No country has changed more in the past 40 years than Vietnam. What was once a war-torn country is now flourishing, economically and socially. In Ho Chi Minh City, commerce and culture blend throughout the city. Local and foreign influences are felt in Hoi An, whose tranquility provided a reprieve for American soldiers during the war. And nestled on the banks of the Red River is Hanoi, a city overflowing with tributes to its storied past.
Teaching Moments in Vietnam
1) To get a first hand glance at the French colonial influence on Vietnam, go no further than Notre Dame Bascilica. Located in Saigon, this impressive cathedral is representative of the continued strength of Catholicism in Vietnam. Thousands evened flocked to the statue of the Virgin Mary when it was reported that it was weeping.
2) Equal parts jungle vines and religious grounds; the Perfume River is ideal for discovery. Spend the afternoon drifting down the Perfume, whose winding flow divides Hue in half. Snap photos of the spectacular jungle landscapes around you as venture into the heart of imperial Hue.
3) Built nearly 1,000 years ago, the Temple of Literature has stood through Vietnam’s tumultuous history. Along with being a temple to Confucius and his disciples, it also holds Vietnam’s oldest University, the Imperial Academy.