Eco-friendly travel guide to Vietnam advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Vietnam, Asia.
- Air quality: 2.5 / 5
- Bus connections: 4.5 / 5
- Train connections: 4.5 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 4 / 5
- National parks: 5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$6 - $150
- Budget per day: US$20 - $200
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam or Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the Indochina Peninsula. Vietnam has China, Laos, and Cambodia on the west and of the east; it has the South China Sea where it shares maritime borders with Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The country is one of the densely populated Asian countries with over 96.2 million people and has a land area of 331,212 square kilometres. Hanoi is the capital city, but Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam. More than 70% of the residents either follow folk religion or are irreligion. Another popular belief in Vietnam is Buddhism, which is followed by Christianity, Hoahaoism, and Caodaism. The history of Vietnam is in connection with China, but archaeologists believe the first inhabitants date back to the Paleolithic age. Similar to China, Vietnam was under monarchy throughout history until the French colonized the Indochina Peninsula in the 19th century. In 1945, Vietnam became a country under the Proclamation of Independence from France after winning in the First Indochina War. The government has also gone through its Civil War, and all the history of wars, rulers, and colonization is still present throughout the land of Vietnam. While visiting such a significant country, you must follow specific measures to ensure that you travel responsibly and pay proper respect to the local ethnic groups and communities.
- The pollution levels in Vietnam are no mystery to the world; in fact, it is also one of the most polluted countries in Southeast Asia. You will find that the locals are a bit ignorant about their environment and are unaware of their common mistakes that cause a severe effect on wildlife. While visiting the country, you must try your best to prefer the use of sustainable products such as recycled or second-hand items. Most locals will urge you to buy brand new things, but you must avoid items made of plastic at the most as it is one of the significant contributors to the world's increasing pollution levels.
- If you find it is challenging to get sustainable products, you should opt for staying at an eco-friendly accommodation like green hotels, apartments, and hostels. These options are quite affordable and ensure to help their guest keep their carbon footprint minimum. These places often use various sustainable measures like solar energy, hydro or wind power, rainwater harvesting, localized staff, reusable items, etc. They also provide such products to their guests in their stay and ask them to prefer using them at the most.
- Motorized cars and bikes are the most common transportation method for most locals in Vietnam. The majority of the people are of a low-income group and are not able to buy electronic vehicles as a replacement. You will find that a lot of the locals that are aware of the environmental and health issues of using such motorized vehicles use public transports such as buses, trains, and trams. Suppose you are unable to hire or buy an electronic car. In that case, you must prefer using public transport to move around the cities or regions as they are quite affordable and are friendlier to the environment.
Also, while visiting the different cities and regions of Vietnam, you must prefer using local products such as clothing, food, utensils, furniture, gadgets, etc. It is because international and imported items are usually over-priced and will not help you learn about the local culture and traditions. Instead, you should prefer local handicraft items and eco-friendly clothes that not only represent the local communities' culture and traditions but are also a great way to save costs.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air pollution levels in Vietnam are some of the most severe ones in Southeast Asia. You will find that water and air pollutions are at critical levels and even after implementing various restrictions of the locals and tourists, the pollution levels are increasing at steady rates. The main polluters of air are the motorized vehicles and industries that emit harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. They also release a lot of soot, smoke, and other dirty substances into the air that makes it hard to breathe. Although, such conditions persist only in metropolitan cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Phú Mỹ Hưng. Other rural and less developed areas have fewer pollution rates as the locals are aware of the severe health and environment risks that occur due to pollution. You will find that the rural areas people prefer using public transportations, walking, or bicycles to move around and even travel to a different city or region.
Respect the Culture
Asian countries are some of the countries in the world that not only follow traditions of centuries-old but also keep their beliefs and ethnicity alive. You will find that Vietnam is one such Southeast Asian country with deep-rooted traditions and ethnicity. While visiting Vietnam, you will find many cultural events and festivals occurring regularly. You can take part in the festivities and get an in-depth knowledge of the local culture, traditions, and history. The Vietnamese culture is the essence of the country, if you ignore it, your Vietnam trip will become incomplete, and you will not get proper exposure and understanding of the locals. Also, by exploring the local culture by attending live performances, visiting museums, and interacting with the locals, you will be able to generate respect for the people from within you. The locals will also appreciate such considerate thinking and actions and help you make your Vietnam experience the best one.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Hue city (Central Vietnam): It is one of the historic towns of Vietnam. It served as the capital city of the two most important dynasties. They are Dang Trong, which ruled from 1738 to 1775, and then it was also capital under the Nguyen Dynasty, which ruled from 1801 to 1945. It is in the centre of Vietnam. The city also served as a battleground during the Battle of Hue. The battle of Hue is considered one of the bloodiest and longest battles during the War of Vietnam. After the Vietnam War concluded in 1945, Vietnam lost most of the historic features because they were the achievements of the most criticized communist party of Vietnam. But later, policies saw alteration and attempts to protect the historical monuments. One of the major tourist attractions here is a citadel, which dates back to the 19th century. Thick stone walls also surround the fortress. The Imperial City has palaces and shrines. Here is also a purple city that was once home to the Emperor. A replica of the royal theatre is present here.
