Thursday, March 16, 2023


Vietnam Flag

Why visit Vietnam?
Ideal for the adventurous traveler seeking to enjoy ancient temples, beaches, bicycling, birdwatching, canals, casinos, golf, hiking, hill tribe cultures, historical sites, kayaking, kiteboarding, national parks, natural wonders, pagodas, picturesque coastline, rivers, sand dunes, scuba diving, shopping, snorkeling, swamps, theme parks, towns, villages, trekking, wildlife, and windsurfing.

Tú Lệ, Vietnam. Photo Credit: Dung Le Tien/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Baskets, ceramics, coffee beans, embroidery goods, lanterns, musical instruments, pearls, pottery, silk, traditional hat, weave goods, and wood carvings.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Bánh Cuốn (rice noodle roll). Bánh khoái (rice pancake). Bún Mắm (soup). Bún Riêu (vermicelli soup). Cha Ca (grilled fish). Chả cá Lã Vọng (rice noodle). Gỏi Cuốn (salad roll). Phở Gà (chicken soup).
  • Local Drink to Try: Bia Hoi (beer). Biere Larue (beer). Cafe Sua Da (coffee). Cà Phê đá (iced coffee). Cà Phê Trứng (egg coffee). Chanh Muối (pickled lime juice). Hanoi Beer. Huda Beer. Rượu Táo Mèo (liquor). Nước Mía (sugarcane juice). Trà Sen (tea).

Pham Ngu Lao Street, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo Credit: Olga Ozik/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Largest exporter of cashews in the world.
  • Second largest exporter of coffee and rice.
  • Home to the largest brewery, Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Ho Chi Minh).
  • Dog meat is considered a Vietnamese delicacy.
  • The 16th most populous country in the world.
  • Fansipan (aka: Phan Xi Păng) is the (Lào Cai Province) tallest mountain (10,312 ft).
  • Phú Quốc Island is the largest.
  • Hang Sơn Đoòng Cave (Quang Binh Province) is considered the largest known cave passage in the world.
  •  Ba Bể Lake (Bắc Kạn Province) is their largest natural lake.
  • Mekong River is the third longest among Asian countries.
  • Largest producer of black pepper.
  • Considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
  • Hạ Long, Hạ Long Bay, and Ho Chi Minh City ranks amongst the Top 100 most visited cities in the world.
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) is their largest airport.
  • Has as 2,360 rivers.
  • Tet is a Christmas and New Year's holiday rolled into one.

Phú Quốc, Vietnam. Photo Credit: Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Co Loa Citadel Festival, (February) Festival at the Perfume Pagoda, Fire Dancing Festival, Lantern Festival, Lim Festival, (March) Elephant Race Festivals, (March) Saint Patrick's Festival Hanoi, (April) Hmong Spring Festival, Hue Festival, Hùng Kings' Festival, International Choir Competition, Phu Giay Festival, (September) Mid-Autumn Festival, Son Buffalo Fighting Festival, and (December) Vietnam Sport Show.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Lunar New Year, Tết, Vietnamese New Year's Eve, Hùng Kings' Festival, Labour Day, Reunification Day, and Independence Day of Vietnam.

Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam. Photo Credit: Suyeon Kim/Pixabay 

Good to Know

  • Tourism infrastructure has been rapidly expanding.
  • Crime is highly rated.
  • Northwest region is mountainous and rugged.
  • Buildings have limited or no emergency exits and/or fire safety equipment. 
  • Northeast region is flat and low.
  • Visiting Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum it's illegal to have your hands in your pockets.
  • Has a two tier price structure; citizens and tourists prices.
  • Ground and water transportation are known to lack safety regulations. 
  • Most breweries do not permit visitors on the premises.
  • From July - August birdwatching is best.
  • Cuc Phuong National Park (Ninh Bình Province) from May - June receives butterfly roosts.
  • Avoid purchasing cigarettes or liquor from street vendors.
  • From  January - March renders best for hiking.
  • Tourism industry is unevenly regulated and safety inspections do not commonly occur. 
  • Road conditions are poor.
  • Air pollution is a significant problem.
  • Near Ninh Bình there are boat and scenic cave tours.
  • Hội An (central coast) is known for its well-preserved Ancient Town.
  • Every guest in a hotel room or private residence must be registered with the  local police.
  • Phu Tho Sports Club (Phu Tho Province) holds horse races on Saturday and Sunday from 12:30PM - 4PM.
  • Van Phuc Silk Village (Hanoi) is known for high quality silk goods.
  • Halong Bay is famous for oyster pearls.
  • Dog meat is sold in markets and restaurants.
  • Large cities have street crime activity such as camera snatching, pickpocketing, and purse snatching.
  • Use a hat and wear sunscreen.
  • Exporting of antiques is illegal.
  • Washcloths are not widely provided or used.
  • Tourist are primarily from Australia, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States.
  • Travel + Leisure ranked Hội An as one of the world's Top 15 Best Destinations to visit.
  • Bicycles, motorcycles, and motor scooters are the most popular forms of transportation.
  • Hạ Long Bay (northeast ) is known for its emerald waters.
  • Rail service connects Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and Hanoi to Hạ Long Bay.
  • Spiritualism and supernatural are believed.
  • Considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide.
  • Small and peaceful protests are known to occasionally occur.
  • USA citizens have been detained while traveling close to the unmarked border areas near Cambodia, China, and Laos.
  • Medical care and treatment does not meet our Western standards.
  • Prevalent Diseases: Avian Influenza (H5N1), Dengue Fever, HIV, Tuberculosis, and Zika.
  • International Driving Permits and USA Drivers’ Licenses are not valid.

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam. Photo Credit: Phat Nguyen/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport  with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Required Vaccination from select countries. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $5,000USD.

Prone to earthquakes, monsoons, seasonal smog, tropical storms, and typhoons.

Sa Pa (Lào Cai Province), Vietnam. Photo Credit: Ngô Thanh Tùng/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: October - December
  • Coldest Months: November - April
  • Hottest Months: May - September
  • Peak Season: July & August

Golden Bridge (Bà Nà Hills Resort), Da Nang, Vietnam. Photo Credit: shell300/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Hạ Long Bay, Hội An, Huế, Mỹ Sơn, Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Space of Gong Culture, and Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex.

Hội An, VietnamPhoto Credit: Ngọc Minh Nguyễn/Pixabay 

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                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.  

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