Vietnam isn’t always topping the bucketlist of the southeast Asia traveler. With Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in its back garden and the beautiful islands of the Philippines just offshore there is fierce competition. However, traveling to Vietnam is beautiful in its own and has a lot to offer. With this Vietnam travel blog I am giving you 20 essential things you need to know before your trip and that help you enjoying this beautiful country even more.
As if my jet leg alone was not enough already to get me sleepless nights in Ho Chi Minh City we had to meet up in the Lobby of the Grand Hotel Saigon at 04.00 in the morning for our trip to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. We were about to travel to Quang Binh Province to check out all the tourist spots in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. It wasn't my first trip to Vietnam, but it was my first time to this part of the country.
One of the most annoying things about traveling around the world is visas. Some visas are really easy to get but others can be a pain in the ass. There are countries I still have not been because of the visa restrictions. Although lately it was my 4th trip to Vietnam the hassle to get a visa on arrival in Vietnam still annoys me. Must say over the last years it got easier and easier.
A year passed by since I last visited Ho Chi Minh City. Exactly one year ago ITE HCMC 2017 was a great trip and since I kept so many good memories about visiting Vietnam I decided to come back this year for ITE HCMC 2018. The largest travel trade show in Vietnam is called the International Travel Expo and is annually held in Ho Chi Minh City.
Last year when I visited Ho Chi Minh City for ITE 2017 I also stayed in the city central of Saigon. It was a pleasure staying at the Myst Dong Khoi and I named it the best boutique hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. This year when I came back for ITE 2018 I slept on the other side of the street in the Grand Hotel Saigon, an iconic property in Saigon.
It is not a secret that Vietnam can be a chaos for buying things as Vietnamese are die-hard sales people. Let’s see if that also counts for a sim card for tourists in Vietnam. I recommend you buying a Vietnam sim card on arrival as it is the easiest way to stay connected. Data is not expensive and it will make traveling in Vietnam much easier.
Over the last 5 years I visited Vietnam multiple times with visiting Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park as part the annual Travel Trade Show ITE HCMC. But also driving down a motorcycle from North to South was a dream. Vietnam is an amazing country for backpackers, but also has some great hidden gems and amazing luxury hotels for people on a holiday.
As part of our press trip to ITE Ho Chi Minh City we were able to choose a fam trip destination somewhere around Saigon. It was already more than 8 years ago I was in the South of Vietnam the last time so I decided to go on a Mekong Delta tour and see if I could still remember something of my trip around the world in 2009.
Being back home in Holland was lovely but I knew there was another adventure waiting for me. A couple weeks ago while I was driving around in Nusa Penida in Indonesia I got the confirmation that I was selected as one of the bloggers to come to Ho Chi Minh City to attend a Travel Trade Show. After the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul last February this was going to be my second Travel Conference and I could not wait to hop on a plane and get my ass back to Vietnam!
Lately I was invited to visit ITE Ho Chi Minh City, a travel trade show bringing all the South East Asian countries together to collaborate on future tourism projects. As a media invite I was here to cover stories and spread the word about ITE HCMC. As part of the trip I was put up in the best boutique hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and I could not resist sharing this place with you.