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Fresh exotic cuisine, the warmth and openness of the Vietnamese people, French colonial history, limestone islands, and beautiful beaches make Vietnam a delight to visit! Have clothes tailored in the small colonial town of Hoi An, relax at the exclusive Six Senses Resorts in Nha Trang and Con Dao, cruise Halong Bay on a traditional junk, or the Mekong on a Bassac Boat. Visit the mountain retreat of Sapa to visit traditional hilltribe villages, and share home cooked meals with the locals. Visitors to Vietnam are overwhelmed by the sublime beauty of the country’s natural setting and traditional charm.

Places to visit in Vietnam

• Hoi An
• Halong Bay
• Mekong Delta
• Hanoi
• Sapa Hilltribes

Best time to travel Vietnam

Vietnam enjoys a tropical climate with plenty of sunshine and average temperatures ranging from 22 to 27 degrees celcius. Vietnam has 2 distinct seasons. May to October is characterised by hot, humid days with plenty of rainfall, while November to April is generally drier and slightly cooler. The local climate varies from the north to the south of Vietnam, and weather patterns are also different in the mountain ranges, than on the coast.

The whole of Vietnam to me is fascinating. However, my absolute favourite place would have to be Hoi An. A gorgeous town set on the river with old French colonial buildings and a bustling marketplace. There are some of the best tailors in the world ready to whip up an entire wardrobe for you overnight at very reasonable prices. Staying in Hoi An you have the best of both worlds; a gorgeous white sand beach, and the old town with fascinating history. My husband and I really enjoyed a cooking class at Red Bridge Cooking School. A lot of fun, and we now have dinner parties impressing our friends with delicious Vietnamese cuisine! Another highlight, amongst many was staying at the impressive Evason Ana Mandara Six Senses resort in Nha Trang. They really know how to look after you, and after a spa treatment, delicious meal and a swim in the infinity pool you come away feeling very relaxed. For those wanting something extra special, then head out to Six Senses Ninh Van Bay. Here you have your own private villas with pools with the utmost privacy. Heavenly!

For the ladies, shopping in the capital city Hanoi is a must! They ingeniously named the streets as Shoe Street, Bag Street, Toy Street etc.. Makes it very easy to find what you are after. I did quite a bit of damage on Bag Street, buying every copy handbag imaginable (much to my husband’s disgust). Hanoi is such a beautiful city with beautifully elegant buildings, large boulevards and lakes, and only 3 and a half hours away from the stunning waters and emerald islands of Halong Bay. I found the Vietnamese people so heart-warmingly friendly, the food delectable, and the history fascinating! All in all, Vietnam is a brilliant destination which I could recommend hands down and can’t wait to go back.

Vietnam Travel Guide and Facts

Currency Vietnamese Dong (VND)

Language The official language is Vietnamese, with different dialects apparent throughout the country. A host of various languages particular to ethnic minorities are also spoken, as well as Chinese, English and French to a lesser degree.

Why we love it From grandiose villas and palaces built long ago by the French, wide boulevards, busy markets and misty lakes to glorious shopping and even more glorious food, Vietnam is a treat for every traveller. A day spent cruising quietly on a traditional junk around Halong Bay followed by a dip in the warm ocean waters and a freshly caught seafood lunch would be hard to beat. The northern mountain ranges are home to a number of diverse ethnic groups each with their own distinct cultural differences which we find fascinating and you must try to fit in a visit to the old town of Hoi An during the full moon festival each month – the streets come alive with colourful Chinese lanterns and locals celebrating the festival of light.

Weather Enjoying a tropical climate with plenty of sunshine and average temperatures ranging from 22C to 27C, Vietnam has two distinct seasons: May – October is characterised by hot, humid days with plenty of rainfall, while November – April is generally drier and slightly cooler. The local climate varies from the north to the south of Vietnam, and weather patterns are also different in the mountain ranges than on the coast.

