Hanoi Old Quarter, or Hanoi 36 streets, is a familiar name referred to the old town with historical memories of this capital city. Over the years, Hanoi Old Quarter may have been changed, but this area is still a top tourist attraction to experience the remains of an old Hanoi. Read this Hanoi Travel Guide to know more about the capital of Vietnam.

In this article, you will know

  • The Old vs The Current Hanoi Old Town
  • The design of houses
  • Places to visit in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Best food to try in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • One-day itinerary to explore this area
  • Best places to stay in Hanoi Old Quarter
  • How to get from Hanoi airport to Old Quarter


The old

Hanoi Old Quarter is an urban area formed from the Ly – Tran dynasty and located from the east of Thang Long Royal Citadel to the Red River. This urban area focused on small-scale industrial and commercial activities.

In this old town, each street had different characteristics as craftsmen from the villages around Thang Long gathered here accordingly to the profession. The main products of each street became street names with the word “Hang” at the top. From there, Hang Trong, Hang Buom, Hang ga, etc. were born.


The current

Throughout the history, the old town of Hanoi still stands and remains as the bustling commodity market and as one of the busiest places in the capital. The society develops and changes, and the old town also gradually transformed, but the streets here still retain its inherent cultural values.

best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

However, some streets in Hanoi Old Quarter are no longer sell their specialties. Now the streets of Hanoi Old Quarter with names such as Hang Dao, Hang Ngang, Hang Luoc … don’t produce the goods as its name anymore.

For example, Hang Khoai does not sell potatoes anymore and selling plates instead. Hang Duong becomes famous for Ô Mai (salt/ sugared dry apricot), and Hang Ga is known for printing wedding cards.


Houses in Hanoi Old Quarter

Walking through the old town, visitors can observe the ancient architecture of houses in this area. The houses were built in the style of pipe houses with tiled roofs and small business shops in the facades. They were mainly built from the beginning of the twentieth century.

best things to do in Hanoi

Ancient signs are still present through the old houses of Hanoi with the roof tile roofs covered in moss. There are many generations of Hanoian living in these houses, preserving lifestyles and cultures of Hanoi.


Where is Hanoi Old Quarter?

The northern part of Hanoi Old Quarter is Hang Dau street, the west is Phung Hung street, the south street is Hang Bong, Hang Gai, Cau Go street and Hang Thung street, the east is Tran Quang Khai street and Tran Nhat Duat street.


Places to visit in Hanoi Old Quarter

Hoan Kiem Lake

Located in the historical center of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem lake is also known as Lake of the Restored Sword. This lake is a lovely place to go for a walk, jogging, or just simply sitting along the lake. You can also visit Ngoc Son Temple, But Tower, The Huc Bridge.

best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter


Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market is a symbol and an interesting place for shopping in Hanoi. It is one of the biggest markets in Hanoi and the largest one in Hanoi Old Quarter. Market goods are diverse, ranging from everyday items to handicrafts.


Ta Hien street

While Saigon has Bui Vien street, Hanoi has Ta Hien street. This street has long become a great place to hang out for the locals and visitors.

best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter

You cannot find fancy restaurants here, but instead experiencing a “Vietnamese style” while sitting on a plastic chair outside while drinking and eating. There are lots of bars along the street, and you can find clubs around the area.


What to eat in Hanoi Old Quarter?

Hanoi Old Quarter food is really diverse and tasty. There are many Hanoi food you should try on your trip to Hanoi, and here are some main ones.

  • Trang Tien ice-cream – Any place on Tràng Tiền street
  • Egg Coffee at Cafe Giảng – 39 Nguyễn Hữu Huân
  • Bun Cha Hang Buom on 43 Hàng Buồm
  • Pho Bat Dan – 49 Bát Đàn
  • Bun Thang at Bun Thang Cau Go – 32 Cầu Gỗ
  • Bun Bo Nam Bo – 67 Hàng Điếu

what to eat it Hanoi


What to do in Hanoi Old Quarter – One-day itinerary

You can start the day by trying the famous Pho on Bat Dan street. Then, having an egg coffee before exploring Dong Xuan market. Trying some Hanoi’s specialties in this old

In the afternoon, have lunch and then take walk along Hoan Kiem lake and visit Ngoc Son temple. Don’t forget to try Trang Tien ice-cream and Papaya salad near Hoan Kiem lake.

At night, explore the night market before heading to Ta Hien street for a few beers and fun time.

best things to do in Hanoi Old Quarter


Where to stay in Hanoi Old Quarter?

I recommend staying in Hanoi Old Quarter while visiting Hanoi because it’s easy to get around the main attractions. However, if you’d like to get some early sleep, you should avoid staying near Ta Hien street as that area is noisy and chaotic until midnight.

> Read here for tips to find the best accommodation!

Hanoi Old Quarter hotels

Oriental Suites Hotel & Spa

Just a few meters from Hoan Kiem Lake, Oriental Suites Hotel & Spa is situated in a perfect location where you can walk around and explore Hanoi during the day or night.  The staffs here are professional and nice, assisting customers from storing luggage to booking trips. You can also enjoy a sauna session after a long day at this hotel.

best Hanoi hotels

Hanoi Old Quarter Hostels

Hanoi Backpacker Hostel

Stay in the heart of Hanoi with Hanoi Backpacker Hostel – a budget hostel on Hang Muoi street. All rooms are equipped with a private bathroom with a shower, and there is a common area to hang out. With around $5, you can get a bed and a decent breakfast. Staffs are friendly and welcoming too.


How to get from Hanoi Airport to Old Quarter by bus?

The easiest and cheapest option to get from Hanoi Airport to Old Quarter is by bus. From April 30, 2016, at the airport terminal T2, Ha Noi Transport Corporation launched high-quality bus route 86 from Noi Bai Airport to Hanoi Railway Station and vice versa.

As there is a large luggage space for passengers, it’s convenient when you have big luggage. The bus is also equipped with Vietnamese and English audio systems, LGD screen system, LED display of service and route information. There’s surveillance camera system at the front and rear doors and translation services and free wifi service on the bus as well.

Price: 30.000 VND/route/passenger and one route takes 50-60 minutes. You can pay the driver when getting on the bus.

Bus Detail From Hanoi Center To Airport:

  • Hanoi Train Station -> bus stop opposite the Melia Hotel -> Hanoi Post Office (Buu Dien Bo Ho) -> 23 Hang Tre –> Long Bien Transpoint station (E11) -> bus stop at intersection Yen Phu – Cua Bac -> bus stop at intersection Au Co – Xuan Dieu -> Au Co – Lac Long Quan (468 Au Co) –> VAECO Company –> Terminal 1 -> Terminal 2.

Bus Detail Airport To Hanoi Center:

  • Terminal 1 -> Terminal 2 -> VAECO Company –> Au Co – Lac Long Quan (523 Au Co str)–> Au Co – Xuan Dieu stop -> bus stop at intersection Yen Phu – Cua Bac -> Long Bien Transpoint station -> 142 Tran Quang Khai –> Hanoi Opera House -> Hanoi Melia Hotel -> Hanoi Train Station


How to get to Hanoi Old Quarter from other places?

You can get to Hanoi Old Quarter easily by taxi or Grab. Also, renting a bike is a good option to get to the old town.
Going by bus is a cheap option, but it can be time-consuming and not convenient when you first visit Hanoi.

  • Bus number 09, 14, 36 to Hoan Kiem lake.
  • Bus No. 31 to Dong Xuan Market.
  • Bus number 03, 11, 18, 22, 34, 40 to the gate of Quan Chuong.


