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Vietnam Trips & Tours

Vietnam vistas
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Vibrant Vietnam will weave its spell as you take an authentic adventure in this amazing corner of Asia. With everything from ancient to modern, urban buzz to rural retreats, Vietnam is a diverse destination full of drama and delights. See Asia on a shoestring and be awed by the natural wonder of Halong Bay and seriously seduced by its idyllic islands bursting with beauty. Find fusion flavour in Hanoi, discover the heart of Asia in the ancient city of Hue, marvel at the magic of the Mekong Delta and tap into the vital vibe of buzzing Vietnam. Get inventive and give voice to your gap year dreams; book a budget break today and discover the vast variety of Vietnam.

Read more in our Vietnam Travel Guide.

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Vietnam Facts

Capital City

Hanoi

Currency

Vietnamese Dong (VND)

Language

Vietnamese

Dialling Code

+84

Plug Type

A & C

Vietnam Highlights

Pagoda and surrounding structures on a tree lined street in Hanoi's Old Quarter

Old Quarter - Hanoi

Each of Vietnam’s cities is as charming as the next. Hanoi’s Old Quarter is buzzing with constant movement, with lively storefronts, locals flying past you on bikes and the smell of delicious street food filling the streets. Tuck into plenty of Pho and chat with the welcoming locals.

Boats sitting in Ha Long Bay with surrounding islands

Ha Long Bay

An overnight boat is the best way to experience this unique landscape with its aesthetic limestone islands and tranquil waters. Located in Northern Vietnam, Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts many travellers searching to experience the country’s natural beauty.

Traveller walking along a path in the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex

Ninh Binh - Red River Delta

The capital of Ninh Binh Province is a calming escape to Vietnam’s countryside. Perfect for nature lovers who want to immerse themselves in a new side of Vietnam’s culture, here you can explore the waterways and lush rice paddies with scenic boat rides.

A traveller poking their head out of an entrance to a tunnel

Chu Chi Tunnels - Cu Chi District

This extensive underground network played a crucial role during the Vietnam War. The Chu Chi Tunnels were constructed as a strategic hiding place, providing shelter and communication routes. Travellers can visit to gain insight into this important time in history and understand the country better.

Evening skyline with skyscrapers in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh, offers a distinctive mix of skyscrapers creating a busy metropolis, and quaint streets with local markets to pick up souvenirs and sample delicious cuisine. Travellers will want to explore key landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral and Giac Lam Pagoda.

A bridge over the Perfume River in Hue

Perfume River - Hue

The Perfume River is a picturesque waterway that flows through the historic city of Hue. The river is dotted with landmarks such as Imperial City and Thien My Pagoda. “Perfume River” comes from the fragrance of flowers that fall into the water during Autumn.

People in boats on a river in Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An

Previously a trading port, Hoi An is a lively city with a diverse range of cultural influences, making the food and experiences particularly special. Known for its iconic paper lanterns, illuminating the street and water, a top experience for travellers is to hop in a basket boat to explore the river.

Travellers wearing strawhats travelling down a waterway lined with palm trees in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

Mekong Delta

Take a day trip from Ho Chi Minh, stay in a local homestay, or cycle around the winding roads - there are so many unique ways to experience the Mekong Delta’s vast waterways, floating villages and shops on the riverbanks.

Winding paths amongst densely vegetated mountains in Sa Pa, vietnam

Sa Pa

Get off the beaten track in the northern mountains of Vietnam. Trek through Sa Pa’s terraced rice fields and uncover breathtaking views. Visit traditional villages, such as Giang Ta Chai village where you will meet the Red Dao people and learn about local life. Sleep in the mountains and wake up to unbeatable landscapes.

Vietnam Travel Advice

Aerial view of a stone-lined beach in Danang, Vietnam

Climate & Weather

Vietnam has a diverse climate and very distinct seasons. When you visit North Vietnam, you will discover that winter, from November to April, is mostly dry with temperatures averaging 17-22°C. Meanwhile, May to October is summer, which is humid and wetter, creating amazing green scenery. In Central Vietnam, such as Hoi An and Hue, hot temperatures peak from January to August. Meanwhile, the dry season in South Vietnam spans from November to May and temperatures remain consistent, averaging around 25 - 35°C, all year round. Even during monsoon season, showers are heavy but brief and are usually in the afternoons.

Market stalls at night lined with red lanterns in Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Best Time to Visit

Vietnam has so much to offer year-round. Sa Pa and Ha Long Bay will be cool and dry from October to April. In February, you will experience the Perfume Pagoda Festival in Hanoi. A great time to visit Central Vietnam (Hue, Hoi An and Da Nang) is February to August as you will experience pleasant temperatures and minimal rainfall. Tet Ngueyen Dan, the lunar new year and the most important event in the Vietnamese calendar, falls between January and February and is a great opportunity to experience the country’s culture. Off-season, with the most affordable prices, is May to October.

