Top Vietnam Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Vietnam Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

164 Vietnam trips. Compare tour itineraries from 39 tour companies. 2,029 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.

Small Group Vietnam Tours

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Top Vietnam Attractions

  • From exploring ancient temples and bustling markets to cruising along scenic waterways and indulging in delectable cuisine, Vietnam offers many rich and varied experiences for travelers of all interests and preferences. Join us as we delve into the vibrant tapestry of Vietnam's culture, history, and natural beauty.
    • A sailing cruise in Ha Long Bay, also known as the "Bay of Descending Dragons"
    • Exploring the underground Cu Chi Tunnels cave, which was once used as a hiding spot by Viet Cong Guerillas
    • Seeing the rich rice fields of the Mekong Delta
    • Enjoying kite and windsurfing activities at Mui Ne
    • Relaxing on one of the largest islands in Vietnam, Phu Quoc
    • Walking down the winding lanes of the beautiful old town Hoi An, also known as the "Venice of Vietnam"
    • Visiting the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, Thien Mu Pagoda, built in 1601 and overlooking the Perfume River
    • Experiencing a water puppet performance at the Thang Long Puppet Theater in Hanoi
    • Discovering the enchanting landscapes of Sapa, known for its terraced rice fields and vibrant hill tribe cultures
    • Immersing in the ancient charm of Hue, the imperial capital of Vietnam
    • Sampling local delicacies like pho and banh mi on a culinary journey through the bustling streets of Hanoi
    • Cruising along the picturesque Thu Bon River in central Vietnam
    • Exploring the vibrant street art scene in Ho Chi Minh City
    • Experiencing the spiritual serenity of the Marble Mountains, dotted with ancient pagodas and hidden caves
    • Marveling at the stunning architecture of the Imperial Citadel in Hue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Cycling through rural Vietnam's lush rice paddies in the Mekong Delta

Vietnam Tours & Travel Guide

Vietnam Attractions & Landmarks Guide

For those who know Vietnam only from the war of the 1960s, a visit to this beautiful Southeast Asian country may yield some real surprises. For the majority of Vietnamese born after the war, it's ancient history, and visitors (including Americans) are warmly welcomed.

Vietnam is a beautiful country, and there's much to explore — from stately Hanoi to bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), gorgeous Halong Bay, the Mekong River (best seen by river boat), deep green rice paddies, golden sandy beaches, and some of Asia's best cuisine. Once you come to Vietnam, your impressions of this country will never be the same. 

Top Regions To Visit on a Trip to Vietnam

Vietnam can generally be divided into three regions: North, Central, and South.

Northern Vietnam

Often overlooked for the warmer southern coastlines, this region has its own charm. Not only is it home to the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, but it's also where you will find the country's unique rice terraces, bustling markets, and stunning bays.

Up north are mountainous regions, where towns like Sapa are located. Here, you'll meet people from several hill tribes eager to share their heritage.

Northern Vietnam is also known for Halong Bay, Mai Chau, and Ninh Binh.

Central Vietnam

The central region of Vietnam is a center for history, culture, and nature. The attractions here are incredibly diverse — you can revel in the centuries-old beauty of Hoi An by the riverside, explore the remnants of imperial Vietnam in Hue, or discover the deep caverns of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park that are about 400 million years old!

You can also learn about Vietnam's more recent history at the Vinh Moc Tunnels, an expansive underground network and a sanctuary for families hiding from American bombs during the war. Often compared to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the Vinh Moc Tunnels are unique, as they shed light on how violence and war affected innocent civilians.

Southern Vietnam

It's home to the rapidly developing city of Ho Chi Minh. The region also boasts the wonders of the Mekong Delta — an expansive ecosystem characterized by a maze of rivers and floating markets. 

Southern Vietnam has abundant turquoise water and white sand beaches, so take your pick. However, if you have a taste for adventure, check out Mui Ne, a famous spot for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing.

Touring Vietnam From South to North (or opposite)

The best way to tour Vietnam is to start at either the southern hub of Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, or the northern capital city of Hanoi. 

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC): The first thing you might notice in HCMC is the buzz of the motorbikes as you go on a walking tour of the Ben Thanh market. At first, what looks like a glorified flea market opens up to reveal all sorts of Vietnamese culinary stalwarts like pho. Go in the morning to escape the crowds (and the heat!).

Other highlights in HCMC include the War Remnants Museum (the exhibits may feel off-putting to many American travelers), the Cu Chi tunnel system, and the various historic hotels in the city center.

Nha Trang: Heading north from HCMC, Nha Trang is a typical beach destination for tourists and locals alike. Enjoy a day cruise with opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. Remember to try fresh seafood, the specialty in this city by the sea.

Hoi An: Our next stop is the historic city of Hoi An, with its labyrinth of ancient buildings and pathways. Historically rich, the city was influenced by the French, Japanese, and Chinese, which is apparent in the architecture and cuisine. 

Search for the famous Hoi An noodles, Cao Lau, which can only be authentically enjoyed in this town. Many galleries and craft shops offer everything from custom-made shoes to vibrant oil paintings.

