Vietnam Holidays: An Overview

Vietnam is a fascinating country full of character. Countries that offer a diverse range of UNESCO world heritage sites, culture, history, excitement and pure relaxation and luxury are few and far between. Good news - Vietnam has it all.

Katie, Carrie and Rosie are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The ultimate Asian culture, beach and activity destination, Vietnam has it all for luxury holidays - think miles of beautiful coastline, buzzing cities and a fascinating history
  • There's some of the best food in Asia - we highly recommend taking a cookery class to appreciate the array of local ingredients on offer
  • The scenery is dramatic and varied, from the limestone cliffs of Halong Bay to the intriguing signs of life on the Mekong Delta

Luxury Holidays in Vietnam: The Detail

Vietnam has shone through, having previously been overshadowed by popular beach destinations such as Malaysia and Thailand. Vietnam surpasses in offering a diverse range of great places to see and quality places to go while enjoying a luxury holiday here. Similarly to its neighbouring South East Asian countries, you can experience buzzing cities and pristine beaches, not to mention verdant landscapes and mountains.

Did you know

  • Vietnam is the largest exporter of cashew nuts and black pepper in the world
  • About 10 million motorbikes travel on the roads of Vietnam every day
  • The Mekong River is Vietnam's longest river
  • A Vietnamese speciality is rice wine with a pickled snake in inside
  • The Vietnamese usually don't wear helmets to be safe but to not be fined by the police or traffic officers

Any one of the cities you fly in to will greet you with the harmonies of city life, ceaseless traffic and strong aromas of street food. The buzz of a Vietnamese city is almost unbeatable, and we strongly advise spending at least a day or two in either. Hanoi is vibrant and exciting with motorbikes and scooters weaving in and around as you wander around in awe. The energetic feel to the city is best enjoyed with a tour on a cyclo (Vietnam's answer to an un-motorised Tuk Tuk), or a complete foodie tour exploring all the street markets and meeting locals. Ho Chi Minh (formerly known as Saigon) is also alive with activity and great for sightseeing on foot or by cyclo. Ho chi Minh himself is even available to visit, in a mausoleum of course. American War museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site is also housed here and gives an insight into the country's history.

For a quieter pace of life, Vietnam's beaches are simple stunning, if we say so ourselves. The portfolio includes the southern beaches of Danang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet as well as the Vietnamese paradise island Con Dao. Aside from un-spoilt beaches, places like Hoi An are famous for their tailors and fine cafes and restaurants. Halong bay in the North offers a little something different than cities and beaches with it its stunning limestone islets and emerald green waters. Sail the waters in a traditional Vietnamese junk boat and have a totally fresh experience soaking up the true beauty of Vietnam, eating fine food, exploring caves and most likely taking a LOT of pictures.

The south is rich in agriculture in the lush landscapes along the Mekong Delta with rice fields and fresh fruit farms. Food is a rite of passage in Vietnam and with the freshness of local ingredient, a French flare and Asian flavours, the cuisine is almost unbeatable.

The 20th century saw Vietnam successively fighting off the French, the Americans and the Chinese, and it is now one of the most appealing luxury holiday destinations in South-East Asia, welcoming a new invasion - tourists, this time - with open arms. Any visit to Vietnam will benefit from a well-planned itinerary because geographically, the country is a long, narrow strip of land, and there's a huge number places worth visiting but spread across the nation, and that's where we come in.

Original Travel members have travelled the country, and know the best places to stay and visit, so can tailor a luxury holiday itinerary to your exact specifications. Must sees should include the Mekong Delta in the south; more than 2,000 miles of coastline, endowed with some beautiful beaches and slick hotels; and cities such as Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), with their temples, historic buildings and French colonial architecture. We have visited them all and can give informed recommendations on where to stay, and arrange expert guides where required.


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Original Highlight

Bicycling around the charming old fashioned town of Hoi An, which is packed full of tailors keen to whip up a silk jacket overnight for you!

Katie, Original Traveller

A note on price

Direct flights cost from £700 per person, but once there, Vietnam is pretty good value – a good 10-day itinerary (staying in four star accommodation) costs around £2,000 per person including guides and domestic transport. Those with a bigger budget should expect to easily spend around £5,000 per person. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 20°C / 68°F
  • Rainfall — 1cm / 0.6 inches
Language

Vietnamese

Currency

Dong

Visa Requirements

Required

Religion

Buddhism

Food & Drink

Pho (Noodle dish), Tôm Sốt Chua Ngọt (sweet & sour prawns)

What to pack

A good camera and memory cards for the loads of pictures you are going to take!

Flight from London

11:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +7 hrs


Top picks for Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Tour

Ho Chi Minh City Tour

Ho Chi Minh City & Mekong Delta

Original Travel can arrange an expertly guided tour of the city, taking in the former Presidential Palace, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Saigon post office, temples, a lacquerware factory and Thien Hau Pagoda in the city’s bustling Chinatown

What to do

Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City & Mekong Delta

Vietnam

The famous Mekong Delta at the southernmost end of Vietnam is not only the country’s main rice basket and fruit garden but also home to Ho Chi Minh City.

