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Travel GuideThursday, 08/31/2006, 01:48

A country of scenic wonder

Foreign tourists in Viet Nam often praise the country's beautiful scenery. A number of places have been utilised for tourism; some still remain unexploited<br>
A country of scenic wonder

A country of scenic wonder

Foreign tourists in Viet Nam often praise the country's beautiful scenery. A number of places have been utilised for tourism; some still remain unexploited. There is no way to list all the sites that leave unforgettable feelings in the hearts of tourists.

Ha Long Bay is a well-known beauty spot. It is in the North of the country in Quang Ninh province, 151 km east of Ha Noi.

Ha Long Bay has numerous islands and rock formations of different heights which are arranged in a zigzag pattern, like the figure of a dragon splashing in the water. This is a hidden bay in a large sea area of about 1,500 sq. km with a rugged coastline and thousands of islands (mostly limestone) naturally grouped.

Many islands are named after the figures that they resemble such as Frog, Elephant, Fighting Cock, Turtle, and so on, that may enrich the imagination of tourists. Ha Long Bay is also situated in the limestone region, so there are many wonderful caves, such as Dau Go, Bo Nau, Trong, Trinh Nu, Sung Sot caves. All are associated with fascinating legends.

In Ha Long Bay to the east of Hai Phong is Cat Ba Island, a beauty spot in Cat Hai district. In a survey for the programme of tourism cooperation and research between the World Tourist Organisation and the Viet Nam General Department for Tourism, Mr. Molinari Massimo, an Italian architect, remarked: "Cat Ba is the most wonderful among hundreds of islands in the world I have ever known."

The surroundings of Ha Noi also have many beauty spots good for weekends, such as the Ba Vi-Suoi Hai area in Ba Vi district, about 60 km west of Ha Noi, the Tam Coc-Bich Dong-Hoa Lu site, and Cuc Phuong National Park of Ninh Binh province, about 100 km south of Ha Noi.

In the central region, nature has created a grandiose beauty spot which is well-known not only in this country, but also in the world. That is the resplendent Phong Nha Cave situated in the Ke Bang limestone mountains region, about 60 km from Dong Hoi town (Quang Binh province).

Phong Nha Cave, which is 7,729m long, together with a range of other caves in the Ke Bang mountains region, has formed a natural wonder to deserve the title "Phong Nha - the First Cave".

Once inside the cave, tourists will have a feeling of participating in an authentic underground exploration.
On National Highway No. 1 to the south of Viet Nam, tourists have the chance to admire the grandiose beauty of nature from the top of Hai Van Pass (20 km long and about 496m above sea level), which is called "The most grandiose beauty spot under the Heavens".

Crossing through Hai Van Pass, tourists will encounter a beautiful coastline (20 km long) like a lace decorating the eastside of Da Nang city. This beautiful coast line begins at Son Tra peninsula and runs to Non Nuoc beach of Ngu Hanh Son (10 km to the southeast of Da Nang city).

Thirty-five km off Da Nang city lies Cham island, a natural reserve with a total area of 1,535 hectare. Salagane's pest is a speciality of this region. In addition, there are many sandy beaches, coral, and abundant fauna and flora that have made the island more interesting.

In the Central Highlands, Da Lat city on a 1,500 m height, 300 km from Ho Chi Minh City, has long been a venue of tourism and relaxation.

Da Lat has a wonderful natural landscape with many waterfalls such as Cam Ly and Angkroet in Dall Kia, a set of 4 small falls lying just outside of the city, alongside National Highway 20 from Di Linh to Lam Vien. The most beautiful in the set is 13m-high Prenn waterfall, near the highway.

Da Lat is also land of lakes and pine woods. There are several well-known lakes such as Xuan Huong, Than Tho, Da Thien and Van Kiep. Da Lat is poetically romantic as the pines in Ai An woods and Love Valley gently rustles.

Back to the coastal area, Vung Tau is another popular resort, over 120 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Mountains, rivers, the sea and the sky have created a unique beauty for Vung Tau.

Con Dao, about 90 km to the southeast of Vung Tau, is a group of 14 large and small islands with an area of 76.7 sq. km, Con Son Island with Con Dao cave is the largest. The island has a dense forest with various kinds of animals. Exploring the sea near the islands reveal many unique and wonderful sea species such as turtle, tortoise, and shells. On land, tourists are offered different types of enjoyment such as cruising, mountain climbing and hunting. They can also enjoy the many historical sites like prison cells, tiger cages and pictur esque cemeteries.

In the southwestern sea, tourists usually visit Phu Quoc island, Viet Nam's largest island with a total area of 565 sq. km, promising a popular resort in the future.-Enditem


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