Hue: A short drive brings you to Hue, the imperial capital of Vietnam. The Nguyen dynasty ruled from here before ceding power to the French in 1945. Explore the old, walled citadel and book a tour to visit the former demilitarized zone (DMZ) for a bit of war history.

Hanoi: Your last stop is the capital of Hanoi. With its beautiful urban lakes and government seat, Hanoi is calmer relative to HCMC but still quite the metropolitan center in its own right. For history buffs, a visit to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh is a must, where one can see the body of the former Vietnamese ruler lying in state. Also of interest are the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda. You can also plan a day visit to Mai Chau Valley from Hanoi. 

Vietnamese Cuisine

There is more to Vietnamese cuisine than just pho and spring rolls. Combine the country's diverse landscape with its rich history of trade and cultural diversity, and you'll get Vietnamese cuisine: distinct, varied, and fresh.

Although tastes are different throughout the region, the essence of Vietnamese cuisine lies in the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spice. And no matter where you are, nuoc mam, a fermented fish sauce, is a staple in any Vietnamese kitchen.

Following are some of the top foods to try in Vietnam:

Ban Xeo: It can be described as an eggy crepe. The outside is crispy, while the inside is stuffed with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts. Locals typically wrap the ban xeo in rice paper or lettuce and dunk it in Vietnam's quintessential fish sauce.

Banh Mi: It perfectly represents the fusion that occurred due to French colonization. The contents of this stuffed baguette vary by region. In the north, banh mi contains margarine and paté but is more colorful in the south, where it's usually made with cheese, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, fried eggs, fresh herbs, or chili sauce.

Bun Cha: It may be a familiar dish if you've watched Parts Unknown. In 2016, Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama shared a beer over this dish. The flavor of the dish blew them away and for a good reason! Charred patties of seasoned pork and pork belly are marinated in a rich broth (of course, seasoned with fish sauce) and served with thin rice noodles and a basket of herbs and vegetables. 

Cha Ca: Seafood is where Vietnamese cuisine excels, and cha ca takes it to yet another level. Marinated white fish is sauteed in butter, dill, ginger, green onion, and other herbs. The fish is then served with rice noodles, coriander, fennel, leeks, and chili paste topped with peanuts. It's so good that Hanoians named a street after it!

Mi Quang: Pho is Vietnam's popular noodle dish, but also pay attention to mi quang. The dish originates from the central region, specifically Da Nang. A hearty bone broth is seasoned with, you guessed it, fish sauce, pepper, shallot, and garlic. Topped with yellow rice noodles, shrimp, boiled quail egg, and roast pork, this noodle dish is sure to warm your soul. Garnish your bowl with the heaping basket of herbs that accompany your meal!

Bia Hoi: Need a drink to wash all this food down? Try Bia hoi, a Vietnamese draft beer usually poured straight from a large barrel. While the beer is weak, it's the perfect way to refresh yourself after a hot day.

Ca Phe Trung: If you need more energy to explore Vietnam, try ca phe trung. Sweetened condensed milk is mixed with Vietnamese dark-roast coffee that is so dense that it can hold up the whipped egg-white layer that perches on top. Maybe it's the sugar, or perhaps it's the caffeine — either way, this drink will give you a boost when traveling!

Is It Safe To Eat Street Food in Vietnam?

Vietnamese street food is AMAZING… less so when it's viciously coming out the other end. Some people may have stronger stomachs, some weaker. You never know how your body will react to food in a new country, so it's best to take some precautions.

Here are some tips to safely taste Vietnamese street food without getting ill:

  • Prefer bottled, filtered, or boiled water. When drinking with ice, use your better judgment. However, most restaurants buy their ice from companies rather than freezing it themselves.

  • Choose a stall with a high volume and turnover rate, which usually means the food is safer. Street vendors rarely make food beforehand, so more customers typically signify fresher ingredients.

  • Eat at the time locals generally eat because it will increase the chances of fresher produce and meals. 

  • Take note of the hygiene of the stall. If the vendor cutting the ingredients also handles the money, moving on to the next stall is a good idea. 

  • If you're using cutlery, ensure it's dried properly after washing; otherwise, the water droplets could carry bacteria that could trigger illness.

  • Make sure the dish is made properly. If it's supposed to be a hot dish — especially soup — make sure it's piping hot.

  • Avoid eating fruits that don't peel. Instead, choose fruits like rambutan, mangosteen, mango, banana, and papaya — the choices are endless, so that you won't miss out!

While these precautions don't 100% guarantee that you won't get food poisoning, they can minimize the chances of spending your holiday exploring the underside of a toilet.

Traveling in the Vietnamese Countryside

A trip to rural Vietnam will give you a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Enjoy the tranquility of the neverending greenery of the rice fields, the majestic water buffalos, and the temples that dot the landscape.

Not only will the landscapes take your breath away, but you'll also meet amazing people on your guided tour. Tradition, family, and community values are dominant here, so you'll usually meet locals who are hospitable and willing to share their experiences with you. 

