It’s hard to do justice to this wonderful, exotic country. There’s simply too much to see and do, from navigating busy street markets, to explore ancient, regal ruins to lazing on golden sands. One of the new powerhouses of Asia, Vietnam is now a forward-thinking, vibrant nation with so much to offer travelers, regardless of age.
Where to go
Explore thousands of years of history in the ruins around the ancient cities of Saigon and Hanoi. Go on a food tour and discover how the colonial French and the indigenous Viet cuisine created something truly special. Try water sports in one of the many secluded bays, without the crowds of many other Asian resorts. Work on your tan, hike through the jungle, cycle through busy streets or simply kick back in your villa with a good book - it’s all on offer here.
Food & Drink
Vietnamese cuisine is world famous and no wonder, it’s a potent tangy blend of fresh vegetables, spices, noodles, chicken, pork and beef. The delicious Banh Mi - a white baguette with pork, chilli and coriander deserves its lofty place in the pantheon of sandwiches. To eat superlatively in Vietnam, we recommend Nineteen11 (1 Trang Tien), a Hanoi institution that serves the best of both Vietnamese and French and boasts a huge wine cellar. Over in Halong Bay, Bien Mo Floating Restaurant (35 Ben Tau, Bay Chay) serves incredibly fresh seafood involving crab, lobster and prawns.
As a developing tourist destination, the nightlife in Vietnam is on the up and up. In Hanoi, Minh’s Jazz Club (1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District) is the pride and joy of jazz-mad Mr Minh and a great place for cocktails and enjoying some tunes in the balmy night. In Saigon, the Saigon Outcast (188 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng) is an open, arty space, good for cold drinks with groups of friends.
Where to stay
Our tip for Vietnam is Banyan Tree Lang Co
on the country’s central coast. Luxurious pool or beachside villas at this boutique hotel retreat recall Vietnam’s royal past while three restaurants serve both western and local dishes in sensational comfort. How to get there
Vietnam Airlines, Thai and Korean Air flies to Nha Trang from London a couple of times a week.