Photograph by Tho Le Duc, My Shot
Terraced rice paddies ring the Vietnamese countryside in bright green. The crop, a staple of Southeast Asia, has been grown in Vietnam for thousands of years. The country is now the second largest exporter of rice, after Thailand.
Photograph by Andrew Errington/Getty Images
Perched on the edge of the Mekong Delta and a stone’s throw from Cambodia, Chau Doc is a river city where the local economy depends on fishing. The Mekong’s iconic floating houses, wooden boats, and fish farms offer a glimpse into Vietnam’s hardworking agricultural communities.
Riverboat Captain, Hội An
Photograph by Lee Turner, My Shot
This riverboat captain ferries passengers through the ancient trading town of Hội An, a U.N. World Heritage site on the South China Sea coast. Considered a well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port, Hội An’s harbor mouth is now filled with fishermen and guided boat tours.
Cao Dai Ceremony
Photograph by Brendan Bucy, My Shot
Cao Dai is a Vietnamese religious movement that unifies elements of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Catholicism. Formally established in 1926, this syncretist faith maintains that all religions are the same in principle. Cao Dai temples dot the Mekong Delta region, with the epicenter at the Holy See in Tây Ninh.
Produce Peddler, Hội An
Photograph by Gavin Hellier/Getty Images
Vietnamese who live along the rivers in central Vietnam travel to Hội An to deal or purchase goods, such as this peddler’s fruits and vegetables. Tourists flock to Hội An for its bargain shopping and colorful architecture, frozen in time.
Hmong Women, Bac Ha
Photograph by Marc Lebeau, My Shot
A festive event held every Sunday, the Bac Ha market in northern Vietnam is an occasion for neighboring ethnic groups to gather for gossip, food, and handicrafts. Within a sea of color, Hmong women stand out in their vibrant head scarves and elaborately embroidered tops.
Photograph by Travel Ink/Getty Images
Nestled among the Hoang Lien Son Mountains in northwest Vietnam, the Sapa Valley is home to a diversity of hill tribes. Due to variable climate conditions and steep terrain, the productivity of farming in the region is at the mercy of nature, as only one crop can be cultivated within a single year.
Young Girl, Ho Chi Minh City
Photograph by Mike de Lange, My Shot
A young girl enjoys a meal in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Vietnam’s largest metropolis, Ho Chi Minh City emits an electric energy teeming with motorbikes, markets, and acupuncture clinics. Centuries-old pagodas and ramshackle shops survive in harmony with sleek skyscrapers.
Noon Gate, Hue
Photograph by Kris Leboutillier
Of the ten entrances to the city of Hue, the most dynamic is the Noon Gate, or Cua Ngo Mon, which leads to the Imperial Palace. Constructed in 1833 during the reign of Emperor Minh Mang, this southern gate has borne witness to significant political announcements, destructive battles, and modern-day processions.
Vietnam War Remnants Museum
Photograph by Charles Dharapak/AP
A museumgoer examines an exhibit of life-size American and South Vietnamese soldiers at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. Memorializing the American phase of the Vietnam War, the museum's collection includes period military equipment, graphic photographs, prison reproductions, and wartime curiosities.
Old Quarter District, Hanoi
Photograph by Shawn Hughes, My Shot
Pedestrians and motorists surge through Vietnam’s capital city at night. Keeping a thousand years of history intact, the Old Quarter District preserves the original layout and architecture of the 36 streets that made up old Hanoi. Each street name still reflects the trade specializations of its 20th-century inhabitants.
Burning Incense, Ho Chi Minh City
Photograph by Jane Sweeney/Getty Images
A woman burns incense inside a Ho Chi Minh City temple. Today Buddhism is Vietnam's predominant faith, with Roman Catholicism coming in second.
Photograph by David Buffington/Getty Images
Tour boats moored in Ha Long Bay at dusk enjoy a serene seascape of limestone sculptures hewn by nature. This UNESCO World Heritage site is host to a diversity of ecosystems including sandy beaches, mangrove forests, and offshore coral reefs. Some of its roughly 1,600 islands and islets boast beautiful grottos with hidden ponds and unusual stone formations.
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