They say that location is everything. And in the case of Mia Nha Trang, location certainly makes this elegant, upscale resort stand out from its contemporaries. Set in a bay with a backdrop of soaring cliffs and a road winding its way above, there is something special about this little slice of paradise.

Edward Dalton visits the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism near Ba Vi. The experience is surreal

Mui Ne was once a sleepy fishing town that few people had ever heard of. The solar eclipse of 1995 reversed all that; thousands of astronomers and curious tourists streamed in to observe the phenomenon. Since then, Mui Ne has undergone a major transformation, and is now one of Vietnam’s major tourist attractions.

The backpacker trail in Southeast Asia has legendary stop-off points at every step. Opened three years ago, the leafy, Easy Tiger hostel in Phong Nha has already etched itself a place in folklore.

 

Vu Ha Kim Vy explores Banteay Srei, a district of Siem Reap, and discovers that its charm doesn’t lie only in the temples. Here lies the rural Cambodia of the past. Photo by Anna Bella Betts 

Nestled away in Yen Bai province, 170km from Hanoi, on the banks of the quiet Thac Ba Lake, is La Vie Vu Linh. It’s an eco-lodge, built according to local traditional techniques in the midst of the Red Dzao minority Ngoi Tu Village. It promotes eco-tourism in harmony with the local population and the environment.

Almost 250km directly north of Hanoi is Ba Be National Park, home to three lakes, breathtaking scenery and the Tay ethnic minority. Words and photos by Julie Vola

Tucked into the coast on the way to Vung Tau is an island that is still untouched. Vu Ha Kim Vy heads out of town for a short break

Want to know where all those birdcages come from? Just do what Jesse Meadows did and drive out to Canh Hoach Village

Many visitors to Vietnam are fascinated by the Vietnam War era. They seek out the places where well-documented battles took place, they visit war-museums, they comb war-surplus markets for helmets, bits and pieces of uniform, canteens, rusty dog-tags and the like.

The DMZ

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While much of Vietnam has moved on from its war-torn past, for people living close to the former Demilitarised Zone it is inescapable. Words and photos by Nick Ross

When Ben and Bich Mitchell first opened Phong Nha Farmstay in December 2010, the local consensus was that they had a screw loose.

Set up in late 2015, Phong Nha has a new day trip for those not lucky enough to get on the tour to the largest cave in the world. It’s worth every penny. Words and photos by Nick Ross

Photo by Edward Dalton

A former British-settled port town, George Town in Malaysia is known for its multicultural heritage and vibrant street food scene. Yet it has something else to attract the erstwhile traveller — architecture and art. Words by Edward Dalton. Photos by Julie Vola and Edward Dalton

Vu Ha Kim Vy explores Luang Prabang, a small city in Laos surrounded by rivers and forested mountains, to find out what is hidden inside

Photo by Vu Ha Kim Vy

Needing two flights to reach a destination for a short holiday is never a comfortable experience, yet Sofitel Luang Prabang was worth much more than that effort.

Photo by Julie Vola

I often find myself wishing I could live in a hotel, but I suppose if five-star service and soft pillows became your day-to-day, it wouldn’t be as special. So I settle for those rare staycations, when you just need a break from it all and someone to take care of everything for you, even down to the q-tips and the hand towels. I check into a nice hotel on a Saturday night, bask in the rain shower, order wine to the room, and prance around in a big white robe. It’s more relaxing than a vacation, really, because you don’t even have to travel.

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