Vietnam

To find the Holy Grail of white beaches, exotic jungles, ancient culture, affordable prices and great food, hop on a plane to Vietnam.

Long overlooked as a holiday destination, Vietnam is now officially trending. Think exciting city stays, scenic cruises and lazy beach holidays. Are you more the intrepid type? Book an eco-tour to paddle through the Mekong Delta or hack your way through the northern jungle. From Hanoi up north, Halong Bay and Hoi An on the east coast, and down to Ho Chi Minh City in the south, you’ll find that the always entrepreneurial Vietnamese know how to please the crowds.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vietnam

What kind of food can I expect to find in Vietnam?

These days, you don't need to go to Vietnam to experience Vietnamese food. However, there's nothing that compares to picking up a fresh banh mi (salad and meat stuffed baguette) from an authentic street-side vendor. As you may have guessed from the use of long sticks of bread, there's a lot of French influence in the local cuisine. Great coffee is one thing you certainly won't be without on this trip. And then there's the pho (pronounced "fur"), the country's most beloved dish. This mouthwatering savoury soup is packed with fresh ginger, herbs, vegetables and meat. Every restaurant has their own recipe, so make sure you sample it from few different places.

Where are the best beaches?

Vietnam is a sun-seekers paradise, boasting over 3000 kilometres of coastline. When it comes to beaches, Nha Trang is one of Vietnam's biggest names. With turquoise waters, endless white sands and a backdrop of picturesque mountains, it's truly a special part of the world. You'll find a range of accommodation here, from budget backpackers to high-end resorts. Hoping for a more secluded retreat? Escape the crowds and head off to one of the area's surrounding islands. Speaking of islands, Phu Quoc is the other must-visit for beach lovers. Sitting closer to Cambodia than Vietnam, this popular getaway offers wild tracts of jungle surrounded by a stunning, reef-fringed coastline - the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.

Are there any customs or taboos in Vietnam that I should be aware of?

There are many superstitions and customs embedded in Vietnamese society. Be sure to dress appropriately when visiting temples or pagodas. You'll be expected to take off your shoes before you enter - this goes for entering a private dwelling as well. When passing somebody an object, it is considered a mark of respect to use both of your hands. Travelling with a partner? Keep in mind that public displays of affection are considered taboo in many areas. Vietnamese people are quite upfront with questions westerners may find uncomfortable, such as "how much do you earn?". And when it comes to shopping, haggling is the rule rather than the exception!

Where is the best trekking in Vietnam?

From meandering along scenic rice paddies to multi-day treks through remote valleys and mountains, Vietnam offers walks for all ages and abilities. There are many national parks and reserves throughout the country. On the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Cat Tien is one park that offers well-maintained trails as well as plenty of fascinating native flora and fauna. However, it's the north that attracts the most serious trekkers. Set high up in the clouds, the alpine town of Sapa offers some of the country's most dramatic walks. It's from here that you can climb to the top of Fansipan Mountain, the highest in Indochina. On a clear day, the view from the top is nothing short of spectacular.