8 easy steps to plan your first trip to Vietnam

29, November, 2016

8 easy steps to plan your first trip to Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful country in Southeast Asia sharing the borders with China to the North, Laos & Cambodia to the West, South China Sea to the East and the Gulf of Thailand to the South. Thanks to the early history as well as the diversified topography, Vietnam is a rarely country in the world that offers travelers numerous spectacular places to visit and amazing things to do. Stretching from the North to the South are dozens of iconic beaches, consisting of either popular town beaches or quiet and off-the beaten-path beaches where you can have a fantastic escape even if you are couple, family or friends. Vietnam is also well-known for outstanding World Heritage Sites that have become popular tourist destinations and welcome hundreds of tourists everyday. In addition, Vietnam is a great country for adventurers as there are many remote areas in Vietnam still being intact from mass tourism.

With all the above exceptional values, Vietnam is deserved to be one of the best places to visit in the world where you should go for once in your lifetime. Then, take your time to read our below 8 steps for easily planning your Vietnam tour package and you will not be disappointed.

1. Decide which month to go: Your traveling period must depend on your personal schedule, of course, like asking for permission from your school or company, however, you should also check-out the best times for traveling to Vietnam in order that you will have a completely perfect holiday.

Vietnam weather is varied from North to South, but generally is divided into three different regions: the North, the Centre and the South.

Best time for visiting to the North is from October to April when you can get dry weather, though it will be severely cold from December till February. From May to September are known as rainy season, nevertheless, those months will be the best time for visiting to the far North where you can see beautiful rice terraces.

Unlike the North, the Centre gets its best weather from Jan till August as it will be dry and cool during those months.

Finally, the weather in the South of Vietnam is best from November to April. In addition, it is hot all year round in the South instead of having some winter months like the North.

2. Look for the best places to go: This factor may affect to your tour duration as the more places you want to visit in Vietnam, the more days you need to stay there. Then, read carefully about each destination in Vietnam so that you will make all right decisions.

If you don’t have time and only expect for popular destinations, the recommended places are Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, Halong Bay, Hue Royal Citadel, Hoi An Ancient Town, Ho Chi Minh city and Mekong Delta.

If you are adventure lovers, adding some days to visit the far North of Vietnam with remote mountainous area is really a great idea as it is fulfilled with rolling high steep mountains, hill tribe villages, colorful ethnic people and mysterious culture.  

Having some days at beach for relaxing is also advised if you have time as beach resorts are another advantage of Vietnam tourism besides paradise beaches.

halong bay cruise

3. Check out the best things to do in Vietnam: Visiting to historical and cultural sites only seem to be fairly boring. Fill your vacation with the most interesting activities to do in Vietnam and your trip will surely be memorable.

In Hanoi, you should not miss street food tour as the city is even regarded as paradise of street foods thanks to its mouth-watering cuisine. Many foods and drinks are well known all over the world like Pho, Banh My, Spring Roll, Egg Coffee, etc. Joining the trip, you have chance to visit some local markets and taste the best street foods in Hanoi. Also, cyclo ride and water puppet show are the things you should try. They are cheap but interesting in cultural factor as well as entertainment. Moreover, if you are lucky to stay in Hanoi right at the weekend, you can enjoy walking streets that were just opened from Sep 2016.

The next one is countryside tour in Hoi An – a tour combined from both outdoor and indoor activities such as biking, farming, basket-boat riding and cooking. Besides countryside tour, diving at Cham Island is another option that you should consider while traveling in Hoi An. The island is featured with beautiful seascapes and landscapes and amazing coral reef as well.

Vespa tours are organized in many cities in Vietnam, however, Ho Chi Minh is the best place to experience that type of motorbike tour. Stay behind a cautious Vespa driver, you can entirely immerge yourselves in the local life with crowded narrow streets, tree-lined boulevards, traffic lights and colorful neon lights.

If you want to try something different from bustling cities, tourist pubs and luxury hotels, homestay is the exact thing that you are expecting to experience. Homestay is located at countryside areas or hill tribe villages where you have chance to stay as close as possible to the local people, then discover their daily life activities as well as unique lifestyle in the best ways.

