Foodie? Beach hopper? Culture buff? Vietnam has something for every type of traveller. Whether you’re here for the 3,000km (1,864mi) of tropical coastline, to explore the Old Quarter of Hanoi or journey into the largest cave in the world at Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, there’s adventure waiting for you here. Need more convincing? Here’s why you should visit Vietnam.
You can experience the best of Vietnam, including Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An, on our specially curated 12-day Vietnam adventure, led by our local insider.
Vietnam is one of the oldest cultures in Southeast Asia – dating back to 2000BCE – and it has a complicated history that began with the native Dong Son culture thousands of years ago. The country has been influenced by Chinese, Khmer and Indian cultures, as well as French colonialism.
Street food is a trademark of Vietnam. Stop at one of those food stalls on the sidewalk, grab a small plastic stool and sit down. From pho noodle soup, spring rolls, banh mi and sticky rice to seafood, Vietnamese food is invariably tasty, fresh and healthy.
Fans of watermelon, pineapple, banana, mango and mandarin will certainly be happy in Vietnam, where you can also discover a selection you may have never seen before. Fruit is sold everywhere, from the markets to the sidewalks to the mall, and it’s always fresh and cheap.
The second largest coffee exporter worldwide, Vietnam has an excellent coffee culture. Black coffee, coffee with condensed milk, coffee with coconut milk, coffee with egg yolk, coffee with yoghurt – try it all.
Friendliness is present in every corner of Vietnam, from the urban cities to rural countryside. Don’t hesitate to make friends and explore local culture while you’re here.
While Thailand and the Philippines are popular spots for beach holidays, Vietnam’s tropical beaches are far less frequented. Go before they are discovered.
Mountaineers will love Vietnam, home to the highest peak in Indochina, Fansipan. Sapa, in the north of Vietnam, attracts not only leisure travellers but also serious mountain hikers.
Want to get the most out of Vietnam? Make like the locals and hop on a motorbike. You can rent a set of wheels and either drive to the mountains in the north or along the length of the country from top to bottom. The roads can be tricky and badly maintained, though, so this epic ride is not for the faint hearted.
Budget travellers will certainly love Vietnam. A bed in a hostel dorm room can be as cheap as 94,000 Vietnamese dong (£3) per night and great street food can be found for just 30,000 dong (£1).
Shoppers with a taste for fashion and handicrafts will find a shopping paradise in Vietnam. From earrings and scarves to traditional outfits, you’ll find great offers throughout the country. In Hoi An, speed tailors can make your suit or dress in just a single day.