- Phonk Nha Ke Bang National Park (Quang Binh Province): It is a national park as well as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is in Minh Hoa and Bo Tranch districts of Quang Binh Province in Vietnam. It is approximately 500 km from Hanoi towards the south. It covers a total area of 857.54 km square with a buffer zone of 1,954 km square. Along with protecting animals, this park aims to protect the natural diversity of the region as well. It contains a total of 300 caves and caverns. The total length of the system of caves is 126 km. But, some of the areas are still not discovered or explored. The temperature here is hot and humid. The summer months here are from June to August and the winter months lie from December to February whereas the rainy season lies from July to December.
- My Son Sanctuary (Duy Xuyên): It is as old as the 4th century and is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Sanctuary covers a total area of 142 hectares that is 0.55 miles square and a buffer zone of 920 hectares that is 3.6 square miles. All the buildings at this Sanctuary are religious buildings. The temple is partially ruined and consists of a cluster of abandoned temples. The temples worship Lord Shiva. Many local people in Vietnam know Lord Shiva. The most important of them is Bhadreshvara. Some of the temples are in the valleys between two mountain ranges. At one time there were approximately 70 temples and historically significant inscriptions written in Sanskrit and Cham.
- Hoi An (Central Coast): Faifoo or Fai Fo are the previous names of the city. The approximate population of this place is 120,000. In 1999 it became a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It has a well-preserved trading port that dates back to the 15th to 19th century. The buildings here consist of a blend of foreign as well as local influences. Recently, as tourism is developing in this area, many other activities are also becoming available to give the visitors a new experience. Some of them are bicycle, motorbike, kayak, or motorbike. The main transport of food production and transportation is still the Bon River flowing through the region for more than 500 years. One more significant thing here is that it hosts many cooking classes where tourists can learn how to make traditional cuisine. One more thing which is worth watching here is the Hoi An Lantern moon festival. It takes place on every full moon. It is celebrated by exchanging flowers, lanterns, fruits, and candles. It is for wishing prosperity and good luck. The city consists of four museums: the Museum of history and culture, the Hoi An Folklore Museum, the Museum of Trade Ceramics, the Museum of Sa Huynh Culture, and the Precious Heritage Museum.
- Ba Bei National Park (Bắc Kạn Province): It is also known as Vườn Quốc Gia Ba Bể in Vietnamese. Dating back to 1992, it covers a total area of 100.48-kilometres square. It is 240 kilometres far from Hanoi city towards the northwest. It is in Bac Kan province of Vietnam in the northwest region. The main aim of setting up Ba Bei National Park was to protect a freshwater lake named Ba Be Lake and the surrounding area which consists of lowland green forest and area made from limestone. The climbing bamboo plant is an endemic species that is present here. The essential flora species are Burretiodendronhsienmu and Streblustonkinensis. Among the fauna, 65 mammal species are present here. Moreover, there are 233 species of birds, 43 species of reptiles and amphibians. In the lake, there are 106 species of fishes, and 354 species of butterflies present here.
- The Mekong Delta (South Vietnam): It is known as Đồngbằng Sông Cửu Long in Vietnamese. Its literal translation is Nine Dragon river delta. It is a region where the Mekong rivers flow and mix with the sea through distributaries. There is a Can Tho bridge which is a cable-stayed bridge. It is the most expensive Vietnamese bridge. It cost 4.842 trillion Vietnamese đồng that is approximately 342.6 million dollars of the United States. Mekong Delta is said to be a biological treasure trove. It has estimated a total of 1,000 species of animals from 1997 to 2007. Moreover, several new species of plants and animals are present in unexplored areas. The life of the people here mainly revolves around the river.
- Ha Long Bay (Quang Ninh Province): Ha, Long Bay happens to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is present in Quang Ninh Province of Vietnam. Fourteen flora and 60 fauna species found here have been declared endemic. If we go a bit in history, archaeologists have found traces of humans in the Prehistoric Era that lived here tens and thousands of years ago. Even artefacts are on Bai Tho Mountain and Bai Chay. It has a total area of 1,553 km square. The limestones here are as old as 500 million years. The Bay contains at least 1600 monolithic islands, and each island has dense jungle vegetation. Many of the islands are hollow and include enormous caves. There are many beaches on small islands, but Tuan Chau and Cat Ba islands consist of locals and facilities like hotels, restaurants, and beaches.
- Ho Chi Minh City (South Vietnam): It is more popularly known as Saigon, which was also its last name. It is one of the largest and populous cities in the country. It is the economic and financial centre of Vietnam. It is also a historical city where great kingdoms of Champa, Khmer, and Funan ruled. Many tourist attractions from the French Colonial Rule and Vietnam War are well-preserved here. A French colonial building is situated right in the centre of the city. Major tourist spots are close to each other. Significant buildings here are the Reunification Palace, City Hall, a Municipal Theatre, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. There are historic hotels also present here. One of them is Hotel Majestic which was there during the Era of the French Colonial Rule. There are many museums present in the city. Some of them are Ho Chi Minh City Museum, the Museum of the South-Eastern Armed Forces, the Museum of Vietnamese History, the War Remnants Museum, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Arts, and many others.
