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Vietnam has become one of Southeast Asia's most popular destinations. The two major cities present uniquely different faces: Saigon pulsates with an excitement as its economic rebirth is in full swing with elegant fashion boutiques lining the streets, bustling lively markets selling the finest silks and stylish restaurants and bars offering delicious temptations; while the 1000 year old capital of Hanoi has kept its charming image as the center of Vietnam's unique culture and colourful traditions such as the delightful water puppet shows that are preformed each evening and enjoyed by tourist and locals alike.

The beautiful countryside is equally made up of such varied landscapes; The Halong Bay, where thousands of limestone rock sculptures jut dramatically from the sea and numerous grottoes have created an ephemeral, fantasy landscape. The lush green tropical scenery of the Mekong Delta is home to the Perfume River lined with opulent royal tombs which stand as witness to Vietnam's imperial past. This is a river full of life as long tail boats speed along to the busy floating markets to sell their fresh fruits and vegetables. Take time to travel away from the big cities to discover the traditional villages of the mountain hill tribes where a genuine warm welcome will await as you take the opportunity to experience their diverse cultures and beliefs. Vietnam also boasts thousands of miles of pristine coastline with almost deserted beaches which give way to an interior of dazzling fertile green rice paddies, dense tropical forests and soaring mountains. Vietnam is truly a traveller's paradise.

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When to go

Because of its geography, the climate in Vietnam varies greatly from north to south. Tropical monsoons occur from October to April in the north and south and from May to September in the centre. It is almost totally dry throughout the rest of the year. It is best to travel between the shifting of seasons September to March.


Flying time

There are no direct flights between London and Vietnam, the best route is via Bangkok, Hong Kong or Singapore with a flying time of approx 12hrs

Time difference



Passport & Visa

Visa Required?
British Yes
USA  Yes
Other EU Yes

Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months.


Health requirements

Diphtheria Yes
Hepatitis A Yes
Malaria  Sometimes
Tetanus Yes
Typhoid Yes
Yellow Fever No


Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required depending on the season and region visited.