A voyage of quiet beach sunsets and bustling cities

Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ha Long Bay, Cai Be, and more

Vietnam is a country of natural treasures, of pristine beaches and bucolic scapes. From the ancient-meets-modern character of Ho Chi Minh City to the puzzling Mekong Delta, Vietnam exudes a kind of mystery guaranteed to tantalise but never satiate. So you simply must return, again and again: enjoy the exotic coastal luxury, discover the notorious history, and marvel at the proud and resilient culture.

To get a dose of Vietnamese life unhindered by western influence, take a junk boat cruise through the Mekong Delta to the floating markets in Cai Be, where, famously, locals gather on boats, form commercial flotillas, and exchange goods and fresh produce. It’s an electric scene to behold. Vietnam’s recent past is worth exploring, affected though it may be by the sordid shadow of the Vietnam War.

Embrace the darker parts of the nation’s past with a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels, a network of underground passages used by the North Vietnamese Viet Cong army to engage in guerilla warfare. It’s a living 20th century exhibit, humbling and eerie in its interactivity. The War Remnants Museum will enrich scholarly travellers; the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum will show you the rich spiritual side of Vietnam’s national identity.

Sightseeing is one thing and relaxation is another, and Vietnam’s coastal towns offer both in ample supply. Stay in Nha Trang and Da Nang, where 5-star luxury resorts provide a standard of hospitality acclaimed on the world’s stage. Non Nuoc Beach is serene and free of tourist pressure. Long Beach in Phu Quoc is famous for its surf and passionfruit sunsets; Ha Long Bay for its emerald waters and towering limestone islands. Scuba dive, rock climb, hike, wander markets.

Be at one with the people and their stories. Going to Vietnam, if even for the first time, is like reuniting with an old friend.