A serene depiction of Ho Chi Minh City, emphasizing its historical charms and rich past. The image showcases French colonial landmarks, highlighting t

7 Must-Know Tips for Unforgettable Vietnam Travels!

Vietnam Travel Tours

Introduction to Vietnam: A Traveler’s Paradise

Vietnam, known for its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is a destination that appeals to all types of travellers. The country’s history is a complex tapestry of indigenous dynasties, colonial influences, and modern development, creating a unique cultural blend. Vietnam’s geography is equally diverse, with its long coastline, lush mountains, and bustling cities offering a range of experiences.

In this Vietnam travel guide, we’ll give you broad strokes—an overall view of what you can experience by travelling to Vietnam. This guide will prepare you to make intelligent decisions if you want to visit.

Embracing Vietnam’s Cultural and Historical Richness

Vietnam’s culture reflects its history, with influences from Chinese, French, and American presence. The country’s traditional values are evident in its art, architecture, and festivals. Exploring Vietnam’s historical sites, such as the ancient town of Hoi An and the imperial city of Hue, provides a glimpse into its storied past.

The Unique Geography of Vietnam

Vietnam’s geography varies from north to south, featuring everything from mountains and rice terraces in the north to fertile deltas in the south. This diversity offers travellers a variety of landscapes to explore, including the iconic limestone karsts of Halong Bay and the beaches of Phu Quoc Island.

Planning Your Trip: Essential Tips

When planning a trip to Vietnam, there are several key considerations to remember. Understanding the best time to visit, visa requirements, and budgeting for your trip will help ensure a smooth journey.

Best Time to Visit Vietnam

Vietnam’s climate varies regionally, so the best time to visit depends on where you’re headed. Generally, the dry season from November to April is ideal for visiting most parts of the country, with comfortable temperatures and less rainfall. Accuweather is often accurate if you’re looking for a reliable app to keep track of the weather.

Visa and Entry Requirements

Most travellers will need a visa to enter Vietnam. You can apply for a visa online or through a Vietnamese embassy. Could you check the latest visa requirements and prepare documents before your trip? It is often necessary to bring your passport-size photos, and we recommend that you have your outbound trip arrangements ready to display if you are asked for them.

Budgeting for Your Trip

Vietnam is known for being a budget-friendly destination, but it’s still essential to plan your finances. Consider your accommodation preferences, travel style, and planned activities when budgeting. Street food and local transportation can help you save money while enjoying an authentic experience. There is also a learning curve when it comes to understanding Vietnamese currency. When paying, take your time counting and understanding the different denominations slowly in the beginning.

Top Destinations in Vietnam

Vietnam’s diverse destinations cater to all tastes, whether looking for urban excitement, historical exploration, or natural beauty. Now, we’ll look into the many destinations you can choose from during your trip.

Exploring the Vibrant Streets of Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a city where traditional Vietnamese culture meets French colonial architecture. The Old Quarter is a must-visit, with its narrow streets lined with shops, cafes, and street vendors. Take advantage of the Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature, showcasing the city’s history and tranquillity amidst the urban hustle.

The Historical Charms of Ho Chi Minh City

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the economic hub of Vietnam. The city is known for its French colonial landmarks, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. The War Remnants Museum offers a poignant look at Vietnam’s turbulent history.

The Natural Wonders of Halong Bay

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is famous for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped with rainforests. A cruise through the bay is a must-do, offering breathtaking views and opportunities to explore caves and floating villages.

The Serenity of Hoi An

Hoi An, a well-preserved ancient town, is known for its charming streets, colourful lanterns, and rich history. The city blends Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, and European influences, visible in its architecture and cuisine. This tranquil town is also a top destination for foodies and health enthusiasts. Restaurants in Hoi An include International cuisine and local food made with recipes that date back hundreds of years.

