Vietnam Travel Blog & Guide

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Vietnam is one of Southeast Asia’s best countries to visit, packed with history, stunning landscapes, cultural highlights, and amazing food. It even has beaches. It’s one of the most exciting destinations imaginable. We visit regularly to create this Vietnam travel blog and guide for you. We’ve had the luxury of time and long visas to really get to know Vietnam. Our aim is to help you plan your trip to Vietnam using this travel guide.

Vietnam Travel Blog - Vietnamese people
We’re glad you found our Vietnam travel blog section and we hope you find it useful in planning to visit Vietnam or learning more about Vietnam.

In this travel blog about Vietnam, we’ll show you the best places to go in Vietnam, give you itinerary ideas and look at where to stay, what to eat, and how to travel in Vietnam.


Vietnam Travel Blog - Beach in Vietnam
Does Vietnam have beaches? Yes, some of the most popular beaches in Vietnam are in Da Nang and Hoi An in Central Vietnam. Da Nang has its own airport and Hoi An is just a taxi ride away.

Let’s start with the one most important point I want to make about travel in Vietnam. The first point below.

We’ve had nothing but wonderful experiences with the people of Vietnam and other travel bloggers saying nasty things about the Vietnamese upsets us.

Yes, if this is your first time in Asia, you could find the way things are just different or challenging.

In all our years in Vietnam, we’ve met some of the nicest people imagineable.

We hope you find our Vietnam tips and guides useful in planning your travel, vacation, or holiday in Vietnam. This guide is suitable for first-timers in Vietnam or return visitors looking for different parts of the country to explore.

Things To Know About Vietnam Before You Visit

Have You Heard Vietnam is Difficult or the Vietnamese Unpleasant?

Hoi An Pottery Village Pottery Classes
We think the Vietnamese are some of the nicest, kindest people we’ve ever met.

The Vietnamese can be some of the nicest, friendliest, kindest, and happiest people you could meet.

They’re charming without being pushy, helpful, lovers of children, and just genuinely nice.

Of course, there are some bad apples and most of the bad stories involve taxi driver scams, but in all our time in Vietnam, we’ve seen only good.

You need some travel smarts as you do in any country where haggling over prices is just the normal way to do things. Smile, try to use some Vietnamese, and don’t be obnoxious.

The Vietnamese are good people. See what happened when I fell off my bike while we were living in Hoi An if you need further proof.

This is one thing that I really want to stress on this Vietnam Travel Blog, we really like the Vietnamese people we’ve met.

Vietnam – Video

A Short Vietnam video giving you a taste of what Vietnam is like.

Traffic and Roads in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Blog Guide
Welcome to our Vietnam travel blog, based on months of travel and vacations in Vietnam and living in Vietnam for 6 months.

Because speed limits are low and roads are largely populated by push bikes and scooters, we feel safer on the roads in Vietnam than we have done so far in any Asian country.

Cities are busy but we cycled with our kids every day in Hoi An.

Crossing the road is an adventure. Nobody is going to stop, you just get used to picking your time and weaving between moving vehicles.

Just yesterday I watched two little girls on their way to school.

At 5 years old they know how it’s done and their parents trust they’ll be safe solo.

Just watch out for taxis and buses, they can be unpredictable.

Nobody on a bike has a death wish, they’re all trying to get home to their families safely. But sadly road death rates are high in Vietnam.

Use common sense and don’t hire scooters unless you have a suitable international motorbike license and adequate travel insurance.

Highlights of Vietnam

My Son Sanctuary Vietnam Travel Blog
Historic sites featured on our travel blog include the ancient ruins of Central Vietnam.

Vietnam has at least 8 UNESCO-listed sites. These include Ha Long Bay, Hue’s historic sites, the old town of Hoi An, and the Champa complex at My Son Sanctuary (above).

This country also has beaches, islands and resort hotels.

Vietnam has mountains, padi fields and waterways, bustling cities and the sleepiest traditional villages.

Some highlights of Vietnam, below. We’re always adding more!

Best Destinations in Vietnam

There are a million places to visit in Vietnam and I can’t possibly put them all on this page. Let’s just start here with a few popular destinations.

For more detail, you’ll have to find the dedicated post on this site. Just follow the links or use the search box at the top of our sidebar.

A new addition and one that we highly recommend is Phong Nha National Park and caves in Central Vietnam. You’ll find the biggest caves in the world in Vietnam at Phong Nha.

Saigon  (Ho Chi Minh)

Vietnam Travel Blog Saigon Streets
Bustling Saigon has a lot to offer, don’t overlook it.

Saigon refers to the inner city area of Ho Chi Minh City. Renamed after the war in honor of the North Vietnamese leader.

The area that most people end up staying in is District 1. Here you will find backpacker accommodation and agencies selling tours and transportation to just about anywhere in Vietnam.

One of the best tours from Saigon would be to the Chu Chi tunnels which are located about 50 km west of the city.

This tour can include a Cau Dai temple visit, this religion is unique to Vietnam and was founded in 1912.

Alternatively combine your visit to the tunnels with a Mekong Delta tour, again, direct from HCM. Our links take you to a tour booking platform we trust and use ourselves.

The biggest drawcards in Saigon itself, are the War Remnants Museum and the Old Palace build by the South Vietnamese rulers.

The Old Palace hasn’t been used since tanks drove through its gates in 1975 to officially end the war.

Saigon also boasts French Period architecture, abundant great food, and fascinating markets.

Food tours through the backstreets by scooter are very popular, your driver and guide will know exactly where to find the best Vietnamese street food.

Check them out here!

To book your Cu Chi Tunnels tour in advance (recommended), check this half-day tunnels tour .

To Book Cu Chi, with the additional Cau Dai Temple Tour, look at this double tour of both attractions.

Hoi An

Vietnam Travel Blog Hoi An shops
Hoi An old town. We lived in Vietnam and Hoi An for 6 months total, to put this travel blog guide together.

We lived in Hoi An for a few months and we loved our time there.

During our time living in Vietnam we were lucky enough to experience Tet, lunar new year, in Vietnam.

It’s a beautiful time of year to be in Vietnam, but does bring closures.

In Hoi An this is marked by kumquat trees, a kumquat festival, and seas of flowers.

There are lanterns released nightly in Hoi An, but the bigger lantern festivals bring less restrained attractions.

It really is nice to be there when the locals are making their offerrings.

This incredibly picturesque riverside city is something of a tourist hot-spot these days. It combines the charms of the Old Town, with its ancient buildings, tailor’s shops, and Hoi An central market, with nearby rice paddies and beaches.

Hoi An food is world-famous and central Vietnam is a big producer of quality seafood.

Dining in Hoi An is diverse and delicious, expect traditional local foods alongside western restaurants and top-class hotels.

Around town, there are various places of interest to keep you busy, throw a pot at the pottery village, take a free Vietnamese lesson or one of the many local eco tours.

