Visitors to Vietnam will notice that, invariably, the major streets of every city and town bear the same two dozen names. These are the names of Vietnams greatest national heroes who, over the last 2000 years, have led the country in it’s repeated expulsions of foreign invaders.
Vietnam offers adventures and curiosities around every corner. Be ready for a wild ride in a colourful and chaotic land - along the way, you’ll discover tranquil places and opportunities to connect with local people. Below are the best Vietnam has to offer, from fine dining to off the beaten track oddities.
Vietnam travel has been high on the list of western tourists and travellers for the last few years, with an average of 15 million international visitors a year visiting the country. Tourists flock to the country for its friendly people, inspiring cultures and opportunity to experience a country still growing.
Over the last three years visitor numbers to Vietnam from the UK have grown, with Vietnam holidays now high on the annual holiday plans of the British traveller.
Tourists from the UK are looking for an enhanced cultural experience in a country where history and diversity offers them a unique holiday destination. Its a country for creating memories to share with friends and family.
When visiting from the UK, there are many considerations you need to think of before embarking on your Vietnam travel adventure. Planning and research will ensure your trip is memorable and makes the most of what you want to explore in the time you have and within your budget.
Check out our hints and tips of what you need to know before embarking on your adventure of a lifetime.
Do you need a visa to enter Vietnam from the UK?
If you plan to stay longer than 15 days, you must apply for a Vietnam visa online in advance, there is a small application fee.
The VISA will be viewed at the airport upon your arrival along with two passport photographs. You will also pay another small fee for your VISA in cash at the immigration desk. The fee varies depending how long you stay and can be paid in US dollars.
What is the currency in Vietnam?
The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong. Dong bills are denominations between 1000 and 500,000 and coins range from 200 – 5000. It is worth carrying US dollars as they are accepted in some places and can be exchanged for local currency. Carry small bills and lose change, this will come in handy for tipping and using local transportation. Keep the change separate from larger bills so it is easy to access.
Cashpoint Machines are becoming readily available throughout Vietnam and are a safe way of using your Credit card to draw cash.
Packing - Less is more in the tropics
Keep clothing light and lose. You are sure to hit hot sticky weather on any route throughout Vietnam. The old rule of ‘less is more’ applies here. Loose, long sleeve shirts and long pants, preferably cotton, are recommended. Shorts are good for swimming, but if you are traveling through tropical forests you will need to watch the bugs.
Remember less is more in Vietnam and you all not have to worry about carrying too much when on your tour through this wonderful country.
Staying Healthy in Vietnam
Healthy concerns should comprise and important piece of your preparation for a holiday to Vietnam, and be healthy on the road takes vigilance. Make it a priority. Tropical heat and mosquitoes are the biggest dangers, other than motorcycles in the cities.
You should also take caution over the extreme change in diet and sanitary standards in the smaller villages you will visit on your tour.
Your tour operator will be able to advise you on the best way to stay healthy on your tour throughout Vietnam.
What can you expect from the cities?
Vietnam is dotted with spectacular, colourful and bustling cities.
Each offering their own quirks, traditional cuisines and cultural sites. Travel to any Vietnam city and you will be able to explore temples, eat delicious street food and browse their many night markets. From Han Noi to Danang; you will not be disappointed.
With each city you will be able to appreciate the vast history of Vietnam. A country that has been through a turbulent and violent past, a past that has made Vietnam the country it is today.
You cannot fail but be amazed at where it is now. Travel to some of the oldest temples in the world and absorb ancient history or simply take the time to visit a thought provoking war museum, where ever you travel to Vietnam, it's past will always be close to you.
Is it easy to travel around the country?
With so many transport options, your tour operator will be able to advise the best way of moving around the country.
The train is still a popular way of touring the country; there are a number of classes, from third class hard seats to air conditioned cushioned seats to sleepers. In general the more comfortable seats are very affordable. You will need to book train journeys a few days in advance, so ask your tour operator to handle this for you.
Bus can be equally as fun! Be warned some of the buses are over crowded and can be very chaotic, however they are a fun way to see the country and are very affordable. Local buses depart from stations and will typically only leave when full - be prepared to wait!
Which area should you visit?
Vietnam is a country of diverse travel options. You can visit beautiful caves, breathtaking forests, gloriously undiscovered beaches, extremely colourful and bustling cities or the magical vastness of the Mekong River.
As there is so much to see around the country, the best way to experience a Vietnam holiday is to spend time in many different locations. Vietnam tour and travel packages offer tourists a wide range of options and cater for unique and individual itineraries.
For example you could experience the diversity of the North and South of the country, a great way to absorb the different cultures and scenery that each destination offer. Holidays should be relaxing and travelling to a new country can be stressful.
Using a tour operator is an affordable and fantastic way to ensure you can travel with peace of mind and concentrate on enjoying yourself!
How do you choose a Vietnam tour package?
A well known and highly accredited tour operator such as Vivutravel offer itineraries to a wide range of locations throughout Vietnam.
Check out the following snapshots of a Vietnam tour itinerary available from Vivutravel;
North Vietnam: Sapa is high on the list for many tourists. Offering stunning scenery, traditional villages flecked throughout vast valleys and mountains where you can hike and breath in the fresh air. Sapa offers stunning treks, a chance to immerse in traditional culture and a place to spot new and intriguing animals and enjoy nature.
South Vietnam; If you crave hustle and bustle then how about a visit to Ho Chi Min City. Situated in the South of the island, its a city full of unique architecture, many museums as well as an impressive amount of shops and city parks. One of the wealthiest cities in Vietnam you will experience a part of Vietnam full of history and wonder.
The future of Vietnam travel.
Tourism really is important for Vietnam, its a country with the ability to offer an experience for tourists looking for their own unique Vietnamese holiday; from backpackers, nature lovers, beach addicts to people seeking relaxation. Vietnam really offers a diverse holiday opportunity.
Choose Vietnam for your holiday adventure; a country full of beautiful culture, beautiful people, exotic cuisine and scenery beyond your imagination.