Vietnam

The Hidden Charm…

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Vietnam is a country with a compelling history, dramatic landscapes, stunning nature, welcoming people, and divine cuisine.

Most part of the country consists of rugged hills and densely forested mountains. Phan Xi Pang is the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143m. The country is blessed with a high level of biodiversity. Thousands of species of flora and fauna, of which many endemic, have been identified, and are protected in 126 conservation areas.

While the so called “Viet” or “Kinh” people account for the largest group in the Vietnamese population and exert political, cultural and economic control, there are many ethnic minority groups throughout the country, for example the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Thai and Nung, mostly living in the more mountainous highlands.

Vietnam’s history is a one of war, colonization and rebellion. Both the Chinese occupation and French colonisation have left a lasting impact on Vietnamese culture, with Confucianism forming the basis of Vietnamese social etiquette, and the French leaving a lasting imprint on Vietnamese cuisine.

After the French were expulsed from Vietnam in the mid-20th century, domestic political eventually led to the Vietnam War. Fighting between the two sides continued for 20 years, ending with a North Vietnamese victory in 1975. After a period of political isolation, followed by various reforms, in the past decade the country has known one of the highest economic growth levels in the world.
During the socialist era, Vietnam’s cultural life was deeply influenced by government-controlled media and socialist programs, sharing the cultural expressions from communist nations such as the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and others. However, since the 1990s, Vietnam has seen a greater exposure to Southeast Asian, European and American culture and media.

Food sits at the very centre of Vietnamese culture and society. Special dishes are prepared and served with great care for every important occasion. Vietnamese cuisine varies from region to region, with many regions having their own unique dishes. The French colonials introduced various aspects of French cuisines, for example coffee, baguettes and pastries, which all have been localized with a Vietnamese twist.

The country’s natural richness, interesting history, exotic cultures, and friendly people, are completed with a number of diverse cities, like elegant, colonial Hanoi, bustling Ho Chi Min City, and romantic Hue. Vietnam is an incredibly rewarding destination.

What To See & Do

  • Visit the Cu Chi tunnels with a war veteran

  • Luxury cruise in the spectacular scenery of Halong Bay

  • Trekking to traditional hill tribe villages

  • Explore the mysterious mangroves of the Mekong delta

  • Caving in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park cave system, with the longest underground river of the world

When To Go

Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with high humidity levels and temperatures. However, because of its sheer size and topographical diversity, Vietnam’s climate tends to vary considerably from place to place.

Annual rainfall is substantial in all regions and torrential in some, ranging from 1,200 to 3,000 millimetres. The average annual temperature is higher in the plains than in the mountains and plateaus. Temperatures range from a low of 5 °C in December and January, the coolest months, to more than 37 °C in April.

Generally two different weather patterns can be observed, separated by the Hai Van pass in central Vietnam into north and south. North Vietnam experiences more dramatic seasonal differences (summers are hotter and winters are colder), whereas weather conditions vary less in South Vietnam.

The south (Danang to Ho Chi Min) has three seasons. From March to June it’s hot and dry, from July to November rainy, and from December to February cool and dry season. The hottest month is April, during which mid-day temperatures can exceed 33°C. During the rainy season, downpours can happen every afternoon. Temperatures range from very hot before a storm to pleasantly cool afterwards. From December to February is the most pleasant time to visit Vietnam’s south, with relatively cool evenings and comfortable days. Seasonal temperatures vary only a few degrees, usually in the 21 28°C range.

The north (Langco to Hanoi) has four distinct seasons. A comparatively chilly winter from January to February (sometimes below 15°C in Hanoi), a hot and wet summer from May to September, and pleasant a spring (March-April) and autumn (October-December). In the highlands, extremes are amplified, with occasional snow in winter and temperatures above 40°C in summer.

Sample Itineraries

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