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Vietnam

Travel to Vietnam

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Vietnam - Map

A travel destination loved by all who have visited, Vietnam tour package is the definition of exotic charm and offers visitors a world of Buddhist pagodas, energetic cities, rice paddies and tropical beaches, not to mention the eternal magic of the winding Mekong River and the magnificent Halong Bay. A Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea, Vietnam shares borders with Cambodia, Laos and China. 

The bustling capital of Hanoi is known for its dizzying traffic, brilliant cuisine and authentic atmosphere, alongside a helping of charming French colonial architecture. On the other hand, the most populous city of Ho Chi Minh, formerly Saigon, in the south of the country, has a more westernised feel. And in the middle of the country, the cozy Hoi An will show you the lighting of Vietnam.

It is true that Vietnam tours will show you a land of contrasts, from the sleepy hills of Sapa to the idyllic beaches of Phu Quoc and the desert sand dunes of Bao Trang, Vietnam is as diverse as it is enchanting. 

A socialist republic, the country has a distinctly exotic feel that is so often desired by intrepid travellers, both in the otherworldly beauty of its natural wonders and in its dynamic non-stop cities. So dive into a nation filled with mouth-watering street food, millions of motorbikes, awe-inspiring scenery and some of the warmest and most hospitable locals you’ll ever meet with a holiday to Vietnam.

 

History of Vietnam

Vietnam’s turbulent 20th-century history is well-know, but the country has a long and fascinating heritage that has shaped the country into what it is today. The territory of modern-day Vietnam has been inhabited since Paleolithic times and for over a millennium it had close ties with China, a period in history that heavily influenced the countries culture, traditions and beliefs. 

It was not until the 10th-century that it emerged as an independent kingdom under a monarchy, marking a long period of imperial dynasties, each leaving their own mark on the country and its people. You’ll notice the French influence if you go on package holidays to Vietnam, which began in the 18th-century as the peninsula was colonised and settled by the French, eventually becoming French Indochina. The majority of the French settlers made their home in Ho Chi Minh, or Saigon as it was called, leaving a legacy of exceptional architecture such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office; not to be missed on a package tour of Vietnam.

During the years of World War II and the First Indochina War, communist nationalist groups gained momentum in Vietnam, resulting in the division of the country into North and South. The Vietnam-America War followed as the two parts of the country, backed by their corresponding allies fought each other for control of the nation. This devastating conflict endured for almost 20 years, culminating in the Fall of Saigon in 1975, bringing about the reunification of the country as a Communist state. Many relics of this turbulent time can be revisited on a tour of Vietnam, particularly in Ho Chi Minh City at the War Remnants Museum or the Cu Chi Tunnels.

 

Nature in Vietnam

One of the unique characteristics of Vietnam is its huge length, with a coastline which stretches a staggering 3,455 kilometres from north to south. Luscious beaches dot the coastline whilst inland you’ll find dense forests, rolling hills and rice paddies. The two delta regions of the Red River Delta and Mekong Delta offer travellers on a tour of Vietnam the opportunity to experience the most representative examples of rural life amongst the flooded plains and mangrove forests where the river is both a means and a way of life. 

In the north of the country, Sapa stands out as a shining example of Vietnam’s natural beauty; an emerald green paradise of hillside rice terraces, hiking trails and villages, offering fresh air and respite from bustling city life. It’s easily accessible from Hanoi. The country’s best known natural wonder is Halong Bay, an icon of Vietnam. Bejewelled with thousands of vegetation covered limestone karsts, its mystical waters invite you to spend lazy afternoons relaxing on the deck of a traditional ‘junk’ boat, appreciating the eerie quiet of the landscape. It’s an obligatory stop if you travel to Vietnam

Phu Quoc island is Vietnam’s answer to sun-soaked paradise. Here you can find the best beaches in the country and enjoy the laid back vibe of the island, located off the south coast of the mainland. The islands of Can Dao are another favourite of those looking for a beach-side escape in Vietnam and also the Nha Trang city.