My Son Sanctuary, Danang, and Marble Mountain are a short day trip from Hoi An and Hue is accessible by tour, bus or train.

The nearest large city, Danang, is about 45 minutes away from Hoi An by road.

Da Nang is another beach-side tourist draw, popular with family holiday-makers visiting Hoi An with Kids. Danang has its own airport and the nearest train station to Hoi An.

The best trip to take from lovely Hoi An is always a cooking class with coracle (basket boat) ride Take a look at these fantastic experiences here.

Hoi An is renowned throughout Vietnam and the world for its cuisine.


Vietnam Travel Blog Hanoi
Hanoi is another great destination in Vietnam but it doesn’t feature heavily on our blog yet, we’re visiting again soon!

” You haven’t experienced Vietnam until you’ve visited its noisy, vibrant capital city, Hanoi. Navigate the traffic-choked streets of the Old Quarter to discover crumbling colonial buildings, street vendors and traditional tubular shops.

Hanoi is filled with historic buildings but don’t miss the ornate Temple of Literature, St Joseph’s Cathedral and the UNESCO listed Imperial Citadel of Thang Long.

Learn about the country’s revolutionary leader at the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and palace complex. Next, take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake where locals come to exercise and relax.

No trip to Hanoi would be complete without sampling its famous food delights. Dishes such as a Banh Mi sandwich or the city’s signature dish, Bun Cha. Stop in at Café Giang for a Ca Phe Trung (egg coffee), they’ve been serving this traditional brew for over 70 years.

Don’t miss the traditional Vietnamese water puppet show in Hanoi, it’s like nothing you’ll see in any other country. Get discounted skip-the-line tickets here.

Ha Long Bay

Vietnam Travel Blog Halong Bay
Stunning Halong Bay in northern Vietnam. Words and photo by Leezett of Blended Family Road Trip.

“If you are looking for a magical location in Vietnam, then you cannot go past Ha Long Bay in the north of the country.  

With emerald-green waters, limestone islands and mystical caves, all while touring on Junk Boats, Ha Long Bay draws travellers to her every day. It is certainly one of our favourites in South East Asia. 

From day tours through to tours that keep you entertained for 2 days 3 nights, we highly recommend the latter.

Sleeping on a Junk Boat, while doing day visits to floating villages, taking rowing tours, and getting to jump off the boat into the cool refreshing water, is so relaxing and fun. A cruise like this gives you a great insight into local living while seeing nature’s beauty up close. 

No matter what your budget, we highly recommend you choose your junk boat tour wisely. Spend a few extra dollars to get a better experience and higher quality boat.

We have done three tours since 2008 and loved Signature Cruises. You can read all about our recent trip to Halong Bay right here. “

If you’re looking for a quieter alternative to Ha Long Bay, try Lan Ha Bay. Like its bigger neighbour, Lan Ha Bay is a popular multi-day cruise destination. Check it out here.


Sapa Vietnam Travel Blog
Beautiful Sapa, in the north of Vietnam. Words and photo by Jane of My Five Acres

“Home to Vietnam’s highest peak (Fan Si Pan, which soars 3143m above sea level) Sapa is a must-see destination for nature lovers.

The people of Sapa started welcoming tourists as far back as the early 1900s. French colonists used it to escape the searing heat of Vietnam’s lowlands. During the 1940s, Vietnamese independence fighters drove the French from the region and it wasn’t until a few decades ago that tourists started to return to Sapa.

Within easy reach of Hanoi, by overnight bus or train, Sapa is now one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations.

In Sapa, the magnificent purple mountains sink away into deep valleys, where terraced rice paddies feed the imagination — and the local population.

Many ethnic minorities, including the H’Mong, the Dao and the Dai, make their homes in hidden villages among these hills. Be mindful of travelling ethically in Vietnam and in this delicate region.

For tourists, the big draw is the chance to trek along Sapa’s stunning valleys and mountains. It makes an excellent antidote to the hectic pace of life in Hanoi and is a great place to escape the heat.

Taking a multi-day trek between village homestays gives you the chance to immerse yourself in a slower pace of life. Stretch your legs on the mountain tracks, and indulge in shots of the locally-made rice wine. It burns as it goes down but is said to loosen your muscles after a long day of walking!”

If you want to trek and enjoy the outdoors in Vietnam, Ha Giang is a good alternative, again, a multi-day trip available from Hanoi. See your options here.


Vietnam Travel Blog Hue
Part of our day trip exploring Hue and the surrounding area with female students.

We loved Hue. I think what made Hue such a stand-out destination for us was the tour we took and the people we met. A special tour, with local female students, gave us a chance to really get under the skin of Hue. We learned so much more than most tourists.

The company we used was a chance find, a young Vietnamese woman started a company to empower Vietnamese girls. She wanted to help them improve what she called their “soft” skills.

The two students who took us around Hue showed us sites we would never have dreamed of visiting. One was studying English, one Medicine.

If you get the chance, we highly recommend these tours, and once borders open we’ll be back for more. This is a similar Hue motorbike tour and seems to be the same company (by the T-shirts and use of motorbikes.) I can’t find the exact tour we took, but this part was identical and wonderful.

This was a mum and son trip, the whole family couldn’t go. At that point, my elder son was a young teen and loved the things we saw and did in Central Vietnam.

In Hue be sure to try local specialities of salt coffee and Bun Bo Hue.

Tours in Vietnam

How do you want to visit Vietnam? There are heaps of options.

Luxury Tours or Packages

We review hotels for one of Australia’s luxury travel package companies. They get incredible prices on some of the best luxury hotels around the world. We have the job of testing these hotels for them, it’s a tough job. If you’re interested visit the Luxury Escapes website.

Small Group Tours of Vietnam

All of the big adventure travel companies offer small group tours of Vietnam. We’re big fans of Explore Worldwide, GAdventures, and Grasshopper Adventures. My husband and I met on one of these small group tours, decades ago.   If you use the links above, you can look at the Vietnam tours on offer. Most offer cycling tours, this is a very popular way to see Vietnam.

Tours and Transportation Within Vietnam. Booking Trains, Buses and Planes

Every town visited by tourists and backpackers has plenty of small travel agents’ shops selling tours and onward transportation. Everything is very easy to arrange on the ground but you’ll need time and your best haggling skills.

To book train or bus tickets online ( or even flights)in advance,  you can use 12GoAsia. This site has been around a long time and has been popular for Thailand for a very long time. Visit 12GoAsia here.

If you’re short of time or need to book a tour in advance for a particular day, we recommend booking online. Read our Get Your Guide tours review here.  

Classes and Courses to Take in Vietnam

Cooking classes, pottery classes, Vietnamese lessons, yoga, painting and more.  

Theatre, Dance & Music from Lune at 3 Locations in Vietnam and Traditional Vietnamese Water Puppets.

