Vietnam Ultimate Travel Guide


Vietnam is perhaps the most fascinating destination in Southeast Asia. Located on the Indochina Peninsula, it covers a total area of approximately 331,210km2, mostly hilly and forested. Mountains account for 40% of the country’s land area while the forests cover other 42%. Vietnam also boasts a coastline of 3,260km and a maze of rivers and canals. With its diverse terrain, this country allure visitors by a variety of sights and unique cultures across Buddhist temples, exotic beaches, and bustling cities. Prepare yourself for a new adventure through our exclusive guide to Vietnam Vacation now!

HOW TO GET THERE?

Currently, there are 11 international airports offering direct and indirect flights from and to various destinations around the world. Noi Bai, Danang, Tan Son Nhat are the three busiest ones to access the most visited places in three regions.

Korean Air, Cathay Pacific, and American Airlines have flights daily to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city from New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco of United States with a connection in Seoul and Hong Kong respectively. Air Canada and Cathay Pacific offer flights from Toronto and Vancouver to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with a transit in Hong Kong. Korean Air and Japan Airlines also connect Vietnam with major cities in Canada but the transit time can be longer.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

NORTHERN VIETNAM:

The north of Vietnam is the coolest region of the country. The best time to visit is in March, April, and September through November with pleasant weather, low humidity, and sunshine.

CENTRAL VIETNAM

With two sub-regions, coastal lowlands and central highlands, Central Vietnam have the most extreme weather types. This region suffers from tropical storms more often than the other two regions.

SOUTHERN VIETNAM

The South experiences little variations in terms of temperature with 2 main seasons: the dry and the rainy. The best time to visit is from November to April: nice weather, sunshine, temperatures between 23°C and 34°C.

Halong Bay is one the iconic natural beauties of Vietnam

Halong Bay is one the iconic natural beauties of Vietnam 

WHERE TO VISIT IN VIETNAM?    

1. HANOI

Located on the banks of the Red River, this city is well-known for its unique coffee culture, vibrant nightlife, and multi-cultures that are influenced by Chinese, French, and Russia.

2. BA BE LAKE

Nestled among the seemingly endless mountain ranges of northeast Vietnam, Ba Ba Lake is the crowning gem of the park. It offers a pure nature and wild quietness for every nature lover.

3. TRANG AN, NINH BINH

Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, Trang An’s limestone mountain system has experienced at least 250 million years in various geological states of orogeny and massif of giant karst limestone. It is called “Ha Long Bay of the land”

4. MAI CHAU

Mai Chau is an idyllic town, hemmed in by hills. This small town appeals visitors with its rice fields, Thai villages, wooden stilt houses, traditional culture, and rural soundtrack of birdsong.

5. HA LONG BAY

Just 4 hour driving from Hanoi, this beautiful natural wonder is well-known worldwide. This extraordinary area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

6. SAPA

Sapa is always one of the top attractions of Vietnam. It captivates every traveler with its unique culture of ethnic groups and stunning rice terrace fields.

Hoi An is an unmissable destination for any trip to Vietnam. Being a UNESCO Heritage Site, this beautiful old town has more things to offer than its romantic sceneries.

8. HUE

Hue, a UNESCO World Heritage, was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802 to 1945. A major attraction is its 19th-century Imperial City, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls.

9. SAIGON

Saigon is the busiest city in Vietnam. From luxurious hotels to cheapest guesthouses, the finest restaurants to the tastiest street food, the museums to the flashy nightclubs, Saigon is all about energy and discovery.

10. MEKONG DELTA

The Mekong Delta has been dubbed as a “biological treasure trove”. It encompasses 40,500 square kilometers of southwestern Vietnam, over 12 provinces of the country with over 1,000 animal species. 

11. PHU QUOC ISLAND

Phu Quoc boasts its untouched beaches, beautiful sand, crystal clear blue water, picturesque sunset and luxury resorts. This is one the most wanted honeymoon destinations in Vietnam.

12. QUY NHON

Quy Nhơn is a coastal city in Bình Định Province in central Vietnam. It has a varied topography, being extremely diversified with mountains, forests, hills, fields, lagoons, lakes, rivers, shorelines, islands and stunning beaches. 

13. NHA TRANG

Nha Trang is well known for its beautiful beaches, tropical islands, and scuba diving. It is also home to ruins of the Champa Kingdom, Buddhist temples, natural hot springs, salt fields and unique waterfalls.

WHERE TO STAY IN VIETNAM?

Vietnam’s hotel industry is on a rise. While not yet near the level of Bangkok, Vietnam has nearly 100,000 of 3-5 star hotel rooms. Classic villas, beachfront resorts, luxurious hotels, romantic cruises – options come at all sizes and prices. No matter you are in honeymoon, solo travelers, families or anything in between, you’re sure to find a room in Vietnam to suit your style and budget.

