vietnam wikitravel Vietnam is a country in Southeast Asia that has a long and rich history, a diverse and vibrant culture, and a stunning and varied landscape. It is a destination that appeals to travelers of all kinds, whether they are looking for adventure, relaxation, education, or entertainment. Vietnam has something for everyone, and it is waiting for you to discover it.
In this blog post, I will give you a comprehensive guide for traveling to Vietnam, based on the information from Wikitravel, a free and reliable online travel guide. I will cover the following topics:
- Regions: The different regions of Vietnam and what they offer.
- Cities: The major cities of Vietnam and what to see and do there.
- Other destinations: The other places of interest in Vietnam that are worth visiting.
- Understand: The background and context of Vietnam, including its history, culture, people, climate, and holidays.
- Get in: The visa requirements and entry procedures for Vietnam.
- Get around: The transportation options and tips for traveling within Vietnam.
- Talk: The languages spoken in Vietnam and some useful phrases for communication.
- See: The main attractions and sights in Vietnam that you should not miss.
- Do: The activities and experiences that you can enjoy in Vietnam.
- Buy: The shopping opportunities and souvenirs that you can find in Vietnam.
- Eat: The cuisine and dishes that you can taste in Vietnam.
- Drink: The beverages and nightlife that you can indulge in Vietnam.
- Sleep: The accommodation options and prices that you can expect in Vietnam.
- Stay safe: The safety and health issues and precautions that you should be aware of in Vietnam.
- Stay healthy: The medical facilities and services that you can access in Vietnam.
- Respect: The etiquette and customs that you should follow in Vietnam.
- Contact: The communication and internet facilities that you can use in Vietnam.
Regions vietnam wikitravel
Vietnam is divided into eight regions, each with its own characteristics and attractions. They are:
- Northern Vietnam: The region that includes the capital city of Hanoi, the mountainous areas of Sapa and Ha Giang, the scenic Halong Bay, and the historical sites of Ninh Binh and Dien Bien Phu. It is a region that offers natural beauty, cultural diversity, and historical significance.
- North Central Coast: The region that covers the provinces along the coast from Thanh Hoa to Quang Binh. It is a region that features the ancient capital of Hue, the charming town of Hoi An, the stunning Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) from the Vietnam War. It is a region that showcases the heritage, architecture, and scenery of Vietnam. vietnam wikitravel
- Central Highlands: The region that covers the highlands and plateaus from Kon Tum to Lam Dong. It is a region that offers a different perspective of Vietnam, with its ethnic minorities, coffee plantations, waterfalls, and lakes. It is a region that is ideal for adventure and nature lovers. vietnam wikitravel
- South Central Coast: The region that stretches along the coast from Quang Ngai to Binh Thuan. It is a region that boasts some of the best beaches and islands in Vietnam, such as Nha Trang, Mui Ne, and Phu Quoc. It is a region that is perfect for relaxation and recreation. vietnam wikitravel
- Southeast: The region that includes the largest and most dynamic city of Ho Chi Minh City, the industrial and commercial hub of Dong Nai and Binh Duong, and the fertile and scenic Mekong Delta. It is a region that represents the modern and traditional, the urban and rural, the old and new aspects of Vietnam. vietnam wikitravel
- Southwest: The region that covers the provinces along the Cambodian border and the Gulf of Thailand. It is a region that is home to some of the most diverse and colorful cultures and cuisines in Vietnam, with its Khmer, Cham, and Chinese influences. It is a region that is rich in history, religion, and nature. vietnam wikitravel
- Northwest: The region that encompasses the provinces along the Chinese and Laotian borders. It is a region that is remote and rugged, with its mountains, forests, rivers, and ethnic groups. It is a region that is off the beaten track and challenging, but rewarding for adventurous travelers.
