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Top Trip Memories

  • A sailing cruise in Ha  Long  Bay, also known as “Bay of Descending Dragons.”
  • Explore the underground Cu Chi Tunnels cave which was once used as a hiding spot by Viet Cong Guerillas.
  • Seeing the rich rice fields of Mekong Delta.
  • If you are into kite and windsurfing activities then you do not want to miss Mui Ne; and a short distance from it leads to its famous sand dunes.
  • Relaxing in one of the largest island in Vietnam, Phu Quoc.
  • Walking down the winding lanes of  beautiful old town Hoi An, sometimes also knows as the “Venice of Vietnam.”
  • Visit to the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, Thien Mu Pagoda, built during 1601. The pagoda also overlooks the Perfume River. 
  • Experiencing a water puppet performance at the Thang Long puppet theatre in Hanoi
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Tour Tips

  • Vietnam, especially the South, is hot and quite humid year round so be sure to dress appropriately, bringing light layers suitable for temples and other religious sites. Also be sure to drink lots of bottled water while on your guided tour to prevent dehydration.
  • Public transportation (mainly by rail) is reliable, safe, and relatively fast throughout the country. It can be a great way to mingle with locals and see the countryside, so be sure to look at guided tours which include this option.
  • While it’s possible to see the highlights in a week or ten days, two weeks is really optimal to see both North and South Vietnam, with stops in between to cities like Danang, Hoi An, and Hue.
  • Travelers who have already seen the major cities or those simply with more time should consider a side tour to the Sapa region in Northeast Vietnam. Aside from escaping the lowland heat, this mountainous region offers a traditional view into many of Vietnam’s ethnic tribes, such as the Hmong, as well as touring the meticulously maintained rice terraces.
  • Aside from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, the other ‘must see’ city is Hoi An. This UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for its mix of French colonial, Japanese, and Chinese architectural influences. It’s also a shopper’s heaven, with custom clothes and shoes among the many items for sale by local shopkeepers.
  • Although slightly ‘touristy,’ a cyclo ride around the streets of Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi is a great way to get your bearings and see life at street level.
  • Speaking of ‘street,’ don’t be afraid to try the local delicacies, which are often sold by merchants on the side of the road or walking with baskets full of baked goods. For food safety, it’s always a good idea to ask your tour leader to recommend a local vendor.
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Vietnam Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.8 out of 5

100%

recommend

7,477 Reviews

  • Excellent 5,916
  • Great 1,543
  • Average 13
  • Disappointing 4
  • Terrible 1

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.8
  • Guide
    4.8
  • Activities
    4.8
  • Lodging
    4.8
  • Transportation
    4.8
  • Meals
    4.8

Tour Reviews

Trails of Vietnam

Trails of Vietnam

4.0
April 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
I really enjoyed the hilltribe trek. The food at the home stay was excellent.
our group leader was great. well informed.

This tour was very busy with many long bus rides.

Make sure you bring a padded bike seat!

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Trails of Vietnam

Trails of Vietnam

5.0
April 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Once again Exodus did not fail to deliver, the was an amazing holiday covering a vast area of the country. The activities were great and very well organised. Our guide, Tham, was amazing, very knowledgeable, attentive and social. She looked after out every need. The food was great and the local people were very welcoming and happy to help.
I think the local people were the main inspiration. They have turned their country around, stopped living in the past and are building a great place for people to visit and enjoy. The families at the home stays could not do enough for us and welcomed us with open arms in to their homes and were pleased to be able to show us how they lived and worked.

Tham was amazing. She is one of very few female guides in her country and has had to work really hard to hold this position. She has done this with grace and a great deal of intellegence. She dealt with everything with ease and professionalism. She was also great fun and made sure we were all happy at all times.

Take a GoPro or something of that nature as you will not be able to describe the traffic in the cities or the beauty of Kayaking down the river. Photos just don't cut it. I have never seen so many motorbikes carrying so many different things as well as so many people. It is a sight to behold. Make sure you take padded cycling shorts and a gel seat if you have one. The bikes are good and there is no need to take your own helmet as the ones provided are good.

This was a fantastic holiday, full on but well worth it. Don't think twice just book it, you'll enjoy every minute.

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Classic Vietnam and Angkor

Classic Vietnam & Angkor

5.0
April 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Very varied and interesting trip that gave a good flavour of the country. The addition of a couple of days in Angkor was a bonus.
The areas I enjoyed most were Halong Bay, Hoi An and the Mekong delta. The cities were fascinating but frenetic. Seeing the central towers at Angkor Wat was a definite "wow" moment

Both group leaders ( Vietnam and Cambodia) were very knowledgeable and passionate about their countries.

