Bound by the South China Sea to the west, Vietnam borders China, Laos and Cambodia, and is separated from Thailand by the legendary Mekong River. A land with winding trade routes and an even longer, meandering history, Vietnam is blessed with rich culture, diversity and charisma. Officially known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, this predominantly Buddhist country is heavily influenced by the ancient Hindu Champa and Khmer empires, Southern China and French colonialists. Comprising four main regions, which are further divided into 58 provinces and five municipalities, one can explore its entrancing coastlines, verdant mountains, magnificent national parks, vibrant cities, phenomenal cuisine and unique culture all from the comfort of your Vietnam boutique resort.
Indigenous hill tribes and splendid landscapes, including the surreal Halong Bay and the nation’s capital Hanoi, are found in the north, while the ancient city of Hue, once home to Vietnam’s emperors, filled with royal tombs and pagodas, and small beach towns dot the central coast. Lush forests, mountains and ethnic groups form Vietnam’s central highlands. Moving further south, Saigon, the country’s largest city, is an energetic hive of endless activity. Just nearby, however life slows down to the rhythm of the river in the backwaters of the Mekong Delta where winding waterways and endless rice paddy fields emit a dramatically different visual experience.
The delta is not to be missed, and both a stay in a delightful island lodge and a stay aboard a converted river barge plying the Mekong Delta are possible with Secret Retreats.