From palm-fringed beaches and pristine national parks to bustling night markets and ancient temples, Vietnam is a country of incredible diversity. It’s a firm favourite on South East Asia’s Banana Pancake Trail and offers a fascinating history, incredible food and heart-warming hospitality.
Things to do in Vietnam
Hanoi is a lively city where you can discover more than 1,000 years of history. In the atmospheric Old Quarter, you’ll see handsome French colonial buildings standing alongside traditional wooden shopfronts and ancient Buddhist temples.
Sailing around Halong Bay in a traditional wooden “junk” boat is a signature experience. The soaring limestone islands and emerald bays feel like something from a dream. A short boat ride from Cat Ba Island is Lan Ha Bay, a lesser-known but just as beautiful alternative.
For a fix of sun, sand and saltwater head to Phu Quoc, a postcard-perfect island known for its sugar-white beaches and crystalline water. Sip cocktails at a Long Beach resort or escape to a hidden bay. Divers love exploring the colourful coral reefs just offshore.
Adventure seekers will find plenty of action in UNESCO-protected Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. You can hike through lush tropical rainforests and discover one of the most extensive cave systems in the world. Venture to the Northern Highlands to relax in picturesque mountain towns and discover the rich ethnic diversity of Vietnam on a hill tribe trekking expedition.
Vietnam is a paradise for foodies and serves some of the best cuisine in Southeast Asia. Signature dishes include pho, a flavourful soup featuring rice noodles and herbs. Bahn mi is another local favourite, combining French-inspired crusty baguette with pickled vegetables, fresh coriander and meat. Vietnamese coffee sweetened with condensed milk is always a good way to start your morning.
Getting around Vietnam
Taxis are usually the fastest and most comfortable way to get around cities and large towns. Auto-rickshaws, motorbike taxis and cyclos are also an option, as well as long-distance buses. Ho Chi Minh City Airport in Saignon and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi are the two major airports.