By Tran Duy Minh

During this pandemic time with travel restrictions, I often think about the interesting destinations I have visited. Imagining being there has helped me to relive past experiences while fantasising about future revisiting trips with more new travelling ideas.

I found out that this process is called “mental time travel”, and it is a way to cope with the pandemic, according to Anna-Lisa Cohen, professor of psychology at Yeshiva University.

She states that when you remember past travel stories, you almost seem to transport yourself to another time and place to re-experience those trips. The planning of upcoming trips may contain some details from your past travels, and this act of imagining makes the events seem real. 

As I plan for future travels, I share with you my top five fantasy trips in Vietnam that may inspire you to visit my country when the pandemic is over.

Wander In Little Paris

With cooler weather, gorgeous natural scenery, and diverse French architectural heritages, Da Lat is a Vietnam’s highland city known as “Little Paris”, “Foggy City”, “Home to Cherry Blossoms”, and “City of Flower”. 

I never get bored or tired wandering Da Lat, thanks to its mild climate and beautiful sights. The scenery of green pines, colourful flowers, the tranquil lake, lovely houses, peaceful sloping roads please my eyes. Go there during Spring when the cherry blossoms colour the town gently for a truly epic experience.

Relax Beachside In “The Glorious Pearl Of The East Sea”

Nha Trang is situated beside a long stretch of beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches and verdant mountain ranges at each end, earning it the nickname of “The Glorious Pearl of the East Sea”.

Along the 3,200-kilometre coastline of Vietnam, only Nha Trang has the beach located in the centre of the city. The beach here is crescent-shaped, embracing the city with its turquoise-coloured water.  

Sit at a beachside cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee while inhaling the sea air and listening to the waves hitting the shore. Its oceanic climate and scenery soothes my soul, and it might just help you relax too.

Breakfast At The Famous Floating Market In Mekong Delta

Located in southern Vietnam’s Can Tho city, Cai Rang is the largest and most famous floating market in Mekong Delta. This market sells almost everything as a regular market does. The only difference is that all transactions are on the river.

Every morning, hundreds of big and small boats park close to each other with goods on board, ready for trading. Find all kinds of fruit, agricultural products, and specialities from the region. Visitors often come here in the early morning, so several small boats offer a Vietnamese breakfast.

I love eating grilled pork rice noodles and drinking milk coffee here. Amid the bustling trading activities, enjoy breakfast while sitting on a boat swinging lightly on the river to feel energised for the day.

Drive A Motorbike Across The Artistic Bridges In “Singapore In Vietnam”

Da Nang is considered the most livable city in Vietnam; many locals call this city “Singapore in Vietnam”. Our fourth-largest city has a shoreline of 30 kilometres with smooth and sandy beaches. 

Besides the beautiful beaches, peaceful rivers, gentle mountains, modern architectural buildings, Da Nang is also known as the “City of Bridges”. The poetic Han River at its heart is spanned by many beautiful bridges.

I love driving my motorbike across the bridges; it is a great way to admire the artistic architecture styles, both European and Asian. 

Take An Adventure On A Public Bus in HCMC

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), also known as Saigon, is the biggest city and Vietnam’s business and financial hub, with a distinguished history going back hundreds of years. 

This 300-year-old city has 24 districts containing many charming attractions, historic buildings, sleek skyscrapers, and interesting local activities connected to diverse, fascinating cultures. 

You can reach almost all areas in this city by bus thanks to its vast public bus system. Sitting on the bus, you can observe the colourful life of Saigon through the windows, almost as if you are watching a non-stop movie. Taking public transport to explore this bustling city makes me feel excited like I am on an adventure. 

With the world still in pandemic turmoil, it is a hard time for us all. Escaping to somewhere different, even just mentally, can help us to cope better. So, until you can sip a coffee beachside in Na Trang or hop on a bus in Ho Chi Minh City, let your mind take you on that adventure and start fantasising about exploring Vietnam.