Vietnam Travel Guide – Vietnam January 2021
If you are traveling to Vietnam, I suggest going over a guide to get your trip flowing, so you don’t miss anything you want to see! I’m Ian, and I’m a well-experienced traveler within South Wast Asia. Vietnam in January is an excellent month to travel for the sheer fact the climate is blissful. Let me show you my guide below.
Visiting Vietnam in January is my favorite time to visit as it is dry and cool! So if you decide to go to the beach or National park, you know the climate will be a bit cooler and dry. I mainly based myself in Saign (Hoi Chi Minh) and lived with a Vietnamese family in District one. I instantly fell in love with Vietnam, and many things stick out, but one was the people. I remember the sense of community spirit when neighbors use to walk in the house, offering food or cigarettes.
Vietnam fast became my favorite country in South East Asia. I found the place quirky, with loads of stuff going on. The bars were buzzing, and you could grab beer for next to nothing meeting people for random nights out to sketchy bars.
As I mentioned before, my memories were from the people. One of my motorbike taxi drivers called “Gary” took us to “Tunnels Of Chu Chi” (1hr 30 by bike) we went past unique paddy fields, with the sun was setting in the background, it was one of the best times in my life! After we went to a random pub, we had a few beers with Gary and talked about everything from football to politics. I miss my time in Saigon and wish I could go back and do it all again!
Below is my list of what to expect from my destinations plan. Be sure to read more if you are visiting Vietnam for the first time
Basic Things to know
- The currency of Vietnam is Dong (VND) is around ₫23,000 to UD$1
- Domestic beer is ₫ 20,000, so around 90 cense
- The average meal costs ₫ 88,000
- In Hanoi, egg is added to coffee “ca phe trung”
- ATM’s are available everywhere around the major cities
- The electrical plugs you need are A, C, and F, but get a uni adapter as its easier
- In (May-November), buy a poncho
- Motorbikes are all over the place but don’t abide by road regulations, so be careful
- The national religion is Buddhism
- Population 90,000,000
- Vietnam is communist
- Currency is Dong ₫
- Language is Vietnamese, with French being the second most spoken
- Hoi Chi Minh is the largest city
- The Vietnamese Lunar New Year is called Tet
- Spring rolls are from Vietnam
Halong Bay is a place you have to see if you visit Vietnam! With over 1,600 islets, and classed as a world heritage site. The landscape for millions of years has been made rugged by tropical downpours. Some of the islets even have a lake, so it’s on a big scale (330k) Squared, to be exact.
Vietnamese tourism has rocketed in the last few years. With tourists recommending Vietnam over Thailand and becoming more populour, Halong bay suffers with a mass of boats, litter and over crowdedness.
So has this affected the whole feeling of Halong Bay? It is essential to select the right tour, or your experience will be limited. My advice is to go with your gut feeling and hope you chose wisely.
You can get to Halong Bay by train from Hoi Chi Minh! I recommend taking the sleeper train and saving on accommodation. The journey takes around 33 hours, so make sure you take some essentials such as water, facial wipes, and a deodorant. The train will have food and drink available, which is usually pretty good
Ho Chi Minh City
A colossal city that is vibrant and energetic with some of the best museums, bars, and restaurants, which attracts people from all over the world.
The first tour should be Tunnels of Chu Chi, which is an incredible underground tunnel network used to fight the US army from the 1950s!
The second destination should be the Mekong Delta. You can buy tour packages from any travel agent, and the tour includes a boat trip and food typically.
I’m a bit of a history buff, so I like the Museum Of Hoi Chi Minh Entry (₫30,000) and the War Remnants Museum Entry (₫40,000) both explain in detail the Vietnamese American war in (1961-1975) with US fighter jets, Bomb, Tanks, and war memorabilia
If you want to get a 360 view of Hoi Chi Minh, then check out Ascend Sky deck!.The entrance fee is (₫200,000) but well worth it.
Another attraction is the Notre Dame Cathedral, was built in 1883 and nearly 57 meters high. You get a real taste of Vietnam’s colonial past and some fantastic French architecture
You can eat out for a little ₫20,000 if you go for street food. Restaurants are around ₫80,000
Ho Chi Minh is the heartbeat of Vietnam and keeps getting better and better!
Located 700K South of Hanoi is a historical town called Hue. Only a few miles from the coast, Hue offers a chance to kick back and relax with ts beautiful mountains, temples, beach, and scenery
I recommend checking out Hue Citadel, which shows Vietnam’s imperial past. You can see beautiful gardens and classical architecture.
The Emperor’s tombs, which account for seven in total, with the Minh Mang Tomb built-in 1843, these temples lie on the perfume river, some lying in a pine cone forest.
Again a cool place to kick back and relax.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Right on the Laos border lies one of Vietnam’s gems.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park is located between two mountains and is a world heritage site. The park is around 123,000 hectares. The park contrasts lush tropical forests and limestone rocks, which gives it a unique feel. Also, you can view underground rivers and caves.
If you are into spotting wild animals, you have hundreds of wild birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. Is it worth taking a quality camera If you have one?
In terms of a must-see, this is high on the list.
The capital of Vietnam and a city with many cultural influences from the Chinese to the French. Hanoi is fast becoming a significant business hub with a fast-paced, energetic and vibrant place to meet entrepreneurial digital nomads.
I find Hanois Soviet past also interesting, and you can even see a statue of Lenin on 28A Dien Bieu PhuĐ, which gives you more of a feel for Hanoi’s culture.
Hanoi is built over many lakes, with the biggest being Westlake, located in the North-West of the city. If you go to the south side of the lake, be sure to check out some excellent seafood restaurants Sen Tay Ho (West Lake Lotus) has a great locally caught fish.
If you like coffee, then Vietnam has some of the best coffee around. One of Hanoi’s unique charms is an egg coffee (Ca Phe Trung) made with condensed milk; this coffee is delicious!
If there is a criticism with Hanoi, then it’s probably the fact it has over 5,000,000 motorbikes on the road. It would be best if you had eyes in the back of the head at times. No one really follows a road protocol, so be careful.
Finally, one of the coolest places to go is Nha Trang! Nha Trang is a coastal resort with great beaches, bars, and restaurants.
You have a great selection of 10 beaches, with my personal favorite being Hon Tre Beach
Other attractions are the White Buddha (Long Son Pagoda) and Po Nagar Cham Towers.
The Ba Ho Waterfalls and Hon Khoi Salt Fields are worth seeing to.
To find out about the current covid restrictions placed in Vietnam
Thank you for the read!