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Popular Destinations

Phu Quoc

 

Located off the tip of Vietnam’s south coast, Phu Quoc is a haven for nature and sea lovers looking for a place to unwind. The island is considered “off the beaten track” as it remains remarkably undeveloped. Phu Quoc’s virgin forests and pristine white sand beaches make this an ideal place for trekking, diving, and snorkeling. The infrastructure remains basic with dirt roads and a small number of four-star properties. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway without any distractions or a noisy nightlife then Phu Quoc is the ideal place to visit.
 
Getting there: A 20 minute flight from Rach Gia (Mekong Delta) or 50 minute flight from HCM City.
Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Dalat

 

Set in Vietnam's picturesque Central Highlands, this quiet town boasts cool mountain air, some of the best-preserved French colonial architecture in Indochina, and stunning natural beauty. Year-round, the temperature hovers around 20˚C (68˚F), making this a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Mountain bikers and hikers will delight in the area’s trails, as well as in views of pine-covered hills, organic farms and lush tea and coffee plantations. Dalat hosts a flower festival every other year which normally takes place in mid-December for one week and features a flower exhibition and a flower parade around Xuan Huong lake.
 
Getting there: Dalat has a small domestic airport. It is a 45-minute flight or a six hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. From Hanoi it takes 1hr, 40 minutes.
 
Dalat, Vietnam

Phan Thiet

 

Phan Thiet is a large fishing village best known locally for its fish sauce production. Located 200 km from Ho Chi Minh City, Phan Thiet is a gateway to nearby beaches which are popular for both local and tourists alike. Mui Ne, a nearby resort town, has 21 km stretch of sandy beaches lined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs. Mui Ne is subject to onshore winds from the South China Sea and is especially breezy from November to May, which may not be ideal for swimming but is popular for wind and kite surfing. Other attractions in the area include the white and red sand dunes, Po Klong Garai Cham tower, and Ocean Dune’s Golf Club, a 6746-yard par 72 course designed by Nick Faldo.
 
Getting there: Phan Thiet is a 4½ hr drive or a 5 hour train ride from Ho Chi Minh City.
Phan Thiet - Mui Ne, Vietnam

Nha Trang

 

Located in central Vietnam, the sun-washed town of Nha Trang hugs a seven-km-long stretch of golden sand, making this the perfect place to get a dose of sun, surf and fresh seafood. Clear blue seas dotted with offshore islands offer excellent opportunities for diving, fishing and snorkeling, while the town itself is home to some interesting sites, including a massive white Buddha statue and a cluster of Cham towers built between the 7th and 12th centuries. For a truly dirty pleasure try the mineral mud baths warmed by natural hot springs.
 
Getting there: A 45 minute drive from the small domestic airport located in Cam Ranh City. It is a 1 hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City and 1hr 40min from Hanoi.
Nha Trang, Vietnam

Quy Nhon

 

Quy Nhon once served as the capital of the Kingdom of Champa in the 11th century and was an important US naval and military base during the Vietnam War. Today Quy Nhon is a port city with a population of a quarter of a million and is becoming better known for its secluded beaches. A recently-built international hotel offers the possibility of a relaxing break well away from other more traveled paths.
 
Getting there: Quy Nhon has a small basic domestic airport. It is a 1hr 45minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City.
Quy Nhon, Vietnam

Hue

 

While imperial rule ended more than six decades ago, the central city of Hue still bears the marks of its royal past. From 1802 to 1945 Hue was home to 13 Nguyen emperors, whose palaces and tombs provide fascinating glimpses into the luxurious and secretive world of the court. During this period, the Imperial City was built according to the practices of Feng Shui that dictates the location and shape of spaces in harmony with both the physical and spiritual. Visitors may explore the red-lacquered pavilions of the Citadel, wander through ancient garden houses, or feast on delicacies once served in the royal palaces.
 
Getting there: Hue has a small domestic airport. It is a 1 hour flight from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
 
Hue, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a sprawling metropolis of approximately 10 million people. Formerly known as “Saigon” prior to 1975, today the city is Vietnam’s commercial center. The city’s dynamic energy is apparent in the bustling street scenes with thousands of people on motorbikes constantly on the move. Although Saigon has rapidly developed into a modern city with skyscrapers and shopping centers, there are still remnants of its past visible in the historic landmarks and beautiful French colonial buildings dotted throughout the city. In Saigon, you will still see women dressed in Vietnam’s traditional ao dai tunic stroll past modern trendy boutiques and crowded cafes. You’ll find great nightlife and some of the best shopping in Southeast Asia in this vibrant, fast-changing city. The city is home to people from all aspect of Vietnamese society. You’ll see newly wealthy entrepreneurs in their luxury cars driving past beggars on the street side. As in any large city, petty theft exists and you must exercise caution. From Saigon you can make a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels and Cao Dai Holy See temple.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hoi An

Set near the coast in central Vietnam, from the 16th to 19th centuries the riverside town of Hoi An once drew merchants from as far as Japan, India, Indonesia and Europe who bought the area’s silk, spices and porcelain. Hoi An still retains remnants of its trading days as evident in the bustling market and abundance of souvenir and tailor shops. What makes Hoi An remarkable today is that its Old Quarter has been beautifully preserved, the streets still lined with old tile-roofed shop houses, shady pagodas and colorful communal halls earning it the status as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Hoi An is surrounded by attractive countryside where you can observe the traditional way of life of farmers and fishermen.

Getting there: Hoi An is a 30 minute drive from Danang International Airport.

Danang, Vietnam

Sapa

Set high in Vietnam’s northeast mountains, the hamlet of Sapa offers spectacular views of jagged mountain ridges, terraced rice paddies and green valleys inhabited by people of various ethnic minority groups, most of whom congregate in Sapa’s colorful market. Each group has its own distinctive style of dress. From early childhood, girls learn to grow and weave hemp, to dye cloth with indigo, to sew the family’s clothes, and to decorate items with traditional embroidery motifs. More recently, Sapa has become a tourist mecca. Expect hilltribe vendors to follow you and to be persistent in persuading you to buy their handicrafts. If you buy from one vendor and other vendors see you making purchases, they will attempt to sell you their products too. If you’re not interested, just say ‘no’ and ask your guide to walk you away.

Getting there: The best way to get to Sapa is to take a 10-hour overnight train from Hanoi. Departing at night you wake up refreshed the next morning in Sapa ready to begin your adventure. Visiting a more remote hill tribe market requires a 3 to 4.5 hour drive on bumpy dirt roads through mountains. The trip is for the adventurous; otherwise enjoy your time in nearby hill tribe villages.

Lao Cai, Vietnam

Halong Bay

A visit to the north is not complete without experiencing the spectacular views of more than 3,000 limestone karsts in Ha Long Bay. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994, Ha Long Bay is a naturalist’s dream. Sculpted into strange shapes by the wind and weather, the karsts hide deserted beaches, many magnificent caves, and hidden lagoons that may only be reached by chinks in the cliffs that are revealed at low tide.

Getting there: A 4 hour drive from Hanoi through urbanized areas. You’ll transfer to the docking station, since this is a popular destination, expect bustling scenes of boats and large crowds. All this will be left behind once you sail away to a more serene environment.

Quang Ninh, Vietnam