I - Establishment and development history
In the past the region which today is known as the South of Vietnam was a part of the Kingdom of Funan - the first kingdom formed in Southeast Asia (existing from the first century to the sixth century AD).
By 550 onward the Lord Nguyen expanded his power to the South and the Khmer ruled this region. Since losing their country, the Funan people have become a continental nation, losing their maritime capabilities. At present, the Khmer recognize the Funan dynasties as their ancestors and as a part of Khmer history. When the Vietnamese emigrated to the South in 1800, they found a precious marble queen statue which was buried from the fifth century AD.
Southern Vietnam weather is quite extreme with the rainy season lasting for 6 months continuously and the sunny season lasts for the next 6 months. There are many marshes and reeds with mosquitoes, extremely poisonous snakes and unpredictable dangers. According to the Nguyen Dynasty's history, the South was almost covered by desert and only a few Khmer groups lived here. Therefore, after 4,000 years setting their fingerprint in the South, the Vietnamese have had many types of blood mixed with the ancient Vietnamese, Chinese, Cham, Malaysian, and Cambodia, etc.
II - Overview of Southern Vietnam today
The south of Vietnam has an area of 77,700 km2, the terrain is quite flat, the West borders the Gulf of Thailand, the East nears to the East Sea, the North is contiguous to Cambodia and the South is next to the South Central. There are 2 largest river systems, namely Dong Nai river and Mekong River.
The hilly and mountainous area is mainly concentrated in the Southeast region such as Chua Chan Mountain - Dong Nai (839m), Thi Vai Mountain - Ba Ria Vung Tau (461m), Bao Quan Mountain - Ba Ria Vung Tau (529m), Ba Den Mountain - Tay Ninh (986m). This area is known as the roof of the East and the South. The roof of the Southwest and Ham Ninh mountain range - Kien Giang is That Son - An Giang mountain range (716m)
Source: Vadim Yurinov
Cities in south Vietnam consist of 17 provinces with the border from Binh Phuoc down to the South. There are two main parts:
The Southeast includes 5 provinces and 1 city, namely Binh Phuoc, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria – Vung Tau and Ho Chi Minh City
Mekong River Delta (or the Southwest) includes 12 provinces and 1 city, namely Long An, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, An Giang, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Can Tho City
The climate of Southern Vietnam is predominantly tropical and sub-equatorial, so it has high humid conditions, time of lighting and radiation takes a lot of hours a day and the temperature is always high. The annual average humidity is estimated at 80 - 82%. This area is divided into 2 main seasons: rainy season (from May to December) and dry season (from December to April next year). Annual rainfall is quite high, from 966 to 1325mm per year.
III - South Vietnam tourist attractions
South Vietnam includes a number of provinces and cities and its heart is Ho Chi Minh City. When travelling to this area, you will be free to discover the unique things that are only found in the Southern provinces. Not only the charming natural scenery but the people here are also very friendly and open, always happy to welcome guests to visit their homeland. The list below are the provinces and landmarks that you cannot ignore when coming to the beloved Southern Vietnam:
1 – Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is the most dynamic and modern city in Vietnam. Coming to Ho Chi Minh City, you will forget if not visit some places such as Independence Palace, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, The tunnels of Cu Chi, etc. You can enjoy famous south Vietnam food such as Beef noodle of the Southern, grilled beef wrapped in betel leaf, broken rice, etc. In order to facilitate the travelling as well as discovering the bustling life of this city, you should choose the accommodation near Pham Ngu Lao Street, Bui Vien Street and Nguyen Hue Street.
2 – Con Dao
Con Dao is an island district of Vung Tau province, which is famous for the historical vestige of Con Dao prison - a testament to the brutality of war and the unyielding, indomitable will of Vietnamese soldiers. You should not forget Dam Trau beach - a pristine but romantic beach on the island.
3 – Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta region is one of the best of southern Vietnam places which is famous for its garden and river tourism. You cannot miss the experience of going to Cai Rang floating market, Cai Be floating market as well as enjoying the famous naked catfish hotpot.
4 – Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc island is one of the best southern vietnam islands. "The Pearl of Vietnam" is the name that people named for this island. This is home to many beautiful beaches like Sao Beach, Dai Beach, etc. Phu Quoc National Park is also a mysterious place, waiting for you to discover. You will be exempted from a Vietnam visa if you only visit Phu Quoc island.
IV - Southern tip of Vietnam
1 - Best time to visit
The weather of the South is clearly divided into two seasons: rainy and dry, the rainy season will last longer (from May to December) and the dry season (from December to April next year). Therefore, The best time to visit south Vietnam is from December to April, when the weather is dry, you will be able to see and visit many famous places, besides participating in many outdoor activities.
2 – How to travel
- Airport: you can choose the option of traveling to the South by airplane, from Hanoi you can go to Noi Bai airport, from Hai Phong you can go to Cat Bi airport, Da Lat has Lien Khuong airport, Quy Nhon has Phu Cat airport and Con Dao has Con Son airport, etc.
-Railway: Depending on where you start, train is also one of the vehicles that are selected quite a lot, because when traveling by train, you will see the whole beautiful scenery of Vietnam, along the country.
- Expressway: It is also an option for you to travel to the South, but you should choose the cars running on the expressway will minimize the time you have to sit in the car.
The South Vietnam landscape is one of the most crucial reasons that pull you to decide visiting here beside awesome foods and amazing people. To have a rich-experience trip to the southern region, travellers should have a detailed plan of highlighting all the best destinations, a list of things to do here and other information such as accommodation and transportation before you come.