Lune theatre Hoi An performance The Mist
If you get the chance, go. The Lune production we caught in Hoi An was so beautiful it moved me to tears. There are 4 shows, all different, and you can catch them at 3 venues in Vietnam.

Something I have to add, because we saw a show in Hoi An and thought it was wonderful, are the Lune Theatre productions. You can catch these in Saigon, Hanoi and now, new for 2018, in a purpose-built performance space in Hoi An.

These shows are magical and beautiful, featuring traditional music and instruments, dance, drama and more. The show we saw in Hoi An, “The Mist” beautifully illustrates the life of rice farmers in the Mekong Delta. If you get a chance, go.

You can book Lune tickets in advance for the Saigon/Ho Chi Minh Opera House show here. These shows do sell out so reserve your place.

Find out more on Lune’s own website.. There are 4 different shows that rotate through Lune’s current 3 theatres in Vietnam.

I’ll also mention Vietnamese water puppet shows. We’ve seen shows in Hanoi and Hoi An, great for kids and a lot of fun. These short performances are traditional and well worth seeing. Buy tickets to Hanoi’s water puppet show (discounted and skip-the-line).

Visas for Vietnam

2 Week, E-Visa, 3 Month, Multiple Entry and More

Please double-check all information in this section for 2021 and onward.

Vietnam isn’t as easy as other countries in Southeast Asia when it comes to visas. It’s also one of the more expensive countries to enter. You can’t just turn up at the borders empty-handed and expect a visa on arrival unless you’re on a two-week holiday.

Vietnam requires a little forward planning for long-term travellers.  Please read the information below and do your own research for your country. We’re as current as we can be, but for Vietnam the regulations seem to change by the hour.

Visit an Embassy or Apply Online?

Visitors to Vietnam can visit a Vietnamese embassy to buy their Visa. Or arrange an e-visa approval online which they must then produce on arrival.

We were going to visit the Vietnamese embassy in London when we discovered that using a visa agency was actually cheaper and potentially easier. The embassy in London would charge $100 US for each 3 month visa. That was significantly more expensive than using the agency.

We took the agency route (letter of pre-approval) for our 3 month Vietnam visa and had no problems whatsoever on arrival in Vietnam as UK passport holders.

The agencies don’t actually issue the visas but give you an authorization letter from the Vietnamese immigration department. This allows you to receive a visa on arrival.

Airlines are strict and usually won’t let you on the plane without either a full visa or authorization letter, ours was checked at Heathrow.

You pay a small fee to the agency to get the letter emailed to you. The agency will apply for multiple travellers so when you get your letter don’t be surprised that it contains other people’s details such as name, date of birth and passport number.

You can ask for a private letter with just your details for approximately $10 US more per person.

Vietnamese Visa Costs

The costs are normally between $20 and $25 US for the authorization letter. You then need to pay the stamping fee on arrival in Vietnam where the actual visa is stuck into your passport.

This ranges from $20 for a single month to about $25 for a three-month single entry visa. The multiple entry visas attract a higher stamping fee approximately $50 US. All the stamping fees need to be paid in cash in US $.

The authorization letter only works if you are flying into an international airport. It will not work at land crossings. For that you’ll need to have a visa in your passport from an embassy or you will only be entitled to the free 15 day visa on arrival ( certain counties only)

We’ve consulted with the visa company below ( Sherpa, they are based in Canada) and they had the following to say:

We have uncovered a number of recent disclaimers/warnings from various Vietnamese Embassies about travellers getting a Letter for Visa On Arrival.

In short, the VoA route isn’t recommended by the embassies themselves. With a variety of third-party sites mimicking the official embassies. We recognize that this visa is usually the cheapest option, and widely used to this day, but we’ve decided that we are not going to offer Visa on Arrival as an option to travellers through Sherpa.

We will certainly do the eVisa, and we will also process the Loose Leaf Visa, which we are able to do for Canadians and Americans who need more than the eVisa. Overall, we will provide information to travellers in the widget, and we hope that this is helpful. “

Americans’ visa regulations for Vietnam are different again. Visa requirement change constantly, please double-check information with Sherpa or another reputable visa company.

Vietnamese Food

Vietnam Travel Blog Food in Vietnam Mi Quang

You haven’t been to Vietnam until you’ve eaten a bowl of pho or mi quang perched on a tiny plastic stool at the roadside.

The best food in Vietnam comes from street stalls. It’s what the locals eat and will cost you about a dollar a bowl. Don’t expect a menu, these stalls specialise in one perfectly executed dish only, be that mi quang, banh xeo or bun bo Hue.

Vietnamese food isn’t challenging to western palates, it’s light and fresh with few spices. If you like your food hot you’ll find fresh and dried chilies on the table to add to taste.

You’ll also find restaurants catering to tourists at every price point. None of us has had any tummy trouble at all in Vietnam and there are plenty of dishes to please children. Fresh, steamed and fried spring rolls are a favourite with my kids.

You’ll find incredible fresh seafood in Central Vietnam with prawns costing little. Vegetarians, even vegans, are pretty well catered for in Vietnam too.

Food in Vietnam, Vietnamese dumplings
Vietnam is very famous for its food, of course. Vietnamese food is some of the very best in the world, as good as Thai, in our estimation, but different.

Vaccinations for Travel in Vietnam and Health Considerations

Of the 50+ countries we’ve been to I’m happy to say that Vietnam is in the group that gave us zero ilnesses or tummy trouble.

None of us have had any traveller’s diarrhoea or sickness in over 6 months in Vietnam. We’ve eaten everything, at every street food stall and had no trouble at all.

We’re hugely impressed with how clean things are here compared to some other parts of the world. There are few flies, and few mosquitos, there are plenty of rats.

If you get sick in Vietnam it’s usually easy to pop along to a pharmacy, there’s one on almost every street and the pharmacists are very helpful and seem to know their stuff.

We’ve had to buy treatment for ringworm (picked up by one of the kids in London), mouth ulcers, and dressings for bike-related scrapes, it’s been no trouble at all.

I would suggest carrying a basic first aid kit with you including:

  • a small bottle of iodine
  • plasters and dressings
  • paracetamol for kids and adults.

You can read more about our usual travel first aid kit here. The antibiotic powder Pises powder a US doctor put me onto this stuff, buy here) that I always pick up in Thailand was super useful for my cut, infected foot.

We did not take any malaria prophylaxis for Vietnam (20 years ago we had to, these days it’s rare to need it anywhere). This is the malaria map for Vietnam, most of Vietnam is low to no risk.

Find suggested vaccinations for Vietnam here.

Hotels in Vietnam (& Other Accommodation Options)

As travel bloggers in Vietnam, we don’t just stay in hotels. We also stay in hostels, guest houses, apartments, resorts and homestays. All are good options in Vietnam.

