Discover unspoilt beaches, striking natural landscapes and a blend of historic and hectic city spaces on our tailor-made holidays in Vietnam
Vietnam is one of South-East Asia’s increasingly popular destinations, and a visit here promises lively golden-sand beaches and romantic hideaways, plus colourful towns and cities steeped in history; spend a day in just one of them and you’ll see striking French colonial-style mansions, golden temples and Buddhist pagodas all just minutes apart. Throw in towering skyscrapers and charming markets and you have some of the most exciting and magical places on the continent. We know Vietnam really well – we introduced the first holiday charter flight to the Far East in 1970, and our Personal Travel Experts have been there. Get in touch or visit us in store to start planning your Vietnam adventure.
Southern Vietnam is generally dry from November to April. May to October is warm, with heavy showers and the odd overcast day. Northern areas are cooler and drier from January to May and September to December. June to August can be hot, humid and showery.
Vietnam holiday highlights
Vietnam is fascinating. Few countries in the world can offer such a diverse range of culture, history and beautiful landscapes, with opportunities to explore and unwind in equal measure. Where is Vietnam? Vietnam is furthest east on the Indochina Peninsula in South-East Asia, bordered by Cambodia to the south west, Laos to the north west and China to the north. It also borders Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand to the west while its east coast leads onto the South China Sea, north of Malaysia, north west of Indonesia and west of the Philippines. Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, is up in the north while its largest city, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), is much further down in the south. Vietnam cities Vietnam is a long-time favourite for cultural and touring holidays, and a captivating country to explore. Many travellers choose to kick off their Vietnam holiday in one of the country’s vibrant cities. You can start in the north in the capital Hanoi — on the banks of the Red River with a mix of well-preserved temples, buzzing markets and skyscrapers — before heading down south to Ho Chi Minh City, famous for its French colonial history and the intricate Cu Chi Tunnels used during the Vietnam War. Visit the old imperial capital of Hué for a fascinating insight into Vietnam down the years. The city is split into north and south by the lovely Perfume River, with most of the hotels, restaurants and cafés in the south. A boat trip is a great way to soak up the sights; the historic Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and impressive 19th-Century royal citadel, surrounded by a moat and with thick stone walls, are particular highlights. For the perfect stopover, go east to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Hoi An; it’s an ancient riverside city interspersed with Venice-esque canals and renowned for its superb cuisine including pho noodle soup.
Vietnam has also become an increasingly popular beach destination, thanks to a top mix of family-friendly oceanfront resorts and luxurious romantic retreats. Most of the best beaches are in the southern half of the country; Danang, right in the centre, has calm waters which make it an ideal spot for kayaking, while neighbouring Hoi An’s city centre is close to the popular An Bang beach. Further south you'll find Ninh Van Bay, a superb hideaway only accessible by boat, and Nha Trang — this popular beach resort has 19 offshore islands and is only a 45-minute drive from Cam Ranh, another coastal city which is home to the chic and peaceful Fusion Resort Cam Ranh, Nha Trang. In the Phan Thiet region even further down the coast, Mui Ne was once a fishing village and is now a popular beach resort; it’s excellent for watersports including sailing and kitesurfing and has beautiful red sand dunes on its outskirts – hop on a dune buggy or 4x4 to explore them. Two hidden gems worth visiting are Con Dao and Halong Bay. Con Dao is a mountainous archipelago of 15 rugged islands off Vietnam’s southern coast, with a national park covering 80% of the area and protecting sea turtle nesting grounds. Halong Bay is an enchanting UNESCO World Heritage area of natural beauty, an enclave of the Gulf of Tonkin off the north-east coast; it’s known for its spectacular islets and limestone rock formations, topped with rainforest and breaking through the turquoise waters. For an unforgettable twin-centre holiday, pair any of Vietnam’s cities with the still relatively undiscovered Phu Quoc Island. It’s Vietnam’s largest island off the south-west coast in the Gulf of Thailand, with a tropical climate plus year-round warm temperatures, and is home to forests and hills in the north, lively tourist beaches in the south and secluded spots on the west coast.
Vietnam is surprisingly big, so the quickest way to get from one major destination to another is by plane; regular flights make travelling between the north and south straight-forward. A cheap and cheerful way to explore is by bus, but the journeys are often long and rickety. Crazy city traffic can be daunting, so renting a car isn’t the norm – you’d be better off paying for a moto taxi or a cyclo. Make sure you agree a price beforehand, and don’t be afraid to barter. Paying extra for the comfort of a train is a good option for longer journeys, and a boat trip is another great way to get around; sailing along the Perfume River in Hué to see the city’s sites, or a two-night cruise on board the luxurious Au Co ship around the beautiful limestone islands and caves in Halong Bay, are two excellent options.
Vietnam has some of the most brilliantly hectic markets in South-East Asia, from silk and silver streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter to the must-see Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City, open since 1914. Tailor shops will make bespoke garments for you in no time. You'll find handicrafts such as bamboo items, lacquerware, ceramics, silk and jewellery. Antiques are available, but can be difficult to take back to the UK due to problems at customs. Be sure to haggle with locals for the best prices, except in state-run stores where prices are fixed.
