Tour to Vietnam

Vietnam trip review and photos of Vietnam

March 2013 - October 2014

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Mappa Vietnam | Vietnam travel info | Vietnam pictures | Contacts and Copyright | Pagina in Italiano

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Suggested travel itinerary in Vietnam

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The tour presented in this Vietnam travelogue was organized through Asiatica Travel as an individual departure (so, not a group tour) with a customized itinerary. If you are looking for a trip to Vietnam, Asiatica Travel can book for you a car with driver and guide (guides are available in different languages), all the hotels for overnight stays and tickets for any domestic travel by train, plane or bus. This tour in Vietnam took place in two separate trips: during the first trip in March of 2013, I visited Southern Vietnam, in particular Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the delta of Mekong river with its floating markets (this route takes about 5 days and can be easily combined with a tour in Cambodia). In the second trip instead, in October of 2014, I visited the rice terraces of northern Vietnam among small villages with ethnic minorities, before heading to Halong Bay and Hanoi (this route requires at least 8 days). If you would like to go to Vietnam and are looking for Vietnam travel tips, in this Vietnam travel guide you will find lot of pictures and information about the many attractions the country offers.


Vietnam is a very interesting country from several points of view: nature, landscapes, ethnic minorities, museums and culture. In Southern Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), you can visit the War Museum, numerous pagodas and many colorful street markets where locals sell everything. The trip could then go to the countryside among the villages lost in the maze of the Mekong delta, where rivers and canals are used as natural highways and where almost everyone owns a boat. In this region you can stay in close contact with the simple life of fishermen and farmers, where families run small business based on the transformation of the many natural resources the place offers. Northern Vietnam on the other hand, is suitable for anyone wishing to take an ethnic tour, thanks to the many minorities who live among the mountains along the border between Vietnam and China, throughout a picturesque countryside dominated by vast terraced rice fields, as well as plantations of tea, corn and other crops. This tour can easily be combined with a cruise in Halong Bay, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, as well as a city tour in Hanoi. The central region of Vietnam, around the city of Hue, offers many interesting attractions for tourists as well, but is currently not covered by this travelogue.


If you have enough time and wish to visit other countries of Indochina or Southeast Asia together with Vietnam, such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, you should know that both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have direct connections with all these countries, making possible to have a multi-country trip quite easily. One of the most popular choice is to combine a tour to Vietnam with an extension in Cambodia, for example to have a glimpse of Angkor temples: this is possible thanks not only to convenient flights from Vietnam to Siem Reap (closest airport to Angkor), but also to a river cruise linking Southern Vietnam with Cambodia by boat. Other tour extensions from Vietnam to Laos, Myanmar and Thailand are instead increasing in popularity, but you must have really plenty of time available (a complete tour of Indochina, not to mention the other countries of southeast Asia, may require over a full month).


Vietnam is conveniently connected with direct flights onto most airports in southeast Asia, Middle East and with some in Europe and rest of world as well. If there aren't direct flights from your country, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Seoul or Singapore can be good hubs with daily connections. If you decided to go to Northern Vietnam, the most convenient airport to arrive and leave is Hanoi, instead, if you wish to go to Southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the entry and exit point to choose. Of course if you visit both regions, you may arrive in Hanoi and leave from Ho Chi Minh City (or vice versa) since most airlines offers international connections from both cities.


There is no actually best time to visit Southern Vietnam because it's warm all year round; however the season corresponding to fall and winter in northern hemisphere is the least rainy period. Instead, if you wish to visit Northern Vietnam, the best season is from spring to mid-autumn, although in summer it may be quite rainy (but summer is the only time to admire the beautiful green rice fields on the mountains). If you are looking for a beach holiday in Vietnam, then the best time to go is during winter, because in summer the weather may be too rainy.


If you like nature and unusual landscapes, the rice terraces of northern Vietnam, particularly in the area of Mu Cang Chai or in the more crowded Sapa, can offer wonderful photo opportunities thanks to the beautiful countryside and the small villages inhabited by ethnic minorities. However, you should choose the "when to go" period quite carefully and without forgetting that, in any case, there may be variations from year to year because of climate change and traditions. If you want to see the terraced rice fields with yellow ripe rice and people involved in the harvest, the best best time to go runs from early September in Sapa, until the beginning of October in Mu Cang Chai (after these dates, the rice is all harvested and the terraces remain empty and brown: the harvest starts at higher elevations, to proceed slowly down). If you want to see the rice terraces flooded and without vegetation, the best time is instead the beginning of spring, around March. During the summer rainfall is higher, but the fields are all very green and beautiful to see. It is recommended in any case to always ask the locals, such as the travel advisor if you book through an agency, about the best time to visit the rice fields, depending on the route you want to follow and what do you expect to see exactly.