Take an overnight bag for the trips to Halong Bay and the Mekong delta. Expect to take hundreds of photos!

Fascinating trip that I would thoroughly recommend. Details of the recent history with France and the US were sobering but an essential part of a visit to this region.

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When I was researching potential tours of Southeast Asia, I was looking for Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai specifically) and Cambodia (Siem Reap/Angkor Wat specifically)

Discover Southeast Asia

5.0
April 2017
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
When I was researching potential tours of Southeast Asia, I was looking for Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai specifically) and Cambodia (Siem Reap/Angkor Wat specifically). The other destinations on this tour were just added bonuses. I am so happy that I chose this tour; it took me to places that I have never gone to -- like Luang Prabang which I had never heard of -- even though I consider myself to be a savvy traveler. I am happy that I went to Vietnam to learn about that country's perspective on history and to marvel at the beauty of Halong Bay. This particular tour offered the right mix of culture, history, escorted adventure, and individual discovery. It seemed to appeal to everyone in our group of ten travelers who ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s.
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I was really enjoying this cycling trip

Cycle Vietnam

5.0
April 2017
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
I was really enjoying this cycling trip. All was organised great. The support time was the best. Thank you for all the effort and help that they did. Have to say that one of the picks of this trip for me was also a half day trip with scouters that Huyen organised and visiting Cu Chi tunnels. I was really surprised how much Huyen knows and thank you for sharing with us so much interesting stories and information about Vietnam. But unfortunately we also had two accidents on this trip and two of our group members were seriously injured. Therefore they had to leave the trip. I was on several trip with G adventures and luckily with no accidents. But in this situations on this trip I expected more support from G adventures. Since we had to book all the flights for the girl from London (Harriet). It was not a problem for me to help her but I expected faster support and more help from G adventures or CEO since you h
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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Classic Itineraries

Vietnam in 1 Week

Day 1-2, Ho Chi Minh City: Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, learn about the Cu Chi Tunnels from a local guide. In your free time take a walk through the open-aired market at Pham Ngu Lao Street.

Day 3, Danang to Hoi An: Drive from Danang to Hoi An passing beautiful scenery such as the Marble Mountains, and historically significant My Khe Beach.

Day 4, Hoi An: Discover Hoi An’s Old Town, with its many architectural influences from European to Chinese, explore Dong Ba Market in your free time.

Day 5, Hanoi: Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, enjoy the quiet nature of the city’s many lakes and green spaces.

Day 6-7, Halong Bay: Enjoy a day cruise through one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. Stay overnight on board ship.

Day 8, Hanoi: Return to Hanoi for the end of your trip

See All Vietnam in One Week Tours

Vietnam in 2 Weeks

Day 1, Ho Chi Minh City: Arrive in Vietnam. Take a walk through the open-aired market at Pham Ngu Lao Street.

Day 2-3, Mekong Delta: See the area know as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam. Take a boat ride to explore the canals on the Mekong River, stay overnight in a local home along the river. In the morning visit the Cai Be floating market.

Day 4, Ho Chi Minh City: Return to Ho Chi Minh City and take a tour with a local guide to see the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, and see the Cu Chi Tunnels which were used by the Viet Cong during wartime. Take the train to Nha Trang.

Day 5, Nha Trang: Visit the picturesque beaches of Nha Trang, see the archaeological site at Po Nagar Cham Towers.

Day 6, Danang to Hoi An: Drive from Danang to Hoi An passing beautiful scenery such as the Marble Mountains, and historically significant My Khe Beach.

Day 7-8, Hoi An: Take a guided walking tour of this old port city which dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. My Son ruins, local markets, rent a bike and take an afternoon by the beach.

Day 9-10, Scenic Drive to Hue: Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Beach, visit the Imperial Citadel, cruise on a traditional dragon boat on the Perfume River, visit Thien Mu Pagoda.

Day 11-12, Hanoi: Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. Enjoy the quiet nature of the city’s many lakes and green spaces.

Day 13-14, Halong Bay: Enjoy a day cruise through one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. Stay overnight on board ship.

Day 15, Hanoi: Return to Hanoi and enjoy a local meal and souvenir shopping before heading home.

See All Vietnam in Two Weeks Itineraries

Culinary Tour of Vietnam

Day 1-2, Hanoi: Explore the city, with its calming atmosphere, and enjoy a local beer known as be bia hoi, at a traditional brew hall. The next day, tour Chau Long Market, sample local delicacies and coffee. Visit the Hanoi Cooking Centre.

