December – February
LCY → HAN
Up to 15 days
Taxi: 6 £GBP (45 min)
Bus: 0.7 £GBP (60 min)
Lunch ≈ 1.50 £GBP
Dinner (for two) ≈ 12 £GBP
Espresso ≈ 1 £GBP
Bottled water ≈ 0.30 £GBP
Vietnam’s contrasting landscapes make it an unbelievably beautiful country, from the mountain peaks found in the highlands in the north of the country to the fertile flood plains of the Mekong Delta to the south. Vietnam has also absorbed influences from across Asia and beyond, with Chinese, Khmer and European cuisine, architecture and religion all blended together. Vietnam is a land of resilient people who are trying to put the ‘American War’ behind them and focus on the future.
It’s understandable when you survey the landscape: a beautiful coastline with enticing beaches, jungle-covered mountains, stunning national parks, and bustling vibrant cities are all reasons why the locals so readily smile. You can take in all this county has to offer on Vietnam holidays.
Learn some general facts about the climate when planning your holidays to Vietnam. The average annual temperature is generally warmer on the plains than it is in the mountains, and warmer in the south than North Vietnam. Temperatures are reasonably stable in the southern plains around Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta and range from 21 to 28 degrees Celsius (69 to 82 Fahrenheit) throughout the year. The seasonal variations in temperature the mountains and the north are more dramatic, ranging from 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit) in December and January to 37 degrees Celsius (98 Fahrenheit) in July and August.
Hanoi represents the face of old and new Asia. It has been the capital for more than 1,000 years. Staying in Hanoi during your holidays in Vietnam, get lost in Hanoi's Old Quarter, a labyrinth of streets dating back to the 13th century. These narrow alleyways are named after the products once sold there be it paper or medicine. Nowadays they are home to quirky shops, trendy bars, boutique hotels and cater to the Asian love of karaoke, but it is still quintessentially Hanoi.
Ho Chi Minh
For many this will always be known as Saigon. After its fall in 1975 in the Vietnam War, this metropolis that now roars with the sound of motorbikes was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. With its collection French colonial architecture, busy markets, high-end shops, the smell of incense emanating from pagodas and street vendors hawking fragrant noodle soup, this is a city that buzzes with both tradition and modernity. Spend a few days of your Vietnam holidays immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of this vibrant metropolis, including Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum.
Experience a slower pace of life in Hoi An, with its riverside setting. It is a city with perhaps Vietnam’s most elegant buildings, all preserved in a picture postcard-like perfect state. Unlike Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, in Hoi An, motorcycle traffic is restricted.
During your holidays to Vietnam be sure to take a boat cruise to Halong Bay to take in the impressively beautiful limestone islands that rise out of the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. They are so breathtaking and they are UNESCO protected. Rich in biodiversity, the islands also offer the chance to go swimming or snorkeling in some the most beautiful and isolated beaches and lagoons in the area.
The Mekong Delta is the incredibly fertile region of Vietnam known as “Asia’s rice basket”. More than a third of the country’s rice is produced here. Visit this region on your holidays in Vietnam. You will see farmers wearing their traditional conical hats and colourful floating markets that sell produce.