Read more to prepare for your trip to Vietnam

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links

Traveling to Vietnam soon? Does travel planning take so much of your time and effort? Our Vietnam Travel Planner will guide you step-by-step on how to plan a trip to Vietnam. Whether it’s your first time visiting Vietnam or the 10th time, you will find this article useful.


1. Brainstorming

In order to plan your trip to Vietnam easily, you should do a little brainstorming and ask yourself:

a) How much time do you plan to visit Vietnam?

You should consider how much time you’re planning to visit Vietnam. Do you have one week or two weeks? Is Vietnam just a quick stop for a 3-day-trip in your big Asian adventure?

Although the longer the better, you can still visit Vietnam in 3 days (just choose either Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh).

If you have a longer time, you can choose your favorite places to go in Vietnam. We’ve listed the most beautiful and worth-visiting places in Vietnam for your Vietnam itinerary.


b) How much is your budget?

Although Vietnam is a budget-friendly country, you can find luxury kinds of stuff as well. It can cost a lot of money if you overspending. Knowing your budget well will help you greatly in planning your Vietnam trip.

how to plan a trip to Vietnam

c) Who are you traveling with?

Do you travel with your partner, friends, or family? Or are you traveling solo to Vietnam? If you’re a solo traveler, it’s the best that you can rent a motorbike for a trip from the North to the South of Vietnam or vice versa, or joining tours. With friends or family, traveling in Vietnam by bus or train is a great option.


d) What type of experience do you prefer?

Are you more into sightseeing or adventures travel? Or are you just looking for a relaxing beach vacation? Do you prefer city or rural area? Would you like to travel off-the-beaten-path?


2. Choose your destination in Vietnam

Deciding on where to travel in Vietnam may be one of the most difficult decisions in your planning process. But after brainstorming, you may know where you want to go.

Depending on your travel style, you can pick different destinations in Vietnam that suit your need. Answer these questions in the brainstorming part will narrow down places on your bucket list.

best things to do in Vietnam

Also, while choosing your places to visit in Vietnam, you should know the best time to visit Vietnam. Are you into a rainy season or dry season, or do you prefer to travel in the off-season, shoulder-season or a peak season?  Each place has different best-time-to-visit, so planning well is important.


3. Check your Passport

When traveling abroad, you should have a valid passport according to the “6-month-rule”. It means that your passport does not expire 6 months within your arrival date. You may get declined boarding your flight if your passport is not valid.

So check your passport carefully and renew it if needed.

planning a trip to Vietnam


4. Apply for visa

Firstly, you should check if you need a visa to Vietnam, and how long you need it. Because Vietnamese visa regulations change a lot, you should check carefully and remember to check again before the departure period.

Find more information about Visa here


5. Book your flights

a) From abroad

If you fly from abroad, you may land in either Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh or Da Nang. There are several flight companies having routes from and to Vietnam. Check to find the best deal.

cheap flights to Vietnam


b) Domestic flights

There are 3 main flight companies in Vietnam – Vietnam airline, Vietjet, and Jet Star.

I prefer Vietnam Airline because it provides the best service. There are not much canceling, delaying, and you may have food on board as well. The seats are also more comfortable.

Vietjet Air and Jet Star usually have a promotion and the price are cheaper comparing to Vietnam Airlines. However, it’s quite common that your flights may get delayed around 30 mins or more with them.


6. Buy travel insurance

You should never travel without a travel insurance. As Vietnam is not too safe, you may get robbed or accident while traveling in Vietnam. With travel insurance, you’re covered if there’s any problem.

travel insurance in Vietnam

We recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance. Sightseeing city breaks, vacation getaway or adventure travel, World Nomads Travel Insurance has the best insurance proposal to cover your needs.


7. Book your stay

Depending on where you go, you can book your stay accordingly. There are different types of accommodation in Vietnam: resorts, hotels, hostels, guest houses, Airbnb. From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts, you can choose the most suitable accommodation and enjoy the best of your time in Vietnam.

> Read related article: How to book the best accommodation

book hotels in Vietnam - plan a trip to Vietnam

Although you can just come in and ask for rooms in hotels in Vietnam, it’s recommended to book your room in advance for your convenience. Check room rates and availability with

8. Book train, bus, ferry in Vietnam

How to get around in Vietnam? Lots of backpackers buy motorbikes or scooters and get on a road trip from the North to the South or vice versa. If you’re not a big fan of riding motorbike, you can consider booking train or bus, or renting a car for your Vietnam trip.

How to book train, bus an ferry in Vietnam?

We recommend using Baolau to book for trains, buses, and ferries while traveling in Vietnam.

Baolau is the travel search engine compares prices and time of train, bus and ferry’s routes in Vietnam, facilitating your Vietnam travel planning and simplifying the booking process. You can pay online with credit card and receive your electronic tickets by email.


9. Book travel tours

As Vietnam is relatively cheap, you can find budget-friendly tours which are from $15. There are luxurious tours such as Ha Long Bay Deluxe Cruise and it can cost from $50 or more.

If you’re interested in visiting islands in Vietnam, booking a tour may be the best idea because it’s difficult and expensive to rent a boat on your own. Also, taking a tour will be a great option if you travel alone and would like to have a companion.

Here are some recommended tours from Klook:


10. Know places to go

After choosing your destinations, you should know where you would like to visit each place. We would recommend having a flexible schedule because you might love one destination than others, or there’re unexpected events during your trip to Vietnam, but still plan a bit ahead before your departure.

We have several tips and guides on Traveling in Vietnam, from things to know before visiting Vietnam, best places to go in Vietnam to basic Vietnamese phrases. The more you prepare, the better you can plan your trip.

best places to visit in Vietnam

Trang An – a beautiful place to visit in Ninh Binh, Vietnam. Read our guide to Trang An – Kong island here.


11. Find places to eat and drinks

Trying Vietnamese food must be on your list of things to do in Vietnam. Wonder what you should eat in Vietnam? Read our Vietnamese food list to find your favorite.

what to eat in Vietnam travel

Enjoying street food in Vietnam is one of the experiences that you should not miss!

We recommend to download and use the Foody app to find restaurants when you arrive in Vietnam. You can also check Trip Advisor for places to eat in each destination.


12. Connect with the locals or travelers

Vietnam is a popular destination in South East Asia, so you can find several travelers who are going here. You can either join Facebook groups or Couchsurfing to find them. Couchsurfing is a great way to meet the locals and connecting with travelers around the world.


13. Take vaccines

If it’s your first time visiting Vietnam, or traveling to Asia, there’s a high chance that you will need vaccines. If you are going to explore the jungle or mountains in Vietnam, you should be careful of malaria or dengue fever.

Before visiting Vietnam, you should check with your doctor or a qualified medical professional for relevant travel-related medical advice. Some recommended vaccines are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, and Typhoid.

As being healthy is important for traveling, don’t forget to buy travel insurance to prepare for all the risks.


14. Prepare money

In Vietnam, Cash is a King. The Vietnamese currency is Vietnam Dong (VND) and can be exchanged in banks or in jewelry shops.

Depending on your budget and travel style, the amount of money needed for your Vietnam trip may vary. There are several ATMs and banks in big cities, so it will not be a big issue to withdraw some cash. Then you can exchange your currency into Vietnamese Dong.

As the withdrawal fee is high, we recommend you to bring some cash with you before entering Vietnam.

apply for visa to Vietnam


15. Buy sim card

Although you can find free wifi in public places such as coffee shops, shopping malls, etc. in big cities, it’s more convenient to buy a 4G sim card when traveling to Vietnam.

There are many stands at the airport that offer sim card, but we would recommend ordering one online in advance. You can check the sim card packages from Klook for  4G sim card in Ho Chi Minh city or 3G wifi device in Hanoi.


