There’s something for everyone in Vietnam, which makes it a top honeymoon destination for many couples all over the world. Whether your idea of romance is lying side by side on a beach, soaking up the history and culture in a busy metropolis, or embarking on an adventure-filled holiday, this magnificent country is sure to sweep you off your feet.
The country is S-shaped, making it easy to travel through. Most people start at one end and emerge at the other, happy and perfectly tanned and content. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be running out of beach options because of the 3,000 kilometer coastline running almost the whole length of Vietnam. There’s culture aplenty in Hanoi and in the UNESCO-protected towns of Hue and Hoi An, and scads of outdoor adventures to be had along the way. You’ll also find world-class hotels throughout the country, from beach resorts to boutique hotels.
There are two ways to plan your honeymoon in Vietnam—one is to stay in one or two areas for the duration of your trip, and the other is to work from one end of the country all the way to the other end to really make the most of your experience. Consider how much you’d want to travel and how many destinations you and your partner would like to visit. Here are the top places in Vietnam that will guarantee a fun and romantic time for both of you:
Ha Long Bay
A cruise on Ha Long bay represents the pinnacle of many travelers’ experience in Vietnam. Easily one of the most popular destinations in the country, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed bay is both mystical and breathtaking, an incredible feat of nature that never fails to impress.
It’s not the cliffs themselves that make Ha Long bay unique, but rather the sheer number of them that you’ll find rising majestically from the emerald waters. Imagine a huge bay, dotted with almost 2,000 mostly uninhabited limestone cliffs. The scenery is very similar to that of the Andaman coast of Thailand and Guilin in China.
There are plenty of luxurious accommodations available here, and one of them is the Novotel Ha Long Bay. It’s a beachfront, 4-star hotel with a full service spa and free wifi. Another is the Emerald Saigon Hotel, which always garners excellent reviews. If you want to stay right on the water, you might want to check out the cruises that are readily available. Try the Bhaya Cruises or the Emeraude Classic Cruises, where you can book honeymoon suites on the ships. Ha Long Bay cruises mostly come from Hanoi or Halong City, and there are thousands of agencies selling tours on the bay, but only a few actually run their own boats, and most of them are consolidators or resellers.
During your stay, take a cab to Halong City and visit the Halong Market. You can try all sorts of snacks here, such as the squid cakes. Don’t worry, it actually tastes good, sort of like a fish patty. The deep fried mini crabs are good too. If you wish to try your luck, there’s the Halong Bay Casino. It’s a small casino, and you can actually tour the place in just two minutes.
You could also visit a floating village, go cycling on Cat Ba Island, and discover hidden caves and grottos.
Phu Quoc Island
If you want to get away from the crowds, head on to Phu Quoc Island, which is just an hour away from Ho Chi Minh City. It’s an undiscovered island paradise with clear, warm waters and long stretches of sandy beaches. Fishing is the local industry here, and the island is famous throughout Vietnam for its fish sauce. The majority of Phu Quoc Island is dedicated to the preservation of the national park and its protected marine environment.
There’s a wide variety of accommodations here, from luxury hotels, villas, and laid back huts. But even the swanky places are quite affordable, at about $100 a night. For a romantic stay in the island, book a room from any of the following places: La Veranda, Mai House, Eden Resort, Chen Sea Resort and Long Beach Resort.
There are lots of activities that you can do in Phu Quoc Island, and of course, one of them will be going to the beach. Swimming is a pleasure because of the warm water and the very clean beaches that are not overcrowded. You can also go on a boat trip and go snorkeling or diving.
Aside from its beaches, Phu Quoc is known for other points of interest that may be worth peeling yourself off the beach for. You can visit a pearl farm or any of the fish sauce factories on the island, and perhaps take home a bottle or two for those times when you want to recreate the dishes that you’ve eaten in Vietnam. For a taste of local food, go to the Duong Dong Night Market for pho, crispy banh xeo pancakes, and scrumptious seafood dishes.
Known as the City of Love or Little Paris, Dalat is a luxurious treat for city dwellers and tourists tired of trudging through the coast of Vietnam. It’s a top resort destination for Vietnamese couples getting married or honeymooning. Many of the sites here are made for starry-eyed couples, such as the Valley of Love and the Lake of Sighs. It’s located 1,500 meters above sea level, so the weather is cool throughout the year, in contrast to the year-round heat that the rest of Vietnam experiences. There are several waterfalls here that are swarming with vendors dressed as bears, and “cowboys” complete with pistols and horses. It’s kind of like being in Disneyland, in that slightly kitschy but good way.
Hotels can be found all over Dalat, and you can take your pick from among 5-star hotels or places that resemble Swiss chalets or French houses. Try the Sofitel Dalat Palace, the Hoang Anh Resort, or Villa Hotel 28.
The choice of eateries in Dalat is limited compared to other popular Vietnam destinations. There are very few places that cater to western tastes, and it would be better to eat the local food here as the quality and execution of the dishes might prove to be much better. For an elegant dining experience, try the Ming Dynasty restaurant. For local fare, you can find it at Pho Di Bo and Lotus Restaurant.
While in Dalat, visit the Tuyen Lam lake and take a boat going to the far shore, where you can ride elephants and visit the Nam Qua area where you can eat barbecued deer or wild boar meat. Stop by the Truc Lam pagoda, which is Dalat’s best maintained and prettiest Buddhist shrine. A few meters from the lake is the entrance to the Datanla Waterfall, where you can stroll through the forest until you arrive at the falls and rapids.
If you want to get some great souvenirs, make sure to go to the Cuong Hoan center, which is a traditional silk center. Although it’s small, local workers use traditional methods to extract the silk, which makes them rare and very special indeed.
There are also some picturesque temples and hillsides lined with the crumbling weekend homes of the French colonials, which is always worth visiting.
Truly, a honeymoon spent in Vietnam is special and unique. For a taste of culture, adventure, great cuisine and marvelous scenery, Vietnam is the place to be for you and your partner.