Vietnam is an unforgettable country. With a wide variety of incredible destinations, memories made here will last a lifetime. The Southeast Asian country of Vietnam has so much to offer, from the breath-taking mountain passes of Ha Giang, to the wondrous caves of Phong Nha, to the windswept waves of Mui Ne.
The rich culture which Vietnam has inherited from thousands of years of history, would tempt you to immerse yourself in their traditional way of life. Vietnam is a gem waiting to be discovered.
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Vietnamese culture was shaped by millennia of invasions and conflicts. Over the years many dynasties ruled over Vietnam in between periods of Chinese occupation with the four main being- the Ly, the Tran, the Le, and the Nguyen. The Vietnamese people always bear a strong sense of pride in their traditions and way of life.
Take cooking classes, get your hands messy in craft workshops, enjoy musical performances or rediscover history through museum visits. There is so much to do and a lot more to truly explore the culture. The cities of Hue, Hanoi and Hoi An are perfect to discover the beauty of Vietnamese culture.
Hanoi’s 36 guild streets or the Old Quarter has a long history of craftsmanship. The craft villages continue to thrive on centuries-old traditions by exporting their goods worldwide. The country’s handmade crafts will surely impress you.
Discover the urban side of Vietnam by spending a few days in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. The historical and cultural treasures of Hanoi, also called the city of lakes, will charm you while Ho Chi Minh City’s irresistible energy is unmissable. Spot the funky rooftop bars, trendy coworking spaces, and colonial-chic cafes here.
Vietnam is also home to dreamy beaches. Feel the cool breeze on your face and curl your toes in the sand among the countless beaches here. Vietnam’s islands of Con Dao and Phu Quoc are famous for their pristine shores.
If you are a party person, hit the coastal towns of Da Nang and Nha Trang which have an active nightlife scene. To escape the crowds, opt for the quieter lesser known beaches like the Cham Islands or Tam Ky in Central Vietnam.
Exploring the Chu Chi Tunnels is a fascinating experience for all travellers and should be a must on your Vietnam itineraries. The tunnels were an extensive tunnel network that during the war allowed the VC troops to operate and communicate in the area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City. Later Vietnamese soldiers expanded the tunnels and included effective air filtration systems, which also helped them survive the Chu Chi carpet-bombings
The site stretches for more than 250 kilometres and is a part of a massive war museum in Ho Chi Minh. You will learn about the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in 1948. With trapdoors, living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, armoury, hospitals, and command centres- the tunnels are captivating to say the least. Take a guided tour through the tunnels where you might need to crawl on your hands and knees at some points.
A small mountain town in the province of Lao Cai, Sapa is home to various tribal groups. Once an old French hill station, it is now a bustling tourist centre. It is one of the top trekking destinations in Vietnam. It has numerous options to trek or day hike between its tiny villages and experience the staggering mountain views.
The beautiful rice field countryside that surrounds Sapa is bordered by the jagged peaks of the Hoang Lien Mountains, one of Vietnam's most beautiful rural vistas. Sapa being the main base here.
You can also have a scrumptious meal by checking out some of the finest restaurants in Sapa. The beautiful waterfalls, the ethnicity of the town and the beautiful mountains will leave you mesmerized.
Considered as the monarchical capital of the Nguyen dynasty, Hue is packed to the brim with relics from the reign of the 19th-century Nguyen emperors. One of the best places to visit in Vietnam, the great infrastructure, the rich culture, and epic cuisine attracts tourists from all over the world.
The Imperial Enclosure, which sits along the banks of the gorgeous Perfume River, is a huge site set within walls. Also check out the gorgeous Ngo Mon Gate, the Thai Hoa Palace with fine lacquered interior detailing, the Dien Tho Residence, and the Halls of Mandarins with its exquisite ceiling murals.
• Hoi An is a beautiful old city in Vietnam, with lots of surviving historic architecture. Located on the central coast of Vietnam, the lanes of the ancient town are packed to the brim with well-preserved merchant houses that date back to Hoi An's trading centre.
Hoi An's trading centre saw its prime days back in the 15th century, when the town was a major meeting point for Japanese and Chinese merchants who flocked here for the local silks. Many of the old merchant houses have been opened to the public, the best being the 17th-century Tan Ky House, which has fascinating architectural and decorative elements.
Hoi An's major icon is the delightful Japanese Bridge situated at the western end of Tran Phu Street. The town’s architecture, textile, and traditional culture are what attracts visitors. Spend some time walking down the old town streets to experience the history and culture for yourself.
