Holiday to Vietnam from Australia: The Complete Travel Guide

Are you dreaming of a memorable holiday to Vietnam from Australia? Look no further! In this comprehensive travel guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to plan an incredible trip to Vietnam. From flights and visas to currency and the best time to visit, we’ve got you covered.

Holiday to Vietnam for Australian
Holiday to Vietnam for Australian

What can you expect in your Vietnam Tour Packages?

Vietnam Highlights

From bustling cities to serene natural wonders on the mountains or beaches, here are some highlights that make Vietnam a must-visit destination:

Hanoi: This is Vietnam’s capital. It is a city where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modernity. The Old Quarter, with its narrow streets and centuries-old architecture, offers a glimpse into the country’s history. Don’t miss the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Water Puppet Theatre. Hanoi often being the start or the end point of the journey.

Ho Chi Minh City: Formerly known as Saigon, this bustling metropolis in southern Vietnam is a dynamic blend of the old and the new. The War Remnants Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, and Ben Thanh Market are some of the city’s iconic attractions. As Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City also is a starting point or where the journey comes over.

Halong Bay: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is famous for its emerald waters and thousands of limestone karsts and islets. Taking a cruise through this mesmerizing seascape is an unforgettable experience.

Ninh Binh: Often referred to as “Halong Bay on land,” Ninh Binh is a region of limestone karsts, caves, and rice paddies. Tam Coc and Trang An are popular spots for boat tours amid stunning natural scenery.

Sapa: Nestled in the northern mountains, Sapa is renowned for its terraced rice fields, ethnic minority villages, and breathtaking landscapes. Trekkers and nature enthusiasts flock here to explore the Hoang Lien Son mountain range.

Hoi An: Known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, Hoi An is a charming riverside town with colorful lantern-lit streets. The town is famous for its tailor shops, ancient architecture, and vibrant culinary scene.

Hue: Steeped in history, Hue served as Vietnam’s imperial capital. The Imperial City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts ancient palaces, temples, and the iconic Perfume River.

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park: Venture to the central part of Vietnam to discover the stunning karst landscapes and impressive cave systems, including the world-famous Son Doong Cave.

Phu Quoc: Vietnam’s largest island, Phu Quoc, is a tropical paradise with white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush jungles. It’s an ideal destination for relaxation and water activities.

Nha Trang: A coastal city known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. Nha Trang also offers cultural attractions such as the Po Nagar Cham Towers and Long Son Pagoda.

Da Lat: Nestled in the Central Highlands, Dalat is a charming hill station known for its cool climate, French colonial architecture, and vibrant flower gardens. Explore the picturesque Xuan Huong Lake, visit the quirky Crazy House, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding waterfalls and pine-covered hills.

Can Tho: Located in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho is famous for its floating markets, where vendors sell goods from boats along the river. The Cần Thơ Bridge and Ong Pagoda are also notable landmarks.

Vietnam Highlights
Vietnam Highlights

Off-the-beaten Path Destinations

Beyond the renowned attractions like Halong Bay and Hoi An, Vietnam offers hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations that provide a more authentic and less touristy experience for travelers seeking unique adventures:

Cao Bang Province: Head to the far north to explore Cao Bang, home to the stunning Ban Gioc Waterfall and the serene landscapes of Ba Be National Park.

Pu Luong Nature Reserve: If Sapa is too crowded, then explore the lush landscapes of Pu Luong, known for its terraced rice fields, traditional villages, and scenic trekking trails.

Con Dao Island: A remote archipelago with pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and historical significance due to its past as a prison complex during the French and American wars.

Cat Ba Island: Situated near Halong Bay, Cat Ba Island is the largest in the Cat Ba Archipelago, known for its lush national park, pristine beaches, and vibrant local culture. It provides a more tranquil alternative to the bustling mainland.

Bai Tu Long Bay: Often considered as an extension of Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay boasts similar breathtaking landscapes of limestone karsts and emerald waters but with fewer tourists. It offers a serene and untouched atmosphere for those seeking a more secluded experience.

