Vietnam captures the beauty, rich history and authenticity of South East Asia in a way no other nation does. If you seek adventure beyond what you think they know about Asia, you cannot go wrong with Vietnam.
With western and northern edges touching Cambodia, Laos and China, you’ll find that Vietnam has a rich culture that has been influenced by each of these nations and further afield. Journey through emerald mountains to meet native hill tribes adorned in colour, hop in a boat and discover islands made of limestone cliffs that touch turquoise waters full of corals, and wander through markets steeped in jewels and oily woks serving up freshly fried noodles. Throw in pristine beaches with golden sands and 5-star luxury and you’ve got paradise.
Honeymooners with a sense of adventure will fall in love with Vietnam from the second they arrive. Choose between all-inclusive beachfront villas with plunge pools and sunken baths, or opt for dazzling hotel suites that soar above the city skyline with rooftop pools and perfect views. Those looking for family holidays or couples adventures will also find plenty of do in Vietnam. Expect to spend your days kitesurfing along the crystal clear waters, trekking through verdant national parks, discovering temples steeped in history or simply working on that all-important tan on one of the many gorgeous beaches; visit Vietnam and you’ll never be bored.
February to April and August to October are the best times to visit Vietnam due to the pleasantly warm temperatures and minimal rainfall, with March and April being the peak period of travel across most of the country.
Visit the beautiful traditional town of Hoi An in Vietnam during Lunar New Year and watch it transform into a world of bright colours and flickering lights.
This astounding festival lasts for a week and you’ll find plenty of workshops set up throughout the town that will allow you to make your own paper lanterns. Wander the streets in the evening and it will truly take your breath away, as you’ll discover buildings, bridges and streets all lined with pink, blue, orange and green lanterns illuminating the dark. Visit Hoi An outside of Lunar New Year and there’s still plenty of beautiful sights to see!
A trip to Vietnam is simply incomplete without a visit to this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. Let yourself be transported back in time at Hue’s extraordinary Imperial City fortress.
Modelled after Beijing’s grand Forbidden City, the Imperial City’s rich architecture exudes an incredible air of mystery and looks so astounding that it could be part of a movie set. Wander through beautifully landscaped gardens, marvel at the ornate royal buildings and the six metre-tall citadel walls, and you’ll start to feel like an emperor in no time.
Vietnam’s marble mountains are truly astounding to witness; the five craggy marble mountains topped with enchanting pagodas each shrouded in mist sound like the stuff of legends.
Each mountain is named after the natural element it’s known to represent, and the villages nestled at the base were once known for the intricate sculptures that they would craft from the marble mined from the mountains. Jump forward to the modern day and you’ll find incredible statues carved into the mountainsides and hidden within the caverns, as well as the beautiful pagodas that sit along the top.
Imagine drifting on a wooden boat through serene emerald waters, past soaring cliffs of limestone and lush trees; it sounds like another world, but it exists in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
The entire bay was designated World Heritage status back in 1994, and it’s so easy to understand why. It’s impossible not to be blown away by the enchanting hidden caverns, majestic limestone islands and fishing villages that dot the endless peaceful waters. The best way to experience this incredible bay is with a boat venture that takes you around the the bay.
Equally as important and completely different from a boat trip around Halong Bay is the Mekong Delta, a tranquil river that promises quaint views of Vietnam as you imagine it in your head.
The Mekong slows to a calm and relaxing pace when it hits Vietnam, affording it perfect conditions for a tranquil boat ride. Be sure to bring your camera, as a slow journey along the lily-pad strewn waters will bless you with lush mountainsides, emerald rice paddy fields and the occasional local rowing gently along the river in a traditional ‘non la’ conical hats.
Visit Quang Binh province in the heart of Vietnam’s thin central area, and you’ll be faced with an adventurers paradise. Beneath the soaring jungle-clad cliffs dwells the largest cave in the world.
Hang Son Doong’s absolutely astounding cavern is so tall that a skyscraper could fit inside, and looks so mysterious and otherworldly that you’d think you had stepped onto another planet. Spend a day wandering through the caverns and you’ll discover light leaks leading to pristine pools, lush climbable terraces and sublime sights worthy of a movie set.
You may have tried it already, but nothing compares to the real thing. You’ll find pho everywhere in Vietnam, from under the plumes of steam that emanate from street food stands to sophisticated 5-star restaurants.
This much-loved dish consists of a wonderfully light near-clear broth, juicy slices of beef, a selection of herbs or green onions, and perfectly chewy glass noodles. You’ll find it all over the country but the best place to enjoy it is in Hanoi, where you’ll only need to follow your nose to find the nearest steaming bowl of goodness.
Escape the buzzing hub of Vietnam’s cities for a day and head for the mountains to discover it’s authentic cultural identity.
In the rural mountains and highlands of the Vietnam, near legendary rice terraces and winding rivers is where you’ll find the country’s native hill tribes. Colourfully clothed and always welcoming, visiting the tribes can be an enchanting and humbling experience, one which is guaranteed to never be forgotten. A trip up these mountains can easily be made by car, and you’ll be able to pick up some truly authentic and unique souvenirs crafted by the locals themselves.
This ones for the dedicated traveller, but the small village of Sapa's Love Market in Vietnam is well worth the investment of time.
This Love Market used be to a traditional song and dance show, that became the grand finale to the village's Saturday Market as it began wrapping up and closing shop for the day, but it become so saturated with tourists that they decided to move the experience underground. Now the Love Market pops up at a secret location at any point of any day, but if you make friends with the locals they'll share with you the details of the next show.
Best Time To Travel:
September - April
12h 00m (approx.)