(BEGODI) – Vietnam is a treasure chest of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with a total of 8 scattered throughout the country. It is a wonderful idea for those travelling through Vietnam to hop along from one heritage spot to the next. A dream for every bucket list traveller, these places allow you to appreciate the long history and gorgeous landscapes that the country has to offer. Consisting of both natural and cultural sites, this list will give you a taste of what you can expect to find at each historical wonder.
Halong Bay has been a UNESCO natural wonder since 1994, and comprises of 1 960 distinctively shaped limestone islands. The area’s waters are notoriously emerald, and the surface unbelievably smooth.
Travellers that visit the north of Vietnam will almost always have a cruise through the bay on their agenda. Breathtaking islands, caves, forests and coral reefs make up the environment of the country’s most popular heritage site.
Thang Long Imperial Citadel
Thang Long is still standing in Hanoi since the 11th century. The Ly Viet dynasty built this durable palace, and it remained the living and ruling place for royal families throughout almost 13 centuries.
The citadel’s design reflects influences from the Chinese and Champa architecture of that era. It has been a cultural heritage site since 2010.
Trang An Landscape Complex
Known as the ‘Halong Bay on land’, Trang An is a spectacular landscape of limestone cliffs set along verdant rice fields and winding rivers. It dwells in Ninh Binh city, along the south of the Red River Delta.
Along with the beautiful natural setting, the area also contains temples, pagodas, and small villages. It is thus a mixed site of both natural and cultural significance. Trang An is Vietnam’s most recent UNESCO pick, registered in 2014.
Phong Nha Ke Bang
This national park houses the largest grotto in the world (Son Doong Cave), as well as the longest underground river.
Interesting rock faces, stones and wildlife make this park of caves an incredibly unique place to visit. In 2003 it became a natural heritage site.
Hue Complex of Monuments
Hue was the political, cultural and religious centre of Vietnam under the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 until 1945. Its Capital City, Imperial City, Forbidden Purple City, and Inner City all showcase the incredible history and architecture of royal times gone by.
These monuments have been cultural heritage sites since 1993.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Enchanted in its preservation, Hoi An Ancient Town’s architecture remains as it was centuries ago. The coastal village was a main Southeast Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th century, and underwent a mix of influences that never truly left.
Japanese, Chinese, European and traditional Vietnamese styles layered the walls of this city, and are still present as its skin today. The beautiful town has been a cultural heritage site since 1999.
Ho Dynasty Citadel
This citadel of Neo-Confucianism was built in the 14th century according to feng shui principles. It is deliberately set on an axis joining the Tuong Son and Don Son mountains, in a plain between the Ma and Buoi rivers.
The location is naturally beautiful, and the heavy stone fortress was able to withstand every attack that was pitched against it. It remains unscathed in Thanh Hoa province, and has been a heritage site since 2011.
My Son Sanctuary
Around 70 abandoned Hindu temple and tomb ruins make up this 1999 listed cultural site of Vietnam’s history. The Champa Kingdom built these red stoned monuments between the 4th and 13th century.
It is a wonderful area to visit, as there is an abundance of wild nature growing in and amongst the ancient spiritual region.
It is clear that Vietnam offers incredible attractions of nature, history and culture throughout the country. Armed with this list, you can now plan your journey and get the full experience of seeing 8 UNESCO sites in one trip. They are all surely worth scratching off your bucket list for a culturally rich and awe-inspiring holiday.
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