Young, beautiful, colonial, green, colourful, modern,
traditional, chic, gentle, historical, old - multiple adjectives
cannot begin to describe the extraordinary country of Vietnam.
Stretching from the mountainous North, where it borders China, down
to the mouth of the mighty Mekong in the South, Vietnam appears
like multiple countries rolled into one.
From stunning beach hideaways along the endless coastline to the
ethnic hill tribes and colourful markets in the North; from
traditional family life along the banks of the Mekong to thousands
of years of history at the former imperial place of Hue - Vietnam
has it all.
Those with romantic notions of Indo-China should visit Hanoi -
charming, quaint and historic. For a few days wander through the
colonial Old Quarter, marvel at the mastery of the Vietnamese Water
Puppets at the Opera House, take an evening stroll around the West
Lake and visit Uncle Ho in his mausoleum as he lies in
A day trip from Hanoi is the Perfume Pagoda. It is viewed as one
of the most beautiful spots in Vietnam. It is a sight to behold as
you draw closer and closer by river.
Not far from Hanoi is Halong Bay. The karst scenery is simply
stunning and provides a fabulous backdrop for a luxurious cruise.
As you glide by, you will quickly see why Halong Bay is a World
Heritage Site and listed amongst the most beautiful bays in the
Another UNESCO World Heritage site is the lovely, sleepy town of
Hoi An. Situated south of Hanoi, on the edge of a shallow river,
Hoi An was established 200 years ago as a trading port with Japan
and China. It is the perfect place to have clothes made, enjoy the
art galleries and appreciate wonderfully preserved Chinese Clan
If you are interested in Vietnam's Imperial past, you must visit
Hue. The sense of majesty and its powerful links to the past cannot
be escaped. The Imperial citadel dominates the town, and all around
are pagodas and tombs to courtiers and successful mandarins.
A totally different world can be discovered on the coastline
south of Hue. Here is sheer and unabashed luxury coupled with the
ultimate in service. A few days here could be the perfect respite
before heading to heady Ho Chi Minh (Saigon).
Ho Chi Minh is the epitome of a South-East Asian city; noisy,
young, bustling and a bit brash. But scratch beneath the surface
and you will quickly discover its past. There are still some
wonderful old colonial buildings standing proud despite their faded
grandeur. Take a cyclo to what was Paris Square, home to the
imposing, red bricked Notre Dame Cathedral and the grand Old
General Post Office. For a more modern take on history, explore the
Cu Chi Tunnels, the Viet Cong stronghold during the Vietnam War.
Try and squeeze through one of the man holes yourself.
We also have our more lateral diversions; one in the North and
one in the South. If you are keen on hiking and mountains, a trip
to Sapa is a must. High in the hills, Sapa boasts one of the most
colourful markets with tribes from all around gathering. Equally
colourful is a trip to the Mekong Delta. Here your picture book
image of Vietnam becomes a reality. You can watch tiny children
skip alongside the delicate green coloured paddy fields followed by
seemingly docile water buffalos.