16. Pack your luggage

What to pack for Vietnam? If you travel in the summertime, you should bring light clothes or you can buy new clothes in Vietnam as they are really cheap. If you need any specific medicine, you should bring them along. You can buy sun cream, shampoo, etc., toothbrush, toothpaste in Vietnam easily at the convenience stores so you don’t need to pack them with you.

For women, it can be difficult to buy tampons or menstrual cup in Vietnam, you should pack them in your luggage or you can buy and use pads here.


17. Check your travel documents & flights

Before the departure time, you should recheck all your travel documents: passport, visa, insurance, and other required travel documents such as booking confirmation. We recommend storing those documents as PDF file on your USB or laptop, or Drive so you can access them remotely.

Also, you should recheck your flight schedule to make sure if it departs on time. Checking online will save you lots of time and avoiding long queue at the airport so you should do it when the online check-in service is opened.


18. Prepare for your flight

Airsickness is a real problem for some people. It can make you feel nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and dizziness. If you have airsickness, you should eat a light meal before boarding, using anti-nausea drugs or natural remedies and choosing a right seat. When on the plane, you should avoid reading or staring at the electronic screen for a long time because it may worsen the symptom.

Also, if it’s a long flight from your departure destination to Vietnam, buying a soft travel pillow for neck support is a good idea.

Now you’re ready for your trip to Vietnam! If you have any question, feel free to comment below and we will answer.

how to plan a trip to Vietnam

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Traveling to Vietnam soon? Does Vietnam travel planning take so much of your time and effort? Our Vietnam Travel Planner will guide you step-by-step on how to plan a trip to Vietnam. From choosing places to visit in Vietnam, booking hotels in Vietnam, flights to Vietnam, to finding what to eat in Vietnam and Vietnam tours, you can find all tips for Vietnam trip.  #Vietnam #Vietnamtours #TravelVietnam #Vietnamtrip #AsiaTravel #asia #travelguides

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links.

Where is the best place to learn Vietnamese in Saigon? How to improve pronunciation or grammar?

Perhaps you haven’t started any Vietnamese lessons, or you’re at the beginning of your study and find it difficult to pronounce. Perhaps you want to learn about grammar and improve your reading skills.

If you’re looking for a Vietnamese teacher to help you with your studying, you’re in a right place!

Since it’s always useful for expats to learn the language of the host country, learning some Vietnamese while living in Vietnam will make your life easier and enrich your expat life in Vietnam.

As I was an expat, I understand the struggles of being in a foreign country without knowing the language. Therefore, I offer Vietnamese classes for foreigners and the program is designed specifically based on your needs.

private Vietnamese class in Saigon Vietnam online

Learning form

  • One-to-one: You can have your private lesson at the center or at the coffee shop.
  • Group: Invite your friends to join in a group study with you. You can schedule class sessions for your group. The lessons are taught at the center or at the coffee shop.
  • Educational Tours: Learn Vietnamese in an active way and have a great chance to practice your Vietnamese while visiting great places and understanding Vietnamese culture & living style. The educational tours include food tour, walking tour, customized tours. The price for a tour is different compared to a normal rate.


6 Reasons why you should choose Expatolife

how to learn Vietnamese in Hochiminh Vietnam

where to study Vietnamese in Saigon


  • Learning Vietnamese at the center or at the coffee shop.


230k/ hour (~$10) per person, but special offers and discounts are available if you study in a group.

Terms & Condition

  • Rates are in Vietnamese Dong (VND)
  • Transportation fee may be added depending on your location.
  • Drinks and parking fee are not included yet in the tuition fee.
  • If you cancel your lesson, you must contact 24 hours in advance or you will be charged full price.
  • The tuition fee is non-refundable.


If you’re interested in taking Vietnamese lessons, please contact our Facebook page to discuss your study plan.

places to learn Vietnamese in Saigon Hochiminh Vietnam

Although there are many Vietnamese can speak basic English in big cities, it may be difficult to find one in rural areas or off-the-beaten-path areas. In order to have the best trip in Vietnam (and make some cool Vietnamese friends), it is recommended to learn a few basic Vietnamese phrases and words before traveling to Vietnam.


If you just need to “survive” in Vietnam, this question is important.

Can you speak English – Ban noi duoc tieng anh khong? (Bạn nói được tiếng Anh không?)


Greetings in Vietnamese

Would you like to impress a Vietnamese? Just by saying these simple greeting phrases, you can impress one and make them grin. Vietnamese people love talking to foreigners and making new friends (but we can be shy), so just start a conversation first if you’d like to.

Hello – Xin chao/ Chao (Xin chào)

Hey – E! (Ê)

Goodbye – Bye (You can just say “Bye” and most people will understand)

Farewell – Tam biet (This one is more formal)

How are you? – Ban khoe khong? (Bạn khoẻ không)

I’m fine, thanks. – Toi khoe, cam on (Tôi khoẻ, cảm ơn)

See you again! – Hen gap lai! (Hẹn gặp lại)

basic Vietnamese phrases words


Call someone

These phrases are commonly used in Vietnam to call someone. You may hear them often in restaurants, coffee shops, etc.

Anh oi (If that person is a man)
Chi oi (If that person is a woman)
Em oi (If that person is younger than you – gender doesn’t matter here)


Basic Vietnamese phrases

Thank you – Cam on (Cám ơn)

Sorry – Xin loi (Xin lỗi)

Yes – Co (Có)

No – Khong (Không)

Would you please help me? – Ban giup toi duoc khong? (Bạn giúp tôi được không?)

You’re welcome – Khong co chi (Không có chi)

Please – Lam on (Làm ơn)

I like you – Toi thich ban (Tôi thích bạn)

Do you have Facebook? – Ban co Facebook khong? (Bạn có Facebook không)

How old are you? – Ban bao nhieu tuoi? (Bạn bao nhiêu tuổi)

> Read: Best places to visit in Vietnam


How to bargain in Vietnamese?

Because there are several tourist traps in Vietnam (unfortunately), you should bargain first when you purchase anything. You can start with 10% – 50% less than the price a seller tells you.

Also, if you use a traditional taxi instead of a Grab car, you must ask how much it costs before entering a taxi because they may charge you higher.

How much? – Bao nhieu? (Bao nhiêu)

How much is it? – Cai nay gia bao nhieu? (Cái này giá bao nhiêu?)

Too expensive – Mac qua / Dat qua (Mắc quá / Đắt quá)

Is there anything cheaper? – Co cai nao re hon khong? (Có cái nào rẻ hơn không)

Counting: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 – Mot, Hai, Ba, Bon, Nam, Sau, Bay, Tam, Chin, Muoi

Thousand Vietnamese Dong – Nghin Dong (nghìn đồng)


Basic Vietnamese phrases for restaurants

Vietnamese food is tasty! You should ask for English menu first when you enter a restaurant. However, not all Vietnamese restaurants have English menu for foreigners, so it may be difficult to order.

I’m  a vegan – Toi an chay (Tôi ăn chay)

Not spicy – Khong cay -> You add “Khong” before an adjective to indicate “not + …”

Can I have a beer? – Cho toi mot chai bia (Cho tôi một chai bia)

Can I have (name of food or drinks)? – Cho toi (name of food or drinks)

Vietnamese food phrases


Basic words for food & drinks

Sweet – Ngot (Ngọt)

Salty – Man (Mặn)

Spicy – Cay (Cay)

Beef – Thit bo (Thịt bò)

Pork – Thit heo (Thịt heo)

Chicken – Thit ga (Thịt gà)

Beer – Bia

Alcohol Liquid – Ruou (Rượu)


Ask for direction in Vietnamese

Where is it? – Cai nay o dau?

