Travel Guide To Vietnam
If you ask me which is the most beautiful Asian country you have ever been to, Vietnam would be at the top of my list. Period. The glorious beauty of the place will be scarred in your memories and it’s the most wonderful feeling. When in Vietnam you will overdose on the unbelievably gorgeous landscapes, rich history and culture and only the best Vietnamese cuisines. I guarantee you, you will not want to leave. Giving you the ultimate Travel Guide To Vietnam below.
I am sure, you are already nodding to yourself and are excited for your next trip to Vietnam. I am listing all the details you need to make that trip easy this year, go on, read below, oh yes, you can thank me later, I am generous 😛
Now onto the details.
The best time to visit Vietnam is in Spring (February to April) and Autumn (August to October). The country is at its best climate during these seasons. Plan your dates and book your flight tickets way in advance because that is the only way you can get the best deals on your tickets.
Every Indian will need a tourist visa to enter the country irrespective of the length of your stay. Luckily, the process for this is not at all hectic. The best option is something called a Visa On Arrival which is convenient, simple and time saving. All you have to do is apply online for a Visa Approval Letter beforehand. For this you have to simply fill a form and pay the processing fees – both online. If you follow the instructions on the website, this process is a no-brainer. The Visa Approval Letter will be issued to you by the Vietnam Immigration Department in one or two working days. Upon your arrival in Vietnam, the custom officers will stamp the approval letter, you pay a stamping fee and you are good to go. The Visa on Arrival is applicable at five international airports in Vietnam – Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Ho Chi Minh City. The other way you can get your Visa is by applying to the Vietnam Embassy in New Delhi which is a rather lengthy procedure. Here is a link where you can apply for your Visa to Vietnam.
The currency in Vietnam is very undervalued. One Vietnamese Dong is 0.0029 Indian Rupees. So if you are feeling like a millionaire in the country, you are entitled, enjoy your time, haha. This also means that you can travel and explore the country on a good budget. From my experience, the major expense on my trip was the flight tickets. The expense for food, local travel and stay is pretty decent and adjustable. Airbnb’s and local restaurants to the rescue.
Vietnam has a very rich history and culture. You should definitely read up before you get to the country for your vacation. This wiki article is the best resource I found. It has almost everything you need to know about Vietnam – https://wikitravel.org/en/Vietnam
Now, you’ve received your letter, made it on time for your flight, got it stamped at the airport and are in freaking Vietnam. Where do you go from here? I’ve got two places for ya – Ha Long Bay and Hanoi. You may have to take a cab or a ship depending on which airport you get off at. Why these two places specifically? Details coming right up.
Ha Long Bay
This is hands down one of the most magnificent places I’ve been to. It was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994 and 2000. That’s right, TWICE. And it rightfully deserves that title because Ha Long Bay is so picturesque that it almost feels unreal. A quick fact about the place – It’s all natural. By that I mean, you won’t find anything man-made or artificial in Ha Long Bay. There are limestone formations which are a result of chemical formation for 3000 years. These rocks are a sight to behold and you can even indulge in some rock climbing, kayaking and tons of other activities if you are an adventurer at heart. For the more relaxed folks, you can spoil yourself on a luxury cruise ship and take a dip in the trademarked emerald green water which will captivate your heart. I have three options for cruises that you can get on.
1) Apricot Cruise – 3 Star – $335/person – http://apricotcruises.com/
2) Flamingo Cruise – 4 Star – $437/person – http://www.flamingocruisehalong.com/
3) Alisa Cruise – 5 Star – $855/person – http://alisacruise.com/
Watch the sunsets or sunrise dazzle your eyes and the water sparkle in all its glory. Let’s not forget the mouth-watering seafood that the place has to offer. Delicious shrimp, crunchy crab meat and so much more. See it to believe it.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and should be a must visit place on your list if you want to get a peek at REAL Vietnam. You can say that Hanoi is the Mumbai of Vietnam. The streets are flooded with scooters and you might as well carry snacks with you if you are going to cross the roads because it takes that long to get past the traffic and onto the other side. But that is exactly what makes Hanoi different. You get to experience the Vietnamese city life and see what their culture and religion is like. Hanoi has lots to see, so you may need good three to four days to experience all that the city has to offer. The city has lots of Monuments and Museums. Each of its pros. Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Vietnamese Women’s Museum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, National Museum of Vietnamese History (a must visit for all the history buffs) to name a few. For all the religiously curious, there are lots and lots of beautiful temples to visit – Beach Ma Temple, Temple of Literature are some of the famous ones. Don’t forget to visit the marvellous Long Bien Bridge which was bombed several times during American War and has recovered strongly each time. The Lotte Observation Deck which is on the 65th Floor of the Lotte building will give you a glimpse of the ginormous city and the view is literally breathtaking. So you see what I mean by experience REAL Vietnam in Hanoi?
For the places lesser touristic than others, you can spend your time to visit Sapa or Mai Chau with the stay at a homestay (in local people house) to experience the local lives.
About the real hidden/unexplored places, it belongs to high adventure trip and the private tour is applied to ensure the quality service & safety rate for the travellers. This tour is not the highly recommended because the expenses are very high.
Both options above require more time to travel than 5 days trip!
Have you been to Vietnam before? Or are you planning a trip? Let me know in the comments section below all your suggestions and questions.
Oh, and here is a little something if you are thinking of a Summer Vacay In India.