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Vietnam is a land of amazing contrasts. From the fast-paced cities of Hanoi and Saigon to the quaint architecture of Hoi An, the fertile plains and bustling river life of the Mekong Delta and the white sandy beaches of Central Vietnam, the landscapes are as dramatic as the history. On a holiday in Vietnam you will see many of the iconic images of a disappearing Asia – vendors in conical hats selling food from a shoulder yoke, endless green rice paddies being ploughed by water buffalo, sampan boats in narrow waterways and entire families being ferried around on a rickety cyclo. Vietnam’s appeal never wanes!
"Vietnam is a colourful mix of culture, scenery, beautiful beaches and amazing food. Hoi An in Central Vietnam is my favourite place in the country where I have had some of the best meals in Southeast Asia, trying the traditional Vietnamese Pho is a must!" - Hannah Gelder, Asia Specialist.
1. Start or end your Vietnam holiday with a few days in Hanoi, an historic city brimming with culture, with an intriguing mix of identities and architecture. French colonial mansions and leafy boulevards contradict the maze of winding alleys and narrow streets in the captivating Old Quarter! Getting lost in their tangled maze is one of Hanoi’s joys or explore by cyclo (Vietnam’s iconic answer to a rickshaw). Don’t leave without seeing a water puppet show – an enchanting ‘must-do’ in Hanoi!
2. Travel east to beautiful Halong Bay for a few days journeying through the thousands of limestone islands in this legendary bay on your very own private junk boat. Swim and snorkel off pristine white beaches, kayak through a tunnel under a karst mountain, explore incredible caves, cycle and trek on Cat Ba Island, try Vietnamese cuisine and visit floating fishing villages.
3. Spend a few days in Hoi An, a charismatic riverside town, with a wonderful mix of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese influences from its former trading port days. Famed for its tailors, bustling markets, historic shophouses illuminated by lanterns at night and beaches close by. Join a cycling tour to Tra Nhieu where traditional Vietnamese village life is preserved and paddle through the coconut jungle in a unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat!
4. You can’t leave Vietnam without seeing the Mekong Delta - a worthwhile day from Ho Chi Minh! Journey south to cruise through the waterways on day cruise or even spend a night on a private Sampan or one of the Victoria hotels to witness the early morning floating markets. Swap your boat for bicycle for a ride through the villages. Visit a noodle factory, try sampan rowing and enjoy meeting locals like Mr Hung - a famous sticky rice maker!
With a long, sandy coastline, over three thousand kilometres in length and with clusters of palm fringed islands, Vietnam’s beaches suit any preference and for any time of year. Nha Trang is Vietnam’s premier beach destination. The town itself is a lively port town with excellent seafood and some interesting Cham ruins nearby. It is also possible to dive or snorkel in this area and a boat trip around the islands lying off the coast is another delightful way to pass the time. Hoi An town is also known for its fine white sand beach, around three kilometres from the main town. This is a great option for those who wish to combine interesting touring with time spent relaxing on the beach. In Southern Vietnam, Phan Thiet district is home to the peaceful fishing village of Mui Ne, whose endless stretch of white beach now offers a range of resorts.
Phu Quoc Island is situated off the South coast of Vietnam, close to Cambodia. This small and unspoiled island is only a short flight from Saigon and remains a quiet and laid back destination, perfect for those wishing to escape the crowds.
The 3,000 kilometres of coastline is dotted with boutique hotels, sensational spas and romantic escapes including Hoi An’s spa-inclusive Fusion Maia and beach based Nam Hai. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is an eco-chic resort set in a sublime bay, accessible only by boat from Nha Trang or alternatively the castaway cool Six Senses Con Dao, a short flight from Saigon is a tropical hideaway on one of the best beaches we’ve laid our eyes on.
Visit our Vietnam honeymoons page for full details about honeymoons here.
El Nido Pangulasian – Philippines
Tucked away in a secluded bay of emerald waters and dramatic limestone karsts, El Nido Pangulasian in the Philippines is simply sublime. Endless stretches of pristine beaches and a marine sanctuary beneath the waves, you will see why it has been voted as the Most Beautiful Island in the World by Condé Nast Traveller. This really is an untouched, picture perfect haven just waiting to be discovered…
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