Buddha statue in front of a temple in The Marble Mountains in Da Nang, Vietnam

Customs & Culture

It is very important to show respect when visiting Buddhist and Hindu sites. This includes dressing modestly, removing hats, and remembering this is a place people come for religious worship. Vietnamese culture holds the highest respect for the elderly. When eating with local people, wait for the oldest person at the table to begin eating. It is considered a compliment to finish all the food on your plate. Modesty is also most admired in Vietnamese culture. This includes not standing with your arms crossed, or with your hands on your hips. To greet people, say “Xin Chao” (sin jow), meaning “Hello”.

Red and blue british passports

Passports & Visas

British passport holders planning to stay in Vietnam for less than 45 days do not need a visa for tourism. Tourists staying for more than 45 days can apply for an e-visa online. British passport holders should have at least 2 blank pages in their passport, with no passport damage, and their passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the date they arrive. Entry requirements are subject to change and travellers should always check the FCDO advice.

Traveller with a backpack walking across a bridge in the Vietnamese jungle

Health & Safety

Visit your GP before travelling to Southeast Asia to ensure you have all the vaccinations you need. Healthcare in Vietnam is very expensive and it is important that you have comprehensive medical insurance with your travel insurance. Only drink bottled water in Vietnam and order drinks without ice. Always be careful when trying local street food. Vietnam has a low risk of crime, but general precautions should be taken when travelling to prevent pickpocketing, which can occur in crowded areas. Watch out for scams such as taxis or fake charities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vietnamese food is an important part of the country's culture and is renowned for being delicious. With rice paddies across the country, rice is the base of many foods. Chicken, pork, beef and fish are the main ingredients. Due to Buddhist influences, you will find plenty of vegetarian dishes on offer. In North Vietnam, expect to find black pepper in replacement of chilli and more seafood, whilst food is spicier in Central Vietnam. Meanwhile, South Vietnam has strong influences from Thailand and China, with sweeter-tasting dishes.

When visiting Vietnam consider the time of year you are travelling and what activities you want to get involved in. Bring clothing that covers your knees and shoulders for visiting religious sites. Lightweight and breathable clothing is advised, especially when it is hot and humid. Pack comfortable shoes for exploring cities and light trekking. If you are planning more intense hiking, consider packing good walking boots. Pack a light rain jacket for showers. If you are heading into Northern Vietnam, such as Sa Pa, pack layers as temperatures can get cooler at night.

Women travelling solo will find that Vietnam is one of the safest destinations in Southeast Asia to travel. Vietnamese people are generally very welcoming, hospitable and keen for travellers to enjoy their country. In all destinations, including Vietnam, solo women travellers need to take precautions to stay safe and be aware of their surroundings.

The Vietnamese dong is the official currency of Vietnam, symbolised by VND. US Dollars can also be accepted, but you will typically find you are overcharged and small, local vendors will only accept VND. Card is also widely accepted in hotels, boutiques, restaurants and grocery stores.

It’s entirely up to you. Although tipping in Vietnam isn’t mandatory, tour guides always appreciate a tip for their hard-working effort to make your group tour an unforgettable adventure. So if your tour guide goes above and beyond what you expect, then you may consider tipping to show them you had an incredible time. The amount is down to personal preference but it’s common to leave a tip of £2-5 per day or 5-10% of the trip cost.

Vietnam is an adventure traveller's playground, there’s not a single place in Vietnam that doesn’t encompass a sense of adventure. In the northern region, adventure travellers are drawn to the landscapes of Sa Pa Valley, Pu Luong Park and Ha Long Bay. Not to mention the long list of adventurous activities. Cycle around rice paddies in Ninh Binh, learn to cook Vietnamese style in Hue and admire the lantern-lit streets of historic Hoi An. In the southern region, Ho Chi Minh City is a must-see to marvel at the magic of the Mekong Delta, take an underground history lesson at Cu Chi Tunnels and taste delicious Vietnamese flavours at food markets.

Absolutely! A gap year in Vietnam is the answer if you want to take on the adventure of a lifetime. With ancient to modern history and urban cities to rural retreats, Vietnam is a diverse destination for gap year trips. You can discover the best of the southern cities and northern Vietnam like the capital of Hanoi, Hạ Long Bay, and Sapa Valley. A gap year allows you to take all the time you need to uncover this incredible country. Plus, compared to other gap year destinations, Vietnam is a relatively affordable place to live.

@gap360official | Vietnam

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Vietnam Trip Reviews

4.6
Rating
161
Reviews

Bethan Jones

I loved my experience of gap 360, they were helpful and quick at responding to any queries that we had.

Ellie Craven

So much fun want to do it again!

Tim Davis

epic!!!

Hannah James

Life changing!

Grace Atkins

Good value and lots to see and do!

Amber Howard

Amazing trip. Don't hesitate, just go for it!

Amy Milne

Amazing

Stephanie Bool

I loved everything! The biggest highlights were the quad biking tour, the bike ride in Hoi An where we got to do fishing, meet farmers, ride a buffalo and go in bamboo baskets, the local homestay, the boat trip with the floating…

Holly Gemmel

Amazing experiences and tour leader but very fast paced and intense.

Nina Graham

Well organised, brilliant experience

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