VietnamActivities & AttractionsExpat Tours in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Settling into this Southeast Asian country for quite some time but still feeling like you haven’t known much about it? If this is the case, we recommend you try some expat tours in Vietnam! In this guide, we’ll tell you why you should do so, give you tips on choosing a decent expat tour, and finally present a breakdown of must-visit landmarks in the country.

Why You Should Consider Expat Tours in Vietnam

We believe it is human nature to want to develop a sense of belonging anywhere we go, especially where we are poised to stay for a significant period. Vietnam is a friendly and hospitable country so that you may feel welcome here. Even so, it is undoubtedly a rewarding experience to gain a deeper insight into a land of great history and diverse culture. Traveling, especially the kind of travel that involves going to museums, cultural sites, and famed food corners, is a beautiful means to this end since only when you travel can you have direct exposure to the local lifestyle and people, getting to know them in a personal way.

While it can be a piece of cake to search online for where to go and what to try in Vietnam, it is hard to anticipate what risks and problems you may encounter if you travel without a local expert. That’s why we highly recommend booking an expat tour with a trustworthy organization. This way, you get a worthwhile local experience free of scams and annoyances. Above all, you get to discover off-the-beaten-path destinations that are not as easily approachable.

What to Look for When Choosing Expat Tours in Vietnam

The tour company

The service provider is the number one factor before jumping on the tour. Firstly, a reliable tour company should provide transparent information about itself (contact info, core values, and policy) and an explicit introduction about featured tours on its official website. Secondly, credibility. You can tell if a company is worthy of your trust or not from reading testimonials from previous customers. Notice how they talk about their impression of the company’s tour guides and staff. You can feel whether that company is for you.

expat tours in vietnam map

The itinerary

While researching what’s fun in Vietnam, you might develop particular interests and want to know more about specific aspects than others. So note that, and also see how much time you can arrange for the trip to decide which tour (Half-day, One-day, or Multi-day) suits you.

The pricing

Money is undoubtedly important, but you should never roll your eyes at any ostensibly “expensive” tours before deciding whether the price is commensurate with the service. Indeed, you want to save your budget from hurting too much, but beware of budget or cheap tours because the actual cost may not be so tangible.

Find cheap tickets to travel around Vietnam:

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Top Attractions to Include in Your Expat Tours in Vietnam

Spreading from north to south with relatively modest width but incredibly diverse landscapes, the area of Vietnam is agreed by most locals to have 3 major regions (because strictly and geographically speaking, the number should be bigger) – North, Central, and South – each characterized by distinctive geographical, historical, and cultural features.

Here’s an overview of each region with certain cities highlighted, as we believe these cities can give you a glimpse of what Vietnam is all about, even though there are many other cities with their beauty.

North Vietnam

A land that harbors breathtaking natural beauty and elegant people. Go to Sa Pa in the humongous mountainous region of the North West to see ethnic people in their colorful brocade outfits, jam along in a lively local festival, and admire the tantalizing staircase paddy fields in disbelief.

expat tours in vietnam sapa staircase paddy fields
Staircase paddy fields in Sapa

Then you can travel eastward to the capital city, Hanoi, in the area of the Red River Delta, and sample Vietnamese cuisine at its best. Stroll along the charming Old Quarter. Meet the people who, with agreement by most of their fellow countrymen, have the best fashion sense in the country and who are aloof but in fact, very polite and helpful.

expat tours in vietnam hanoi 2014
Hanoi, the capital city with ancient remnants

After this, gift yourself a day of peace and tranquility in the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay to the North East. See for yourself how wondrous Mother Nature is in crafting spectacular limestone islands. Then perhaps grab a bite of the unique squid sausage (cha muc). Enjoy its chewiness and tastiness!

expat tours in vietnam halong bay
Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province

Central Vietnam

The central land comprises beaches, highlands, and resilient people. Hardly a year goes by without natural disasters striking the central coast. Nonetheless, its buoyant people and time-honored cultural heritage stand as strong as ever. Go to Hue to see Vietnamese royal architecture of the past centuries, experience the culinary expertise of the Hue people, and listen to their distinctive musical accent.

expat tours in vietnam hue 2
Hue – the old royal city

Or opt for Hoi An – the city of beauteous lanterns and warm-colored walls along the Ancient Town (subjectively speaking, more intriguing than the one in Hanoi). Admire the quaint old-aged houses inhabited by contemporary people or house several current first-class restaurants. By the way, the Hoi An people’s culinary skills rival those of the Hue people.

expat tours in vietnam hoi an
Hoi An – the city of lanterns and wishes

Now you may wonder where are the “beaches” we mentioned. We have Da Nang and Nha Trang only a reasonable distance away. Da Nang, invariably promoted across many local newspapers as the most livable city, embraces pristine beaches, state-of-the-art bridges, and amusement parks rarely seen anywhere else in Vietnam. It also features immaculate coastal curves, but the beauty of Nha Trang begs to differ (check out the link to see for yourself), and religion seems to be more salient here, too.

Lastly, the “mountains” as aforementioned. Tay Nguyen, or Central Highlands, occupying a mammoth portion of the Central area, is the home to multiple ethnic minorities and exceptional musical instruments of Vietnam. Compared to those in the North West, ethnic groups in Tay Nguyen appear to favor more straightforward and subtle brocade clothing styles.

South Vietnam

South Vietnam is the region of lowlands, tropical fruit plantations, and generous people, housing Ho Chi Minh City – the hub of all important economic and cultural activities, or the super-popular holiday haven – Vung Tau City. The southern accent is charming, much loved by the northern residents for some obscure reason, and the culture and history are no less significant than the other two regions. However, if you want to know the color of South Vietnam, in all honesty and at its utmost, visiting the Mekong Delta is a must. Find out how people can establish an entire market afloat or construct their own settlements just some feet above the water’s surface. All those unthinkable feats get real once you get to the delta of countless rivers and channels.

expat tours in vietnam ho chi minh city
Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the busiest city in Vietnam
expat tours in vietnam mekong delta floating market
Sampan ride in the Mekong Delta

Some Takeaway Tips before you set out on an Expat Tour in Vietnam

Keep good health

Weather varies among regions, but the sun is generally pretty harsh since Vietnam is a tropical country. Sunscreen is thus very much advised. Suitable wear is also essential, like a long-sleeved hat to protect your skin from intense sunlight or comfortable shoes and socks if you spend more time traveling on foot. Eating is another matter to account for. Although Vietnamese cuisine generally has the power to cater to even the pickiest diner, sanitary procedures at certain eateries and in the water system can be a problem, so look before you eat. Pharmacies are pretty ubiquitous, by the way, so don’t worry too much.

Get a quality helmet for riding a motorbike in Vietnam

Most expats recommend this sunscreen when traveling Vietnam

Get the best camera for your Vietnam trip

Keep an open mind and get the best out of your guide

Well, this may be redundant because if you’re willing to hit the road, you are willing to learn and welcome differences or cultural discoveries. So, just an endearing reminder from us to you. Make friends and learn new things along the way, like very basic Vietnamese, bargaining skills, or the art of crossing the streets in Vietnam.

Vietnamese people are generally very easy-going and do not get offended easily, partly because a large part of the population does not have a formal religion. Never be shy to ask and relish your journey.

Summary of Expat Tours in Vietnam

A famous Vietnamese proverb says, “Only a day trip is enough to earn a ton of wisdom and enlightenment”. And we think the saying holds true in many cases. If you want to feel at home in this lovely country, hit the road! And do it with a local expert.

See if our tours fit you and how others feel about us!
Read more on Vietnamese culture.
See also: Top 15 cities to visit in Vietnam

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