October 20, 2015

Travel Guide: Vietnam

Vietnam is perhaps best known to people around the world because of its involvement in the Second Indochina War with the U.S.A. Since then, the North and South regions of the country have unified and the country now welcomes millions of international tourists every year.

What to See

Those looking to visit the country will have plenty to see. If you want to learn about the country’s history, visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum or the War Remnants Museum. There is also an abundance of natural wonders like the National Park in Phong Nha-Ke Bang or the Sand Dunes of Mui Ne. Finally, those looking to sample some lively nightlife will be well accommodated in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. The Ha Long Bay is one of the country’s most famous attractions. The 1,600 limestone island and islets that make up the area remain largely uninhabited by people, but are instead home to many plants and animals unique to the area.

How to Get Around

Vietnam is currently in the process of upgrading many of its roads and transportation links to deal with the increasing number of visitors. Until this is complete, internal flights remain popular especially for longer distance journeys. There are many flights connecting the country’s largest cities, Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, to others like Haiphong, Can Tho, and Da Nang. Another option is train travel. While much of the network has not seen expansion since it was first built, it’s still a great way to see the country while meeting new people. For shorter journeys there’s the cyclo, a bicycle rickshaw. Cyclo drivers won’t have a standard rate, preferring to try and haggle a high price with you.

When to Visit

Vietnam is large enough to have several distinct climate zones, which you should take into account when you’re planning your visit. The North has the four expected seasons, with a relatively chilly winter, a hot and wet summer, and mild spring and autumn seasons. The South, meanwhile, has only three distinct seasons. The climate is at its hottest from March to the start of June, with April being the warmest month. The rest of June to November is seen as the rainy season, where downpours can happen daily and the mosquitoes are out in droves. December to February is generally seen as the best time to visit, with temperatures in the evenings reaching around 20°C (68°F).
Vietnam has lots to offer even the most seasoned of travelers and is easily accessible, with many tour operators running trips to the country. Let me know in the comments below about your favorite places to visit in the country.