Fantastic UNESCO sites to visit in Vietnam

Fantastic UNESCO sites to visit in Vietnam

Travellers to Vietnam to entered the country on visa waivers or tourist visas are given automatic visa extension until July 31, 2020. After officials allow people to travel again so people in travel, tourism, hospitality etc can work, earn and feed their familes, here are some fantastic UNESCO sites to visit in Vietnam.

The Complex of Hue Monuments

The Hue Imperial City is found on the banks of Perfume River or the Huong River as some call it which is north of Da Nang in the city of Hue, central Vietnam. Hue was the first Vietnam city under the reign of King Gia Long of the Nguyen Dynasty. The imperial city of Hue functioned as the administrative capital from 1802 until 1945 when the Nguyen Dynasty collapsed. This city is of symbolic significance as it is home to the last vestiges of the last dynasty in Vietnam. It features an imperial royal city, royal tombs, temples, libraries, monuments, flag towers, pagodas and a museum. Even though, the city was badly destroyed during the Vietnam war between 1954 to 1975, hundreds of monuments still stand strong.

It was the first-ever Vietnamese cultural centre to be recognized by UNESCO as a heritage site in 1993. It has a rich architecture, and the building designs heavily borrows from Beijing's Forbidden City's model. Even though the Nguyen dynasty ruled for over a century most of the monuments were built in the 19th century, tourists from other cities in Vietnam can fly to the Complex of Hue Monuments as it is accessible by air and only 700km from Hanoi. However, it is advisable not to travel to the site between October and December due to the monsoon rains experienced at the region during that period.

Hoi An Ancient Town

Hoi An was a commercial centre of great importance between the 15th and 19th centuries. Merchants came from across different parts of the world to trade along the bustling port. The port's population mostly consisted of the Chinese, Europeans and Japanese traders. About 30 hectares of the ancient town along the famous Thu Bon River were marked as areas of great historical importance by UNESCO in 1999. The exceptional historical district has a mixture of indigenous and foreign culture. Hoi An means a ‘peaceful meeting place' and is a great tourist attraction site famous for its amazing textiles and ceramics. Tourists can explore the vast city by use of kayaks, motorboat rides, bicycles and motorbikes.

The months of June to August are the best to visit Hoi An since the climate would be conducive for tourist exploration. Visitors of the ancient town will get to enjoy dragon dances, boat rides and a view of thousands of lanterns lighting the streets. Also, tourists can partake in cooking lessons to learn how to cook local foods such as 'cau lau' which is the signature dish of the city.

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

It is found in the mountainous region of Annamite in Quang Binh Province. The national park has dense tropical forests that cover most of it and has underground rivers. Phong Nha is home to the second-largest cave in the world, Hang Son Doong. It hosts many different cave types that tourists can explore. Friendly guides are available to provide multi-day excursions for adventurous tourists into the spectacular taverns. Other parts of the park are only accessible via boats. There are plenty of boats to carry visitors through the intersecting caves down to the Son River.

The park was marked as a UNESCO heritage site in 2003 because it contains many endemic animal species. Tourists can access the park from Hanoi using a bus or train. Depending on which part of the park or the caves one wants to visit. It's advisable to carry swimwear. Lastly, this heritage site discovered two decades ago is home to the Asian black bear, saolas and other wildlife.

My Son Sanctuary

This amazing site was the political capital of the Champa kingdom which reigned from the 2nd to the 15th century. It is one of the most top rated heritage sites in Vietnam and a popular tourist attraction in the region. The sanctuary is located in Duy Xuyen District and about 40 km west from Hoi An. It usually takes an hour from Hoi An to reach the Heritage site. The sanctuary has about 71 ancient temple structures and royal tombs. It also served as a religious centre with the sculptures and structures showing strong evidence of Hinduism.

The site is open all days of the week between 6 am to 5 pm to tourists. Moreover, the entrance fee is usually 150, 000 dong charged at the main gate of the park. Inside the sanctuary, there's a walking trail to follow. The trail is easy to navigate, and it leads to the magnificent Hindu ruins.