Hi travelers, how’s your summer trip going? If you haven’t reached Vietnam yet, you might want to add this country to your checklist for places to visit. But before you do it, take a look at this Vietnam reading list to prepare for your dream vacation.
Preparation for traveling can be difficult sometimes, especially when you are visiting a foreign country. You need to know which places to skip, which places not to miss, which gestures are only appropriate in your home country and which ones might offend a local. Just like every other country in the world, Vietnam has its own set of categories to research in order to plan out the most stunning itinerary for your trip. Below is a useful list of websites and blogs you need to know about when planning your Vietnam itinerary.
This is the official website of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, which has been operating for more than 13 years. In 2017, it was updated with a new interface. Visit the website to find all the information about Vietnam traveling from tour operators to news and events about our traveling industry. Since it is a government website, it focuses on news about legal procedures or regulations for anything that might relate to your trip. This includes visa applications, customs declaration, embassy and consulate addresses and such.
Besides this type of formal information, this website also lists Vietnamese traditional festivals with brief introductions on a monthly basis. It is always a good idea to collect pieces of knowledge even though you’re browsing for a traveling tour, right? One more special thing about vietnamtourism is that it offers users seven languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. Now some of you can stop worrying about the misunderstandings that come with language translation!
This website acts as the travel guide sector managed by hotels.com, an online and telephone booking channel originally founded in the United States. It is a combination of travel blog and travel agent because it’ not only provides information about tours, flights or hotels, but it is actually more of a blog-type guide for traveling. Basic yet necessary information is all included such as what to do, where to eat, where to stay, and even nightlife activities and sports. Browsing vietnam-guide.com can be really interesting since it will steer you through many kinds of subcategories, which is quite useful and effective for first-timers since you can plan your whole trip to Vietnam without switching websites every few minutes.
Vietnam-guide.com has a broad range of Vietnam travel guides, covering all of the famous cities across the country, which is… why this is also a setback. It does not have much info about places that are not famous. You can find information about some remote cities and provinces like Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, or Pleiku but such articles are not comprehensive enough to make for a handy research experience. I recommend this website for those who want to explore the popular spots in Vietnam as they are the current main focus of vietnam-guide.com, with well-researched information and professional web designs. Give it a go and see if it suits your needs!
Lonely Planet Vietnam
I don’t need to introduce this famous travel guide book publisher that has been around for 46 years. Before the Internet ever became popular, Lonely Planet presented readers, through a book series, with travel guides about many countries all over the world. They have also built a large community that shares travel experiences with support from both participants and Lonely Planet itself. Through the power of time and dedication, it has gradually developed into a large company, with many contributing writers and authors. Today, the Lonely Planet website includes many trustworthy travel articles, destinations, and points of interest guides. Hotels and other types of accommodation are also covered in their content category to make it one of the most extensive travel guide websites with international scale.
Lonely Planet Vietnam gives you the same experience as vietnam-guide.com because of its well-designed display and clear organization. Only this time, there is so much more travel information showcased on this website with a particular style. Like I mentioned above, vietnam-guide only focuses on the famous and big cities in Vietnam; here on Lonely Planet Vietnam, you can discover Vietnam and all of its hidden jewels. From the north to the south, from popular cities to off-the-beaten-track places, this website will mention it all. One more special thing about this widely recognized website is that it often provides content in a condensed list, which makes for an excellent choice for skim readers! The Planning Tools tab with useful tips for specific travel type (with children, disabilities) are also a plus when these types of situations apply to you.
Travel websites are an effective tool when you do research for your trip, but just in case you’re in need of something more personal and independent, blogs are definitely worth your time. Today, travel blogging is increasingly popular as more and more people love to share their own stories when exploring the world. Not affected by the mass information on the Internet, travel blog authors often write with their unique points of view, making their articles more interesting than ever. Check out these blogs to discover their own stories told by different personalities.
This blog was created by Tom, an experienced expat and traveler who has lived in Vietnam for 13 years. Just like any blogger out there, Tom has a distinct personality and traveling preference which is reflected in his articles. Surf through his blog, and you’ll notice that he has a wild spirit tending to explore hidden places, as he feels “the further you get from popular destinations in Vietnam, the better your experience will be”. So if anyone out there longs for a thrilling road trip through mountainous Vietnam, Tom is your expert. Although Tom is not originally from here, he shares a love for discovering Vietnam, but most importantly, he’s been here for more than a decade! This means he’s not just cruising through one region of Vietnam, his content spans the whole country.
