Whether you're interested in exploring its fascinating history, immersing yourself in vibrant culture or indulging in its delicious food, you'll find it all in Vietnam. With a wide range of Vietnam holiday packages available and an endless list of tourist attractions, there is no better time to experience this beautiful country than now.
Where are the Best Places to Visit in Vietnam?
Looking for the best places to visit in Vietnam? Look no further!
- Hanoi, the Capital City: Be sure to check out Hanoi for its bustling markets and historic landmarks
- Hoi An: For a more laid-back feel, head to Hoi An for its stunning riverside scenery and charming architecture.
- Ha Long Bay: Don't forget to take a boat ride through the world-famous Ha Long Bay, filled with thousands of limestone islands and islets.
- Sapa: For those seeking adventure, head to Sapa for epic trekking and hill tribe encounters.
When is the Best Time to Visit Vietnam?
As a tourist, you might wonder when the best time to visit this Southeast Asian gem is. The answer, of course, depends on your interests and what you'd like to see and do. However, generally, the best time to visit Vietnam is from November to April when the weather is cooler and dryer. You'll still have plenty of options for exploring the best places to visit in Vietnam during this time, including the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, Halong Bay, and the Mekong Delta. Whether you're into nature, food, history, or adventure, Vietnam is a destination that won't disappoint.
There are so many things to do in Vietnam that you might have a hard time choosing where to start. Here are some of the most popular activities that you can enjoy in this amazing country:
- Cruise and kayak in Halong Bay: One of the best places to visit in Vietnam and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Halong Bay features thousands of limestone islands, caves, and rock formations that create a spectacular seascape. You can also visit the nearby Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay for more stunning views and smaller crowds.
- Visit Hoi An: An historic town that was once a major trading port in Southeast Asia, Hoi An is famous for its well-preserved architecture, colourful lanterns, tailor shops, and riverside cafés. You can also take a bike ride to the nearby countryside and beaches, or join a cooking class to learn how to make some of the best dishes in Vietnam.
- Explore Ho Chi Minh City: The largest and most dynamic city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) is a blend of old and new, where you can find French colonial buildings, modern skyscrapers, war museums, temples, markets, and nightlife. Don’t miss the Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground passages that were used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
- Experience the culture and nature of Sapa: A mountain town in the north of Vietnam, Sapa is home to many ethnic minority groups who live in traditional villages and wear colourful costumes. You can trek through the stunning scenery of rice terraces, waterfalls, and valleys, and interact with the friendly locals.
- Relax on Phu Quoc Island: A tropical paradise in the south of Vietnam, Phu Quoc Island is known for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs, national park, and seafood. You can also visit some attractions on the island, such as the pepper farms, pearl farms, fish sauce factories, and pagodas.
Here are some useful tips to help you plan your trip to Vietnam:
- The best time to visit Vietnam depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. Typically, the north has four seasons, with cold winters and hot summers; the south has two seasons, with dry and wet periods; and the central region has a distinct rainy season from September to December. The most popular months to visit are from November to April, when the weather is mild and dry across most of the country.
- The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), which has a very low exchange rate compared to most other currencies. You can use US dollars for some transactions, such as hotels and tours, but you will need VND for most purchases. You can exchange money at banks or authorised dealers or withdraw cash from ATMs. Be careful with the notes, as some of them look very similar but have different values.
- The visa requirements for Vietnam vary depending on your nationality and purpose of visit. Most visitors need a visa to enter Vietnam, which can be obtained online (e-visa), or at an embassy or consulate. You will need a valid passport, a passport photo, an application form, and a fee. Check with your local Vietnamese embassy or consulate for more details before you travel.
- The transport options in Vietnam are diverse and affordable. You can travel by plane, train, bus, boat, or motorbike between different destinations. Planes are fast and convenient for long distances; trains are comfortable and scenic for overnight trips; buses are cheap and frequent for short distances; boats are fun and relaxing for coastal or river cruises; and motorbikes are adventurous and flexible for exploring off-the-beaten-track places.
- The food in Vietnam is one of the best reasons to visit this country. Vietnamese cuisine is fresh, flavourful, healthy, and diverse. You can find dishes from different regions and influences, such as noodles (pho), spring rolls (nem), pancakes (banh xeo), sandwiches (banh mi), salads (goi), soups (canh), rice (com), coffee (ca phe), beer (bia), and many more. Street food is cheap and delicious, but make sure to eat at busy stalls with good hygiene standards.
When travelling to Vietnam, being aware of the travel information below is pertinent to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:
- Seasons & Weather: Vietnam is a country with a diverse climate, which translates to varying seasons throughout the year. In the northern parts, the weather is cooler and can be rainy during the months of April to October. Meanwhile, the southern regions enjoy warm temperatures that can reach as high as 40C°. The best time for tourists to visit Vietnam is from November to April, when the climate is mild and dry. For those looking for exciting outdoor activities, there are plenty of options to choose from, such as hiking, trekking, and water sports. However, it is important to stay informed about weather conditions, as they can change quickly. As such, tourists should always carry suitable clothing and gear to ensure they can enjoy the different activities during their stay.
- Time Zone: Vietnam is in the Indochina Time Zone, which is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+7). South Africa is GMT+2 so Vietnam is 5 hours ahead of South Africa.
- Currency: The currency used in Vietnam is the Vietnamese đồng (VND). It is always a good idea to have some cash on hand when travelling to Vietnam, as it is widely accepted in most places.
- Electrical Outlets: Vietnam uses Type C, E, F and A plug types. The standard power voltage in Vietnam is 110/220V, and the frequency is 50Hz. Travellers from other regions may need plug adapters and voltage converters.
- Vaccines: There are no compulsory vaccines required for travel at time of publishing, however this is subject to change. Check with your travel agent at time of booking to ensure you have any vaccines required at that time. Ensure you have travel insurance that covers health emergencies, as well as any COVID-19-related requirements.
Remember that travel information can change, so it's advisable to double-check all pertinent details before your trip and stay updated on any travel advisories or health guidelines,