Routes to Discover Vietnam

Places to See in Vietnam

This is a country that presents a wide spectrum of attractions in almost all the destinations it has within its boundary. There are lush green fields full of harvesting crops that are contrasted with high mountains and lovely beach resorts.

You will be able to choose different options from mountain hiking or even taking a bicycle trip to even a cruise through the ocean waters.

Historical Places

Several destinations in Vietnam stand as a witness to the ancient history of the country. The ancient city of Hoi An is one such place among several others. Time has not been able to wear off the ruins of this 200 years old ancient city that was at one point a bustling city of trade and commerce.

Then there is Hue that is an ancient capital of Vietnam. Even in its journey through the passage of time that also saw the destructions of war this unique heritage site of Vietnam still attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Modern Vietnam Cities

Several cities in Vietnam are living examples of a fast growing cosmopolitan culture in the country that is steeped in education and modernity.

The capital city of Hanoi is a bustling modern city that still bears beautiful French architecture as remnants of the days of French rule. There are beautiful temples, serene parks and a sensational shopping bonanza if you are looking for silk and other oriental specialties of art.

The other city that is of great interest here is Ho Chi Minh City. It is the largest city in the country that was earlier known as Saigon. A center of many architectural wonders of the colonial era, this city is alive and running, round the clock.. There are great places to shop here and have a great time.

Apply For Visa For Vietnam

Along with drawing up a budget and creating an itinerary, the issue of a visa is one very important factor when planning a long distance journey abroad. Thankfully, applying for a visa for Vietnam is a relatively stress-free experience, meaning that travellers can spend more of their time taking care of other important issues.

There are two options when it comes to applying for a visa for Vietnam, each one with their own merits. The first is the obvious choice of visiting a Vietnamese embassy in your home country to obtain your visa before travelling.

Applying for your visa at the Vietnamese embassy can be practical for those who wish to have the security of obtaining a visa before they travel. Normally the processing time is only 5 days long, but for any urgent visa applications, the embassy exercises its discretion and issues these on a case-by-case basis.

The Vietnam visa fee that is required when applying at a Vietnamese embassy will vary depending on your home country and the type of visa that you are applying for. It is also necessary to fore see that you may have to pay a postage fee for special delivery of your Vietnam visa if this is an option that you require.

For those who have a stricter time schedule for obtaining a visa, there are now many online companies based in Vietnam that provide a visa on arrival service. Often, the services have a number of very speedy application processing options for those who need to travel more urgently than can be facilitated by applying for a visa at an embassy.

Many online Vietnam visa services can process your application in a maximum of 4 hours, for a fee slightly higher than you can be expected to pay for a visa delivered during the standard timeframe of 5 working days. This can be a practical option to consider in the case of last minute changes in your trip schedule that require you to travel earlier than expected.

In general, the fee for a Vietnam visa on arrival from an online service is around 17 USD per person. Of course, the fee increases according to the number of people travelling and the urgency of the application.

Using an online service can also be worth considering if you live a long way from your nearest Vietnamese embassy, making it physically impractical for you to travel to supply documents or collect your visa when it is ready. Online visa companies will accept your application and fee via the internet in a matter of minutes, and you can expect your visa to be waiting for you when you land.

Whether you decide to obtain your visa for Vietnam from a Vietnamese embassy or from an online visa service, in both cases you will be required to provide you passport details and some personal information about the people travelling. After supplying your completed application form with the appropriate fee, you can expect to wait for up to 5 days for your application to be approved.

In the case of using a Vietnamese embassy, you may be required to collect your visa, or you can request that it is delivered to your home via the postal service. When obtaining a visa from an online service, your visa should ready and waiting for you when you touch down in Vietnam.

Vietnam Cycling Tours

Select the Right Mode of Transport

Further, the developed country operates 17 major civil airports including 3 international airports. By 2015, this country is planning to construct 10 more international airports at their side. Most of the people prefer Road transport to travel to Vietnam as they can watch the eye catching natural scenery, beaches, rivers all through the road. There are number of travel agencies ready to offer different travel packages to the people and the price varies according to the package selected.

