An intriguing and exotic land of eclectic cultural contrasts, from the traditional Asian influences in the north to the more western influenced areas of the south luxury Vietnam holidays provide visitors with an eclectic mix of experiences and cultures.
The history of Vietnam has left an awe-inspiring legacy of reminders throughout its beautiful landscape. The country has been strongly inspired by its French history and this translates directly into its architecture and culinary style.
This heady mix of Franco-Asian culture combined with the warmth of the people and exceptionally high standard of accommodation makes Vietnam a 'must' for those in search of a unique and diverse touring destination.
The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi, set on the right bank of the Red River some 1,090 miles north of Ho Chi Minh City.
Formerly named Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam, named after the Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.
The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is something of a landmark in the Vietnamese capital, an iconic building steeped in local history since 1901. Close to the Opera House of the French Quarter, it’s a true taste of past eras; with timeless refinement at every turn. Dining is an experience in itself, from the French cuisine at Le Beaulieu to the courtyard dining of the Spices Garden Restaurant.
the Park Hyatt Saigon, on Lam Son Square, is right in the heart of the city close to all there is to offer in terms of attractions. Escape the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City at the Xuan Spa with its seven treatment rooms, three private terraces, 20-metre outdoor swimming pool - all within beautifully landscaped tropical gardens. An evening meal can be enjoyed at the Italian Restaurant Opera or Vietnamese Square One.
Vietnam’s diverse history can be better understood at the capital’s museums, while simply sitting with a drink at a road-side café, watching the world go by, is a wonderful way to while away an afternoon and gain a true taste of Vietnamese life. The beauty of HalongBay offers the perfect photo opportunity as a day trip and the Old Quarter is best experienced by bicycle or tuk tuk.
Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels - used by Vietnamese soldiers as hiding spots during combat - and embark on a tour of the city where French influences abound. Head to the Ben Thanh market for local souvenirs and handmade crafts or visit tourist favourite, the Jade Emperor Pagoda. A tour of the French colonialist Notre Dame Cathedral should also be on your ‘must see’ list.
Time difference: GMT +7 hours
Flight duration: 16 hours to Saigon (with flight change)
Currency: Vietnamese dong
From November to March the north experiences a winter which is cool and normally dry, while May to October is warmer. North of Nha Trang, the central coast has a similar climate and wet weather between October and December. The south is warmer year round, particularly from February to May, while the rainy season usually lasts from May to October. The Central Highlands has a similar climate to the south but is somewhat cooler. The temperature in Hanoi can range from less than 15°C in January to more than 30°C in June.
Singapore Airlines flies from London Heathrow and Manchester via Singapore. Qatar Airways flies from London Heathrow and Manchester via Doha to Ho Chi Minh City. Cathay Pacific flies via Hong Kong from London Heathrow. Malaysian Airlines flies from London Heathrow via Kuala Lumpur. Thai Airways flies from London Heathrow via Bangkok.
Wending its way through the Gulf of Tonkin from UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay, Au Co Cruises takes in some truly spectacular sights. From HalongBay to Bai Tu Long Bay, from Cat Ba Island to Lan Ha Bay, the 3 day/2 night luxury voyage offers a real insight into Vietnamese life. Each of the 32 spaciously-designed private cabins has luxurious bathrooms and panoramic balconies; from which you’ll be able to make the most of the stunning views and photo opportunities. Facilities on board include a spa, a Jacuzzi and an on board babysitter, with excellent dining using Asian flavours and fresh seafood. A Vietnamese cooking class is a great way to gain a true understanding of the tastes that make up this country’s fine cuisine. Excursions during your cruise include a trip to see a floating village and guided kayaking past karst rocks and lagoons, swimming in the bay’s emerald waters. A trip on the Au Co Cruise is sure to be a highlight of your adventures in Vietnam