Social customs & quirks The Vietnamese people are exceptionally friendly and outgoing – you had best prepare yourself for plenty of personal questions and comments regarding just about every aspect of your life. While this may seem a forthright quality, the Vietnamese themselves have a quiet reserve so it is best to allow the conversation to be guided by the person with whom you are speaking. They certainly never mean to be rude, especially about your weight (!!!) but as a nation of traditionally quite tiny people they are inevitably curious when they have the opportunity to speak with different cultures. With an extremely strong work ethic you will find the Vietnamese an industrious and hard working nation. The Vietnamese will be embarrassed by public displays of anger – a gracious smile will get you much further than temper in just about any situation.

Festivals & events Some festivals in Vietnam can trace their origins back to the Bronze Age and many are celebrated in tune with the land, harvests and changing of the seasons. The most important festival of the year is Tet, held in late Jan – early Feb marking the new lunar year and the advent of spring. The slightly less cheerful, Wandering Souls Day, is held in August, which allows people to make offerings of food and gifts to the wandering souls of the forgotten dead. Doan Ngu is a happy occasion in June where effigies are burnt to become soldiers in the god of death’s army. We prefer the beautiful full moon festivals held each month in Hoi An!

Health* Immunisations against diseases such as diphtheria, hepatitis A, tetanus and typhoid fever are recommended, but not compulsory. If coming from an infected area, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required. Malarial prevention is recommended for visitors to Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces, some highland areas, and the Mekong and Tonkin Deltas. Please contact your health practitioner for full and current details.

Visas NZ passport holders are required to obtain a tourist visa before entering Vietnam. Visa applications are currently processed in New Zealand.

Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.

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Culture, Heritage and Cruising
Price from$11,860 SELECT

Cambodia, Vietnam 14 Days/13 Nights 12 July 2020
Locally Escorted Tour

On this small group tour (maximum 10 guests) explore Vietnam and Cambodia, two very vibrant and fascinating countries. Spend 14 days absorbing the culinary...

Best of Vietnam & Cambodia

Cambodia, Vietnam 19 Days / 18 Nights

Our most comprehensive tour of Vietnam and Cambodia takes you to Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and more. Featuring...

Culinary Delights of Vietnam
Price from$4,615 SELECT

Vietnam 12 Days / 11 Nights Saigon to Hanoi or vice versa

Vietnamese cuisine is fresh, fragrant and feisty; highly regarded as one of the world's best. Few realize the delicious regional variations that are found...

Essential Vietnam
Price from$3,401 SELECT

Vietnam 10 Days / 9 Nights Hanoi to Saigon or vice versa

Designed to capture the true essence of Vietnam, this fascinating journey takes you from the bustling city of Saigon to the timeless capital of...

Grand Vietnam

Grand Vietnam

Price from$4,802 SELECT

Vietnam 13 Days / 12 Nights Hanoi to Saigon or vice versa

This journey combines a wide variety of ethnic minority groups set in high mountains, deep ravines and terraced fields of Vietnam. They still retain...

Highlights of Indochina
Price from$8,979 SELECT

Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam 20 Days / 19 Nights

Our most comprehensive tour of Indochina showcases the highlights of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. See French colonial Phnom Penh and the marvellous temples of...

Meandering Mekong
Price from$3,594 SELECT

Cambodia, Vietnam 10 Days / 9 Nights Saigon to Siem Reap or vice versa

The Mekong Delta is an extremely fertile area and is responsible for providing the rice that feeds the entire country! The colourful villages and...

The Anam
Price from$1,240 SELECT

Vietnam 6 Days / 5 Nights

Welcome to The Anam. This picture-perfect five-star resort is situated near Nha Trang and blends colonial era charm with warm-hearted Vietnamese service. Relax on...

Price from$3,425 SELECT

Cambodia, Vietnam 8 Days / 7 Nights Saigon to Siem Reap or vice versa
Mekong River Boutique Cruises with Heritage Line

The Mekong Delta is at the heart of Vietnamese life, as the people depend on it to irrigate their glistening rice paddies, fruit orchards...

Vietnam Family Adventure
Price from$5,950 SELECT

Vietnam 17 Days / 16 Nights

Vietnam is perfect for family travel, with plenty to engage all ages! On this journey you will cover all the highlights and create memories...

Vietnam in Style
Price from$7,433 SELECT

Vietnam 12 Days / 11 Nights Hanoi to Saigon
Luxury tailor-made tour

Stay in some of the finest accommodations in the country as you discover the exoticness of this vast country in our Vietnam In Style...