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South Vietnam Travel Guide

The Southern Vietnam includes Southeast and Mekong River Delta. Followings are Provinces and Cities in South Vietnam:

Southeast (Dong Nam Bo) contains those parts of lowland southern Vietnam which are north of the Mekong delta. There are five provinces, plus the municipality of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon): Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh.

Mekong River Delta (Dong Bang Song Cuu Long) is Vietnam's southernmost region, mostly containing small but populous provinces in the delta of the Mekong. There are twelve provinces, plus the municipality of Can Tho: Can Tho City, An Giang, Ben Tre, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long.

Tourism Highlights

South Vietnam offers a prominent position in the American imagination due to the legacy of the Vietnam War, with many American tourists favoring it over other Southeast Asian destinations such as Thailand or Malaysia. From a tourist's point of view, South Vietnam combines history, culture and urban life with beaches and outdoor adventure, all in a country with easy travel links to the rest of the world.

South Vietnam was the setting for most of the American involvement in the Vietnam War, so war tourism is a big draw. The War Remnants Museum is in Ho Chi Minh City, and outside of the city is a war-history theme park based on the underground guerrilla base known as the Tunnels of Chu Chi. The city also boasts fine French colonial architecture and the main cathedral of the Cao Dai religion, with its mixture of Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Taoism.

Nha Trang is one of the most favourite destinations in South Vietnam, about 200 miles northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. For those seeking to go off the beaten tourist path, Phu Quoc Island off the southern tip of South Vietnam is ringed with beaches and often overlooked. Although the region is quite wet, the Mekong Delta is also quite flat and therefore a popular destination for bike tours. The forests and rugged hills of the Central Highlands of South Vietnam are the setting for many trekking, rock climbing and mountain biking tours.

In South Vietnam, the dry season runs from December until April or May, with the monsoon lasting from May through November. Despite of the rain, however, the monsoon might be the best time to go. The monsoon season in Vietnam is characterized by partly cloudy or overcast days with a predictable downpour in the early afternoon. It rarely rains all day. By the middle of the dry season, on the other hand, temperatures are known to soar to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Transportation

Tourists may enter South Vietnam by land, river and air. Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) is one of the two most important airports in the country, and services Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Travelers in neighboring Cambodia often choose a different means of travel, however. Overnight buses run from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City. Daytime travelers can use river boats to go down the Mekong into South Vietnam to Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta. From there, visitors may either continue on to Ho Chi Minh City, explore the Delta area, or travel to the island of Phu Quoc by sea ferry.


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