sources, the name Dalat is derived from the Latin phrase “Dat Aliis Laetitiam Aliis Temperiem” used by the French colonial government on Dalat’s official logo. This is supposed to mean joy to some and freshness to others. Lat is also name of the local tribe of Dalat.

In 1932, the Dalat – Saigon trunk line was opened via the Blao mountain pass. The rate of construction in Dalat was quite remarkable. For example, the number of villas in Dalat had grown to 327 villas in 1936 and to 427 by 1939. In 1937, a marketing campaign was launched by the French to promote Dalat as a resort town of high quality, apart from Hanoi and Saigon, with activities for medical, sports, recreational and hunting enthusiasts.

In 1938 the Dalat railway station was completed, designed by French architects Moncet and Reveron in the Art Deco style, incorporating the high pointed roofs characteristic of Vietnamese Cao Nguyen buildings. The construction of the Dalat – Tháp Chàme (Phan Rang) railway was complicated by its terrain, which was difficult to build as it required the construction of 5 tunnels.

During the Vietnam War fought by the Viet Cong army in South Vietnam, fierce battles rocked Dalat from 31 January to 9 February 1968. The Viet Cong army actively mined and bombed the railway which was destroyed by this fighting. After the Vietnam War, the railroad was completely rusted away. In the 1990s, 7 kilometres of it were rebuilt to the village of Trai Mat, which is now a tourist attraction.

By 1940, the population of Dalat had risen to 11,500 people, mainly made up of local builders, farm labourers and other service workers. Dalat was then divided in two, with the French living on the south bank of the Cam Ly stream, and the locals on the north bank. The French population consisted mainly of civilians, military personnel, missionaries, some school teachers and students.

During the Second World War, Dalat was the capital of the Indochinese Federation from 1939 to 1945. On 3 April 1975, Dalat surrendered to the North Vietnam Liberation Army without any fighting. However, Dalat never became as successful as similar colonies such as British Simla in India and Dutch Bogor in Indonesia.

Read more: Mui Ne beach  |  Ho Chi Minh City

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island is located in Vietnam’s Kien Giang Province, Mekong Delta region, off the coast of Cambodia, and is one of the best preserved tropical jungle islands in Southeast Asia. On the west coast of Phu Quoc lies the island’s largest urban centre, Duong Dong, which is the island’s main fishing port and home to 70% of the island’s population. Duong Dong offers a variety of restaurants, bars shops and accommodation.

Of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is the largest at 50 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide. Phu Quoc is divided into 3 main divisions: Phu Quoc Island, Hon Thom and An Thoi archipelago. The island has a total of 99 land peaks, the highest of which is Mount Chua at 603 metres. Phu Quoc is also the only place in Vietnam with an incredibly rich and beautiful underwater world. The underwater world offers hundreds of species of corals, fish and various molluscs. Unique turtles, dugongs and other aquatic mammals live in the waters surrounding the island. Phú Quốc – Wikipedia


Phu Quoc island offers a total of around 20 beaches. The best beaches are Khem Beach, Sao Beach and the most popular beach is arguably Long Beach. Khem Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in Phu Quoc with its powder-white sands and sparkling waves. Phu Quoc’s beaches are all nice but the island’s crown jewel is considered to be Sao Beach with its magnificent white sands and luxurious hotel resorts. Long Beach is the most popular beach on the west coast, with 20 km of undulating coastline, offering plenty of places to eat, accommodation and being the perfect place to watch the sunset.

One of the most beautiful islands in the region is arguably Hon Xuong, often referred to as Robinson Cruso Island. You won’t find any accommodation on Hon Xuong Island, but day boat trips and overnight camping are offered to this picturesque beach. Hon Thom Island is also called Pineapple Island, being the second largest island connected by the world’s longest 8 km cable car to Phu Quoc. Hon Thom offers an amusement park, a water park, beaches, snorkelling, diving and hunting in the An Thoi archipelago.


Phu Quoc is a year-round destination with an average annual temperature of 27°C, making it an excellent destination for climate refugees and heat seekers. The climate is the same as always in southern Vietnam, with glorious sunny days and cool sea breezes from November to March and the hottest months starting in April, followed by autumn rains later in the year.


The history of Phu Quoc and archaeological finds have shown that Phu Quoc was inhabited at least 2,500 years ago and these findings are on display at the Coi Nhuon Museum in Long Beach. Historical documents dating from 1615 give the island the name Koh Tral, which was then an island of the Khmer Empire. It is not known how many Khmer lived on Koh Tral at that time, but it is certain that the island was conquered by the Khmer. In 1680, one of the previous Khmer kings gave the southern part of the island to the Chinese, who set up 7 trading centres which were soon filled with Chinese and Portuguese traders. In 1862 Phu Quoc was occupied by the French, along with other parts of Vietnam, until 1963.


