Vietnam is a country that can at some times feel like it has more motorbikes than people, but you will find every kind of adventure imaginable here in a country full of amazing people and rich history and heritage.
The major city in the south is Ho Chi Minh City, still referred to by many of the locals as Saigon. It became renamed after the unification of the north and the south at the end of the Vietnam War. A must do while you are in this crazy city is a trip out to the Cu Chi tunnels to explore the areas where the Viet Cong hid underground to fight during the war. There are hostels in the hundreds here so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding somewhere to sleep.
In the north, the major city is Hanoi. Hostels are in the hundreds here as well. The city has some great museums to visit detailing the history of the war (to be taken with a grain of salt as some of it is full of propaganda, but at the same time can be quite interesting). It is also home to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh himself. You can go and see his body that was embalmed and put on display for the nation to visit despite his wishes. There is a lot to see and do here, but the city is so buzzing that it can get quite overwhelming and full on, so make sure you take a few days to just chill.
Heading north from Hanoi you will find the popular Sapa region, known for its amazing hillside scenery. You should also head to Ha Long Bay and take a boat ride out into the bay with the stunning islands that rise sharply out of the misty waters. It is a stunning region of Vietnam to visit. You will find an abundance of hostels in each of these places too.
Heading south of Hanoi you will find some incredible towns. Take a bike ride through Hue and investigate how incense, straw hats, and rice are made and processed in the region. Further south of Hue is the amazing little town of Hoi An. When heading here make sure that you take an empty suitcase and a full wallet. You can literally get any kind of clothing that you want made to fit for you within days, including silk lined work suits and wedding dresses. The tailors here are amazing and the entire town thrives off of this skill. There is also some amazing food to be experienced here, so book your hostel for at least a couple of days to a week to get the full experience.
There are lots of hostels in Nha Trang and the beaches of Nha Trang are great to visit. While you are there you can also take a ride to the mud baths in the hills. They are a great fun experience and you can make a day of it.
You can get around fairly easily and cheaply in Vietnam on the train. Many are sleeper trains, so you can make the longer journeys overnight. Of course there are many more amazing places to visit along the way that aren't mentioned here. You could spend months discovering and exploring the ins and outs of Vietnam depending on time, but the places mentioned above are definitely not to be missed.
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Someone needs to update the "scams to watch out for" in the travel media. They are privy to the warning of tourists that taking a bus from Hanoi to Vientiane is highly NOT recommended and have circumvented it with their own dialogue, saying - this is a new, airconditioned bus that is the only one that takes you all …
A word of warning: if you have to do a boat trip from Hue (we heard the motorbike tour is better) then make sure you pay no more than 20,000 VND RETURN for a motorbike taxi. We were told by the girl on the boat that this is the price each way, but this turned out to be false. Also, don't pay the motorbike taxi driver; …