Vietnam Holiday: 8 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Vietnam
Are you trying to decide whether or not a Vietnam holiday should be on your agenda for your future travel plans? With the original culture, heroic historical relics, the bustling cities and the stunning coastline at over 3000 km, Vietnam has plenty to offer to build the truly memorable moments.
When to go
The most favorable time to go on a Vietnam holiday is during two particular periods: March to May and August to October. These time-frames are great for traveling because the Vietnamese weather holds at a reasonable temperature and has pretty much constant sunshine. Generally, clothing should mainly consist of light items, yet they should be complemented with a varied selection of extra layers to help when the temperature cools at night or if planning to explore the mountainous regions. Keep in mind that in central areas like Hoi An, the peak typhoon time is October to November. If planning a visit to Vietnam during a potential typhoon time, you really want to have a plan B in place should the weather turn and flooding in these regions is a real possibility.
Applying for a visa
The process of applying for the visa for an upcoming trip to Vietnam may seem stressful, but the Vietnamese authorities have made the process as quick and easy as possible. Any foreign visitors can apply for a visa by contacting the Embassy of Vietnam (a response usually takes about 7 days.) Additionally, it is possible to apply for a visa on arrival which costs about $45 per person.
However, there is a visa exemption program in place for tourists from certain countries such as Spain, Italy, Germany, France, the UK, Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway), South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Laos and Japan, which indicates that Vietnam is very serious about promoting its tourism industry. The visa exemption only applies for a certain period of time (15 to 30 days), so it is essential to check your individual county requirements before traveling.
Understanding health care
In the lead up to a planned Vietnam holiday there are no officially stated requirements for vaccinations. However, to be extra cautious visitors are generally advised to visit the doctor before leaving home for up-to-date inoculations. The advised inoculations include Japanese encephalitis, hepatitis A & B, TABT (typhoid, paratyphoid A&B and tetanus), tuberculosis, meningitis and polio.
A mosquito-borne illness like malaria is unlikely in the large or major cities, but if traveling out to the more rural, forest-covered or mountainous regions there is a greater risk, especially if the planned holiday is taking place during the rainy season. There are several steps that can be taken to lower the risk of contracting malaria. Simple methods include applying a high-quality mosquito repellent to any skin left exposed and wearing appropriate clothing that covers most of the skin (socks, long pants, long-sleeve tops, etc.). These rules apply more at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes are most active.
One illness to watch out for when traveling to Vietnam includes diarrhea, but this is easy to treat or manage by controlling the diet and sticking to plain fluids and food.
Experience a Vietnam holiday
So, what are the reasons to experience a Vietnam holiday with friends or family members? Let’s take a look at what you are likely to encounter on a planned trip to this East Asian country:
Vietnam is rich in beautiful landscapes that span the entire length of the country, and has plenty of hidden gems when it comes to ancient history and historical relics. This country has several World Heritage sites like Cu Lao Cham, Hoi An Ancient Street, the caves at Phong Nha Ke Bang and Halong Bay, which are all appreciated for their extreme beauty. But, there are plenty of non-heritage sites that have the ability to truly surprise the visitor of this magnificent country. In the Thai Binh province is Keo pagoda which is a religious retreat with cultural performances, religious ceremonies and traditional rituals to admire. Elsewhere at Dalat there is exception rural and landscape environments with a pine forest next to French style villas and surrounded by strawberry gardens.
For those travelers looking to take a complete break from the everyday stresses of life, Vietnam is generously blessed with a variety of stunning beaches. Mui Ne Beach is great for its delicious fresh seafood meals. Da Nang beach gives access to variety of quite and peaceful resorts for families or couples, while the Nha Trang beach is perfect for those looking to try their hand at surfing.
Whether you plan to visit an off-the-beaten-path attraction or a must-see site place on the UNESCO World Heritage list, you are certain to be pleased with the choices made.
Travel to neighboring countries
Vietnam is well-located and gives complete ease in traveling to neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, such as China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. A direct flight is the quickest route to further destinations, but can be ridiculously expensive for certain countries. However, for those that want to save money or be a bit more adventurous it is possible to complete an ongoing journey to a destination like Laos by bus or river boat.