- Chu Chi tunnels (Ho Chi Minh City): They are a network of interconnected tunnels located in the District of Chu chi in Ho Chi Minh City, which was also known as Saigon in Vietnam. In these tunnels, several military campaigns took place during the War of Vietnam. These were the hiding spots of the Vietnamese soldiers; also, they were the supply routes and the main routes to hospitals for North Vietnamese soldiers. These tunnels were later preserved as a War Memorial Park by the government for the tourists. Two sites are open for display to people. They are Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc. The visitors are allowed to crawl and see the parts of the tunnels which are safer. For the convenience of the visitors, lights are available in tunnels. Replica of different kinds of traps used in the War is still present here. The conference room built underground is now a mess where visitors can enjoy food as the soldiers of that time did. There is also a shooting range and caged monkeys above the ground.
- Mui Ne (Binh Thuan Province): It is a fishing town located in the coastal region of the south-central Binh Thuan Province of Vietnam. This town is famous for its unique dunes which feature several lakes and swamps in the middle of the sandy desert and its seafood cuisine. The main seafood eaten here is Iguana which is a reptile and looks similar to a lizard but larger. Moreover, the town has two beaches. They are Suoi Nuoc Beach and Ganh Beach. Both of the beaches are well-developed in terms of tourists. There are many resorts for the convenience of visitors, but the shops and restaurants here are less in number. Most of the tourists visit here from December to April. The climate is dry and hot almost the whole year with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celcius.
Vietnam is relatively a small country but is homes to some fantastic sites. These places are a great way to enrich your mind and body with the local environment and history while having the time of your life. You will find that many fantastic city parks are not only popular in their city, but in other cities as well. There are many national parks, forests, and reserves as well that will help you discover the local flora and fauna while getting the feeling of an adventure. The eastern region of Vietnam has many ports and beaches that are a great place to rejuvenate your body and mind and even take part in some adrenaline-filled activities. Apart from these fun-filled places, there are museums, historical and cultural landmarks that have their significance all over the country. These museums and milestones will help you understand Vietnamese history, traditions, and culture.
- Ho Ban Nguyet Park (Ho Chi Minh City): If you are looking for some peaceful and refreshing time in Ho Chi Minh city, then this city park is the one you should visit. It is a spacious park filled with green spaces, gardens, paths, and a pond. You will find many couples in the evening, whereas young men and women jog around the spacious tracks in the morning. It is an excellent spot for picnics and spending some quality time with your family or partner.
- Thing Nhat Park (Hanoi): Thing Nhat city park is a quiet little place with shaded areas, a large lake, strolling paths, and various cafés. You will find it a great place to escape Hanoi's crowded and noisy streets. You can take a walk on the trails or boat in the lake. It is a quick escape to nature inside Hanoi.
- Công Viên Thanh Xuân (Hanoi): It is the best recreational spot in Hanoi that is open every day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The park houses a large lake in the middle and paths circling the lake's borders. There are many shaded grass areas and benches available where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. You will find yoga classes, fitness exercises, and many more health-related things performed by the locals here.
- Sa Dec Flower Village Park (Đồng Tháp Province): It is an enchanting little park that is open every day to the tourists and locals without any charges. The main characteristic of the flower park is the flowers, which the name of the park suggests. You will find that it is an excellent place where a wide variety of colourful flowers are exhibited and are well-maintained. It is a must-visit city park in South Vietnam that will make you fall in love with nature.
- Phú Quốc National Park (Phú Quốc Island): It is a must-visit Vietnamese national park in Phú Quốc Island that is present in the Gulf of Thailand near Vietnam’s southwestern coast. The national park is home to over 1000 species of flora and about 200 fauna species. The entire park consists of old-growth forests and 100-feet tall Dipterocarp trees. Visiting this national park, you will be enlightened to find some exotic and rare animal and plant species. You can also camp here and enjoy some time living in the lap of nature. There is various hiking trails present as well that start from the Gành Dầu village of the Island.
- Núi Chúa National Park (Ninh Hải): Sitting on the eastern coast of Vietnam, Nui Chua National Park comes under the Ninh Hải district in Ninh Thuận province. It is open all the time without any entrance fee. The national park sits on the Annamite Mountain's eastern edge; thus, provides the visitors with a great viewpoint that overlooks a long but well-preserved coastline on the East Sea. The park homes various animal species like bears, birds, primates, bats, etc. The shoreline is a must-visit site as it is the nesting ground of several endangered turtles.
- Cát Tiên National Park (Tân Phú): It is a 71,920-hectare national park that sits on the banks of Dong Nai River in the central part of Southern Vietnam. The park offers the visitors a wide variety of animal and plant species but is primarily known for the rare bird sightings. The park also has some botanical gardens and hiking trails that are great for getting some peaceful time alone in nature.
