A trip to Vietnam is often centred around a journey between the capital Hanoi in the north, and Saigon (as Ho Chi Minh is still called locally) in the south, taking in the many highlights between the two.
Vietnam's largest city and commercial capital, Saigon is a fascinating blend of old and new, where gleaming skyscrapers sit alongside ancient temples, and street vendors tout for business outside gleaming shopping malls. While in the south of Vietnam, visitors should take a cruise through the lush Mekong Delta to see the famous floating markets, tour the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels or relax on coast near the tropical beach resort of Mui Ne.
Further up the coast travellers will find the delightful city of Hoi An, with its well-preserved old town, and a couple of hours further on can explore the once magnificent Imperial City of Hué, which was the national capital and home to the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802-1945, and is now a culinary capital. Hanoi is the modern-day capital, and has been an important city for a thousand years; the influences from the French and Chinese rulers is ever present in the architecture. Travellers can wander through the elaborate narrow streets of the Old Quarter, avoiding the many scooters, to find fashionable bars, restaurants and art galleries, alongside food vendors, street markets and Buddhist temples. The French Quarter by contrast has wide boulevards lined with imposing houses. A winding train ride up the mountains in Sapa lets visitors overlook it all. On the coast, visitors can find remote beaches, or take a boat cruise through the hundreds of towering islands in Halong Bay. The trip to nearby Ninh Binh offers tourists the chance to experience some of Vietnam's most beautiful rural scenery, with narrow rivers snaking past limestone cliffs and farmers tending their fields with water buffaloes.
The quaint riverside town of Hoi An was an important port town and one of the major trading centres in South East Asia during the 16th and 17th centuries. The cultural influences of the Japanese and Chinese merchants are still evident today in... see full details
Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum
Ba Dinh Square was where Ho Chi Minh read out the Declaration of Independence in 1945, and is the site of annual national celebrations today. The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum dominates the site's west side and is where the embalmed body of the... see full details
The natural wonder of Halong Bay has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Renowned for its spectacular scenery and limestone grottos and caves, the bay is peppered with over 1,600 inlets and tiny islands emerging almost mystically out of the emerald waters of... see full details
Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels system is an underground network of tunnels dug in the 1940s by the Vietnamese as a place to hide during the fight against the French. The network was later expanded and used in the American War. Today the system... see full details
The delta is a vast network of waterways formed by the Mekong River. It is surrounded by a fertile patchwork of endless green rice paddies, orchards and swamplands, where most of the country's rice is grown. Not only does the Mekong River irrigate... see full details
Cat Ba island
For most, a trip in Halong Bay means at least a night on Cat Ba Island. Many enlist for a package tour of one night on the island and one on a boat, but Cat Ba is worth investing extra time in. This... see full details
Mui Ne is Vietnam's most western style resort beach. The city itself is a typical Vietnamese fishing community sporting a fleet of beautiful fishing boats but with little to see or do in town. The beach beside it, however, is home to luxury... see full details
Located in Vietnam's central highlands region, Da Lat is the capital of Lam Dong Province and a popular tourist destination. It offers sun-burned travellers an Alpine haven, ideal for rest and recuperation. Full of beautiful French Colonial architecture, the city's natural surrounds are also... see full details
Located in the Gulf of Siam, Phu Quoc is Vietnam's largest island, and is fast becoming a heavyweight tourist destination. The densely forested, mountainous island is ringed by some of the most beautiful, unspoilt beaches in the whole of Southeast Asia. Accessible by sea... see full details