The rich history and diverse culture are reasons enough to visit the charming country of Vietnam. Apart from that, Vietnam is extremely safe and relatively inexpensive than most Asian destinations. Still it is very important for new visitors to prepare themselves for a holiday to a country which boasts of some of the most stunning scenery one could ever think off. The tips mentioned below will come in quite handy for a first timer to this gorgeous country.
Choose the right time to go
Vietnam is basically divided in three regions, North, Central and South, all of which have different climatic conditions. So the ideal period to enjoy all these three areas should be when the weather conditions are at their best, which is between December to April. This will help you bypass the thunderstorms, rains and the soaring summer temperatures.
The length of any holiday depends on the spare time one has at hand. Having said that, while the basic spots of Vietnam can be covered in ten days, a period of fourteen days will give you ample time to relax and visit all the important places of the country combined.
Passport and Visa
A passport with at least six months validity is a must for entering Vietnam. A Visa needs to be acquired for foreign citizens, which can either be obtained from the local embassy or apply for Visa on arrival. One can also apply online, before leaving home, to save time and simply the travel process.
What to pack
This again depends on the time you intend to stay in Vietnam. A light jack, comfortable walking shoes and clothes according to the regions you want to visit are a must. Personal papers like passport, insurance etc with adequate copies with itineraries should be carried at all times. The voltage is 220 volts, hence a travel adapter may be needed. Internet and Wifi is available throughout the country.
Places to visit
Vietnam comes up with surprises around every corner. Each town will offer something unique, hence it is vital to plan a proper itinerary in advance to make the most of your trip. Some places which every visitor to Vietnam should always see are detailed here.
Start with Hanoi, the capital, to get a feel of what to expect on your future days. The Old Quarter, Museums, street food all give a quintessential experience of Vietnam. Next make a beeline for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay, the topmost attraction, by far,of Vietnam. Kayak through the caves and drift pass villages for an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the trekking at Sapa, in the North and sunbathe in luxury on the pristine beaches of Danang. Visit the bustling Ho Chi Minh City and take at least one cruise to the Mekong Delta to see the colorful floating markets.
Individual transfers in Vietnam are, perhaps, just as important as air tickets or hotel booking. Ordering a Kiwitaxi transfer online, you can be sure that the trip will be comfortable and that you will not have to pay extra.
The best value hotels are in the alleys and for some reason are cheap if you just walk in and book. Booking hotels and hostels online will NOT save you money in Vietnam, unlike Thailand. Checking out the room and bargaining on the spot will give you great deals.