Are you exploring Southeast Asia? Even though there are some similarities in the culture and landscape, each country will leave you different impressions as the combination of people’s lifestyle, culture, history, attractions, and the way these are presented varies from one place to another and from time to time. Besides the popular tourist countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, Vietnam is one of the best places you should put on your list. This guide will give you an idea of what a vacation to Vietnam would look like.
Things to Know Before Going on a Vacation to Vietnam
- Vietnam is an Asian country in the Eastern sphere. Most of its land is in the tropical area, covered with ranges of mountains in the northwest and central west of the country. On the east side, its coastline stretches over 3,200 kilometers. All of these facts has made Vietnam a perfect getaway destination with beautiful beaches and magnificent mountains.
- But not only the natural beauty makes Vietnam a great vacation destination but the local lifestyle also intrigues visitors, especially those from Western countries. Modern facilities and developed technology are taking over in big cities like the capital, Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Department stores, skyscrapers, high-class restaurants, and services can be found anywhere. But you can also find the traditions and customs of hundreds, thousands of years still exist in Vietnam’s backstreets and rural areas.
- The variety of foods is another compliment to the attractions of Vietnam. If you are a foodie, you are not leaving Vietnam feeling hungry. The Vietnamese love to eat and the food is in every corner. You may get invited to a friend’s house with a full feast or get the welcome from countless food stalls out on the streets. The delicious, savory and cheap street eats are the specialty. Enjoying the exciting explosion in your mouth as well as the dynamic life out on the streets with millions of motorbikes running and weaving in front of your eyes will let you have a glimpse of the local life.
Read more on An Overview of Vietnam Tourism.
All Attractions of a Vacation to Vietnam
Halong, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Vung Tau, and many more cities have sunny beaches and cool water for you to explore on your vacation to Vietnam. Not to mention the resorts with views of the ocean, offering different kinds of services like spa and delicious seafood.
The white sandy beach in Vietnam
Find your travel ticket below:
Delicious Street Eats
You can find any kind of food on Vietnamese streets, from snacks to have between meals like crab soup, goi cuon (summer rolls), banh trang nuong (Vietnamese pizza), snails and shells, to main dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner like Pho, Banh mi, Banh canh, Bun cha, Bun thit nuong, and Bun bo Hue. You can still find restaurants or food stalls with cuisines of many other countries if you feel like missing home. And do not worry if you are a vegan. There are many vegetarian restaurants and sweet treats in Vietnam at your disposal.
Banh trang nuong – Vietnamese pizza
Grilled corn with scallion oil
Luxury Shopping Malls
If you are a shopping lover, you cannot miss out on the shopping malls in Vietnam. There are many international brand names of clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and entertainment activities like movie theatres and game centers.
You will always get “special treatment” when coming to a foreign country. Some are annoyances like shopping scams and theft snatch. But you will also get special attention from the locals once you have become their friends. They will show you around their towns, and introduce you to new people, new foods, and adventures. Vietnam is also considered a fairly safe country for tourism, with few violent protests and terrorism. The people are open to many religions and races, so you are most welcome no matter what your background is.
You can still interact and make small conversations with the locals despite the language barrier
If you have enough of diving in the sea, challenge yourself with trips going up mountains in Vietnam to enjoy the white cloudy poetry views, fresh air, and cool weather. Fansipan in Sapa is one of the most recommended for any adventurers and explorers as it is the highest peak in Vietnam and the whole of Indochina. Or climbing mountains along the Truong Son Range (Annamite Range) and in the Central Highland is also a nice alternative to have a different view of provinces in Central Vietnam.
Halong Bay, Hoi An, Imperial City Hue, and Phong Nha Ke Bang were all honored with the titles of UNESCO’s Heritage. Halong Bay is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam, with wonderful ocean and island landscapes. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park and its world’s largest natural cave, Son Doong, have become fascinating destinations for explorers. And last but not least, traveling to Central Vietnam, Hoi An, and Imperial City Hue will bring you back in time with the ancient architecture of Vietnam from centuries ago.
