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Vietnam travel guide

Vietnam

Travel Guide

Welcome to an Asian destination well and truly on the rise - get there fast before it changes! Vietnam offers some of Southeast Asia's most awe-inspiring landscapes, most interesting locals, the best food, awesome road trips, and a complex history that will shake you to your core. This is Southeast Asia at its most compelling, and it comes with only one warning: One visit, no matter the length, is never enough. You'll want to return to Vietnam again and again. 

Vietnam Fast Facts

vietnam language

Languages Spoken

The official language is Vietnamese but English is widely spoken.

vietnam currency and costs

Currency

Vietnamese dong (VND)
£1 = 30,000 VND. You'll be rich when you hit this country!

vietnam timezone

Time Zones

UTC+07:00

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Hanoi

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Ho Chi Minh City

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Sapa & Northern Vietnam

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Hoi An

Vietnam travel costs

Beers

A bottle of local beer from a bar or restaurant should cost you under 30,000 VND (£1). Head to Hanoi's bustling Bia Hoi stalls, where a pint of locally brewed stuff can cost as little as 10p. Yes - 10p! 

Meals

A meal from a cheap restaurant or café will normally set you back 60,000 VND (£2). Something a bit fancier, for example a dinner in a sit-down restaurant will cost around £5 per head, whereas you'll find street food such as pho and Vietnamese spring rolls for under £1 if you search. 

Taxis

A half-hour taxi ride will cost you around £5 - the same amount as for a scooter per day.

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Transport

Long-haul luxury coaches from one city to the next are usually £15 or under. The biggest transport expense you'll find yourself paying in Vietnam will probably be a boat trip around Ha Long Bay. These cruises can cost anywhere between £60 and £130 depending on the grade of boat. 

hostels

Hostels

A dorm bed in a hostel can cost anything between 115,150 VND (£4) and 400,000 VND (£12) depending on the level of luxury, or size. A single room will set you back about the same, whereas a double room can cost around £10-15. 

hotels

Hotels

You can often find rooms in midrange hotels and family run guesthouses for very reasonable prices. Expect to pay under £20, sometimes even under £10 a night!

Vietnam lanterns

Vietnam travel highlights

 

 

 

 

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Ha Long Bay

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Bike the

Hai Van Pass

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Sapa

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The Mekong Delta

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Travel Vietnam with us...

Vietnam Adventure Tours

vietnam tour
Vietnam on a Shoestring | 12 days
An irresistable fusion of culture, flavour and fantastic people, Vietnam will grab you right by the horns. From thriving Ho Chi Minh City to charming Hoi An, and from ancient pagodas to the paradise of Halong Bay, this affordable tour ticks all the boxes. This trip uses trains and buses as transport and stays in simple hotels and sleeper trains.
From £679 
Book online
vietnam experience
Vietnam Experience | 12 days
In true South East Asian style, Vietnam is a bundle of variety. This trip takes you all the way up the coast, using planes to cut the driving time so you get plenty of time to see the important stuff. From Ho Chi Minh City with a stop in the Mekong Delta, all the way up to Hanoi, there are cities, beaches, rivers and palaces. Oh, and plenty of Pho!
From £1,195 
book online
vietnam fruit stand
Vietnam Adventure | 14 days
Vietnam is a mega-star; always indulging in aromatic fresh foods; never too far from supreme silks and permanently looking spectacular for the cameras.  Join this trip and get an all access backstage experience with Vietnam. Glamorous temples, glitzy beaches, frantic cities and glorious vistas. Needless to say, it's a blockbuster of a trip.

From £919 

book online

What's the best way of getting around Vietnam?

Vietnam is a long, thin country, so we recommend you start in either Hanoi (in the north, near China and Laos) or Ho Chi Minh City (in the south, near Cambodia and the Mekong Delta) and traverse the length of it from north to south or vice versa, stopping at highlights such as Hue and Hoi an along the way. Highway 1 runs the length of Vietnam making air-conditioned coaches the best option for most budget travellers. Long distance ones are fitted with sleeper berths, and prices are reasonable.

There is also a railway that runs the length of Vietnam. The trains tend to be comfortable and offer great views. Fares from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City start from £30 for a seat, and go up to £45 for a comfortable air conditioned sleeper.

If you're short on time in the country and want to cover large distances, we can help you book domestic flights when you plan your trip, or you can check out one of our tours!

How long do I need to travel Vietnam?

There's no easy answer to how long you should spend in Vietnam. Your visa will allow you a month in the country and you should try to use as many days as possible of it, to soak the amazing culture and history up. Most travellers spend two to three weeks in the country, with three weeks being the optimim amount of time to get from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh or vice versa, stopping a few days in places like Sapa, Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Dalat, Mui Ne and the Mekong Delta. 

Getting your Vietnamese visa

British citizens can enter Vietnam without any visa for a maximum of 15 days, but this is due to change from the 30th June 2018. If you want to spend longer in Vietnam, you can apply for a 30-day or more visa. There's two different types: a single entry visa, which is the most flexible option as it can be used at any entry point or border into the country. These are issued from the Vietnamese embassy - there are embassies that will grant you one in London, plus allover southeast Asia in places like Luang Prabang in Laos, Phnomh Penh in Cambodia, and Bangkok in Thailand for the cost of up to $50 (US). We can also help you sort one out - it's easy!

The second kind of 30-day visa is an e-visa, which you can apply for easily online here, but these are limited to certain entry points such as Virtnam's major airports. Call a travel expert for help, or to find out more.

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