Vietnam is popular for its role in war movies, but there is a side to it which can only be witnessed by traveling to Vietnam. This was a trip my husband and I made in 2014 against comments like “What is there in Vietnam?”, “It is a war torn country”, “Visit Malaysia or Thailand”. We didn’t want any of the typical tourist stuff and so Vietnam was the perfect choice because it isn’t plagued by tourism yet. I really wished we had spent more days in this beautiful country.
Vietnam Visa for Indians
To get Vietnam Visa on arrival, first you must apply for a visa approval letter. You can submit your online visa application here. There is an approval fee to be paid online. After 2 processing days, you will receive a visa approval letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department. With this letter, your passport will be stamped with a visa on arrival at Vietnam airport for which you have to pay a separate fee.
This was our route : Fly to Hanoi-Take an overnight bus to SaPa-Return to Hanoi-Fly to HCMC-Take a bus to Vinh Long
Here are 5 things to do in Vietnam :
1. Trek through the beautiful tribal village of Sa Pa with the tribals. Stay and eat with them.
We used the service of TOM Travels. It was raining that day. And with ponchos and rain boots, the scenes were as breathtaking as difficult the trek was.
We trekked for almost 6 hours through the mountainous village of Sa Pa. Sa Pa District is in Lào Cai Province, northwest Vietnam, close to the border with China. Sa Pa is home to five ethnic groups : Hmong, Dao, Tay , Giay and Xa Pho.
With agriculture as their main source of income, but the region being hilly, the panorama is filled with beautiful terraced fields. We stayed at a Hmong tribal family’s home.
2. Go on a boat ride in the canals of the Mekong Delta
Southern Vietnam with it’s great Mekong Delta is perfect for this. The Mekong Delta is a maze of rivers, swamps, floating markets, and fileds. We based ourselves in Vinh Long and stayed at Namh Thanh homestay.
3. Drink snake wine
Snake wine is produced by infusing whole snakes(preferably venomous ones) in rice wine. Snakes are widely believed to possess medicinal qualities and the wine is often advertised to cure everything from farsightedness to hair loss, as well as to increase sexual performance. Well me..I just wanted to dare myself 😛
4. Eat spring rolls, drink/eat Pho.
They are among the freshest things you’ll ever taste.
5. Learn how to cook Vietnamese food
Fly Tigerair from Chennai to Hanoi
Shuttle from Hanoi airport to city – Bus 17
Hung Thanh overnight sleeper bus to and from Hanoi-SaPa(free Wifi and toilet)
Fly Jetstar from Hanoi to HCMC
Shuttle from HCMC airport to city – Bus 152
Phuong Trang bus to Vinh Long from HCMC
Fair metered taxi – Ma Linh
We moved on to Cambodia after this and couldn’t spend more than 4 days in Vietnam. We planned this trip on our own. I haven’t included the tiniest of details like transfers, but if you have any doubts, feel free to comment 🙂