You can expect to be offered a spot at the table for dinner — even if you've just met! A tour guide may be beneficial since English is usually uncommon in places away from tourist areas.

Bicycles and motorbikes are the most common modes of transportation in rural areas. Vietnam's transportation infrastructure is excellent, so you'll usually be able to find a bus from cities that will connect you to the countryside.

Travel to Vietnam for Seniors

Respect for older people is ingrained in several Asian cultures, including Vietnamese. As a senior traveling in Vietnam, you'll see this respect throughout your interactions.

However, you may encounter another issue as a senior on a journey through Vietnam—accessibility. Older adults, particularly those with accessibility restrictions, may find it challenging to travel around without proper planning.

You'll likely encounter tactical problems like crossing the anarchic streets through a hoard of motorbikes, limited access to elevators and ramps, and narrow doorways.

The lack of accessibility also limits your transport options—trains and boats are not equipped for wheelchairs. 

For older adults, it's best to join a guided tour to Vietnam, specifically tailored for seniors, to ensure a comfortable and memorable trip. It's essential to communicate your accessibility restrictions with your tour operator so they can arrange suitable transport and accommodation. With the proper preparation, anything is possible in Vietnam, and the people are more than happy to help.

Vietnam Travel Guide for History Buffs

If you're a history buff, you'll step back in time, walking through the streets of Vietnam, which is a lesson in itself. Several streets are named after essential moments — rebels who fought against invasion, battles that solidified Vietnam's strength, and emperors who led the country into prosperity.

Even the food reflects history—banh mi is the lovechild of Franco-Vietnamese influences, mi vit tiem has obvious Chinese influences, and cha ca be used as a cover for clandestine meetings between revolutionary soldiers.

This tiny Southeast Asian nation has a deep-rooted record of struggle against titanous foreign powers, such as the Chinese, Mongols, Indians, French, Japanese, and Americans. Vietnam's integral location as a port brought Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Catholicism to this budding nation. 

The country also created economic ties with countries like Portugal. In the 20th century, the rise of communism was led by Ho Chi Minh, who brought independence to the nation, ostensibly freeing it from the shackles of European rule. 

Violence soon ensued, as Vietnam was split between the communist north and the anti-communist south. After over a decade, the Northern forces sought to liberate the south from foreign influence.

American resistance to communism led to a horrific and grueling two decades of war, which left three million Vietnamese dead. To this day, Vietnam carries the scars of what they call the American War, as civilians live with war injuries, and dormant mines detonate decades after.

Typically, civilians prefer to refrain from talking about this dark period in Vietnamese history, but several sites are dedicated to the proper education of such topics. 

Despite its tumultuous history and lasting scars from recent wars, Vietnam has exhibited strength and resilience. Today, its economy is increasingly growing, boasting prosperity and impressive infrastructure.

Souvenirs from Your Trip to Vietnam

From Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to Hue, there are countless opportunities to bring home unique Vietnamese souvenirs. Shopping in Vietnam's Ben Tanh Market, Dong Xuan Market, and other places is an unmatched experience, as beautiful handicrafts are everywhere.

Here are a few iconic Vietnamese souvenirs that many people bring home:

Non-La: A symbol of Vietnamese agricultural life, a non-la is a cone-shaped hat made of bamboo. Protecting locals from rain and the harsh sun, various styles are available throughout the country.

Silk: Vietnam specializes in silk production, so you'll find different patterns, colors, and sizes made on traditional handlooms. The quality is excellent throughout the country, but the best places to buy are near silk villages, such as Van Phuc in Northern Vietnam.

Handcrafted Fans: Want a gift that is both beautiful and practical? Some of the most popular souvenirs from Vietnam are handcrafted paper and bamboo fans. In some regions, you can also find fans made of silk paper. Not only are they beautiful, but they also represent centuries of Vietnamese culture and history.

Pop-Up Cards: For an easy-to-transport souvenir, get a pop-up card. A handicraft typical of Hanoi, these impressive and intricate cards can be found in the Old Quarter or at night markets.

Vietnam Reviews & Ratings

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A

Anonymous

Mar 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Vietnam Adventure

A busy trip that covered a lot of distance , seeing both north and south Vietnam . Travelling prior / during and after Tet gave a different perspective to the coun...

A

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Fun, Fast, Exhilarating, Exhausting and wouldn't change a thing

The most jam packed 10 days of my life. But also the most enjoyable. Every day brought something new. It's fast and furious so be prepared for moving to somewhere ...

A

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Fantastic holiday

High paced trip which provides big variety of activity and stunning sights. Great guide as well! The rickshaw and cycle rides through the countryside at Hoi An W...

A

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Fantastic!

Having recently returned from a 15-day adventure to Vietnam I cannot praise Exodus enough for their meticulous organisation, jam-packed itinerary and knowledgeable...

A

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Awesome

A very busy trip that gave us a taste of so many parts of Vietnam and an opportunity to understand about the culture and food in the north and south. A good mixtur...

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