Vietnam: The complete guide for the tourist


Vietnam is a country marked by two major wars, and so people often fail to associate it with a destination full of charms, but believe me: it is!

From big cosmopolitan cities to places surrounded by nature, this former French colony caters to several types of travelers, and promises to make your adventure an unforgettable memory! Vietnam tours make your dream come true!

What do you need to know before arriving in Vietnam?

Get to know some important references about the country and its main characteristics:

Vietnam gained its independence in 1954

The First Indochina War (1954) was marked by the struggle of the Vietnamese to expel the French from the country, resulting in the division of territory as North Vietnam and South Vietnam. But in 1975, the two politically rival states waged a great struggle with intervention and the then famous Vietnam War was defeated by the north, becoming the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the present day.

And you can know a little of this history in Hanoi

As you stroll through the streets of the Vietnamese capital, you’ll easily find the war veterans in the greatest quiet, enjoying a beautiful walk through the bustling Old Quarter. On the sidewalks, hundreds of women, among ladies and teens, selling freshly harvested vegetables directly from the plantations, wearing the traditional cone-shaped hats. A real immersion in local tradition!

In Hoi An too, with a hint of local culture

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An is the opposite of bustling Hanoi, and its history can be found in local architecture: the narrow lanes are lit by colorful lanterns at night, and the colonial houses with yellow facades vie with the center historical the title of most charming region of the city.

It is in Halong Bay that you will have greater contact with nature

Located on the Gulf of Tonkin, this archipelago became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its 3,000 islands surrounded by green waters and covered with rich vegetation. Tourists who wish to experience this heavenly destination should depart from Hanoi, the most complete experience being the two-night junk tour, a kind of sailing boat similar to ancient Chinese vessels. The tour includes stops on some islands, to visit caves and even to ride a bicycle amid the rice plantations, among other activities.

The regional gastronomy is very tasty

Soups, fish, noodles, pancakes, shrimp, beef, chicken, pork and assorted vegetables are widely used in typical Vietnamese food, forming a mixture of colors, flavors and aromas that are very striking and traditional. Many dishes have influences from China, Thailand and Malaysia, such as pho, made from vegetable and meat stock, banh uot thit nuong, a pork skewer and goi cuon, a kind of spring roll, among other tastes.

Unmissable destinations in Vietnam

Find out which places you can’t miss in your travel itinerary:


As stated earlier, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. In the center of the city, Hoan Kiem Lake is the biggest meeting point of its inhabitants, who also take advantage of the heat in the hottest days. Surrounding its banks, hundreds of hotel options, cafes, restaurants and bars with open terraces, offering the best views of the place. It is in this destination that you will also find approximately 600 options of temples and pagodas to know. But if you are looking for excitement, be sure to head to the Old Quarter neighborhood, an excellent shopping center with cheap restaurants and super busy pubs in the evenings.

Sa Pa

Leaving a bit off the tourist route of Vietnam, Sa Pa is a charming mountainous region that leaves any visitor open-mouthed. The fantastic rice terraces, in their liveliest green tone, are an invitation to a walk in the afternoon, and to be carried away by the bucolic climate of the region. You can still enjoy some of the tribes that live there, such as the Black H’mong and the Red Dzao.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a must destination for anyone going to Vietnam. The short two-day cruise offered by tourism agencies in Hanoi includes the following itinerary: Visit to Hang Sung Sot, an artificially lit cave with incredible sea views; Ti Tôp Island, an island with a beautiful viewpoint, also overlooking the sea (to reach the top, you need to climb a staircase with 424 steps) and Luon Cave: a perfect place to take a kayak trip. The trip also includes some activities in the junk, such as cooking class, Tai Chi Chuan, cinema and squid fishing.

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park

The biodiversity of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bāng has made the park a UNESCO World Heritage Site, not to mention the hundreds of caves where visitors can participate in some activities such as mud bath, zipline, among other options. Tourist agencies in Vietnam offer exclusive tours to the park, which include transportation, food, lodging and tours. It’s worth taking a little leap in Hanoi and spying on the possibilities.

Hoi An

The colonial times of Vietnam are well remembered in Hoi An, a city on the banks of the Thu Bon River. This is because its architecture still revives this time when the country was virtually a complement to French Indochina. The yellow mansions, as well as their cobblestone alleys, are delicately lit by the colorful lamps, leaving any visitor in love! Make sure you get to know the main attraction of the place, the Japanese Bridge, as well as the bistros, art galleries, temples scattered throughout the neighborhoods, and the tailoring and handicraft shops.


The “imperial city” of Vietnam has a rich historical baggage, mainly because it was the first capital of the country. The local cultural mix is ​​quite impressive, as you will easily find Chinese and French influences in its architecture and customs. Amid the marks of an intense war, monuments, palaces, temples and tombs make a spectacular setting, even though many of these structures are constantly being restored due to the bombings they suffered. Mandatory visits in Hue: Quang Duc Gate, Royal Theater, Thien Mu Pagoda and the tombs of Emperors Minh Mang, Khai Dinh and Tu Duc.

Vietnam is pearl of Indochina. You don’t visit Asia if you don’t visit Vietnam!