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Hoi An, Hue & Mekong Delta

 

Hoi An

  The colorful market town of Hoi An was a major port in centuries past, with ships arriving from all over the world to obtain silk and other fabrics, sugar, tea and ceramics. Its traditional Vietnamese architecture has been preserved, and there are many historic temples and pagodas in the area.

Hoi An is also known for its silk lanterns. (The flexible bamboo frames are designed to collapse, so they're easily transported home as a souvenir.) After dusk, you'll see the streets beautifully lit with these lanterns.

 

Hue

  The capital of Vietnam during the decadent 19th-century Nguyen dynasty, Hue is still an important literary and cultural center. The city was dramatically affected during the war: Most of the structures in the centuries-old Citadel were severely damaged. Some of those royal buildings have been repaired and rebuilt, including the Forbidden Purple City, the emperor's private residence. The Imperial Museum within the complex is excellent.

The city is bisected by the Perfume River, and along its banks south of Hue lie the many tombs of the Nguyen emperors.

 

Mekong Delta

  One of the world's largest delta, the Delta Region is formed by the various tributaries of the mighty Mekong River which begins its journey to the sea in Tibet and winds its way for 4500 km through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Southern Vietnam. The vietnamese name for the Mekong is Cuu Long which means "nine dragons" and this is represented by the nine exit points of the Mekong River as it flows into the sea. The land of the Mekong Delta is renowned for its richness. Known as Vietnam's breadbasket, it produces enough rice to feed the entire country with a sizeable surplus leftover.