If you’d like to ask for any location, you can ask …. o dau?

For example:

Where is the hotel? – Khach san o dau?  (Khách sạn ở đâu?)

Where is the restaurant? – Nha hang o dau? (Nhà hàng ở đâu?)

Where is the toilet? – Nha ve sinh o dau? (Nhà vệ sinh ở đâu?)

Where am I? – Toi dang o dau? (Tôi đang ở đâu?)


Basic words for location

Hotel – Khach san (Khách sạn)

Restaurant – Nha hang (Nhà hàng)

Toilet – Nha ve sinh (Nhà vệ sinh)

Police – Canh sat ( Cảnh sát)

Hospital – Benh vien (Bệnh viện)

Gas station – Tram xang (Trạm xăng)

Planning to travel to Vietnam? From the North of Vietnam with majestic mountains and beautiful bays to the floating markets in the South of Vietnam, here is our list of the best places to visit in Vietnam from North to South Vietnam.



Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, witnessed the ups and downs of this country throughout the history. Visiting Hanoi, you can observe the ancient architecture, and experience the calm and peaceful lifestyle, which is contrary to the pace of life in Saigon. People in Hanoi prefer the familiar, so you can see lots of small and long-established shops and restaurants along the streets.

places to visit in Vietnam

A corner of Ha Noi Old Quarter

There are many places to visit in Hanoi. You can wander from the narrow streets in Hanoi Old Quarter, to the famous One Pillar Pagoda, and visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum nearby. Also, you can explore The Temple of Literature, which was built almost a thousand years ago as Vietnam’s first national university.



Colorful and charming are how visitors describe this town.

things to do in Vietnam travel

Sapa is a famous trekking base in the Northern Vietnam with beautiful terraced rice paddle fields of the Muong Hoa Valley. Sapa is also home to different ethnic groups, including the Hmong, Dao, Tay, Giay and Xa Pho.


Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is one of the most famous places to visit in Vietnam. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay has over 1600 limestone islands and islets with scenic ocean view. Taking a boat trip around Ha Long Bay is a memorable experience when traveling in Vietnam.

Vietnam travel itinerary

Is Ha Long Bay worth visiting? Yes and No

Because it’s a bit far away from Ha Noi and requires 4 hours on the bus, it may be tiring if you only go there for a day trip. However, if you have 2 or 3 days, you can go there by bus and stay over to catch the boat trip in the morning.


Cat Ba Island & Lan Ha Bay

Many people know about Ha Long Bay but haven’t heard of Cat Ba island – the largest island in the Cat Ba Archipelago, which makes up the southeastern edge of Ha Long Bay.

Recognized by the UNESCO as the World Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba contains diverse natural scenery such as tropical rainforests on limestone islands, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and especially cave systems.

Not only famous for biosphere reserve, Cat Ba also has beautiful beaches: Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Cat Co 3, Ben Beo beach,… Also, you can take a cruise ship around Lan Ha Bay, exploring rocky mountains with small hidden sandy beaches, Cai Beo floating village and Monkey Island.

Lan Ha Bay travel to vietnam


Ninh Binh

In your Vietnam travel itinerary, you should spend a few days or even weeks to visit Ninh Binh.

Ninh Binh is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the North of Vietnam. Known as “Ha Long Bay on land”, Ninh Binh has mountain scenery and several caves to discover.

There are many places to visit in Ninh Binh: Tam Coc Bich Dong, Trang An, Bai Dinh Temple, Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Cuc Phuong Forest, Phat Diem Cathedral, etc.

things to do in Vietnam Ninh Binh

Bai Dinh Temple in Trang An Vietnam


Phong Nha – Ke Bang

Phong Nha- Ke Bang is a national park in north-central Vietnam and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003. Not only famous with hundreds of cave system, visitors can also explore mountains, tropical forest, and underground rivers in this area.



The last kingdom of Vietnam was located in Hue, so if you’re into Vietnamese history, Hue should be on your list of places to visit in Vietnam.

visting Vietnam Hue

There are tons of things to do in Hue, from exploring Imperial City with several palaces and shrines to visiting different tombs. Also, visiting an abandoned Thuy Tien Lake waterpark is an interesting and mysterious activity for adventure seekers.


Da Nang

From Hue, you can take a bus to Da Nang easily in around 4 hours.

Although many visitors skip Da Nang and just head to Hoi An instead, Da Nang is also a remarkable place to travel in Vietnam.

places to travel in Vietnam

Da Nang is beautiful at night

Not only famous for My Khe beach, Da Nang is home of marble mountains, Ba Na Hills park, and Son Tra Peninsula. Street food here is awesome and also are people in Da Nang.

And, do you know that Da Nang is recommended as the best cities to live in Vietnam?


Hoi An

Hoi An is probably on every list of Vietnam Travel Guide that you can find on the internet.

Designated a Unesco Heritage Site, Hoi An Ancient town is famous for its well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The architecture demonstrates a fusion of indigenous and foreign cultures, mainly Japanese and Chinese and later with European influences.

places to visit in Vietnam

Wandering around Hoi An ancient town, you can spot several clothes shops with beautiful design or numerous restaurants which serve traditional Vietnamese food and other countries’ dishes.


The Cham Islands

If you visit the ancient town of Hoi An and looking for a more exciting excursion, you should take a day or two to discover The Cham Islands, which consist of a group of 8 small islands in Quảng Nam. The Cham Islands are recognized by the UNESCO as a biosphere reserve of the world beyond the sea.

There are many activities that you can do on the Cham Islands, such as visiting the local market on the main island, spending a great time on the beach or diving to see the corals.


Phan Rang – Thap Cham

Located in Ninh Thuan Province, Phan Rang – Thap Cham is famous for Po Klong Garai Temple. It is an ancient brick temple related to Cham religious.


Nha Trang

places to go in Vietnam
Beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, Nha Trang is a popular destination for vacation in Vietnam. This resort city is easy to reach by flights from other cities in Vietnam such as Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh.


Mui Ne

Traveling in Vietnam

You can see red sand dunes in Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a lovely beach resort city with beautiful red sand dunes and nice coastline. Many travelers go here for kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing and other water sports.


Da Lat

No one has ever denied the beauty and charm of Da Lat. Even the rains of Dalat during the summer days also have its own beauty. The ancient roof tiles, the rocky streets hidden behind the hills, temperate flower gardens with cool weather help visitors get out of the chaos and enjoy the relaxed feeling.

places to travel in Vietnam


Ho Chi Minh city

Some people say that Saigon is the most lookalike European city in Vietnam. That’s true!

Wandering around Saigon, you still can see the charming vibe of French architecture and the development of infrastructure in the city.

places to travel in Vietnam

Saigon is really busy. There are several shops and restaurants open till late at night, or people having drinks and talking at 3 am on the street even though it’s a weekday. Saigon never sleeps.

>> Check availability and read reviews of accommodation in Ho Chi Minh


Mekong Delta

Have you heard of Vietnam’s bloating markets in Mekong Delta? Visiting the bloating market in the early morning is one of the best things to do in Vietnam. Also, you can ride buffalo and go fishing like a local here.

Mekong Delta floating market Vietnam

It is recommended to take a tour when you visit the Mekong Delta because the infrastructure and transportation in this area are not well-developed and most people cannot speak English.


Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc is a popular getaway destination in the South of Vietnam. Famous for its white sand beaches and resorts, Phu Quoc is a great vacation place to relax and chill.

places to visit in Vietnam travel

Along with relaxing on the beach all days, visitors can explore mountains, dense tropical jungle, wildlife and hiking trails in Phú Quốc National Park.