- Cát Bà National Park (Hai Phong): It is a World Heritage Site in northern Vietnam and is part of the Cát Bà Island that sits in the Ha Long Bay. The national park covers about 263 kilometres and is a large national park with mountains and a vast forested area. The region of the park resembles the jungles of Jurassic Park and is not ideal for tourists with no experience in hiking and mountain climbing. The park is home to white-headed langurs, which are the majority of the world's remaining ones. It is open for tourists and locals every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. only.
- Yok Đôn National Park (Krông Na): It is the largest national parks of all national parks in Vietnam and is not the first choice for many tourists as it doesn't have proper tracks for hiking and strolling. The national park sits in the western regions of central Vietnam, close to the Cambodian border. The most excellent feature of this park is that it is home to the country's leopards and the last of the remaining wild elephants. There are various day and night guided tours available that you can opt for exploring the park.
- Long Beach (Phu Quoc): Sitting on the 2000-mile-long shoreline of Phu Quoc Island, Long Beach is the trendiest beach in Vietnam that has various restaurants, cafes, and bars present off the shore. The beach is ideal for sunbathers and swimmers as the sandy beach area has various shaded benches. You can indulge in many water sports activities like snorkelling, jet-skiing, squid fishing, stand-up paddle-boarding, etc.
- Nha Trang Beach (Nha Trang): A beach with turquoise water and high-energy crowd, it is the most beautiful Vietnamese beach on the south-central coast of Vietnam. The beach is locally famous by the name; City Beach, and attracts adrenaline-filled tourists as kite-boarding, sailing, scuba diving, and many other fantastic activities take place. The beach also has various luxurious hotels and resorts beyond the shores that provide private beach areas as well.
- Doc Let Beach (Hon Khoi Peninsula): It is white sand, turquoise water, and palm-fringed coastline beach that sits about 28 miles from Nha Trang. The beach also has many colourful fishing boats that make the beach look more mesmerizing. From low-budgeted to luxurious, all types of tourists can visit this beach without much trouble. The beach has some salt fields present which create fantastic photography scenes. It is a quiet and a bit isolated beach, so it is ideal for tourists looking for some refreshing but peaceful time.
- Danang Beach (Da Nang): Known for being the fighting area for the Vietnam War, Danang Beach is famous worldwide for its vast white sandy beach stretch to the Monkey Mountain from Hoi An. It is the top-rated beaches in Vietnam and homes some luxurious resorts along the palm-fringed shoreline. Water sports like surfing, sunbathing, swimming, and scuba diving are incredibly famous here as it is a beautiful coral reef present.
- Con Dao Prison Complex (Côn Đảo): 'The True Hell on Earth', this 42-years old prison represents the horrific events during the Vietnam War. The prison was home to more tens of thousands of Vietnamese prisoners who were tortured and killed by the French colonials and South Vietnamese government during 1863 – 1975. The place is a significant historical landmark dedicated to the lives lost in vain during the Vietnam War.
- Khai Dinh Tomb (Thủy Bằng): Sitting in Hu, the former capital of Vietnam, Khai Dinh Tomb is a royal tomb with Asian and European features. The burial took over 11 years to build and is like a monument that represents the former king's excessive wealth. The Khai Dinh Tomb is a must-visit place for tourists that want to explore more about Vietnamese history and rulers.
- Long Tan Cross Memorial (Vung Tau): Long Tan Cross Memorials is one of the two memorials in Vietnam dedicated to foreign military forces. The monument commemorates the Battle of Long Tan during the Vietnam War. At that time, Australia became a significant supporter of the Vietnam War. The presence of Australia's wartime is the longest, gruesome, and contentious War, where more than 500 Australian soldiers died.
- Hue Imperial Citadel (Thừa Thiên Huế): `Home to Vietnam's last royal dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty, the Citadel dates back to 1804, and many tourists compare it to Beijing's Forbidden City. About 148 buildings that consisted of the Emperor's residence, pagodas, gates, and temples made the Citadel. Presently, only 20 out of the 148 buildings remain as the majority of them saw severe damage during the French Colonial rule and the Vietnam War.
- Vietnamese Women’s Museum (Hanoi): It is one of the most significant Vietnamese landmarks dedicated to Vietnamese women. The Museum is a testament to the crucial role the women of the country played throughout history. Unlike other Asian countries where women were nothing more than trophy wives, the Vietnamese women held their ground in society. The Museum showcases traditional attires of women from different ethnic groups, and some sections also give detailed stories of the women soldiers.
- War Remnants Museum (Ho Chi Minh City): It is perhaps the best Museum in Vietnam that represents the Vietnam War properly. The Museum is the most-visited one in Ho Chi Minh City as it showcases the visitors an insight into War's history and consequences. The exhibitions include modern interpretations through photojournalism and artefacts that are well-preserved. Most of the War's remnants are not available presently as the War was so gruesome that the locals preferred to forget it.