Vietnamese Cuisine: A Culinary Journey

Vietnam cuisine is healthy and delicious

Vietnam’s cuisine is as diverse as its landscapes, offering a variety of flavours and dishes that will delight any food lover. From bustling street food stalls to traditional restaurants, Vietnamese food is all about balance – of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavours. Learn from a local how to make your own Ban Xeo in rice paper for a truly unique dining experience.

Street Food That You Can’t-Miss

Vietnamese street food is world-renowned, and for good reason. Must-try dishes include pho (a fragrant noodle soup), banh mi (a type of sandwich), and goi cuon (fresh spring rolls). Each region has its specialities, so try the local versions. As a pro tip, the local spots with Grandmother cooking are exceptionally delicious.

Traditional Vietnamese Dishes

Apart from the famous pho and banh mi, other traditional dishes along the coast include bun cha (grilled pork with noodles), cao lau (a unique type of noodle from Hoi An), and seafood dishes. Each dish tells a story of Vietnam’s culinary history and regional variations.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options in Vietnam

Vietnam offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, thanks to the influence of Buddhist cuisine. Tofu, mushrooms, and fresh vegetables are commonly used in bun rieu chay (vegetarian noodle soup) and banh xeo chay (vegetarian crispy pancakes). Happy Cow has the latest info about vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Vietnam.

Cultural Insights: Understanding Vietnamese Traditions

Understanding the cultural nuances of Vietnam can significantly enhance your travel experience. The country’s traditions are deeply rooted in its history and daily life.

Festivals and Celebrations

Vietnamese festivals like Tet (Lunar New Year) and Mid-Autumn Festival are vibrant and colourful events. These family-oriented festivals involve customs like ancestor worship and traditional foods. If you plan to visit during the Lunar Near Year, note that some shops may be closed. Plan if there is any shopping you need to take care of.

A vibrant depiction of Lunar New Year celebrations in Hanoi, Vietnam, featuring traditional Ao Dai attire, a colorful dragon dance, and festive red and gold decorations against a backdrop of historical architecture and fireworks.

Lunar New Year celebration in Vietnam

Traditional Attire and Etiquette

Awareness of traditional attire and etiquette is essential when visiting temples or attending cultural events. Ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese dress, is often worn on special occasions. Locals appreciate it if you respect and follow local customs, such as removing shoes when entering homes.

The Role of Family in Vietnamese Society

Family is central to Vietnamese culture, with multiple generations often living under one roof. Respect for elders and family values are essential aspects of daily life. Understanding this familial structure can offer insights into the heart of Vietnamese society. It’s also important to know that people in different regions of the Country may speak differently and enjoy different customs. Vietnam is a diverse place with many different ethnic groups.

Adventure Travel in Vietnam

Vietnam is not just about cultural exploration; it’s also an adventure traveller’s paradise, offering activities from trekking to kayaking.

Trekking in Sapa

Sapa, in the northern mountains, is a trekking hotspot. Its terraced rice fields and ethnic minority villages offer a glimpse into rural Vietnamese life. Trekking in Sapa is a chance to experience Vietnam’s natural beauty and cultural diversity. Sapa offers a wide variety of accommodations, from 5-star resorts to local homestay experiences.

Kayaking in Halong Bay

Kayaking is an excellent option for a different perspective of Halong Bay’s stunning scenery. Paddling through the bay allows you to explore caves and hidden lagoons up close, offering a unique and tranquil experience.

Motorbike Tours Across the Country

Exploring Vietnam on a motorbike is an adventure like no other. It allows you to travel off the beaten path, visit remote areas, and experience the country at your own pace. However, being aware of traffic rules and road conditions is essential. Please wear a helmet if you travel by motorbike and always be alert. Not everyone will be following the same traffic laws you are used to.

Relaxing in Vietnam: Beaches and Resorts

Phu Quoc Kiss Bridge in VietnamVietnam’s long coastline has beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. These destinations are the ideal remedy for a stressful life.