For those who prefer a trip in a more comfortable and popular way, you don’t have to look at his motorbike guides. Instead, go for his reviews about where you can stay while in Vietnam. They are more diverse with a wide range of accommodation from luxurious resorts to unique homestays. Another thing about Vietnam Coracle is that it’s frequently updated if there’s any change. Considering this feature, Tom is very interactive with readers in a prompt manner, making it easier to share opinions. Here you go, you can add this blog to your Vietnam reading list already!
Salt in our Hair
This blog shares its multi-destination traveling experience through the eyes of a couple. Meet Nick and Hannah, two passionate travelers with a goal to capture the world in their very own way. Just take a look at the name of their blog: salt in our hair refers to the actual salty “sticky” hair they had on the way home from the Netherlands. Everything about this blog is original yet professional. The amount of effort they put into producing Salt in our Hair content, especially the photography, will truly impress and motivate you to travel more!
As the number of countries they’ve visited nearly reaches their age, Vietnam has confidently landed on their list. Even though Nick and Hannah are not expats like experienced Tom, their travel guides in Vietnam are also brilliantly useful and well-presented. The cost, best seasons to visit, things to do, etc. are all written down in a short but informative way. This is definitely for young traveling enthusiasts! Take a virtual trip to the north and then to the south in Vietnam and you can plan every moment once your feet hit the ground. What are you waiting for?
The Blonde Abroad
We’ve touched on motorbike and couple travelers, now if you don’t mind, it’s time for the ladies! Let’s meet Kiersten Rich, aka Kiki – the creator of The Blonde Abroad. Six years ago, she was sitting in her office working like everybody else. Then unlike everybody else, she decided to quit her job and left to travel. She has since learned that traveling is truly what fulfills her life. With time and experience, Kiki’s blog was created to share her extensive traveling stories to over 70 countries, and it’s tailor-made for women. Taking a tour through The Blonde Abroad is motivating and encouraging for any solo female travelers out there thirsting for a trip abroad.
So, if you’re a woman looking for an exclusive guide to Vietnam, you’ve come to the right place. Kiki created an itinerary for the five destinations she visited, including best things to do and see, food and drinks, hotels and homestays. But the highlight of The Blonde Abroad is many important tips for women as traveling alone can be challenging or even dangerous sometimes if you don’t review enough guides from experts. With her six years of experience, I am confident to say that you can always seek advice from Kiki. Check out this wonderful blog and share with us what you think.
Local Life In Vietnam
You might have noticed that all of the blogs above are written by foreigners, so how about a Vietnam travel guide from our very own country? Local Life In Vietnam was created by Nguyet Hang – an indigenous Vietnamese who has a great interest in sharing traveling experience and inspiring people to come to Vietnam. Using Bapcai as a pen name, Hang focuses her guides on low-cost traveling with the best options she’s experienced.
Again, content is about many places in Vietnam, from Sapa all the way to the Mekong Delta. You can find many articles mostly about transportation, activities and accommodation, making this a primary topic for the blog. The Local Life In Vietnam writing style resembles the writing characteristics of Nick and Hannah from Salt in our Hair: very concise and informative with clear organization. However, since the blog is not even two years old, it might not include in-depth content for other types of travel guides and easy navigation through the website. But her current articles about Vietnam come in handy because you can always use a local opinion when traveling here!
After browsing the personal blogs mentioned above, visit the Christina’s Blog for a different vibe. Our team is comprised of both locals and foreigners alike, living in the great country of Vietnam. This creates a wide lens in which to view traveling in Vietnam, including pro tips from local experts to exotic places that are highly recommended by our foreign friends. On top of that, you can find an extensive guide on most cities in Vietnam just on one website.
Another highlight of the Christina’s Blog is the culture and history section, where readers can learn some interesting facts and lessons about our country. Ethnic communities, proper gestures, and traditional festivals are also worth discovering when you travel to Vietnam. Visit our blog to find out more about what you can do in Vietnam, Christina’s style!
This concludes my favorite reading list for traveling to Vietnam. I hope these websites and blogs will be useful for your trip here. Do a little research, and share your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s meet again in my next article!
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like some more fun info about what to see, do and eat (and a bunch of interesting cafes!) in Vietnam, follow us at the Christina’s blog!