The first time we visited Vietnam it was very much a backpacker destination, these days there are plenty of up-market hotels and resorts on offer and the tourists are flooding to Vietnam.

People like us, the digital nomads and long-term travellers are also here and there are amazing bargains to be had in long-term, quality accommodation.

Vietnam Sunrise Resort Hoi An Infinity Pool.
One of the luxury resorts we tested in Hoi An, Vietnam. The beautiful Sunrise resort has multiple pools, private villas with sea views, and incredible food. Read more on finding best deals on hotels below.

Finding the Best Prices and Deals on Hotels and Resorts in Vietnam

We highly recommend checking online booking sites if you’re serious about finding the best price for your stay, some booking engine compares multiple online booking engines to find you the best deal available.

We like to use Agoda for Asia as they are the experts for the region and often have a bigger selection, particularly try them for smaller hotels and budget accommodation.

If you’re the sort to book a long time in advance, maybe reserving multiple hotels on a fully refundable basis, is your friend.

If you’re interested in The Sunrise Resort, pictured above, check here for prices and further information. This is one of the luxury hotels we’ve tested on behalf of Luxury Escapes, an Australian company specialising in incredibly good offers on top-end hotel packages.

Their special offer prices are way below what we paid for these hotels and the quality was superb.

Hostels in Vietnam,

You will find a big selection of hostels, some have private family rooms, on all of the above websites. We haven’t used hostels in Vietnam as guest houses and homestays are very affordable and very good, if you find the place to suit you!

Long-Term Stays, Houses, and Apartments in Vietnam

We’ve booked hotels in Hoi An and Hue through Airbnb and the usual booking sites, both were good, small boutique-style hotels or homestays.

A homestay in Vietnam can be a hotel, hostel, or actual homestay in Vietnam. We prefer not to use Airbnb usually because of the cleaning charges and time-wasting of having to be approved.

To find our beautiful house for 2 months in Hoi An we used a local expats Facebook group. We booked a cheap hotel for arrival and within half a day of posting in the expat group we’d found the perfect house for us. We rented from a lovely local family, at a great price.

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Vietnam travel blog and tips

Vietnam Videos

If you’re looking for more Vietnam information you can head to our list of posts about Vietnam here.

The video from the Hoi An floods and Cu Chi tunnels should interest you.

Vietnam Travel Blog with Kids

Is a blog about travelling Vietnam with kids really any different to an adult Vietnam travel blog? Not really. We’ve travelled Vietnam as young backpackers before we were married, and later, with our kids. We stayed in similar places, ate the same food, saw the same sights in Vietnam. Having kids with you makes travel in Vietnam more expensive, and often more fun!

I often wonder why people write posts “this place with kids.” It’s expected of us family travel bloggers, I guess.

Most places are pretty much the same with kids or without and you’ll find yourself staying in the same places and taking the same trips.

Kids really aren’t a problem when you travel but we parents do worry about sickness, road safety, and so on.

So Vietnam with kids, what can I say? There are loads of interesting things for kids to do. Things like the pottery classes above, the Cu Chi tunnels tour, or coconut boat rides, and crab catching.

There is much to learn about culture and history and Vietnamese food is generally lacking in spice or chilli. You can also get just about any Western food here, far more easily than in Thailand.

Nobody in my family has had any sort of tummy trouble or diarrhoea in Vietnam. However, if you’re not used to tropical bugs you may want to read our post on how to avoid mosquitoes.

There are plenty of accommodation options at all price points and likewise plenty of transportation options. There are beaches if that is your want.

We think it’s as easy to take your kids to Vietnam as to any other country. Be mindful of the weather and if you plan to use bikes bring your own helmets. The roads can be dangerous.

I think I’ve seen more tourists with kids, babies and toddlers in Hoi An than in any other Asian destination. It’s a massively popular family holiday hot spot particularly for Australians. For that reason maybe avoid school holidays.

We have a full post on things to do in and around Hoi An for families, here, with more with-kids posts planned.

Vietnam Travel Blog – Conclusion

Thanks for using our website, we make it to be useful to you, so if there’s any information you need, ask in the comments and we can add it to this Vietnam Travel Blog page. We lived in Hoi An for a while, it was wonderful, we go back as often as we can.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

137 thoughts on “Vietnam Travel Blog & Guide”

  1. I absolutely loved reading about Vietnam’s tourism offerings! The vivid descriptions of must-visit destinations, including the best beaches in Vietnam, have inspired me to plan my next adventure. Can’t wait to explore the pristine shores and vibrant culture that Vietnam has to offer!

  2. Your travel blog is a treasure trove of insights and inspiration. From hidden gems to practical tips, their firsthand experiences enrich every reader’s journey. With captivating narratives and stunning visuals, it’s a virtual passport to Vietnam’s diverse landscapes and vibrant culture. A must-visit destination guide for wanderlust souls

  3. Never been to Vietnam before and we’re heading there in February with 13 family members (ages 7 to 78). We’re staying in the Ah Bang area – any restaurant suggestions for eating with a large group? Eg can we make reservations?

    Can’t wait to check out some of the sites you write about.

    Thanks for your help!

    • For a large group Mix Greek restaurant in the old town is a nice venue. It’s a proper restaurant rather than the sort of place you go usually. And that’s about the only one I know. We just go to small places usually. But if you were to go in anywhere and ask I’m sure they’s oblige. You may need to pay a deposit because a no-show would be a disaster for them. We have a post about restaurants / food in Hoi An. Since the shutdowns some may have changed, but I know Mix is still there.

  4. Hi Alyson,

    Thanks so much for this info it’s great.

    We are looking at travelling to Vietnam in December 2023 for about 18 days. The current plan is to fly into Hanoi and make our way down the coast flying out of HCMC. Both of my boys really want some surfing if possible mixed in with the sightseeing. We are currently trying to work out where would be best weather-wise and surf-wise at that time of year. I have looked at Mui Ne, Nha Trang and Vung Tau but am having trouble finding any clear consensus on where would be best for that time of year. Any insights? Thank you

    • Hi Natalie, the classic Hanoi-Saigon journey normally takes 30 days. Surfing I have no clue sorry, we’re not into beaches. I don’t know if there even is much by way of surf in Vietnam, I don’t recall ever seeing surfers. Best of luck.

    • @Alyson for World Travel Family, Thanks for your quick feedback. We will definitely not get to see all of Vietnam but hopefully fit in a few good spots along the way. The boys might just need to wait for a surf until we get back home LOL

  5. Thanks for sharing this information Alison. We’re in vietnam now, are you guys still here? We’re in Danang for a few more days. Let me know, would love to catch up 😁

  6. Hello Alyson,

    Thank you for this wonderfully written, consise blog. This gives a good insight in planing, and what to expect when one travels to Vietnam for the first time.

    I am planning a for a week long tour in December 2022 and would love some help in finalizing the itinerary.

