A guide to things to do in Vietnam

If you’re planning a trip to the sunny shores of Phu Quoc island, it can be easy to think that all there is to do is bask by the sea – and that isn’t a bad choice at all. But thanks to TUI’s multi-centre holiday choices, you could just as easily spend a little of your time away exploring stunning Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam, or floating around the Mekong Delta in the south. If you need a little inspiration for your next holiday to Vietnam, here are a few good ideas to get your started.

Eat your way through a street food adventure

Wherever you are in Vietnam, moreish street food won’t be far away. In Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, a host of street food tours are available and you’ll get delicious, authentic food for a fraction of the price you’ll find it for in restaurants. Whether you’re keen on crisp Bahn Mi rolls filled with spicy pork, marinated tofu or juicy shredded chicken, thick Cao Lau noodles or sweet, sesame-fried Bahn Ran dumplings, treat yourself to a leisurely dinnertime stroll.

Not only can you sample tasty bites from lesser-known hotspots away from the tourist track, you’ll also get a real feel for the local area. And with a Vietnamese guide on hand to talk you through each dish and point out the best sights en route, you’ll get more than your money’s worth.

Cruise around the waters of Ha Long Bay

If you’re spending any time in the north of the country, make sure your trip involves a cruise through Ha Long Bay. A breathtaking setting reminiscent of Avatar or Jurassic Park, this scenic bay is a fantastic day trip from Hanoi. It provides the opportunity to explore mesmerising underground cave networks for the day on a kayaking trip. Or you could just take in the views from a sunlounger on the deck of a cruiser, cocktail in hand.

Take in a little history

Vietnam is a country steeped in history, and from Ho Chi Minh City you can reach the famous Cu Chi Tunnels as well as spend some time visiting the War Remnants Museum. At the Cu Chi Tunnels, take a guided tour to learn a little about what life was like during the Vietnamese war with the United States. If you’re in the mood for some exhilaration, you can spend a few dollars on target practice with all kinds of mid-weight and heavy artillery.

While you’re in the area, another great day out can be found on the Mekong River. As with Ha Long Bay, day cruises are easy and cheap to find, and along the route you can stop to chew on sugarcane and challenge your fellow travellers to paddleboat races.

Feel the romance in Hoi An

Hoi An is a postcard-perfect UNESCO heritage site, and often said to be one of the most romantic destinations in the world. The French colonial past of Vietnam meets with traditional Asian values in this quaint waterside town, where coloured lanterns line every street and boutique shopping comes in abundance. Take a boat tour down the river, and spend a few hours ambling the winding streets for the best photo opportunities.

Marvel at the phosphorescent algae

Phu Quoc island is home to one of nature’s most fantastic phenomenons. After sunset, keep an eye on the calm waters around the shoreline for the gentle glow of phosphorescent algae. The quieter parts of the island are where you’re most likely to catch a glimpse, so make your way to the quieter parts of the beach and dip your toes in the shallow water to stir up some luminescent life.