Ha Long, Hoi An chosen as top travel sites in Southeast Asia

Thanh Nien News

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A student travelers forum managed by US magazine USA Today has recommended Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Hoi An among ten most beautiful places to visit in Southeast Asia.
The article, published on College Tourist, a forum of the USA Today College Contributor network, said Southeast Asia is a “perfect” travel destination with vivid cultures, tempting cuisine, white sandy beaches and steamy jungles, and some places there are too beautiful for one to miss.
Ha Long Bay in Vietnam’s northern coast is a must-see “without a doubt,” it said, praising its “exceptional scenic beauty and outstanding geological values.”
Rock islands in Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province. Photo credit: GiangKen
The UNESCO heritage site, which US travel guide site Smarter Travel named one of the best eco spots in Asia earlier this year, is one of the most loved tourist sites in Vietnam.
It draws tourists with a magnificent scene of more than 1,500 islands and inlets of giant limestone karst islands in various shapes and sizes, popping up from turquoise waters.
Tourists can book an overnight cruise trip on the bay to watch sunrise or sunset, or they can also explore many wild ancient limestone caves surrounding the bay.
College Tourist also recommended Hanoi, around 170 kilometers away from Ha Long, for its combination of old charm and modernity.
The thousand-year-old capital city may have the worst traffic in the country, and yet one can still find peaceful corners at many pagodas, temples or just by watching vendors on the street.
 The Sword Lake, Hanoi's iconic site with golden fall leaves. Photo credit: hachi8
The city with plenty of sights for photo opportunities is the third most popular destinations worldwide according to a Pinterest list released last month of the most-pinned locations.
Top travel guide sites Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor both recently suggested the city among the best value destinations for tourists.
Down south, Hoi An, also a UNESCO heritage site, is also a favorite option. It is one of the most peaceful towns in the country.
 Tourists pedal along old houses in Hoi An. Photo credit: hachi8
The ancient town draws tourists and photographers alike to its picturesque wooden houses, pagodas, street-side eateries and hundreds of tailor shops.
It is where one can find “tranquility and timelessness,” the travel forum said, which also suggested Angkor of Cambodia, Bangkok, and a remote ethnic village in Laos in the list.

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