Vietnam Travel Blog
Vietnam has something for every traveller. We have visited many times and it keeps drawing us back.
Vietnam has stunning scenery and has a tropical humid climate for most of the year. It can however get surprisingly cold in the winter months so if you are travelling to Vietnam around February and March be sure to check the weather beforehand.
Although the US dollar is widely accepted. The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong with approximately 23,000 Dong to one US Dollar. Check the currency converter for the current Vietnamese Dong exchange rate. When travelling in Vietnam we prefer to use the Vietnamese Dong rather than US dollars and have never had a problem.
Planning your Vietnam travel
For many nationalities including Australians, a visa is required to visit Vietnam for tourism. Our complete guide to Australians visa for Vietnam requirements will show you step by step how to get the right visa for your Vietnam travel.
Join the Hoi An Travel Planning Facebook Group
Da Nang - Hoi An - An Bang Beach
No visit to Vietnam would be complete without visiting the historic village of Hoi An and the pristine nearby An Bang Beach Vietnam which are both only a short distance from the popular resort town of Da Nang, An entry point into Vietnam for many tourists.
Our recommendation as part of your Vietnam travel plan would be to spend a couple of days exploring the Da Nang attractions, then move to Hoi An where you can allocate the majority of your stay exploring all the things to do in Hoi An Ancient Town.
Hanoi & Ha Long Bay
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and often the starting point for many visitors. It is a vibrant modern city that still retains a large part of its old heritage. We normally stay in the Old Quarter of the city which is close to many of the city’s famous attraction such as the former prison known as the Hanoi Hilton.
The centrepiece of Hanoi’s old quarter is Hoan Kiem Lake with its peaceful gardens and ornate bridges. With so much to see and do in Hanoi you can easily spend a week exploring the old and new sections of this city. For a guide to spending time in Hanoi see our recommendations on how to spend 2 days in Hanoi.
Ha Long Bay in Northeast Vietnam is a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its towering limestone formations and peaceful inlets. A drawcard for many tourists visiting Vietnam it covers a vast area with thousands of small islands dotted throughout the inlet. Tour operators provide many options for cruises through its crystal-clear waters offering single day, overnight or multiple days cruising through the islands. The style of cruise options caters for all tastes and budgets from small junk style boats up to luxurious offerings with all onboard amenities.
We did an overnight cruise of one of the mid-range cruise boats and thoroughly enjoyed our peaceful and relaxing time taking in the breathtaking scenery. We highly recommend visiting this part of Vietnam. You can read more about Halong Bay cruises for a guide to choosing which one is right for you.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh city formally known as Saigon has a blend of old and new and is rapidly transforming into a modern metropolis. Huge modern apartment blocks are constantly under construction and with every visit to this city we notice the transformation taking place.
Thankfully, Ho Chi Minh city still retains its original charm and the backstreets are full of small roadside markets selling traditional Vietnamese food and handmade wares. Bargains are readily available throughout the city and there is so much to see and do in Ho Chi Minh city it is well worth staying a few days to pack in as much as you can. For travel tips on spending time in Ho Chi Minh city see our extensive guide to things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
Nha Trang & Da Lat
For those looking for places to visit in Southern Vietnam Nha Trang is popular choice. Nha Trang is a coastal city which is geared toward tourists and has many high-rise hotels and apartment blocks. The vast expanse of beach is the major reason for its popularity. Our Nha Trang Itinerary is a complete guide to what to include during your stay.
A 3-hour bus trip from Nha Trang is the French inspired city of Da Lat. Set in the mountains Da Lat should be included in any itinerary especially if you are visiting Nha Trang. Dalat Vietnam attractions include the crazy house, the tranquil waters of the Xuan Huong Lake and the vibrant night market.
Known as the honeymoon capital of Vietnam with its stunning French inspired architecture, we highly recommend including Dalat in your travel itinerary of Southern Vietnam.
Vietnam travel Accommodation
Vietnam is well known as an affordable place to visit, which is a major drawcard for tourists wanting a unique Asian experience without the high prices of some of its neighbouring destinations of Hong Kong and Singapore.
Accommodation styles vary and offer excellent value for money. Whether you are travelling to Vietnam with kids, or a couple there is something for every budget from guest house style lodgings to high end hotel chains.
The popular localities tourists visit in Vietnam include Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City. However, for those with extra time Nha Trang and Dalat are also well worth visiting.
During our Vietnam travel we have stayed in many types of accommodation and our expectations are often exceeded, not only for the level of comfort offered but also by the warm and friendly hospitality of the hotel staff that often go that extra mile to ensure your stay is memorable.
The main cities Hanoi the capital and Ho Chi Minh City are almost always included in travel itineraries as they both have so much to offer.
When we visit these large cities, we like to stay in the heart of the city for easy access to all the main tourist attractions. For Ho Chi Minh City we prefer a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City District 1 which has many top class hotels and lets us explore many of the attractions by walking, rather than relying on Taxi as the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City is often congested especially in peak hour.
Also, extremely popular is Hoi An and its nearby beaches. We always include Hoi An during our visits and when looking for to where to stay in Hoi An Vietnam prefer to stay close to the Ancient Town, as that is where many of the main tourist attractions can be found.