Yen Tu Temple.
Devout Buddhists have long made pilgrimages to Yen Tu mountain, two hours east of Hanoi, but a new village complex at the foot of the sacred peak is now welcoming tourists too. Climbing the four miles to the 1,068-meter summit takes at least four hours, but two cable cars can take some of the strain.
Also in north Vietnam, as backpackers’ favourite Sa Pa gets built up, a quieter landscape of hills and rice terraces can be found at Pu Luong nature reserve, a four-hour bus ride south-west of Hanoi.
The Guardian advises travelers that there are several homestays, plus Pu Luong Retreat with open-air restaurant, infinity pool and gardens. Trek in the hills or try bamboo rafting, kayaking and cycling. InsideAsia Tours can include Pu Luong on a tailormade trip.
Japan tops the list, followed by India, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Vietnam, Macau – Hong Kong (China), Uzbekistan, Taiwan (China), France, Faroe Islands, Germany, Switzerland, etc.
Earlier, Vietnam has been named among five of the cheapest places in the world to live in 2019, according to a list released by International Living, a monthly newsletter covering lifestyle topics.
In 2018, Vietnam welcomed 15.5 million visitors, a 19.9% increase from 2017, statistics of the tourism authority the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showed.
Vietnam aims to receive about 18 million foreign visitors and serve 85 million domestic ones in 2019, and earn more than VND700 trillion (US$30.2 billion) from tourism.