Vietnam – A Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea, successively occupied by China, Russia, France, Japan, and the United States, has had its share of foreign interference. It is known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. The former Communist stronghold of Hanoi – the capital city has maintained its narrow-lane charm and pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum while the melting limestone pinnacles of Halong Bay are as otherworldly as ever. From the ancient neighbourhoods of Hoi An to the vast Mekong Delta, the country offers an astonishing variety of natural beauty. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.