Low-cost travel experience
The actual cost of services and travel in Vietnam is quite low, which makes this a perfect destination for the traveler that is very budget conscious. Even though the cost of travel in certain regions has seen a daunting increase in cost, there are still plenty of places to explore that are still much cheaper than traveling to other countries nearby. There is a Vietnam holiday for every traveler. For the low-end of the market, the major cities will have plenty of guesthouses and hostels with acceptable accommodation. And at the other end of the market, a stay at Da Nang in a 5 star resort is still at a very reasonable price. Even for the traveler exploring Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, or other large metropolitan areas, you can easily get by on about $15 per day.
Rich and exquisite cuisine
If you are a fan of the delicious Vietnamese cuisine (spring rolls, banh mi, pho, etc.) served in a local restaurant at home, you are certain to be delighted with the authentic food served in Vietnam. The Vietnamese food goes well beyond springs rolls and pho with the different dishes varying by region. Many dishes are dominated by fresh vegetables, while the poultry and meat inspired dishes are gaining great traction and increasing in popularity. A major benefit of the beach holiday resorts such as those in Da Nang and Nha Trang, is the ability get served with a dish consisting of freshly caught seafood. Even if eating the freshest seafood it is still cheap with a king-size crab costing in the region of $8, and this is easily enough for two people.
A great treat for the foreign traveler is the Vietnamese street foods that are certain to give a memorable experience. The list of dishes prepared on the roadside eateries and street carts is impressive with popular choices like rice vermicelli with pork pies, chicken rice; broken rice with grilled pork, spring rolls, sticky rice, pho, and banh mi. If you are not expecting a special dish and have no problem with the popular choices, there is absolutely no reason to go hungry while traveling the city streets. But, always look out for the clean and well kept eateries to avoid the risk of poor street food hygiene.
Hospitality and culture
The Vietnamese people are appreciated across the world for their great hospitality, generosity, politeness and grace. Any Vietnam holiday that lets you mix with the locals is certain to be a pleasure as they will make every effort to ensure your stay in their country is as fun and enjoyable as possible. The great hospitality is simply inherent of the local Vietnamese population. You will be helped by the inhabitants and get the enthusiastic and warm smiles wherever you go. For instance, the residents of Hue are elegant and sweet with a royal-like attitude, while those in Hoi An are widely known for their honesty.
A certain degree of decorum should be followed in relation to dress. While there are no strict rules in place, it is good manners to at least abide by what its culturally accepted. When traveling in Vietnam, the foreign travelers are appreciated if they will wear proper attire when out in public. For instance, if you are planning a visit to a local pagoda or temple, the proper type of clothing should include long pants and long-sleeved shirt. Avoid wearing inappropriate clothing like shorts or a short-sleeved shirt.
Walk the shopping districts
Shoppers with a particular taste in ethnic handicrafts and fashion will have a very pleasure time on the Vietnam holiday. From traditional women’s outfits to ethnic scarves and earrings, there are plenty of great offers that are available across every region of the country. In the delightful and atmospheric town of Hoi An, it is even possible to visit a speed tailor and have a dress or suit prepared from scratch in just a day.
Mainly thanks to the Buddhist influence, rich tradition and its long history, Vietnam has plenty of traditional celebrations and festivals that can happen at anytime of the year. Plus, many of the celebrations are entirely different to what is experienced in the West, so this makes it a really fun and surprising time for the tourist. The most notable holiday in Vietnam is the Tet Vietnamese New Year. This holiday marks the completion of a lunar year and the start of a new year. This is a traditional time with families visiting relatives or friends or going to the temple. Other features of this celebration include the use of firecrackers to drive away the evil spirit and children receiving a red envelope that contains money.
A further event includes the National Day of Vietnam that is a public holiday on the 2nd September, and sees admiration parades taking place nationwide with fireworks taking over the night’s sky.
Get adventurous and explore the diverse and varied regions of Vietnam like the locals do. Rent a suitable vehicle like a four-wheel drive or motorbike and travel to the mountainous regions in the North of the country, or even drive the entire length of the country from the northern to the southern point. This is certain to create the most epic riding experience, but isn’t likely to be appreciated by the faint hearted. For the experienced cave diver there is the opportunity to explore the cave system in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. This gives access to some of the 104KM of caves and underground rivers in the region, including the world’s largest cave Son Doong. For the water sport enthusiast, the southern beach cities give great access to sky surfing and diving opportunities, while a visit the highland city Da Lat is perfect for the extremely thrilling canyoning adventures.
Whether you are looking for a journey of healing to admire the traditional medical methods, a unique travel experience through the mountainous regions or a relaxing stay on one of the world famous beaches, a Vietnam holiday is certain to appeal to those in search of a nowhere-to-be-found break from everyday life.