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Field rice in Mai ChauTravel to Mai Chau between rice fields and Thai villages <<-- GO

The valley of Mai Chau is located a few hours drive from Hanoi, in an area still off the beaten track in Vietnam, and it is interesting for its beautiful countryside home to vast rice fields and tiny traditional villages. In Mai Chau, tourists can meet Thai ethnic group with people busy in their daily activities such as weaving silk.
Ethnic tour in VietnamTour to Muong Lo and Tu Le: Vietnam countryside and ethnic groups <<-- GO

The region between Muong Lo and the village of Tu Le is one of the most important granary of Vietnam, home to extensive fields of rice, corn, tomatoes and other crops. This place is a paradise for photographers and fans of ethnic tours, as it is still visited by few tourists and therefore the locals are very spontaneous.
Riping rice fields in VietnamTravel to Mu Cang Chai among beautiful terraced rice fields <<-- GO

Mu Cang Chai is the "capital" of terraced rice fields in Vietnam and offers terraced landscapes of the most beautiful in all of Asia. The terraces are particularly spectacular when the rice is ripe, when everything is yellow, and the locals are involved in the harvesting and threshing of maize important to the economy of the entire Vietnam.
Ethnic minorities in Sapa, VietnamTour to Sapa among villages with ethnic minorities <<-- GO

Sapa is a city located in the mountains of northern Vietnam near the Chinese border, and the place is known for the beautiful rice terraces and for the small traditional villages home to many ethnic minorities of Vietnam. An overnight train journey will take me from Lao Cai to Hanoi where the tour will continue to the other parts of the country.
Halong BayCruise to Ha Long Bay visiting floating village and limestone caves <<-- GO

The Ha Long Bay was recently added to the list of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and this merit is due to the particularly beautiful and unique landscape, dominated by thousands of limestone islands ranging in size from that of a car to that of a small hill. The cruise in Halong Bay includes a visit to the local floating village and to a limestone cave.
HanoiTour to Hanoi among ancient temples and street markets <<-- GO

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, offers many attractions ranging from centuries-old temples and pagodas, to colorful street markets where locals sell everything and where tourists can appreciate the simple life of the population.

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SaigonTour of Ho Chi Minh City and the War Remnant Museum <<-- GO

Ho Chi Minh City has the typical appearance of a large Asian metropolis, where ancient buildings contrast with ultra- modern skyscrapers. Particularly interesting is the War Remnants Museum, where authentic artifacts that recall this sad period of history, as well as a vast collection of original photos, are collected.
Bancarella del pesce seccoTrip among the markets of  Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) <<-- GO

In Ho Chi Minh City there are several markets that are worth a visit for many products, particularly food sold from stalls. The city also has several temples and pagodas where the faithful pray and burn incense.
Cruise in VietnamCruise on Ben Tre River ( Mekong Delta ) in South Vietnam  <<-- GO

The Ben Tre River, a tributary of the Mekong, is packed  with activities along its banks, where every family strives in some productive activity such as the manufacture of clay bricks, or the exploitation of the coconut palm to produce everything from carpets to tasty candy.
By bike through the fields in VietnamWalking through the countryside of South Vietnam  <<-- GO

South Vietnam, between the infinite branches of the Mekong Delta, is home to a multitude of villages where people live mainly by agriculture, fishing and breeding. The roads are often reduced to small concrete walkways, which can be only used by bicycles or motorcycles.
Market in VietnamTour to Can Tho among its markets with stalls of fruit and fish <<-- GO

An excursion in the many open-air markets of Vietnam allows you to enter deeply  the local life and to observe the great variety of raw materials and products that are used for nutrition, starting from dozens of types of fish unknown to us, to finish even with the river rats open in two halves and roasted.
Floating market in  VietnamTrip to the floating market of Cai Rang in Vietnam <<-- GO

The water market of Cai Rang, in the heart of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, collects traders and buyers who bargain over the price and complete the sale and purchase directly from their boat. The delta of the Mekong forms a dense network of channels: all people own a boat and the water becomes the focus of aggregation where all the activities take place.

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Thanks to Asiatica Travel for organizing this trip

Taxi from and to airport

Private shuttle transfers

Airport transfers

Airport pickup & tour

Transfer by car and driver

Customized taxi transfers