- Cham Museum of Sculpture (Da Nang): Dating back to 1915, the French School of Far East built this Museum to showcase the Cham artefacts. The Museum's collection of Cham artefacts is the largest in the world and is a unique one indeed. Various statues and carvings of sacred Vietnamese deities on sandstone, terracotta, and bronze are present here.
- Oceanographic Museum (Nha Trang): The Museum sits outside Nha Trang city in an old colonial manor that is well-preserved and refurbished to showcase the national marine life collection. From aquariums to skeletons, all are exhibited on different floors and are quite enlightening to learn. The Museum is open every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there is a small admission charge of 30,000 VND.
- Ho Chi Minh Museum of Fine Arts (Ho Chi Minh City): The Fine Arts Museum is in the home of a wealthy Chinese merchant family. The building is a remarkable representation of Indochine-era architecture and showcases a vast number of recognized works and arts. The first floor of the building showcases a rotating exhibition which is one of a kind. In contrast, the upper floors are sections for exhibiting statues, traditional woodcut prints, lacquerware, and classic Vietnamese art.
- Pho: It is one of the most famous Vietnamese dishes. It is a noodle soup that is a traditional dish with rice noodles, fresh herbs, and bone broth. For a unique taste, people also add lime, hoisin sauce, and chilli. There are a total of 9 types of Pho. Among the nine, the most famous ones are pho ga and pho tai.
- Chau Lao Noodles: It is a regional Vietnamese dish. It comes from the city of Hoi An. Often sunk in Lye Water, these noodles get a unique texture that most locals enjoy. It traditionally consists of rice noodles, sprouts, beans, and meat. Traditionally pork is used, but shrimps are also available for addition.
- Bun Cha: This dish is a traditional dish of Hanoi. It includes rice noodles with grilled pork and a delicious dipping sauce on the side. The pork used is the fatty one. Ingredients include meat, rice noodles, and dipping sauce which is mainly a fish sauce. Adding of lemon juice or vinegar, and some sugar, chilli, crushed garlic, etc. is to dilute the sauce. The dish also consists of pickled vegetables which include green papaya or carrots. Fresh herbs like cabbage, rice paddy herb and bean sprout serve as a garnish. These things come along with a side dish which consists of crushed garlic, ground pepper, sliced lemon, etc.
- Banh Mi: In Vietnamese cuisine, a type of thin French loaf of bread is often split lengthwise and filled with ingredients. It has a crisp crust and has an airy texture inside somewhat similar to a submarine sandwich. The filling is usually of fresh cucumber slices, pickled carrots, shredded radishes, cilantro along with spicy chilli sauce, sliced chillies, and mayonnaise.
- Banh Xeo: It is an authentic Vietnamese dish. It is a stuffed pancake whose batter consists of rice flour, turmeric, and coconut milk. Sometimes instead of coconut milk, water is also used. It comes in different styles all over the country. Stuffing with pork, prawns, mung bean, diced green onion, fish mint, lettuce, etc. are quite common among the locals.
- Egg Coffee: It is a traditional Vietnamese drink made with sugar, egg yolks, robusta coffee, and condensed milk. According to the tradition, the egg yolks are hand-whipped. There is an addition of milk and sugar to the mixture before boiling. After this, they combine beaten eggs and coffee together. It gives the coffee an aromatic and beautiful flavour.
- Sticky Rice Wine: It is known as Rượu Nếp Cẩm in Vietnamese. It is glutinous rice wine. It is not too alcoholic, just mildly alcoholic. It has two versions; the thicker one is more or less like a pudding, and you can use a spoon to eat it, whereas, the more liquid version is drunk. Glutinous rice is first fermented with the help of yeast and then steamed in a banana leaf.
- Artichoke Tea: It is known as Trà Atisô in Vietnam. Made using the flower or stem of an artichoke plant it has detoxifying properties. There are two versions of it. The first one is a yellowish version made from the artichoke flower. This version has a delicate and nutty flavour. The second version is a darker version made from artichoke stem, and you can drink it cold.
- Herbal Tea: It is known as Nước Sâm in Vietnam and has a nutty flavour. As per Chinese medicine, this herbal tea has cooling properties. Traditionally this herbal tea contains sugar cane, nettle leaves, grassroots, and corn silk. To enhance taste, some people also add dried logan, cilantro, and roasted water chestnuts.
- Vietnamese Iced Coffee: Made from Robust coffee beans, the significant characteristic of robust coffee beans is that it is intense and dark with a strong flavour. This coffee is either served hot or iced. Sweetened condensed milk is added to the coffee to smoothen the taste of robust coffee beans.
- Boba Tea: It is also known as bubble tea as it includes chewy tapioca balls. There are some iced versions where they blend ice cubes with the tea mixture. The ice gives it a slushy texture. It comes in a wide variety, but the two most famous combinations are green pearl milk tea and white pearl milk tea.
