Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Over the years, Vietnam tourism is on the rise as the number of international tourists has increased significantly. Traveling to Vietnam is becoming more and more well-known in the world, many destinations in the country have been voted as favorite destinations by international travelers, of which the most prominent are Hanoi, Hoi An, and Mekong Delta.
The following article will give you some interesting things about Vietnam travel guide as well as top reasons to visit Hanoi, Hoi An, and Mekong Delta. Let’s check it out!
VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDE
Facts about Vietnam
- Electricity – 220V
- Currency – Vietnam Dong (VND)
- $ 1 USD = 22,800 VND
- ATMs can be found all over and the credit cards are accepted somewhere
- SIM – You can find pre-paid no contract SIM at some mobile phone shops
- Unit of Measure – Meter
- Visa: There are 3 ways to get Vietnam visa including visa at Vietnam Embassy, E-visa and Vietnam visa on arrival. The most appropriate, convenient way to get is via Vietnam visa on arrival if travellers enter Vietnam by air.
Money saving tips
- Do not travel during the high season because the costs of moving, eating, staying and traveling will be higher during the peak season.
- Hotel Savings: You should book a hotel room through the incentive program to get discounts as well as enjoy the free services attached. In the case of going with your friends, staying together will save you more money. Check out Booking.com or Agoda.com for more.
- Reduce the cost of eating or enjoying local specialties in different ways such as sharing invoices, participating in local festivals, and cooking by yourself. Alternatively, you can use the buffet breakfast a bit late to save money for lunch.
- Slow travel: When traveling, you should not spend money on expensive moving vehicles such as airplanes and taxis. Instead, choose bus or passenger car. It not only saves you money but also opens the opportunity to experience the journey in a new direction.
- Bargain: It is not hard for local people to recognize you as a tourist which means the item sold to you will cost more. Before buying, you should check the local price to pay the appropriate price.
TOP DESTINATION TIPS
Best time to visit Hanoi
Hanoi has four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter characterized by tropical monsoon climate: The hot summer with heavy rain and the cold winter with less rain. From May to September, the weather is hot and rainy while it is dry and less rain from November to March of the next year. In particular, between the two seasons, there is a transition period from April to October.
The period from September to November or from March to early April is considered the ideal time to travel to Hanoi. At this time, the weather is warm and pleasant, and the sun is not harsh and dry. The autumn is from August to September and lasts until October – November at the end of autumn.
Of all the season, October is also the best time to travel. At the end of October, there are monsoons in the Northeast when the weather is cold and the sun is very beautiful. The romantic climate at that time is suitable for sightseeing activities.
Things to see and do in Hanoi
- Hanoi Opera House: The building was built by the French in 1901 and completed in 1911. This is one of the famous sightseeing places in the capital.
- Hanoi Cathedral (the official name: St. Joseph Cathedral): The church which was completed in 1886 is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Hanoi.
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Ba Dinh District): The place where Uncle Ho’s remains and body are kept.
- Hanoi Railway Station was built and completed in 1900, with the largest scale of Indochina in that period.
- The ceramic road was built and completed in 2008 on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi. It is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the longest ceramic picture in the world.
- Long Bien Bridge is the first steel bridge across the Red River, connecting Hoan Kiem District with Long Bien District, built by French (1898-1902).
Best time to visit Hoi An
Hoi An’s climate is divided into two distinct seasons: the sunny and rainy seasons. The rainy season starts from August until the end of December, and the dry season from January to July every year. Hoi An sometimes also have some cold periods, but they last not long. Each season in Hoi An has a different beauty. It looks like this small town, regardless of sun or rain, is also attractive to visitors when they arrive here.
Things to see and do in Hoi An
- Tan Ky Ancient House: Built in the late 18th century, this is one of the oldest sites in Hoi An. It is nearly 200 years old and still retains its unique architectural style.
- Trieu Chau Assembly Hall (also called Ong Bon Pagoda) always mentioned in the list of destinations in Hoi An. It is considered one of the oldest architectural buildings in the city.
- The Tran Family Chapel is one of the famous tourist sites in Hoi An with its ancient features and unique architecture of the church. Located at No. 21 Le Loi, Hoi An City, Tran Church is considered one of the oldest church with hundreds of years old.
- Hoi An Market attracts many visitors to visit and go shopping. You can find many specialties, arts, and crafts as well as enjoy delicious food here.
- Cau Pagoda or Japanese bridge has a unique roof style which was made of wood with Japanese decorative architectural style.
Best time to visit Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta has a sunny climate and moderate weather all year round. In each season, Mekong Delta has a unique characteristic.
