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You are planning a trip to Vietnam and are having difficulties deciding where to go and what to do, what you cannot miss and what to skip. From the feedbacks of our customers, Cheap Vietnam Holidays would like to recommend some activities considered by travellers as must-do's when you are in Vietnam....

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Vietnam - A Coastal Journey

 

In terms of topography, climate and peoples, Vietnam is stunningly diverse. Stretching over 1,600km along the eastern coast of Indochinese Peninsula, the country is shaped like as hourglass: broad in the north and south and slender at the centre, with narrowest point measuring less then 50km across.

In the north lies the Red River Delta, 10,000 spare km of plat and fertile paddy fields, fed by the Red River and its tributaries. In the south, the Mekong Delta
sprawls over 60,000 spare km. In Vietnamese, the name for this vast region of shimmering paddy fields, fruit orchards and waterways is Cuu Long, or Nine Dragons - since it is here that the mighty Mekong, which begins high in Tibet, divides into nine tributaries that empty into the Pacific Ocean. Although most of Vietnam's population is found in these fertile deltas, three-quarters of the country consists of mountains and hills. In the remote north-west lie the Hong Lien Son Mountains. And the Truong Son Mountains, which form the Central highlands, run like a spine down most of the country's length.


Vietnamese culture developed with the cultivation of wet rice. Rice-Vietnam's staple food-is grown not only in the lowland deltas, but also in the highlands, the steep slops laboriously carved into terraced rice paddies. But just as wet rice farming has shaped Vietnam's land and culture, so has the sea.

With 3,451km of coastline, Vietnam's identity is inextricably linked with the sea. The sea is a source of sustenance; Vietnam's total turnover from fishing in 2000 was US$1,475,000. The sea, however, provides more than just nourishment. The sea brought foreign influences, new religions and invaders. The Chams, a seafaring people who ruled the kingdom of Champa in central Vietnam from the 2nd to 15th centuries, left a legacy of Indianized architecture and religions art. And Buddhism, which remains the prevalent religion in Vietnam, was introduced to Vietnam by Indian and Chinese sailors and priest. Europeans, first traders and Catholic missionaries, then invading French forces, also came via the sea.


From the earliest times, Vietnamese people acknowledged aquatic spirits as a source of political legitimacy. The see as a symbol of power is evident in the patterns that grace Dong Son bronze drums, which date from the civilization that flourished in Thanh Hoa province from 800B.C. to the start of the Christian era. Between concentric circles, these ceremonial drums bear pictures of sea birds, amphibians, and boats full of warriors.

The sea, therefore, has shaped Vietnam's myths, history and culture.

 

 

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