Green rice fields, pho and war history
Welcome to Vietnam
Vietnam is one of those rare countries that never lets you go. Its coffee and cuisine draw you in and then you’ll find yourself falling in love with its modern and ancient histories, its kind and loving people, and its endlessly beautiful landscape of bays, beaches, and mountains.
Local food and coffee
Vietnamese food and coffee are both steadily growing in popularity across the world, and that is for a very good reason. Vietnam has pho, a kind of spicy ramen bowl that’s cheap, healthy, wholesome, and filling. It’s a fantastic dish beloved by everyone. It also has banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich inspired by the Portuguese, which is guaranteed to be the best sandwich you’ll ever eat. Vietnamese coffee is also served with condensed milk and sometimes raw egg!
Wild beaches (with a desert)
The beaches of Vietnam are far more untouched and rugged than many of the beaches across Southeast Asia. They have a more untouched look and feel to them, giving visitors the feeling that they have just discovered the beach for the first time. One of them even has a desert.
Vietnam is a place that has suffered heavily from all sides. It has been occupied by China, France, and Japan, before entering war with the US in what the US calls the Vietnam War and Vietnam calls the American War. Today, Vietnam is a safe, bustling, friendly country full of amazing people, but it has suffered much to get here. Much of that history is on display in its museums and galleries, and the abandoned prisons which have been turned into monuments and museums. Today, Vietnam is free, but it has taken a lot to get this far, and it’s all worth learning about.
Get a custom-tailored suit
Vietnam might be a modern nation today, but it’s still very affordable. One of the best things to do with your money, which would cost a fortune anywhere else, is to get a custom-made suit. The quality of the fabrics in Vietnam is incredible, and yet the prices are more than reasonable. If you need a suit and you’re in Vietnam, don’t pass on the chance to get one – Hoi An is the best place for this!
Amazing experiences in Vietnam
Go for the beach and the fullmoon party
Waterfalls and a countryside setting
Take a 2-3 day cruise
Explore the rice paddies and culture
Best sights in Vietnam
Vietnam’s capital city is an exciting blend of old and new. The best way to see it is by scooter, riding around the lake, stopping at coffee houses to recharge, and exploring the ancient temples. But be aware of traffic. It’s kind of crazy.
Ho Chi Minh (1,724km from Hanoi)
Named after the legendary communist revolutionary and prime minister of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon, is the more modern of Vietnam’s big cities, with wide avenues and epic-sized towers.
Dalat (1,418km from Hanoi)
Known by locals as the “City of Eternal Spring”, Dalat is a city surrounded by green hills and pine forests, centred around a serene lake and dotted with beautiful temples and monasteries.
Hoi An (797km from Hanoi)
Probably the most well-preserved town of Vietnamese history, Hoi An, is a place of traditional Vietnamese architecture and criss-crossing canals that create a peaceful and calm beauty.
Halong Bay (174km from Hanoi)
Without doubt Vietnam’s most famous natural landmark, Halong Bay has been the filming location for many Hollywood films, and with its green islands and turquoise waters, it’s not hard to see why.
Sapa Valley (318km from Hanoi)
This is where you’ll find the most ancient, traditional side of Vietnam. Sapa Valley is a green place of rice terraces and small hill tribes who live among them. The distant mountains makes it that much prettier.
Where to g
How to get around
I always use 12Go for traveling Asia. This site is so easy to use. It quickly comes up with a variety of transport options to suit your time and budget. All costs are shown, even taxis.
Map of Vietnam
Best time to visit
Vietnam is super hot in the peak of summer. The whole country becomes a humid bubble, so it’s a good idea to avoid May to October. This is also the monsoon season, and that can result in a lot of creepy crawlies roaming the streets and houses.
In any other month, Vietnam is a pleasant, breezy, warm place to visit. So it’s best to visit from December to April.
- Language: Vietnamese
- Currency: Dong
- Plugs: Vietnam uses both US and European plugs at 230V, depending on where you go in the country, so it’s a good idea to get a universal adapter)
- Population: 95 million
- Important telephone numbers: 113 for police, 114 for fire, 115 for ambulance
- Visa: US citizens needs a tourist visa to enter Vietnam. UK citizens and other EU-residents can enter visa-free for less than two weeks; a longer stay requires an e-visa.
- Hotel: $30-80
- Food: $5-20
- Activities: e.g. $20 to row down the Mekong
- Transportation: $2-10 for a bus
- Hello: Xin chao
- Thank you: Cam on ban
- Yes: Vang
- No: Khong
- Bye: Tam biet
- Cheers: Chuc mung