Where to go

Tailor-made Hoi An

Tailor-made Hoi An

Hoi An & Hue

Original Travel can arrange a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What to do

Hoi An Street Food Tour

Hoi An Street Food Tour

Hoi An & Hue

This street food tasting tour is an entertaining and informative way to see Hoi An through its food. Visit a local market off the tourist map then sit down to sample a 36 local delicacies - from sweet to savoury, noodles, sticky rice, myriad spring rolls, tropical fruits and dishes only found in Hoi An.

What to do

Tunnels of Cu Chi

Tunnels of Cu Chi

Ho Chi Minh City & Mekong Delta

Well worth a visit from Ho Chi Minh are the Cu Chi Tunnels.

What to do

Halong Jasmine

Halong Jasmine

Hanoi & Halong Bay

Launched in late 2007, the Halong Jasmine is all about attention to detail and quality of design.

Where to stay

Winding Road Through Sapa

Sapa

Vietnam

In the Hoang Lien Mountains, is the picturesque market town of Sapa, a region of beautiful mountain scenery and remote villages inhabited by a variety of hill tribes

Where to go

Nam Hai

Nam Hai

Hoi An & Hue

As well as a stretch of private sandy beach, facilities at the Nam Hai include three swimming pools, tennis, badminton and basketball courts, and a health club with a gym, steam room and sauna.

Where to stay

Hanging Lanterns

Hoi An & Hue

Vietnam

The former capital of Hue and the ancient town of Hoi An are two of Vietnam's heritage sites, and some of its prettiest places.

Where to go

Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa

Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa

Hoi An & Hue

The property is situated on a private stretch of beach just three miles from the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Where to stay

Sunrise over Halong Bay

Hanoi & Halong Bay

Vietnam

A holiday to Hanoi, exploring the culture of Vietnam's capital, combines well with a meandering boat tour around the beautiful Halong Bay.

Where to go

Halong Bay

Halong Bay

Hanoi & Halong Bay

Combine Hanoi with a trip to Halong Bay, on the Gulf of Tonkin.

What to do

Halong Ginger

Halong Ginger

Hanoi & Halong Bay

Launched in mid 2006, this wooden junk combines old school elegance with modern comfort for the ideal exploration of Halong Bay.

Where to stay

City Tour of Hanoi

City Tour of Hanoi

Hanoi & Halong Bay

Take a private guided tour of the city’s main sights, including temples, museums of the country’s recent and ancient history, traditional old quarters and more recent tree-lined boulevards with their French colonial architecture.

What to do

La Résidence Hotel & Spa

La Résidence Hotel & Spa

Hoi An & Hue

The hotel was once the governor’s residence and has been restored to offer all the comforts and atmosphere of a classic colonial villa.

Where to stay

Evason Ana Mandara

Evason Ana Mandara

Nha Trang Coastline

The Evason Ana Mandara is on a private stretch of white sand near the Tran Phu Boulevard in Nha Trang, the coastal capital of the Khanh Hoa province.

Where to stay

M/V Emeraude

M/V Emeraude

Hanoi & Halong Bay

The Emeraude cruises amid the scenic beauty of Halong Bay at a stately 10 knots.

Where to stay

Boat Trip on the Perfume River (Hue)

Boat Trip on the Perfume River (Hue)

Hoi An & Hue

Original Travel can organise a private guided boat trip on the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Imperial Citadel.

What to do

Nha Trang Coastline

Nha Trang Coastline

Vietnam

The capital of Khanh Hoa province in south-central Vietnam, Nha Trang makes an ideal stop-off for a bit of seaside relaxation between the sight-seeing of the country’s north and south

Where to go

Sofitel Metropole

Sofitel Metropole

Hanoi & Halong Bay

Built in 1901, the hotel has a rich history, having witnessed the turbulent 20th century history of Vietnam, and occupies a landmark French colonial building next to the Opera House in the heart of Hanoi.

Where to stay

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

Nha Trang Coastline

There are a variety of accommodation options to choose from at Six Senses ninh Van Bay, with villas spread along the beach or scattered among the hills and the dramatic rock formations.

Where to stay

Hue by Bicycle

Hue by Bicycle

Hoi An & Hue

Discover the hidden backroads of Hue by bicycle on a day trip spent meandering along country roads past craft villages, shrines, tombs and pagodas and taking a local ferryboat across the Perfume River with the locals. The route starts with a visit to Dong Ba food market, then along the northern bank of the Perfume River to the old town of Bao Vinh and to the famous Citadel and Imperial Museum to learn about the lifestyle of the royal family and aristocrats of the Nguyen Dynasty. Next up is one of the finest examples of garden houses of Hue, the An Hien garden and finally the Heavenly Lady Pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist pagodas in Vietnam.

What to do

Tribal Villages

Tribal Villages

Sapa

Trekking is the main reason to come to Sapa.

What to do

Amanoi

Amanoi

Nha Trang Coastline

Amanoi is – surprisingly – Aman resorts’ first venture into Vietnam. We say surprisingly because it seems amazing that it took the hotel group until 2013 to jump on the Vietnam bandwagon. They’re playing catch up pretty well, though, as Amanoi sits in an enviable position looking down on the exquisite Vinh Hy Bay.

Where to stay

Re-entry to the real world has been busy after the amazing trip you put together for us. Absolutely everything you arranged was extraordinary... many great memories! Thank you

Susan

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