What can you do with your free 15 day visa in Vietnam ?
As of October 2018, regular passport holders from the countries in the list do not need a visa for less 15 day stay in Vietnam such as: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
You might be over ambitious in what you’re going to see, especially as your time is limited. Keep yourself focused, slow down and make the most of every moment of it.
We hope you enjoy reading about our favorite destinations listed below, it will give you a good idea of where to go and what to do when visit Vietnam:
Hanoi: One of the most beautiful of the colonial Indochinese cities, which is often the start or end point of a trip to Vietnam, and what a great welcome or farewell it is! Oozing with charm, the city has gone through wholesale changes since Vietnam swung open its doors to tourism, but it remains true to its essential personality and is an amazing city to experience.
Ho Chi Minh City: As cyclo drivers rest easy below vast neon billboards, the emerging Vietnamese middle class—smartphones in hand—cruise past, draped in haute couture on their imported motorcycles. Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City—Vietnam’s largest and most exciting city.
Hoi An: Canary yellow houses draped in bougainvillea, rickety wooden shops aglow with red silk lanterns, rippling green fields of rice, baskets laden with silver fish: Hoi An is redolent of a bygone era, or the 17th and 18th centuries, to be exact.
Phu Quoc Island: Lying in a hammock, looking out over a glassy Gulf of Thailand glowing amber from the setting sun, consider yourself lucky to be in the know about one of Vietnam’s best kept secrets. Sadly, developers have taken notice of the island’s potential and change is afoot and Phu Quoc is being primed for mass tourism—get here quick!
Can Tho: In the heart of the Mekong Delta, and often referred to as Vietnam’s rice basket, Can Tho is home to many orchards and farms, and it’s the goods from here tourists flock to see in the floating markets dotted around the city.
Ha Long Bay: A cruise on Ha Long Bay—or the Bay of the Descending Dragon—for many represents a pinnacle of their experience in Vietnam.
Sapa: Choice views of the Muong Hoa valley and Mount Fansipan are the prime commodity on sale in Lao Cai’s signature destination, Sapa, a hill station high in the mountains and a vestige of the French colonial era.
Hue: Straddling the truly beautiful Song Huong (Perfume River), Hue first rose to prominence in the 18th through 19th centuries when it was the seat of power for the Nguyen lords. It remained the national capital until 1945, when then-emperor Bao Dai abdicated as the nation was sliced into two.
Nha Trang: The beach is the star attraction, and the fact that Nha Trang is conveniently located right on the beach helps draw both domestic tourists and international visitors of all budgets. The downtown core stretches along six kilometres of palm-fringed white sand and the brilliant turquoise waters of Nha Trang Bay—and it’s all free.
Da Lat: A temperate climate and fertile soil have earned Da Lat the moniker “city of eternal spring” and it is one where the flowers bloom, birds sing and the air is clear, fresh and redolent of pine.
Cat Ba Island: Nestled on the periphery of Vietnam’s fabulous Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island is big—more than 350 square kilometres—but most tourists see but a sliver of it.
Bac Ha: It’s something of a shame that few tourists venture beyond Sapa, because to the east of Lao Cai city lies the other half of the province. The ground soars upwards again to the peaks of the Chay River Massif, where the town of Bac Ha is to be found.
Da Nang: Over the last almost two decades Da Nang has spiralled upwards and outwards as Vietnam’s third city and a distinct feeling that much more is to come hangs in the air.
Doc Let: Quiet, low-key, uncrowded, Doc Let boasts beachfront, ocean-view accommodation. If you dream of tumbling out of your bed at sunrise straight into the sea, this is the place to do it.
Buon Ma Thuot: Once a rustic backwater town and site of a decisive battle of the Vietnam War, Buon Ma Thuot has emerged from its war-torn roots and grown into a bustling, sprawling and relatively charmless city—but it makes for a handy base for exploring and has lots and lots of coffee.
Vinh Moc Tunnels: During bombing raids, village life carried on underground: kids attended school, women gave birth and families watched movies. The tunnels are an amazing achievement of human toil, engineering and perseverance. If you only have time to see one site in the DMZ, this is it.
Exploring the DMZ: Sightseeing the former Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) is revisiting an important chapter of Vietnam’s history. As the dividing line between North and South Vietnam, the area along the Ben Hai River saw some of the heaviest fighting of the entire war.
A Luoi: A Luoi is a mountainous district sandwiched between the A Shau Valley and the border with Salavan and Sekong provinces, Laos. Vietnam War veterans and historians will be familiar with the name, as it was the location of several US military bases that saw fierce battles, including Asho Airport and Hamburger Hill, immortalised in a 1987 film.
Quang Ngai: When we visit a city off the tourist trail, we try hard to uncover what makes the spot unique and worthwhile in its own right. But, when it comes to the provincial capital of Quang Ngai, we’re still looking—but it is the launching point for Son My—better known as the site of the My Lai Massacre.
Kon Tum: In Kon Tum, there’s nothing on display in careful glass boxes, no black and white photos to hammer home lessons of the past. Kon Tum is about ghosts and scars.
What to do
You mean aside from eating non-stop right? All major tourist centres will offer a staggering range of short tours, courses and activities. What follows are just a few of the most popular options.
Diving and kitesurfing: Best not combined… While Vietnam’s diving isn’t the best in the region, you can learn to dive at both Nha Trang and on Phu Quoc Island (among other spots). For kitesurfing, Mui Ne is the premier location in the country.
Explore historic ruins: While Vietnam has nothing of the scale of Cambodia’s Angkor , it does have remnant of the Cham Empire still standing, best seen at My Son near Hoi An. Other Cham ruins can be visited at Phan Rang Thap Cham, Nha Trang and Mui Ne.
Cooking courses and food walks: Fancy a cooking course in Hoi An, a street food walk in Hanoi or a vespa tour in Saigon? We’ve got you covered.
Trekking: One of the main activities to do around Sapa is trekking, but which trek is the right one for you? We checked out two different day treks to narrow down your options.
When to go
There is no perfect time to visit Vietnam. Generally speaking, destinations in the north such as Hanoi and Sapa are great in October, November and December, as you’ll see little rain and should have clear skies and temperate conditions.
The coastal stretch from Hue down to Nha Trang is great in the first half of the year, from January through to July, while Saigon and the Mekong Delta are best from November through to February or March. Hoi An, Da Nang and Hue see heavy rain and frequent flooding in October and November. Please check our weather section for more localised advice.