Updated: Mar 14
Vietnam has a fascinating history, colourful food and epic landscapes filled with rolling rice fields. We would jump at the opportunity to return! Here's why.
Ha Long Bay ©MDHarding
A to Z Travel Blog - Vietnam
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There are a number of airlines that fly into Vietnam. We flew Edinburgh to London, London to Bangkok and then Bangkok (Thailand) to Hanoi (Vietnam). Thai Airlines and then transferring to Vietnam Airlines. Both were very good and really comfortable. If you collect frequent fliers, Thai Airlines are part of the Star Alliance program. It was a long flight at 16 hours, but worth it!
Did you know SkyScanner now have an app? Discover the latest destinations, flight times and more!
You can also visit the SkyScanner homepage for Vietnam here.
Vietnam Airlines ©MDHarding
There is accommodation to suit everyone's budget. We stayed comfortably in 3* hotels throughout our trip. Located in great central locations and everyone was very friendly and helpful. Our favourite's were the Hanoian Hotel and the Vinh Hung Library Hotel for their charm and amazing breakfasts. The Majestic Cruise was an adventure with cooking classes, squid fishing and stops to Surprise Cave, Kayaking and an Oyster Farm. The Elios Hotel was quite large, with many floors. The location was perfect though. Would we stay there again? Yes, to all. If we were to do the same trip again. We wouldn't change any of it. It was one of the best trips we have ever taken.
Hanoi - Hanoian Hotel
Ha Long Bay - Majestic Cruise
Hoi An - Vinh Hung Library Hotel
Ho Chi Minh City - Elios Hotel
Comfortable Accommodation In Hoi An at The Vinh Hung Libary Hotel ©MDHarding
Visa & Money
If traveling from the UK you can enter Vietnam up to 15 days without a visa. This could change and it's always best to check with the embassy for travel advice.
The USD is the most widely and easily exchanged currency in Vietnam. The local currency is the Vietnamese Dong.
Vietnam Money & Guides ©MDHarding
Travel Within Vietnam
It's really easy to get around in Vietnam by train, bus, and by taxi. We arrived in Hanoi and traveled by most means, covering down to Hoh Chi Min City. How will you travel? Do you enjoy slow travel? The train is a real adventure! The beds are a little uncomfortable. If you can take a travel pillow with you, this will help to soften the rickety blows.
Scenic Train Journey Through Vietnam ©MDHarding
It's really easy to explore Hanoi on foot, not missing the lake, temples, pagodas and you might also like to see the traditional puppet show. There is of course shopping and lots of restaurants to choose from with a wide range of dishes and price ranges.
Lotus Flower Mosaic In Hanoi, Vietnam ©MDHarding
Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is a beautiful natural wonder, Its calm waters are covered with over 1600 limestone islands. Today it attracts thousands of visitors visiting its inlets, caves, and other activities such as kayaking. Awarded as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994.
Surprise Cave, Ha Long Bay ©MDHarding
One of my favorite places in Vietnam was the ancient town of Hoi An. Today a UNESCO world heritage site dating back over 2200 years. With a wide range of architectural styles from traditional Chinese wooden houses, colonial French buildings, decorative Vietnamese dwellings, and a Japanese bridge. Don't miss the Wishing Wells and the small museums.
Top Tip: A must-see is My Son, an incredible ancient site with temples.
One Of The Many Tailor Shops In Hoi An ©MDHarding
Ho Chi Minh City
The bustling city of Ho Chi Minh city is home to a population of 8.5 million. Seen as the gateway to the Cu Chi Tunnels the city has so much more to see and visit including the Opera House, Reunification Palace, Town Hall, and Saigon Skydeck. The hop-on-and-off city tour bus is a great way to see all these. The bus has air conditioning too which is a big plus when it's so humid.
Top Tip: Don't miss a boat trip down the Mekong Delta, see the floating markets and rice candy factory.
Ho Chi Minh City Traffic ©MDHarding
Do you love nature too? Don't miss seeing Vietnam's national flower - The Lotus. It's used in a number of ways including tea, Chocolate, and in stir-fries.
Vietnam - where rice is the spice of life. Discover the versatile uses of rice from popcorn to rice paper and even used in the production to make rice wine.
Shopping is a must in Vietnam with its mass tailoring businesses. Get a made-to-measure suit, dress and possibly you might like shoes too. Craft shops sell table runners, lovely notebooks, and tea. Which all make great gifts to take home for friends and family.
I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to visit Vietnam filled with it's timeless charm.
P.S If you missed any of the travel blogs in the A to Z series, you can still catch up on these. Is there any country I have missed that you would love to hear about? Let me know and I'll see what I can do;)
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