Travel to Vietnam

Travel to Vietnam

Travel to VietnamThe mountainous north, traditional villages, ancient temples, endlessly long beaches and delicious food make a trip to Vietnam one to never forget. On first glance Vietnam looks similar to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, but during your trip to Vietnam you will get to know that this is absolutely not the case. Vietnam has its own culture, and it is about time to explore this!

Vietnam in short

Everybody has heard of Vietnam, because of one of the most intense wars that the world has known has taken place there or because of the local Vietnam spring roll stand. It is a very special country, that already only due to its shape has an interesting character. But that is not the only thing. The daily habits that the 94 million Vietnamese have, differ a lot from that of most Western cultures: the food, the Vietnamese coffee, the thousands of scooters that drive through the streets and the definition that Vietnamese give to beauty do not match with those of the Western mindset. In short, during the 1.605 km long trip from south to north (or from north to south) there is enough to experience!

Start in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh

Most people that travel in Vietnam start in Ho Chi Minh (also known as Saigon) or in Hanoi. The capital Hanoi is in the north of the country and Ho Chi Minh in the south. In principle it doesn't matter a lot where you start, because you will see exactly the same things.
For a trip in Vietnam you need time. Because it is a big country, long distances need to be travelled to get to a place. Moreover traffic here is completely different than in most western countries, whereby it will take you at least three and a half weeks to travel from north to south or the other way round. In this text we will begin with Ho Chi Minh as starting point, we do this because most people will start here.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is alive, energetic and fascinating! In big numbers the scooters are racing past you, what will take some getting used to in the beginning. There are a number of highlights in Ho Chi Minh City that you can actually not miss. With many sights or activities the war between the North of Vietnam and the USA will play a big roll. The highlights of Ho Chi Minh City are:

  • The Chu Chi Tunnels: you can not have been to Ho Chi Minh and pass on a visit to these tunnels. 35 kilometres outside of the city you find an area with tunnels where the communists were hiding.
  • War Remnants Museum: if you want to understand the Vietnam war a little better and want to hear the story of South Vietnam, you should absolutely pay a visit to the War Remnants Museum. Very impressive!
  • Reunification Palace: this reunification palace is about a different chapter of the Vietnam history than the Vietnam war. It is housed in the centre of the city and is thus simple to pay a visit to. 
If you still have some time left it is worth the efforts to visit the Mekong Delta river just south of Ho Chi Minh. The Mekong river is one of the most important Asian rivers that starts in China and ends in Vietnam. It is possible to visit the Mekong Delta by bicycle.

Mui Ne

Most people find it really pleasant to arrive in the quiet Mui Ne after visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Mui Ne is the place for the lovers of surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing. Are you not a great fan of this? Then you could pay a visit to the red and yellow sand dunes, which look a lot like a desert and is the perfect place for making unique photos. Finally a lot of tourists rent a scooter to explore the surroundings of Mui Ne.

Da Lat

Da Lat is a city in the mountains (1500 meters above sea level) 4 hours driving from Mui Ne. The city was often visited in the past, and still is, by people from Ho Chi Minh to hereby escape the crowdedness and warmth of the city. There is a lot to do in Da Lat, and that is why paying a visit to this city is an absolute must. The highlights of Da Lat:

  • Canyoning: this is for the adventurous tourist. Abseiling from waterfalls and jumping off a cliff. Do you dare to take the challenge?
  • Renting a scooter or bicycle: the area around Da Lat is beautiful! The best way to discover this is per scooter bicycle.
  • Do you like rafting, kayaking or climbing mountains? Then Da Lat is the place for you.

Nha Trang

After Da Lat you could pay a visit to Nha Trang. This is a relatively large city on the coast and is very popular amongst Russians. We recommend not to stay to long in this place and only use it as a stopover. Vietnam as a lot more to offer than Nha Trang.

Hoi An

Hoi an is one of the few cities that has stayed in tact after the Vietnam war. It is a touristy place, but you are going to fall in love with it none the less. The architecture, the colourful lights and the river around the town. The centre of Hoi An is car and scooter free, through which you can go for nice walks or bicycle rides. Besides this you can eat very good food, go shopping and have your own clothes tailor made in Hoi An.

Hai Van Pass route with the scooter or motorbike

Have you in the mean time gotten used to the traffic in Vietnam? Then you can take the Hai Van Pass route with a rented scooter or motorbike. This route, from Hoi An to Hué, goes through the mountains and shows you the natural beauty of Vietnam. The view which you get to see halfway though the route, overlooking the city Da Nang and the sea, is one to never forget.


The average traveler pays a visit to Hué. A typical Vietnamese town that, long ago, used to be the capital city of Vietnam. Times change, but still you do not have any reason to get bored during your visit to Hué. If you have been travelling for quite a while, it would not be a bad choice to take your rest in Hué. The highlights of Hué are:

  • Forbidden city
  • Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Thombs of the Emperors
  • Japanese bridge
  • Dong Ba markets

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

Taking the overnight bus you will be more than 8 hours on the road to get from Hué to the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. But then you have arrived in a very special place. The villages that are in the area are not too special. The main reason that you pay a visit to the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is to explore the Paradise caves, one of the biggest caves in the worlds. From the village of Đồng Hới you can book a tour or rent a scooter to drive there yourself.


Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a must to visit. The city is not comparable with the other huge Vietnamese city Ho Chi Minh. There is a different atmosphere and the city has according to many a little more charme (although not everyone agrees with this). Furthermore it is a lively city where you will not get bored. The highlights of Hanoi are:

  • Hoan Kiem lake: it is maybe not the biggest tourist attraction, but still nice to see During a walk along this lake you will get to know the Vietnamese local life.
  • Old Quarter: this is the old part of Hanoi where many tourists choose to stay. You get to know the Vietnamese life on the streets, the old French architecture and you can eat delicious local food here.
  • Hao Li prison: in the past it was built by the French to lock their prisoners during their occupation of Vietnam. When the French left the country the prison was used to lock up American soldiers during the Vietnam war.
  • Chua Tran Quoc: a buddhist temple. It is absolutely not a big temple, but because of the unique style of building, it is an absolute must to see. 

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is one of the seven world wonders. And not without good reason. In this area you find more than 2.000 rocks that stick out of the water. From Hanoi you can book a 2- or 3 day boat trip. With the boot you will navigate through the oddly shaped rocks, which can deliver you some unique shots. Ha Long Bay is on the list of world heritage sites of UNESCO.


If you have time left you can pay a visit to Sapa, in the northwest of Vietnam. Here you will find traditional villages, hill tribes and unique rice fields. The village lies on about 350 kilometres driving from Hanoi, the same place where you can book a tour. After a long trip from south to north you may not have the energy anymore to drive up to Sapa, but it will definitely be rewarding. Sapa is also a good base to explore the area by bike or bicycle. It is also possible to sleep at a locals house in Sapa, so that you can experience the life within a Vietnamese family.



Article written by: roybor
Times read: 2121x
Added: 26-10-2016 16:20
Last modified: 14-11-2016 14:53

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