Vietnam, where to go?

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam, where to go?

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1. Posted by Adrock (Budding Member 55 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

what is best part to visit, the North or the South?

2. Posted by loubylou (Respected Member 664 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

The North and the South of Vietnam are very different to each other. There are more beaches in the South but the North has a very distinct atmosphere, being more communist than the South.

We preferred the North (including Halong Bay) but we met plenty of people who thought the opposite to us.

What sort of things do you like doing and maybe we can help you better?

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 2015 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Everyone has a different opinion about Vietnam, but I thought Hanoi, Sapa and Hoi An to be really great. Saigon and Hue were very interesting, but I would not return to those cities. I have never been to Dalat or Halong Bay.

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 5344 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I'd go for the North if you have to choose between one or the other - Hanoi is a fantastic city and Halong Bay is stunning. I enjoyed the South too though, so it would be a shame to miss that out.

5. Posted by Buffalo (Full Member 120 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I'd agree that the north is probably just a TINY bit more interesting than the south but make sure you do go back in future!! In saying that, my favourite place in all of Vietnam was Dalat in the I'm very very torn here! Great country!

6. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3582 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I have been to both north & south, loved both. DaLat is my favorite city, enjoyed Nha Trang every time I visit there. But, I vote you choose the north if you only have time for one. Probably more interesting than the south. HaNoi, HaLong Bay, Sapa should not be missed.

I change my vote if you need beach time or like swimming/diving. Then you head south and hit HCMC, the delta, then up to DaLat, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hoi An & Hue. You will have a great time which ever one you choose.

I have plenty of VN photos in my gallery that may help with your decision. Send me a PM if you have questions.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jan-2009, at 20:42 by vegasmike6 ]

7. Posted by murray2701 (Budding Member 33 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Don't miss Hoi An, an absolutely gorgeous place. A real highlight.

Halong Bay is truly stunning.

The Cu Chi tunnels and the war museum in Ho Chi Minh are also worth seeing. Ho Chi Minh is more relaxed than Hanoi.

Check out

for a great way to get around and see loads.

Go to the Vietnam section of my blog for more in depth details and photos are at

in the vietnam album

it's a great country, but very long! try to see as much as you can without tiring yourself out

oh, and hue is also lovely. the river cruise to visit kings tombs is brilliant.

8. Posted by Budai (Respected Member 506 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I find the north to be more different, more "Vietnamese" than the south, which to me feels very industrialised and Thailand-ish. If you had to pick one, i'd say go north. For me the highlights were staying on Cat Ba island in Halong Bay, then Hoi An, which was lovely, and Phu Quoc to the south (if you go that way). And don't miss Sapa too, it's a nice quiet hill station a train ride from Hanoi with some nice trekking trails.

9. Posted by shubh (Inactive 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Bac Giang, Bac Ha, BacHa - A century-old colorful market , Bac Lieu , freshwater Lake Ba Be, Bac Kan -a mountainous province etc are the popular destinations in north of Vietnam. Binh Duong , Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan , Ca Mau and Cambodia etc are popular destinations in southern region. Preference, really depends on what time of year your going and what sort of things you like on holiday trip. InterContinental Westlake Hanoi and The Nam Hai etc are the hotels that provide ultimate standards in luxury hospitality. Whenever you go there, try to get your space book well in advance through some reliable booking agency like [snip] or [snip] etc.
luxury travel

Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules

[ Edit: Link to Forum Rules added.Sorry, no promos please. ]

10. Posted by soliqa (Respected Member 284 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


I've just got back from Vietnam, and if I had to pick between the north and the south I think the north would win out. I preferred Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, and Halong Bay and Sapa were amazing. Hue was okay, didn't seem like there was that much to do, but admittedly it rained pretty much the whole time we were there so we probably didn't see the best of it. Hoi An was fantastic, quite laid back and a really pretty town.

That said, I still loved the south of Vietnam aswell, but if you're pushed for time it's probably better just to pick one region to spend your time in, otherwise you waste so much time just travelling between places.