The water in the city is not fit for drinking; therefore, you should avoid drinking water and should prefer drinking bottled water which is available across the country at a low price. Even the locals present there also avoid tap water; they generally use boiled or filtered water at home. You can even purchase water in bulk quantity. The primary source of water in this country is rivers. Red River and Mekong River, are the rivers that flow across the city. Other than rivers, groundwater is also a resource which is equally essential for tap water supply in mountainous regions like north of Vietnam or the central highlands. If you opt for an apartment, you must contact a local water supplier for the days you are staying in Vietnam. Other than this you can also install a water filter or can use a reverse osmosis tap which will be enough for a year, but to be risk-free, you must always boil the water. Tap water is fit for other purposes like laundry, dishwashing, and other household work. If you purchase bottled water regularly, it will increase plastic usage, which will cause pollution. Therefore, you must buy a bottle and should refill it at once. Around three-fourth of the total water of this city is polluted and more than half of the drinking water of this city is unfit for drinking, which needs serious filtration plants. Filtration plants are present in every state of Vietnam, that deals with the water supply of individual regions.
Vietnam is a country packed with various activities involving water sports, cultural trips, and other fun-filled options. Activities are the actions that everyone loves to perform. They help us to create memories of the place that you are visiting. Vietnam is a small country packed with various fun-loving activities. Suppose you are not an adventure lover and love to travel, then you can take up a museum tour in which you will have a personal guide which will explain everything about the museums your visit. Visiting the Museum will give you a lot of knowledge about various ancient architectures and history of Vietnam, including those in World War 2. You can very well gain knowledge about the country you are visiting, which will help you in connecting with Vietnamese people very well. Museums will provide you with information about various traditions and culture, including festivals they follow and celebrate. There is a unique floating market which is a tourist attraction for many years and is an enlightening place for you to visit.
- Cruise Tour
- Explore Beach
- Visit Floating Market
- Go Trekking
- Enjoy coffee
- River Rafting
- Visit Temples
- Explore Caves
- Visit Tunnels
- Yoga and Retreats
Many accommodation options are available in the entire country in every city or village. The significant cities of this country will offer you luxurious facilities at reasonable prices. You can have different accommodation options at different prices which will help you select the best one for you. Wherever you opt to stay, you must be a responsible tourist and should adopt eco-friendly methods, including reduced usage of plastic and proper disposal of waste. In this country, accommodation is present in four categories involving eco-friendly hotels, hostels & guesthouses, apartments, and camping areas.
Green hotels are different from typical hotels as they are certified by the state government's regulatory body. They are called green hotels because of the eco-friendly measures they follow that most of your standard type hotels don't. The energy which they use like electricity is from solar panel or windmill, converted into power later on. The dishes available here are entirely organic and fresh with proper hygiene practices. The rooms are clean and well-maintained, including bed sheets and towels made up of organic fabrics with more handwork and less machine work. The facilities which they provide are twenty-four hours of room service. Cosmetics made up of natural and herbal items, including shampoo, face wash, soap, and many more are delivered to their guests. They offer you a variety of dishes which you can get to your room, and you can call room maintenance at any time you want. There are not many green hotels in this country, but the few present here offer a luxurious lifestyle at reasonable prices.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels and guesthouses are best for solo travellers who want to explore this country on a low budget. Hostels and guesthouses offer you a well-maintained room with only necessary facilities with a complimentary breakfast. You can check in any hostel room. You must check the hostel room before checking in. Many of the hostels offer shared dorms which can help you get rid of boredom and make new friends from a different country. Many hostels have strict policies that one cannot enter into a hostel if he is not staying in, which states that they monitor everyone who enters and gets out of the hostel any time. It means that the security of hostels is very much active. However, you won't get complete privacy in the hostel room as it will be a shared room, and your items might be at risk because you might not know your partner. Therefore, you must be cautious all the time about your belongings. This country has many hostels in its big cities and a few in other towns as well. When it comes to guesthouses, they are ideal for tourists that are travelling with their friends or family or are just looking for some private time alone. These guesthouses have all kinds of equipment available at the disposal of the guest.
Apartments are best for people who are present in Vietnam for a longer time. You will find that apartments are pocket-friendly than hotel rooms if compared for a longer time. Many of the apartments are furnished and available with a semi-modular kitchen with one or two bedrooms, one hall and one kitchen. The availability of this type of apartments in different cities in Vietnam is quite good. These apartments offer you complete privacy; therefore, you can enjoy your stay there with your friends, family, or partner. It will help you in becoming independent as you have to do all your work on your own. You can cook your meal with pure hygiene and save costs from spending at restaurants and cafes.
Couchsurfing means to stay at any local's house without paying, and in exchange, you can offer some help in his daily household work. It is best for solo travellers and is the most pocket-friendly way to stay in this city as it doesn't require any huge charges. There are several benefits of Couchsurfing; those are – if you are staying in a house of a local who is living here for a long time, then you can ask him for pocket-friendly cafes and restaurants or can take various money-saving tips. You can also ask for the best tourist spots. It will help you in socializing with the locals. The crime rates in Vietnam are also moderate, which shows that a little alertness is enough for travellers to couchsurf. There are more than a hundred thousand hosts that are ready for welcoming any tourist. If you are Couchsurfing or interested in, you must first read the reviews so that you may know who is the best and humble host.
