Vietnam Travel Guide

Continent: Asia
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Vietnam Travel Essentials

Ideal Duration: 10-14 days for exploring Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Halong Bay; longer for a more extensive exploration covering the central and northern regions

Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)

Best Time: November to April (Dry season in the north), May to October (Dry season in the south) Read More

Accommodation Cost (per night in USD):
Dorm bed: $5-15
Budget: $20-40
Mid-range: $50-80
Luxury: $100 and above

Budget for Food & Drinks (per day in USD):
Budget: $5-15
Mid-range: $20-40

Visa Policy for Indians:
Visa required

Visa Policy for Other Nationals: Visa required for many countries

Getting In Vietnam:
Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City
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Getting Around Vietnam: Trains, buses, motorcycles (rental), domestic flights Read More

"A Timeless Charm"

Vietnam Tourism

Vietnam in south-eastern Asia is arguably one of the most beautiful countries on the continent offering a blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, making it an ideal destination for tourists. With a diverse range of landscapes, from stunning coastlines and towering mountains to lush deltas and vibrant cities Vietnam provides quite an unmatched experience. 

Vietnam is a land of contrasts. It is home to some of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world, like Da Nang, Nha Trang, or Phu Quoc Island, where crystal-clear waters and white sands create a tropical paradise. On the other hand, Vietnam's cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are dynamic hubs with bustling markets, lively street life, and a vibrant food scene offering a vibrant blend of modernity and tradition.

Vietnam boasts breathtaking landscapes that range from lush green rice terraces in Sapa to the stunning limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay. It also provides ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Trekking in the northern mountains, exploring caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, or cruising the Mekong Delta are just a few options for those seeking adventure. Water sports, such as diving, snorkeling, and kayaking, are also popular activities in coastal areas.

Vietnam's history is deeply rooted in ancient traditions and is reflected in its numerous historical sites. The country is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Complex of Hue Monuments, Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, and the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty. Also, the imperial city of Hue preserves the grandeur of Vietnam's past, featuring the Citadel and numerous royal tombs.

Molded by its turbulent and war-torn history, Vietnam today is a distant shadow of its past, with the cities and towns brimming with tall and looming skyscrapers, quaint floating markets, and mopeds zooming through the roads. Add to that the ever-delightful authentic Vietnamese cuisine, gaining popularity worldwide, and you have a wholesome experience like no other. Don't miss out on trying famous dishes like pho (noodle soup), banh mi (baguette sandwich), fresh spring rolls, and delicious seafood. 

Must Know Before You Travel to Vietnam

  • Taxis: Taxis: Mai Linh and Vinasun are two trusted taxi companies in Vietnam. You can ask or look for their representatives at the airport taxi bays on arrival. Apps such as Grab, Be, and Go Viet can also be used to book taxis. Car rentals are not very common.
  • Advance Booking: If visiting during the Vietnamese New Year Tet in January, make sure to book accommodation in advance.
  • Dress Modestly: Cover your shoulders and knees when visiting religious sites.
  • Scams: Avoid booking tours from independent tour operators and go with reputed companies to avoid being scammed.

Best time to visit Vietnam

Even though March to May is the best time to visit Vietnam countrywide, there is no bad time to visit Vietnam. It is a huge country with some parts of it always having good weather.

The best time to visit  Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa)is from October to April.
This period experiences cooler, drier weather. October to December offers comfortable temperatures, while January to April is dry and clear, ideal for exploring Halong Bay and trekking in Sapa.

The best time to visit Central Vietnam (Hue, Hoi An, Da Nang) is from February to August.
The dry season from February to August is perfect for visiting Hue's historical sites and exploring Hoi An's ancient town without rainfall disrupting plans.

The best time to visit Southern Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc) is from November to April.
The dry season from November to April offers pleasant weather for exploring Ho Chi Minh City, touring the Mekong Delta, and enjoying the beaches of Phu Quoc Island.

Holidify's opinion on Travel to Vietnam

What's Great about Travelling to Vietnam?

Rich history, stunning landscapes, diverse culture, delicious cuisine, affordable prices, friendly locals.

What's Not So Great about Travelling to Vietnam?

Traffic congestion, language barrier, occasional tourist scams, air pollution in urban areas

Who should Travel to Vietnam?

People who love exploring vibrant cultures, immersing in rich history, savoring diverse cuisines, and embracing breathtaking natural landscapes are drawn to traveling in Vietnam. Additionally, adventurous souls, history enthusiasts, food lovers, and budget-conscious travelers often find Vietnam appealing.

Read More on Vietnam Travel

Exchanging Money in Vietnam

Currency in Vietnam can be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized bureaux de change. However, the banks offer the best rates. The Vietcombank (a government bank), Incombank, Eximbank (a private enterprise) and Saigonbank are some of the main banks that are allowed to handle foreign currency transaction by the government. One will find these centres as well as ATMs only at the major cities or near popular tourist places. It is best to carry cash in case you are planning g visit small towns or villages. The most favoured foreign currency is US Dollar followed by Australian, British, Japanese, Singaporean and Thai currency. A commission is charged for changing money in banks. Avoid any kind of black market currency exchanges.

