The Hidden Charm
Discretely framing the rest of Indochina is a coastline stretching across the shores of the East Vietnam Sea, an obvious stopover for a traveller passing through Asia. Accented by its three main areas: North, Central, and South, Vietnam evokes a particular allure for travellers and business folk alike, a relevant contemporary history, a burgeoning economic powerhouse, a culture as diverse as it is rich and an eclectic cuisine that reflects all of the above.
In the previous century, Vietnam was the subject of international attention and fascination. Today, although the circumstances have changed considerably, that attention and fascination has survived and grown into something altogether new. Modern Vietnam is now the subject of economic prosperity and untapped natural beauty. In National Geographic’s January 2011 issue, the world’s largest caves in central Vietnam made their debut in a two-page spread; but the Phong-Nha caves are only the tip of the iceberg.
With a youthful population and a forgiving heart, Vietnam has moved into the 21st century with a vigor and freedom unspoiled by the past. The people look forward with no thought to a war that tore the very fabric of their families apart, instead they see the beauty of their country and what they have to offer the world. This skinny strip of land, with its stunning beaches and rolling mountains, its hidden histories, its diverse ethnic groups and bountiful fresh cuisine are all priceless.