Vietnam

With a coastline that stretches for more than 2,000 miles from the borders of China to the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam is a spectacular country full of diversity.

Tailor-Made & Luxury Holidays to Vietnam

In many respects, Vietnam is divided into three parts: the North, the Centre and the South. In the north, you will discover glorious mountains ideal for trekking, including the highest peak in mainland Southeast Asia. While southern Vietnam has the sweltering Mekong delta, with a myriad of tiny tributaries flowing into the sea. In between lie some of the most glorious white sand beaches you could ever imaging, including the famous China Beach.

Rightly, Vietnamese street food has established a strong reputation around the globe. There is nowhere better to try this than in Hanoi, where phở noodle soup originates. Indeed, food is a key part of Vietnamese culture. When Vietnamese greet you they ask you whether you have eaten already, rather than comment upon the weather.
The country has a rich culture. Experience this on your Vietnam touring holiday in the capital Hanoi, with its wonderful Old Quarter, or venture into the centre of the country to the ancient capital of Hue with its own forbidden city. In the south, Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon, is a more modern metropolis to compete with other major cities in Southeast Asia, including Bangkok.

Vietnam War buffs can visit the DMZ near Hue, or perhaps scramble through the Cu Chi tunnels, close to Ho Chi Minh City.

As for natural beauty, nothing in the world compares with the mystical Halong Bay and its imperious rocks rising out of the waters, like dragon’s tears, as the legend goes. Vietnam is a country rich with potential for any traveller.

Our favourite Vietnam Tours

Here is a selection of our most popular Vietnam touring holidays. These tours are to get your creative juices flowing, but if you already have a tour in mind, we would love to help tailor-make your dream holiday.

Vietnam Cycling Tour

13 NIGHTS

On this Vietnam cycling tour you’ll pedal past ancient pagodas and through the charming old town streets of Hanoi. Cruise among the dramatic karst outcrops of Halong bay and then cycle to imperial tombs and the living Buddhist temples around hue. You’ll explore the Mekong delta by bike and boat, discover the French colonial charm of Saigon and visit the Cu Chi tunnels, fueled by delicious home-cooked Vietnamese cuisine. ​

Classic Vietnam Tour

11 NIGHTS

Experience the best of classic Vietnam on this tailor made Vietnam tour. Take a tasty street food tour in colonial Hanoi, cruise through the dramatic karsts of Halong Bay and shop at Hoi An’s colourful markets. You’ll also learn to make delicious local dishes, ride around Ho Chi Minh City at night on the back of a vintage Vespa and meet a Vietnam War veteran to hear about life in the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Cambodia & Vietnam

16 NIGHTS

Visit the major sights of Vietnam and Cambodia, the very essence of Indochina, unique local culture and beautiful rural scenery. It’s a mosaic of mist-shrouded mountains, vibrant green forests, a patch-work of rice paddies and pristine white beaches, whilst its villages and cities are custodians of the culture and monuments of a unique 2,000 year old civilisation.

Places to visit in Vietnam

vietnam

Most people on their Vietnam touring holiday either start in the north and make their way down, or travel vice versa.

In the far north, the town of Sapa nestles in the foothills of Mount Fansipan, at more than 3,000 metres, the highest point in Southeast Asia. Here you can buy goods from the local Hmong ethnic group at the market.

Sapa is a wonderful overnight train ride from the capital Hanoi, one of the jewels of Asia. Any trip here should include the Old Quarter and nearby Hoan Kiem Lake with its ancient Turtle Tower. Perhaps the mythical turtle that resides in the lake will make an unexpected appearance for you. A short drive from Hanoi, is the Unesco-listed Halong Bay and neighbouring Bai Tu Long Bay with their awe-inspiring limestone rocks and islets rising from the peaceful waters.

In Central Vietnam, the ancient capital of Hue and beautiful Hoi An are a must for anyone to include in their Vietnam tours. You can even have a suit tailored for you in Hoi An, or perhaps a traditional Áo Dài dress. Both are easily combined with a stay on the beach or visit to the coffee plantations in the Central Highlands.