Located on the Lang Biang highlands, Dalat is popular among tourists for its year-round pleasant weather. The climate here has been tagged as ‘eternal spring’ due to the low humidity and cool winds.
Dalat used to be the summer getaway for Vietnamese emperors because of its picturesque scenery, serene valleys, pine trees and the beautiful flowers – all of which made it a perfect holiday retreat. If you are just looking to unwind Dalat with its stunning lakes, waterfalls, and lush green valleys with vibrant flower beds will be perfect for you.
Mui Né is a beautiful beach resort town and a popular destination for windsurfing, sailing, and kitesurfing. Mui Né is calm with pristine but sparsely populated beaches, making it a quiet retreat. This is because Mui Né is relatively less popular compared to other beaches in Vietnam.
Do check out the natural Red Sand Dunes, a unique attraction here, and is just outside town. Visitors can indulge in sand-sledding or rent dune buggies for a more adrenaline-charged experience.
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is a biosphere reserve and is one of Vietnam’s most famous places. The World Heritage-listed national park is home to more than 100 fauna species like tigers, elephants, primate, saola, reptiles, amphibians, and many varieties of birds. The dramatic karst mountain formation, huge caverns, caves, and underground rivers make it worth visiting.
The most popular attraction within the park is the Paradise Cave, which extends for a staggering 31 kilometers below ground.
Go cruising in the idyllic scenic views of the Mekong Delta.
Get a feel of the olden days by crawling through the underground network of the Cu Chi Tunnels.
Go hiking in the lush peaks and serene paddy fields on the hills of Mai Chu.
Go shopping for silk products, such as dresses, cloth, and scarves in the busy streets of Hoi An. The coastal town of Hoi An is known for its skilled tailors and silk weavers.
Try Banh Mhi, a street style sandwich that is loved by Vietnamese people. It is considered to be one of the most iconic Vietnamese dishes.
Slurp down a steaming bowl of street side Pho, Vietnamese style hot noodles.
Watch an exclusive puppet show in the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre. Water puppetry originated almost 1000 years ago in the Red River Delta Region of Vietnam. Each show is 50 minutes long and serves as a window into the country’s culture and social life.
• No visit to Vietnam is complete without a visit to Ho Chi Minh City, the crazy commercial hub of Vietnam. Earlier known as Saigon, it is the largest city in Vietnam where you will find any and everything. The streets are always buzzing with people while the paths are laden with urban cafes and fancy restaurants. This is also the best place for shopping in the country.
Visit the old district of Da Kao nearby which has some of the best surviving examples of the city's French colonial architecture. You also have the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its stunning array of Buddhist and Taoist religious iconography. Also check out the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, HCMC Museum and the grand Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon.
Explore more of the urban life in Vietnam with our Vietnam city tours.
Mekong Delta with its paddy field vistas and mangroves, is incredibly lush. It also has immense geographical significance due to the abundant rice cultivation which takes place on both banks of the mighty Mekong river.
The delta is one of the most interesting regions for travellers to discover, especially due to the multicoloured houseboats and markets that gently float through the canals. Full of local life, these canals criss-cross through the land through the quaint farms and lovely fishing villages. It is one of the must visit places in Vietnam.
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and the heartbeat of the nation. Walk through the busy markets or explore the tourist spots like the Grand Opera House or the Presidential Palace.
You have the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and the Vietnam Fine Art which bear witness to the diverse artistry of the country. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a tribute to the founder of modern Vietnam.
If you are looking to get yourself some souvenirs, Hanoi’s markets are amazing places to do some shopping.
• Surrounded by lush jungle-covered mountains, My Son is an ancient site that has immense historical significance. It is a ruined Cham era temple city with history that dates to the 4th century. The erstwhile capital of Champa Kingdom, My Son sanctuary is now a World Heritage Site.
This old Hindu religious centre was in use up until the 10th century and only fell into ruins and abandonment during the 13th century. Several partially demolished tower temples dedicated to Lord Shiva have also been found here. There are about 20 temple structures, made of brick or sandstone blocks, which show heavy cultural influences from various Asian empires like Indian and Malay.
These spectacular architectural edifices make it among the best places to visit in Vietnam. The carvings on the walls of the temple structures truly reflect the culture, ethos, history, and heritage of south-east Asia.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay is home to thousands of spectacular limestone islands. The limestone islands were eroded into jagged pinnacles by wind and water action over thousands of years.
There are plenty of caves in the bay that you can explore. The Sung Sot cave, with three mammoth caverns, and the Hang Dao Go, with striking stalagmites and stalactites, are some of the most popular ones. Most people come here for a relaxing cruise amid the karsts and to soak up the changing scenery of pinnacles as you pass by.
