Are you planning to visit Vietnam in 2024? With its rich culture and natural beauty, Vietnam has become a preferred tourist destination for Indians. The perfect Vietnam travel guide has it all – stunning landscapes, busy cities and amazing food! A major perk is that the white sand beaches and emerald paddy fields offer beautiful backdrops for insta-perfect pictures. Here’s a comprehensive Vietnam travel guide to ensure you enjoy your visit to the fullest. Scroll down to read more about the best places to visit and Vietnam travel tips you should not miss.

Vietnam Travel Guide To Explore Culinary Delights

Vietnam Travel Guide - What to eat in Vietnam?

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Travelling means a lot of cheat meals. So, starting any plan with food is a must. Pack your taste buds for a wild ride through flavours in our travel guide for Vietnam! Slurp on steaming bowls of pho in Hanoi’s bustling streets and munch on crispy banh mi while you cruise through the chaotic traffic of Ho Chi Minh City. We’re just getting started… You can extend your adventure by uncovering hidden gems like the delicate flavours of Hoi An’s cao lau and a fiery bun bo Hue. Visit local markets to bargain for the crunchiest greens and fresh catch. Don’t forget to grab the chopsticks because Vietnam’s food is a flavour-packed rollercoaster you won’t want to miss. You can try noodle soups, banh mi sandwiches, herb and pickle rice paper rolls, or a bowl of comforting mushroom congee if you’re vegetarian.

Must Read: Heritage Sites In Vietnam

North Vietnam Travel Guide: Best Places To Visit

Here are some top picks from our travel guide for Vietnam’s northern region. Fascinating ethnic groups, centuries-old rice terraces, and majestic mountain ranges make a strong statement here. The best time to visit North Vietnam is when Northern Vietnam has pleasant weather from October to December.

1. Hanoi: Join The Locals And Explore Cafe Culture

Vietnamese vendor on the streets of Hanoi

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The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, has popular tourist destinations. Walk through the Old Quarter, where time stands still within colonial facades. Go west of the French Quarter to discover an array of cafe culture, modernity and urban refinement as trendy cafes, classic eateries, and vibrant art galleries help rediscover the forgotten charms of the old city. The nightlife here is also electric, from contemporary chic rooftop bars to boisterous bia hoi joints overflowing with hungry locals looking for cultural experiences. Lastly, you should not miss sampling street food delicacies like pho and bún cha. For a more immersive experience, you can join the locals at Hoan Kiem Lake, a hub for morning walks, yoga groups and aerobic classes.

How to travel: Noi Bai International Airport is 45 km from the city centre. The Reunification Express trains to major destinations, including Dong Hoi (Phong Nha) and Lao Cai (Sapa).
Popular tourist attractions: Old Quarter, Fine Arts Museum, Hoan Kiem Lake
Best time to visit: April to June, September to October

2. Halong: Cruise the bay and explore floating villages

North Vietnam Travel Guide - Limestone Rocks in Halong Bay

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Halong Bay is crucial in every North Vietnam travel guide and symbolises Vietnam’s natural beauty. Tourists can board cruise ships that glide through the emerald waters and spend calm mornings among limestone karsts. Floating villages are a huge hit here and have centuries-old fishing communities. You can try kayaking through the lagoons to discover hidden caves. For adventure seekers, several rock climbing spots and cliffs are above the water. Moreover, there are plenty of ancient caves to explore the history and culture of Vietnam.

How to travel: Tourists usually take Halong Bay packages to and from Hanoi for transportation.
Popular tourist attractions: Ha Long Bay, Floating Village, Butterfly Island
Best time to visit: September to May

Suggested Read: Places To Visit In Hoi An

3. Ha Giang: Get Lost In The Hills And Visit The King Of Flagpoles

Vietnam Travel Guide - Serene landscape of Quan Ba in Ha Giang

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Vietnam’s far north hides the secret of the remote landscapes of Ha Giang. Hop on a motorcycle and explore the timeless charm of its ethnic villages and towns. The Ma Pi Leng Pass is another famous spot for motorcyclists, and it runs along the Nho Que River. For breathtaking views from Heaven’s Gate, you can trek through Quan Ba Pass and explore the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark. The Sa Phin H’Mong Palace is a historic reminder of the French colonial influence. A trip to Ha Giang ends with a visit to Lung Cu, where the Vietnamese flags wave proudly.

How to travel: Ha Giang is 300 km from Hanoi. You can take the bus, including sleepers or VIP minivans.
Popular tourist attractions: Ma Pi Leng Pass, Sa Phin H’Mong Palace, Lung Cu
Best time to visit: September to November

4. Ninh Binh: Take A Sampan Tour And Search For Wildlife

Vietnam Travel Guide - Tourists in a boat in the Ngo Dong River, Tam Coc, Ninh Binh

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Ninh Binh, also known as the ‘Ha Long Bay on land’, is another hidden gem. Limestone formations are a key attraction in this region. It’s also home to a UNESCO-protected site where you can take a paddleboat tour. Hang Mua lies 500 steps above the land, with views of lush paddies and rivers. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you can visit the Van Long Wildlife Sanctuary to spot rare species like the Delacour’s langur and black-faced spoonbill. The Bai Binh Temple offers a spiritual end to this visit and is the largest Buddhist temple complex in the country.

