Top 5 Vietnam Experiences Not to be Missed!
There are plenty of guide books which outline the best tourist sites to visit on your Vietnam holiday, but we personally love hearing about real travel experiences and tips from other travellers who have explored all the best places first hand.
Emma visited Vietnam in early 2012 and shares her top 5 experiences not to be missed, alongside a couple of her Vietnam travel snaps...
1. Staying in the old town in Hanoi
Dong Xuan Hanoi Night Market
This quirky area is home to hundreds of small shops and food stalls scattered all over the pavements, spilling out into the bustling streets. Steam billows from the pots and pans creating an atmospheric mist, especially at night when the many colourful lanterns are lit. Tip: If you wish to eat on the street, make sure to choose a stall that looks busy and popular with the locals. If you are flying in to Hanoi check out our Hanoi trip, which is perfect for spending a couple of days exploring and getting over your jet lag.
2. Visiting Halong Bay (overnight)
Visiting Halong Bay
This probably won’t come as a great surprise but you simply cannot miss out on the beauty of Halong Bay on your Vietnam trip. Skip the ugly Halong City and hop on a traditional junk boat for an overnight experience. You’ll float amongst the towering limestone rocks whilst dining on delicious Vietnamese cuisine, including fresh seafood. Your captain will stop off at points of interest where you will be able to capture some great shots of your surroundings. The rooms on the boats are small but cosy, and make sure you get up for sunrise over the bay- it’s a sight not to be missed!
3. Eating dinner by the river in Hoi An
Hoi An Ancient Town At Night
This was one of the best experiences of my Vietnam holiday. Hoi An is an enchanting town with a relaxed vibe, perfect for shopping, cycling and of course...eating. At night the waterfront comes alive with music and noise coming from the many bars and restaurants, and it’s a great place to stroll along and choose your spot for the evening. If you eat the local foods you’ll find it’s a much cheaper option, and you’ll get to sample the fresh produce of the area. I recommend Cafe 96 for delicious fish and noodle dishes- look out for the quirky artwork and the friendly owners.
4. Drink cocktails at the beach club in Nha Trang
The beach club in Nha Trang
Nha Trang has a bit of a reputation for being a party town but it you stay close to the beach front you’ll find a much more laid back evening vibe especially at the Beach club where you can watch the sun set over the ocean whilst enjoying great food and even better cocktails. Around 11pm they turn the bar area into a small dance floor so if you fancy dancing the night away you can!
5. Castaway on tropical island
Vietnam isn’t as famous for its beaches as Thailand but that doesn’t mean you can’t find your own bit of tropical paradise if you know where to go. I stayed on Palm Island which is a short journey from Nha Trang on the south Coast, and it was the highlight of my Vietnam holiday. After a half hour boat ride you jump onto the jetty of a tiny island with a dozen or so beach front bungalows, a restaurant and a small dive school. This resort tries to run as eco-friendly as possible so don’t expect luxury- just enjoy waking up each morning to the azure waves that almost reach your front door./.