Highlights of Vietnam
Discover golden rice fields, tropical beaches, fascinating history, exotic culture and world renowned cuisine with us on one of our holidays to Vietnam.
Officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, it is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Although for some people Vietnam might conjure images of its infamous war, there is so much more to see and experience in this dynamic, diverse country which has been shaped by periods of imperial rule, French colonialism and the Communist regime under the nation’s iconic leader, Ho Chi Minh.
Its capital city has been Hanoi since the reunification of North and South Vietnam in 1976, while Ho Chi Minh City is the most populous.
Our Vietnam tours include a variety of activities, so whether you’re interested in the country’s history, traditional customs or flora and fauna, we’ll explore it all. We’ll cruise the Mekong River, sail around Ha Long Bay, watch a water puppet show in Hanoi, discover remarkable temples and uncover the Cu Chi network of underground tunnels and enjoy a city tour of Ho Chi Minh. No trip to Vietnam would be complete without trying some of its delicious food, and we’ll have the opportunity to sample its delicacies and learn how to prepare the country’s traditional dishes at a Vietnamese cookery class. When travelling with us on our Vietnam tours, we’ll experience all this beautiful country has to offer.
One of our holidays includes a 12-night tour of the highlights of Vietnam, ideal for getting a taste of all this incredible country has to offer. We also offer a trip extension to the neighbouring country of Cambodia.
When you visit Vietnam with us, all of our trips will include return flights, accommodation, guided transfers, and an exciting array of tours with an expert, local guide.
The serene blue waters, towering rainforest-covered islands and beautiful limestone grottos of Ha Long Bay have been drawing visitors for centuries. Thousands of tiny islands dot the seascape and many include white sand beaches for swimming. Despite its appearance in numerous films and images, you have to see this breathtaking bay in person to truly understand its incredible beauty. On our holidays to Vietnam, we’ll take a boat trip around Ha Long Bay and have the opportunity to visit some of the beautiful caves and pristine beaches of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The buzzing capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi, is filled with beautiful architecture, fascinating sights and delicious food. When travelling to Hanoi, it’s easy to spot the Southeast Asian, French and Chinese influences that have helped shape this modern city. On our trips to Vietnam including Hanoi, we’ll learn all about the fascinating history of this capital from an expert, local guide as we visit must-see highlights like the Presidential Palace, Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda.
Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh city is most famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. The city was renamed Ho Chi Minh to celebrate the end of the war and pay tribute to the revolutionary leader who is credited as reuniting the country. On our holidays including Ho Chi Minh, we will enjoy a guided tour of the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral; a beautiful church built by French colonists. We’ll also visit the Reunification Palace and the Bến Thành Market.
Hue was the capital of Vietnam for over 100 years and on our trip to Vietnam, we’ll discover the Imperial Citadel, a complex full of temples, monuments and palaces inspired by the Forbidden City in Beijing. In Hue, we’ll also enjoy a relaxing river cruise along the Perfume River, named for the pleasant scent of orchids.
Looking for something a little more adventurous? Our sister brand TD active Holidays offers a more active holiday in Vietnam.
Ba Dinh Square is in the centre of Hanoi and it’s where Ho Chi Minh read the Proclamation of Independence for Vietnam in 1945. Within the square is the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, which was inspired by Lenin's mausoleum in Moscow.
Built by Emperor Ly Thai Tong, who ruled Vietnam in the 11th century, it is a famous thousand-year old Buddhist temple situated on a pillar in a lake and is one of the most iconic temples in Vietnam.
Construction of this palace began in 1900 and was completed in 1906. It was built for the French Governing General when Vietnam achieved independence in 1954. Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the palace but did still use it when important guests came to visit. There is a traditional Vietnamese stilt house built on the grounds of the palace.
Situated in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City, this neo-Romanesque style building was constructed between 1863 and 1880 by French colonists. For the construction of the basilica all of the building materials were imported from France.
During the Vietnam War, the Cu Chi Tunnels were used by the Viet Cong as hiding spots during combat, communication and supply routes, field hospitals, food storage and living quarters. Today, the remaining tunnels have been restored to allow tourists to experience what underground life was like during this conflict.
Located in the centre of the old town of Hoi An, this bridge was built in the 1590s by Japanese merchants in order to reach the Chinese quarter. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s one of the top sights to Hoi An.
To make your holiday as smooth as possible, we’ve outlined some general information that may be helpful to you when planning your next getaway to Vietnam.
Due to its geographical shape, the climate can vary throughout the country. From October to April in the central region tropical monsoons can occur and in the north and south it’s from May to September. Throughout the rest of the year, it is almost totally dry in all regions. It can get exceptionally hot, all year round, but the north can be cooler between October and April.
The entire country is in the same time zone and is seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The currency in Vietnam is the dong.
Vietnamese cooking is highly innovative and influenced by the cuisines of France, China, and Thailand. Due to the French colonial influence, you will find superb crusty baguettes and sweet pastries; just as good, and cheaper, as those served in France. The nation’s favourite dish is ‘pho’, a fragrant soup served with chicken or beef, noodles and crunchy bean sprouts. Western food is widely available in the major tourism destinations.
All foreign nationals require a visa to enter Vietnam. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for 6 months after your planned departure date. The Vietnam E-visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days for single entry. You must enter and exit Vietnam within the range of dates stated on your visa. Amendments to the visa can be made only when the visa is still valid (a fee applies).
The places in Vietnam we will visit are generally safe and our guides will always keep an eye out for you. However, in any large city there can be opportunists and pickpockets. It is wise to be vigilant, especially at busy tourist attractions, and always take good care of your personal belongings. Make use of the safe at your hotel, and carry a photocopy of your passport when out and about. Always take extra care when using public transport. At some tourist sites you may encounter some insistent souvenir sellers. A polite “No, thank you” usually is sufficient. Leave your expensive items at home and always use hotel safety deposit boxes or in-room safes for your valuables.
You will be met on arrival at Hanoi airport and transferred to your accommodation. On all included excursions you will be accompanied by your Travel Department guide, who will give you tips and advice on any aspect of your Vietnam tour.
Lightweight cottons are the most comfortable clothing in Vietnam. A light raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. It is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings, to protect against mosquito bites. An umbrella is also useful in both the hot and rainy seasons as it will offer protection from both the strong sun and the tropical downpours. Evenings in the north and the central regions can be quite chilly so bring a sweater and a good jacket, especially from November to February. Take cover-up clothing for visits to monasteries or pagodas.
It is not advisable to drink tap water. Ice is generally okay in good standard hotels and restaurants but it is best to avoid it at street stalls or in rural areas. Some minor stomach problems are always possible when travelling in exotic countries, so bring a supply of your usual anti-diarrhoea medicine.
Tipping in Vietnam for good service is not expected but is always appreciated.
We suggest packing a universal plug adaptor as the standard electrical supply in Vietnam is 220V. Both flat and round two-pin outlets are used throughout the country.
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.