I found Vietnam to be an absolutely fascinating country but changing rapidly. If you haven’t been to Vietnam, undoubtedly, the time to go to is now before it changes too much.
Ask most people, especially North Americans, what they know about Vietnam and invariably, the answer will be Vietnam War. Of course, Vietnam is so much more.
What I did not fully appreciate prior to going is just how complex its political and cultural history is (see ‘Country Profile’ below for more detail on this complexity). It is a country that has been influenced directly or indirectly, by a number of powers and ideologies: Vietnamese Kings, Han Chinese, Champas, Japanese, French, Americans, Russians, Communism, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Caodaism, etc.
And it is precisely this eclectic mix of cultures, religions and political beliefs that give this country its unique and complex flavour.