For some British people, Vietnam is most familiar through war films such as Full Metal Jacket and Platoon.
But as the better informed amongst us know full well, this is merely one facet in this amazing country’s kaleidoscopic culture.
If you’ve never sampled this southeast Asian country’s delights for yourself, you might be surprised to learn that it’s one of the world’s oldest civilisations.
After it gained independence form China in the 10th Century, it expanded and diversified, absorbing Champa, Khmer, French and Soviet influences as the generations progressed, all underpinned by an unwavering dedication to the veneration of ancestors and solid family values.
Modern Vietnam has something to offer every type of tourist – if you’re curious to find out for yourself, here are five top tips for Brits travelling to Vietnam.
- Check official travel advice
Travel to Vietnam is generally perfectly safe, but check UK Government travel advice to be sure.
Whether you’re flying solo, as a couple or in a family group, this is an excellent resource to check on any local health issues, the location of the British Embassy and Vietnamese laws and customs.
- Book a package holiday
If you haven’t been to Vietnam before, booking a package holiday with the likes of MercuryHolidays.co.uk might be a good idea, because you’ll pack in as much sightseeing as possible, flights and accommodation are included and all there is to concern yourself with is having a great time.
Packages are available from nine to 20 days and include excellent excursions like visiting the cu chi tunnels, cruising the Mekong river, and exploring the French Colonial splendour of Dalat.
- Stay in a stunning hotel
As you’d expect from a popular tourist destination, Vietnam boasts its fair share of hotels that suit everyone from beach bums to high-end holiday fans.
For instance, the Nam Hai Four Seasons Resort at Ha My Beach is the epitome of tropical luxe, while the Amanoi has a stunning gravity pool and world-class spa.
But the pick of the bunch might be the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay – it’s only accessible by water and sits nestled in verdant mountains, so it’s the perfect hideaway for romantic travellers.
- Grab cheap flights
If you’re booking the various components of your holiday separately, you’ll naturally want to secure the cheapest flights possible.
So it’s probably best using an independent comparison site like Skyscanner – at the time of writing, this time-tested travel engine is serving up tickets from the UK to Vietnam for a little over £300, which is outstanding value.
- Book airport parking
The best way to set yourself up for a pleasant pre-flight experience before a long-haul journey is often cruising to the airport in your own car – you can blast your holiday playlist without complaint and get into the perfect mood in your private space.
But don’t forget that you’ll need to stow your car safely – find spaces for Heathrow, Stansted and everywhere else at airport parking provider Looking4.com.
Take these five tips on board and your Vietnam trip will be your most vibrant vacation ever!