If you could only visit ONE country in Southeast Asia, it should be Vietnam! They say the country’s slogan is Vietnam- Timeless Charm and they don’t lie. From the beautiful ancient town of Hoi An to the warm and inviting people, charm encompasses this country.
Vietnam is an incredibly diverse country with so much to offer. Amazing food, beautiful scenery, friendly locals, and did I mention how affordable it is to travel?
Whether you’re a backpacker, couple, or family, here are 10 reasons why you should visit Vietnam!
Reason 1: The People
From Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, there was never a moment we felt unwelcomed by the locals.
I’m not even exaggerating, these were THE FRIENDLIEST PEOPLE.
In fact, there were several homestays that even welcomed us with big hugs and free food that wasn’t advertised! This sort of hospitality was uncommon in other Southeast Asian countries we visited, but not in Vietnam.
Although some other travel bloggers would disagree with us, we felt as though the locals here were the nicest we had ever met. We were welcomed with a warm and inviting smile in almost every encounter!
Reason 2: The Food
Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 healthiest cuisines in the world, Vietnamese food is packed full of fresh herbs, spices, vegetables, and seafood.
Unlike some cuisines, Vietnamese doesn’t sacrifice taste for health. Widely popular dishes such as pho and fresh spring rolls are actually healthy!
Pho is full of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and fiber making it a great dish to start your day off with without feeling guilty.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, grilled meat, hot soups, and everything in between can be found within this delicious country.
Some must try dishes when in Vietnam include pho, bun cha, spring rolls, banh mi, and banh xeo. Our personal favorites included pho and banh mi.
Reason 3: Stunning Scenery
Vietnam is incredibly diverse in terms of scenery. From beaches and jungles to giant cities, you can find it all within the 127,881 mi² that makes up this country.
The emerald green waters with beautiful jungle topped limestone islands make up Ha Long Bay in the North. While a beautiful white desert lies in the southern beach town of Mui Ne! The views alone are one of the biggest reasons why you should visit Vietnam.
If you have the time, you should travel all over this amazing country. During our 2 week adventure, we flew into Saigon then headed to Nha Trang, Hoi An, Tam Coc, and Hanoi to experience the cities, beach, and local life.
Reason 4: Affordability
Are you tight on money? Vietnam is the country for you! From food to accommodation, the cost of living is extremely low.
The best food can be found for $1 or less (think $0.70 for a big, delicious bowl of pho!) Sleep in beautiful hotel rooms for less than $25 per night and significantly cheaper if you don’t mind sleeping in hostels.
Transportation can be really affordable! Renting a motorbike can cost around $4-$5 per day. If you can’t drive a motorbike don’t fret! You can always call a GrabBike which costs around $2-$3 for a local ride.
When we visited this wonderful country, we spent less than $15 per day on food and drinks for two people and less than $20 per night for accommodation. Some people recommend $50 per day for one person however we found we could spend far less and still thoroughly enjoy ourselves!
Reason 5: The Coffee
As the World’s second largest producer of coffee, this delicious beverage should be on everyone’s list of must-try’s when visiting Vietnam.
The locals love their coffee and for good reason, it’s incredible! You can order it from the many cafes, street stalls, or chains that line the streets.
The Vietnamese utilize unique ingredients to create coffee so good you will never want to finish it.
Some must try creations include coconut coffee, white or black iced coffee, and the amazing egg coffee (our personal favorite)!
Reason 6: History
Vietnam was founded on September 2, 1945 after President Ho Chi Minh declared their independence from France. 10 years later, the Vietnam/American war took place (November 1, 1955) and lasted nearly 20 years (ending on April 30, 1975 with the fall of Saigon).
When traveling this country, you should definitely visit the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City and then head to the Cu Chi Tunnels. At these tunnels you have the chance to actually go underground and crawl through the tunnels that the Viet Cong used during the war.
If you find yourself in the capital of Hanoi, you can visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. You should arrive early as there is always an incredibly long line of locals waiting to pay their respect to their former leader.
President Ho Chi Minh was embalmed following his death in September 1969 by Russian scientists and his resting place was completed in 1975.
Reason 7: The Hustle and Bustle of the Cities
The energy in cities such as Saigon and Hanoi are unlike anything we’ve ever encountered.
Especially Saigon, with over 8 million people residing in the city, you can literally sit on the sidewalk and watch thousands and thousands of motorbikes drive by.
This kind of energy will bring excitement and mystery to a day of exploring the beautiful French architecture this city has to offer.
Although crossing the road in Ho Chi Minh City may seem overwhelming at first (nobody will stop for you), you will get used to it after spending a day or two in the city- we found crossing the road rather fun and thrilling!
Reason 8: Hoi An
Rated one of the world’s most beautiful towns, this is a must visit when in Vietnam.
Located in Central Vietnam south of Da Nang, this quiet town is full of life, color, and charm.
Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is lined with golden yellow buildings which symbolize royalty. Colorful lanterns fill the sky, and at night this town lights up to become so incredibly romantic you won’t want to leave.
During the day you can rent a bike and visit the nearby rice paddies or peddle through the ancient old town. At night, lanterns fill the river that runs right through Hoi An. There’s a wonderful night market across the bridge that serves delicious Vietnamese treats.
Reason 9: Custom Made Clothing for CHEAP
When visiting Hoi An, one of the main attractions is to buy custom made clothing!
Beautiful dresses, jackets, and suits can be made in approximately 3 days time and for such a reasonable price!
Although neither of us had any clothing made, we have heard of many travelers having suits made and absolutely loving them! You can choose every aspect of your clothing from the color, to the texture, to the fit and the exact fabric. If you’re looking for something nice you can go for the luxury Italian silk.
Reason 10: Convenient to Travel
Car, motorbike, train, bus, or plane, traveling within Vietnam is incredibly easy and convenient.
When traveling from one city or destination to another, we preferred taking the sleeper train. There were four bunks in each room, however we got lucky and had the room to ourselves!
Accommodation for backpackers and other tourists is abundant, which means you never really have to worry about not being able to find a place to stay.
I hope this list has persuaded you to travel to this wonderful country someday in the future. Keep in mind there are so many great reasons why you should visit Vietnam, however these reasons are why I keep finding myself going back.