When thinking about traveling to Vietnam, most people automatically think of the beaches in the south or a river cruise up the legendary Mekong. While these areas are definitely worth visiting, there is so much more to see in this diverse and beautiful country. In this blog post, we will explore four different cities that are perfect for a guys trip. These destinations offer an amazing mix of food, history, and culture that will make for an unforgettable experience!
What To Know About Visiting Vietnam Before You Leave Home
There are a few things to keep in mind before you travel to Vietnam. The first is that Vietnam is a developing country that has come a long way from the scenes that you may have watched in Vietnam War movies. Today, while it is not at the same level as Europe or America, many of the cities are fully modern.
While the official currency of Vietnam is the Dong, US Dollars are also accepted in many places that cater to visitors. This includes hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants, and tour guides. While you can probably be ok without exchanging your currency, it would be prudent to do so should you be in a situation where credit cards are not usable and you need Dong to pay your bill.
Don't forget your visa - Vietnam is one of the few major tourist areas in the world where US Citizens are required to have a visit to enter. Though you can apply directly for the visa and receive it at the airport when you arrive, many people prefer to use services like VisaExpress.com to make the process more seamless.
Finally, visitors looking to explore the local cuisine need to be prepared for the fact that like in visiting other developing parts of the world, health and sanitation aren't at the same level that they might expect. While you will probably not have trouble exploring street food and restaurants in major cities like Hanoi, you should always be prepared for intestinal issues. The easiest way to avoid this is to trust your gut when choosing a place to eat as well as only drink from plastic water bottles and use hand sanitizer regularly to avoid spreading something.
Don't let these notes dissuade you from visiting Vietnam though. It is a fantastic country that is the perfect destination to explore on a guys trip.
The capital city of Hanoi is the perfect place to start your trip. This city is full of energy and life, and you'll find that there's always something to do. From exploring the Old Quarter to checking out Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, there is no shortage of historical sites to visit. Or, if you're looking for something more modern, Hanoi also has a vibrant nightlife scene with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained into the early hours of the morning!
No matter what your interests are, Hanoi will have something for you. And, with its central location, it makes an ideal base from which to explore the rest of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City
After spending a few days in Hanoi, it's time to head south to Ho Chi Minh City. This city is a stark contrast to the capital, and you'll find that it's much more fast-paced and modern. While there are still plenty of historical sites to explore, such as the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City is all about the food.
You'll find some of the best Vietnamese food in this city, so be sure to hit up as many street stalls and restaurants as you can. Trust us, you won't be disappointed! And, if you're looking for a break from all the eating, Ho Chi Minh City also has a great nightlife scene with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you busy.
After a few days in Ho Chi Minh City, it's time to head to the coast and check out Da Nang. This city is located on the central coast of Vietnam and is known for its beautiful beaches. In addition to soaking up the sun, Da Nang is also a great place to try your hand at surfing or scuba diving. And, if you're looking for something to do in the evening, be sure to check out the Dragon Bridge - it's illuminated every Saturday and Sunday night!
The last stop on our guys trip is Hue, which is located just north of Da Nang. This city is home to the Imperial City, which was the former seat of power for the Nguyen Dynasty. Hue is also known for its cuisine, and you'll find that it's very different from what you've eaten in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as Banh Khoai "Hue Pancake" (savory, crispy and filled with proteins and bean sprouts) and Bun Bo Hue (spicy beef noodle soup).
No matter what your interests are, Vietnam has a city that's perfect for you.