vietnam travel Vietnam is a country that has a lot to offer for travelers who are looking for a diverse and rich experience. From its stunning natural landscapes, to its vibrant culture and history, to its delicious cuisine and friendly people, Vietnam will surely captivate you and leave you wanting more.
In this blog post, I will share with you some of the best places to visit, things to do, and tips to know when traveling to Vietnam. Whether you are planning a short trip or a long adventure, this guide will help you make the most of your Vietnam travel.
What to Expect When Traveling to Vietnam
Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia, bordering China, Laos, and Cambodia. It has a population of about 97 million people, and covers an area of about 331,000 square kilometers. The country is divided into three regions: the north, the center, and the south, each with its own distinct characteristics and attractions.
The climate of Vietnam varies depending on the region and the season. Generally speaking, the north has four seasons: spring (February to April), summer (May to August), autumn (September to November), and winter (December to January). The south has two seasons: dry (November to April) and rainy (May to October). The center has a transitional climate, with hot and dry weather from January to August, and rainy and cool weather from September to December. vietnam travel
The currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND), which is roughly equivalent to 0.000043 US dollars (as of June 2023). You can exchange your money at banks, hotels, or authorized money changers. You can also use ATMs or credit cards in major cities and tourist areas, but be aware of fees and exchange rates.
The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese, which is spoken by most of the population. However, you can also find people who speak English, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations. You can also encounter some ethnic minority languages, such as Khmer, Cham, or Hmong. vietnam travel
The culture of Vietnam is influenced by various factors, such as its history, geography, religion, and ethnicity. Vietnam has a rich and diverse heritage that reflects its long and turbulent past. You can see the traces of Chinese, French, American, and other influences in its architecture, art, literature, music, and cuisine. Vietnam is also home to 54 ethnic groups, each with its own customs and traditions. vietnam travel
The religion of Vietnam is mainly Buddhism, which accounts for about 70% of the population. However, you can also find other religions, such as Catholicism (7%), Islam (1%), Hinduism (0.1%), or folk beliefs (22%). Vietnam is generally tolerant and respectful of different faiths, but you should be mindful of some etiquette rules when visiting religious sites. vietnam travel
The cuisine of Vietnam is one of the highlights of traveling to this country. Vietnamese food is known for its freshness, balance, variety, and flavor. You can find dishes that suit every taste and budget, from street food to fine dining. Some of the most popular dishes include pho (noodle soup), banh mi (sandwich), spring rolls (fried or fresh), bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), cao lau (noodles with pork and herbs), and many more. vietnam travel
How to Travel Around Vietnam
There are many ways to travel around Vietnam depending on your preferences, budget, and time. Here are some of the most common options:
Flying is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between major cities and tourist destinations in Vietnam. There are several domestic airlines that operate flights within the country, such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, and Pacific Airlines. You can book your tickets online or through travel agents. The prices vary depending on the season, demand, and availability, but you can find some cheap deals if you book in advance or during promotions. vietnam travel
Taking the train is a scenic and comfortable way to travel across Vietnam, especially if you want to see the countryside and enjoy the views. There are several train routes that connect different regions of the country, such as the North-South Railway, the Reunification Express, the Hanoi-Lao Cai Railway, and the Hanoi-Hue-Da Nang Railway. You can choose from different classes of service, ranging from hard seat to soft sleeper, depending on your budget and comfort level. You can buy your tickets at train stations or online through official websites or third-party platforms. vietnam travel
Traveling by bus is a cheap and convenient way to get around Vietnam, especially for short distances and rural areas. There are many bus companies that offer services within and between cities and provinces, such as The Sinh Tourist, Futa Bus Lines, Hoang Long, and Mai Linh. You can buy your tickets at bus stations or through travel agents. The buses vary in quality and safety, so you should do some research and read reviews before choosing one. You should also be prepared for some delays, traffic jams, and bumpy roads. vietnam travel
Renting a car is a flexible and independent way to travel around Vietnam, especially if you want to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations and have more control over your itinerary. However, it is also more expensive and challenging than other options. Driving in Vietnam can be stressful and dangerous due to the chaotic traffic, poor road conditions, and lack of signage. You also need a valid driver’s license and an international driving permit to drive legally in Vietnam. You can rent a car from reputable agencies or hotels, but you should check the insurance and contract carefully before signing. vietnam travel
