Vietnam is a huge tourism success story, so much so that it has recently been ranked the third most expensive travel destination in south east Asia. According to the latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report from the World Economic Forum, two years ago it was the third cheapest destination in the area. The reason? It’s a classic supply and demand thing, brought about by the country’s rich natural attractions and fascinating culture, and the tourist sector there is predicted to carry on growing fast until at least 2026.
The report also states that Vietnam has the second worst level of environmental sustainability and infrastructure in the region, despite welcoming more than three million overseas visitors in the first quarter of this year alone. By the end of 2017 they reckon Vietnam will have seen a massive 11.5 million international and 66 million domestic visitors, generating around £15 billion in tourism revenue. By the year 2020 the report predicts 20 million foreign visitors to the country, generating a remarkable £28 billion or so in tourism revenue.
Having said all that there’s still good news for tourists. While prices over there are rocketing, once you get to Vietnam it’s still remarkably good value. There are still cheap flights available if you book early enough. The food is excellent value for money, hostel accommodation can cost next to nothing if you shop around and travel within the country is very cheap. If you’re on a budget and steer clear of luxury hotels and restaurants, the experts claim you can still get by very nicely on as little as fifteen Euros a day.
Why the attraction? Here’s why tourists love Vietnam
Why do people love Vietnam so much? Here are a few reasons why people just can’t resist visiting one of the world’s most unusual and spectacular countries.
Vietnam has endless awe-inspiringly lovely beaches, long stretches of pure white and golden sand, many offering a range of water sports. Nha Trang is a little watersports heaven, highly recommended. If you prefer to relax somewhere quiet and mellow, Mui Ne or Da Nang beaches are simply spectacular.
Vietnam’s culture dates back at least 4000 years with fascinating influences from a host of cool places including the Chinese, the Khmer, the French and India. As a result the food, the culture, the architecture and traditions are extraordinary, truly breathtaking and genuinely exotic.
Vietnam is also the world’s second biggest producer of coffee? They serve it with sweet condensed milk and the flavour is unique. Vietnamese food is also something else, a treat for the tastebuds and different in every region. Fresh vegetables and seafood form the basis of coastal regions’ cuisine, and it tastes like heaven. We’ve heard on the grapevine that the street food is exceptional, well worth trying as long as you take everyday precautions around hygiene.
The beautiful Sapa hill station in the north west is set like a jewel in the stunning mountains, a place where you can see the classic Vietnamese rice terraces marching into the misty distance, studded with excellent hiking trails. It’s only a short train journey from Hanoi and couldn’t be more different. And the city of Hoi An is incredibly picturesque, dating back to the 1500s and a UNESCO World Heritage Town, adored for its beautiful French colonial architecture and wonderful local food.
But it’s Halong Bay, a four hour drive from Hanoi, that forms the centrepiece of many a trip to the country, and no wonder. You’ve probably seem pictures of it – the Gulf of Tonkin is totally spectacular with its 1600 or more limestone islands, exotic and other-worldly, a seascape you can experience close up via kayak trips and cruise tours.
What travel vaccinations do you need for Vietnam?
There’s a low risk of malaria in some regions, namely Dac Lac, Gia Lai, Khanh Hoa, Kon Tum, Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, Song Be and Tay Ninh, and we recommend you take Malarone and Doxycycline with you just in case. As we write, you will also need vaccinations against:
If you have any questions about your health needs in Vietnam, we’ll be delighted to advise. Just get in touch. If you live in London, we’ll be able to provide all the vaccinations you need – just make sure you contact us in good time. Here’s a link to a list of the current recommended vaccinations. It makes sense to check before you fly to make sure it hasn’t changed.