Travel to: Vietnam
11th April 2018
From ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites and stunning mountainous landscapes, to beautiful beaches and exquisite food options, Vietnam boasts a fascinating history and diverse culture that makes it an unforgettable destination for every visitor.
Vietnam is a country of contrasts, especially when it comes to its weather. Generally good all year round, the peak times to visit the north or south of the country is November to March where you should expect sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. The central region of Vietnam is best explored in the summer months, whereas the far north in the famous Sapa region is at its best conditions for trekking in the early part of the year (February to May).
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Vietnam has an incredible seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. The most iconic of them being the astonishing Halong Bay where you can sail serenely overnight by traditional junk boats between the limestone karst mountains. The complex of ancient monuments in the Imperial City of Hue is another must see, where you can explore the great Imperial Citadel and grand tombs of the Nguyen Emperors and the nearby historic port town of Hoi An, declared a UNESCO Site in 1993 is truly unforgettable. For centuries Hoi An was one of Asia's greatest trading ports, attracting merchants from across the continent and beyond; drawing influence from all comers that is reflected still in the architecture and character of the town.
Vietnamese cuisine offers a fragrant blend of tastes and smells, with pungent fish sauce, shrimp paste and soy sauce typically combined with a variety of fresh flavours such as lemongrass, ginger, mint, lime, basil and coriander - plus spicy overtones of chilli and cinnamon.
Aside from some regional differences, cuisine throughout Vietnam shares some fundamental features. Food is generally served as fresh as possible, with most meats are only briefly cooked to preserve their original textures and colours. Vegetables are eaten fresh; if they are cooked, they are boiled or only briefly stir-fried. Herbs are essential to many Vietnamese dishes and are often abundantly used, whilst broths and soup-based dishes are common across all regions of the country. The most famous of these dishes is undoubtedly�pho, Vietnam's signature noodle soup, which is not only popular throughout the country but also commands a significant following across the globe!
Beautiful Beaches and islands
With a coastline of over 3,000km, Vietnam has an incredible and diverse landscape and glorious beaches, especially in the southern regions. The main resort areas of Nha Trang and Mui Ne have seen their popularity explode with seemingly endless and incredibly tranquil beaches. For those in search of the palm-fringed island paradise of romantic imagination, the idyllic islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao are easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City.
Phu Quoc is mountainous and densely forested, offering secluded bays, amazing seafood, magnificently clear waters and excellent diving opportunities. Con Dao is a group of 16 islands all largely uninhabited and remains very much laid back tropical paradise.
With picturesque bays, paradise islands and some of Southeast Asia's greatest rivers, Vietnam is a hugely attractive place of cruise lovers. From a few hours of gentle waterborne exploration in the Mekong Delta to luxurious week long cruises on the Mekong and Red Rivers, there are plenty of options to enjoy the peaceful exploration of this fascinating country from the water.
Vietnam is blessed with such a fabulous diversity of landscapes and topographies, from sculpted rice terraces to pristine jungles and for the active and adventurous, the country offers something for everyone. From short and easy going cycling day trips around picturesque rural villages and river sampan rides through karst mountains to full on, multi-day hikes through the jungle and exploring some of the largest cave systems in the world, Vietnam is an adventure lovers playground.
Vietnam Airlines fly directly into both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from London Heathrow, taking just over 11 hours. If flying indirectly, all major international airports in Vietnam are well connected to the regional hubs of Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong and can also be reached via the Middle East with Emirates and Qatar Airways.
For more details and #HolidayInspirations, ask about InsideAsia Tours at Baldwins Travel Group.�www.baldwinstravel.co.uk