What to do?

Discovering local cuisine

The best Vietnam tour packages from Australia should cover a Hanoi street food tour or cooking lesson. From the savory delights of North Vietnam to the unique dishes of the North Mountain, the vibrant flavors of Central Vietnam, and the robust culinary traditions of the South, each region offers its own signature dishes and specialties that are a must-try during your visit:

North Vietnam

  • Pho (Phở): Consists of a flavorful broth, rice noodles, and a choice of beef or chicken, garnished with fresh herbs and bean sprouts.
  • Bun Cha: A popular dish in Hanoi, Bun Cha features grilled pork served with vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and a tangy dipping sauce.
  • Cha Ca: Originating from Hanoi, Cha Ca is a dish of turmeric-marinated fish, usually catfish, served with dill, peanuts, rice noodles, and shrimp paste.

Central Vietnam

  • Bun Bo Hue: A spicy beef noodle soup that originated in Hue. It features a flavorful broth infused with lemongrass, shrimp paste, and chili, along with beef, pork, and thick rice noodles.
  • Banh Xeo: A crispy Vietnamese pancake filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs. It is typically served with fresh lettuce leaves and a dipping sauce.
  • Cao Lau: A specialty of Hoi An, Cao Lau is a dish of thick rice noodles, roasted pork, herbs, and croutons, topped with a savory sauce.

South Vietnam

  • Banh Mi: A Vietnamese sandwich that has gained worldwide popularity. It typically consists of a crispy French baguette filled with various ingredients such as grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs.
  • Hu Tieu: A versatile noodle soup that can be made with pork, beef, or seafood. It features rice noodles in a flavorful broth, topped with meat, herbs, and crispy shallots.
  • Banh Xeo: A southern version of the crispy pancake, Banh Xeo in the south is often larger and filled with a variety of ingredients such as shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.
Bun Cha Hanoi (Image: VnExpress)
Bun Cha Hanoi (Image: VnExpress)

Savor Fresh Beer on Vietnamese Streets

For an Australian beer lover seeking a new and unforgettable beer-drinking adventure, Vietnam beckons with its fresh beer culture and vibrant street scenes. You can easily savor Fresh Vietnam Beer or canned beer on Vietnam’s streets at a reasonable price.

Bia Hoi, the quintessential Vietnamese fresh beer, is served daily without preservatives, offering a pure and refreshing taste. Sidewalk beer gardens create a convivial atmosphere, where locals and travelers gather to enjoy their brews amidst the lively ambiance.

Savor Beer on the street is one of the Vietnamese cultural highlights
Savor Beer on the street is one of the Vietnamese cultural highlights

While indulging in Vietnam’s vibrant beer culture is a highlight of exploring the country, it’s important to prioritize safety. After enjoying a few drinks, it’s crucial to make responsible decisions and avoid driving yourself. Vietnamese authorities take drunk driving seriously and conduct alcohol concentration tests on the road. If you’re found to be over the legal limit, heavy fines and penalties can be imposed.

To ensure your safety and the safety of others, it’s advisable to call a taxi or use ride-sharing services to get around after drinking. By making this choice, you can fully embrace the beer culture while also being a responsible traveler.

Party Nightlife with fantastic Bars and Clubs

It is a mistake not to mention Vietnam as a good place for a party. It may surprise some people to know that Vietnam is the second country after South Korea in alcohol consumption in Asia. And one more special thing is that the price is very reasonable when you visit!

Big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, and Nha Trang have many bars and pubs in Western style for your enjoyment. The Vibrant music of the DJ, the dazzling flashing lights, and the wonderfulness of the wines will definitely create your unforgettable evenings in Vietnam.

The way Vietnamese people party may not be the same as that of Australians, still, we all share the same hobby of drinking. If you have some Vietnamese friends, let’s go with them to a karaoke bar; which is very popular from urban to rural areas. Believe me, you don’t need to have a good voice, just “sing and shout”; and I bet that would be one of the most memorable hours in your life.

