While Viet Nam has been a rising travel destination for many years now, it continues to surprise visitors from around the world with a multitude of diverse attractions - and many of these destinations are still undiscovered by tourist crowds.
This month's issue of Outlook visits some of the country's ultimate escapes during the summer - from sunny island vacations to cool mountain retreats. Viet Nam's long coastline and many islands are home to seaside idylls perfect for having some fun in the sun. We travel through the picture-perfect island of Van Don, which offers visitors the scenic beauty of nearby Ha Long Bay without the crowds and tourist traps.
We also provide a chance to escape the summer heat. Our trip to Sa Pa in the mountainous north tells the story of a Vietnamese traveller who visited the evocatively named Blue Smoke Valley and found the local lifestyle and natural environment so appealing that he even planned to make it his family's new home.
Our second trip to the seaside this month is to Tra Co Beach in northern Quang Ninh Province, where the pure white sands are said to make up one of the most beautiful beaches in Viet Nam, while our collection of interviews features travellers' tales from a range of foreign tourists.
Elsewhere in this issue, we continue the travel theme with a tour of Phu Quoc Island off the southern coast of Viet Nam, meet the team behind a Vietnamese community magazine in Hungary and celebrate the country's founding fathers at a festival in northern Bac Ninh Province.
Readers can also catch up on what's hot in the country's culinary, sports and arts scenes - and check out listings for everything from galleries and markets to embassies and airlines.
Outlook is available for VND14,000 at the Viet Nam News offices at 11 Tran Hung Daok Street in Ha Noi and 120 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in HCM City. — VNS