­Southeast Asia is a region steeped in history and romanticism and it’s for this reason that it’s one of the most desirable holiday destinations in the world. But while Thailand might be the best country for beaches and Singapore might be best for sheer decadence, there is no place on earth quite like Vietnam.

Unlike its neighbouring countries, there is still something of an untouched beauty about Vietnam that draws millions of visitors every year. Now that the COVID pandemic is largely behind us, it’s a bucket list destination that many are considering for their 2023 holidays and beyond. But how do you plan a trip to a country that’s so mysterious and exotic and how do you navigate the country once you land? Allow us to help.

Explore by air

Vietnam is a surprisingly large country and most of the big tourist areas are separated by hundreds of miles of very little. Indeed, the four key areas of Ho Chi Minh City, Cam Ranh, Da Nang and Hanoi are around the length of the UK apart from one another. Thankfully, air travel in Vietnam is very affordable and quite reliable.

A plane journey from Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh in the south will take just a couple of hours and should cost a fraction of the price of a similar plane journey at home. Please note, however, that you must take your passport with you when taking internal flights.

Explore by train

The train is perhaps one of the least popular modes of transport in Vietnam as the rail network is quite old and more expensive than travelling by road. However, there are various sleeper trains available up and down the country’s single-track network so you could comfortably go to bed in Ho Chi Minh and wake up in Da Nang.

You’ll also get a much more luxurious journey and will get to see lots of the famous Vietnam countryside. Not only that, but you might end up striking up a conversation with some locals and really experience the very best of Vietnamese hospitality.

Explore by bus

There are few roads in the world as charming as Vietnamese roads. Years ago, it was said that tour buses in Vietnam would rip off tourists and stuff as many bodies onto the bus as possible but today, things are very different.

You might struggle to sleep on a bus journey due to the bumpy nature of the roads themselves, but the prices will be tough to beat and there are hundreds of tour bus options to choose from. Just try to shop around and keep your wits about you.

Explore by bike

Finally, if you’re a fitness fanatic only staying in one general location, cycling tours in Vietnam are quite common and offer a very different and refreshing way to see the country. We would recommend, however, that you are a competent cyclist before considering it!