Unwinding in Phu Quoc

With its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Phu Quoc Island is an ideal place to relax. The island is also known for its pepper plantations and pearl farms, adding to its charm. The island’s highly anticipated and beautiful “kiss bridge” has opened this year.

The Sandy Beaches of Nha Trang

Nha Trang is famous for its beaches and scuba diving. The city also offers a range of resorts and spas where you can unwind and enjoy the tropical climate.

Historical Sites and Museums

Vietnam’s history is rich and tumultuous, and its many historical sites and museums offer a window into its past. These spots offer you the best learning experience during your trip to Vietnam.

The War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is a powerful reminder of the Vietnam War’s impact on Ho Chi Minh City. The exhibits include photographs, military vehicles, and artefacts, providing an insightful yet sobering experience.

The Imperial City of Hue

The Imperial City in Hue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for history enthusiasts. This walled palace was the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty, and its architecture is a spectacular representation of Vietnamese feudal history.

Shopping in Vietnam

Shopping in Vietnam is an adventure, offering everything from traditional handicrafts to modern goods.

Markets and Shopping Streets

Vietnamese markets, such as Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi, are vibrant and bustling. Here, you can find a variety of goods, including clothing, spices, and local handicrafts.

Local Crafts and Souvenirs

Vietnam is known for its handicrafts, such as silk, lacquerware, and ceramics. Buying these items gives you a unique souvenir and supports local artisans.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Vietnam’s cities come alive at night, offering various entertainment options.

The Nightlife of Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is famous for its dynamic nightlife, with a range of bars, clubs, and rooftop lounges. Whether you’re looking for a quiet evening or a night of dancing, the city has something for everyone.

Traditional Vietnamese Performances

For a more cultural experience, traditional Vietnamese performances, such as water puppetry and folk music shows, are a must-see. These performances are a beautiful way to experience Vietnam’s artistic heritage.

Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Gems of Vietnam

Scenic view of the tranquil Con Dao Islands with a traditional Vietnamese boat on a pristine beach, and a peaceful scene of the Mekong Delta with a wooden boat gliding through waterways lined with mangroves and stilt houses, showcasing Vietnam's natural beauty and rural charm.

Beyond the famous tourist spots, Vietnam has hidden gems waiting to be explored.

Lesser-Known Destinations

Places like the Con Dao Islands and the Mekong Delta offer a more off-the-beaten-path experience, away from the usual tourist trails.

Unique Experiences for Adventurous Travelers

Vietnam has unique experiences, such as staying in a traditional stilt house in the northern highlands or taking a cooking class in Hoi An.

Accommodation Options: From Budget to Luxury

Vietnam offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences.

Hostels and Guesthouses for Budget Travelers

Hostels and guesthouses offer affordable and comfortable accommodations for those on a budget. Many also provide opportunities to meet other travellers.

Luxury Resorts and Hotels

Vietnam’s luxury resorts and hotels offer world-class amenities and services for those seeking more comfort, often in stunning locations. Brands like Novotel and Intercontinental offer all the comforts of home with a twist of local culture.

Travel Guides Vietnam: Navigating the Country

Getting around Vietnam is integral to the travel experience, with options ranging from public transport to private vehicles.

Public Transportation Options

Vietnam’s public transportation, including buses and trains, is affordable for travel between cities. In cities, taxis and ride-sharing apps are convenient for shorter distances. Apps like Grab make it easy to find a ride or get food delivery at a reasonable price.

Renting Vehicles for Personal Travel

Renting a motorbike or car allows you to explore at your own pace. Please be sure to check local driving regulations and make sure you have the appropriate license. On many occasions, a car with a driver can be acquired for less than just renting a car back in your hometown.

Safety and Health Tips While Traveling

Staying safe and healthy is crucial when travelling in Vietnam. Travellers can ensure a more enjoyable trip by being aware of local health and safety guidelines.  Travel insurance such as safetywing is an excellent idea to protect you in an accident.

