Why Vietnam Is The New Bali

Let Vietnam captivate you with its outrageously beautiful vistas, plunging limestone cliffs and captivating cities. Vietnam boasts the world’s largest cave, vibrant food markets and unforgettable beaches. Like Bali, Vietnam has tropical rainforests, diverse wildlife, balmy weather, fantastic shopping and even more-amazing beaches. Fall in love with the sights, sounds and experiences of Vietnam.

Header image courtesy @tynguyen0405 

Best time to visit

Image courtesy of @howfarfromhome via Instagram

If you’re planning on experiencing the whole country from south to north then autumn (September to December) and spring (March to April) are best.

In south Vietnam the dry season lasts from December to late April or early May, followed by the seasonal rains from May to November.

And in the north, the sunny months of October to December are definitely the best time to visit.

Flight time to Hanoi

The flight time from Johannesburg to Hanoi is just 16 hours and 20 minutes.

Find amazing flights to Vietnam here.

Reasons to visit

It’s really inexpensive!

Your wallet can breathe a sigh of relief, Vietnam’s Dong is super easy on the South Africa rand. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant ranges from R11 – R24 while a domestic beer costs just R12! A one-way ticket on local transport costs just R4,20!

An easy Visa-application process

The average processing time is just 5 days, but they also have a “Rush option”, where you can fast-forward the application so its ready in just 2 working days.

Read our step-by-step guide here:

The food

Long billed as THE foodie destination you won’t be disappointed. Steaming bowls of fragrant Phð, delicious Vietnamese sandwiches and the fluffy-light Bánh xèo which translates literally as ‘sizzling cake’. These turmeric infused savory pancakes are named for the delicious sizzling sound they makes when the rice batter is poured into the hot skillet. Street food reigns supreme here and the average meal ranges from R11 to R22. Even a fancy meal for two with three courses each only comes to R210.

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The pristine beaches

If you’re after a super-relaxing beach holiday, Vietnam is for you. Palm trees, sugar-white sands and tropical fruit drinks are waiting for you on Vietnam’s blissful beaches. Lesser known and beautiful beaches include Long Beach and Star Beach on Phu Quoc, while popular, busier spots include Nha Trang (avoid November and December here as the water is choppy), Hon Chong beach nearby is a good bet for its seafood restaurants and amazing night time views of the nearby city.

Vietnam’s landscape is diverse enough that you can easily combine a rain-forest adventure with a beach retreat. Switch off, power down and recharge on Vietnam’s secret beaches.

Hotels like Topas Ecolodge!

Image courtesy of @suehoang8 via Instagram

Find great hotel deals here.

The shopping

Visit the Mekong markets for a more traditional approach to shopping or head to the amazing, cavernous markets of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi for shop-til-you drop deals on clothing, jewellery, ceramics and anything you can think of (Đồng Xuân Market is a great market in Hanoi offering household goods and tasty street food).

Vietnamese iced coffee

The sweet treat that is condensed-milk-infused Vietnamese coffee (cà phê sữa đá) is not to be missed. Grab a plastic stool on a street corner and join in the fun!  Cà phê đá is the classic coarse dark roast drip coffee.

An incredible range of outdoor adventures

Image courtesy of @thisismaxwell via Instagram

Hikes, myriad waterfalls, caves, jungle-treks, you name it you can do it in Vietnam!

Glittering, fast-paced cities

Ancient pagodas meet the energy of one of the world’s greatest, fastest growing cities in Hanoi. Unemployment recently decreased to 2.09 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Set on the banks of the red river this ancient city has loads to offer city lovers. Incredible restaurants, museums and markets await. Just look three times before crossing the street or join in the fun and rent a motorbike.

Much-hyped attractions like Hạ Long Bay

You’ve almost certainly heard about this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Steep limestone karsts plunge into dreamy water.  Ever popular this attraction is worth the hype and the 4 hour bus ride from Hanoi. Highly recommended are the sea kayak tours around the bay.

Good to know before you go:

  • The local time zone: GMT + 7.
  • The power supply in Vietnam is 220V/50Hz. Standard sockets are two-pin round plug. Most of hotels have both 220V and 110V power supply.

 

We’d love to hear about your favourite Vietnam adventures in the comments below!

 

Our Readers Comments

  1. Here right now! Food is amazing, even for vegetarians. Ho Chi Minh is always buzzing and I’m in Hanoi now. Lots of South Africans.

  2. Also look at Sapa. It is north of Hanoi. Really beautiful in September when the rice fields are green. Go on a trek with a home stay to expierience how the ethnic minorities live. The train trip to Sapa is a bumpy overnight train.

  3. Do you have any trips to Morocco in Dec 2018?

    • Hi Helene,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I’m afraid not at the moment. Airlines, hotels and tour operators only start putting out rates 10 months in advance. So they would not have rates as yet for December 2018.

      What you can do is pop our direct sales team an e-mail around January should you wish to get assistance in receiving a quote. One of our Travel Experts that would love to help. Or maybe give them a call.

      You can contact our direct sales team by calling 021 468 4300 (Monday – Friday) or by sending an email to travelbar@travelstart.com with all details exact dates, routing, budget and number of passengers. An agent will get back to you with 2 working days.

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