The Wonders of Vietnam

When one thinks of Vietnam, the first thing that comes to mind is the Vietnam war. However, even though I do not have a lot of knowledge about Vietnam, what I have seen from videos and images online, the country has so much culture, life and uniqueness to it. What I hope to learn and discover from this virtual field trip is a new experience and a better understanding of Vietnam.

Vietnam’s tourism is amongst the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the world and has an important aspect for Vietnamese economy as it welcomes over millions of visitors from all over the world. Vietnam’s tourism industry is a hit for the backpackers, the nature lovers and the history enthusiasts. Vietnamese culture is full of so much diversity and history. From ancient temples to museums to exploring the beautiful beach locations. Moreover, each region in the country has its own speciality dishes. This can vary from the myriad of street food, sea food and local delicacies. The biggest positive aspect of tourism in Vietnam is the people. They are welcoming, hospitable and embracing, they love to help you and make you feel at home. Another aspect of Vietnam is its transport. Did you know that there are more than 60 million motorbikes in the country, and it has a population of around 90 million? But the downside to having many motorbikes on the roads is that it will take you a very long time to cross the roads! Escaping from the cities, one can visit the amazing Ban Gioc Waterfall which is one of the least visited natural wonders in the world. It borders between Vietnam and China and it looks spectacular. For the history enthusiasts, there are many historical sites in which one can learn of the nation’s history. From colonisation, to the war and its transformation to becoming one of the fastest growing economies in South-East Asia. Vietnam is an amazing and dynamic country with so much history and culture which has shaped how it is today.

Moreover, a particular area of Vietnam’s natural beauty are the mountainous regions in Northern Vietnam. Here one can see the spectacular waterfalls, the cascading rice terraces and the many unique cultures of Vietnamese minority tribes. These magnificent areas are a hotspot for the tourists all year round which the Vietnamese citizens love as they get to show off the unique beauties of their country. One example of how tourism has benefitted the citizens in these regions are the Hmong people. They are a well-represented ethnic group in Vietnam and specifically live in the town of Sa Pa. They distinguish themselves with multicoloured headbands, tassels and traditional long dresses. Sa Pa’s Bac Ha market is the place to be as surrounding hill tribes bring handicrafts and freshly picked produce to sell in vibrant colours and tribal customs.

Finally, I am excited to be involved in the virtual field trip to Vietnam because I am looking forward to learning closely and specifically at a country which is quite new to me. It will be interesting to learn all about Vietnam and the different political, social, environmental and economic aspects of it. It will be such an amazing experience and opportunity.

Momina Nehmat, Year 1, BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics.

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