- Red River Delta: The region that surrounds the Red River and its tributaries. It is a region that is densely populated and developed, with its agriculture, industry, and commerce. It is a region that is also culturally and historically important, with its festivals, crafts, and monuments. vietnam wikitravel
Cities vietnam wikitravel
Vietnam has many cities that are worth visiting, each with its own personality and attractions. Here are some of the most popular and important ones:
- Hanoi: The capital and second largest city of Vietnam. It is a city that combines the old and the new, the east and the west, the traditional and the modern. You can find colonial buildings, temples, museums, and monuments in the Old Quarter, as well as skyscrapers, malls, and parks in the New Districts. You can also enjoy the culture and cuisine of Hanoi at its many cafes, restaurants, and markets. vietnam wikitravel
- Ho Chi Minh City: The largest and most dynamic city of Vietnam. It is a city that reflects the diversity and vitality of Vietnam, with its different districts, communities, and influences. You can find historical and cultural sites such as the War Remnants Museum, the Reunification Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Cu Chi Tunnels, as well as modern and entertainment venues such as the Bitexco Tower, the Saigon Opera House, and the Ben Thanh Market. You can also experience the nightlife and fun of Ho Chi Minh City at its many bars, clubs, restaurants, and theaters. vietnam wikitravel
- Da Nang: The third largest and fastest growing city of Vietnam. It is a city that offers a balance of urban and natural attractions, with its beaches, mountains, rivers, and bridges. You can find historical and cultural sites such as the Marble Mountains, the Cham Museum, and the Linh Ung Pagoda, as well as modern and leisure venues such as the Dragon Bridge, the Sun World Ba Na Hills, and the My Khe Beach. You can also enjoy the food and festivals of Da Nang at its many seafood restaurants, street stalls, and events. vietnam wikitravel
- Hue: The former imperial capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a city that preserves the heritage and elegance of Vietnam, with its citadel, tombs, temples, and gardens. You can find historical and cultural sites such as the Imperial City, the Thien Mu Pagoda, the Tu Duc Tomb, and the Perfume River, as well as natural and scenic venues such as the Bach Ma National Park, the Tam Giang Lagoon, and the Lang Co Beach. You can also taste the cuisine and art of Hue at its many royal dishes, vegetarian meals, and handicrafts. vietnam wikitravel
- Hoi An: Another UNESCO World Heritage Site and a charming town in central Vietnam. It is a town that showcases the architecture and culture of different periods and influences, such as Chinese, Japanese, French, and Vietnamese. You can find historical and cultural sites such as the Old Town, the Japanese Bridge, the Tan Ky House, and the Quan Cong Temple, as well as natural and leisure venues such as the An Bang Beach, the Cham Island, and the Tra Que Vegetable Village. You can also shop for souvenirs and lanterns, or get a tailor-made outfit or a pair of shoes at one of the many tailor shops in Hoi An. vietnam wikitravel
- Nha Trang: The most popular beach destination in Vietnam. It is a city that offers a variety of activities and attractions for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. You can find natural and marine sites such as the Nha Trang Bay, the Hon Mun Island, the Vinpearl Land, and the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute, as well as historical and cultural sites such as the Po Nagar Cham Towers, the Long Son Pagoda, and the Alexandre Yersin Museum. You can also relax and enjoy the sun and sand at one of the many resorts, spas, or beaches in Nha Trang. vietnam wikitravel
- Dalat: The most romantic and scenic city in Vietnam. It is a city that is famous for its flowers, strawberries, coffee, and wine. It is also known as the City of Eternal Spring, because of its cool and pleasant climate. You can find natural and scenic sites such as the Xuan Huong Lake, the Valley of Love, the Datanla Waterfall, and the Langbiang Mountain, as well as historical and cultural sites such as the Bao Dai Palace, the Dalat Railway Station, the Linh Phuoc Pagoda, and the Crazy House. You can also enjoy the activities and festivals of Dalat at its many gardens, farms, markets, and events. vietnam wikitravel
- Can Tho: The largest and most important city in the Mekong Delta. It is a city that is the center of trade, commerce, and culture in the region. You can find natural and rural sites such as the Cai Rang Floating Market, the Phong Dien Floating Market, the Bang Lang Stork Garden, and the My Khanh Tourist Village, as well as historical and cultural sites such as the Ong Temple, the Binh Thuy Ancient House, the Can Tho Museum, and the Ninh Kieu Pier. You can also experience the life and cuisine of the Mekong Delta at its many orchards, rice fields, canals, and restaurants. vietnam wikitravel
Other Destinations vietnam wikitravel
Vietnam has many other destinations that are worth visiting, besides its cities. Here are some of them:
- Halong Bay: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that features thousands of limestone islands and rocks rising from the emerald water. You can take a cruise or kayak around the bay, explore the caves and grottos, visit the floating villages and markets, or just admire the scenery.
