Vietnam is a series of postcards in motion. Step back in time to see boys herding their ducks, men lounging on water buffalo, and women in conical hats bent double in rice fields. A diverse and varied culture, Vietnam has something for everyone. From water puppets in Hanoi to the DMZ near Hue, from the Mekong Delta to the Sapa Hills, Vietnam has sights, history, and people that will shock, amaze, and amuse you.
Visit Hanoi and stay in the Old Quarter where you can explore Shoe Street, Steel Street and even Button Street. See a water puppet performance, tour the city in a cyclo and watch the world motor by from a sidewalk cafe. Just hours from Hanoi you’ll find Halong Bay where you can spend the night on a “Junk.” Take day trips to Perfume Pagoda and Tam Coc and let paddlers take you out to the temples. For a more sobering day take a DMZ tour and see such sights at Hamburger Hill, Khe Sanh and the Vinh Moc Tunnels, where an entire village lived and worked underground. Hear the Vietnamese perspective on what they call the “American War.” Stay a while in Hoi An, a beach city with a village feel. Try the local food and get an entire wardrobe made-to-order. Visit the Mekong Delta and be amazed at all that can happen on water. Visit the countless museums in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, an interesting mix of history and propaganda.
Best Time to Visit
Weather varies from region to region, making it possible to visit some part of Vietnam at any time of the year. The best time in Vietnam depends on where you want to go. One reason to decide to stay home or go is the Tet New Year around the end of January/beginning of February. Though a fascinating festival, it does mean that the country’s transportation and infrastructure comes to a partying halt.