Shaped like an elongated S, Vietnam stretches the length of the Indochinese Peninsula with borders to China in the north, Cambodia & Laos to the West and the South China Sea to the east and south. When talking about the geography of Vietnam the country is often split in to three separate areas: North, Central & South Vietnam.
The North is well known for its mountainous terrain, cooler climate and the impressive limestone formations of Halong Bay. Central Vietnam is renowned for its spectacular beaches, high temperatures and ancient towns and the South is best for vibrant Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and the mighty Mekong Delta.
Although Hanoi is the capital, the most visited city is Saigon, with its ornate temples, colonial buildings, narrow street markets and modern shopping malls. There are direct flights from London, with interconnecting flights from other Asian cities.
Size: 329,560 square kilometres
Population: 91 million
Languages: Vietnamese, French, Chinese & English
Religion: 9% Buddhist, 7% Catholic, >1% Muslim, 2% Other, 81% None
Land borders: China, Cambodia & Laos
Climate: Vietnam has a tropical climate which varies considerably from region to region, the local conditions can vary from frosty winters in the far north to a year round warm climate in the south around the Mekong Delta. Click here to contact one of our consultants for more information on when and where to travel.
Money: Vietnamese Dong. Major credit cards accepted in major cities and ATM's are available throughout Vietnam.
Tipping: Not expected but in Vietnam tips are generally welcome in areas frequented by tourists. It is becoming customary to tip guides and drivers on tours if they have provided a high level of service. The level of tipping is completely at your discretion but as a guide 5-10% will be sufficient.
Formalities: Passports must be valid for 6 months after date of departure. Vias are required but are currently waived on some stays of up to 15 days - details can be found on the Vietnamese Embassy website. www.vietnamembassy.org.uk
Travel advice: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office produce up-to-date information on countries around the world. This which can be checked on www.fco.gov.uk