Nightlife in Vietnam

The nightlife in Vietnam is mainly restricted to major cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi's nightlife is comparatively quieter and completely slows down after 10:00 pm whereas Ho Chi Minh City is clustered with bars, clubs, pubs and some very high-end venues most of them concentrated around District 1. In Hanoi, one will find nightlife in the Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake. In small cities, one can enjoy the after hours at either small bars, hotels or some good cafe, especially in central Vietnam. Live music is usually from Philippines and Thailand performing at international hotels.

Shopping in Vietnam

Vietnam offers a great shopping experience for its visitors. With its rich culture of art and craft, the country is known for its impressive markets especially in larger metropolises like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Textiles, tapestries, jewellery, metalwork, lacquerware and ceramics are some of the main items to look out for. There are also some regional specials such as woodcarvings, tapestries, the ceramics, the jewellery and metalware. Bargaining in the country is widely accepted and is quite a norm; however, make sure to be polite. There are several souvenir shops to be found in major towns and cities with either fixed price or giving very less discounts.

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Festivals of Vietnam

Vietnam is country of many festivals, which gives its visitors a chance to take a glance into its vibrant culture. There is plethora of Vietnamese festivals throughout the year according to its Vietnamese Lunar Calendar. Tet Festival is one of the most popular festivals of the country celebrated with great zest throughout the country. The Lim festival, National Day and Tet Trung Thu or Mid-autumn Festival are the other major festivals of Vietnam. The perfume Pagoda Festival, Cau Ngu festival, Nui Ba Festival, The Mam Ngu Qua and Do Son Buffalo Fighting Festival are among other important festivals of the country.

Read more about Festivals in Vietnam

Hygiene in Vietnam

Cleanliness and hygiene is usually maintained throughout Vietnam. However, it is recommended to boil water first before drinking or brushing teeth. Bottled water is easily available and quite cheep, but make sure that seal is unbroken. Also, prefer to eat well-cooked meat, fish, vegetables and peeled fruits. Medical and health facilities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are excellent and one can find health care centre in all provinces. However, facilities are limited and so is the supply of medicines. One must take vaccination against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Vaccination against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are also advised. Carry first aid box and mosquito repellent as Dengue fever continues to be a problem.

Customs of Vietnam

  • There are no handshakes or any physical contact between opposite genders in the city while greeting each other. Only a slight bow indicates the greeting.
  • Pointing towards anyone with a foot is considered disrespectful, as the foot is believed to be lowly and dirty.
  • Head is considered spiritually significant and thus, it is inappropriate to touch that part of the body.
  • Do not leave your chopsticks in the dish when you are done with your meal; it is considered insulting. Although slurping loudly while eating rice or noodles is a sign that you enjoyed your food, it pleases the chef.
  • Make sure to dress properly while visiting a temple, cover your arms, legs, and shoulders, and remove footwear before entering a temple or any house.
  • The dressing style in Hanoi and Vietnam is quite liberal.
  • Tipping is usually practiced at big restaurants and hotels but is not mandatory.

Tips for visiting Vietnam

1. Make sure to brush up your haggling skills, as you will be overcharged for purchases almost everywhere. Price may come down more than 50 per cent.
2. You can book bus tickets using 12goasia to avoid any tourist scams.
3. Get ready for heavy traffic jams almost all the time, which gets a little horrid during peak hours.
4. If you hired a two-wheeler, be prepared to face the rule-breakers who like to ride in any direction they want.
5. Dress a little conservatively, especially while going to the temple. Make sure to cover your arms, legs, and shoulders.
6. Type An Chay on Google Maps to get a list of vegetarian options to eat at
7. Resist any argument and violence while there, as it is frowned upon.

Food of Vietnam

Vietnamese food is has its own distinct flavour from as you travel from one region to another. Where the South Vietnamese food is spicy, the North Vietnamese food is blander. However, overall the cuisine involves less oil and more of fresh vegetables. The food is always flavourful with main dished usually based on rice, noodles and soy sauce. There is also a good amount of seafood and meat involved including plenty of fish and shrimps. To add to the flavour the list of spices and condiments is endless; limes, sugar, tamarind, lemon grass, ginger, fish sauce(nuoc mam), basil, mint, Serrano peppers, coriander, dill, lemon grass are just few of them. One will also find variety of exotic fruits to choose from such as mangosteen, green dragon fruit, pomelo and three-seed cherry. Coffee is a must try with its distinct Vietnamese twist. In general, Vietnamese cuisine is regarded as healthy.

Photos of Vietnam


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FAQs on Vietnam

How to reach Vietnam from India?

Vietnam can be conveniently reached from India via its two international airports Tan Son Nhat Airport at Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai International Airport at Hanoi. There are several flight companies that offer direct services from various India cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Aurangabad, Goa and Ahmadabad etc. Flight services that ply on a regular basis include Air India, Malaysia Airlines, VietJet Air, Thai Airways, Malindo Airways, Singapore Airlines, Jet Airways, and China Southern and many more.


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