    Can you please help me with that?
    Thank you!

  7. A delightful piece of information. Thank you for sharing this, the Vietnam travel visa process is carried out completely by online procedure.

  8. Vietnam tourism has reopened again after more than 2 years. People start visiting Vietnam and now most of things come back to normal. We hope more and more travellers will visit Vietnam. Please note now there are some services not really smooth like before becuase the services start reopending.

  9. Hello Dear friend. I have been to Vietnam 2 years ago,nice people and natur. I’m an old backpacker, and now I am looking for information about traveling
    along the coast from Danang to town to town, spending dags in some places? Are public transport avaiable?
    To recommend🤔?

    • Well, it depends if you like it hot or cooler. We’ve done that trip, Hanoi to Saigon in December and it was fine. Vietnam does have flooding, landslides and a monsoon season. We were in the floods once, and that can be in October/ November / December in Hoi An. Hue has flooded historically in October. There can be dangerous storms along the coast, I know one arrived in September once. I’d say March to April would be a good time, not too hot, not much rain. Hopefully Vietnam will be open by then! Northern hemisphere spring. All of Vietnam is in the northern hemisphere with the south of Vietnam being only 10 degrees north of the equator making it tropical. The north can get fairly cool, particularly in winter months (January) in the hills. I like it cool but you may find the beaches a bit chilly then. Best of luck!

  10. Nam Du Island is currently very attractive to island tourism in the South of Vietnam. Tourists can experience affordable, fresh seafood. The locals are extremely friendly and helpful.

  11. Quy Nhon is a popular tourist destination in the South Central Coast of Vietnam. There are only two seasons: The rainy season and the dry season. Despite the rain, visitors can travel there at any time of the year to enjoy the beautiful weather.

  12. Awesome blog. It’s a pity that we won’t seen Vietnam opening up right till the end of the year. Wanted to ask though, for a family with young children, would you say that there are less activities for kids, compared to say Thailand or Singapore?

    • Well it depends what you mean by activities for kids. All kids want is to play, eat nice food and be loved. They don’t need organised activities really I’m not really sure what activities you mean, go ahead and give me some examples. I don’t think Singapore is particularly child focussed, it’s too urban jungle. Thailand, of course, it totally depends where you go. Are we in Bangkok or the jungles of northern Thailand? But Vietnam has a softness about it, a humanity, which I think is very appealing to kids and families. Smiling people, interesting goings-on. I’m not sure on the state of play there now, they were talking about opening Phu Quoc to tourists, but I do have friends there, they’ve been there all year, travelling. Just no neighbouring borders are open so they’ve had a really, really long tome to get to know Vietnam inside-out.

  13. Vietnam is really a great place to pay a visit at least once in a lifetime. I was planning for a family trip in this Asian country. I find this blog very useful and informative. All the given information really helps me to plan the entire trip.

    • I have no idea, sorry. There has just been a fresh outbreak in central Vietnam, Da Nang, they’re locking down again locally. I think we’re all just going to have to get used to living with uncertainty. As far as I know, there’s been no formal announcement on Vietnam, as a whole opening its borders, but I know they were thinking of opening certain areas, like Cat Ba island, maybe.

  14. Start your Vietnam tour in Hanoi, The Best holiday destinations to Vietnam and Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand) with a variety of tour packages for each destination that are out of this world.

  15. very good information on the blog, I was looking for new vacation destinations and thanks to what I read I decided on vietnam

  16. Great read, awesome that you take the time to write everything down for people planning to go to Vietnam – mega useful! What I am wondering about – have you ever considered touring through vietnam by motorcycle? Maybe drive by yourself or go on a guided tour with easy riders Or is that too dangerous?

    • Not really our thing, we prefer bicycles. No I don’t think the roads in Vietnam are particularly dangerous, they certainly feel safer than Thailand and drivers are very courteous of bicycles ( My husband did all his Ironman training there on a road bike, over the Hai Van pass a couple of times a week. We know road death statistics are high, but we had no issues in Central Vietnam. Probably the lack of helmets and sub-standard helmets are a big factor.

  17. Hey! I am planning on going to Vietnam and have heard about the danger of crossing the street which really scares me… is there any way I can avoid it maybe by not going to a certain neighborhood or city? Is it the same in every city or just in hanoi? Is it actually that dangerous?


    • OK, so crossing the street looks crazy to westerners but it’s actually fine. You’ll see little old ladies and small children doing it. Maybe just stick with a local. Keep a steady forward pace so that the scooter drivers can predict where you’re going and they’ll go around you. You do need to watch out for trucks though, but you won’t see too many of those outside main roads.

    • Hi, I think your question is great and I have experience so I want to share with you something.
      Traffic in Vietnam is a bit chaotic but crossing the road is not necessarily difficult for tourists. I suggest 3 ways to cross the road really easily.
      1. Raise your hand straight to the sky and cross the street – this action means crossing the street.
      2. You can ask a local for a walk or a traffic police – Vietnamese people are very friendly and lovely, so helping someone is very helpful.
      3. Find other paths – I’ve seen many tourists wait for a long time to get across the street. But meanwhile there is a pedestrian path to cross the road directly below. (Be quick to observe.)

  18. Very Nice blog and an attractive websites must read highly recommended!! Thanks for sharing with us.

  19. The Australian Government website has a link to obtain a Vietnam visa on line. Takes two or three days and total cost is US$25. Print it out and no problems at customs.

    • Great thanks! We were in Vietnam a few weeks ago, as UK passport holders we don’t need a visa, we go in for free for 15 days and didn’t have to stand in the queue at the visa desk. What period is the form above for? Is that just for a short holiday or the 3-month visa we normally get? We’re thinking of going back to live there again and just doing visa runs every 3 months, which seems fairly unproblematic.

  20. Hello Alyson,
    Thank you so much for your great blog, especially about Viet Nam and Hoi An.
    While I am reading your blog and some friends comments about their needs of finding an accommodation for a month in Hoi An….we would love to offer our homestay options if you see our house suit your needs, that would be our pleasure to welcome you. If you don’t mind allowing us to leave our contact here for any friends who want to connect, that would be so kind of you.

    • It would be very kind of me indeed Thi Thao. Unfortunaely I can’t allow that as I don’t know your property or anything about it. Also people offer me thousands of dollars to place adverts such as yours. I’m very sorry I can’t allow you to self promote like that, it’s not how this works, you can’t just advertise here.

  21. Hi !

    I am planning a second trip to Vietnam in July 2020. I went in January and the weather was lovely, but I’m a little bit scared about the rainy season in July… Do you have any advise ?

    Thank you so much !

    • It’s very dependent on where in Vietnam you’re going. July in Hoi An was pleasant. We got the floods around Christmas.

