Spreading along the S-shaped strip is a harmonious combination of natural landscapes and exquisite architecture worth experiencing at least once in your life. Here is the suggested list of the most popular tourist cities in Vietnam and something should be prepared before the trip for the first-time Canadian travelers.
1. 6 recommended destinations for Canadians tourists to Vietnam
Hanoi is the capital of thousand years of civilization with the old town features, preserving old architecture as well as many traditional values which are always waiting for Canadian visitors to explore such as Hoan Kiem Lake with Ngoc Son Temple and The Huc Bridge – the symbol of Hanoi. In addition, visitors can explore the culture – history of the country when visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hoa Lo Prison and the museum of ethnology.
The cuisine of Hanoi is also absolutely diverse. Some recommended dishes for Canadians may be mentioned as Pho (Noodle soup), Banh Mi (Bread), Banh cuon (Rolled rice cake), Bun cha (Kebab rice noodles), Ca phe trung (Egg coffee), and Cha ca (Grilled fish).
2. Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is one of the two largest economic and cultural centers in the country, but still retains its charming architecture from the French colonial period. As suggested, the Canadians visitors can visit the War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels to learn about the Vietnam War, or visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and Ngoc Hoang Pagoda to learn about the ancient culture and architecture.
If you want to shop, Ben Thanh market is a familiar destination with many kinds of goods. In addition, this market is also the place which converge many delicious dishes of Saigon cuisine such as Banh beo thap cam (Mixed Beo cake), Bot chien (Pan-fried scrambled egg rice cake), Bun mam (Vermicelli noodle soup with a heavy shrimp paste broth), Bun rieu (Crab paste vermicelli soup), and Che (Sweet soup).
3. Sa Pa
The colorful and charming Sapa is the perfect place after going through the rugged mountains. Sa Pa owns many beautiful attractions such as Ham Rong flower garden, Muong Hoa valley, Silver Waterfall, Gothic style rock church in the center and Bac Ha market. Especially, Fansipan – the highest mountain in Vietnam and called the “rooftop of Indochina” – has great appeal to those who like to climb and conquer.
If having the opportunity to visit Sapa, Canadian tourists cannot miss to enjoy some specialties in Sa Pa such as Com lam (bamboo-tube rice), Xoi ngu sac (Five-colored steamed sticky rice), Lon cap nach (a special pig in Sa Pa), grilled dishes, Sa Pa Peach, Salmon and Thang co (a dish processed from animal organs).
4. Halong Bay
Halong Bay is a precious jewel and the pride of Vietnam tourism. The limestone islands, rocky systems and caves create a unique natural population that is easy to impress with Canadian visitors. When sailing out to visit the bay, you can visit and explore some of the floating villages of fishermen. Thanks to the beauty and value of geology, Halong Bay was honored by UNESCO as World Natural Heritage.
Halong Bay is famous for many dishes made from the seafood such as Bun hai san (Rice noodle with seafood), Sam, Chao trai (Clam rice porridge), delicious dishes from snails and especially, Banh cuon cha muc (Rolled rice cake with squid sausage) – the most famous dishes in Halong.
5. Hue Imperial City
Hue Imperial City is one of the most historic cities of Vietnam, with the relics dating back to the 19th century Nguyen Dynasty. Located on the gentle Huong River, the Hue Citadel has a large area (about 10 km) with some famous attractions such as Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace and Dien Tho Palace. Guests should boat on the Perfume River to visit the tombs and temples such as Tu Duc Tomb, Khai Dinh Tomb or Thien Mu Pagoda.
After the trip, do not forget to enjoy a royal meal in Hue or some delicacies which are famous everywhere such as Com hen (Baby basket clams rice), Bun bo Hue (Hue beef noodle), Banh chung Nhat Le (Nhat Le Chung cake), Nem lui (Lemongrass skewer) and Che Hue (Hue sweet soup).
6. Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc – the largest island in Vietnam – is an ideal holiday destination with pristine rainforests, unspoiled coral reefs and large beaches. The most prominent among them is Bai Dai (the Long Beach), which is on the list of 5 beautiful beaches in the world voted by ABC News. To find out about culture – history, visitors should visit Ham Ninh ancient fishing village, fish sauce barrel production factories or Phu Quoc prison.
Ham Ninh crab, Herring salad, grilled egged fish, Phu Quoc mushroom and Steamed fish with Phu Quoc green pepper are the name you cannot ignore when discovering the rich culinary art in Phu Quoc.
2. Things for Canadians to prepare before traveling Vietnam
Surely after reading the above information, you are very eager to come to Vietnam, right? Do not be too hasty! To have a good trip in Vietnam, the following items are the things you – as Canadian visitors – need to prepare before the trip.
- Flight ticket and Passport
- Emergency number and address of the Canadian Embassy in Vietnam
- 2 personal photos (passport size), a copy of personal information in passport (used in case of losing passport)
- Cash/ credit card / MasterCard (the card with international payment)
- Some necessary e-mail addresses
- A copy of the medical history (if needed)
- A copy of the list of items to carry (to check when brought back, or declare when the luggage is lost)
Especially, the most important one to make your trip become true is Vietnamese visa. For Canadian tourists, there are up to 3 ways to get Vietnamese visa which are mentioned as below:
1. Go to Vietnam embassy in Canada:
+ Address: 55 Mackay Str., Ottawa, ON, K1M2B2
+ Telephone: 613-236-0772
+ Hotlines: 613-882-6699/ 343-777-8384/ 343-777-4999
+ Fax: 613-236-2704
+ Emails: [email protected] (only visa and consular services)
+ Visiting Hours (except Holiday closures):
- Monday: 13:30 pm – 16:30 pm
- Wednesday: 9:30 – 12:30 and 13:30 – 16:30
- Friday: 9:30 – 12:30 and 13:30 – 16:30
Applying visa at Vietnam embassy in Canada will take some weeks and your application may be approved or not.
2. Apply for E-visa:
Canada is one of the 46 countries which can apply for e-visa. More convenient than going to Vietnam embassy in Canada, when applying for e-visas, Canadian citizens can access to https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt to complete the form. After that, the applicant will receive an application code and will be asked to pay a non-refundable fee online.
The process will take 3 working days for tourists to find out if their applications have been approved or not. The applicants who are successful in receiving the approval letter will be able to print their e-visas to present when they arrive at the airports in Vietnam.
However, this kind of visa is valid for 30 days with single entry visa only.
3. Get Vietnam visa on Arrival:
Don’t want to go to Vietnam embassy in Canada or wait for a long time to find out whether your visa application is approved or not, or want to get a long-term Vietnam visa or a short term visa with multiple entries, Visa on Arrival service (VOA) is a smart choice.
To get VOA, Canadian citizens will apply online and pay the service fee to receive the visa approval letter in around 2 working days (normal service). When coming to one of the international airports in Vietnam, they will show the approval letter, fill the Entry and Exit form and pay the stamping fee for Immigration Officer. The visa will be stamped on the passport. The process ends.
Full picture of Vietnam visa for Canadians is also available here.
That is all the information we want to share with the first-time Canadian tourists in Vietnam. If you have more than that, share with us!