Vietnam praised for stunning caves, street food

Thanh Nien News

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A tunnel inside a cave at Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam. Photo: hachi8 A tunnel inside a cave at Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam. Photo: hachi8


Lifestyle website Thrillist has compiled a list of the best things to do in Southeast Asia, urging visitors to Vietnam to explore the country's caves and check out its street food scene. The site said the cave system of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central region is the best place to go. 
The 123,000-hectare (nearly 304 million acres) park, which holds UNESCO heritage status for both geodiversity and biodiversity, is home to a stunning network of 400 million-year-old caves including the world’s largest, Son Doong.
It is also a place “where the farmers still flash peace signs as you motorbike by their striking green rice paddies,” according to Thrillist.
Son Doong, or Mountain River, stretches for around five kilometers with at least 150 individual grottoes, rivers running through them, a dense subterranean jungle and fossilized corridors.
The cave was discovered in 1991 by local man Ho Khanh, who in 2009 helped British experts explore it. It was first opened to tourists on a trial basis in August 2013 and all the tours for next year have been booked.
Thrillist also named bun cha as the best dish to try in Vietnam, describing it as “the trifecta of meaty, oily, vinegary goodness.” Grilled pork is served with fried spring rolls, vermicelli noodles and tangy fish sauce.
It also suggests tourists try riding a motorbike throughout the country.
It said Vietnam is a perfect country for history lovers, street-food lovers and fashion lovers who can have their clothes tailor-made in Hoi An.
But the site also warns about street snatchers.
Cambodia tops Thrillist's ranking thanks to Angkor Wat, followed by Thailand which is recommended for Pai, a hippie mecca with waterfalls and delicious food.

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