Whether you are travelling across Southeast Asia or cruising the Mekong, Vietnam is fascinating to visit.
This deceivingly large country is packed with sights, history, and food. The country is made up of three regions with Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in the south – all of which are very different to one another. You will need plenty of time to indulge in all the sites and activities!
The artistic and creative side of Vietnam is most apparent in Hanoi, with its museums, pagodas, and interesting maze of streets in the Old Quarter. This old city is bursting with people and motorcycles/bicycles that are constantly whizzing by. In this area, it’s also visiting some spectacular war history sites, including the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ where American prisoner of war John McCain was detained. It’s also the gateway to Vietnam’s northern mountainous city Sapa, where hilltribes welcome visitors.
Emerging from its painful past in the war as a bustling city and a welcoming tourist destination, Ho Chi Minh city offers its visitors so many options. Learn about its history from museums and the many war memorials, experience its culture through the grand opera houses and majestic palaces, or indulge in a walking food tour.
This architectural wonder has over 2000 years of history and is famous for its riverside restaurants and beautifully colored unique buildings. This little oasis, which also has a well-known textile industry, is a great pause from the chaos of Vietnam. It’s also a perfect place to purchase handmade textiles.
This coastal city in the south is famous for its beaches, diving sites, and offshore islands. There are many options for things to do including riding aerial cable cars to nearby Hon Tre Island, visiting the nature reserves of Hon Mun or diving to see the coral reefs at the Hon Tam Islands. At restaurants, try eel on the menu – it’s delicious!
This is an absolute must-see on any trip to Vietnam. The only way to get there is via a tour, and once there you’ll be lost in the breathtaking beauty of this bay with the burst of limestone karsts everywhere.
This lesser known wonder of Vietnam is a UNESCO protected national park. Within reach of Halong Bay by sea or via motorbike, make sure to indulge in the natural scenery and the colourful churches spread across the spectacular mountains.
The best time to go is in spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October).