If you’re interested in History, Phu Quoc island is a remarkable historical place in Vietnam. In Phu Quoc Prison, Vietnamese military soldiers were detained by the colonial regime and savagely tortured. Therefore, you can learn about the history of Vietnam, especially about the Vietnam War, while visiting Phu Quoc island.

With a stunning mountain view, Ba Na Hills has become a popular destination in Vietnam among the local as well as foreigners. Visiting Ba Na Hills, you not only enjoy nice landscape and great atmosphere but also participate in various entertainments. Read this article to plan your trip to Ba Na Hills.


How much is the ticket at Ba Na Hills?

The price to enter Ba Na Hills includes the ticket for all cable cars and theme park entrance ticket.

  • Adult: 650 000 VND
  • Children ( 1m – 1.3 meters): 550 000 VND

This ticket price does not include the price for Wax Museum (100,000 VND/ adult, and free for kids), as well as food and beverage. You can read more about the ticket price here.


Ba Na Hills Tour

Many people book Ba Na Hills tour so it’s more convenient. A tour normally includes:

  • Transfers and transportation as per description
  • Entrance fees
  • Cable car ride
  • Lunch
  • Bottled water
  • English-speaking tour guide (other languages available on request)
  • Travel insurance

I booked a Ba Na Hills tour for my family from a hotel I stayed.

Click here to book your stay in Da Nang.

Below are the reviews from the tour I took:

Good points:

  • Do not need to line up to buy a ticket
  • Know the way to get to the fastest cable car
  • Save money
  • Lunch is included

Bad points:

  • Transportation: Because it was a tour, the bus driver drove around the city to pick up all the passengers.
  • Limited time: You need to follow the time the tour guide listed.
  • Food: A lunch buffet was not good in my opinion. There were not many choices, and the dishes were not delicious. However, it depends on each tour because there are many restaurants.

In brief, having a tour guide is much easier if you go on a vacation with your family. However, if you want to have more freedom, it’s better to consider going alone. It was tiring for my family to go after the whole group and could not spend much time exploring.


Things to bring while visiting Ba Na Hills

If you visit Ba Na hills in the summer, you should buy some suncream and a hat. Also, packing light and have a good pair of shoes are recommended.

What to see in Ba Na Hills?

a) Cable car

Located 45 minutes from Da Nang city, Ba Na Hills has a scenic mountain view with a huge amusement park. In order to reach the top of the hill, you have to take the cable car. The fee is already included in your ticket.

Ba Na hills guide

Ba Na Hills cable car

Ba Na hills guide view

View from Ba Na Hills cable car

Ba Na Hills’ cable car system is one of the most impressive ten cable car lines in all over the world. You should ask the staff for the fastest cable car line, which was used from 30/4/2017.  It shortens your waiting time, and it only takes 20 minutes to get from the foot of the mountain to the Garden. The view from the cable car is totally amazing!


b) Le Jardin d’Amour – Temple – Debay Wine Cellar

When you arrive at the station, take a walk to Le Jardin d’Amour to enjoy the beauty of flowers and statues.

There are various type of flowers in Le Jardin d’Amour

Ba Na hills travel guide

travel Ba Na hills

You can freely explore all the gardens, Linh Ung Temple, and Debay Ancient Wine Cellar as well.

ba na hills travel guide

A view of Linh Ung Temple in Ba Na Hills

Ba na hills french village wine

A look from the inside of Debay Ancient Wine Cellar. You can also taste wine here with 75,000 VND/glass

The French discovered Ba Na Hills area and built several works such as hotels, swimming pools, etc. However, everything was mostly destroyed during the war, and only Debay Ancient Wine Cellar was left. This place was built by French architects and was dug deep inside the mountain in 1923.


c) Ba Na hills French Village

After that, you can take a short cable ride to the top of the mountain. You can enjoy the lunch at any restaurants, then start exploring the French village.

Ba Na hills

It looks like Europe, right?

Ba Na hills french village

From another corner of the French village in Ba Na Hills

Ba Na hills Da nang

Ba na hills travel guide There were beautiful flowers around the French village as well

Ba Na hills french village

It was quite dark around 4 pm

The village is not too big, so 30 minutes to 1 hour is usually enough for photos. There are free performances on the stages as well.


d) Fantasy Park

Ba Na hills game center travel guide

These games are free to play!

After visiting the French village, let’s go down to a free amusement park. There are 3 underground floors for games only. There are lots of free games, but the queue is very long to get in. You can also enjoy the massages on the 2nd floor.


What to eat in Ba Na Hills?

There are plenty of restaurants and food stands in Ba Na Hills. You can also choose buffet for 200 000 VND/ adult.


Tips to enjoy the best of Ba Na Hills:

  • Bring light: You need to walk a lot so it’s better to bring at least at you can.
  • Clothes: It’s not too cold on the top of Ba Na Hills, so you only need to bring a light coat or jacket.
  • Shoes: You should wear comfortable shoes or slippers because you’ll need to walk a lot.
  • Ticket: You should book the ticket in advance because the ticket line is very long.
  • Time: It’s better to get there early from 8 am. It helps shorten the time waiting for the cable cars.
  • Don’t go in the summer or Vietnamese national holidays: It’s full of tourist. There are 10 000 – 20 000 people per day, so you will be stuck in the flow of people and cannot enjoy anything.


How to go from Da Nang to Ba Na Hills?

Ba Na Hills is located in Da Nang, Vietnam, so firstly you’ll need to fly to Da Nang International Airport.

Then, you can get a taxi to Ba Na Hills for 600 000 VND both ways, or you can go by any type of transportation.

Signing up for a Ba Na Hills tour is also an option. It is better to visit Ba Na Hills from the morning and leave all your belongings in your accommodation.

Click here to book your accommodation in Da Nang!


Is Ba Na Hills worth a visit?

Locals say if you haven’t visited Ba Na Hills, you haven’t visited Da Nang. However, if you are used to seeing Europe and want something different, Ba Na Hills may be not your cup of tea. If you want to see the mixture between European architecture and Vietnamese temple, also hiding from the hot of Vietnam, don’t hesitate and just go! After taking a tour, I recommend going alone to explore freely.


Hope you will have a great time at Ba Na Hills -:)

Thank you for reading

*This article was updated on June 1st, 2018

What is it like to live in Ho Chi Minh city as an expat?

In this Expat Interview, Katie shares her expat life in Saigon, Vietnam. She will discuss her moving procedure, good and bad things about Ho Chi Minh, places to visit in Ho Chi Minh, the cost of living in Saigon and more!



Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, is a major city in Vietnam. Whilst it is not the official capital of the country, that would be Ha Noi, it is considered as the capital of the South.

Ho Chi Minh has an abundance of history and is rich in culture. It is a perfect location for anyone who wants to take a city break. Also, it’s perfect for anyone wanting to take a long break as it is in close proximity to Vung Tau Beach resort and the lush nature of Da Lat.

living in ho chi minh city vietnam


About Katie

My name is Katie Sephton and I work as an English Teacher in Ho Chi Minh City. I have always been in education, whether that has been me as the learner or me as the educator. I grew up in a small town in the UK called Wigan. It was in the UK that I graduated from university with a degree in Child and Youth studies and gained experience working in schools.

I first moved to Ho Chi Minh city in July 2016 after securing a job offer of teaching in public schools. At first, I intended to only stay for 1 year, but here I am 1 year later with no intentions of leaving anytime soon.

living in saigon

I knew from being 18 years old that I wanted to spend a year abroad teaching; as this is the perfect way to fulfill both my passions of teaching and traveling. The only problem was that I had no idea where I wanted to teach.