Further south are the beach resorts Nha Trang and Mui Ne, while bustling, metropolitan Ho Chi Minh City, makes an ideal base for your trip to the Mekong Delta, or flight to the beautiful, unspoilt islands to the south, Phu Quoc and Con Dao.

Memorable Experiences

Vietnam food tour holiday

Vietnamese Food Culture

Vietnamese Food Culture

If you were to try one thing on your Vietnam touring holiday, it has to be a cookery class. Vietnamese culture is all about food. You will see people eating on every street corner at all hours of the day and night. Much of Vietnamese cuisine such as phở and spring rolls (nem) has become familiar in the west but there are some classic Vietnamese dishes such as bún chả and bánh xèo, you really should try. You can try cookery classes in any of the main cities, as well as many resorts. It really is great fun, and something you can perfect back home, now that Vietnamese ingredients are increasingly available in the UK or online.

Vietnam-touring-Holiday

Stunning coastlines and islands

Incredible Boat Trips

Another unmissable Vietnam touring holiday experience is to take a boat trip on Halong Bay or better still neighbouring, and less crowded, Bai Tu Long Bay. Ensure you include a night onboard a boat. That allows you to travel further away from the day-trippers and enjoy the bay as it should be, in solitude. Kayaking in and around the rocks is a Vietnamese travel experience to savour.

Vietnam tour holiday cyclin

Vietnam cycling tours

Modes of Transport

The north of the country is great for trekking, but one of the best ways to get around the country is by bike. Much of the country is relatively flat which allows you to cycle through the paddy fields while burning off the calories to make room for some more of that incredible Vietnamese food.

Vietnam-hills

Vietnam hill tours

Head to the Hills

If you find the heat of the lowlands too much, then you can always head up to the hills. The town of Dalat in south-central Vietnam was built by the French as a retreat from the heat of Saigon. Set in picturesque hills, come here if only to play a round of golf at the St Andrews of Vietnam or perhaps sample the wonderful strawberries, yet another example of the wonderful food on offer in Vietnam.

Vietnam-History

Vietnam history tours

Vietnam History

The history of Vietnam is one steeped in human conflict. Those interested in the Vietnam War, or American War as it is called in the Southeast Asian country, should go on an ANZ tour from Hue, which will take you into the demilitarised zone. Alternatively, if in Hanoi you can always visit the infamous Hanoi Hilton, where prisoners including Senator John McCain were held, or, while in Ho Chi Minh City scramble your way through the Cu Chi tunnels. For a different historical war experience you could always visit Dien Bien Phu, the town where the Vietnamese defeated the French, bringing to an end their colonial rule of the country.

When to Visit Vietnam

November to February in vietnam

There is no bad time to plan your Vietnam touring holiday, although generally November is considered the best month to visit Vietnam. This is when you are most likely to encounter clear skies, and it is also when the tourism high season commences. December to February is a good time to visit the south, especially the islands off the coast, as the temperatures are hot, and it is dry. However, at this time of the year northern Vietnam turns cold, especially in the hills around Sapa. It’s also not a good time to visit Halong Bay as good visibility cannot be guaranteed. The key festival is Tet, which occurs at the same time as Chinese New Year, in either January or February depending on the lunar cycle. This is a spectacular time to be in Vietnam, although as it is a family occasion you might find some places shut for the holidays.

March to May IN VIETNAM

The weather heats up in the north between March and May, and Hanoi is particularly beautiful at this time of year as the spring flowers and blossom start to bloom. March is another candidate for the best month to visit Vietnam, as the south of the country is still pleasant. Towards April and May as the rains start to threaten the humidity tends to ramp up, and you are most definitely thankful when the first downpour arrives. However, this is a good time to be in the centre of the country, especially by the coast around Hoi An.

June-August IN VIETNAM

Although the summer months through to August can be wet, this does not mean it rains all day every day, and if you are yet to encounter a tropical storm you are in for a treat. However, certain parts of the country, especially around Mui Ne and Hoi An are subject to flooding and trekking especially in the Central Highlands can be tricky.

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what we say about Vietnam