Track42 Bar Club and Nap. Cocktail Bar from Left to Right
Track42 Bar Club and Nap. Cocktail Bar in Hanoi from Left to Right

List of Bars Club in Hanoi for your reference:

  • Track42 (42L Yen Phu Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi)
  • Doozy (3rd Floor, 48 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi)
  • The Terminal (28-30 Phung Hung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi)
  • Eleven Cocktail Universe (1st Nguyen Van To Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi)
  • 1900 LE THÉÂTRE (8B Ta Hien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi)
  • Hidden Cocktail Bar Remedy Potion Class (7 Trieu Viet Vuong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi)
  • Hidden Bar NAP. Cocktail Bar (60 Hang Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi)

Enjoy Private Tours at a Reasonable Price

Such a special thing that Australians cannot miss is that you only pay a Budget-friendly for a private tour in Vietnam. Normally, the travel agency can get a good deal with the hotel so please be worried that your trip can be very expensive.

If you are a young traveler and have a lot of time searching for information. There are a lot of articles and blogs that could help to design the best itinerary for Vietnam. On the contrary, senior people who are often busy with their jobs can find a travel agency to customize a tour based on their travel interests and duration. You might find Vietnam’s cultural highlight 14-day tour suitable for you.

Flights to Vietnam from Australia

Several airlines offer direct flights from major Australian cities to Vietnam. There are numerous flights from big cities including Melbourne, and Sydney to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam has two International Airport in two biggest cities of the country that are available for international flights:

  • Noi Bai Airport (Hanoi Capital): in the North of Vietnam
  • Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City): in the South of Vietnam

Depending on your starting in Vietnam, you could choose a suitable airport for convenience. These can be direct or one-stop flights with time fluctuation from 9 to 12 hours. The major airlines operating flights from Australia to Vietnam include Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines.

If you plan to book Vietnam tour packages from Australia through a travel agent, then you just have to book the international flight tickets. The travel agent will take care of all the internal flights in the itinerary.

Vietjet Airline - A Lowcost Airline Brand of Vietnam (Image_ Vietjet Air)
Vietjet Airline – A Lowcost Airline Brand of Vietnam (Image_ Vietjet Air)

Vietnam Transportation

Once arrive in Vietnam, besides domestic airlines, there are various transports for you to choose from when traveling, from road to railway:

Domestic Airline: Airlines like Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, and Bamboo Airways operate frequent flights between major cities, providing a convenient means of exploring different regions.

Train: Vietnam’s scenic train journeys offer a relaxed and culturally immersive travel experience. The Reunification Express, running from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, is a popular choice, showcasing breathtaking landscapes along the way.

Bus: A cost-effective and widely used mode of transportation, buses connect cities, towns, and rural areas. While the sleeper buses are suitable for long-haul journeys, local buses are perfect for short distances and offer a chance to interact with locals.

Motorbike: For the adventurous traveler, renting a motorbike provides the ultimate freedom to explore both cities and rural landscapes. However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety, wear helmets, and be mindful of local traffic rules.

Taxis and Ride-hailing Services: Taxis are readily available in urban areas, and ride-hailing services like Grab offer a convenient and transparent option. Ensure that the taxi meter is used or agree on a fare beforehand. Always use reputable services to ensure safety and fair pricing.

Boat, Cruise, and Ferry: With its extensive coastline and numerous waterways, Vietnam offers various boat, cruise, and ferry options. Whether cruising in Halong Bay, exploring the Mekong Delta by boat, or taking a ferry to the islands, water-based transport unveils a different facet of Vietnam’s beauty.

Travel Vietnam by Train (Image: MoMo)
Travel Vietnam by Train (Image: MoMo)

Vietnam Transit Visa for Australian

Australian citizens do need a visa to visit Vietnam. Before boarding the flight to Vietnam, you must show either a visa in your passport or a visa approval letter. Also, make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after you leave the country.

