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Vietnam is an Asian country with approx 96 million inhabitants, its vibrant, colourful, easy to explore, welcoming to tourists and offers a diverse range of activities, sights, architecture, lifestyles, food and culture and the Vietnamese people just love kids!
There is controlled chaos on the streets, exciting markets, history, villages, beaches, and accommodation choices including homestay, flaoting villages, hotels or resorts. Its a truly enjoyable destination with the added bonus of being relatively cheap and cheerful once there. The Vietnamese are friendly and endlessly generous, and travelling the country is nothing but a delight.
The cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are both chaotic and captivating: the capital Hanoi is the focus for arts in Vietnam and as you stroll through the city streets you might end up making lanterns, learning calligraphy or taking in a puppet show. Ho Chi Minh city, still referred to as Saigon, is the business hub and with a strong war history there is some great educational sightseeing to be done. One thing not to miss is cruising the stunning waters of Halong Bay in a traditional boat or kayak for the more adventureous.
Life in urban Vietnam is conducted on the streets. In bia hois (beer house) men drink ice-cold beer and nibble on boiled quails eggs. Travellers, men, women and kids are welcome to join the fun, just sit on the street corner and watch life as it is in Vietnam. Odours from makeshift food stalls fill the nostrils: see steaming pho, a noodle soup with various unidentifiable chunks of meat, or grilled chicken feet. Along nearly all the moped-clogged streets produce is sold. Tubs wriggle with live sturgeon, crabs and frogs (still a delicacy from French colonial days), baskets are top heavy with colourful and bizarre fruit, and every possible piece of a pig is on sale. Hawkers sell you anything from hammocks to hair ties.
Rural Vietnam is entirely different. Just a short distance from the cities, water buffalo wallow in green rice paddies and elegant women wearing traditional conical headwear cycle along dusty paths. Children dressed in sparkling uniforms laugh and play as they walk to school. They smile and say hello as you pass by.
Vietnam's remarkable geography spans from the lush Mekong Delta in the south to the remote Sapa valleys. A trip to Sapa in the far North will reveal a completely different experience and culture than the Southern Regions.
Because of its geography, the climate in Vietnam varies greatly from north to south. Tropical monsoons occur from October to April in the north and south and from May to September in the centre, this is when most of the country's rain falls. It is almost totally dry throughout the rest of the year.
It can get exceptionally hot, however, all year round, but the north has a cooler time between October and April. It is best to travel between the shifting of seasons. Temperatures around the country often reach 40C in the height of the hot and rainy season (May to September), but the northern highlands and Hanoi can often seem chilly in the winter.
The currency is the Vietnam Dong but US dollar is also widely accepted. ATM's are widely available however often not working so don't deplete your cash supplies. Visas are required for Australians to visit Vietnam. Family tours are available and are a good option if you want to experience all of Vietnam in a limited time frame or speak to our travel team to have them tailor a Vietnam holiday just for you. Phone 1300 296 543 or message us via Facebook, enquire online, or webchat below
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