VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDE: THE BASICS
Vietnam was an extremely memorable destination for us. When I think of Vietnam, I think of amazing food (and healthy too!), chaos on the streets, motorbikes, natural beauty and friendly locals with a drive to achieve more. Vietnam holds a special place in my heart as we took my Dad on his first overseas holiday here. It’s a very long country, so it can take some time to travel in between each city or town. But Vietnam is definitely a country worth exploring!
Below you will find information to help plan your trip; from when and where to go, what to pack and things to do.
THINGS TO SEE & DO IN VIETNAM
- Take a boat down the Mekong River
- Crawl through the Cu Chi Tunnels
- Discover Ho Chi Minh City on the back of a bike
- Relax on the beaches of Nha Trang or Mui Ne
- Walk the streets of UNESCO site Hoi An Old Town
- Spend a few days exploring by bicycle around Hoi An
- Taste delicious Vietnamese street food
- Trek the hills of Sa Pa
- Spend a night or two sailing through Halong Bay
- Discover the beauty of Hanoi
VIETNAM PLANNER & FAQ
There are so many different destinations to visit in Vietnam, from city to beach to countryside. The big cities are Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, beach areas include Mui Ne, Nha Trang and Hoi An. Hoi An also has an old town which is beautiful. Beautiful scenery can be found in Ninh Binh, Sa Pa and Halong Bay. Here’s some more information on Where To Go in Vietnam.
North (think Hanoi): The cooler, drier months are November to April and the warmer months are May to October, although there is also more rainfall.
Central (think Hoi An and Danang): Hot and dry months usually run from January through to August.
South (think Ho Chi Minh City): The south remains warm all year round, but they experience both the wet and dry seasons. Wet season runs from May to October, whilst the dry season runs from November through to April.
Our Experience: We visited Vietnam in April and found the south, north and Central Vietnam to be pleasant. Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hoi An were hot but bearable, and Hanoi whilst warm, was notably cooler. We chose April as it seemed to be a happy medium in terms of weather. We have also visited Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang and Hoi An in February/March and this was also nice.
By Foot | Walking around the streets is one of the best ways to take in the local culture.
By Bicycle | This is a great way to get around in quieter places, such as Hoi An and Ninh Binh.
Taxi | Taxi’s are readily available and one of the easiest ways to get around cities. Mai Linh or Vinasun are best.
Cyclo | A 3-wheeled bike with a seat on the front that can usually fit one or two people. Pushed by the locals, this is not the most convenient way to get around. More of an attraction within itself.
Motorbike | I wouldn’t recommend hiring a motorbike yourself, unless you’re an experienced, licensed rider with travel insurance to cover. However, locals may offer you a ride on the back to get from A to B for a small fee. We did a tour on the back of a motorbike and it was a fabulous way to see the city. Even if you aren’t driving yourself, travel insurance is a must.