Why did you choose to live in Ho Chi Minh city?

In 2015, I and boyfriend embarked on a month-long trip through Vietnam. It was during this trip that I fell in love with Vietnam, its culture, lush nature and vibrant cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.

After returning to the UK to finish my final year of university, I just knew that Vietnam was the place I would spend my year teaching abroad. It made sense really, I wanted to travel to Asia and I knew I already loved Vietnam, so why take the risk and go anywhere else?


Do you know that learning Vietnamese will be really helpful for your expat life in Saigon?

Expatolife is currently offering Vietnamese lessons in Saigon. You’ll have a chance to study with its Founder – Ha Truong.

place to learn Vietnamese in Saigon


How to prepare for moving to Ho Chi Minh city?

Honestly, I didn’t prepare at all. Before I came to Ho Chi Minh I spent 4 months traveling through nearby countries in South East Asia. I literally rocked up to Vietnam with nothing but my 40-liter backpack stuffed with scruffy shorts, a few t-shirts and a pair of flip-flops.

As for accommodation and work documents, I was very lucky in that the company I started working for provided accommodation and applied for all relevant work permits and residency cards.

However, I did move out of the accommodation provided by the company after the first two months. I moved out due to the matter of a mice infestation and lack of cleanliness. Finding a house or an apartment in Ho Chi Minh city is very easy to do. In fact, I have contacted an agent, viewed an apartment, put down a deposit, signed a contract and moved in all in one day.

working teaching in ho chi minh city

Me with some of my grade 3 students


Cost of living in Ho Chi Minh city

Generally, the cost of living in Ho Chi Minh is very low compared to European countries. Things like groceries, transport, and activities are very cheap.

a) Groceries, transport, and activities in Saigon

For example, a pineapple costs me 15,000 VND / $0.60. As for transport, a 40-minute journey on a motorbike taxi costs me 33,000 VND/ $1.50.

Activities like going to the cinema are around 150,000VND/ $6.60 for a movie and a large popcorn and drink.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but I have never actually cooked a meal since being here as it is just so cheap to eat out. Generally, for a local Vietnamese meal it is between 30,000 – 50,000 VND/ $1.30 – $2.20.


b) Accommodation

However, accommodation costs more than I had originally thought. Prices vary massively, depending on the accommodation set up and style.

For a small (30sq foot) but modern one-bedroom apartment prices start from around 12,000,000 VND/ $530. To reduce costs, it is possible to find a room in a shared house for around 4,000,000 VND/ $180.

living in ho chi minh city apartments

c) Weekly expenditure

So aside from accommodation, my weekly expenditure is usually around 1,500,000 VND/ $66 per week. This includes eating out twice per day, snacks, fresh fruit, a night out, 1 western meal and a trip to the cinema or bowling.


What are the difficulties of living in Ho Chi Minh city?

When I first arrived, I didn’t really experience any difficulties. I have been lucky in that I moved here with my boyfriend so I have always had someone to talk to and never feel lonely. As I stated in the previous question, the company I worked for sorted everything out for me so there was nothing for me to worry about.

However, about 6 months down the line I started to dislike my job. Not the actual teaching aspect of it, but the unfair demand of work hours and lack of social life.

This was difficult for me as I had a great bond with the kids but I was becoming physically exhausted of putting in 12 hour days, 6 days a week. In the end, I ended up leaving the job and finding a much better one with much better hours and pay.

My advice to anyone thinking of coming to teach in Vietnam is to be sure to read your contacts thoroughly and understand your work hours.


Did you experience any discrimination in Ho Chi Minh city?

The people of Vietnam are some of the kindest and warm-hearted I have ever come across. I have never personally experienced any discrimination. The local people are very friendly and helpful, despite a language barrier. They also love it when I attempt to speak the language. Just a simple ‘hello, how are you?’ in Vietnamese goes a long way with the locals.

However, there is the slight problem of discrimination when it comes to the cost of accommodation and sometimes other services. It is openly known that foreigners will pay more money for the exact same house/ apartment than a local. Sometimes, you may not even be allowed to rent an apartment because you are not Vietnamese. However, I do think this is more to do with the law as opposed to the person letting.


How to overcome culture shock in Ho Chi Minh?

The way of life here is so much different than in the UK and Europe. From the street food to going to work on a motorbike, it is all so different. For some people, I understand that eating street food may be a concern, but most of the time you can see the person cook it in front of you and let me tell you, the food is the best in Asia.

streetfood in vietnam - where to eat in saigon

Street food in Saigon – People cook in front of you!

The language is also very different too. The characters of the alphabet are the same as in the English language, so it may appear easy to read but the language is very tonal and if your pitch is off slightly it can throw your whole sentence into gobbledygook. However, learning the language is fun and a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and interact with locals.

Do you know that learning Vietnamese will be really helpful for your expat life in Saigon?

Expatolife is currently offering Vietnamese lessons in Saigon. You’ll have a chance to study with its Founder – Ha Truong.

best place to learn Vietnamese in Saigon Hochiminh Vietnam

What do you like about Ho Chi Minh city?

I love Ho Chi Minh! It is a vibrant city that is a great place to live.
There are so many things to see and do. There are also tons and tons of food places and street vendors. It is a foodie’s paradise.

The thing that I love the most about the city though is the sense of community. Even though I am a foreigner here and don’t speak the language very well, I get the sense of belonging more than I did in my neighborhood in England.

For example, when I sit down at one of my local restaurants, I am greeted with a huge smile and my food autonomically put in front of me, without the need to order.
restaurants in saigon living in ho chi minh city


Are there any bad things about Ho Chi Minh city that you don’t like?

That is a very difficult question to answer because I love almost everything about it. The only downside is sometimes it can take forever to get somewhere when there is a lot of traffic.

I mean there is always lots of motorbikes on the road, which I do like the hustle and bustle of, but during rush hour things can sometimes come to a standstill. This can be particularly frustrating when you just want to get home from a long day at work.

nightlife in saigon - traffic jam in ho chi minh

Saigon at night

What are your favorite things to do in Ho Chi Minh city?

My favorite thing to do is to drive around on a bike or sit in a nice bar or coffee shop and people watch.

living in ho chi minh city saigon

Just one of the crazy sights of Saigon – A dog in the driver’s seat

I just love to sit and take in the culture and watch the local people go about their daily life and business. There is always something cool or whacky to see.

For example, when I first arrived, I was amazed at the full-blown man-made aquarium that some locals set up at the back of their motorbike. And I kid you not, I once saw a man hauling a huge wardrobe on the back of his bike.

Where do you recommend to visit in Ho Chi Minh city?

As a tourist to the city, I fully recommend people to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum. The Cu Chi Tunnels are a set of tunnels that the Vietnamese used to hide out during the war. Whilst on a visit here, you can even see the traps that were set up for the Americans.

The War Remnants Museum, whilst harrowing, is very educational and a great way to educate yourself about the effects and devastation of the war.

If you have a little more time in the city, take your time to visit the markets, the post office, the Independence Palace and check out Walking Street.

living in Saigon - day trip from ho chi minh city

Heading down into one of the tiny tunnel holes

> Check cheap Cu Chi Tunnel tour from Hochiminh city.

> Remember to buy SIM Card with 4G before coming to Vietnam. Click here to reserve your SIM card!


Is it easy to make new friends in Saigon?

It is relatively easy to make new friends as the more you visit a bar or coffee shop the more you will see the same people and instantly become connected. There are also a few expat sites that offer meetups and various classes; which make it easy to find people with similar interests.

where to drink coffee in saigon ho chi minh city

Coffee in Saigon

Do you hang out with locals or foreigners mostly?

