Vietnam is bordered by Laos and Cambodia but don’t let that rush you into trying to visit all of Southeast Asia in one go. Take it from us; this is not the right way to visit these countries. Most travellers we speak to wished they had spent more time in Vietnam as this was their favourite place to visit while in Southeast Asia.
Vietnam is also bigger than you think—four times the size of Ireland—so it takes time to absorb the atmosphere, to embrace the culture and to experience the exotic delights that Vietnam offers up. This is a once in a lifetime holiday that we think deserves at least 14 days.
If you think about it, how far will you travel to get there? Don’t forget you will also need a visa to enter the country. So, after going through all that, it really is worth it to take some quality time to enjoy the country. If travelling to Vietnam is something you want to do this year, we think these are the best ways to explore this unique and atmospheric country.
1. Do it your way: our guide to the best of Vietnam
, in North Vietnam is the capital city and where most visitors will fly into. A city rich in culture and history, it isn’t as fast paced as Hoh Chi Minh City. It offers a great base from which to explore the surrounding countryside. Halong Bay
along the Northeastern coast features thousands of natural limestone islands and is a UNESCO World heritage site.
Also, on the outskirts of Hanoi, Cuc Phong National Park
is the oldest national park in Vietnam. It is a tropical primeval forest, containing species of flora and fauna extinct in the rest of the world. Watch out for the flying lizards!
Below Hanoi is the imperial city of Hue
, the former capital of Vietnam. The city contains hundreds of Buddhist temples and pagodas which will enthral any history lover. Continue your journey south to the town of Hoi An
in central Vietnam where history, culture, natural beauty and character combine to make this one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. Unspoiled white sand beaches (the whitest and hottest sand you’ve ever seen), marble mountains and Japanese architecture surround this quaint town.
Further south we recommend a stop off at the colonial town of Da Lat
, “city of thousands of pine trees” where the temperature and the pace is slightly cooler.
Most visitors will then fly out of Ho Chi Minh City
(the old Saigon) after taking in all the sights in between. The setting for the famous “Miss Saigon” musical is steeped in history and culture. It is a busy, vibrant and noisy city where the nightlife really does live up to its name. To find out more about the Vietnam War, a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels
, located outside of Hoh Chi Minh City is also advised.
2. Vietnam Adventure tour: North to South
If all the above sounds enticing, but a little bit challenging to do on your own…or if you would like to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the best bits of Vietnam, why not book one of our great Exodus adventure tours? Our 14-day Vietnam Adventure
encapsulates the magic of this amazing country, from the conservative north, to the rich heritage of the imperial cities, to the unspoilt coastal scenery, to the unparalleled vibrant life of Saigon and the Mekong Delta.
3. Cycling Vietnam
If you love cycling, and want to combine your passion with a great holiday, we would highly recommend our Cycling Vietnam holiday
. There really is no better way to get close to real Vietnamese life. This great tour combines the best cycling routes in Vietnam with time for rest and exploration. Prepare to be brought from Saigon to Halong Bay, experiencing breath-taking coastline, sandy beaches and shimmering paddy fields along the way.
Allez allez allez, why does it take all day?
…that’s a quote from Miss Saigon in case it has you confused!
Come on now; don’t take all day! Book your Vietnam adventure NOW!!!
Keep an eye out for our spotlight on Cambodia coming soon!