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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


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

vietnam timezone

Time Zones







Ha Long Bay

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Bike the

Hai Van Pass

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The Mekong Delta


Vietnam travel costs


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! 


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. 


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



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. 



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. 



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!

lanterns being lit in Vietnam

Your tailor made trip, your rules

Can we do Vietnam in 10 days? Pho sure! Design your own trip with INDI tailor made. You choose the destinations, style of accommodation, transport and budget: and our Travel Experts will connect the dots.
Find out more

Vietnam travel highlights

Travel Vietnam with us...

house boats in halong bay

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.
people working in rice field

Best of Vietnam | 15 days

From the intensity of Ho Chi Minh City's streets to spectacular rice terraces, travel the length of Vietnam and savour its natural, cultural, and historical delights. Meet the Hmong people and other minority villagers on a hilltribe excursion and sail into the photographic possibilities of beautiful Halong Bay. 
vietnam fruit stand

Explore Vietnam | 13 days

With golden temples, jade green waters, yellow rice paddy fields & coloured silks, Vietnam is an explosion of colour. This is truly a country where East meets West & this tour is the ultimate way to experience it..

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 2021. 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. 

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