WHAT ARE BEST THINGS TO DO IN VIETNAM?

1. TAKE PART IN TET HOLIDAY

New Year holiday or Tet in Vietnam is generally celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year. This is the best time for you to learn Vietnamese New Year tradition and customs as well as feel the spirit of this country.          

2. WANDER AROUND HANOI OLD QUARTER

Hanoi Old Quarter is small enough to explore by foot. You can walk on the narrow streets of the Old Quarter or visit the countless shops and galleries dotted around this bustling city.

3. NIGHTLIFE IN SAIGON

Saigon exotic nightlife is worth to explore. The streets are dazzling with light, impressive rooftop bars boast stunning views of the city, and plenty of bustle nightclubs are busy all night. 

4. WATCH A WATER PUPPET SHOW

Water Puppet is a traditional show of North Vietnam but has recently been famous all over the world. You can see the performance at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre in Hanoi.

5. CRUISE DOWN HA LONG BAY

With more than 2,000 karst limestone mountain islands rising from the emerald water of the UNESCO World Heritage site, a luxury cruise’s trip over the charming bay will blow your mind away from its majestic landscape.

6. GO TREKKING IN SAPA

Sapa has one of the most beautiful rice terraces of the world and it would be regrettable if you miss this mountainous area on your trip to Vietnam.

7. BIKE IN MAI CHAU

Famous for its beautiful rice fields and terraces, but that is not all that Mai Chau can offer to you. This rural area is the place where you can forget all the tiredness and worries of busy everyday life.

8. BE STUNNED BY BAN GIOC WATERFALL

Located in the North of the country, this is one of the biggest cross-border waterfalls in the world such as Iguazu and Niagara and no less famous than the two names by beauty and majesty.

9. HANGOUT IN HOI AN

This ancient town used to be an international port in the 16th century. Luckily, it is well preserved, and still keeps its history in the architecture which you can explore by your bike.

10. EXPLORE HUE ON A CYCLO

Hue is small and quiet so the ideal way to discover the city is on a cyclo which will drive you along the narrow streets and get through famous sites.

11. MEKONG DELTA CRUISE

Hop on a boat to discover the vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, floating markets, old Khmer pagodas, mangroves, orchards, and local villages surrounded by lush rice paddies.

12. GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT VIETNAM WAR IN CU CHI TUNNELS

Go to Cu Chi to know more about how the Viet Cong lived and combated in 1948. The area has over 120km with living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, hospitals and command centers, all are underground.      

13. SHOPPING AT FLOATING MARKET

Wake up early and embark on a traditional wooden boat to get through colorful boats tightly-packed with everything from fresh fruits, aromatic spices to housewares.

14. DIVE IN NHA TRANG

Thanks to its beautiful clear water and colorful sea creatures, Nha Trang is the main spot for scuba diving in Vietnam. You will have a chance to see colorful tropical fish, moray eels, and pufferfish as well as thriving coral reefs.

15. DISCOVER PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, the remarkable Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia. The 300-cave system and spectacular underground rivers give this site a look of heaven in the jungle.

16. SANDBOARDING AT MUI NE

Has been ranked in the list of top 10 beautiful sand dunes in the world, Mui Ne attracts a large number of visitors getting to its dunes to do sandboarding.

HOW TO EXCHANGE YOUR MONEY?

The official currency in Vietnam is Dong. The US dollar is widely accepted among major big shops and restaurants but the price might be rounded up to the nearest USD, making it a little bit more expensive than the cost in Dong. The Euro, Pound and other currencies are also easy to exchange but make sure your notes are clean and undamaged. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are becoming more accepted in many of the bigger hotels, restaurants, and shops, especially in the larger cities with 3-4 percent per transaction. An ATM is easy to find in any city of Vietnam.

Read more: http://nouvellesvoyage.com/

HOW TO GET AROUND?

BUSES

Extensive and affordable for travel between towns.

AIR

Cheap and frequent domestic connections on budget airlines.

TRAINS

Connected the North to the South of Vietnam, trains are one of the most popular ways to get around.

LOCAL TRANSPORT

Private cars and motorbikes are easy to hire but if it’s your first visit you should consider to hire a driver because the traffic is quite dangerous and stuck all day long.

TAXI

There are many taxi companies in Vietnam, making it an easy way to transport. Uber and Grab are popular in Hanoi and Saigon

TIPS & TRICKS

For tipping, big hotels and restaurants in Vietnam often add a 5 – 10% service charges to bills, so you don’t need to tip there but small gratuities for great services are much appreciated. But you should tip waiters, hired drivers, massage ladies, and tour guides because they don’t get high paid.

Learn some bargain techniques in our competed guide to deal with local salesmen, that can be interesting and will save your money. In the big cities such as Hanoi and Saigon, it’s better to use taxis or private car with driver due to the terrific traffic or you can go for tours to visit more attractions, get more amazing moments and experiences.



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