Immersive Vietnam Experiences

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Hidden Gems in Vietnam

Vietnam is a country so mind-bogglingly astounding there aren’t many words that can capture its beauty. There are cascading mountain ranges, hidden local villages, thriving cities and jaw-dropping caves. Long stretches of pristine beaches, bays dotted with limestone monoliths, dripping green jungle and dramatic river valleys, it’s a sensory delight.

This is all before we’ve even mentioned the food.

Vietnam’s cuisine is one of the most wholesome and delicious in the world, as steaming bowls of soups flavored with ginger, chili, garlic and coriander straight from the hillsides are served up with succulent meat and vegetable dishes. Vietnam’s food is a reflection of the landscape, environment and culture: hot, beautiful, simple and vibrant all at once, and washed down with Saigon beer.

As soon as you arrive in this diverse, eye-wateringly beautiful country, you’ll fall madly in love with it. Its wildlife is so diverse, it’s culture so vibrant, it’s landscapes so addictive and it’s people unendingly warm.

For these reasons, over the past few years, it has become one of the most popular destinations for tourists across the world. But get under the skin of this country, and take the time to get off the beaten track, and you’ll be rewarded by the most incredible traveling experience of your life.

Highlights

We spoke to our local partner in Vietnam, Mr. Linh, to learn what his highlights of this incredible country are.

“Hi there! My name is Linh and I’m the local ambassador for Vietnam for NITGB. While Vietnam has many must-see destinations, the four that I’d pick out as being my highlights would be:

Phong Nha

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an incredible system of caves, all of varying shapes and sizes. It was formed over 400 million years ago and is an absolute explorers heaven on earth. It even boasts the largest cave in the world.

Ha Giang

Ha Giang, in the mountains of northern Vietnam, is truly the “final frontier” of the country, and is bursting with natural splendour and authentic experiences thanks to some local minority villages.

Ha Long Bay

Although this is probably the most famous attraction in Vietnam, it does get busy. But, because it’s considered among the “7 natural wonders of the world”, it’s a definite must-see, and the amazing rock structures jutting out of the ocean is a sight everyone owes themselves at least once in life (even if you have to bear the crowds for a little while).

Mekhong Delta region

Last, but not least, is the Mekong Delta region; here in the ‘bread basket’ of Vietnam on it’s myriad of lakes and rivers you have loads of great opportunities to witness local life in action, as well as visiting the floating villages and the abundance of craft workshops.”

When is the best time to go?

Here in Vietnam, we have a very diverse climate. Due to it being such a big country stretched over 1000km, we have three different micro-climates. This makes Vietnam a great all-year-round destination.

Nov-April is seen as the peak time to come to Vietnam as the temperatures are the highest and rainfall is lowest across the country.

It can, however, get really hot towards the end of the year, so if you were looking for cooler temperatures I’d advise coming between Feb-April, when the temperatures are moderate and the rainfall is lighter.

Top 10 Must See Vietnam Sites

  1. Phong Nha
  2. Ha Giang
  3. Hoi An
  4. Mekong Delta
  5. Ho Chi Minh
  6. Ha Long Bay
  7. Hanoi
  8. Hai Van Pass
  9. Hue
  10. Phu Quoc

NotintheGuideBooks Tips

Be open-minded – some people still associate Vietnam with the war. Many first-time visitors are very surprised at how much the country has moved on in the 43 years since the war finished. A lot of them also expect resentment and grudges to be held, but nothing could be further from the truth. The past is the past, and here in Vietnam, everyone is welcome.

Check your vaccinations are up to date – sounds obvious, but make sure you’ve had all the up to date jabs for travelling here.

Smile! – Vietnamese people are lovely, but might not always stop and help confused looking foreigners, like in some other Asian countries. So if you do ask a local a question, do it with a smile, you’ll have your question answered and the smile returned.

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  1. Northern Vietnam

    Northern Vietnam

  2. Ho Chi Minh City

    Ho Chi Minh City