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Curved around Cambodia and Laos, with China to the north, Vietnam is a country of contrasts. Here, you can discover bustling cities and lantern-lit towns, along with lush rice fields, pretty beaches and limestone islands. There’s a patchwork of cultural influences, too. You’ll see Chinese, French, Indian and Malaysian touches across both the architecture and cuisine – and you’ll notice variations between North and South Vietnam. Although the two regions became one unified country in 1975, they’re still markedly different. So, to get the most out of your Vietnam holiday, it’s best to visit both.

In the North, you can explore the energetic capital, Hanoi, and the peaceful rice terraces of Sapa. And no holiday to Vietnam would be complete without a visit to Halong Bay. This UNESCO-stamped natural wonder is made up of more than 2,000 islands and spans a whopping 600 square miles. You can take a daytrip from Hanoi or, better still, spend a few days sailing around the bay on a cruise.

Elsewhere, in Central Vietnam, you’ll find picturesque Hoi An – an ancient riverside town featuring scented temples, Japanese merchant houses and an 18th-century bridge. You can also unwind on powdery beaches in Da Nang, or explore the impressive Complex of Hué Monuments, which was the political and cultural centre of Vietnam in the 17th and 18th centuries.

And, finally, there’s the South. If you’re into history, this is sure to be a highlight of your Vietnam holiday. Once known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has several must-see sites relating to the Vietnam War. And the remnants of French occupation are felt everywhere, from the landscaped gardens to the city’s very own Notre Dame Cathedral. More interested in nature? Venture into the Mekong Delta. This network of waterways is a world away from Vietnam’s cities, with tangled mangroves, traditional villages and floating markets.

If you want to explore independently, our Travel Specialists will help you plan the perfect itinerary. Fancy hopping over the border into Cambodia, or joining a Vietnam tour? We can sort that, too. Whatever you’re looking for, our Vietnam holidays tick all the boxes.