The ancient citadel of Hue
Other cities and provinces like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and the Mekong Delta also offer amazing experiences with attractions from Vietnam Wartime and beautiful calm water.
Read more about 12 Beautiful Places in Vietnam.
Find luxury hotels and resorts at Vietnam’s top attractions:
Rich Culture and History
A vacation to Vietnam will definitely be a perfect choice if you are looking for a trip to understand more about a country’s culture and history. Vietnam’s history is said to have begun over 4,000 years ago. Today, there are 54 ethnic groups and over 10 religions coexisting in one country, with many architectures, traditions, and antiques that are still well-kept in museums and attractions across the country. Many parts of Vietnam have also been recognized as intangible heritages like Nha Nhac Court Music in Hue and Don ca tai tu in southern Vietnam, especially in the Mekong Delta.
Xa Loi Pagoda (Ho Chi Minh City), a historical site of Buddhism in Vietnam
Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
Problems You May Face When Having a Vacation to Vietnam
The rainy season is usually from May to October, with storms and typhoons along the central coast. However, in recent years, the rainy season can come earlier or later than predicted due to climate change. From November to April, there could be unpredicted showers as well.
Annoyances and Scams
They are unavoidable in any touristy area. Pickpockets and thefts always pry for valuable items, and some people try to cheat for your money by selling you poor-quality goods and charging a high price. These are among the most common ones, daunting your vacation to Vietnam.
You may have heard that Vietnam is a big tourist trap, that you would often find yourself in crowded places with many other tourists, full of potential for annoyances and scams. Everywhere you go seems to have a trace of tourism.
These unpleasant things can make you have a second thought about planning a vacation to Vietnam, but with a little preparation, you can avoid these problems and make your trip more enjoyable.
So how to avoid these problems? Learn more in the next section.
What You Need to Prepare for a Vacation in Vietnam
In your Luggage
Besides getting your visa ready, exchanging currencies to Vietnam Dong, or packing travel adaptors for your electrical devices, you will need to prepare suitable clothes to deal with the weather in Vietnam.
If you travel during the dry season in Southern Vietnam, it is better to bring comfortable clothes, sunblock, and repellent to protect your skin from the sun and insect bites. But November to April is also the time when the north region and mountainous areas of Vietnam get colder. You should have with you some warm clothes and suitable footwear if you decide to go hiking in the mountains of Vietnam. On the other hand, if your vacation to Vietnam is in the off-peak season, which is also the rainy season in Vietnam, you will have to prepare a packable umbrella and raincoats.
Learn more about what to bring for a one-week vacation to Vietnam.
In your Research
An understanding of Vietnamese culture, customs and traditions will enhance your traveling experience better. You can impress and get closer to the Vietnamese with your knowledge and respect for the locals’ lifestyle. Learning about the culture also helps you reduce culture shock and avoid taboos, having a better chance of adapting to the new environment.
You should also do some research about your destinations and what experience those places can offer you, and decide if they sound like tourist traps to you. You may dislike the crowd but everyone goes to the same place could also mean because it worths visiting and your experience and feeling about a place is unique from others.
Also, learning about the annoyances and scams will help you recognize them and avoid them on your trips. Closely watch your bag and belongings and stay away from the sweet talks inviting you to buy something on the streets. You should also keep your valuable items away from prying eyes and be extra careful in crowded places.
In your Skillset
If you want to walk around in Vietnam, especially in big cities with a lot of vehicles, you should know how to cross the streets. The traffic could be crazy, but it will be easier once you get used to it. Pulling off a successful bargain in the local markets with a little pricing study could also create memorable moments of your vacation to Vietnam.
Get Your Travel Insurance
Summary of A Vacation to Vietnam
Traveling Vietnam will bring you different kinds of experiences: a pleasant time relaxing on the beaches, challenging adventures in the mountains, immersion in the rich history of a thousands-year-old country, exciting journey meeting new culture and people, or simply, tasting all the good foods. With a little preparation for the trips and to avoid unpleasant experiences like weather and scams, you can make the best out of your vacation to Vietnam.