Bushbaby Travel: Inspiring travel for life
Mekong Delta, Courtesy Shutterstock

Southern Vietnam, Vietnam

The southern portion of Vietnam is bursting with tropical delights, from the bright lights of Saigon to the verdant, laid-back bounty of the Mekong Delta. The south is also home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, while wildlife lovers will love exploring its national parks.

With its futuristic skyline and energetic atmosphere, Ho Chi Minh City – still known as Saigon to locals – is the country’s biggest metropolis and where most industry is based. Yet there’s still plenty of culture to soak up, from incense-infused temples to French colonial boulevards. City highlights include the Vietnam History Museum, the Botanical Gardens and Notre-Dame de Saigon, which was built with stone slabs from Marseille.

North-west of the city centre lie the Cu Chi tunnels – a subterranean labyrinth that once hid members of the Viet Cong. A guided tour will see you crawl through the small, dark passages (this is not one for claustrophobes) gaining a fascinating insight into the Vietnam War. A more sobering experience awaits in the city itself at the War Remnants Museum, which traces what happened to Vietnam during its turbulent 20th century.

Leave behind the bustle of Saigon for the gentle world of the lush Mekong Delta, nicknamed ‘the rice bowl of Vietnam’. A boat cruise, which you can board in the city, takes you through the iridescent green sea of paddy fields and mangrove forests. Floating upon countless rivers, canals and streams, you’ll pass boats, houses and floating markets, including the Cai Rang Floating Market, the largest in the Mekong Delta.

Beyond the bountiful Delta, exquisite beaches and idyllic islands lie in store, ideal for anyone who wants to simply kick back and relax. Try the palm-lined sands of Phu Quoc or Con Dao, where adventurous broods can do everything from jungle trekking to diving and kayaking. Or head inland to Nam Cat Tien National Park in search of its bison-like guar, 79 types of reptile and the rare Siamese fireback. As well as birdwatching, the 72,000-hectare park is home to some of the best hiking and mountain biking in the south of the country.

Mekong Delta, Courtesy Shutterstock

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