Vaccinations and Health Precautions

Before travelling to Vietnam, consult with a healthcare provider about recommended vaccinations. It’s also wise to carry a basic first aid kit and be aware of the local healthcare facilities in the areas you’ll be visiting. Please look for the latest health information before booking your flights.

Staying Safe in Vietnam

Vietnam is generally a safe country for travellers. However, being cautious with personal belongings and aware of your surroundings is essential, especially in crowded areas.

An illustration showing travelers on an eco-friendly tour in Vietnam, guided through a verdant forest by a local. They are observing wildlife responsibly, equipped with binoculars and sustainable gear, amidst signs advocating for environmental conservation, with a sustainable eco-lodge in the background, embodying the spirit of responsible tourism in Vietnam's natural landscapes.

Sustainable and Responsible Tourism

As travellers, we must be mindful of our impact on the places we visit. Vietnam offers many opportunities for sustainable and responsible tourism.

Supporting Local Communities

Choosing to stay in locally-owned accommodations and purchasing goods from local artisans are great ways to support the local economy.

Eco-Friendly Travel Practices

Engaging in eco-friendly practices, such as reducing plastic use and respecting wildlife and natural habitats, contributes to conserving Vietnam’s beautiful environment.

Photography in Vietnam: Capturing Memories

Vietnam’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture make it a photographer’s paradise.

Best Spots for Photography

From Sapa’s rice terraces to Hanoi’s bustling streets, there are countless opportunities for capturing stunning images. Be sure to ask for permission before photographing people.

Tips for Taking Great Photos

Early morning and late afternoon offer the best light for photography. Experimenting with different angles and compositions can produce more exciting and dynamic photos.

Learning the Language: Basic Vietnamese Phrases

While English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning a few basic Vietnamese phrases can enhance your travel experience.

Essential Phrases for Travelers

Simple phrases like “Xin chào” (hello), “Cảm ơn” (thank you), and “Bao nhiêu?” (how much?) can go a long way in daily interactions.

Language Learning Resources

Many resources are available for learning Vietnamese, including language apps, phrasebooks, and language courses. We recommend the app Duo Lingo for quick learning. 

Technology and Connectivity: Staying Connected

Staying connected while travelling in Vietnam is relatively easy, with various options for accessing the internet and staying in touch.

SIM Cards and Internet Access

Purchasing a local SIM card is an affordable way to stay connected. The author has used Vittel for SIM and an unlocked phone with good results. Wi-Fi is also widely available in hotels, cafes, and restaurants.

Useful Apps for Travelers in Vietnam

Apps like Google Maps, Grab (for transportation), and currency converters can be beneficial for navigating and managing your trip in Vietnam.

Solo Travel in Vietnam: Tips and Advice

Vietnam is an excellent destination for solo travellers, offering a safe and welcoming environment.

Safety Tips for Solo Travelers

Staying in well-reviewed accommodations, keeping in touch with family or friends, and being aware of your surroundings are safety tips for solo travellers.

Meeting Other Travelers

Vietnam’s vibrant traveller community means plenty of opportunities to meet fellow travellers in hostels, cafes, or on organised tours.

Family Travel in Vietnam: A Guide for All Ages

Vietnam is a family-friendly destination, with plenty of activities and attractions suitable for travellers of all ages.

Kid-Friendly Destinations

Destinations like Hanoi’s Water Puppet Theatre and the beaches of Nha Trang offer fun and engaging experiences for children.

Tips for Traveling with Family

Planning, staying in family-friendly accommodations, and balancing sightseeing with rest periods can ensure a smooth and enjoyable family trip. Many cities will have baby cafes for young children, where Mom can get a Vietnam coffee, and the baby can play with other children.

Senior Travel in Vietnam: Comfort and Accessibility

Vietnam offers plenty of options for senior travellers seeking comfort and accessibility.

Accessible Travel Destinations

Many of Vietnam’s tourist destinations are accessible to seniors, with options for comfortable transportation and leisurely tours. Cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have a range of accommodations and activities suited to senior travellers.