One of the best options for limited cash tourists, camping is a great way to live. Camping can be very adventurous as you will be in direct contact with nature and live without the disturbance of technology or motorized vehicles. You must carry your essential things with you, including a tent, some food, and other necessary items. Camping is good for two to three days or maximum it can go for a week, but later it can become a monotonous activity; therefore, it is a short term accommodation and is temporary. During bad weather conditions, it is not suitable for you to camp as there are chances of the weather getting worse in this country as the rainfall varies from 60 to 200 days in a year. Summer is the best time to camp but be aware of different insects that might irritate or poison you.
|Northern Vietnam (Hanoi, Bac Ha, Cao Bang, Cat Ba, Cuc Phuong National Park, Dien Bien Phu, Dong Dang, Dong Hoi, Ha Long Bay, Haiphong, Lao Cai, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Bac Giang)|
Harbours some of the most magnificent views of Vietnam as well as the capital city and the chance to visit indigenous hill tribes.
|Central Coast (Cham Islands, Da Nang, DMZ, Dong Ha, Hoi An, Lang Co, Hue, My Son, Na Meo, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Thanh Hoa, Vinh)|
The ancient city of Hue is the home of the still recent Vietnamese kings and in Hoi An features one of the nicest old seacoast towns in Vietnam.
|Central Highlands (Buon Ma Thuot, Dalat, Kontum, Ngoc Hoi, Pleiku)|
Lush forest-covered hills featuring indigenous tribes and the occasional elephant.
|Southern Vietnam (Cat Tien National Park, Con Dao, Can Tho, Chau Doc , Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh City, Long Xuyen, Mui Ne, My Tho, Phan Thiet, Phu Quoc, Vung Tau, Tay Ninh, Vinh Long)|
The economic engine of Vietnam, built around Ho Chi Minh City but also covering the lush and little-visited Mekong Delta, the rice basket of Vietnam.
- Hanoi (Hà Nội) - the capital and second largest city.
- Ho Chi Minh City (Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) - the largest city and the main economic centre of the country, formerly Saigon (Sài Gòn).
- Da Nang (Đà Nẵng) - the third largest city.
- Dalat (Đà Lạt) - the largest city in the highlands.
- Haiphong (Hải Phòng) - the "port city", a major port in north Vietnam.
- Hoi An (Hội An) - delightfully well-preserved ancient port, near the ruins of Mỹ Sơn.
- Hue (Huế) - former home of Vietnam's emperors.
- Nha Trang - burgeoning beach resort city.
- Phan Thiet (Phan Thiết) - "the resort capital" with Mui Ne beach.
- Vinh - the major city in northern Vietnam with very nice Cua lo beach.
Getting There and Moving Around
Getting there and moving around in Vietnam is quite simple. You can get many transportation options that range from low to high prices. In general, Vietnamese prefer using buses or taxi, and this is the reason why there is so much air pollution. It would be best if you were a responsible tourist and reduce your carbon footprint to the maximum levels. For reaching the country airways and waterways are the legal and the best option. You can find a direct flight to Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi from any prominent city of a country. You can also try the waterway by taking a cruise ship or travelling boat from Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Thailand, and even the [[Philippines[[. Before booking a watercourse, you must ensure that the service is legal as a lot of smugglers use waterways to transfer drugs, weapons, and other illegal items that might get you in trouble if caught by the police or any authority.
There are a total of twelve airports in this country, out of which three are the main airports. You can come to this country directly without having any trouble. The main airports are:-
- Noi Bai International airport – This airport is present in the capital of Vietnam, and this is the largest airport in Vietnam. This airport has an elevation of 40 ft and has two passenger terminals from which terminal 1 serves for the domestic flights, and terminal 2 operates international flights.
- Tan Son Nhat International Airport- This airport is in Ho Chinh city and is the busiest airport in Vietnam which handles more than 38.5 million passengers annually. This airport serves the southwestern area of Vietnam. The elevation of this airport is 10 ft. and has two main terminal buildings that serve international and domestic flights.
- Da Nang International Airport – This is in the largest city in central Vietnam. This airport serves central Vietnam. The elevation of this airport is 10 meters and has two large runways with a length of 1500 meters.
You can take a direct flight or an indirect flight to these airports. Still, as a responsible traveller, you must prefer a direct flight as a single air journey cause more pollution than hundreds of motor vehicles combined. Transfer flights are often available at discounts and low prices but will waste your time and can even cause you trouble while travelling.
There are two types of buses which run in this city; intercity and local buses. Intercity buses are specially for travelling to different cities and have well-furnished interiors with a charging socket for the comfort of the travellers. The buses offer great prices for different routes and distances. Local buses are the buses that travel within the state you want to stay. You can find many bus stops in the city you are visiting, and you can pay the bus fare, which is calculated based on the distance you travel. You can pay either in cash or can purchase a visitor's pass as it will help you to move around the country or region by bus. Travelling through buses is a great way to save costs from using aeroplanes that not only cause a lot of pollution but are also not friendly to the budget.
