It is best to look at Vietnam as three distinct regions; the north, the centre and the south. All three have their own unique appeal and are easily reached by affordable and quick internal flights.
Two key highlights of the country include cruising the incredible Halong Bay in the north on a traditional wooden junk, where hundreds of islets jut out from emerald coloured water for miles on end, and visiting the quaint city of Hoi An in the centre, which has it all – quaint architecture, fabulous tailors and shopping, incomparable food and a great beach. If you only have a week in Vietnam we’d recommend combining these two with a day or two in the beautifully chaotic capital of Hanoi.
If you have a few more days or a second week you could also visit the fascinating hill tribe communities and endless rice paddy terraces of the north in Sapa or Mai Chau – or you could head to the Mekong Delta in the south, where miles of canals, rivers and streams blur into one big watery mass of floating markets, mangroves and succulent fruits. You may also wish to stop off at Hue, in the centre, which is the country’s old Imperial capital boasting dozens of Royal tombs and the impressive Imperial Palace.
Of course no trip to Vietnam would be complete without a little bit of beach time, which we think is the perfect place to round off any holiday. Our favourite beach destinations are the islands of Con Dao and Phu Quoc, off the coast of Vietnam, which offer crystal clear still water and miles of stunning sandy shores. On the mainland you will also find Nha Trang, a lively beach town with some incredibly luxurious resorts and Mui Ne, which is sleepier but perhaps all the prettier for it, as well as Da Nang and Hoi An in the centre.
No matter what time of year you visit, there will always be somewhere with the sun and the sand; being a long tropical country the climate varies enormously from north to south. If you have longer than a week we recommend flying into Hanoi in the north and out of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south, or vice versa.
Take a look at our sample itineraries to give you a flavour of what your Vietnam holiday could look like. But rest assured, we specialize in tailor-made holidays so anything can be crafted to suit your unique tastes.