There are 3 main ways to get a visa:

Embassy Visa

This is made via the Vietnam Embassy in your country. This way is very convenient for people living near the Embassy, and, if you are not close by, you must send your passport to them. With Embassy Visa, you can get through Immigration quickly at the airport. The only thing is that it normally costs more than the two other ways below, the fee ranges from USD $50-$150 depending on which country you are from.

Visa on Arrival

Before getting a Visa at the Immigration checkpoint at international airports in Vietnam, you must request an Approval Letter. There are many websites offering the Approval Letter with a fee ranging from USD $6. Especially, some travel agencies will offer it together with the tour package you book from them. Please make sure the name on the letter and other information match with one on your passport. Otherwise, you may be denied entry.

Upon arrival at the international airport, you need to go to the visa counter and show them your approval letter, 2 photos of your passport size, and USD 25 in cash a for single entry or USD 50 in cash for multiple entries to get your visa. The process for this way is ranging from 15 minutes up to 2 hours sometimes.

Important note

There are 4 airports accepting the Approval letter for Visa on Arrival; including Noi Bai (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh), Da Nang, and Nha Trang (Nha Trang). Therefore, don’t use this option if you are planning to enter Vietnam by land or sea entry.

E-visa for Vietnam from Australia

This is the most convenient method that’s widely accepted at many airports, landports, and seaports in Vietnam. The whole process will be implemented online through the E-visa website. Before beginning, make sure to have the following:

  • A scan of your passport
  • An email address for support purposes
  • A temporary address in Vietnam
  • Your entry and exit dates and entry and exit points/airports
  • A valid international credit or debit card.

Follow all the steps and get your application approved at last. Finally, the visa will be sent to your email in a PDF file within 3 working days. Print it out to show it together with your travel itinerary at the airport.

When is the best time to visit Vietnam from Australia?

Vietnam experiences a diverse climate, so the best time to visit depends on the region you plan to explore. In general, the best time for a Vietnam itinerary is from October to April due to favorable weather. It is dry and comfortable, average temperature ranging from 17-24 degrees Celsius. That’s the reason why this period is the high season for tourists in Vietnam.

  • For the best landscape of Northern Vietnam: from April to October.
  • For a good time for relaxing on beaches in the center and South Vietnam (Danang, Hoi An, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, etc): June, July, and August.
  • For the best time with rice fields and rice season: August and early September.

Try to avoid August, September, and October if you want to visit the Mekong Delta – Southern Vietnam as it rains a lot that time.

Thus, if you are a budget traveler looking for a good price tour package, let’s plan your trip to Vietnam from May to September. It would be a wise decision as there is a lot of promotion offered by Vietnam travel agencies.

Rice crop in September - Ha Giang
Rice crop in September – Ha Giang

Furthermore with Vietnam And Cambodia Family Tour

If you have a holiday plan for your family and only Vietnam is not enough, a Vietnam and Cambodia family tour presents an ideal holiday for those eager to explore more than one country. Cambodia, a neighboring gem to Vietnam, seamlessly complements the Vietnamese adventure, providing a perfect blend of cultural richness and historical wonders.

As you traverse the bustling streets of Hanoi, cruise through the mystical Halong Bay, and delve into the vibrant markets of Ho Chi Minh City, Cambodia awaits with the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat and the fascinating history of Siem Reap. The proximity of these two countries makes it convenient for families to extend their journey and immerse themselves in the unique charm each destination offers.

Last, but not least, it is really depending on your time duration and travel interest to pick up the best Vietnam tour packages from Australia. Indochina Voyages is one of the best Southeast Asia Tour Companies that focus on customized tours, so don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know your preference and tailor-make your tour perfectly. With more than 15 years of experience in tourism will give you the best advice!

Looking for some sample Vietnam itineraries? Find your Package Holidays to Vietnam from Australia:

>>> Don’t know where to go in Vietnam if having 3 weeks? Read more: 3 Weeks Vietnam: A Comprehensive Guide and Perfect Itinerary

Indochina Voyages Travel Specialists

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