  22. Hi,

    Thanks for all the information, we are trying to book a short break in Hoi An as part of a larger Asian trip, we’re really struggling to book hotels for 2 adults and 4 children – do you have any suggestions? I realise you only have two kids but thought you might have heard from other larger families, Lots of hotels websites don’t seem to allow for combinations of rooms, self-limit to two children etc?

  23. I love vietnam , great country and it becomes better and better. Thank you for your useful article, I rewteet it already. Vietnam see also a surge in Chinese tourists, that s crazy, so soon Prices will increase

  24. Hi there,

    Thanks for a great blog! We are planning a trip to Vietnam from 27th Sept to 20th Oct this year. Chinese golden week is 1-7 October and I understand that Vietnam is a popular destination for Chinese tourists. Would you know how this is likely to affect our trip, or give us any advice how to avoid the hordes. Maybe there are areas in VN or types of places that they travel to less? We are planning to spend time in the north and south, not in the centre.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Sorry, I don’t know if the Chinese tourists prefer particular places, but most of them come on organised tours, so if you check out the itineraries of most big tours and avoid those places it should be quieter. But of course that will rule out all the most popular destinations.

  25. Hi! I am traveling to Vietnam in May and wondering how you knew what website to use for a Vietnam Visa? I want to make sure we are getting a valid visa but at the same time, not overpaying!

    Thank you,


    • We used 2 different ones, but off the top of my head now I can’t remember which ones. Take a look at their reviews and be wary of fake reviews. You don’t actually get a visa, you get a letter of approval so that you’ll get your visa on arrival. Anyone who says they’ll get you an actual visa is a scam. Also the group letters, where your letter is shared between a few other people ( e-mailed separately) – that’s totally legit. The others will see limited details, it’s cheaper, this is the way we’ve always done it.

      • Update to the ever-changing visa system; we arrived by air to Vietnam this month (still here) with an Australian passport and got a visa before arriving.
        It was still muddy trying to figure it all out as their website wasn’t all too clear and adding to the confusion was every blog/review/website I read said app. letter+stamping.
        In the end I applied directly through Vietnam Immigration for an e-visa, $25US each and got stamped through at the airport with no extra cost. No approval letter etc just had to print our conformation of visa approval and take it through to get stamped.

        • It’s also dependent on your nationality and where you’re applying from. We’re on UK passports and on the road. I know a lot of Australians go to their Vietnamese embassy in Australia to sort visas out.

  26. For me, the most interesting place in Ho Chi Minh City is the Museum of War Remnants. The photos are drastic but it’s worth seeing them.

  27. Hello! Thanks for writing a great blog! It has been fun to read! Any suggestions for first time parents traveling WITHOUT their kiddo to Vietnam? My husband and I are considering a 2 week trip this summer, and after visiting several developing countries in my early 20’s, I’m nervous to travel somewhere that requires shots, consideration about drinking the water, bugs, and eating certain foods. I NEVER used to consider those things, but somehow I’ve turned into a worry wart after having our daughter. Any tips/suggestions would be helpful, or even some words to calm the mom worry in me haha!

    • We had no tummy trouble AT ALL in Vietnam. Times have changed, it’s rare these days to have problems anywhere unless you’re unlucky enough to pick up a virus. It’s happened to us maybe 4 times in 6 years of travel and the sickest we’ve been was in London with norovirus…does that help? I doubt you need many shots for Vietnam. Our doctor told us not to bother with any for a short trip to Thailand before we became full time travellers, but you have to do what makes you comfortable. We ate ALL the food in Vietnam. Every leaf at every street stall. We had no problems. But do always give your chopsticks a good wipe ( locals do) and I always make sure leaves get a good dunk in the hot soup if I can, but we ate salady leaves many, many times. We had clean drinking water on tap in our house there, I imagine many do and restaurants should know what they’re doing. Nobody wants to kill off their customers, particularly not if their customers are the locals. Maybe really touristy restaurants are worse than the places the locals eat? And don’t trust all the fake reviews on Trip Advisor.

  28. Alyson, do you have the Expats facebook page regarding the airbnb accommodation? Hoping to find somewhere homey to stay for about a month.

    • There’s Danang and Hoi An Expats or Hoi An Expats, I think. The place we rented was direct with the owner, contact details for Dao are in the Living in Hoi An post. But most of the house rentals are for 3 month minimum. If you’d like me to introduce you to Dao directly just find me on Facebook.

  29. Hi Alison.
    What an inspiring blog, thanks a million!
    We are planning travelling with our 11 & 6 year old children somewhere to Asia in May / June. I want the kids to experience different life and I believe that backpacking is the way.. Vietnam would be our choice but I wonder what would the weather be like this time of the year and whether you would suggest any region or other country cause of that? Many thanks. Paula

      • With all honesty, we do not have a set plan and are open for suggestions. We are not fans of big cities, but that’s pretty much it. My children love adventures, floating villages and sleeping on the boat seems great, but if it would rain a lot that’s a much less fun. X

        • I think Central Vietnam is good in May June but the north and south might be hotter and wet. Central gets wet in October / November / December… I think. Then lovely and cool until about April.

          • HI Alison!
            Thanks to your blog we have now booked 3 weeks off work to travel. Would you be able to advise on itinerary? We thinking of flying to Hanoi and flying back from Ho Chi Minth? should we buy tickets before applying for visa? X

            • 3 weeks is cutting it a bit fine. I’ve done that trip in 4 weeks and it fits perfectly but for a short holiday you’ll have to pick your highlights and skip some parts. No you normally buy the tickets first. It’s up to you really. What parts and places most interest you in Vietnam? Then you just string them together in the most cost/time effective way. Sorry, I’m still in the Himalayas so very short on time.

              • Thanks. Should we finish in Hoi An? My kids love beaches and sea so we would love to spend there 5-7 days. Xx

                • Hoi An has a couple of beaches but we only went to them maybe 3 times in 6 months. To me, they didn’t seem that great. The restaurants on the beach are expensive and not very good, the sand is covered in deck chairs and umbrellas, that’s not my cup of tea. Also if it’s stormy they’re unusable. The sand washed away and strong surf closed them down. My Ironman husband couldn’t swim there and he was desperate to train for an event. But like I say, we’re not beach people, no interest at all really, so I’m not a good judge of beaches. I think to miss the Cu Chi Tunnels and the museums of HCM would be a great shame though. To me that’s a huge highlight of Vietnam, learning about that part of history and the incredible Vietnamese resilience. Hoi An Old Town and the rice paddies and farms between there and the beach are wonderful though. And of course Hoi An is famous for food and the street food is cheap and superb.

  30. Hi,

    Thank you so much for your efforts in making this wonderful travel guide. You’re so right on about the food in Vietnam which is just so delicious, healthy yet cheap. For street foods, I suggest visiting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, for unique tastes, Hue is the best place. Hoi An would be the destination for cheap dishes.