The summer (around June, July, and August) is the season of fruits, so if you like to explore the garden of fresh fruits, you should go in the summer.
September to November is the floating season. Coming here this season, you will visit many fun places featured on the floating days.
From December to January, you can visit famous flower villages like Sa Dec, Tan Quy Dong, and Vi Thanh.
Things to see and do in Mekong Delta
- Tra Su Melaleuca forests in Tinh Bien district is the symbol of An Giang floating season.
- Tan Lap Floating Village is located in Moc Hoa district, Long An province.
- Tram Chim National Park, Tam Nong District, Dong Thap Province has become a protected area since 1994. It is the largest wetland area of the Dong Thap Muoi, recognized as a biosphere reserve of Vietnam and the 2,000th of the world.
- Dong Tam Snake Farm: This is one of the largest snake farms in Vietnam with more than 400 species and is considered as the first solid museum in Vietnam, attracting many domestic and foreign tourists to visit.
- Cai Rang Floating Market: This floating market is a cultural feature of the people in the South West that you can hardly find in other localities. Especially Cai Rang floating market is one of the five largest floating markets in the Mekong Delta.
TOP REASONS TO VISIT HANOI, HOI AN, & MEKONG DELTA
- Be safe and friendly: The simplicity, friendliness, and hospitality of the people in Hanoi have touched the hearts of international visitors. Many newspapers and popular travel websites such as Telegraph (UK), CNN, Trip Advisor (USA), and Smart Travel Asia (Hong Kong) – China) has repeatedly honored Hanoi Capital as one of the most worthwhile visits in Asia and in the world.
- To change every moment: Chef Anthony Bourdain affirmed that Vietnam is a fast-growing country: “This country changes every moment.” By the end of September 2017, Hanoi was in the top 20 fastest growing tourist destinations in the world ranked by Mastercard.
- Attractive colors: In the unceasing development, the “colors” which have been found make Hanoi more attractive. The colorful flowers across the street, the eye-catching street food, and the ancient architectural buildings contribute to creating a lively beauty for Hanoi tourism.
- Cheap airfare: At the end of the year, airlines usually have many promotions applied at the weekend to encourage and stimulate tourists to travel. A return ticket to Hoi An, Da Nang is only around 600,000 – 1.5 million VND (26$ – 66$).
- Cheap homestay and hotel: The rainy season is the low season of Hoi An tourism, so the places to stay such as guest houses, hotels, and homestay are much cheaper to attract more tourists. Pre-booking on the website will also help you save time in Hoi An and there are many options and incentives at the same time. Just take a moment, you easily find homestay and hotel rooms at the price of about 200,000 to 400,000 VND per night (9$ – 17.5$/night). If you go with someone else, you can also find hotel rooms near the center of the old town with only 270,000 VND / night or more (12$).
- Cool weather: Before Lunar New Year, Hoi An is sometimes rainy alternating with sunny days, no storms or floods. Especially in January, when the north is in the long cold period, Hoi An is the appropriate destination for tourism. The climate is much cooler, so you do not need to bring warm clothes or sunblocks.
- Be not crowded and noisy in the Old town: In the first months of the year, the international guests coming here is mainly from China, Japan, Korea, USA and Europe. So, it is not crowded when buying tickets to visit, shopping or eating in the restaurant. Guests can enjoy cycling, walking on the streets of ancient people.
- Good dishes suitable for the weather: The cool climate of the early months of the new year allows visitors to enjoy better food. Chicken rice, bread, and pancakes, rolls are really suitable for the weather. On a warm day, you can enjoy a variety of sweet soup, tube cream or a cup of cool corn milk.
- Cool weather, green space: During the summer, the weather in Mekong Delta is really cool thanks to the system of rivers and canals. The weather and climate at that time are very suitable for picnic trips.
- A lot of fruits to enjoy: Go to Mekong Delta in the summer, you will be dropping yourself in one of the largest fruit sources. You can buy tickets, wander the gardens, break and enjoy many kinds of fresh fruit.
- Attractive specialties: Coming here, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the delicious regional specialties such as grilled fish, hot pot, Bon Bon salad, fried coconut worm, and sour soup with fresh fish.
- Friendly and hospitable people: In addition to the beautiful scene and delicious food, when you visit Mekong Delta, you will feel the warm welcome of people here. Whenever you come here, you will be welcomed as a family member. The friendly local people always bring hospitality to welcome newcomers.
Any place in Vietnam will bring to you the interesting experiences so just come and feel in your own way! But just a little remind: Check out Vietnam visa requirements before your trip to make sure you need to get one to legally enter the country then!
Featured image via Flickr by aftab