Riding a motorbike is a popular and adventurous way to travel around Vietnam, especially for backpackers and thrill-seekers. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to go wherever you want and experience the local life and culture. However, it is also risky and requires a lot of skills and precautions. Motorbike accidents are common and often fatal in Vietnam due to the high speed, crowded traffic, and unpredictable drivers. You also need a valid driver’s license and an international driving permit to ride legally in Vietnam. You can rent a motorbike from local shops or online platforms, but you should check the condition and documents of the bike before taking it. vietnam travel
Where to Go and What to Do in Vietnam
Vietnam has a lot of attractions and activities for travelers of all interests and preferences. Here are some of the best places to go and things to do in Vietnam:
Hanoi is the capital and cultural center of Vietnam. It is a city that combines the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the chaotic and the serene. You can explore its historical landmarks, such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the One Pillar Pagoda, and the Hoan Kiem Lake. You can also enjoy its vibrant nightlife, such as the Old Quarter, the West Lake, the Beer Street, and the Water Puppet Theater. You can also sample its delicious cuisine, such as pho, bun cha, egg coffee, and cha ca. vietnam travel
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. It is a bay that features thousands of limestone islands, caves, beaches, and fishing villages. You can take a cruise or a kayak to admire its stunning scenery, or you can stay overnight on a junk boat or a homestay to experience its tranquil atmosphere. You can also visit some of its attractions, such as the Sung Sot Cave, the Ti Top Island, the Cat Ba Island, and the Bai Tu Long Bay.
Sapa is a mountainous town in northern Vietnam that is famous for its breathtaking views, ethnic diversity, and trekking opportunities. You can hike or bike through its lush rice terraces, valleys, waterfalls, and forests. You can also interact with its local people, such as the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay, and Xa Pho. You can also visit some of its attractions, such as the Fansipan Mountain, the Cat Cat Village, the Ta Van Village, and the Bac Ha Market. vietnam travel
Hue is a former imperial city in central Vietnam that is rich in history, culture, and architecture. It was the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 under the Nguyen Dynasty, which left behind many monuments and relics. You can visit its attractions, such as the Citadel, the Tombs of the Emperors, the Thien Mu Pagoda, and the Perfume River. You can also enjoy its cuisine, such as bun bo hue (spicy beef noodle soup), banh beo (steamed rice cakes), and com hen (rice with clams).
Hoi An is a charming town in central Vietnam that is known for its well-preserved ancient town, its colorful lanterns, and its tailor-made clothes. It was a major port and trading center from the 15th to 19th centuries, which influenced its architecture, culture, and cuisine. You can stroll through its streets, bridges, temples, and shops. You can also take a boat ride on its river, or cycle to its nearby beaches or countryside. You can also try its cuisine, such as cao lau (noodles with pork vietnam travel
Da Nang is a modern and dynamic city in central Vietnam that is famous for its beaches, bridges, and mountains. It is a popular destination for both domestic and international tourists who want to enjoy its natural beauty, urban amenities, and cultural attractions. You can relax on its beaches, such as My Khe, Non Nuoc, or Son Tra. You can also visit its attractions, such as the Dragon Bridge, the Marble Mountains, the Ba Na Hills, and the Linh Ung Pagoda. You can also taste its cuisine, such as mi quang (noodles with meat and vegetables), banh xeo (crispy pancakes), and banh trang (rice paper). vietnam travel
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest and most populous city in Vietnam. It is also the economic and cultural hub of the country. It is a city that showcases the contrast and diversity of Vietnam, from its colonial buildings to its skyscrapers, from its traditional markets to its modern malls, from its street food to its fine dining. You can explore its attractions, such as the War Remnants Museum, the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Ben Thanh Market. You can also enjoy its nightlife, such as the Pham Ngu Lao Street, the Saigon Opera House, the Bitexco Tower, and the Nguyen Hue Walking Street. You can also savor its cuisine, such as banh mi (sandwich), pho (noodle soup), com tam (broken rice), and hu tieu (rice noodle soup). vietnam travel
The Mekong Delta is a region in southern Vietnam that is known for its fertile land, abundant waterways, and diverse culture. It is where the Mekong River splits into nine branches before flowing into the sea. It is also where you can find many rice fields, fruit orchards, fish farms, and floating markets. You can take a boat or a bike to explore its villages, islands, canals, and bridges. You can also interact with its people, who are mostly farmers and fishermen. You can also visit some of its attractions, such as the Cai Rang Floating Market, the Vinh Trang Pagoda, the Tra Su Bird Sanctuary, and the Sam Mountain.
Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island is a tropical paradise in southern Vietnam that is famous for its pristine beaches, its lush forests, and its seafood. It is the largest island in Vietnam, and a popular destination for honeymooners, families, and adventurers. You can swim, snorkel, or dive in its clear waters, or sunbathe on its white sands. You can also hike or bike through its national park, or visit its pepper farms or pearl farms. You can also enjoy its cuisine, such as banh canh (thick noodle soup), banh tet (sticky rice cake), and nhim bien (sea urchin). vietnam travel
Tips to Know When Traveling to Vietnam
Traveling to Vietnam can be an amazing and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging and confusing if you are not prepared or informed. Here are some tips to know when traveling to Vietnam:
- Visa: Depending on your nationality and purpose of visit, you may need a visa to enter Vietnam. You can check the visa requirements and apply online through official websites or third-party platforms. You can also get a visa on arrival at some airports, but you need to have a pre-approval letter and pay a fee.
- Vaccination: There are no mandatory vaccinations for traveling to Vietnam, but it is recommended to have some basic ones, such as tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, and typhoid. You may also need some additional ones, such as rabies, Japanese encephalitis, or malaria, depending on your itinerary and activities. vietnam travel
- Safety: Vietnam is generally a safe country to travel to, but you should still be careful and vigilant of some risks and dangers. You should avoid walking alone at night or in isolated areas, and keep your valuables and documents secure. You should also beware of scams, pickpockets, and fake taxis or tours. vietnam travel
- Etiquette: Vietnam is a country that values respect and courtesy, so you should follow some etiquette rules when interacting with its people and visiting its places. You should dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees when entering religious sites or rural areas. You should also remove your shoes when entering someone’s home or a temple. You should also avoid public displays of affection, touching someone’s head, or pointing with your feet. vietnam travel
- Language: Vietnam is a country that has a lot of regional and ethnic diversity, so you may encounter different languages and dialects when traveling to different parts of the country. However, the official and most widely spoken language is Vietnamese, which is a tonal and monosyllabic language that uses the Latin alphabet with some diacritics. You should learn some basic words and phrases in Vietnamese, such as hello (xin chao), thank you (cam on), sorry (xin loi), and how much (bao nhieu). vietnam travel
- Currency: The currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese dong (VND), which is roughly equivalent to 0.000043 US dollars (as of June 2023). You can exchange your money at banks, hotels, or authorized money changers. You can also use ATMs or credit cards in major cities and tourist areas, but be aware of fees and exchange rates. vietnam travel
Vietnam is a country that has a lot to offer for travelers who are looking for a diverse and rich experience. From its stunning natural landscapes, to its vibrant culture and history, to its delicious cuisine and friendly people, Vietnam will surely captivate you and leave you wanting more. vietnam travel
I hope this blog post has given you some useful information and inspiration for your Vietnam travel. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading and happy travels!