Travel to Vietnam!

 

Vietnam is one of the hottest travel destinations in the world right now and it’s no wonder why! From North to South, East to West, the country offers an endless array of exciting destinations, lush and diverse landscapes, amazing flavoursome food, friendly people and a secret hidden gem around every corner. Vietnam is probably the best place on earth to jump on a scooter and go exploring for days and even weeks on end – whether it be in the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City or through the lush greenery of the countryside. On the way you might get lost as you lose your connection to Google Maps but you will find comfort in the friendliness of local village people and the beautiful landscapes that surround you.

 

The first thing that will grab your attention in Vietnam is the fresh and flavoursome food. Staples include your popular Pho and Banh Mi, but as you spend more time here you will get to experience the wonders of dishes such as Banh Xeo, Goi Cuon, Cao Lau and Hu Tieu. It’s not all about restaurant food, as you will quickly discover little street food stalls hidden down alleyways that serve up quick and delicious meals for hungry locals and tourists alike. These food experiences are often the most memorable as you sit on a small plastic chair low to the ground in a somewhat grungy environment wondering how food so simple could be so delicious. After travelling here, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Vietnamese cuisine.

 

Bucket-list destinations: Vietnam is full of them! Hoi An is a charming riverside town which boasts gorgeous colonial architecture, Chinese temples and ancient tea warehouses. It’s not necessary to pre-book a whole bunch of activities here, just simply hire a bike from your friendly home stay and go exploring. The perfect day involves a leisurely bike through town to get your morning coffee at one of the cute coffee shops. Once you’ve perked up on caffeine it’s time to shop to your hearts content at the many shop-houses and makeshift stalls which sell everything from custom designed suits to colourful lanterns. Of course, no trip to Hoi An is complete without floating a candle-lit paper lantern down the Thu Bon River.

 

Another must-do in Vietnam is Sapa and the Ha Giang Loop. Orginally, Sapa was founded by the French at the start of the 20th century. They used it as a hill station to escape the heat of summer in Hanoi and to enjoy the incredible mountain views on offer. The dramatic scenery found in this north-western region of Vietnam of rice terraces and mountains is simply breathtaking. Take in the views for days relaxing in one of Sapa’s unique eco-lodges and go hiking through the surrounding countryside of cascading rice terraces and local villages that transport you to another time and place. There are waterfalls to explore, ancient rock fields to discover, mountain peaks to hike and views that will leave a lasting impression.

 

Then there’s Halong Bay: home to a never-ending seascape of limestone karsts and islands. Base yourself in Cat Ba Island and join a traditional junk sailing the seas for days. Although mass tourism has taken its toll (an increase in pollution and litter which is definitely noticeable), there’s still no doubting the raw beauty of this place. Perhaps one of the best travel experiences in Vietnam is pulling up to a secluded part of Halong Bay and diving off the top deck of your boat into the deep emerald waters. Cat Ba Island itself has a few gems to discover including hikes to Ngu Lam Peak at Cat Ba National Park and watching the sunset at Cannon Fort. Again, this is the perfect place to rent a scooter and go exploring!

 

The real challenge of Vietnam travel is the sheer number of places to visit. It’s impossible to see all of the country on a standard two to three week trip. You would need a good three months for that. But if you are wanting to see a different side of Vietnam here are a few alternatives to the classic destinations. Visit the most spectacular cave systems in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, complete the Hai Van Pass in an open top Jeep, discover a mysterious abandoned water park in Hue, take in the awe-inspiring views of Ninh Binh and visit the most majestic cascades in Vietnam at Ban Gioc. There is no right or wrong way to travel through Vietnam, and there are endless possible routes and itineraries to enjoy.

 

Vietnam’s biggest asset has to be its people. This is something you will notice if you’ve been here for five minutes or five months! Wandering around the streets is enough to get you a 100 smiles per day. There have been certain dark and complex chapters in Vietnam’s history, but this hasn’t stop the people here from showing an extraordinary level of resiliency and warmth to foreigners. You will meet the loveliest of locals here whether it be at food markets, on a local train ride or just in the course of everyday life. If you really want to gain the respect of the Vietnamese people, one thing you can do is try some of their more stranger foods. Fermented fish sauces or blood sausage cubes won’t go unnoticed!

 

We can’t recommend Vietnam enough! It really has emerged as one of the best destinations on the Southeast Asian travel circuit in recent years. A country that is gaining in self-confidence with a tourism sector that is booming. Below you will find a selection of Vietnam travel articles from some of the most inspiring travellers, adventurers and story-tellers in the world. These content creators have sourced some of the best local insights, must-do experiences and off-the-beaten-track hidden gems for your reading pleasure. Get all the inspiration and information you need for your next trip to the beautiful Vietnam. It’s going to be one hell of a trip!