It’s a well-known fact that Vietnam is magical; the country’s booming cities, gleaming skyscrapers, and breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes are some of the many reasons why Vietnam has become an important global tourism destination. No matter whether you are looking for nature, culture, nightlife, or just an unwinding beach life, Vietnam tours meet the eye and every particular taste.
Vietnam has one of the oldest cultures dating back to 2000 BC. It deserves a much fairer look into its beauty than just a cup of coffee. A trip to Hoi An will be a scintillating experience, and there is a lot more to explore when you travel to the hinterlands. The landscapes are magnificent, history is fascinating, and the culture is incredibly rich, and the people are amiable.
You can see the influence of Khmer, Chinese, French and Indian cultures in different walks of Vietnam life, and the amalgamation of cultures clearly visible in the country's food, lifestyle, architecture, and cuisine. The picture-perfect natural landscape never fails to please travelers, and Vietnam seems to flaunt its complicated history in an elegant manner.
Here are Reasons to Visit Vietnam in 2019 which is a guide to take the cue to know how old this country is.
The Most Popular Tourist Destination In Vietnam to visit in 2019
The mesmerizing natural beauty of Vietnam is a treat for backpackers, and the options for a tourist include visiting the rice paddies to the bustling cities with colorful nightlife. Here are some of the popular travel attractions to visit in Vietnam in 2019.
Hoi An is a charming and atmospheric city in Vietnam with many surviving architectures as it was a trading center in the olden days. Plenty of ancient merchant houses are now open to the public so you can get a taste of the ancient era. The best among Hoi An attractions are the Tan Ky house, the assembly hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation, Delightful Japanese Bridge, and decorated temples.
Who wouldn't love to escape to the picturesque countryside? Sapa, Vietnam’s gorgeous countryside is bordering to the peaks of the Hoang Lien Mountains, home to the country’s most beautiful rural vistas. Sapa is also a popular trekking destination with deep valleys, mountain peak and oodles of choices without any seasonal restrictions.
Dotted with over 1500 islands and islets, Halong Bay is Vietnam's natural wonder near the Chinese border. It is a UNESCO world heritage site popular among visitors for its biodiversity and surrealistic scenery. The best way to get to Halong Bay is by bus or car, and if you don't have any budget constraints, an hour-long helicopter transfer is also available. Bai Chay is Halong Bay's main gateway, and you can opt for cruise tours which include sleeping on board within the bay or head straight to Cat Ba Island.
Da Nang is a resort city of Vietnam, just like Bali is to Indonesia. From several historical sights to shopping highlights, Da Nang packs it plenty of entertainment for travelers. Da Nang also has several beaches like Lang Co Beach and My Khe Beach which offers water sports and other adventurous activities in abundance.
Stretching from Ho Chi Minh's limits to the golf of Thailand’s Mekong Delta is Vietnam's rice bowl, and it is quite popular. A visit to the Mekong Delta would be memorable mainly due to the region's diversity. There are several towns in the Mekong Delta which offers excellent facilities for tourists. Visitors can reach to Mekong Delta by road or boat. The best time to visit the delta is during the dry seasons starting from December to May, therefore make your plan to visit Vietnam during these time.
Phu Quoc, an unassuming Vietnamese island located in the Gulf of Thailand just off the coast of Cambodia. Phu Quoc's most beautiful remote island is Hon Xuong, and visitors enjoy a day’s trip to the spot. With protected water and picturesque beaches, the islands of Phu Quoc makes a great spot for camping. Besides beach activities, visitors can also explore expansive natural parks, traditional villages, Buddhist pagodas at Phu Quoc. All tourist spots are accessible via bus, motorcycle or taxi and find a place in the travel itinerary by reputed travel companies.
The Most Interesting Things to Do in Vietnam. Here are some of the coolest thing you can do while on your Vietnam tour.
Take your food fantasy in Hanoi & Hue:
Vietnamese cuisine is not an unfamiliar topic as it is already popular worldwide. Both Hanoi and Hue are a haven for food lovers, so if you are planning to taste authentic Vietnam foods then plan a trip to Hanoi and Hue and taste the delicacies. You can find the best eateries in the country at an affordable price in Hanoi. Hanoi is a big city having plenty of restaurants and multiple places where you can get different types of cuisines. While in Hanoi, you can also be part ofHanoi walking tours which include combined food tour takes you to popular restaurants and street shops to explore the authentic Vietnam dishes.
The must-try dishes in Hanoi are Pho Noodles, Pho Cuon, Xoi (sticky rice with toppings), Bun Rieu, Banh Mi sandwich, Caphe Trung (Egg Coffee), Bun Cha, etc. Vietnam is a paradise for meat lovers, but it has a good range of options for vegetarians as well. However, not everyone in Vietnam understands what vegetarian means and they tend to put chicken or meat over everything.
An Chay is the synonym for the vegetarian dish in Vietnam and makes sure that you visit An Chay restaurants if you are a strict vegetarian. When it comes to food choices in Hue, it features distinctive dishes served in small-size as a vestige of royal cuisine. Make sure that you taste Bun Bo Hue (Beef vermicelli), Bun Thit Nuong (Grilled pork and vermicelli, Nem Lui (Lemongrass skewers) and Che (Sweet soup), etc.