  31. This is an amazing travel guide. I have read so much about Vietnam but this has so many important links covering everything I need in one single place. I would really love to visit this beautiful country dotted with history, architecture and amazing landscapes. Pinned it for my future travel

  32. Great article! Vietnam is really a nice destination to visit in Southeast Asia. The country is loaded with world class attractions..

  33. Hi Alyson,
    Love your article. Can you please tell me if there are many yoga studios in Hoi An? I am hoping to get a job teaching yoga somewhere in Vietnam. Hoi An looks beautiful and I like that it’s smaller than the big cities. I am worried about the floods though as I would be there from October onwards. Do you think it’s best I go somewhere else in Vietnam until the rainy season has passed? If so where else would you recommend?
    Thanks for your help.

    • Look up Nomads Yoga, they have a Facebook page. If you can find them on a map of Hoi An that area does not flood and was, in fact, where we lived. Very convenient for everything. The other side of Hoi An, which is very popular with expats and nomads, did have flooding. There is yoga over there too and there is yoga on the beaches, but I know Nomads, they have a nice vegetarian ( maybe vegan) cafe too. It’s near Jack’s Cat Cafe and the main bus stop.

  34. That Vietnam Visa Checker widget is very convenient. Didn’t know such thing existed !
    Good article overall Do not miss Ninh Binh next time your come to Vietnam.

  35. great article, it made me miss Vietnam so much plus reading about Sapa, where we haven’t been made me want to go there even more, all the best ania

  36. Thank you for visiting Vietnam, there are many places you should explore such as Ha Noi, Ha Long, Sapa, Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An

  37. WoW what an amazing guide that you have written Alyson, and may I compliment you on every area that you have covered, all about your Vietnam stay with your family as well, some humourus moments gave me a good laugh.

    I will be moving to Hoi An early next year for good, if all goes well, I have found your Blog very very helpful in a lot of Areas, especially about long term rentals, the people, and the food, the weather, being a retired chef I can’t wait to get into the kitchen over there and learn new skills.


  38. Hello Alyson
    My daughter and I are planning to visit in March 2019.
    Have been doing a lot of reading but still unsure if we should book a tour rather than trying it ourselves. The general consensus is that its ok to just arrive and do it yourself. I am a bit concerned about transport and hotels without having anything booked in advance. Have read conflicting reports about using bus and train ?
    We would also like to go to Cambodia for a few days if possible.
    Any suggestions in this regard would be extremely helpful.

    Thanks kindly


    • I would book your hotels in advance. Wandering round with bags and a child in the heat isn’t much fun and these days doesn’t really save you money. The only problem is, if you have a hotel booked and then you can’t get on the bus/train/plane for whatever reason, so i’d lean towards booking those too, if possible. Unless you’re comfortable doing what we do and just booking places the day before, once our travel is confirmed. The trains are absolutely fine but time consuming on a short trip. The buses…well…I’m not keen. I worry about crashes, but on the whole driving on Vietnam is slower than in Thailand and death rates lower. But accidents must be pretty rare, I’d just rather take a train as they’re comfortable and we always have plenty of time. Local public buses are pretty rickety. For shorter trips you can always just use an uber or taxi. Fly the big hops maybe. The big tourist / backpacker buses are very modern but have double decker sleeping/seating. They’re almost like beds, but not long enough for a tall westerner to recline.

  39. Hi,
    I ‘m America,and applied for Evisa and my 2 kids . I got approval e visa today , but not my kids . Regarding to application, I filled 3 appplications and 3 fee.
    Did I do anything wrong? On the website, I did give an option to put kids under 14 , name . However, the appplication states on the same passports with parents.

      • Yes, they have their own visa . That what I filled their own e-visa application. However, my e visa got approved today with an email notification . I didn’t receive anything regarding for both of my kids even though I applied on the same day.
        I’m getting sorry whether I need to fill their names on my application..

  40. Hello Alyson, Thanks heaps for providing such a thorough blog. My wife and I will be arriving in Ho Chi Minh city in late July. I’d love to experience Ha Long Bay. I was just wondering roughly how much it cost to get there from Ho Chi Minh City. I read that you fly there then a car ride to boat, is this correct? We’re Australian so if you could possibly convert for us that would be awesome. Do you have a boat you recommend to travel on? Thanks heaps for any information you can pass on

    • Dale, hi. Flying is much quicker than the train / bus, yes, only a couple of hours, at least 2 days otherwise. It costs anywhere between $100-$200 US. The best thing is to hop over to Skyscanner and see what flights are available for your dates, prices fluctuate, find the best deal. I haven’t taken a Halong Bay cruise in years sorry so can’t recommend one currently operating.

      • Hey Alyson, thanks heaps for sparing your time to help, greatly appreciated 😉

  41. Hi Alyson,
    Great blog with some fab info about Vietnam’. Myself and some friends are traveling out in July and I was wondering if you could provide some information on traveling between Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. What would you recommend?
    The flights are very expensive and long… surprisingly. But I heard many bad reports about the buses… however I can’t get any recent info, last reviews were 2010/2012!
    Any advice?

    • I haven’t crossed from Vietnam into neighbouring countries since 2001. But we’ve crossed Thailand to Cambodia recently. You’ll find a full post on our site, I think if you search Bangkok to Siem Reap. Buses in Thailand are great. Cambodian buses…not so good. And Laos…not so good either and terribly windy roads. But the overland trip from the south of Vietnam, by boat and bus to Luang Prabang is pretty amazing. It involved speedboats and crash helmets and was pretty crazy. Flying is for wimps 😉

      • Thank you so much for your reply, I will check out the blog and have a read. I want to travel from Vietnam though as we will only have about 6 days to see both Cambodia and Laos.
        I am also wondering about the Vietnam visa… we will be in Vietnam about 13 days then travel into Cambodia and Laos then back to Vietnam to fly home.
        So in totally more than 15 days… but multiple entry. Any info on either or not we need a visa? Website really not clear.
        Thank you

        • That’s a messy sort of visa problem. The tourist is 15 days so you’ll need a month or 3 month multiple entry and you MUST have the right documentation before you fly or you won’t be getting on the plane. The tourist visa is only for flying in. But depends on nationality too, it’s different for UK, Australia, US. Which is what I’m about to do, I’m at the airport about to board. Best of luck

  42. There are so many things to see and experience in Vietnam. Their food, culture, and amazing destinations are fantastic.

  43. This is wonderful Alyson! I’ll be visiting Vietnam soon so I’ve been researching non-stop about the country, glad I came across this page. This is a very comprehensive look at the country. I specifically love the theater and arts scene that’s featured here, will definitely check it out.

