Asia

Capital: Hanoi

Dialing code: +84

Currency: Vietnamese dong

Population: 95.54 million (2018) World Bank

Gross domestic product: 245.2 billion USD (2018) World Bank

Official language: Vietnamese

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas, and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.

Safety

Dangers & Annoyances. All in all, Vietnam is an extremely safe country to travel in. The police keep a pretty tight grip on social order and there are rarely reports of muggings, robberies or sexual assaults. Scams and hassles do exist, particularly in Hanoi, HCMC and Nha Trang (and to a lesser degree in Hoi An).

Language

Vietnamese (tiếng Việt) is the only official language in Vietnam. It is the first or second language of many ethnic minorities in Vietnam, but some mountain tribes also speak a language of their own. Vietnamese is among the 20 most spoken languages in the world, spoken by around 80 million people worldwide.

Festival

Take a look at some of the best Vietnam holidays and festivals that you must not miss during your next trip to this enchanting city. Tet Nguyen Dan: 25th January 2020. Lim Festival: 6th February 2020. Perfume Pagoda Festival: 8th February 2020. Phu Giay Festival: 26th March – 1st April 2020.March.

 

Best time to go

The best time to visit Vietnam's northern region is between March and May, and from September to November when you'll be spared the full brunt of the summer heat and the cold winter downpours. The period between March and May is Vietnam's spring season and the countryside around Hanoi is in full bloom.

Rough Budget

For a more comfortable backpacker experience in Vietnam, it's best to budget around $50 per day. This way, you'll have more money to spend on things like food, drinks, activities and hotel rooms. For a comfortable mid-range experience in Vietnam, it's best to budget $60 to $100 per day for your entire costs.

Packed Luggage

The Vietnam Packing List

 

For Vietnam, as well as the rest of Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand), lightweight, loose-fitting clothes you can layer are ideal to pack. Humidity, rain, monsoons, and typhoons occur, and those chilly evenings that arrive without warning are rarely as much fun if you’re still soaked from the afternoon’s rain shower. There’s sunshine and warmth, nature, cities and culture, food and friends, so pack for it all.

Best Things to Do in Vietnam

1- Visit Nah Trang

Sun-kissed relaxation is an everyday thing in the bustling coastal town of Nha Trang. After all, this is a place with more days of sunshine per year than anywhere else in Vietnam. The town’s main beach, Tran Phu, a seven-kilometer stretch of pristine sand and clear water, bordered by rustling palms, colorful beachside bars and seafood restaurants. Here are seven excellent reasons to put Nha Trang on your list.

2- Mekong Delta tour

Sail through spectacular natural landscapes, kayak downriver visits a floating market, and indulge in a Vietnamese cooking class: embrace the best of Vietnam on this Mekong Delta Tour!

3- FREE walk tour in Hanoi

Learn all about Vietnam's fascinating history as you explore Hanoi's Old Quarter. Discover the secrets and surprises hiding in the capital city on this free walking tour.

If you prefer traveling with a group tour, we highly recommend Get your Guide or Civitatis, They are both very reputable companies and have been running tours around Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia for ages. The reason why we love them is that they have loads of different tours that cater to different age groups. They have tours from 18-99 years old (and more...) and I am pretty sure that you will definitely find what you are looking for.

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PLACES TO STAY

 

Generally speaking, accommodation is very affordable in Vietnam. In most tourist hotspots, you will find plenty of hostels as well as two and three-star hotels to choose from. We recommend checking sites like Hostellook, Agoda & Hostel world.

To make things easier, we’ve already made a list of all of our top recommendations for places to stay in Vietnam.

Listed below are our personal recommendations on the best places to stay in Vietnam From cheap and fun hostels to luxurious hotels, check out a few of our top picks:

Airbnb Travel Tip: If you prefer to stay in apartments or villas, we recommend Airbnb. Check out our full article on how to get a $39 coupon code for your booking or simply click here to get our coupon code to apply on your next booking.

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TRAVEL INSURANCE

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Must see in Vietnam

Attractions in Vietnam are plentiful, ranging from stunning natural landscapes, untouched islets and quaint villages to war museums, colonial structures, and ancient citadels. The Cu Chi tunnels, located outside Ho Chi Minh City, represent the sheer grit and ‘can-do’ attitude of the Vietnamese while a visit to the War Remnants Museum brings home the horrible reality of war. On the more positive side, the marvelous Hue Monuments, along with the My Son Sanctuary will awaken your spiritual side.

Attracting millions of visitors all year long, its colonial heritage also means that many hotels feature a unique blend of French and Asian influences while its cuisine is highly regarded as one of the best in the world. With so many things to see and do in Vietnam, planning your travel itinerary as a first-time visitor can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a general list of Vietnam’s must-see attractions. Check Get your guide, Civitatis or ABM to book your tour anywhere in Vietnam.

Get Adventurous in Vietnam

Cu Chi Tunnels: The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting tunnels located in the Củ Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country.

Mekong Delta: The Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam is a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies. Boats are the main means of transportation, and tours of the region often start in nearby Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) or Can Tho, a bustling town in the heart of the delta.