I usually hang out with friends from work, who are mostly foreigners. However, I would love to have local friends but many local people my age always seem to be busy with their studies or families. Family in Vietnam is a huge part of their culture and people often do a lot of activities with their family.


Where is your favorite place to meet friends in Ho Chi Minh city?

Usually a local bar/ food place. There is a great place near my apartment that sells super cheap beer and delicious food. It is the perfect place to hang out with friends, eat, drink and have a laugh. The atmosphere is great as it is lively but not too noisy so we can still chat and play card games.


A memorable experience in Ho Chi Minh city

I have so many memories but one that is particularly standing out right now is the time myself and a bunch of mates where walking into town for a night out and we came across some local men singing karaoke and drinking beers on the street. They invited us over, we sat, had a few drinks and sang karaoke with them for hours. In the end, we didn’t even make it out.

It was such a fun night interacting with locals and singing street karaoke. This was my first experience of street karaoke and it has since happened again; this is just the Vietnamese culture and hospitality for you.


Did you change your perspective of Ho Chi Minh after living here?

Before moving to Vietnam my perspective was always a good one. The local people are so friendly, the culture is incredible and living here would be so fun. My perspective of that has remained the same to this day.


What are your advice and tips for living in Ho Chi Minh city?

Be open to the way of life and enjoy every minute of it.

My main piece of advice is to learn to drive a motorbike too. This one is rich coming from me, as I have still not learned yet, but believe me, I wish I had learned from the start.

Learning early on will help combat your fear and you will be able to do so much more and be more independent. Sure! Grab is a great way to get around but it can get a little annoying having to wait sometimes or when you have to rely on someone else to get you somewhere on time.

Also, buying a SIM Card with 4G and learning Vietnamese help my life easier.

living in ho chi minh

Learning how to ride a scooter or motorbike is recommended!


Would you recommend others to live in Ho Chi Minh city?

Absolutely! Ho Chi Minh has so much to offer in terms of culture and activities. The people are incredibly welcoming and the city is very safe. I would totally recommend it to anyone who is thinking of moving here. Just take the plunge and give it a try. It may surprise you like it did me.


20. What have you learned from living abroad?

By living abroad, I have learned to become independent and do all the grown-up things like apartment hunting and sorting out hospital appointments and so on. I have also become much more confident in meeting and interacting with new people. It is so easy to do here, as everyone is so friendly.

Furthermore, I have learned a second language. Well, kind of. I’m getting there, but Vietnamese is so darn hard to pronounce. This is still very much a learning curve for me.


More about Katie

living in vietnam
I’m Katie, an English teacher that has a love for traveling and exploring the world. My passions are to explore exotic destinations, experience once in a lifetime opportunities & to immerse myself in new cultures. I have lived in Vietnam as an English teacher for almost two years where my hunger for travel continues to grow. When I am not teaching I like to explore my surroundings, take lots of pictures and blog about my experiences.
Follow me on Untoldwanderlust, my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

*This article was updated on May 5th, 2018.




“Tet” is coming in a corner. For those who do not know what Tet is, it is Vietnamese version of the Lunar New Year, and it is considered the most important celebration of Vietnamese culture. The whole country is most lively and cheerful during this time, and you don’t want to miss this chance to travel around and learn more about Vietnamese traditions. Here are 5 best places to go during Tet holiday.


1.Mộc Châu plateau

200 kilometers apart from Hanoi, Moc Chau is a well-known destination for backpackers. The best time to go to Moc Chau is from the end of January to February, when plum blossoms and sakura bloom everywhere, making the plateau looks like a white heaven.

best places to go on Tet holiday


2. Tam Đảo

It is quite hot in Vietnam this winter, and if you miss the feeling of those cold winds blowing to your face, why don’t you come to Tam Dao where the weather is always cool? Visiting the Van Pagoda, Silver Waterfall, Sky Gate… and enjoying local dishes like chayote, Hill chicken, man pig… sounds like a good plan right?

places to visit in Vietnam on Tet holiday


3. Sapa

Another Northern destination! If you come to Vietnam and you don’t visit Sapa, it’s such a pity. The breathtaking mountainous scenery of Hoang Lien Son range, the terraced fields on rolling hills, the villages of Highland ethics, the colorfulness of brocade fabric… You just don’t want to miss it.

best place to visit in Vietnam


4. Hoi An

Hoi An is my personal favorite place!

Used to be a South-East Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th century, it seems like Hoi An is left by the modern world and still sleeping in its glorious past. With the well-preserved ancient architecture, it makes you feel like you are coming back to hundreds of years ago. It is a small town, so you should spend around 1 to 2 days here.

places to visit in Vietnam


5. Dalat

With no doubt, visiting the “City of flower” in the blooming season is a great plan for your Tet holiday. You can hire a motorbike and wander around this city to enjoy its quiet beauty and of course, flowers.

best places to visit in Vietnam on Tet holiday


Some tips for traveling during Tet holiday

  • Don’t travel during the first days of the Lunar New Year. Vietnamese people stop all the business activities and spend time with their family during those days, so all the stores and restaurants will be closed. You should travel before Tet, or from the 4th day onward.
  • Because it’s the holiday season, the price for foods and transportation may be a bit more expensive.
  • There are some big festivals celebrating Tet holiday with thousands of people joining. However, I don’t recommend you to go there. It will be super crowded and chaotic, which may cause you in trouble. Just imagine something like the Black Friday in America.

Pin it for later

Best places to visit in Vietnam during Tet Holiday. Where to go in Vietnam, what to do in Vietnam and tips for traveling during Tet Holiday (Lunar New Year). You'll definitely want to save this to your Vietnam Board so you can try it when you're in Vietnam. #Vietnam #Vietnamtours #TravelVietnam #Vietnamtrip #AsiaTravel #asia #travelguides

This article was updated on May 5th, 2018

Have you watched the reboot version of King Kong franchise – Kong: Skull Island (2017)?

Vietnam was proudly one of the selected filming locations for this movie. The Blockbuster Kong: Skull Island was shot in various famous destinations in Vietnam such as Ha Long Bay, Quang Binh Province, and Ninh Binh was one of the chosen places in this list as well.

In this article, I will show you the Kong: Skull Island filming location in Trang An, Ninh Binh, Vietnam, with a special guide to the aboriginal village.

Are you ready to discover the Aboriginal village in the movie?


Background of Skull Island Vietnam

In case you haven’t watched the movie yet, you can check out the details here on IMDb

When the Kong: Skull Island crew finished filming in Vietnam, they left and cleaned up all the scene setting. Even though they left nothing back, the government took the chance and restored the filming location to attract domestic and foreign tourists. The plan works out and this place becomes one of the must visit when you get to Vietnam.


How to get there?

The Kong: Skull Island movie was filmed in Trang An, a scenic area near Ninh Bình, Vietnam. Therefore, you just need to come here and take the boat tour. There are several boat tours daily, so you don’t need to book any tour in advance. You just need to go there and purchase the ticket.

visting Trang An Ninh Binh Vietnam

Trang An – the scenic area near Ninh Bình, Vietnam

Note: You must choose the 2nd Tour which includes the Aboriginal village. If you choose the first route, you can only see the caves and some temples.


How much does the tour cost?

You will be so surprised when you know this. The Film location tour price is already included in the whole Trang An tour, which is only 200 000 VND ($8.8). You will get a 3-hour-boat-tour around Trang An + a free time visiting the village. You can enjoy the view and explore this film set in 3 hours with a boat-rider.


What to pack?