- Sapa: A mountainous town in northern Vietnam that offers stunning views and experiences. You can trek through the rice terraces and valleys, visit the ethnic minority villages and markets, or climb the Fansipan mountain, the highest peak in Vietnam. You can also enjoy the fresh and cool air, the local food and wine, and the hospitality of the people in Sapa. vietnam wikitravel
- Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that features some of the most spectacular and diverse caves in the world. You can find hundreds of caves of different sizes and shapes, some of which are open to the public and some of which are still unexplored. You can visit the Son Doong Cave, the largest cave in the world, or the Paradise Cave, the longest dry cave in Asia. You can also enjoy other activities such as zip-lining, kayaking, cycling, or wildlife watching in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
- Mui Ne: A coastal town in southern Vietnam that is famous for its sand dunes, beaches, and wind sports. You can visit the white sand dunes or the red sand dunes, where you can slide down or ride a quad bike. You can also visit the Fairy Stream, a shallow creek that flows through a colorful landscape of sand and rock formations. You can also enjoy surfing, kite surfing, or sailing on the beach, or relax at one of the many resorts or spas in Mui Ne. vietnam wikitravel
- Phu Quoc: An island in southern Vietnam that is known for its pristine beaches, tropical forests, and seafood. You can swim, snorkel, or dive in the clear water, explore the national park or the pepper farms, visit the fishing villages or the pearl farms, or taste the famous fish sauce or the sim wine. You can also relax and enjoy the sun and sand at one of the many resorts or spas on the island. vietnam wikitravel
- Mai Chau: A valley in northern Vietnam that is surrounded by green mountains and rice fields. You can stay at a traditional stilt house or a modern lodge, cycle or hike through the countryside, visit the local markets or the handicraft villages, or watch the cultural shows or the water puppet performances. You can also experience the culture and hospitality of the Thai ethnic group, who live in Mai Chau.
- Cat Ba Island: An island in northern Vietnam that is part of the Halong Bay archipelago. You can visit the Cat Ba National Park, where you can see the endangered Cat Ba langur and other wildlife. You can also visit the Lan Ha Bay, where you can kayak or swim among the limestone karsts and islands. You can also enjoy the beach or the town of Cat Ba, where you can find many hotels, restaurants, and bars. vietnam wikitravel
Understand vietnam wikitravel
Vietnam is a country that has a lot to offer for travelers who want to understand its background and context. Here are some of the aspects that you should know about Vietnam:
- History: Vietnam has a long and turbulent history that spans over 4000 years. It has been influenced by different civilizations and cultures, such as China, France, Japan, and America. It has also fought for its independence and unity against various invaders and colonizers. Some of the most important events and periods in Vietnam’s history are:
- The Hung Kings period (2879-258 BC): The legendary founders of the first Vietnamese state, who established the Van Lang kingdom and the Hong Bang dynasty.
- The Chinese domination period (111 BC-938 AD): The period when Vietnam was ruled by various Chinese dynasties, such as the Han, the Tang, and the Song. It was also the period when Vietnam adopted many aspects of Chinese culture, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, and writing.
- The Ly-Tran-Le period (1009-1527): The period when Vietnam became an independent and prosperous kingdom under the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties. It was also the period when Vietnam repelled the Mongol invasions and developed its own culture, such as literature, art, and architecture. vietnam wikitravel
- The Nguyen period (1802-1945): The period when Vietnam was unified under the Nguyen dynasty, which moved the capital to Hue and expanded the territory to the south. It was also the period when Vietnam faced the French colonization and the resistance movements.
- The Indochina Wars period (1945-1975): The period when Vietnam fought for its independence and reunification against the French and the Americans. It was also the period when Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam, and experienced the First Indochina War (1946-1954) and the Second Indochina War (1955-1975), also known as the Vietnam War.
- The Doi Moi period (1986-present): The period when Vietnam implemented economic and political reforms, known as Doi Moi or Renovation. It was also the period when Vietnam opened up to the world and achieved rapid growth and development. vietnam wikitravel
- Culture: Vietnam has a rich and diverse culture that reflects its history and geography. It has been influenced by different civilizations and cultures, such as China, France, Japan, and America. It has also developed its own identity and characteristics. Some of the aspects of Vietnam’s culture are:
- Language: The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese, which belongs to the Austroasiatic language family. It is a tonal language that uses six tones to distinguish meanings. It is also a monosyllabic language that uses single syllables to form words. It is written with a Latin-based alphabet that was introduced by the French in the 17th century.
- Religion: The main religions of Vietnam are Buddhism, Taoism, vietnam wikitravel
- Religion: The main religions of Vietnam are Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam. However, many Vietnamese also practice folk religions or ancestor worship, which involve rituals and ceremonies to honor the spirits of nature and the deceased. Vietnam also has some indigenous religions, such as Cao Dai and Hoa Hao, which are syncretic and eclectic in nature. vietnam wikitravel
- Art: The art of Vietnam is diverse and distinctive, reflecting its history and culture. It includes various forms and genres, such as literature, poetry, music, painting, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, lacquerware, embroidery, and more. Some of the famous artists and works of Vietnam are:
- Nguyen Du: The author of The Tale of Kieu, the most celebrated epic poem in Vietnamese literature.