Day 3-4, Halong Bay: Visit picturesque Halong Bay. Watch a demonstration of fishermen throwing nets, and learn how to do it yourself! Enjoy a dinner of fresh seafood and stay overnight in a traditional houseboat.

Day 5, Transfer to Hoi An: Take an overnight train or fly from Hanoi to Hoi An.

Day 6-7, Hoi An: by local ingredients at the markets to make traditional dishes. See the sights in Hoi An such as My Son ruins.

Day 8, Tra Que: A half day trip from Hoi An, Tra Que is a village known for its herb gardens. Bike ride out to the village and learn about various herbs and spices and how they feature in Vietnamese cuisine. Attend a cooking class.

Day 9-10, Ho Chi Minh City: Visit the bustling market of Ben Thanh for fresh produce and other souvenirs. Enjoy the French influenced cuisine of pastries and coffee.

See All Culinary Tours in Vietnam

Vietnam Trips & Tour Advice

For those whose impressions of Vietnam were formed in the wartime 1960's, a visit to this beautiful Southeast Asian country may yield some real surprises. With the vast majority of Vietnamese born after the war, it's largely ancient history here, and visitors (certainly including Americans) are warmly welcomed. There's much to explore, too, from stately Hanoi to bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), gorgeous Halong Bay, the Mekong River (best seen by river boat), deep green rice paddies, golden sandy beaches, and some of Asia's best cuisine. Once you come to Vietnam, your impressions of it will never be the same. 

From South to North (or opposite)

Perhaps the best way to tour Vietnam is to start at either the southern hub of Ho Chi Minh, aka Saigon, or the northern capital city of Hanoi. If starting in HCMC, the first thing you might notice is the buzz of motorbikes all around you. To cross the street, just be brave and go against everything you were ever taught - slowly but purposefully, walk out into the street and maintain a steady pace. Amazingly, the motor bikes will swerve around you until you find yourself, harried but unscathed, on the other side of the street. Once you’ve mastered that, be sure to check out Ben Thanh market. At first, what looks like a glorified flea market opens up to reveal all sorts of Vietnamese culinary stalwarts like Pho. Go in the morning to escape the crowds (and the heat!).

Other highlights in HCMC include the War Remnants Museum, the exhibits of which might be offputting to many American travelers, Cu Chi tunnel system, and the various historic hotels in the city center.

Heading north, visit Nha Trang, which is a typical beach destination for tourists and locals alike. Enjoy a day-cruise where snorkeling and scuba diving are among the options for activities. Fresh seafood is the specialty in this city by the sea.

Next stop, Hoi An, and its labyrinth of ancient buildings and pathways. Historically rich, the city was influenced by the French, Japanese, and Chinese, which is apparent in the architecture and cuisine. Go in search of the famous Hoi An noodles, Cao Lau, which can only be authentically enjoyed in this town. Many different galleries and craft shops offer everything from custom-made shoes to vibrant oil paintings.

A short drive brings you to Hue, or the ‘imperial city’ as it was here that the Nguyen dynasty ruled from before ceding power to the French in 1945. Explore the old, walled citadel and also book a tour to visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ) for a bit of war history.

Last stop is the capital of Hanoi. With its beautiful urban lakes and government seat, Hanoi is calmer relative to HCMC, but still quite the urban center in its own right. For history buffs, a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a must, where one can see the body of the former Vietnamese ruler lying in state. Also of interest is the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda.

Culinary Delights

If culinary travel is your thing, then Vietnam should be high on your list! From pho, to Cao Lau, to french baguettes that rival Parisian boulangeries, Vietnam has a plethora of spicy samples to tempt the foodie traveler. Street food is quite good and cheap, and can be found in night markets throughout the country. Or, just pull up a (short) stool at almost any roadside restaurant for an authentic taste of Vietnam. Specialities include Banh xeo, a crunchy shell containing bean sprouts, soy bean, prawns and pork, Banh bo - sweet rice cakes usually found in white, red and green, and of course, pho. For the more daring, sit down at a corner ‘bar’ to sample bia hoi, the local brew of choice. This unpasteurized but fresh beer is served on the street for basically a few cents per glass. You’ve been warned!  

Trips Farther Afield

Other guided tour options in Vietnam include Phu Quoc island, an idyllic spit of land off the coast of southern Vietnam. Also consider the mountainous Sapa region in the northeast or a River boat cruise along the Mekong River.

 

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