When to come and where to go?

Vietnam for different travellers and tastes

Whether you are a beach life lover or history enthusiast, Vietnam has a lot to offer. However, planning your vacation gets easier if you know a little bit more about the country and its different regions. I give you here some tips which help in making your travel plans.

If you just want to relax under palm trees and enjoy beautiful sea scenery, go to central or southern parts of the country. In mid-winter, south is the best direction for you. Danang, Nha Trang, Phan Tiet and Phu Quoc island are nice beach destinations.

If you are interested in historical buildings and landmarks, old emperor culture, museums or war memorials, your best targets are Hanoi and Hue. The cities are full of historical sites, and there are also day trips and excursions to nearby attractions.

You can find modern, international city lifestyle with department stores, cafes and fine dining in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, the biggest city in Vietnam with almost 10 million people.

If you are rather a nature lover and want to discover Vietnam’s most beautiful sceneries, you have plenty of choices. There are several national parks and protected areas in the country. Ecotourism, travelling sustainably, is growing strongly and there are many travel agencies and hotels which promote green values.

The central coast area is a great place for combining beach holiday, shopping and history. Cities to explore are Danang, Hoi An and Hue. You can live at a beach hotel and make day-trips to many fascinating historical places. Here you can also enjoy perhaps the best food in the whole country. If I had only one week for a holiday in Vietnam, I would go there.

If Halong Bay is your number one target, remember to allocate at least three days of your vacation to get there, enjoy the cruise and get back. Most of tourists travel to Halong Bay from Hanoi. Driving there takes at least 4 hours.

When would be the best time to visit Vietnam?

Vietnam is a long narrow country and the weather conditions are quite different in north and south. In south, it is 30 degrees all the time but in north winters are cooler. It rains a lot between May and October. The main tourist season is from November to April when it is dry but not so hot than in summer months.

During Tet-celebration in January or February there can be some changes in normal services and schedules. Tet is Vietnamese New Near and it is usually at the same time with Chinese New Year. Tet is the most important celebration in Vietnam, and it is important to Vietnamese to spent it with the closest family members. For many Vietnamese people, this is also the only holiday from work in the whole year. During Tet-week there are several national public holidays and many museums, restaurants and shops are closed.

One or two days before Tet-season the planes, trains and buses are fully booked since people want to get to their home towns.

In 2018 Tet-celebration begins in 16 Febuary and starts the Year of the Dog

5 reasons to travel to Vietnam

I came for my first visit in Vietnam in October 2016. I have since spent half of my time here, half in my home country. Based on my experiences so far, I give you five reasons why I have been enjoying being here so much.

  1. Versatility: In Vietnam, you’ll find exotic beaches, fascinating cities, ancient history, diverse culture, wonders of nature, nice and kind people and delicious food. The only problem is that there are too many attractive options, too many interesting places and things to see in a two-week vacation.
  2. Climate: It is warm year-round, which is so nice for a person from the land of cold and snow! Here you don’t need long sleeves, socks or gloves, except in some cooler days in the northern parts of the country.
  3. Prices: Western tourists with a normal, average budget can travel very nicely and comfortably in Vietnam. Travelling around the country, eating in restaurants, shopping souvenirs, using laundry services and going to museums is very affordable. For example, the entrance fee to one of the most popular museums, War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, is 15 000 dongs, which is less than one euro.
  4. Authentic culture: In Vietnam, there are still not many resorts or towns that are built only for tourist industry. One of my friends said that when it comes to tourism, Vietnam is now at the level, which Thailand had in the 1980’s. This doesn’t mean that there are no tourist services at all. This means that wherever you spend your vacation, you get to see how ordinary Vietnamese people live. I think this is one of the best attractions in Vietnam.
  5. Food: One of the best things in travelling is getting to taste local food. In Vietnam, enjoying this part of the vacation is very easy. Vietnamese food is tasty, fresh and healthy. Different parts of the country have their own local specialities. Food in the North differs from food in the South. The city of Hue in the Central Vietnam is said to be a food capital of Vietnam. And if you want to have a pizza instead of pho, you will find it in every town.