Vietnam is the kind of place that’ll leave you relaxed, amazed, happy and with about 80,000 tales to tell.
If you haven’t travelled in Vietnam, stop what you’re doing, scroll down the page, and book yourself onto one of our awesome tours. Go on. We’ll wait. This country is mesmerizing, hypnotic and delicious. Stake your claim at a rooftop bar in Ho Chi Minh City at sunset, make friends at a homestay on the Mekong, cruise the stunning islands on Nha Trang and Halong Bay, deck yourself out in brand new threads in Hoi An and explore Hanoi’s art scene while munching on a baguette.
What people say
Vietnam and Cambodia - you won't be disappointed. Culture, history, great nights out all rolled into one. The people are humble and overall very friendly. There was not a second of the trip that I didn't enjoy, even the train journeys, as it was all part of the experience. The tour guide will ensure for the extrovert and the introvert that you will have a holiday of a lifetime.
What people say
This tour is truly an experience to be had. Chaotic and mellow Vietnam has it all. Boat tours are the highlights by a mile, mud baths to get super personal and the delicious food for days. Pack light, bring a camera and run wild... Just keep an eye on the traffic.
Vietnam travel highlights
Halong Bay’s coves, caves and limestone pillars have been formed by centuries of erosion. Yeah, science can be pretty damn cool sometimes
Who has a lovely bunch of coconuts? The Mekong River does! Cruise the tropical waterways and enjoy a cosy homestay
Hue's Forbidden Purple City
Largely ruined by war and overgrown with jungle, Hue’s Forbidden City was essentially a fancy man cave for 19th century emperor Gia Long.
Ho Chi Minh City
Eat your way through Ho Chi Minh’s legendary street food scene. Bahn mi, pho or grilled seafood? Decisions, decisions.
Chinese temples, Japanese bridges and French colonial houses. Find a little bit of everywhere in Hoi An.
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Our Vietnam trips
Articles on Vietnam
Vietnam holiday information
Customs and culture
Geography and environment
Shopping guide to Vietnam
Vietnam Festival Calendar
Food and drink in Vietnam
Transport in Vietnam
Why hail a plain old cab when you could ride a bike or jump onto a cyclo? Half the fun of travel is experiencing a destination just like the locals – including how they get around. Wherever possible, Geckos Adventures uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport. This way we can reduce our environmental impact, support local operators and have a great time.
Overnight sleeper train
Climb aboard the Reunification Express and watch Vietnam’s lush countryside whiz past your window. Not only is the overnight train a great way to get from A to B, it’s also a good opportunity to mingle with the locals.
Whether it’s a leisurely ride past rice paddies or through rural villages in country Vietnam, life is so much sweeter from the saddle.
Say hello to the Vietnamese version of the tuk tuk and rickshaw. These forward facing rides mean you can see more of Hanoi and less of the driver’s head.
Vietnam travel FAQs
Germany: No, not required for trips less than 15 days (effective until 30 June 2018)
New Zealand: Yes
South Africa: Yes
United Kingdom: No, not required for trips less than 15 days (effective until 30 June 2018)
Travellers from most nations are required to obtain a visa to travel to Vietnam. There are several ways to obtain this, but we recommend you apply at a Vietnam embassy or consulate. It usually costs between USD 60 and USD 100 for a single-entry 30-day stay and can take up to 30 days to process, though prices and processing times can vary.
Passport holders from some countries (including France, Ireland, Italy, German, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) are eligible to apply for a single-entry eVisa, valid for stays of up to 30 days. Visit the immigration website for more information.
You can also apply to obtain a visa on arrival if you are entering Vietnam through an international airport. A number of companies offer this service, and while some are legitimate, many are not. In order to avoid being scammed, we recommend obtaining your visa directly from an embassy or consulate prior to your arrival.
Travellers from France, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy do not need to obtain a visa for stays of up to 15 days, though if you are planning on staying longer, you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance from an embassy or consulate.
Keep in mind that visa requirements can change at any time. Check you local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information. It’s a good idea to make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your arrival in Vietnam and has a few blank pages for stamps.
Tipping isn’t customary in Vietnam, but feel free to leave restaurants, driver or service workers a small tip if the service has been particularly good. It’s always appreciated.
Internet can be accessed at hotels and internet cafes in large cities and tourist areas, but is limited in rural and remote areas.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Vietnam’s urban areas, but may not be available in more remote and mountainous areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.
Vietnam has a mix of both squat toilets and western-style flushable toilets. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as they are not always provided. Don’t flush toilet paper. The toilets in Vietnam can’t handle the paper so there’s usually a wastebasket provided to use instead. Some public toilets charge a small usage fee.
Glass of bai hoi = USD 0.50
Bowl of pho from a street stall = USD 1 – USD 2
One-hour massage = USD 6 – USD 20
Sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant = USD 8 +
Drinking water isn’t recommended in Vietnam. Avoid drinks with ice and make sure to peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Your leader or hotel can tell you where to find filtered water.
Credit cards are usually accepted by hotels, large retailers and tourist sites but are less commonly accepted by smaller vendors and family-run restaurants in rural areas. Market stalls and street vendors will not accept credit card. Always carry enough cash for smaller purchases in case credit cards are not an option.
ATMs are widely available in larger cities but are less common in small villages or rural areas. Make sure you have enough cash before leaving urban areas.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Geckos are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Jan 28: Vietnamese New Year (Tet)
Jan 29-Feb 1: Tet Holidays
Feb 3: Founding of the Vietnamese Communist Party
April 6: Hung Kings Commemorations
April 30: Liberation Day
May 1: Labour Day
Sept 2: National Day
Some of these holidays change each year as they are celebrated on a lunar cycle. For a current list of public holidays in Vietnam go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/asia/Vietnam/public-holidays/
No vaccines are required in order to enter Vietnam but some are recommended for protection against disease. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for advice and make sure to schedule vaccinations 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective.
- Hepatitis A (transmitted through contaminated water)
- Typhoid (transmitted through contaminated water)
- Japanese Encephalitis (transmitted through mosquitoes)
Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis are mosquito-transmitted disease found in mostly rural parts of Vietnam. Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted disease common across all of Southeast Asia. You can protect yourself by wearing light coloured clothing when travelling in these parts and by using a good bug repellent. There is also a vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis. Talk to your doctor or travel clinic for advice.
General speaking, Vietnam is a hassle-free destination for LGBTQI travellers. Same-sex relationships and same-sex sexual acts are legal. While a ban on same-sex marriages in Vietnam was lifted in January 2015, official legal recognition of same-sex marriage has still not been granted. Vietnam is increasingly recognizing the role of the LGBTQI community, with VietPride marches taking place in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and gay characters appearing in mainstream television and films. While Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have gay scenes, many LGBTQI Vietnamese tend to hide their sexuality from their families.
Top Vietnam travel deals
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