Vietnam is an ideal destination for a getaway, appealing to the backpacker and flashpacker alike. Full of colour and activity, Vietnam offers a whirlwind of great food, culture and natural wonders. Here’s our list of some of Vietnam’s top must-see destinations:
Ho Chi Minh City sits on the banks of the Saigon River, almost 1800km from the Northern capital of Hanoi. Full of hustle and bustle, Ho Chi Minh offers amazing adventures for those willing to explore. Stop by the city’s Ben Than markets for a flurry of colour and activity, or head out to some of the city’s many bars and nightclubs. The best nightclubs are scattered around the city centre. For those looking for some history, visit the city’s War Remnants Museum. The museum was established following the Vietnam War, and offers a snapshot of this city’s emotionally charged history.
If you’re a fashionista, Hoi Ann is the place for you. Affectionately called the “City of Tailors”, this coastal village is full of talented locals who can make you suits, dresses, and even shoes. Hoi Ann is also a fishing village, so if you’re a fan of fresh seafood, there really is no better place. Head down to the river where you’ll find quaint restaurants and bars. If you can make it to one of Hoi Ann’s full-moon parties, you won’t be disappointed. Each month the town shuts down, the lanterns come out, and locals and tourists throw a moonlit party. In the summer months, the nearby beaches offer a perfect spot to relax with a cocktail.
Hue was the ancient capital of Vietnam, and as a result has some of the country’s most impressive historic monuments. Make sure you visit the Imperial City, a beautiful walled palace located next to the scenic Perfume River. The Imperial City is full of ornate gardens, temples and tombs; perfect for an afternoon explore. Every two years, the city also hosts the Hue festival, an internationally renowned celebration of Vietnamese culture, art and food. Last year’s festival saw close to 500 artists and musicians descend on the city. Hue’s also known for its many cooking schools. Book in to learn how to make Vietnamese pancakes, fresh spring rolls, and slow-cooked Pho.
Think majestic waters, stunning cliffs and breathtaking vistas. Ha Long Bay is a World Heritage Site and it’s no surprise — this place is a natural wonder. Located 170km from Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay covers an area of 43,000 ha and is home to an incredible 1600 islands, amazing limestone cliffs and hidden beaches. To fully experience this natural wonder, take a cruise on the bay. They leave regularly, and can be booked through most hotels. The best time of year to visit is November-December. Take the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear waters, or stop by a local fishing village and hang out with the locals. For something special, make a trip out to Ha Long Bay’s floating village. This floating raft of houses and shops is home to more than 600 people.
Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital. It’s a beautiful city that blends cultures of East and West. Be sure to visit Cho Hum, a market just outside the city full of luxury fabrics and intriguing finds. And the best bit about Hanoi? The street food! Pull up a stool at one of these street-side restaurants, and order a Vietnamese Pho (sounds like “fur”), a delicious noodle soup usually served with chicken or beef. For affordable accommodation, visit the West Lake District; also a perfect place to explore. The Museum of Hanoi is also worth a visit. It’s home to 50,000 artifacts documenting the city’s 1,000 year history.
Plan your trip around Vietnam today by contacting your personal travel manager, or find one who specialises in Vietnam holidays.