Diving & snorkelling
Marine life in Vietnam is not as extensive as in other South-East Asia destinations such as Thailand or Malaysia, but diving and snorkelling here is still fun. Nha Trang on the central coast is home to several snorkelling sites in the South China Sea, and is known as the country’s diving capital thanks to its beautiful clear waters. Here you’ll have the chance to see rare species including frogfish and cowfish. Phu Quoc is known for having Vietnam’s finest hard coral growth and you can snorkel at Turtle Island off its north-west coast, while the Con Dao Islands are the only snorkelling location which offers the chance to see sharks, rays, turtles and sea cows.
Food & drink
Vietnamese cuisine is similar to Chinese, with lots of noodles and rice, plus seafood and fish by the coast. You can instantly see the emphasis on fresh herbs and produce including basil and peppers, used extensively in hotels’ cuisine and also in street food – locals serve tempting dishes including noodle soup pho, the pork noodle dish cao lau in Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City’s bot chien – a mixture of rice flour and egg, cooked then served with papaya, shallots, green onions and pickled chilli sauce.
The Complete Oman Tour Planned by Experts
- A diverse range of culture, history, scenery and relaxation
- A cruise on a traditional junk, to see the stunning natural beauty of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay
- Our range of escorted small group tours, from introductory highlights to more in-depth exploration and local experiences
- Beaches in the southern half of the country, from Danang and Nha Trang on the mainland to the islands of Con Dao and Phu Quoc
- Our choice of Vietnam beach hotels, from vibrant resorts with plenty of activities to secluded luxury retreats with exceptional spas.
Resorts & hotels in Vietnam
Whether you’re stepping out from a tropical island hideaway just metres from sprawling white sands or into a colourful and energetic city space, hotels in Vietnam serve up timeless traditions and a whole lot of variety. We’ve hand-picked some of the finest hotels in Vietnam to help you find your perfect holiday; from family-friendly beachfront getaways and tranquil peninsula retreats, to spa resorts and sleek city hotels on the mainland.
Discover Vietnam multi-centresVietnam’s cities and towns offer a spectrum of contrasting delights from French-colonial houses to Chinese temples; colourful and chaotic markets to designer boutiques; and flavourful street food to high-end restaurants. Ubiquitous cyclos weave along winding streets and contend with a swarm of mopeds for space on the main roads whilst centuries-old architecture emerges from under the shadows of gleaming skyscrapers. Local worshippers stream out from gilded pagodas in a haze of incense and mystical temples adorned with exquisite carvings emerge from lush emerald landscapes. Choose any of our featured hotels as part of your holiday – many of which also have special offers for Kuoni customers. Call us on 02085708283 or visit us in store to speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts and tailor make your own holiday with https://skytraktravel.com.
Cruising in Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta offers you an opportunity to witness a serene picture of the rustic and charming rural landscape of the country and is, undoubtedly, one of the most attractive tourist attractions in Vietnam. With islands, stilted villages, rice paddies, and a way of life that hasn’t changed for eras, it seems like the river wants to relax and soak up the view. Catch a ride with a cargo boat and you can also do the same. Just find a shady spot to catch your hammock and look at faraway riverbanks as your boat, overloaded with rice sacks and fruits, cultivates the treacly brown flow. It is a perfect amusement for travellers to cruise in a traditional Vietnamese boat in the Mekong Delta. You will definitely enjoy it!
Musical extravaganza at Saigon Opera House
Are you a music lover? If yes, then opera show at Saigon Opera House in the Vietnam tour is something you should not miss. This building was the prior assembly house of South Vietnam and it was built in 1897. The building shows the wonderful style of French Colonial design. According to many travellers, visiting the Saigon Opera House and witness one of the fascinating shows of Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Masterpiece Orchestra and Opera are undoubtedly among the best things to experience in Vietnam. There is no entrance fee. However, an individual needs to buy tickets for the specific show. Ticket fee varies depending on the show, seat, and time.
The nightlife of Ho Chi Minh City
Loud party music, Burning pubs, DJ, bands, and superb food summarize the nightlife scene of Ho Chi Minh City. From posh pubs to cheap bars, the city offers something for folks of all tastes & pocket sizes. Enjoying amazing music with wine is among the fun things you can do in Ho Chi Minh City. District 1 has exclusive rooftop pubs & bars that serve the champagne and best-in-class wine and play amazing music. Pham Ngu Lao Street has several street-side bars for live music, low-priced beer & food, and casual set up.
Shopping in Hoi An For Silk Material
Picturesque Hoi An is popular across the world for skilled tailors and silk weavers. Travellers visiting this coastal town can enjoy shopping for silk products, like cloth, dresses, and scarves. The narrow lanes and occupied avenues of Hoi An are lined with various local shops. The shopping scene is ruled by too capable tailors who are master and extremely great in stitching customized suits, apparels, shirts, and shoes at amazingly affordable price.
Vietnamese. Some speak French and English.
Until 30 June 2021 ‘British Citizen’ passport holders travelling for tourism or business can enter Vietnam on a single entry for up to a maximum of 15 days (inclusive of dates of entry and exit) without a visa. Multi-entry will require a visa.
16 Feb 2018: Lunar New Year (Tet) marks the arrival of spring and is the nation’s most important festival.
A service charge is usually included in the bill in large hotels and restaurants. In small resraturants and bars, leave a tip for good service. You should also tip baggage porters, drivers and guides.