Insider Vietnam travel tips to get you on your way
With a little preparation, a trip of a lifetime is guaranteed in beautiful Vietnam. Think verdant patchworks of rice paddies, smiling locals, idyllic seaside resorts, timeless temples and the most delicious spicy noodle dishes you’ll ever have the pleasure of tasting. Tackling this stunning country can be tricky for first-timers – its populous cities, hectic streets and chaotic markets take a little while to get used to. Our Southeast Asia expert Tracy has explored Vietnam on numerous occasions and knows exactly what holiday-makers should expect on their getaway. Jump straight into Vietnamese life with her expert Vietnam travel tips.
Vary your itinerary
In comparison to other Southeast Asian countries, the visa for Vietnam is pretty pricey – a hefty £65 (nearly €100). There’s no need in paying all that money and just heading to one destination. Spend time researching Vietnam’s hotspots and plan your itinerary to fit in several of these. Love the great outdoors? Then why not add on a trekking trip in Sapa to your Hanoi break? Intrigued by Vietnam’s imperial past? Explore Hue’s temples, tombs and pagodas after a relaxing trip to Hoi An. Visiting several destinations allows you to better understand Vietnam’s complex culture and fascinating history, leading to a more enriched overall experience!
Don’t worry about the weather
Because Vietnam is so long, there are different climates depending on where you are. In low season (April to June and September to November), typhoons dominate the north. During shoulder season (December to March), the northern half of the country is extremely cold while the south boasts clear skies and plenty of sunshine. High season (July to August) is hot and humid with heavy downpours throughout the country. Weather-wise there is no perfect time to holiday in Vietnam, particularly if you want to explore more than one part of the country. Bring your brolly and some sun cream to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you!
Fly between destinations
The backpacker trail in Vietnam is well worn with hundreds of budget travellers hopping from place to place on buses and trains every day. One of your top insider Vietnam travel tips is to travel by plane – even if you’re low on funds. The multitude of low-fare airlines on the market means that you can snap up flights from as little as €10 between destinations – saving you time and promising you a stress-free, comfortable journey.
Vietnam Travel Tips – Research accommodation options
Each city, town and coastal resort in Vietnam is home to a wealth of incredible accommodation options. You really get a lot more bang for your buck in Southeast Asia and can enjoy the luxury of 5* resorts at a fraction of the cost back home. Vietnam can be a pretty manic place at times and it’s best to make sure your hotel is somewhere you can chill out and escape the masses. In Hanoi I’d suggest staying on the outskirts of the Old Quarter – the Mercure Hanoi La Gare Hotel is ideal. This way you can experience the hustle and bustle of this unique part of the city without losing sleep at night. The Duxton Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City also stands out for me. The deluxe, spacious rooms offer an oasis of calm in the middle of the chaotic city.
Take heed of Tracy’s Vietnam travel tips and hit the ground running on your travels. Researching the weather, hotels and transportation before you go and be rewarded with a relaxing, smooth-sailing getaway. And you know what we always say – when in doubt, ask Travelmood!