Travel to Vietnam
The 5 Star Hotels and Luxury Resorts in Vietnam create a comforting and relaxing extension to your getaway in Southeast Asia
Vietnam is sure to surprise even the most seasoned traveler. While hardship had no doubt hit this country decades ago, its people have seen a resurgence and they’re proud to share their beautiful country with the world.
The country’s natural beauty is stunning – from its mountainous north and its pristine beaches to unique limestone island in Halong Bay and the vitality of the the Mekong River. But Vietnam has many amazing contrasts to its natural beauty, including Ho Chi Minh City, French colonial architecture and intriguing museums.
Vietnam’s 5 star hotels and luxury resorts will provide you with amazing amenities and exceptional service.
Vietnam – Insider tip
Gestures of respect will go a long way with the local people of Vietnam. For example, remove your shoes when entering Buddhist pagodas and private homes, don’t touch people of the opposite sex and close a conversation with a sharp bow of the head (not at the waist like the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans do).
Vietnam tours and activities
Sightseeing in Vietnam
Vietnam is truly a splendid mix of natural and historic sites. Nature lovers must experience Ha Long Bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waters. For a splash of culture, visit the traditional town of Hoi An (with various architectural styles used in the Old House of Tan Ky, the Fujian Assembly Hall and the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge.
If Vietnam has a cultural heart, Hanoi is it. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s house, a simple structure located among banyan, frangipani and milkweed trees. Other noteworthy sites within Hanoi include One Pillar Pagoda (dating back to the first Vietnamese empire independent from China in the 11th century), the Quan Thanh Temple, the Temple of Literature and the National Museum of Fine Arts.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Formerly known as Saigon, this city has seen experienced a resurgence of art and culture. It’s truly a hub of activity, a sharp contrast to the traditional ambience of Hanoi. While here visit the 19th-century Thien Hau Pagoda, which serves as a site for prayers to Buddha as well as to the Chinese deity, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Opera House. Be sure to head out of the city to explore the expansive Cu Chi Tunnel network, a key Vietcong resource during the Vietnam War.
River Cruising in Vietnam
The Mekong River is an absolutely beautiful way to enjoy the southern part of Vietnam. From various villages where you can experience the day-to-day life of today’s Vietnamese, to the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong River is a great way to see it all.
Shopping in Vietnam
Be prepared to bargain if you’re going to shop in Vietnam (even on small items). Prices can be very favorable for US travelers, so taking some a few treasures might be something to consider. Depending on which are of the country you’re in, shop for silks, pearls, woodcarvings, shoes, jewelry and much more.
Dining in Vietnam
There are many great restaurant throughout the cities of Vietnam (and for US travelers, the can be very inexpensive). Be sure to try some of the local dishes, especially the national dish pho, a spicy noodle soup served with chicken or beef. Other favorites include cha ca, bite-sized pieces of fish grilled at your table and served with rice noodles and various spices. Lau is a tasty hot pot cooked at your table. And ice cream lovers will appreciate the local’s love of ice cream, which comes in many interesting flavors from coconut to lemongrass.
Vietnam Fast Facts:
Population of Vietnam
Languages in Vietnam
Vietnamese (official), French, English, Chinese.
Religions in Vietnam
Buddhist (Theravada and Mahayana), Christian (Roman Catholic), Taoist.
Time Zone in Vietnam
Seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+7 GMT). Daylight Saving Time is not observed.
Voltage Requirements in Vietnam
Currency in Vietnam
The dong is the currency of Vietnam
Weather in Vietnam
Temperatures are relatively mild and nights are cooler from October-December (highs in the high 80s F with lows in the low 70s F). Temperatures are lower in the northern part of the country. May-September are very hot and humid.
There are four distinct geographical regions within Vietnam: the northeast’s low and flat Red River delta, the rugged and mountainous terrain of the northwest, the narrow central region’s long chain of mountain peaks (with a plain of rice fields and farms stretching east to the sea), and finally the Mekong delta in the south.
Safety in Vietnam
Vietnam is a relatively safe place to travel, and the majority of Vietnamese are extremely honest. However, use common sense and caution as you would when traveling to any other international destination. Be sure to keep valuables out of sight, have your wallet or purse close by at all times and stick together when walking at night.
Vietnam Fun Facts:
- What’s the difference between a pagoda and a temple? Pagodas (chua) are dedicated to Buddha and, often, to various Hindu gods and avatars. Temples (den) are built to memorialize historical figures, especially kings, emperors and victorious generals. They are frequently built next to or inside pagodas. Prayers and incense are offered at pagodas, but not at temples.
- Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashews in the world, as well as the second largest exporter of rice and coffee.
- The Vietnamese refer to the Vietnam War as the American War.
- Though it initially took a hard-line communist approach after the war, Vietnam later began liberalizing certain segments of its economy and in 1983 announced an open-door trade policy with the rest of the world.
- An estimated 3 million motorbikes crowd the streets of Hanoi, small potatoes compared to Ho Chi Minh City’s 6.5 million.