The trains are furnished, cleaned, and air-conditioned, which gives the rider a beautiful experience. The trains here are only for travelling to different cities in a region. Trains are high-speed and economical, which will save a lot of time. You can even download a Vietnamese trains' mobile application to track and get the live location of the train which will help you in planning your other activities. The trains run from north to south in Vietnam.
Hitchhiking means asking for a free ride from the passer or driver who is going in the same direction. Hitchhiking is readily available in Vietnam because most of the locals own vehicles that they use to move around the city and sometimes even outside. Hitchhiking will be successful only when you are on the main road connecting to the city you want to travel.
There is another way to travel or move around in Vietnam, and those are a taxi or motorcycle ride. These types of transportation are advised only in case of emergency because Vietnam is dealing with a lot of traffic, air pollution, and noise pollution, therefore, you must not contribute to it. Only in case of urgency or when the time is less, you can use these types of transportation. You must be aware of the taxi scams while using a rental car service.
Sustainable shopping includes products that support nature and your health. You can find many sustainable markets and shops in Vietnam. Buying sustainable products means you are helping the environment and leading a healthy life. These products are of natural materials that come from local sources such as local handlooms, handicraft shops, farmers, fishers, industries, gardeners, and bakers. The electricity required in the production of such products comes from solar or wind energy which is a renewable source of energy. Other than this, sustainable shopping includes items that are untouched by chemicals. Therefore second-hand stores also come under sustainable shopping as they save the raw material and energy which would have required in producing a new product. There are many second-hand stores available in each state in this country. Other than this, sustainable shopping includes food and flea markets, eco-fashion shops. For food, you can directly purchase vegetables from local farms to support local farmers. These vegetables might not look attractive but have the best nutrition as they are void of any chemicals or artificial colouring. You can also buy in bulk from flea markets where many local vendors sell their products.
Recycling means re-using any product by giving it a different form. It is very much beneficial for nature and your health also. Recycling paper and wood will save a lot of trees from getting cut-down. Recycling plastic will decrease the production of new plastic, therefore creating lesser pollution and will lead to less use of fossil fuels. Recycling metals will involve less production of new iron, the energy used in mining of these natural resources will get reduced. It also reduces carbon emissions as recycling would not require raw material; therefore, it will reduce the demand for raw material, and the overall cost will be lesser than standard products. Recycling saves a lot of land and energy which would have required in dumping those products and fuel used in disposing of them. There are many recycling plants present in Vietnam that are either operated by the government or private enterprises.
Waste is the products which are of no use anymore. There are two methods of handling waste; landfill and incineration. Landfills involve a massive piece of land where waste products are dumped collectively and later goes into treatment for proper disposal. In incineration, with the help of thermal energy, they burn the waste. The waste management in Vietnam is not good enough, and about 77 per cent of the total locals are not satisfied with the garbage disposal. The dumping ground is not well-maintained; therefore, it contributes to air and soil pollution.
Work and Study Abroad
There are many job options which are available in this country. The primary jobs are advertising, education, and digital marketing. There are many organizations present in different cities of Vietnam that are always in need of fresh brains for advertising and promoting their business. If you are highly qualified with digital technology, computer, and other skills, you can grab this opportunity. If you have an excellent education degree, you can very well become a teacher as there is a need for efficient teachers all over the country. As English is becoming a universally accepted language, you avail the opportunity to teach English to beginners. You can even work part-time in this city. Due to the growth of new organizations, they want many digitally skilled people who can create, edit, and run their company websites. The education quality is average in Vietnam as it is a developing country; therefore, the education field is still in the newborn phase.
Some international universities provide student exchange programs within the continent. The student exchange program is a program in which students who are excellent at studying are sent to partnership colleges in other countries to complete their remaining degrees. Vietnamese educational institutes have a tie-up with other neighbouring countries and even with American and European countries.
Au Pair is a person who is from a foreign country and opts to stay in a particular city for helping out in a local family by taking care of their children and household work. You can ask the local employment agencies or search in the newspapers to find au pairing opportunities. In Vietnam, this type of work is less as the local women are mostly housewives and can take care of all the housework by themselves. You have to behave humbly and kind to the couple who is offering you this job.
There are many NGOs that are working for human welfare and benefits in Vietnam. Some of the best and active NGOs are listed below. From which some of them helps in educating poor children, some creates awareness about growing pollution and measures to reduce pollution.
- Vietnam Red Cross Society
- International Labor Organization in Vietnam
- Habitat for Humanity Vietnam
- Maison Chance
- World Health Organization Vietnam
- Operator Smile Vietnam
- United Nations Children's Funds Vietnam
- Save the Children
- World Wildlife Fund Vietnam
As a responsible tourist, you must participate in such volunteering activities so that you can show your gratitude to the local communities for their hospitality and help. It will also help you in understanding the various underlying issues that the locals face.