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Map

Vietnam Map

Regions
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Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Formally known as Saigon, it is the forefront of Vietnamese life. It is Vietnam’s commercial heart and largest city. From here, you can explore such varied attractions such as the Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnels, used during the Vietnam War.

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Hanoi

Hanoi is the charm of Vietnam and its capital city. It is one of the oldest cities in Asia where modernity sits alongside its antique core which is must see on any visit. A visit to nearby Halong Bay is a must from Hanoi.

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Da Lat

Unique in Vietnam, Dalat is slightly cooler in temperature and offers something different. From the architecture of the temples to the silk weaving factory to the often summer Alpine feel, Dalat is certainly worth a visit while in Vietnam. 

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Nha Trang

An amazing beach resort surrounded by incredible hills, Nha Trang also has superb temples, mud baths and a wide range of adventure activities available. Your place to experience a different side of Vietnam. 

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Hoi An

The ancient town of Hoi An was once a major trading post of South East Asia and still retains much of its charm. It is a great place for its wide array of museums, galleries and shops. 

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Hue

With several sites in Hue with UNESCO heritage status, it is the place to come to unearth the culture that is Vietnam including the Old Imperial Capital and the most incredible Cham art in the world. 

Key Facts

Weather

Vietnam follows a monsoon pattern climate and has three seasons, the hot season (Feb-May), rainy season (June to Oct) and the cold season (Oct – Feb).

Currency

The Vietnamese Dong is the official currency of Vietnam. ATMs and bureau de change are available in all major tourist areas. The Dong is fixed by the Government so the rate will be same at the airport or in a town. 

Electrics

Many hotels have two different sockets with many having the UK 3 flat pin as well as a 2 round pin. We recommend taking with a universal plug adaptor as this could change. 

Visa requirements

You will need a visa letter in advance which is easily obtained by one of several agencies for around $20. When you arrive, you will need to then pay for the visa so make sure you have cash with you (USD) for the amount of the visa (the price depends on length and multi-entry). You won’t be able to get cash from the plane to the visa payment area. 

National Food & Drink

Each region has its unique cuisine. The climate reflects this – in the North you will find more freshwater fish and a blander taste, in the centre more spices and in the south where it is warmer more seafood and fresh fruit and vegetables.  Take a cooking class to really understand how this blend works. 

Times zones

Vietnam is in the Indochina time zone which is +7 GMT

Language

Vietnamese if the language of the country. English is widely spoken in the major tourist areas and some French is still understood by the older generation. 

Shopping

The list of Vietnamese bargains is endless and features tailoring and the national dress, the 'ao dai' from high-quality silk and many other types of material and textiles. Also, local handicraft, art and jewellery is readily available – be prepared to barter. 

History

Heavily influenced by its neighbours including China and the French colonisation Vietnam’s long history is very evident. Following the Vietnam War in 1975 and reunification under Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam still remains a communist country but an open policy of trade. 

Transport

There is a good bus and train service to get around Vietnam. There are also airports in most major tourist destinations with a good domestic network. Alternatively, if you have time, take a boat between the South and North. 

Drinking Water

You should only drink sealed bottled water. Your hotel should provide you with this. When outside, ensure that the water you buy is sealed with a plastic cover to avoid contamination. 

Key dates

January 1 - New Year

From last day of the last lunar month to 4th day of the first lunar month - Tet (Vietnamese New Year)

April 30 - Liberation Day/Reunification Day

May 1 - International Workers' Day

September 2 - National Day (Vietnam)

Top Things To Do
Take a vespa tour of the city

Take a Vespa Tour of the City

The main mode of transport is motorbike. To see the cities of Vietnam, experience this like the locals.

Ha Long Bay Cruise

Ha Long Bay Cruise

You will witness the beautiful scenery of beaches, caves and limestone pillars which are all part of this famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay while on the cruise.

Cu Chi Tunnel

Cu Chi Tunnel

 

It is the best-preserved historical example of guerilla warfare that covers significant stretches of Vietnam. The Chu Chi Tunnel is the symbolical representation of Viet Cong's resilience during American War.

 

A Taste for Vietnamese Cuisine

A taste for Vietnamese Cuisine

Wonderful street kitchens are piled up along the bustling city streets of Vietnam. There’s something for every palate. 

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