- Pham Duy: The composer of many patriotic and popular songs in Vietnamese music.
- Nguyen Gia Tri: The master of lacquer painting in Vietnamese art. vietnam wikitravel
- Tran Van Can: The painter of The Girl Feeding Pigeons, one of the most iconic paintings in Vietnamese art.
- Nguyen Sang: The sculptor of The Mother’s Soul, a monumental statue in Hanoi.
- Nguyen Dinh Chieu: The architect of The One Pillar Pagoda, a unique and symbolic structure in Hanoi.
- Cuisine: The cuisine of Vietnam is one of the most delicious and diverse in the world. It is influenced by different regions and cultures, such as China, France, Thailand, and India. It is also characterized by its freshness, balance, variety, and healthiness. It uses many ingredients and spices, such as rice, noodles, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime, chili, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, basil, mint, and more. It also has many dishes and specialties, such as pho, banh mi, bun cha, banh xeo, cao lau, spring rolls, nem ran, cha ca, and more. vietnam wikitravel
- People: The people of Vietnam are friendly and hospitable. They are proud of their country and culture, but also open to the world and change. They are hardworking and resilient, but also fun-loving and optimistic. They are diverse and united, with 54 ethnic groups and one national identity. They are also respectful and courteous, with a strong sense of family and community.
- Climate: The climate of Vietnam is tropical and monsoonal. It has four seasons: spring (February to April), summer (May to August), autumn (September to November), and winter (December to January). However, the climate varies by region and altitude. The north has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The south has a tropical climate with two seasons: dry and rainy. The central has a transitional climate with hot and dry summers and cool and wet winters. The highlands have a cooler climate with more rainfall. vietnam wikitravel
- Holidays: The holidays of Vietnam are based on both the solar and lunar calendars. They include both national and traditional holidays. Some of the most important and celebrated holidays are:
- Tet: The Vietnamese New Year, which falls on the first day of the first lunar month (usually in late January or early February). It is the most festive and significant holiday in Vietnam. It is a time to celebrate the past year and welcome the new one. It is also a time to visit family and friends,
- Tet: The Vietnamese New Year, which falls on the first day of the first lunar month (usually in late January or early February). It is the most festive and significant holiday in Vietnam. It is a time to celebrate the past year and welcome the new one. It is also a time to visit family and friends, exchange gifts and wishes, decorate and clean the house, prepare and enjoy special foods, and participate in various customs and rituals. vietnam wikitravel
- Reunification Day: The national holiday that commemorates the end of the Vietnam War and the reunification of North and South Vietnam on April 30, 1975. It is a time to celebrate the peace and unity of the country. It is also a time to honor the veterans and martyrs who sacrificed for the nation. It is marked by parades, ceremonies, fireworks, and exhibitions. vietnam wikitravel
- International Workers’ Day: The international holiday that celebrates the labor movement and the rights of workers on May 1. It is a time to appreciate the contributions and achievements of the working class. It is also a time to enjoy a day off and have fun. It is marked by rallies, demonstrations, festivals, and picnics.
- National Day: The national holiday that celebrates the independence of Vietnam from France on September 2, 1945. It is a time to remember the history and pride of the country. It is also a time to show patriotism and solidarity. It is marked by speeches, flags, anthems, and performances. vietnam wikitravel
- Mid-Autumn Festival: The traditional holiday that falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month (usually in late September or early October). It is a time to celebrate the harvest and the full moon. It is also a time to worship the moon goddess and enjoy mooncakes. It is marked by lanterns, dragons, lions, and dances.
