Vietnam Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the coolest things to do and see in Vietnam
As one of Southeast Asia’s most popular countries, Vietnam is known for its great food, friendly people and complicated history and it’s a cool place for a hipster holiday full of cultural highlights, or an easy going beach holiday. Start here with my basic Vietnam travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Vietnam travel blogs.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Vietnam will depend a lot on which parts of the country you’re interested in visiting. In the north of the country, and up in the mountains and plateaus it can be get very cold in the winter months, but summer can be uncomfortably hot. Along the coast, monsoons often hit during the summer months, though it can be wet almost any time of year. An important cultural holiday, Tet, is celebrated annually in late January or early February (coinciding with Chinese New Year) and can be a busy time to travel in Vietnam, as many locals will also be travelling to visit their families, so keep this in mind when planning your trip.
Top Things to Do
Sunset at Halong Bay – One of Vietnam’s most photographed locations, when you visit Halong Bay, just a few hours drive from Hanoi, it’s easy to see why. Most people take an overnight boat trip through the bay, as a highlight of experiencing this place is watching the sun set between the peaks of the islands dotted throughout the bay.
Dunes at Mui Ne – These impressive red sand dunes in southern Vietnam are one of the country’s biggest natural attractions. You can slide down them on a sled, explore them on dune buggies or simply watch the sunset turn them gold and orange. Strangely, ostrich riding is offered as an activity here, but don’t do it – the ostriches are treated very badly!
Eat everything in Saigon – Known as a foodie city, Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, in southern Vietnam is a great place to explore the Vietnamese culinary landscape. There are countless street food tours and other ways to experience the food, but don’t miss out on the other fun things to do in Saigon.
Taking the time to go on a tour in Vietnam, either in one of the cities to get to know a bit more about its history, or out in the more rural regions, can be a very rewarding experience. Take a look at this selection of Vietnam tours.
LGBT – Gay Vietnam Travel Guide
While Vietnam doesn’t specifically have any legislation to protect LGBT people, non-heterosexuality is generally tolerated and accepted, meaning that as a gay traveller, you likely won’t notice any different to a straight person visiting Vietnam in how you are received. Here are a few of the best things to know about gay Vietnam.
VietPride – Taking place annually since 2012, marches in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are small but very lovely affairs. In Hanoi, the march is part of a multi-day festival that also includes movie screenings, talks, presentations and of course several parties.
Grindr is where it’s at – The most popular hookup app for men seeking men in Vietnam is definitely Grindr. So if you’re not on it and want to connect with locals, download it before going! And remember, you don’t have to use it only for hookups – many Vietnamese guys are happy to chat and give recommendations for people visiting their country.
More gay travel resources here.
Vietnam Hotel Deals
There’s all kinds of accommodation options to be found around Vietnam, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels and everything in between, but to find the best deals, I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined is a great place to start, especially for last-minute deals.
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