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Planning a holiday is all about living your daydreams. After all, you’ve been thinking about what you’ll do in Vietnam for a while; you’ve done the research on the attractions and accommodations and flights. There is likely one part of the trip that you haven’t yet considered, though: how to get around Vietnam once you land from Australia.
Hue (pronounced “hway”) is located on the banks of the Song Huong-Perfume River where it serves as the capital of the Thien Hue province in central Vietnam. Here, you will find palaces, pagodas, tombs, temples, history and much more to explore and enjoy. While this city doesn’t have the same “big city”-esque vibe as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, Hue has its own charm and draw for tourists and locals alike. Perhaps the most impressive accolade of the city is its UNESCO World Heritage site status. While many of the finest buildings from imperial Vietnam were destroyed during the Vietnam War, there are still plenty of artefacts and history to sate the most voracious of history lovers.
The social scene in Hanoi, Vietnam is slightly different from those you find in other major cities around the world. Instead of microbreweries and craft beers and wine bars, Hanoi has a specialty that, if you love beer, will surely enjoy. Bia hoi refers to Hanoi’s drink of choice—loosely translated, it means “fresh beer.” It is a very light, refreshing and cold draught beer that locals and tourists love equally. In fact, the bia hoi scene is so popular that it makes up 30% of Vietnam’s beer market, which makes a lot of sense because it is dirt cheap. It will be a mere $0.50AUD for each glass of the straw-coloured beverage.
The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi was once the most important political centre of Vietnam. At the beginning of the 20th century it consisted of around 36 streets, all of which now make up the Old Quarter. It used to be crowded with silk traders and jewellery sellers and in more modern times, tradition has been upheld.
Ask anyone about their holiday in Vietnam and chances are you’ll hear heaps and heaps of praise about this friendly, generous and giving country. Everyone welcomes you with open arms, they share their history and cultural experiences willingly, their food is divine and the major cities of this country are upcoming social hotspots. If you decide to holiday in Vietnam, you’ll be able to take advantage of all these perks and more. For all that a vast majority of the people you meet and interact with will be friendly, there are a number of scams that have become popular, and as you may expect, tourists are often the targets of these schemes. Get to know the five most common scams in Vietnam so you can be ahead of the curve before your plane even touches down.
Hanoi is a classically old-world city working at a modern-day pace. Once considered one of Asia’s most inhospitable destinations, Hanoi has worked hard to overcome this stereotype, becoming a city on the rise. Get in on the ground floor of this up-and-coming tourist mecca with our list of must-see destinations in Hanoi.
Right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City is the Ben Thanh Market, the large marketplace that boasts that they are one of the oldest structure still remaining from old Saigon. If you are seeking local crafts, textiles, and souvenirs, or if you just want to experience some of the culture of Vietnamese marketplaces, head to Ben Thanh for a fun outing.
When you are visiting a country with as many delicious culinary options as Vietnam, you might as well get creative about how you enjoy your meals abroad. When you visit Ho Chi Minh City, you will fall in love with the simple dishes and complex flavours. Instead of winging it, try any of the following three experiences to get a more personal and unique perspective on the food that defines the city.
HCMC is a city dedicated to embracing the future and encouraging development to move away from the turmoil in Vietnam’s past and to beckon in a new age of prosperity and growth. The construction boom in Vietnam continues to claim old buildings full of character, charm and history, replacing them with new, modern and chic buildings geared towards the younger generations. The city was once known as the “Paris of the East” but as each old building tumbles, that moniker becomes less and less relevant.
Vietnam is a beautiful country with much to do and lots to see. You may think that you can get by with your everyday packing list and tweak it based on the season you’re travelling, but you will find that a bit more planning will go into your trip to Vietnam. You may want to pack items that you didn’t initially think of. Use our guide to plan ahead and make sure your bag is chock full of only the things you need and none of the things that will just take up room.