As Vietnam continued to capture the world’s attention with numerous emerging destinations in 2018, Kiwi In Saigon introduces some of the most famous places of them, depicted through viral photos on social media and stories from the global press.
Some 15.6 million internationals tourists visited Vietnam last year, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.
Golden Bridge, Da Nang
Viral pictures of Da Nang’s Golden Bridge ripped through social media over the past year, sparking wanderlust for its rust feel and stunning views.
Located more than 1,400m above sea level at the Ba Na Hills Sun World resort, the 150m-long bridge was a hit amongst local and foreign tourists from the moment it opened in June 2018.
Just one month later, the Golden Bridge went viral after Malaysian photographer Jason Goh posted an aerial photo of the bridge to his Instagram account @smashpop.
The epic photo was shared by dozens of websites, attracting more than 35,800 likes.
Since then, the bridge has been featured in several publications, including a mentioned on Time magazine’s 2018 list of the World’s Greatest Places 2018.
Tan Dinh Church, Ho Chi Minh City
This bright pink church located in Saigon’s District 1 has been a longstanding member of the must-see list for tourists visiting the Southern Metropolis.
The hundred-year-old building on Hai Ba Trung Street currently ranks #20 out of 202 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City on TripAdvisor .
In mid-November 2018, Instagram handle @voyaged shared a picture of the church from @milesofsmiles._ to its 1.3 million followers with the caption “Have you seen these vivid architecture in Vietnam in person?”, attracting more than 31,000.
Hanoi’s railway through the Old Quarter
In October last year, AFP published a story describing the French-built railway running through Hanoi’s Old Quarter as “a hotspot for tourists seeking the perfect Instagram selfie, and for cafe owners serving up hot coffee and cold beer.”
“The tracks are still in use and most days visitors must scramble for safety as the daily train rumbles through the narrow streets,” AFP wrote.
“It’s got a really weird charm,” Hong Kong tourist Edward Tsim shared with the French news agency.
“You’ve got flowers from the balcony coming down, you’ve got buildings which are very old and close to each other. You see people here living close to the train tracks,” the tourist added.
Tam Coc, Ninh Binh
This photo by @selcouth_vagary received nearly 38,000 likes when it is re-posted by @voyaged in August 2018.
The picture of Tam Coc, part of the UNESCO- recognized Trang An Landscape Complex in the northern province of Ninh Binh, has received numerous compliments for its fantastical charm.
Son Doong, Quang Binh
In June 2018, U.S.-based travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller published a photo essay capturing an expedition to the world’s largest cave in Vietnam by Sam Evans-Butler and David Jaff.
“Only a thousand people have passed through this cave since its discovery. We were lucky enough to be among them,” the duo began the story.
Four months later, travel site TheTravel.com with more than 2 million followers on Facebook mentioned Son Doong in its list of “20 images of bizarre places on Earth that look like another planet entirely.”
Binh Hung, Khanh Hoa
In November last year, Binh Hung Island in the central province of Khanh Hoa was listed in Condé Nast Traveller’s “Southeast Asian beaches you’ll want to keep to yourself.”
“From its century-old lighthouse to floating lobster restaurants and rocky-shoreline oyster farms, Binh Hung is sort of like a tropical Nova Scotia,” the story read.
Cliff of Stone Plates, Phu Yen
In a story introducing 30 of Vietnam’s most beautiful places published in CNN last April, the Cliff of Stone Plates in the central province of Phu Yen ranked 11th.
“Along the central coastline, north of Nha Trang, the Ganh Da Dia (meaning the “Cliff of Stone Plates”) National Heritage site showcases mysterious basalt rock columns,” CNN located the place for its readers.
“Thousands of years ago, volcanic explosions formed the hardened lava outcrops, which now resemble fish scales,” the story added.