Vietnam is famous for its breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a huge coastline that stretches for an incredible 3,260km, and energetic cities.
When people think of traveling to Southeast Asia, Thailand is one of the first destinations that comes to mind.
But if you want to avoid the crowds of Thailand, then there is an emerging force for tourism in the region that is ripe for exploration — Vietnam.
According to a Google Destination Insights report, between March and June Vietnam was the seventh most searched destination in the world and the only country in Southeast Asia to make the top 20 list.
Vietnam is quickly becoming one of the most popular vacation destinations in Southeast Asia.
Here are three reasons why:
Adjusted Visa Requirements
From August 15, visiting Vietnam will be easier than ever for citizens of many countries.
The Vietnamese government has extended visa-free access to the country from 15 days to 45 days for passport holders from Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
The duration of e-visas to enter the country has also been extended from 30 days to 3 months.
80 additional countries, including the U.S., are currently eligible to enter the country using an e-visa. From August 15, an e-visa will also allow for multiple entries into Vietnam, rather than the current system of each e-visa only being eligible for a single entry.
This will allow you to come and go as you please, traveling to and from Vietnam as part of a wider Asian tour.
If you do need to apply for a visa to enter Vietnam, then don’t let this put you off. The visa application is easy, straightforward, and affordable.
Well-Preserved Natural Beauty
Because Vietnam is an emerging tourist destination and doesn’t yet have the same huge footfall that many other Southeast Asian countries experience, much of its natural beauty spots are still incredibly well preserved.
And what a huge range of natural beauty spots they are! To the north of the country, you can explore a rugged mountainous region. In central and southern Vietnam, you will find incredibly beautiful beaches.
The countryside is lush and green. And the Vietnamese government has managed to preserve their cultural heritage sites beautifully.
The cities are attracting tourists too. From the captivating old-world charm of Hanoi to the less explored Halong City, Vietnam is becoming Asia’s new tourist hotspot thanks to all these attractions and so many more.
For those on a tight budget money should be a consideration when exploring the popularity of Vietnam. Southeast Asia is an affordable destination in general. Both Thailand and Vietnam are cheap spots for budget travelers.
But Vietnam is considered to be one of the best budget options in the region. Accommodation, food, and transportation are all cheaper in Vietnam than they are in Thailand, especially if you travel to rural parts of the country.
A Focus On Tourism Growth
The Vietnamese government is focusing on encouraging more tourists to visit and growing their tourism numbers this year.
They originally set a target of attracting 8 million visitors in the rest of 2023, but have predicted the figure will grow to 10 million by the end of the year.
Whether we like it or not, social media trends have a huge influence on our travel choices. And Vietnam is being strongly promoted across social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok right now.
The number of hostels in Vietnam’s largest cities is growing, and according to a spokesman from Fuse Hostels and Travel “We’re seeing in the last three months a substantial uptick in the number of international guests staying in hostels”.
The Vietnamese government wants to turn the country into Asia’s new tourism hotspot. And so far, so good. Their plan is working, and now is the perfect time to explore this incredible and beautiful country.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com