Planning your first trip to Vietnam!

Planning your first trip to Vietnam!

Vietnam has become a very popular travel destination with travelers from around the world. This is due in large part to the amazing natural scenery and the friendly citizenry found throughout this diverse and welcoming country. The unmatched beauty found throughout Vietnam provides the traveler with a steady flow of ever changing and unmatched scenery that is a constant source of entertainment and enjoyment for the eager traveler. This coupled with some of the friendliest people found anywhere in South East Asia makes Vietnam a much loved destination for the traveling citizens from around the planet.

It is worth it to do your research and planning carefully thinking things through as you plan your trip. Pay attention to the details and think this adventure through before you board your plane. It will pay big dividends if you do it right.

Vietnam is one of the safest countries found anywhere in the world. You do not need to worry about being mugged by robbers or bombed by terrorists while traveling in Vietnam.

The two biggest decisions that you must make are when to go and which part of Vietnam you wish to see. Depending on which part of the country you plan to visit your decision as to when you go will you be greatly affected by your decision.

December through April is generally thought to be the most favorable time but many travel at a time which they feel best suits their own personal schedule. The decision as to where and when to go is determined by many variables. It is possible to avoid storms in July and August along with super hot summers and the rainy season in the south from May to October with just a little careful planning.

Where to go is a decision dictated by several factors. The country is basically divided into three separate regions—-North, Central and South each with distinct characteristics adding to the charm and interest of your trip.

The North

Ba Dinh square in Hanoi city

The North is where the countries capital, Hanoi, is located. Here is also home to the world famous Halong Bay featuring the iconic limestone tower like islands. Ninh Binh is an area featuring towers on dry land similar to those found in Ha Long Bay. The most popular spot in Ninh Binh is a special place in Hang Mua called “Dancing Cara”.

Hang Mua cave in Ninh Binh

The mountainous area known as Sapa is in the Northern mountains, a spot covered by terraced rice fields which is popular with trekkers.

Terraced Rice field in Sapa, Vietnam

Covered by both long and short trekking routes it is a famous place popular with the adventurous.

The Central Region

Noon Gate in Hue city

The city of Hue is in the heart of the of the Central Region and is famous for having been an ancient capital of the country as well as for the deadly battles fought during the Tet Offensive of the American War. Major battles which were considered the turning point in the course of the American War.

Hand of God in Ba Na Hills – Da Nang city

The two other cities to be sure and see in the Central Region are Da Nang and Hoi An. Hoi An is well known as a quaint ancient trading city.

Hoi An ancient town

It is also famous for being the home of the colorful paper lanterns as well as of many tailor shops selling custom hand made clothes.

The Southern Region

Ho Chi Minh city

Ho Chi Minh city  or Saigon as it was known before the war, is the business center of Vietnam. This largest Vietnamese city serves as the countries business heart beat and is usually the first city to be visited by most first time visitors to Vietnam.

Phone and Internet in Vietnam

A SIM card can be purchased when you first arrive in any of the major airports for around $10. Otherwise you can buy your SIM card all over town whenever you choose.

Currency Exchange

The currency accepted most places is both the Vietnamese dong and US dollars. It is recommended that you bring some small USD bills to get started with. ATMs are plentiful in the larger cities and disperse dongs.

Be sure and carry enough dongs whenever you plan on visiting the smaller towns and villages where you may not find an ATM.

Accommodations

There are a wide variety of accommodations to be found everywhere in Vietnam. These range from guesthouses to Luxury Resorts. Booking in advance except for luxury resorts is not really necessary since there are so many options available to all levels of accommodations. Agoda.com is the most popular hotel reservation service and seems to work the best in Southeast Asia.

When flying in to one of the major airports you can prearrange a driver to pick you up to take you to your hotel. Or like most passengers you can easily find a taxi, bus or tuk tuk driver outside on the curb,

Transportation Options in Vietnam

When traveling domestically the transportation options available include buses, taxis, motorbikes and trains. There are 20 domestic airports inside of the country so if your short of time flying is an excellent option. Flights are frequent, convenient and surprisingly affordable.

These options are available 24/7 so you have the opportunity to travel whenever you choose both day and night. They can all be booked in advance and make traveling in Vietnam both convenient and enjoyable.

Traveling in Vietnam is an experience of a life time that can only be done for a first time once. Therefore it is critical to take your time and plan your trip carefully making your plans slowly with time and patience.

If done correctly you will not be sorry because you will have the time of your life.

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