  • Camera: A good camera is a MUST! The scenery is amazing, so you will miss a lot without a camera.
  • Hat: Vietnamese weather is so hot and humid, so sitting under the sun for 3 hours without a hat is not a good idea.
  • Water
  • Some snacks: You can buy in some area, but there is not many places or restaurants around.
  • Comfortable shoes: You need to walk around a lot, so it’s better to wear something comfortable.
  • Small cash: It will be a nice gesture to tip the boat riders around 50,000 VND ~ 100,000 VND. They work really hard to provide the service, so they deserve with all that rowling. Also, they cannot work every day, and they have to clean up the area for free when they’re not working. So, a bit tip is necessary in this case.

How about a life jacket? Do you need to bring one? No, you don’t have to because it is already included in a tour.


The path

You will follow this path to the village…

traveling Ninh Binh Vietnam

Here is the path to the Skull Island Village. The road is quite long, so just take time observing the nature around.


Discover the boat

Do you remember this place in the movie? Let’s discover the boat :)

Skull island Ninh Binh Vietnam travel

You can see this boat in the Kong: Skull Island movie

Skull island Ninh Binh Vietnam travel

Another picture of the boat. The combination of the boat and nature is amazing.

visiting Ninh Binh Vietnam travel

Let’s take a closer look at the boat. Do you feel like you’re in the movie yet?

traveling Ninh Binh Vietnam

Here is another side of the boat


Skull Island Village

Here you are! You make it to the village!

Skull island visiting ninh binh vietnam

The village is so cute with many houses on the way. You can actually go inside each house and experience.


The people

Be careful, they may catch you!

Skull island ninh binh vietnam

People at the village

I’m just kidding!

They were super friendly when I was there. Those people acted in the movie, so the government offered them a job at this place. They will be happy to take some pictures with you, so don’t hesitate to ask them ;)

It’s time to say goodbye~~~

visting ninh binh Vietnam

Here is the end of the journey. You will get on the boat to go back.

*This article was updated on May 4th 2018.

Phở, or Pho, is one of the most well-known Vietnamese traditional food in the world. Do you know Pho is served in different countries? In this article, you can view pictures and read reviews about Pho around the world.


1. Copenhagen, Denmark

Pho from Pho Ha Noi is excellent!

Vietnamese Pho

One bowl of Pho costs 99kr ~ $14.5

The broth, the rice noodle, the meat and herb, all created the perfect taste of this dish. Trying the dish, I thought that I was back to my home country, surrounded by my family members, and together enjoyed Pho.

I was not surprised when I knew that this restaurant was run by Vietnamese family because the taste was so similar. The restaurant is also on the top when you search about “Where to eat Pho in Copenhagen”


Name of the restaurant: Pho Ha Noi

Address: Vester Farimagsgade 6, 1606 København V


Open time:

  • Monday – Saturday: 12 – 11 pm
  • Sunday: 3 – 11 pm

Note: When I got there, they asked me if I had reserved the table, I didn’t do that but I still had a seat. Maybe I was lucky. However, to be sure, you can reserve by calling them: (+45) 33 91 18 19


2. Tokyo, Japan

In the summer of 2016, I was wandering around Tokyo with my 7-kg-backpack and a super hungry stomach. Even though I already ate tons of sushi and Japanese food, I was still hungry.

vietnamese food in tokyo

A tasty bowl of Pho in Tokyo

After passing by many restaurants, I stopped by a lovely Vietnamese restaurant named Vietnam Garden. I tried their Pho and it was delicious. At that time, there were lots of Japanese and foreigners at the restaurant, but the staffs were really nice and served professionally. I love the design of the restaurant as well.

Plus point: The restaurant provided free wi-fi and air-conditioner. I felt like melting already after walking around in the sunny day of June.

Name of the restaurant: Vietnam Garden

Address: Japan, 〒151-0051 Tokyo, 渋谷区Sendagaya, 5 Chome−24−3, NTTドコモアネックスⅠ

Phone: +81 3-3341-9889

Open time: Daily 11:30 am – 3pm, 5 – 10:30 pm


3. Pho in Paris, France

a) Pho Bida Viet Nam

Because Paris has one of the biggest community of Vietnamese living abroad, I thought it would be nice to try Pho here. I just randomly picked one restaurant to try, and I was happy with my choice.

The portion came big with the decent price. Pho was delicious with yummy broth and fresh vegetable.

vietnamese food in paris

The big size cost 9 Euro ~ $9.8

Bad point: The size of the restaurant is pretty small, so it took a long time to wait for even I was there alone and it was not a peak time. While waiting, I talked to some French people, and they said the restaurant was their favorite. Also, because this place was really crowded, the service was not that good.

Good point: They have home delivery! The price is cheap compared to other Parisian food.

Address: 36-38 Rue nationale, 75013 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 53 79 01 61


b) Song Heng – By Amanda

Check out and follow Amanda’s Instagram @wellfedtraveller

” I walked two hours for Pho. It’s so hard to find good Vietnamese food in Europe. The tiniest of lines winding around the block and they only had 2 dishes on the menu – Pho and Bun Bo. So worth the walk.” – This is what she shared with me about this place. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?

vietnamese food in paris


4. Utrecht, Netherlands

I was wandering around Utrecht on the evening of one November day and found this restaurant by chance. I actually came here first because of the bubble milk tea, but finally decided to try other Vietnamese food as well.

vietnamese food in utrecht
The restaurant is quite small, more suitable for takeaway. I don’t remember the price though, but it was affordable compared to an expensive country like the Netherlands. Pho was very tasty and enough to make you feel full.


5. London, England – By Amanda

Check out and follow Amanda’s Instagram @wellfedtraveller

Amanda is an Australian/Vietnamese. She was born in Sydney and now living in London for 2 years. To her, Mien Tay in London is the best one. She has been to all the other popular ones in London but Mien Tay is most authentic.

vietnamese food in london


6. Ha Noi, Vietnam – By Romix (向旭)

“What do you think about this one?”, I asked.

Pho in Hanoi Vietnam

“Marvelous!I had this for breakfast after a long journey, after that I felt refreshed! The chicken soup is clear, transparent but definitely tasty, and the chicken is well cooked also kept its original taste. And I can actually saw the whole process of making it, looks so simple but I guess it’s difficult. First of all, it’s made of love  “, she answered. 


7. Prague, Czech Republic – By Sarah Reichenbach

Sapa, not in Northern rice fields but one of the outskirts of Prague: one of the biggest authentic Vietnamese markets outside of Vietnam. The broth of the Pho is clear, the meat tender, the noodles fresh and the soup is served with tons of herbs! I will go out on a limb here and say it was as good as the ones we had in Vietnam!

Vietnamese food in Prauge


8. Bratislava, Slovakia – By Martina Bušovská

It is from Bratislava, Slovakia. At Vietnamese bistro/restaurant near my university. They have few variations but this one is my fave. I am eating it often when I want something comforting and not heavy on my stomach. I have never eaten Pho anywhere else though, so I can’t compare but this is very good.

Vietnamese food in Bratislava


9. Montreal, Canada – By Chieh-Yi Chou

I had this on the trip to Canada. The restaurant is in China Town in Montreal. Interestingly there are many pho restaurants in “China” Town. In North America, I have been seeing people having Pho with Sriracha, which I seldom do.

Vietnamese food in Montreal


10. Jakarta, Indonesia – By Krishna Sadhana

We have an entire franchise of Pho restaurants in my country. There’s even one near my apartment in Jakarta. Unfortunately, I didn’t eat there…since my parents would go “You’ve come all the way back to Jakarta just to eat Pho?”, but I will do it next time!

Pho in Jarkata