Explore the Famous Phong Nha Cave on a Guided Tour from Hue: Enjoy a full-day tour to explore one of the world's best cave systems. Admire the stunning stalactites formed over millions of years and explore inside the cave on-board a boat as well as on foot.


Hanoi: Cat Ba National Park, Lan Ha, and Ha Long Bays: Cruise along the most beautiful lagoons in Vietnam and visit the incredible Hoa Cuong Cave in Cat Ba National Park. Explore the bay by kayak or small sampan boat and savor a delicious seafood lunch.

Water puppet Theater: Water puppetry (Vietnamese: Múa rối nước, lit. "Making puppets dance on water") is a tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. Today's Vietnamese water puppetry is a unique variation on the ancient Asian puppet tradition.

Da Lat Countryside Exploration Day Trip: This one-day trip to Da Lat will bring you go to some truly beautiful and peaceful places: Van Thanh Flower Village, a coffee farm, Thien An Crane Farm, Linh An Pagoda, and a silk weaving factory. Come and explore the area near Da Lat today!

Fansipan is a mountain in Vietnam. The height of the mountain was 3,143 meters in 1909, but now the height of the mountain is 3,147.3 metres. It is the highest mountain in the Indochinese Peninsula, hence its nickname "the Roof of Indochina"

Book a tour: From Hanoi: Two-Day Sapa Tour with Fansipan Peak Visit

Travel by express bus from Hanoi to Sapa on a 2-day tour. Explore Cat Cat village and take a cable car up to Fansipan Peak – the Roof of Indochina.

Food Trip:

Next to Thailand, Vietnam has to be one of my favorite places for street food in Southeast Asia. The best thing about it is the street food is dirt cheap, with a piping bowl of authentic pho starting at a mere $1.If you’re unsure about what to eat while in the country, we highly recommend going on a food tour to get introduced to all the local Vietnamese delicacies. Listed below are a few of our top food tour recommendations in most of the cities.

  • Hanoi Guided Street Food Tour: If you’re looking for an authentic guide to take you around some of the best streets eats in Hanoi, we highly recommend this tour. It’s fun, interactive, and really takes you to some pretty unique places.

  • Ho Chi Minh Scooter Food TourIf you want to do as the locals do, travel around on a scooter to 5 local food joints with a local guide as they take you to sample the best of Saigon’s street food and beer.

  • Hoi An Night Food Tour: Hoi An is a beautiful city with tons of delicious food. Discover them all with a local guide as you sample your way to some of Hoi An’s specialty cuisine.

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BOOKS TO READ WHEN TRAVELING VIETNAM

 

4 incredible books to read before you visit Vietnam

From Graham Greene’s classic to adventures on the Mekong, Jude Brosnan from Stanfords reviews the 8 amazing books you should read if you love Vietnam or are thinking of visiting

1- A Dragon Apparent

Originally published in 1951, it is said that A Dragon Apparent inspired Graham Greene to go to Vietnam and write The Quiet American. Norman Lewis traveled in Indo-China during the precarious last years of the French colonial regime. Much of the charm and grandeur of the ancient native civilizations survived until the devastation of the Vietnam War. Lewis could still meet a King of Cambodia and an Emperor of Vietnam; in the hills he could stay in the spectacular longhouses of the highlanders; on the plains he could be enchanted by a people whom he found "gentle, tolerant and dedicated to the pleasures and satisfactions of a discriminating kind." Buy Here

2- The Quiet American by Graham Greene

in A Dragon Apparent. In his dedication, Greene said, "This is a story and not a piece of history", but through this fictional story, Greene perfectly portrays the political climate and personal feelings of war-torn Indochina that were so under scrutiny during this time.

The novel is about an optimistic, naive American official who is sent to Saigon to promote democracy through a mysterious ‘Third Force’. It is a cautionary tale, and a lot of factors in this story subsequently happened in real life, in terms of the outcome of the Vietnam War and American involvement. For that reason and others, including a compelling and complex 'love triangle', The Quiet American has remained of great interest. For obvious.

3- Mad About The Mekong by John Keay

The story of both a dramatic journey retracing the historic voyage of Frances greatest 19th-century explorer up the mysterious Mekong river, and a portrait of the river and its peoples today.Any notion of sailing up the Mekong in homage to Francis Garnier has been unthinkable until now. From its delta in Vietnam up through Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma and on into China, the Mekong has been a no-go river, its turbulent waters fouled by ideological barriers as formidable as its natural obstacles. But recently the political obstacles have begun to be dismantled river traffic is reviving.John Keay describes the world of the Mekong as it is today, rehabilitating a traumatised geography while recreating the thrilling and historic voyage of Garnier in 1866. 

4- The Rough Guide to Vietnam

Discover this exciting destination with the most incisive and entertaining guidebook on the market. Whether you plan to take a boat trip through stunning Ha Long Bay, trek in the mountains around Sa Pa or browse Ho Chi Minh's markets, this new edition of The Rough Guide to Vietnam will show you the ideal places to sleep, eat, drink, shop and visit along the way.

reasons, this is a great one to read alongside A Dragon Apparent.

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