With one of the world's most spellbinding sea views, the bay's scenery is best seen by boat. You can choose an overnight tour to see Ha Long Bay's iconic views, as you won’t be able to get enough of this place in just a day trip.
This is a SAMPLE itinerary. Our Vietnam tour packages from India are customizable to suit your preferences.
Day 1Arrive at Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. Start your day with some Bahn Mi for breakfast and get ready for your day. Spend the day at your own pace as you explore the busy streets of Hanoi occasionally stopping to do some shopping or checking out the popular markets at Old Quarter. You can also rent a bike if you would like to explore the city better. Hanoi has an active nightlife scene and, in the evening, you can head out to experience that for yourself.
Day 2On your second day you will visit the majestic historical sites of Hanoi. Start with the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a key attraction here. Spend the morning here and take in the sheer beauty of this elegant masterpiece. After that visit Hoan Kiem Lake which is a scenic freshwater lake. Next up is the Temple of Literature which was built in the 11th century. Dont forget the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex in Ba Dinh Square a top attraction in Vietnam, to see the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh their prominent political figure.
Day 3After breakfast get ready for a day of sightseeing in the Ninh Binh Province. It is home to the spectacular limestone mountains. Trang An in Ninh Binh offers magnificent sights of valleys, caves, and of course the limestone mountains. Take a boat ride through the caves and go cruising around the striking landscapes of Vietnam. After lunch, check out the spot where Hollywood flick Kong Skull Island was shot and take some memorable pictures.
Day 4Next morning, start off from Hanoi to reach Halong Bay. Halong Bay is famous for its spectacular limestone islands. You can get to Tuan Chau Island, from where you can start the 4-hours long journey to the Bay. Afterwards make sure to stop by the legendary Dau Go Island, where you can get a glimpse of the Thien Cung Grotto. Enjoy the labyrinthine maze of stalactite and stalagmite structures inside this grotto.
Day 5On the 5th day, take a flight from Hanoi to arrive at Da Nang. Grab a quick bite before starting your day in this laidback city of Vietnam. The mesmerizing Ba Na Hill Mountain Resort is first on your list. Go on a cable car ride to enjoy breath-taking views from the top. Take a stroll through an ecological park, visit the marvellous replica of a French Village here, or walk through the amazing Golden Bridge to enjoy the striking natural beauty.
Day 6Spend this day in the city of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There's a lot to do in this port city. Watch people offer prayers at the Ong Pagoda, or go exploring the Chinese assembly halls for great pictures. Also look out for gorgeous antiques at the Old House of Tan Ky. After lunch, make a quick stop at the Japanese Bridge for a truly awe-inspiring experience.
Day 7On your last day visit Ho Chi Minh, the commercial hub of the city. This city simply cannot be missed if youre in Vietnam. Walk down the streets of Ben Thanh Market to see the busy market. In the evening watch an opera show at the Saigon Opera House or water puppetry at Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre.
Please email me a copy of the sample itinerary
There are regular flights from India to Vietnam. The major flight operators are Thai airways, Malindo and Thai Air Asia. The cost of flight to Vietnam will depend on the airlines, how much in advance the ticket was booked, peak or non-peak seasons, and the city you fly out from.
Flying Squirrel Holidays provides customized Vietnam holiday package and Vietnam honeymoon packages made according to your budget and preferences. Enquire now!
When is the best time to visit Vietnam?
Vietnam experiences a strong monsoon season. Heavy rains hit the cities and the countryside, causing floods and mudslides. The best time to visit Vietnam would be during the dry season, which lasts from December to February as it would allow you to travel comfortably.
What are the best places to visit in Vietnam?
Ha Giang, Sa Pa, Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Ha Long Bay, NinhBinh, and PhongNha are some of the best places to visit in Vietnam.
What are the best places to explore the nightlife in Vietnam?
Some of the best places to explore the nightlife in Vietnam are Bia Hoi junction, Saigon Saigon rooftop bar, Sky36 club Da Nang, Rex Hotel Rooftop Bar, and Level 23 Wine Bar.
Vietnam’s beautiful architecture, Buddhist pagodas and various other historical relics has always drawn people from all over the world. Each city in Vietnam has its own special attraction. With the economy flourishing in recent times and with better infrastructure, now is the best time in Vietnam for tourism. The cities in Vietnam are bustling and there is a charming balance of old and new here. For a relaxing break head over to the coastal side of Vietnam, where you can spread out on the sand, eat in seafood markets, and ride boats at sunset.
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