- 90 million
- Vietnamese dong
Spend a couple of days lazing on the remote Con Dao islands off the country’s southern coast before traipsing into the highlands of Vietnam’s north, discovering French colonial towns like Sapa from where you can trek to the villages of hill tribes. If you didn’t know better you might even think you were in two entirely different countries.
Many people start their Vietnamese adventure in the capital Hanoi, one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful cities. Spend some time exploring the streets of the Old Town and join the locals in a spot of tai chi by Hoan Kiem lake. From here, it’s time to decide whether you head further north – for those encounters with H’mong and Tay tribespeople – or take to the water of Halong Bay, where limestone karsts erupt from the turquoise sea.
Be sure to enjoy a spot of old world charm (and bargain hunting) in Hoi An, on the central coast, and organise a home stay with a family on the Mekong Delta.
Wherever you wander through this diverse country you’ll be overwhelmed by the culture, history and beauty, and all the while you’ll be slurping down steaming bowls of pho (noodle soup) and getting buzzed on Vietnamese coffee.