Cycling Tours

If you are bored with traditional tour programs, then Vietnam offers great cycling tours for the people interested to explore great fun. The cycling tours would be really fun with unique itineraries and some of the popular cycling trips include Ba Khan Rustic-Mai Chau Valley, Thanh Chuong Palace and much more. Now let us have a quick look at some of the best cycling tour collections in Vietnam in which you can experience an unforgettable cycling trip.

1. Half -Day Course: 2 Programs

Generally, cycling is considered to be the best way to enjoy the small streets and few other places in Hanoi. The half-day cycling course includes the areas of Hanoi Cycling City & Westlake, Hanoi Cycling City & Red River Village and so on.

2. Full -day Course: 5 Programs

The full-day course will enable the people to jump into a kind of off-road cycling route and also cycle through a rural area near Hanoi. It is sure that this full-day cycling program will refresh and make you to experience the hidden beauty of Hanoi-Capital of Vietnam.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Vietnam

HaLong Bay is best accessed via Hanoi and traveling east for about 4 hours by tour van or private car/taxi to HaiPhong Harbor. Here you will be escorted aboard your boat. Most Vietnam travelers arrange for a 1 or 2 night cruise on a modern Chinese style junk boat, there are some colonial-style cruisers also. These boats can accommodate 8 – 20 or more guests. These cruises are known for the excellent cuisine that is prepared on board – usually fresh sea food and vegetable from nearby farms.

The main attraction of HaLong Bay is the hundreds of sandstone islets that are found throughout the bay. Be prepared to take a lot of photographs as you cruise across the still waters of HaLong Bay.

In addition to “Island Watching”, you can go kayaking, swimming or take a trek on one of the larger islands, such as Cat Ba Island. You will see “Floating Villages”, where local families live and make their living from the sea. Be sure to plan you day to appreciate both the sunsets and sunrises over HaLong Bay.

You can then travel to Hue by air, railway, tour bus or even rent a car. Hue is the former imperial capital. Here ou can visit the tombs of the former emperors, such as the Thien Mu Pagoda, dating back to 1602 and walk through its graceful gardens.

On north bank of the Perfume River, is the famed Citadel, built by Emperor Gia Long in 1804. Surrounded by a moat and walls 20 meters thick the Citadel contains the Forbidden Purple City, home to the Emperor and his court.

Be sure to sample Hue’s world famous cuisine. You might even consider taking a short cooking class to learn more about Hue cuisine and prepare your own culinary masterpiece.

After spending a bit of time in Hue you can travel a few hours south to HoiAn by tour bus or private car/taxi.

The third of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites was Vietnam’s “Window on the World” before the arrival of the French. Ships from all over the world called on this port city to trade with each other and the inhabitants of HoiAn. The Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and French traders all influenced life in HoiAn. Some more than others – the Chinese and Japanese merchants contributions can still be seen in the well preserved architecture of the ancient village. The most famous landmark in HoiAn is the “Japanese Bridge” with its unique Buddhist Pagoda on one side.

Take a walk along the riverfront, shop in the local market or have a silk dress or suit custom tailored, and explore the many restaurants, old houses, craft shops and art galleries, where local artisans sell their works. Relax on Cua Dai Beach for a few hours – your can get there by taxi or rent a bicycle from your hotel.

The fourth of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be experienced on a day trip from Hoi An – visit the Cham ruins at My Son. Your My Son visit might be best arranged by an private tour arranged through your hotel or one of the many travel agencies in HoiAn. An early start is recommended because of the popularity of the Ruins and it is about a 2 hour journey west of HoiAn.

My Son was built by the Cham Empire between the 4th and 14th Centuries. It is Vietnam’s most important Cham Ruins. The Ruins are fairly well documented so as to provide visitors with an interesting history of the area. Some of the organized tours also arrange a return to HoiAn by river boat, visiting various craft villages on the way.

DaNang is the major city in the area and it is served by an international airport. It is also home to one of the most complete Cham Museums in the world. If you have the time, you should visit the Cham Museum before you head for the My Son Ruins located about 70 kilometers southwest of DaNang.