From bustling Saigon and the natural glories of the Mekong Delta in the south to spectacular Halong Bay and the serene majesty of Vietnam’s ancient capital Hanoi in the north, tailor made vacations to Vietnam will allow visitors to this incomparable country to see it in all its rich and varied complexity and beauty. With a multitude of old mercantile towns like Hoi An, gorgeous little jewels like Hue on the serene Perfume River and the native and colourful tribes of the majestic Tonkinese Alps, Vietnam is the perfect country for constructing or enrolling on a tailor made holiday to get the most out of a limited stay here.
You can effectively explore most of the north of Vietnam in about a week, taking in the historic and cultural charms of the great and ancient city of Hanoi as well as striking a little further out to the likes of Halong Bay with its thousands of limestone columns and trekking through the glorious landscapes of the Tonkinese Alps. This kind of structured tour is ideal for someone who already has a base elsewhere in SE Asia or who is short on time and wants to pack in a regional tour.
Alternatively, spread your trip to take in an overview of all the major sights of Vietnam. As this is an essentially thin and sinuous country, you can land at either Hanoi or Saigon and work your way from one end to the other. The advantage with two international airports at these two extremes is that once you’ve completed the trip you don’t have to double back again to fly back home. A city to city tour of this sort would take in central Vietnam and the coastline and interior rice fields as well as Saigon and Hanoi with their historic and cultural attractions.
If you’ve visited Vietnam before and have familiarised yourself with the main cultural and natural highlights, consider delving into the central highlands region on a subsequent visit to seek out some of Vietnam’s less familiar treasures and beat the track not normally taken by raw tourists. This is also a good idea if you’re looking for a bit of adventure and have less time at your disposal.
|Hoi An (wiki image)|
At the end of this trail you finish off in Saigon, which is one of the busiest cities in SE Asia and has numerous attractions. It started out as a Khmer fishing port, and although it is officially known as Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) the old French name of Saigon is still used by many.
David Elliott is a freelance writer who loves to travel, especially in Europe and Turkey. He’s spent most of his adult life in a state of restless excitement but recently decided to settle in North London. He gets away whenever he can to immerse himself in foreign cultures and lap up the history of great cities.