Recently, a team of Goway Destination Specialists explored Vietnam, from Hanoi and Halong Bay to Ninh Binh and Mai Chau and finally to Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City. This team included Linda Warner, Product Manager for Asia, Elyse Perciasepe, Reservations Manager for Asia, Steve Hope, Reservations Supervisor & Asia Specialist, Brent Morris, Senior Destination Specialist, and Frank Lin, Groups Asia Team Lead. Some of these experts visited Vietnam for the first time, while others were returning after a few years or even a decade. All of our experts were wowed by what they experienced in this rapidly changing nation.
To help you learn more about Vietnam, give up-to-date advice to your clients, and to sell even more trips to Southeast Asia, we’re sharing this expert advice from the team who visited Vietnam. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Account Manager to learn more about tailor-made trips to Vietnam with Goway.
What should travel advisors know about Vietnam?
1. Vietnam is made for all travel interests.
Vietnam offers a wide range of experiences, landscapes, food, and opportunities to immerse or simply recharge with some R&R. With such varied experiences, the destination can meet the needs of discerning travellers and those that have experienced some of the more popular highlights in Southeast Asia. It has great value and great service, and is a destination that can truly offer immersive experiences. — Steve Hope
2. English is common throughout Vietnam.
In all of the major tourist towns and cities, the locals can speak English, and they will do their best to converse with you. When you head to the rural countryside villages, it might be harder to converse without an English-speaking guide with you. However, the younger generation is very keen to learn and often take English classes to help them along the way. — Elyse Perciasepe
3. Vietnam is not just a destination for history buffs.
One common misconception is that the destination focuses on war history and that there wouldn’t be much else to see and do. While there may be sites to see that are related to past wars, Vietnam has innumerable places to visit and experiences to be had that are not at all related to war. These include countryside scenery and rural villages with wooden stilt homes, truly diverse culinary offerings throughout the regions, varied lodging options from luxury to budget, urban centres, shopping, and much more. — Steve Hope
4. Halong Bay and Hanoi are essential stops on a trip to Vietnam.
Frank, Brent, and Linda are adamant that every single traveller to Vietnam needs to visit Halong Bay, the so-called Eighth Wonder of the World. No matter how many times you visit, it never gets old. As well, Hanoi is a remarkable place with many fascinating historical and cultural sites, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature.
5. Ninh Binh is like Halong Bay on land.
This region in the northwest of Vietnam is like Halong Bay on land without having to sail on a cruise vessel. It’s very scenic if you are a nature lover like myself, with karst mountains, rice paddies, and canals and rivers alongside beautiful small villages and temples. — Elyse Perciasepe
6. Mai Chau is a great rural retreat.
My most memorable excursion was a walking tour of rural villages in the Mai Chau region. The nature of a loose walking tour provided us with great opportunities for local interaction, up-close experiences along village streets, incredible scenery, and all at a pace that was designed to our liking. — Steve Hope
The Avana Retreat in Mai Chau is an incredible accommodation. If you are a nature lover and you are looking to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life, this hotel is the place to be. — Elyse Perciasepe
7. Koto Restaurant in Hanoi is a great place to eat.
The Koto Restaurant offers great local culinary options all with a good cause: providing a professional platform for trainees in the hospitality services and culinary arts professions. The restaurant is right next to the Temple of Literature, making it also a convenient option. — Steve Hope
8. The north and south of Vietnam have slightly different climates.
Depending on the time of year you are travelling, you will need to be prepared for the temperature differences between the north and south and pack accordingly. Always pack an umbrella and a raincoat as well, as the rainy season alternates between north and south. The north in the winter months is colder than the central and south of Vietnam. Travelling in April or May might provide the best weather. — Elyse Perciasepe
9. Vietnam is a great alternative to Thailand.
Thailand is great, but Vietnam is an excellent alternative, with an equally appealing collection of great food, natural landmarks, and history where your dollar goes further. — Brent Morris
Tell your clients how much more they would enjoy and appreciate choosing Vietnam. It has incredible history, amazing natural wonders, friendly people, rich heritage, and a cuisine based on fresh ingredients and herbs. — Frank Lin
10. Vietnam is more than an add-on to another country.
Give Vietnam the time it deserves. The country is so vast and measures about 1,025 mi / 1,650 km from north to south. The landscape as well changes the further north or south you go. A decent trip at minimum to make sure you hit most of the must-see spots is about two weeks. — Elyse Perciasepe
There is so much to see and do in Vietnam and visitors will be spoiled for choice in terms of landscapes, food, and cultural experiences. Many visitors heading to nearby Thailand will ask about adding on 3 to 4 nights in Vietnam because they are in the area, which of course is doable, but we would recommend that it would be advisable to discuss their interests and goals for the trip as Vietnam can certainly be its own standalone trip. It hits a lot of those boxes for travellers looking for a great experience in Southeast Asia. — Steve Hope
There are many ways to explore Vietnam with Goway, from foodie tours to cycling tours, cruises of Halong Bay to luxurious retreats in the mountainside. Get a free quote on a tailor-made trip to Vietnam today.