Before travelling, there is definitely the question of whether I need a visa for Phu Quoc? Phu Quoc has a different visa regime from mainland Vietnam. When flying to Phu Quoc, travellers do not need a visa as they can stay visa-free on the island for up to 30 days. However, please note that the visa waiver for Phu Quoc does not give the right to visit the mainland. To qualify for a 30-day visa-free stay on Phu Quoc, the following requirements must be met:

* Two way flight tickets.

* Passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

* Should have no previous visa violation in Vietnam, no deportation decision and must not be on Interpol list.

* Leaving the island by ferry, internal flight to land is prohibited and is a visa violation.

If the above requirements are met, a stamp will be affixed to your passport at passport control on arrival in Phu Quoc, allowing you to stay visa-free for up to 30 days. The 30-day stay cannot be extended.

PS. If you arriving to Phu Quoc via Saigon airport, and take an internal flight to Phu Quoc, then you will need a visa.

Read more: Can Tho City

Can Tho City

Can Tho city


The Can Tho city is the Mekong Delta’s largest tourist centre, located in southern Vietnam 170 km from Ho Chi Minh City, on the banks of the Hau Giang River. With a population of 1.7 million, it is the largest city in the Mekong Delta. The city is populated mainly by Vietnamese, but also by Chinese, Khmer and the Champa ethnic group.


The Mekong Delta is the rice basket of Vietnam, as half of the rice harvested in all of Vietnam is grown in the Can Tho region. The Mekong’s major industries are coconut oil production, fish, fruit, rice farming. The Mekong is a marshland with an excellent canal system and its also sheltered from the waves by mangrove forests. Small marshy rivers, canals, floating markets are a very important part of the Mekong’s culture, and are also the main attractions of Mekong Delta.

As there are not many roads in the Mekong, many villages can only be reached by boat, drifting along narrow channels, and sometimes by using the monkey bridges that the locals have woven together to shorten the walking distance. Legend has it that once upon a time both banks of the river below Can Tho were used to grow fruit, and vegetables, which were successfully sold from boats. The main floating markets are Phong Dien and Cai Rang where small boats drift along the Mekong River, offering a variety of food, drinks, fruit and other consumables for sale.


Can Tho city and areas were inhabited as early as 2,500 years ago where recent archaeological discoveries suggest that until the 5th and 6th centuries the Mekong areas were inhabited by the Funan (Óc Eo) multi-ethnic kingdom who had good relations with China and India. Óc Eo may have been a city known to the Romans as Kattigara, which gradually became the economic and cultural centre of the Mekong Delta, and an important position on the maritime routes of south-east Asia. From the 6th century, the Chenla kingdom (Chinese Sui dynasty) was established where, from the 9th to the 15th century, the Mekong Delta was already inhabited by the Khmer Empire.

In the 17th century, the Vietnamese arrived in the Mekong region after a civil war between the Trinh-Nguyen dynasties in which the Khmer were suffering heavy losses at the same time as the Siamese and were unable to stop the Vietnamese migration. In the 19th century, France began to pay great attention to the region, first occupying Saigon and imposing a protectorate over Cambodia, and later extending its control over Laos, creating French Indo-China. Foreign troops remained in the lower Mekong until the end of the Vietnam War.


The Mekong River is the largest river in Southeast Asia with a length of 4,350 kilometres flowing from Tibet at the foot of Mount Guozongmucha at an altitude of 5,224 metres through China’s Yunnan province, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and flows into Vietnam’s South China Sea. The Mekong is called by different names in different languages because of the poor navigability of its upper and middle reaches, which means that throughout history the Mekong has separated rather than united the peoples along its banks. In Tibetan (Dza-chu). Cambodia: Mékôngk or Tonle Thom. Laos: Mènam Khong. Thailand: Mae Nam Khong. Vietnam: Sông Tiên Giang or Sông Cửu Long (‘river of nine dragons’) or Sông Mê Kông. China: Pinyin or Láncāng Jiāng or Méigōng Hé.

Read more: Ho Chi Minh City

Hanoi – Vietnam Capital

Hanoi - Vietnam Capital


Hanoi – Vietnam Capital, sits on the banks of the Hong Ha River and is renowned for its architecture, influenced by the rich Southeast Asian, Chinese and French cultures. The capital is also the political centre of Vietnam, embellished by its ancient temples, unique theatre, chaotic old quarter with narrow streets lined with shops and eateries.

