“Vietnam’s rice granary, the Mekong River Delta is a watery landscape of green fields and sleepy villages, everywhere crisscrossed by the brown canals and rivulets fed by the mighty Mekong River,” the Lonely Planet said on its website.
“The inhabitants of this region – friendly and easygoing people – have long toiled on the life-sustaining river, with the fruits of their labor depending on natural cycles that govern the waterways,” it added.
Although the area is primarily rural, it is one of the most densely populated regions in Vietnam and nearly every hectare is intensively farmed.
“The uniquely southern charm with its welcoming introduction to life along the river is the real draw, and visitors can explore quaint riverside towns, sample fruits bartered in the colorful floating markets or dine on home-cooked delicacies before overnight as a home-stay guest,” it said.
The nine other top destinations include the northeast of the U.S., San Francisco, Japan, Tajikistan, Porto in Portugal, Lesotho in southern Africa, Iquitos in Peru, Ohrid in Macedonia and Merida, Mexico.
Earlier, the U.S. Tourism Association (USTOA) named Vietnam as a top destination for 2012.
Vietnam attracted 6.02 million foreign tourist arrivals last year, rising 19.1% over a year earlier. The country targets to welcome 6.5 million international tourist arrivals and 32 million domestic visitors this year.
Despite the big potential, there remain many shortcomings that the tourism industry should soon to deal with, including poor tourism products and services, poor infrastructure, unskilled human resources, and ineffective promotion programs.
(Source: Ha Noi Moi)