4. Decide how many days you have: After going for a round of all the things you may want to do and see in Vietnam, you should decide the exact days as well as the exact dates you will spend there.

5. Choose a good and cheap international airline to fly with: Now, it is time for you to finalize your trip by booking the international flight tickets. Nowadays, there are many different airlines operating air routes to Vietnam, then, you should spend time finding good and cheapest airfares. Vietnam Airlines – the best local airline should be on your check-list as it has opened direct flights from many countries to Vietnam with competitive airfares. Vivutravel is one stop service, but we advise our tourists to book the fight to Vietnam from their end as it is cheaper.

6. Book hotels: The next step is of course, booking all hotels in advance. Depending on your budget, you can choose suitable accommodations ranging from 3 star hotels to 5 star hotels or lower types and higher types. Basically, 3 star hotels cost from US $40-80 per room per night. 4 star hotels cost from 80-US $130 usd per room per night. 5 star hotels cost from US $130-200 usd per room per night. Those estimated costs are applied for hotels in the cities only that are much higher at beach resorts. In general, tourist hotels in Vietnam are located right at the city centers, fully equipped and beautifully designed with friendly staff and nice buffet breakfasts.

7. Book domestic flights: There are 3 local airlines that you can check for your domestic flights consisting of Jet Star, Viet Jet and Vietnam Airline, in which, Vietnam Airline is the best one with more air routes whereas the others are called cheap airlines.

8. Have key tips on hand: Having the key tips on hand is the final thing you should do before traveling to Vietnam.

vietnam travel tips

- Currency & payment method: In tourist centers, USD is widely accepted whereas Vietnam Dong – local currency should be used at small and unpopular cities. It is very difficult to withdraw USD from Vietnam Banks, then you should bring along some USD or using local currency is also fine by withdrawing from local ATMs. For small amounts, it is advised to pay in cash in USD or Vietnam Dong and big amounts should be paid by credit cards. Credit cards machines are equipped at many shopping stores and restaurants with unfixed bank fees from 2 – 4%.

- Dressing: Even you are going around or to some solemn places like pagodas and temples, you should not wear revealing clothes as dressing is still under strict consideration by Vietnamese.

- Cross a street: Crossing a street is not difficult and dangerous as you think if you follow some rules. Firstly and easiest, wait until you see a local and keep crossing the street with him. If you can’t wait, keep walking until you see a traffic light, then it is easier for you to cross a street. Finally, don’t try to run as fast as possible when crossing the street. Walk slowly with short spaces in order that the motorbike riders can dodge to avoid hitting you.

- Tipping: Due to the poor economic life, locals seem to expect very much to be tipped from foreign tourists. You should consider that issue and cover it based on your traveling budget. It can be small dollars like one or two USD for doorman, housekeeper, servant, etc.  

- Food: Besides restaurant, street food is an important part in Vietnamese cuisine. You can find street foods at every street and corner in Vietnam that are cheap and delicious and you can also enjoy the open-air atmosphere.  

- Getting around: Taxi is the recommended mean of transportation when getting around the country. To be safer and more comfortable, you should choose good taxi companies like Mai Linh Taxi and Taxi Group. Uber is now available at many big cities like Hanoi, Danang & Ho Chi Minh. For getting around the city centers like in Hue, Hanoi, Hoi An, cyclo is a good option but more expensive and unsuitable for long distance in hot weather.

- Popular foreign languages: English and French are the two most popular languages in Vietnam, especially in tourist centers. You can easily ask for help from local people or even make fun chat with them.

For sure, those above steps are easy, however, take time. Then if you want to save time, pass all information to a local travel agent who can help you plan a beautiful trip to Vietnam in the shortest time and most effective way. Their tour prices are also competitive and even similar to the amounts that you may book on your own. As a leading tour operator in Vietnam & Indochina, Vivutravel are very pleased to be on your sides from your very first steps till your trip is finished. And we promise you an unforgettable vacation with reasonable costs. Please feel free to contact us at vivutravel.com if you have any question or need any more assistance.