 

Culture in Vietnam

Vietnamese culture is the result of many different influences over the centuries which have given the nation a unique identity. Chinese, Khmer and Champa cultures have all impacted on the cultural landscape, although the French influence is clearly seen in the use of the Latin alphabet and the popularity of Catholicism in Vietnam. 

If you take a tour of Vietnam and have the chance to immerse yourself into local life, you’ll find that family and community are more important values than individualism, and it is common for large extended families to live together. The cuisine is a favourite with foodies around the world, for its unique flavour combinations and fresh, spicy aromas. 

When it comes to religion, a large proportion of the population hold Buddhist and Catholic beliefs, but the majority of Vietnamese do not follow any religion at all or continue to practice Vietnamese folk religions and traditions. Many Vietnamese are very spiritual and believe in omens and bad luck. Vietnam tour package during a national festival, such as Tet Nguyen Dan, the lunar new year and a celebration of spring, is the perfect way to experience the local culture, especially the appreciation that the Vietnamese have for their ancestors. 

Holidays to Vietnam are one of the most exotic travel experiences you could wish for. The exquisite natural beauty, warm hospitality of the locals and fascinating culture and traditions are worth travelling for!

 

What to know before travelling to Vietnam

  • Entry requirements:
    Passport with a minimum of six months validity.
  • Visa*:
    No visa is required to enter the country for stays of up to 15 days.
  • Currency:
    Vietnamese Dong.
  • Language:
    Vietnamese.
  • Electricity:
    220 V in the majority of the country. Adapter required.
  • Health:
    There are no mandatory vaccinations for travellers from EU countries. Check with your GP.
  • Time zone:
    GMT + 07:00.
  • Other useful information:
    There is free wi-fi in the most popular tourist spots of the country.
  • Tourist Office website:
    http://www.vietnamtourism.com
* Embassies and ministries of tourism can modify the amounts of visas without prior notice
Vietnam - Mapa
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Real comments from Exoticca customers
All the comments below belong to people who have travelled to Vietnam with Exoticca in the past 18 months.
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Rating
Vietnam
Based on 12 reviews
9.6
Featured comment
Jane & Jerry Outram
UK
“‘A fabulous experience.’”
Our tour of Vietnam taught us lots about the country and gave us valuable insight into the culture.
Read more
Mr & Mrs Leslie
UK
Natural Wonders & Traditions
9.0
'The country is beautiful'
15 September 2019

“Well it was a fantastic experience! Hotels good, the Halong cruise was magnificent!”

Sean McManus
UK
Secrets of the Mekong River
9.8
'We really enjoyed our holiday and are already recommend your company to our friends and family.'
8 April 2019

“All of the guides were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about their history, traditions and fellow countrymen and women. They were prompt and always on time. Always ready to advise and help in any way giving details of further visits and places to go in our own time. ”

Mr & Mrs Holmes
UK
Mighty Mekong & Mystic Temples
9.8
'We had a wonderful time with the whole holiday.'
21 March 2019

“We really loved the excursions, were able to pack in so much but the holiday didn't feel too rushed as we also had enough time to ourselves. The locations were amazing and we really felt like we got to see the best of each one
The guides were all knowledgeable, friendly and really helped with a lot of local insights. The hotels were really amazing, especially the ones we stayed at in Cambodia, Hoi An and Hue.”

David Campkin
UK
Mighty Mekong & Mystic Temples
9.4
'All in all, a great holiday - we have already recommended.'
29 November 2018

“It was terrific; all arrangements good, hotels good, trips good, guides good.”

Ursula Cootes
UK
Mighty Mekong & Mystic Temples
9.2
'I am already recommending Exoticca to friends.'
29 November 2018

“The highlights for me were the Ha Long Bay cruise, the Angkor Wat temples and surprisingly the rickshaw ride through the busy streets of Hanoi. Although having said that I loved it all. There was such a variety included. ”


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