In 2010, the Hanoi – Vietnam Capital celebrated its 1000th anniversary with a big celebration and parade. Many historical monuments have been completely destroyed by the wars, but there are still a number of picturesque sites that can be successfully visited. Today, the Hanoi – Vietnam Capital has developed into the main commercial, industrial and agricultural centre of Vietnam. From Hanoi run the main highways, railway lines to all major Vietnamese cities (Ho Chi Minh, Haipong), ports. In addition, there are also two airports, Noi Bai International Airport and Gia Lam Domestic Airport. Hanoi – Wikipedia


Hanoi has a temperate and tropical climate with 4 distinct season. This means the city experiences wet summers and mild, dry winters. The summer temperatures can reach 30°C, and winter time going sometimes even below 10°C but usually winter average tempereatures staying between 15 – 20°C.


Hanoi – Vietnam Capital, has a rich history. The area where Hanoi is today was inhabited since ancient times. It has been a political centre for conquerors from China on several occasions, with the Ly Thai To – Ly dynasty (1009-1225) naming the city Thang Long (‘The Rising Dragon) in 1010. Thang Long remained the capital of Vietnam until 1802 when the last Nguyen dynasty of Vietnam (1802-1945) moved the capital to Hue. 

The capital Hanoi has also been renamed from time to time and one of these was Dong Kinh, (Le Dynasty 1428-1787) which was later changed by the europeans to Tonquin (Tonkin). Ha Noi became the official name of the city only in 1831 – Nguyen Dynasty. During the French colonial period, Hanoi became an important administrative centre and in 1902 Hanoi was dubbed the capital of French Indochina.

Hanoi remains the main administrative centre during the Japanese occupation of 1940-1945, when riots force the Japanese to relinquish power, after which Ho Chi Minh and his troops restore power to Hanoi and designate Hanoi as the capital of a democratic republic in northern Vietnam. The French regain power in 1946 but have to concede defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu on 7 May 1954, also known as the Indochina War.

Read more: Ho Chi Minh City

Mui Ne beach

Phan Thiet City


Mui Ne beach is part of Phan Thiet district, and Phan Thiet is the capital of Binh Thuan province. Mui Ne is a fishing village that actually located on the Mui Ne peninsula, and Mui Ne beach is not there. Phan Thiet is a fairly young town, with the town’s 100th anniversary only celebrated in 1998. 100 years ago, Phan Thiet was a small fishing village, which today has grown into one of the main beach resorts in the southern part of Vietnam. The city of Phan Thiet is divided into 18 districts and Ham Tien is the Mui Ne Beach Resort District where can be found hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants on both sides of the road.

The beach area on the other side of Phan Thiet is called Tien Thanh (Golden Coast), and also Ke Ga beach where there are also many hotel resorts. It is more suited to the peace and tranquillity-loving holidaymaker and probably too quiet for the more active holidaymaker. The city of Phan Thiet is located between Ham Tien and Tien Thanh beaches. To go to the other beach area you will have to drive through Phan Thiet and probably need to change hotel. Mũi Né – Wikipedia


Mui Ne beach (Rang Beach – Ham Tien) was only discovered by foreigners in 1995 when Mui Ne was the ideal place to watch the sun eclipse. Decades ago, Ham Tien had a small sandy beach road where fishermen lived with their families, their huts not even having addresses. The Mui Ne peninsula has always been a good hiding place for fishermen’s boats to shelter from storms.


Phan Thiet has a typical coastal climate where the sun shines all year round. The average annual temperature is 29°C with two main seasons: a completely dry season (November to April) and a wet season (May to October). Phan Thiet – Mui Ne is also the poorest place in Vietnam in terms of rainfall. Rainfall occurs mostly in the evenings when the sun goes down and more so in August. The best time to visit Mui Ne is between September and April when there is a nice cool sea breeze.


The areas of today’s Phan Thiet city and Binh Thuan province were inhabited by the ancient Champa kingdom (NAGARA CAMPA (VN: Chăm Pa) from the 2nd century BC where Phan Thiet was under the rule of the Champa metropolis of Panduranga (Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm). The Champa people called Phan Thiet “Hamu Lith”. “Hamu” refers to the village and “Lithit” to the seaside. Throughout the centuries, the Cham culture has been influenced by Cambodia, China, and India. In 1471, tired of wars, the Cham empire finally collapsed in surrender to the Annam (Vietnamese) emperor Thanh Ton. The region was completely conquered by the Nguyễn Dynasty (Đại Việt Empire) in 1692 and renamed Binh Thuan Dinh. In 1825, Emperor Minh Mang transformed the region into Binh Thuan Province. During the Vietnam War, Phan Thiet and Binh Thuan Province were the base for several military installations.

Traditionally, fishing and the production of fish sauce have always been the main source of income for Phan Thiet. In the 1990s, when tourism development gained momentum, and tourism has taken over from the fishing industry as the main employer in Phan Thiet.