Get in vietnam wikitravel
Vietnam is a country that is easy to get in for most travelers. Here are some of the requirements and procedures for entering Vietnam:
- Visa: The visa policy of Vietnam varies by country and purpose of visit. Some countries are exempt from visa for short-term visits (such as ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea, Russia, etc.). Some countries can apply for visa on arrival or e-visa for tourism or business purposes (such as Australia, Canada, China, India, USA, etc.). Some countries need to apply for visa in advance at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate (such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Pakistan, etc.). You can check the visa requirements and fees for your country at the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam or at a reliable online service such as Vietnam Visa Online. vietnam wikitravel
- Passport: The passport requirement for Vietnam is that it must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay and have at least two blank pages for stamps and visas. You should also have a photocopy of your passport and keep it separate from the original in case of loss or theft. vietnam wikitravel
- Arrival: The arrival procedure for Vietnam is that you must fill out an arrival/departure card and a customs declaration form. You must also present your passport and visa (or visa approval letter) to the immigration officer. You may also need to show proof of onward or return travel, such as a flight ticket or a hotel reservation. You may also need to pay a stamping fee or a service fee depending on your visa type. You will then receive a stamp and a sticker on your passport and a receipt for your customs declaration. You can then collect your luggage and proceed to the customs checkpoint. You may need to declare any items that are subject to duty or restriction, such as currency, valuables, electronics, medicines, etc. You may also need to undergo a baggage scan or inspection. You can then exit the airport and find your transportation to your destinationVietnam is a country that has many transportation options and tips for getting around. Here are some of them: vietnam wikitravel
- Plane: The plane is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between the major cities and regions of Vietnam. There are several domestic airlines that operate frequent and affordable flights, such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, and Jetstar Pacific. You can book your tickets online or through a travel agent. You can also check the flight schedules and prices at the official website of the Vietnam Aviation Administration or at a reliable online service such as Skyscanner. vietnam wikitravel
- Train: The train is a scenic and comfortable way to travel along the coast of Vietnam. There is a main railway line that connects Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with stops at many cities and towns along the way, such as Ninh Binh, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Dalat. There are different types of trains and classes, ranging from hard seat to soft sleeper. You can book your tickets online or at the train station. You can also check the train schedules and prices at the official website of the Vietnam Railways or at a reliable online service such as Baolau. vietnam wikitravel
- Bus: The bus is the cheapest and most widely available way to travel within and between the cities and regions of Vietnam. There are many bus companies that offer different routes and services, such as express buses, shuttle buses, sleeper buses, and local buses. You can book your tickets online or at the bus station. You can also check the bus schedules and prices at a reliable online service such as 12go.asia123.
- Car: The car is a flexible and independent way to travel around Vietnam. However, it is also expensive and risky, as the roads are often crowded and chaotic, and the driving standards are low. You can rent a car with or without a driver from various car rental agencies or hotels. You can also book a car online or through a travel agent. You can check the car rental prices and options at a reliable online service such as Rentalcars.com. vietnam wikitravel
- Motorbike: The motorbike is the most popular and common way to travel around Vietnam. It is also fun and adventurous, as you can explore the countryside and off-the-beaten-track places on your own. However, it is also dangerous and challenging, as you need to have a valid license, insurance, helmet, and skills to ride on the busy and unpredictable roads. You can rent a motorbike from various motorbike rental shops or hotels. You can also book a motorbike online or through a travel agent. You can check the motorbike rental prices and options at a reliable online service such as Tigit Motorbikes. vietnam wikitravel
- Bicycle: The bicycle is a cheap and eco-friendly way to travel around Vietnam. It is also a great way to enjoy the scenery and culture of the country at a slower pace. However, it is also tiring and limited, as you need to have a good physical condition, a reliable bike, and a safe route to ride on. You can rent a bicycle from various bicycle rental shops or hotels. You can also book a bicycle online or through a travel agent. You can check the bicycle rental prices and options at a reliable online service such as Vietnam Bike Rental. vietnam wikitravel
- Boat: The boat is a scenic and relaxing way to travel along the rivers and coasts of Vietnam. It is also a unique way to experience the life and nature of the country. However, it is also slow and seasonal, as you need to have enough time, money, and weather conditions to enjoy a boat trip. You can take a boat from various boat stations or ports. You can also book a boat online or through a travel agent. You can check the boat schedules and prices at a reliable online service such as GetYourGuide. vietnam wikitravel
Vietnam is a country that has many languages and dialects spoken by its people. Here are some of them:
- Vietnamese: The official and national language of Vietnam. It is spoken by about 90% of the population, with different accents and variations depending on the region. It is a tonal language that uses six tones to distinguish meanings. It is also a monosyllabic language that uses single syllables to form words. It is written with a Latin-based alphabet that was introduced by the French in the 17th century. vietnam wikitravel
- English: The most widely used foreign language in Vietnam. It is spoken by many young people, especially in urban areas and tourist destinations. It is also taught in schools and universities as a compulsory subject. However, the level of English proficiency varies greatly among the population, and many people may not be able to communicate well in English. vietnam wikitravel
- French: The second most widely used foreign language in Vietnam. It is spoken by some older people, especially in northern and central regions, who were educated or influenced by the French colonization. It is also used in some official and academic settings, such as government documents, signs, or newspapers. vietnam wikitravel
- Chinese: The third most widely used foreign language in Vietnam. It is spoken by some ethnic Chinese people, especially in southern regions, who have migrated or traded with China for centuries. It is also used in some religious and cultural settings, such as temples, festivals, or names. vietnam wikitravel