Vietnam is experiencing tourist growth of over 32%, making it one of the fastest-growing destinations in the world – and it’s easy to see why. Vietnam has almost everything a traveller could want. Perfect for hostel hopping backpackers or more luxury breaks taking in the very best in 5-star hotels, this small country has plenty to offer. If you want to explore nature, there’s breathtaking scenery, with turquoise lagoons, hidden beaches, lush tropical landscapes and staggering mountains. Or are you looking for the buzz and excitement of a bustling city, packed with street food stalls, modern architecture stacked alongside traditional homes, and ancient temples?
Whatever you’re looking for when you visit Vietnam, the one thing we all dread on our travels is crowds. While they are seemingly unavoidable in popular destinations, there are ways to slip away from them – and maybe discover something even better than the main attractions. We’ve pulled together three essential tips for avoiding the crowds in Vietnam.
1. Local guides and tours
No matter where you’re travelling, the knowledge of the locals is always the most valuable asset you can tap into. Not only are they accustomed to dealing with the tourists day to day, they’ll also know their habits better than anyone. Locals can help you find the best places to eat, the quietest spots on the beach, the best bars for a party, and how to avoid the crushing crowds.
Your host will no doubt be able to help make some recommendations for hidden gems tucked away from the main crowds. Many people don’t take nearly as much advantage of the knowledge that’s quite literally right in front of them, and many locals are happy to share their favourite spots – and might even be able to hook you up with a discount or two!
If you want to take a tour to a popular location, such as Ha Long Bay or the Cu Chi Tunnels, try and find a reputable local tour company to go with, rather than a big name agency. They’ll usually know shortcuts through the maze of traffic and can recommend better times to visit, helping you avoid those crowds ruining your photos and causing endless queues.
2. Go off the beaten track
While many destinations are popular for good reason, when they’re teeming with people it’s often hard to appreciate them fully. Finding somewhere just as amazing but a little further away can hugely reduce the crowds you’ll be doing battle with. It might require a bit more effort to find it and get there, but when you’re on a tropical beach with no one around, or eating pho at an incredible street kitchen without queuing for hours, it really pays off. Check out some top places that are off the main tourist radar.
3. Time it right
While Vietnam has a tropical climate all year round that makes it ideal for tourists looking for some warmth and sun, there are busier times of the year where more people are visiting. Most people flock there in the hot and humid summer months (May to October), but the cooler (and drier) winter season is often overlooked. You can plan ahead with a year-round insight into the climate of the country. March and April still have temperatures well above 20 degrees, and with less rainfall, the humidity is lower too – so if you don’t cope all that well with sweltering heat but are keen to visit, a winter trip might be better for you (and you’ll be avoiding those sticky sweaty crowds).
We hope you found these tips for avoiding the crowds in Vietnam helpful. Below are some more tips and resources to help you plan your trip to Vietnam.
Planning a trip to Vietnam
If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, this article will tell you absolutely everything you need to know about planning your trip including visas, flights, travel insurance, accommodation, budget and more.