Vietnam is majestic country, offering travellers an exciting mix of adventure and culture. With an intriguing history spanning back over 4,000 years, including occupations from both the Chinese and French, strong cultural influences can be found in the architecture and cuisine. The country’s captivating natural wonders span from the mountains in the north to the fertile plains of the Mekong Delta and the spectacular coastline of central Vietnam and Halong Bay. This long and skinny nation offers every sort of wonder to travellers from tip to tip! So why not discover why Vietnam’s so special, from north to south.
From north to south, Vietnam has so much to offer in every region that travellers pass by. The mountain of Sapa is where you can start your holiday in the most adventurous way, simply by trekking in the hills through the many varied local ethnic minority villages. Same as other travellers from Lonely Planet, you might find Sapa to be the best place for walking in the country or experience a homestay to feel the warmth and hospitality of local families.
The magnificent Halong Bay is definitely the next must-go destination, especially since it has been listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1994. With more than 1,600 islands and islets, Halong Bay forms a spectacular and unique natural landscape. Most areas are uninhabited and unaffected by humans. Whether cruising through the bay while relaxing on the top deck of a traditional junk, or kayaking among secluded lagoons, you will be continuously amazed by its charm. That is the reason why Lonely Planet votes Halong Bay to be the best place for coast in Vietnam.
Being the capital of Vietnam for over a thousand years, the city of Hanoi is the place to be if you are looking for a mixture of the ancient ambience from pagodas or dynastic temples, and the rapidly growing pace of a modern city in the region. Experience the life blood of the city as you wander the streets of the Old Quarter with vendors selling everything from fruits to clothes, the buzzing motorbikes invading the ears, and the ancient tube houses swallowed up by hotels and cafes. Rough Guides has some very interesting recommendations on Hanoi’s street food and unusual eats that you don’t want to miss out. While Hanoi is developing and expanding to a population of over six millions, the city still manages to modernize with a degree of grace.
Leaving the historical Northern Vietnam behind, travellers will find themselves in a perfect getaway to a laidback, dreamy atmosphere of Hoi An in the Central of Vietnam. Hoi An is intriguing by all means, from narrow streets, one-storey ancient houses that you almost don’t find anymore in Hanoi, to the picturesque scenery of hundreds of lanterns floating along Thu Bon river by night time. Hoi An remains to be the only place in Vietnam that has restrictions on motorbike usage, which makes it even more leisurely to walk or cycle around the streets. In 1999, Hoi An was listed as UNESCO World heritage site, which gives it more reasons to be a must-visit place in travellers’ agenda. In 2013, the famous Wanderlust Travel Awards has announced Hoi An to be the best voted city in the world.
Ho Chi Minh city is the largest city in the nation and gives visitors a head-spinning impression of a new Vietnam. This southern capital is rapidly being transformed to a hot, upcoming destination to compete with other regional metropolises like Singapore or Bangkok. Ho Chi Minh city, also known as Saigon, is the symbol of an economic and tourism success, with small late-night bars, cool club scene, hip restaurants and shops selling luxury goods all around the center. Ho Chi Minh city is the main hub for airlines within the region.
Less than 2 hours driving from Saigon city center, the Mekong delta features Vietnam’s largest agricultural site for rice fields, coconut palms, fruit orchards and sugar-cane plantations. It is not only the unforgettable landscape of the Cuu Long (“Nine dragons”) river that charms visitors, but also the authentic local life of farmers that makes it so memorable. Lonely Planet stereotypes its inhabitants here as friendly and easygoing, who have built their whole life around the brown canals. The everyday scenery of children on buffalos’ backs, farmers harvesting on rice paddies or market vendors selling fruits on floating boats will give you a complete different perspective and insight into the agricultural life of Vietnam, especially after experiencing the buzzing city life in Ho Chi Minh city. That is the diverse beauty of Vietnam.
Our “Where to travel in Vietnam” guide cannot be completed without a brief introduction of the arguably most beautiful beach in Vietnam, Phu Quoc island. Frommer’s destination guide to Vietnam has reviewed Phu Quoc to be one of the three best beaches in the country. You will inevitably pass by rubber plantations, pepper farms and the lush island interior while catching glimpses of the coastline in the distance. Phu Quoc’s palm- fringed, white sand beach and warm waters are the perfect setting for culminating that perfect beach break Vietnam tours. If you crave a little more activity endurance then in addition to featuring its spectacular beach, this charming island is home to local villages whose way of life has remained unchanged over the span of generations.
A visit to most major attractions in Vietnam with Buffalo Tours can be catered to all levels of experiences and requests. Whatever your desires and interests in Vietnam are, Buffalo Tours staff of expert trip planners and local tour guides have the knowledge and experiences to help you plan the perfect trip.
Buffalo Tours can take you on a multi-day epic from the North to the South! If that doesn’t suit your needs, contact us to assist you in preparing for the trip of a lifetime or try to customise a trip yourself.