How to travel: You can take the bus from Ninh Binh to Hanoi or book luxury vans for Tam Coc.
Popular tourist attractions: Tam Coc and Trang An boat docks, Hang Mua, Bai Dinh Temple
Best time to visit: March to May, September to November

Suggested Read: Tam Coc in Vietnam

South Vietnam Travel Guide: Best Places To Visit

Explore the beauty of South Vietnam.

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A Vietnam travel guide is incomplete without exploring the southern region. The mellow countryside and island escapes make it a wonderful choice for travellers. Ho Chi Minh has the urban energy for a sensory overload. And you’ll not regret visiting the Mekong Delta. The best time to visit South Vietnam is when the weather is dry; December to May is the best time to visit South Vietnam. However, the temperature may be hot and humid between March and May.

Scroll down to check out more details and plan your Vietnam trip.

Binh Thuan: Enjoy sandboarding at the dunes of Bau Trang or Mui Ne

1. Ho Chi Minh City: Explore The Bustling City Life Of Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Guide - Aerial view of Ho Chi Minh city

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Ho Chi Minh is not to be missed in any Vietnam travel guide. It is the economic centre of Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh, the old blends with the new. You can visit iconic landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Opera House and the Ben Thanh Market. In District 1, repurposed buildings house charming boutiques. The food culture is also delightful, including the savoury banh mi and fragrant bánh xèo.

How to travel: Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the hub for domestic and international flights. The city is well-connected by a network of buses, trains and shuttles.
Popular tourist attractions: Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Opera House, Ben Thanh Market

Best time to visit: All around the year

2. Phu Quoc: Relax At serene beaches

South Vietnam Travel Guide - Sunset at Long Beach in Phu Quoc, Vietnam

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Phu Quoc is a tropical paradise with pristine beaches like Long Beach. You can also explore some hidden and secluded beaches, including Ganh Dau and Bai Thom. The island has a mountain range with rock pools, waterfalls, and caves for adventure seekers. Ham Hinh is a traditional fishing village you may want to explore. A must-try is the fish sauce, a fermented Vietnamese delicacy.

Popular tourist attractions: Long Beach, Ganh Dau, Bai Thom
Best time to visit: All around the year

Suggested Read: Hai Phong Nightlife

3. Binh Thuan: Enjoy Sandboarding At The Dunes Of Bau Trang Or Mui Ne

Travel Guide for Vietnam - Fisherman in traditional Vietnamese round boat, Phan Thiet, Bin Thuan

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Bin Thuan is one of the best-kept secrets of local travellers in Vietnam. It has ancient Poshanu Cham Tower temples and Buddhist temples atop Ta Cu Mountain, with the largest reclining Buddha statue in Vietnam. If you seek some thrill, the sand dunes of Bau Trang or Mui Ne are the right place for you. You can enjoy 4×4 dune bashing, sand gliding, and sandboarding here. The sparkling ‘fairy stream’ Suoi Hong is a serene place to relax after a long day.

How to travel: Take a bus or train from Ho Chi Minh or Nha Trang to Phan Thiet and then a taxi to the city.
Popular tourist attractions: Suoi Hong, Bau Trang, Mui Ne, Poshanu Cham Tower temples
Best time to visit: November to April

Vietnam Travel Tips: An Unforgettable Experience Through The Land Of The Blue Dragon

Travel Vietnam Tips - Explore Rice Fields in Vietnam

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What makes the best Vietnam travel guide? It’s tips and precautionary measures to ensure safe travel. Here are some things you must be aware of:

  • Vietnamese society is relatively tolerant and conservative due to the influence of Confucianism and Buddhism. While you may wear sleeveless shirts and shorts to the beach, it is not recommended in pagodas and temples.
  • Tipping is appreciated but unexpected, and a few thousand Dong is sufficient.
  • As Dong is unavailable outside Vietnam, make sure you carry American Dollar bills in small denominations.
  • Always check the change you receive at local markets. For instance, vendors sometimes give back 20,000 Dong instead of the 200,000 Dong bill.

Further Read: Hambantota Travel Guide

Now that you know the best places to visit in South and North Vietnam, you can immediately plan your trip to Vietnam. The food, culture, and landscape will make your trip memorable for you and your loved ones.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Vietnam Travel Guide

How many days are enough to explore Vietnam?

One to three weeks are enough to explore Vietnam, depending on your budget and how much you’d like to explore.

What is the best time to visit Vietnam?

The weather in Vietnam varies according to the region. Generally, visiting between September to November or March to April is best if you’re planning to explore the country.

Is Vietnam cheap to travel?

Vietnam is popular among budget travellers due to its affordability. Travel, accommodation, activities, and food costs are much lower compared to Western and European destinations.

How much money do I need for a 1-week trip to Vietnam?

A budget trip to Vietnam can cost between $600-$1000 per person, while a luxury experience can cost over $2000.

Should I visit Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi in Vietnam?

Ho Chi Minh is a hub for city life, art, and commerce, while Hanoi is the cultural capital. A complete travel guide to Vietnam would include both regions. However, your itinerary can choose one depending on your budget and duration of your trip.

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