Comfortable Travel Options for Seniors

Luxury cruises in Halong Bay guided cultural tours, and leisurely river cruises in the Mekong Delta are excellent ways for seniors to enjoy Vietnam’s beauty comfortably and safely.

LGBTQ+ Travel in Vietnam: A Welcoming Destination

Vietnam is becoming increasingly welcoming to LGBTQ+ travellers, with growing awareness and acceptance of the community.

LGBTQ+ Friendly Areas and Activities

Cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have several LGBTQ+-friendly bars, cafes, and events. While public displays of affection are generally uncommon in Vietnam, the LGBTQ+ community is usually accepted in urban areas.

Understanding Local Attitudes

It’s essential to be aware of local attitudes and customs. While Vietnam is tolerant, it’s advisable to be discreet in more rural or conservative areas.

Travel Guides Vietnam: Blogs and Resources

For more in-depth information and personal experiences, turning to travel blogs and resources can be incredibly helpful.

Recommended Travel Blogs

Travel blogs offer personal insights and tips that can be invaluable for planning your trip. Please be sure to look for blogs that focus on Vietnam or Southeast Asia travel. At Travel-Viet, we specialise in bringing you the latest information on Vietnam and SE Asia travel.

Useful Books and Guides

Guidebooks like Lonely Planet and Rough Guides provide comprehensive information on destinations, accommodations, and itineraries. They are an excellent resource for planning your trip.

Packing for Vietnam: What to Bring and What to Leave

Neatly arranged essential travel items for a tropical destination, featuring lightweight clothing, comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, a wide-brimmed hat, and a prominently displayed rain jacket, all set against a lush tropical background, symbolizing smart packing for destinations with warm and humid conditions like Vietnam

Packing appropriately can make a big difference in your travel experience in Vietnam.

Essential Items for Your Vietnam Trip

Lightweight clothing, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a good hat are essential. Also, could you consider bringing a quality rain jacket, as tropical showers are frequent depending on the season?

Cultural Considerations in Dressing

When visiting religious sites, it’s essential to dress modestly. This usually means covering shoulders and knees. Carrying a scarf or shawl can be handy for such occasions.

Concluding Your Journey: Reflecting on the Vietnam Experience

As your journey in Vietnam ends, it’s time to reflect on the experiences and memories you’ve gathered.

Cherishing Memories and Experiences

From the bustling cities to the serene countryside, Vietnam offers many experiences. Reflecting on these moments can deepen your appreciation for the country’s culture and beauty.

Planning Your Next Visit

Many travellers find themselves drawn back to Vietnam. As you conclude your trip, consider what you might like to explore on your next visit, perhaps delving deeper into the country’s rich history and diverse landscapes.


FAQs About Traveling in Vietnam

  1. What is the best time to visit Vietnam? The best time to visit Vietnam varies by region, but generally, the dry season from November to April is ideal for most parts of the country.
  2. Do I need a visa to travel to Vietnam? Most travellers will need a visa to enter Vietnam, which can be applied online or through a Vietnamese embassy.
  3. Is street food in Vietnam safe to eat? Vietnamese street food is generally safe, but it’s advisable to eat at busy stalls where food is fresh and cooked to order.
  4. Can I use credit cards in Vietnam? Credit cards are widely accepted in cities and tourist areas, but it’s good to have cash for smaller purchases, especially in rural areas.
  5. How can I stay connected in Vietnam? Purchasing a local SIM card is an affordable way to stay connected, and Wi-Fi is widely available in most urban areas.
  6. What should I pack for my trip to Vietnam? Pack lightweight clothing, comfortable walking shoes, a rain jacket, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat. Also, consider culturally appropriate attire for visiting religious sites.


Travelling to Vietnam is an adventure filled with rich cultural experiences, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. Whether exploring bustling cities, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Vietnam promises an unforgettable journey. With careful planning, respect for local customs, and an open heart, your trip to Vietnam will be filled with memories that last a lifetime.


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