What will you see when traveling in a small country with 4000 years of history, including 1000 years under domination of several Chinese dynasties, 80 years under French colonialism and 30 years against US army? A perfect combination of Vietnamese identity and essences of other country’s culture that had come and stayed in harmony with local things. Taking a little longer journey in this S-shaped land definitely change your way to see the world.
Let’s discover Vietnam World Heritage from the North to South with magnificent golden rice terrace field and scenic bay. Then visit through the Central with the best coffee beans ever and an ancient town which urges every visitors to stay back late for one more day(s). Finally reach the South with fruitful tunnels and the obsessing local folk rhythm… Below are 8 Vietnam World Heritage Sites by UNESCO you MUST get to know.
Halong Bay was twice recognized by UNESCO as The World Natural Heritage Site, first time in 17th December 1994 and second time in 2nd December 2000 with extraordinary values in scenery and geography.
It is also an area which was considered to be a place of origin of our ancestor with Ha Long culture. Not only is Halong bay a natural heritage, but also a 300-year-old geographical museum, featuring various oceanic creatures which creates an unique bio-diversity for the region.
Thang Long Imperial Citadel
Its year of recognition to be the World Heritage Site was in 2010.
Thang Long Imperial Citadel was located in Ba Dinh district, Hanoi, Vietnam with the total square of 18395 ha, including archaeology site and the remained historical sites. It was built in Ly dynasty, together with the construction of Thang Long Wall. After 10 centuries with several reigns, there had been changes, yet the Forbidden Zone was almost the same as its original one. There are a mythical yet scientific connections between the inner construction of the citadel. This makes the site a great place for those who are interested in studying about urban planning and architectural space throughout dynasties
The Ho Dynasty Citadel
The Ho Dynasty Citadel was officially recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 2012. It was built according to Feng Shui principles. The citadel, as a great work of architecture in the central province of Thanh Hoa, was the capital of Vietnam from 1397 to 1407. There were many of name versions for it: An Ton, Tay Do, Tay Kinh, Tay Nhai, Tay Giai.
Generally it consists of three sections: a bamboo hedge, a moat and a citadel wall, plus a palace complex with marble roads that connect each palace.
According to the World Heritage website, the Citadel bears exceptional testimony to a critical period in Vietnamese and Southeast Asian history when traditional kingship and Buddhist values were giving way to new trends in technology, commerce and centralized administration.
The Ho Dynasty Citadel has been considered to be “a magnificent architecture by its unique technique, the art of big-block stones building and a combination of ancient constructions in Vietnam, East Asia and South East Asia.
Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex
The place is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO in 23rd June 2014, under consideration of 3 elements in culture, art and geography values.
It is located in 4 city and districts of Ninh Binh province, with the total square of 10000 ha. The highlights are Trang An, Hoa Lu ancient capital and Tam Coc – Bich Dong. There are about 100 caves which are both dry and wet ones. Many water-though connected caves together with natural valleys create a fresh vivid look, are surrounded by vertical limestone mountains. Each of them was related to a history story, bringing back 1000 years of fights and constructing the country. There are also man-made architectures blended so well with natural masterpieces, making it picturesque, mysterious and adventurous for any visitors.
Not only that, but this place is also an area with abundant and diverse eco-system. You can find several kinds of flora and fauna found here in the World Book of endangered species. Trang An is also where the history spoke by many historical and pre-historical sites.
Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park
Located in 3 districts of Quang Binh province, Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park has the total square of 343300 ha. This place has gone through a 4-milion-year geological tectonics progress on earth. It has been praised with magnificent, breath-taking and mysterious landscape ever, containing 300 small and giant caves. Especially mentioned is Son Doong cave, known as the biggest and longest cave in the world (250 meters high, 200 meter wide and 8.5 kilometers long). Moreover, the national park also contains 2400 vascular plants, 356 bird species, hundreds of fishes and insects enlisted in IUCN.
Surprisingly, Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park has been recognized twice by UNESCO, the first time in July 2003 and the second time in July 2015.
Hue Ancient Citadel
This is the very first World Heritage Site of Vietnam recognized by UNESCO (1993).
Hue Ancient Citadel was constructed and located along Perfume riverside and part of outskirt of Hue city. In the nation’s long history, this place used to be a citadel of Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945.
Above 143 years, it has been constructed and designed to express the power of Nguyen dynasty in centralized monarchy. There were moderate wall complexes, East-meets-West architectures. They were placed in a specific location, combined with natural poetic scenery of the region and created a vintage and formal beauty yet picturesque one.
Hoi An Ancient Town
Generally saying, even though centuries passed; the tradition, spiritual and religious festival and activities of the locals have been still there and indeed, getting stronger and firmer.
Hoi An town was once a well-known trading harbor. Hence, this was a great opportunity for the town to welcome and absorb other culture into its authentic Vietnamese identity. The town should be proud of itself when maintaining that cultural blend generations to generations.
Reach Hoi An, check in a cozy homestay with riverside view. Start discovering by bike, sip a drink to make yourself warm at heart at a charity organic coffee. Feel free to be immersed yourself into the flow of acoustic music for the rest of the night. You will not want to come back home, since this town will seduce you, body and soul…
My Son Sanctuary
On 1st December 1999, My Son Sanctuary was recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. It was located mainly in a valley which was previously Hinduism sanctuary of Champa Kingdom. The king dom was established and graphically illustrated by the remains of a series of impressive tower-temples.
Sanctuary here was built in a group. Accordingly, each group contained a main sanctuary and many small towers or subset architectures surrounding. They are made by bricks and decorated by sandstone, in a unique method.
The My Son Sanctuary is a remarkable architectural ensemble that developed over a period of ten centuries. It presents a vivid picture of spiritual and political life in an important phase of the history of South-East Asia.