From the bizarre sights of the cities to the breathtaking beauty of its natural landscape, you’ll never have a dull moment on your holiday in Vietnam. Sight after sight overwhelms and enchants you from the mist rolling over the cliffs of HàGiang Province to stunning beaches of Mũi Né.
From recent wars, to religion and the country’s integral part in the creation of the ancient silk road trading route, the history and culture of modern Vietnamese is something worth taking the time to discover. With influences of many cultures evident in its cities and age-old traditions still being practiced in its more remote regions, you’ll find a fascinating patchwork of complex cultural patterns. Take the opportunity to visit some of the most stunning temples in the world and learn more about the country’s French and Chinese aspects while exploring the intriguing range of museums.
The subtle use of spices combined to make hundreds of tasty, tempting dishes is any foodie’s dream come true on a holiday to Vietnam. Many of the country’s tastiest dishes are disguised behind bizarre myriads of colour, texture and presentation, such as the sweet treatChè Ba Mau (three colour dessert). Whether you choose to indulge in some fine-dining or sample the country’s flavours like a local on the streets, you’ll find a whole new world of flavour to discover.
With its spectacular scenery, high mountains, wide valleys, great lakes and refreshingly care-free attitude to life, you’ll find Vietnam the ideal place to indulge in some simply superb thrills. Hike your way into the heady heights of Vietnam’s northern territories and sample some authentic local coffee in a cafe perched on a cliff edge before hopping onto a quad bike tour of the fields and maybe indulging in some bungee jumping. Or grab your board and head to the stunning beaches of Mui Ne where you’ll be able to ride the waves before jumping in the 4x4 and surfing down the area’s sand dunes.
If there’s one Vietnamese dish every visitor simply has to try, it’s Phở (Pho). Inarguably the national dish of Vietnam, this dish consists of satisfyingly thick rice noodles in a rich but thin, meat-based broth. Depending on your choice, you can fill your Pho with vegetables or fine curls of beef steak. The garnishes include basil, lime and chili. The combination of sweet, salty, spicy, and citrus are mouthwatering. Don’t be surprised if you ask for it spicy and receive a pho bowl that’s less than eye-watering, the Vietnamese cuisine relies more on flavour than spice but visitors are welcome to dish chilli flakes or sauce into the food themselves. Pho isn’t hard to come by either; this dish is served everywhere from corner street carts to high-end hotels and restaurants, with both locals and foreigners bonding over the steaming bowls.
The HảiVân Pass of Vietnam is the ideal place to flex your throttle and hit the road. Even absolute beginners will enjoy taking their first laps around this scenic biking destination. Featured on programmes such as Top Gear, the HảiVân Pass is a 13-mile-long mountain route, packed with meandering curves, steep hills, lush greenery and absolutely out of this world scenery. Overlooking Da Nang City, Tien Sa Port, Son Tra Peninsula, the Truong Son mountain range and the sparkling blue waters of South China Sea it is inarguably beautiful.
In the Vietnamese city of Hoi An, you’ll not only have a vast range of styles, colours and materials to choose from but you’ll also be able to get your garments tailored for you, creating a completely unique piece you’ll be able to wear again and again. The streets of Hoi An are lined with tailor shop after tailor shop, making the decisions on who to choose and what to wear almost impossible. But part of the culture of Vietnam is bartering so use this as an excuse to shop around and ensure you are getting the best price you can for your dress, suit, shoes or accessories.
Whether the soaring humidity of the Vietnamese summer or the pleasantly warm but occasionally rainy winter, there is never a season where heat isn’t on the menu. If you want to avoid the crowds of backpackers and younger explorers, April to early June will be relatively quiet and wonderfully sunny with a handful of rainy days. If you enjoy the party scene and the warmest weather, June through to early September sees a flood of both sunshine and travellers which liven up even the smallest villages.
Until 30 June 2021, ‘British Citizen’ passport holders travelling for tourism or business can enter Vietnam for up to a maximum of 15 days (inclusive of dates of entry and exit) without a visa. If you have a different type of British nationality – for example ‘British national (overseas)’ you’ll need to get a visa before entering Vietnam. For visits of up to 30 days, you can get an e-visa online before you travel. For the latest information on travel regulations, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/vietnam/entry-requirements.
The currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND).
The language spoken is Vietnamese.