Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Vietnam high on CNN travel list

Vietnam’s capital Hanoi and Phu Quoc island off Vietnam’s southern coast both made it to CNN’ s list of the 17 best places to visit in Asia.

Other Mekong Region destinations listed included Luang Prabang, Laos, Siem Reap, Cambodia and Chiang Rai in Thailand.

Bali Indonesia was declared a favourite, but Rajasthan in India and El Nido in the Philippines also made it to the 2019 CNN list.

Hanoi and Phu Quoc gave Vietnam a mid-table presence on the list of 17 top destinations.

The US-based television network cites natural charm, rich history and good cuisine as its reasons for choosing the two destinations one in the north and the other at the southern tip of Vietnam.

“As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi is a hub of history, culture and endless energy,” CNN reported.

The listing said Hanoi’s Old Quarter was the best place for first-time travellers claiming Hanoi’s charm and historical buildings had international appeal. Located on the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake, the Old Quarter’s most popular attractions include quaint Buddhist shrines, street markets, and traditional Vietnamese arts.

Besides Hanoi, CNN suggested that travellers try Phu Quoc island, also known as “Pearl Island”, Vietnam’s largest island in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang close to the border with Cambodia.

The popularity of Phu Quoc with tourists has attracted international hotel chains and there is a risk that the island will suffer from over-tourism and the associated blight of garbage and waste.  But the votes fell in its favour as one of Vietnam’s top spots to visit where visa-free travel is available to all traveller arriving at its airport.

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