Read more: Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City


Ho Chi Minh city is a city in Vietnam with a population of more than 10 million people. According to unconfirmed estimates, it has a population of 14 million, making it the largest city in Vietnam. Vietnam’s largest metropolis is located on the banks of the Saigon River, 19 metres above sea level, covering an area of 2,095 km², 80 km from the South China Sea and 200 km from Phan Thiet (Mui Ne).

The largest metropolis in the south is still known to locals as Saigon, but this was the name Saigon bore until 1976 when the city was renamed Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh City upon liberation. History scholars confirm that it is a Sino-Vietnamese word where Sài (firewood, branches) and Gòn (cotton). The name alludes to the kapok trees that can still be seen in the outskirts of the city today. Others, however, claim that Sai Côn is a direct translation of the Khmer word Prey Nokor, meaning kapok tree forest. Ho Chi Minh City – Wikipedia


The history of the Chinese tells us that their Fou-nan people arrived in Ho Chi Minh City centuries before the Khmer people, where they grew vegetables and fruits. The Khmer Empire is considered to have begun in 802 BC. Khmer King Jayavarman II then also proclaimed himself King of the World in a region called Phnom Kulen located in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire and was home to up to 1220 people during the heyday of the empire. At that time, it was 0.1% of the world’s population. The end of the empire, however, came in the 15th century with the fall of Angkor.

Ho Chi Minh was for centuries part of the Kingdom of Cambodia, which belonged to the Khmer and was then called Prey Nokor or Jungle City. In Khmer chronicles, Prey Nokor is known as the Royal City which was an important economic centre for the export of rice and fruit grown in the Mekong Delta.


Vietnamese began arriving in Prey Nokor in the 17th century when the civil war between the Vietnamese Trịnh – Nguyễn dynasties took place. The Viet fled to Prey Nokori and later to other Khmer towns in the Mekong Delta such as Psar Dèk (Sa Đéc) and Moat Chrouk (Châu Đốc). The Vietnamese arrived in the region in such large numbers that the Vietnamese were simply outnumbered by the Khmer. The Khmer were also at war with Siam (Thailand) and lacked the real power to stop this migration. Khmer folklore also tells us that the Khmer gave their princesse to marry a Vietnamese prince, only to stop the invasions and looting on Khmer villages.


The Franco-Spanish expedition concluded an agreement in 1862 to establish the French colony of Cochinchina. At that time, Ho Chi Minh city bore the Vietnamese name of Ben Nghe which consisted of 40 villages. As Ben Nghe seemed too difficult to pronounce for foreigners, the name Saigon was used. From this point on, luxury villas, 3 row streets and other classical buildings were built. A north-south railway line was also completed, making Saigon a major collection point for rice and other foodstuffs.

The Vietnamese, however, began to use the name Cho Lon instead of the inappropriate name Ben Nghe after the arrival of the French. Nowadays, Cholon (VN: Chợ (Turg) Lớn (Great)) is the largest business centre in HCMC spread over Districts 5, 6 and 11. Populated mainly by Chinese, it is also the largest Chinatown in the world.


Cholon was founded in 1879 and by 1930 the city had expanded to the limits of Saigon. A year later, Cholon and Saigon were merged into a single city called “Saigon-Cholon”. In 1929, Saigon had a population of 130,000, 12,100 of whom were French. Saigon-Cholon, however, continued to be called Saigon by the people. Even today, the name Saigon is heard on a daily basis, especially by the Vietnamese themselves. The name Saigon is mostly used to refer to HCM City 1 district, or old Saigon.

The Japanese occupied Saigon in 1940, where the Japanese surrendered in the 1945 riots. The riots were led from Hanoi by Viet Minh troops led by Ho Chi Minh himself. With the departure of the Japanese, the French were able to regain control of the city, but on 19 December 1946 the first Indo-China war began, involving Viet Minh and French troops. On 4 June 1949, French President Vincent Auriol signed an agreement returning Cochinchina to Vietnam. The war ended in 1954 with the Geneva Conference, where the country was divided into North and South Vietnam. Saigon then became the capital of South Vietnam. The second Indo-China war started on 1 Nov. In 1955, what is also known as the Vietnam War officially became the Vietnamese Civil War. The war ended on 30 April 1975 with the liberation of Saigon and the US withdrawal. In 1976 Saigon officially became Ho Chi Minh City.


The climate in Ho Chi Minh City, as elsewhere in the southern part of Vietnam, is tropical and is divided into two main seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. It can rain from May to October but does not have to. These are in fact refreshing showers of a few hours at the most, and then the sun comes out again. The dry period is from December to April. The average annual temperature is 28°C.

Read more: Hanoi – Vietnam Capital


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