Vietnam in Brief
Planning a Holiday to Vietnam?
Vietnam is epic and has something for everyone. Its 1600km of stunning beaches, exciting past, vivid culture and world class cuisine are quickly making it South East Asia’s most attractive destination for families, couples, golfers, foodies, culture buffs and adventure seekers.
With so much to see and do planning a holiday to Vietnam can be tough. That’s why we made the In Brief series. This series of mini guides gives you a flavour of each of Vietnam’s major destinations. We tell you all about the weather, food, accommodation, activities and feel of each place so you can easily map out a quick itinerary.
What to do and see in Vietnam
Take a cruise
If cruising is your thing then Vietnam’s got you covered. Ha Long Bay in the North is a World Heritage Site of natural beauty. You can spend 2-3 days cruising alongside dramatic limestone karsts and exploring hidden beaches. If you want to indulge in some 5 star luxury then a cruise of the mighty Mekong might be your thing. The Mekong is a river spanning Vietnam and Cambodia that is teeming with local life and culture. You can take an all-inclusive 5 star cruise from Saigon to Phnom Penh.
Relax on world class beaches
Vietnam has some of the finest beaches and beach resorts in the world. They also come at rather tasty prices. For 5 star luxury, check out the stunning beach resorts in Da Nang. If boutique beach houses or family fun are your thing then head to Lantern lit Hoi An. For the best surf you’ll want to head to the Mui Ne strip.
Explore Vietnam’s dramatic past
Vietnam’s rich and tumultuous past have left the country with a strong and vibrant culture and some of the world’s most interesting historical sites. In Hoi An you can wander the Japanese inspired streets and visit the ancient ruins of My Son. Ha Noi grew rapidly during French occupation and the city still feels like a 1920s Paris. It also houses some of the country’s finest museums. If war history is your thing then the Cu Chi tunnels in Saigon tell the tale of how Viet Cong ingenuity helped defeat the Americans.
Feast on phenomenal street food
Vietnamese street food is nothing short of spectacular. There is something here for everyone from the fussiest eater to the most adventurous gourmet. Wander the streets in any Vietnamese city, town or village and you’ll see tiny plastic chairs lined up on pavements and older men and women selling aromatic, herb packed soups, grilled meats and seafood that will make your mouth water.
Get pampered for pennies
If the sightseeing is making you feel tired you can be pampered, preened and massaged for next to nothing. Most hotels have in house spas that offer massage and beauty treatments as part of the room price or for a discount. If you’re out and about there are plenty of local places offering wonderful massages and beauty treatments.
Join the world’s largest motorbike gang
Vietnam is crazy about motorbikes. Stand on any street corner for a few minutes and you will see literally hundreds whizz past you and very few cars. If you are feeling adventurous we can take you on a city tour on the back of a vintage Vespa or comfy low rider. If you’ve got a license in your home country we can set you up with your own bike and go on tours of the northern mountains, central highlands or the whole of Vietnam.
Tee off on world class golf courses
Vietnam has some of Asia’s finest golf courses overlooking areas of outstanding beauty. All the courses come with complimentary caddy service and you can rent clubs and gear from the club house. So even if you are only here for a few days you can tee off in style and enjoy some true Vietnamese hospitality.
Explore ancient towns and buzzing cities
Vietnam’s charm lies in its buzzing big cities and charming ancient towns. For a slice of metropolitan Asia and a look at Vietnam’s cool culture head down to Saigon. For a taste of Old Asia wander around the lantern lit streets of Ancient Hoi An. If Imperial history is your thing check out the citadel in Hue and if you want to see a unique mix of chaos, serenity and charm head to our hometown of Hanoi.
Where should I go in Vietnam?
Vietnam is a big and diverse country with something for everyone. Where you go really depends how long you’ve got and what you’re into. Vietnam is separated into three distinct regions each with their own culture, cuisine and geography. If you’ve only got a few days we recommend sticking to one region. If you’ve got 4-8 days we recommend sticking to two regions. If you’ve got longer you might want to explore all three.
Northern Vietnam is the cultural and political hub of Vietnam. It’s stunning green countryside is made up of rolling green mountains, patchwork green farmland and hand carved rice terraces all the way to the Chinese border. The rolling hills of Sapa are full of exciting countryside adventures and local life experiences. City lovers can enjoy the charm and chaos of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. Here you’ll find the country’s best museums and some of its finest street food. For people who enjoy a relaxing cruise, World Heritage site Ha Long Bay is a 4 hour drive from Hanoi. You can cruise along emerald green waters, kayak through hidden caves and feast on fresh seafood. Northern Vietnam is a great starting point for any holiday. There’s plenty to do for cyclists, country and nature lovers, foodies, golf enthusiasts and history and culture buffs.
Central Vietnam is the beach capital of Vietnam and home to some of Asia’s most vivid history. The World Heritage town of Hoi An is a lantern lit paradise. Nestled by the river and a short cycle to the beach, it’s a perfect example of an old Vietnamese trading port complete with ancient houses. Nowadays the streets are lined with funky restaurants and bars and hundreds of tailors. Just over the Hai Van Pass is the history soaked town of Hue. Home to the Demilitarised Zone during the American-Vietnamese War and the last Royal family of Vietnam, it features a huge imperial citadel and fascinating temples and pagodas. In between the two is the metropolitan and under visited town of Da Nang. Its five star resorts, fine cuisine and pristine beaches will soothe all your worries away. Central Vietnam is perfect for a relaxing beach break and there is plenty to do for foodies, culture buffs and history enthusiasts.
Southern Vietnam is home to a myriad of different landscapes and towns. Its defacto capital is Vietnam’s business hub, Saigon. Metropolitan, independent and effortlessly cool, Saigon is home to Vietnam’s business people and their young creatives. You can go and party on its numerous roof top bars, check out the cool art galleries, go shopping in its mega malls or see the sites at the War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels. Just north of Saigon on the coast is the little beach town of Mui Ne. Dubbed the watersports capital of Vietnam, you can come here to relax in its beach front resorts or try your hand at kite surfing. If you need to escape the hot heat of the south you can always retreat to Da Lat. Known as the city of eternal spring this mountain retreat maintains a year round cool temperature. Originally built by the French it has an alpine quality that makes it a fantastic place to go cycling or walking. Southern Vietnam is perfect for people who want excitement and adventure. It’s a foodies paradise, great for nature lovers and culture buffs.
Talk to us. Vietnam is our home and we know it better than anyone else. All of our staff have lived and travelled in Vietnam extensively. If you want help planning your perfect holiday click here to get in touch and your Personal Travel Assistant will give you a call or email and take care of everything for you.
The best time to go to Vietnam
Vietnam has three unique regions each with their own climate making it a well balanced year round destination. The north has four seasons including a chilly winter. The central region has three seasons (wet, hot and dry). The weather here is warm and sunny year round except for the autumn months where there is frequent heavy showers and the odd tropical storm. The south is warm and sunny year round with the odd heavy shower between September and December. Check out the charts below for more info.
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