Lonely Planet ranks Vietnam among top 10 solo travel destinations

By Nguyen Quy June 19, 2021 | 10:00 GMT + 7

A man drives along a tea hill on the O Quy Ho Pass in the town of Sa Pa, in northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress / Tran Doan Huy.

Lonely Planet travel magazine recommended Vietnam in a list of the top 10 destinations for solo travelers thanks to its rich cuisine.

While Singapore is best for a solo stopover and Ubud in Indonesia for self-reflection, the magazine has crowned Vietnam as “the crème de la crème for its food”.

While in Vietnam, solo travelers can mingle with the villagers, sample local dishes and sip rice wine at its many regional markets, one of the must-try dishes being banh cuon (steamed rice rolls), he suggested.

Steamed rice rolls are a traditional Vietnamese dish easily overlooked by tourists and overshadowed by the banh mi or pho. The thin sheet of noodles is steamed on a thin layer of cloth, over boiling water. It’s often filled with ground pork and served with a slightly sweet dip.

For those looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, the site suggested a hike to the hilly resort town of Sa Pa.

At an elevation of 1,600 meters above sea level, Sa Pa enjoys a cool climate all year round and is famous for Mount Fansipan at 3,145 meters (10,311 feet).

Other perfect destinations for solo travelers are South America, Berlin, Rome, East Africa and Portland, according to Lonely Planet.

A global ranking released last April by the American media company US News & World Report found that Vietnam lags many of its Southeast Asian neighbors in the list of the best places to travel solo, se ranking 46th out of 73 destinations.

The nation has stopped all international commercial flights since March 2020 and remains closed to foreign tourists. Visitors who have entered the country since have been mainly experts, high-tech workers and investors.

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