  44. Great Blog Alyson,
    My wife is originally from HCMC, and in 2015 we took the opportunity to visit her homeland for 3 weeks, did a tour of Hanoi and ha long bay, fell in love with the country and the people, 2017 we went back for 2 months, we spent w week in Vung Tau, beautiful place great food, rented a scooter from our hotel and cruised all over the place, took a flight from HCMC to Na Trang ($33.00 CAD) each one way, spent a week there also riding all over and checking out the sites, Decided to travel by sleeper bus to Dalat and spent about 4 days there, seemed funny to see locals wearing winter jackets in the evening( me in short pants and a tank top lol, but Dalat is beautiful, we found once we got to HCMC traveling around was quite reasonable, took a tour to Thailand, Bangkok and Pattaya( 5 days 4 nights all in $400.00 CAD, we are heading back in 2019 for another 2 months and who knows maybe this will be my retirement home

  45. hi! ALYSON

    As a Vietnamese, I thank you so much for giving your nice words to our country. I love to read more and more your post in the future. If you have a chance to travel Vietnam again, I will highly recommend you some landscape like The prison Island ” Con Dao” where is really beautiful and peaceful, it bring a lot of historical stories. I really hope you will come there and wrote about Con Dao.

  46. Hi Alyson
    I’ve just discovered your site and I am finding your information regarding blogging very useful as an about to be blogger.
    Love reading about Vietnam – My husband and I took our girls flash packing through Vietnam over Christmas 2016. One of my favourite places was Son Trach in Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park. It’s truly beautiful and the caves are jaw droppingly amazing. If you like to get away from the crowds and haven’t been already, I highly recommend a few days, even just to visit the most accessible caves.
    Thanks for sharing your travels.

  47. Hey Alyson! great post! I’ve been living in Da Nang for eight months and think it’s worthy of a mention. It has beautiful beaches, plenty of ESL teaching opportunities, bars, restaurants and thriving expat scene! It doesn’t have much exposure which has led me to create the Da Nang Teacher website. Have you visited Da Nang? if so, what did you think? It’s only 40 minutes from Hoi An, which I personally find too touristy! Oh also, do you accept guest posts RE Nam Les post? I would love to share more about Da Nang! Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • I’ve been to Danang many times but not posted about it ( lack of time!). Also I’m not a fan, too big city for me, I like countryside. Handy for the shops, cinema and Starbucks though. If you’d like to write about Danang for our site that would be great, please send your pitch to Always looking for new quality content from expert sources. 8 months I’d consider expert, I hate it when people write posts after being somewhere for 5 minutes. I’ll be covering Marble Mountain soon, but Danang is all yours if you want it. I also don’t have any decent photos of Danang, which presumably you do. Cheers!

  48. Vietnam is really a great place to pay a visit at least once in a lifetime. I was planning for a family trip in this Asian country. I find this blog very useful and informative. All the given information really helps me to plan the entire trip.

  49. Those are really good tips for families traveling to Vietnam – a beautiful country!

  50. Alyson,
    Would you be ale to post an example / picture of the pre-visa document? (visa on arrival)
    I have received one but when i have read your blog i am worried now if i was scammed or not.
    The other way is that i can send you my document and you would check it. I have tried the embassy and airlines but they don’t want to talk abut it unless it is provided by them.
    Regards & Thank you
    stressed Andy 🙂

      • Thx Alyson.
        I was wondering if it looks the same as you have described with some other travelers names on the document as mine looks. 🙂
        We do take our friends daughter with us this Year and we would not like to be stopped on the border…. That would be silly…lol
        Any help from anyone reading / traveling to Vietnam would be helpful 🙂

  51. I really love Vietnamese Street Food. I want to travel to Vietnam and i will travel to Vietnam in next year. Thank you for your post

  52. Hi Alyson, thanks a lot for your article. I’m going to vietnam in april and want to go straight from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An. How hard can i find a shuttle bus connecting two these destinations? They say that cyclo (xnh lo or something else) is another speciality in hoi an. Have you tried it? And can you tell me some address to get some tailor clothes in Hoi An?

    • There are plenty of buses and coaches but I’d highly recommend the train as more comfortable and probably safer. And yes there are cycle rickshaws in both Saigon and Hoi An. The Hoi An ones always seem to be pedalling Chinese or Korean tour groups around. I’ve never wanted to use one as they are purely a tourist attraction here, whereas in say, parts of India ( Saigon too, moreso) they are a way of getting from A to B.

    • Cindy,
      is it possible to post the VoA doc whit your names as i have wrote above? I just wanted to compare my document with yours if it looks the same . 🙂 If you won’t like it i will understand.
      many thanks

  53. I am heading to Vietnam soon (in 3 weeks for 3 weeks!) with 2 teenage children in tow, We’ll be flying into Hanoi and then taking our time to travel down south before heading over to Thailand.
    Our first stop however will be Sapa (2 nights already booked), then back to Hanoi for 2 pre booked nights, and then we take it all in our stride. My question is – what is the best way to get from Hanoi (we land 9.ooam) to Sapa – preferably the fastest – cheapest, can you recommend ideas?
    It is my children’s first overseas adventure and I do plan to stay more to the backpacker/budget trip with a few hotels along the way. We also plan to spend alot of time by the water, in water parks and beaches – can you advise good places to visit and stay at? We don’t have to do everything, I am happy to spend a week in one spot if that feels right for us 🙂 Thank You! N

  54. Great article! Vietnam is my next destination. I am especially curious about the food

  55. I love Vietnam, Vietnam is not small like you think. In your destination, I think it’s not full of Vietnam. You can travel to Mekong Delta, Hue, Phu Quoc, Dalat, Danang… and a lot of other places in Vietnam you must to see. Now, I’m living Vietnam, I love Vietnamese people and Vietnam culture

  56. Thank you all for your comments.
    Many people do not know the interesting things of Da Lat.
    If I write about it can you post on the page?

  57. Hi.
    I am currently working in Da Lat and I am studying about foreigners’ preference for Dalat.
    I searched and read many pages. And Da Lat is rarely mentioned.
    Can someone tell me why?

    • In my opinion, Dalat is a popular destination for Vietnamese because the weather in Saigon and surrounding area is so hot but Dalat weather is cool. For the westerners coming to Vietnam, most of them come from the weather like that so they may want to spend time for other destinations. Sapa in the North is similar to Dalat for the weather but there are more things to do and discover than Dalat so the information about Sapa is richer. Hope you are happy with my idea!

  58. Great article! Vietnam is my next destination. I am especially curious about the food 🙂

    • Vietnam is a paradise of food. Most of people love the streetfood in Vietnam! Welcome to Vietnam!

  59. We found even the taxi drivers lovely!!! We got the same driver twice and he remembered us. Best place in the world, and the Vietnamese are divine people.

  60. Hi guys, great article! Will you be in Hoi an for their lantern festival, Orla

    • We were here for last month’s full moon night and will be here for the coming one, yes. The next one should be quite an event with dragon dances froom local kids, but there are lanterns on the river every night in Hoi An.


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