Walk down Hanoi’s famous train street:
Train Street of Hanoi can be an exciting itinerary in your list, but a few know about it. There is a narrow residential street near the station and the twice a day a speeding train passes only inches from the homes of this residential neighborhood. The railroad tracks take up nearly the entire portion of the train street and tourists come here to have a rare glimpse of the startling sight. It is quite an exciting and unique experience you cannot miss while in Vietnam.
Cycle through the rice paddies in Mai Chau:
Mai Chau is the best halt to include in your backpacking trail to escape from motorbike-mayhem and night parties. Hire a bicycle and explore the rice paddies and stop only to take a dip in a freshwater stream. It is one of the most relaxing activities you can engage in Vietnam. Cycling through rice paddies gives an opportunity to get to know the real peasant culture of Vietnam, mingle with the locals and see how the farmers work in the field. The greenery of the entire valley is a pleasant sight for your eyes. If you feel like indulging in adventurous activities, you can sign up for a multi-day cycling tour or Vietnam package to Mai Chau from Hanoi.
Explore the Hang Son Doong Cave
Located in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang, Hang Son Doong Cave is the world’s largest cave and a popular tourist attraction due to its breathtakingly gorgeous views. Visiting is against entry fee, and tourist cannot enter the cave without safety guide.
Professionally trained cave guides would lead visitors by following strict safety guidelines. The 5 million-year-old cave is believed to be formed when water eroded limestones under the karst mountain. The cave has its own jungle called Garden of Edam, and it has some of the tallest known stalagmites as well. A 3-night cave expedition costs an average of $ 3,000 per person.
Experience windsurfing in Mui Ne:
Mui Ne is a popular fishing destination, but its tourism scope does not just end with watching fishing activities. Situated in Phan Thiet province, Mui Ne is a city famous for its calm beaches, sand dunes, and the beautiful sunset views. It also offers a lot of adventurous activities like windsurfing, kite surfing, etc. Surfing with the wind and sand dunes is indeed a magical experience which adds to the tour excitement. The dunes in Mui Ne are super cool and pleasant location for sand board activities which all adventure lovers will enjoy.
Popular festivals in Vietnam You Shouldn’t Miss
If these reasons aren’t appealing to you, then the colorful festivals in Vietnam would be yet another exciting reason to visit the country. Festivals in Vietnam are the best opportunity to get close to the myths, customs and fun-loving spirit of the people. Despite undergoing modern development, in heart Vietnam is still holding tradition in its heart with thousands of pagodas, Buddhist shrines, other deities, cultural entities, etc. So here are some of the popular festivals in Vietnam based on which you can schedule your travel date.
The Biannual celebration takes place in Hue, the UNESCO city of Vietnam in April-June where you can enjoy cultural events, special traditional performances, games, etc. There will be about 40 venues in and around the city for performance and entertainment as part of the celebration. You can also enjoy special events like poetry recitation festival, percussion, AoDai Fashion show and dialogue of drums along with other activities like boat racing, human chess, kite flying, etc.
Lantern festival in Hoi An
The lantern festival is yet another popular festival in Vietnam, held in Hoi An where thousands of twinkling lanterns floated down the river. Join the crowds on any river banks and find your way to a sampan boat to experience it the best.
Tet (New Year)
The New Year is the most celebrated and significant festival in Vietnam which involves a lot of gentle rituals like lighting candle in the temple, handing out flowers, spending time with closed ones and family, etc. During evening times, the whole street would be lovely with colorful performance, fireworks, street food stalls, and music.
Perfume pagoda festival
The perfume festivals hold high significance among pilgrims. During this season, pilgrims from all over Vietnam travel to Hanoi’s iconic Perfume pagoda. The festival is to pay respect to Buddha, and it takes place on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month which falls between Feb mid and March. As it is Hanoi’s popular festivals, many tour companies offer a day’s trips during the festival season.
Guided private tour or tour without a guide?
A guided tour is always preferable when you are visiting a foreign country, especially an exotic country like Vietnam with plenty of attractions and travel destinations scattered all around. Even if you can make all travel arrangements like booking flight tickets, processing the visa, finding accommodations and certain travel attractions without any tour/travel agents help, you ought to miss out major tourist destinations.
You can find many reputed travel companies offering various tour packages & tailor-made tour packages meeting your requirements. From applying for a cheap Vietnam visa, or visa on arrival, the tour operators can manage everything for you, if you can share your itinerary with them.
Booking a guided tour gives you the privilege of having a local guide who is well versed with the language and knows the nooks and corners of every city in Vietnam. Naturally, you end up saving a lot when things are more planned and better organized in advance.
To wrap it up
For many of us, the name ‘Vietnam' still conjures with long bloody freedom struggle and political hostilities. But modern Vietnam is all about tourism, entertainment, and business. Travel in Vietnam does not limit to tourism only; it has become an important destination for various business meeting and one of the emerging economies in the world.
Blessed with insanely beautiful and diverse landscape, you could take a stroll by the beach in the evening, slide down the sand dune, explore the rice fields or walk around a UNESCO heritage town. Compared to other countries, Vietnam maintains hassle-free visa regulations and facilities like visa on arrival is a boon for visitors. It is one of the most exceptional vacation destinations in Southeast Asia. Therefore, when you are planning for a Vietnam tour, discuss with your tour operator and chart out the plans in advance to avoid peak season rush.