The Southern Dry Season: Travel Guide

Last updated January 2021 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

INTRODUCTION | GUIDE | MAP | RELATED POSTS

The southern dry season is a period of glorious, warm, sunny weather in the lower regions of Vietnam. Lasting roughly from November to May, the southern dry season covers all regions south of Nha Trang. However, the very best weather is from December to March, when the sun shines almost all day, the skies are blue, the colours are brilliant, the air is clear, the heat is dry, humidity is low, and temperatures in the mornings and evenings drop to pleasantly mild (even chilly) levels. These months are the ideal time to travel in the south of the country. There are dozens of excellent road trips, destinations, and accommodations to choose from that fall within the region of the southern dry season. These include islands, river deltas, resorts, mountains, homestays, forests, beaches, camping, plateaus, and cities. On this page, I’ve pulled together all of my guides which are best explored during the southern dry season.

The Southern Dry Season in Vietnam: Travel Guide

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SOUTHERN DRY SEASON: TRAVEL GUIDES


Below, I’ve organized all my guides which fall within the southern dry season into four categories: Destinations, Motorbike Routes, Accommodation and Transportation. I’ve illustrated each guide with an image and written a brief description, including a direct link to the full guide. I’ve also plotted all the guides on my Southern Dry Season Map. The purpose of this post is to give travellers a better understanding of where to go during the southern dry season months, which I consider one of the best and most rewarding times to travel in Vietnam. (Please note: things change quickly in Vietnam & some of the information in my guides may be out of date by the time you read them.)

Click a guide from a category below to read more:

DESTINATION GUIDES:

MOTORBIKE GUIDES:

ACCOMMODATION GUIDES:

TRANSPORTATION GUIDES:

MAP:

DRY SEASON TRAVEL GUIDES
[Click a map icon, then click the link to go to the guide]

  • Destinations
  • Motorbike Routes
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation


View in a LARGER MAP

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Ha Tien: Jewel of the Mekong

Region & Province: southwestern corner; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Guide: Ha Tien: Jewel of the Mekong

Description: In the southwestern corner of the country, Ha Tien is the most attractive place to be in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. Its irresistible combination of bustling markets and languid backstreets, crumbling shophouses and forested hills, delicious street food and local temples, promenading pedestrians and river traffic, twittering swiftlets and chiming pagoda gongs, makes Ha Tien the ‘Jewel of the Delta’……read more


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Ha Tien, Mekong Delta, travel guide, Vietnam

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Exploring Saigons Railway Tracks:

Region & Province: Saigon; Ho Chi Minh City Municipality [MAP]

Best Time to Go: January-March

Full Guide: Exploring Saigon’s Railway Tracks: A Guide

Description: Lined with cramped housing, intriguing architecture, temples, shrines, pagodas, fruit trees, flowers, cafes, casual dining, trash, beer joints and other such urban miscellanea, Saigon’s railway tracks are a fascinating area to explore, whether on foot or on two wheels……read more


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Exploring Saigon's Rail Tracks, A Guide

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La Nga River & Thac Ba Waterfall:

Region & Province: southern Central Highlands; Dong Nai & Binh Thuan provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-February

Full Guide: La Nga River & Thac Ba Waterfall

Description: Offering freshwater bathing, lush jungle, mountain scenery, and opportunities for camping, all within a few hours’ drive of Saigon, La Nga River & Thac Ba Waterfall is a great escape for city-dwellers: best visited with your own wheels……read more


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La Nga River & Thac Ba Waterfall, Vietnam

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Cam Ranh Bay: Cam Lap Promontory

Region & Province: south-central coast; Ninh Thuan & Khanh Hoa Provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-May

Full Guide: Cam Ranh Bay: Cam Lap Promontory

Description: Filled by the calm, glistening waters of the East Sea, Cam Ranh Bay is a splendid natural harbour surrounded by hills. From its southern shores, a finger of land points northwards into the bay: this is Cam Lap Promontory……read more


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Cam Lap Promontory, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

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Ho Tram & Ho Coc Beaches:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-May

Full Guide: Ho Tram & Ho Coc Beaches

Description: Two long & wide stretches of sand, Ho Tram & Ho Coc are by far the best beaches within easy reach of Saigon. If you’re a Saigon expat with a mini-break of a couple of days, or a traveller looking for a short trip out of the city, this is where you should be heading……read more


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Ho Tram & Ho Coc beaches, Vietnam

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Saigons Street Food Ghettos’:

Region & Province: Saigon; Ho Chi Minh City Municipality [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-February

Full Guide: Saigon’s Street Food ‘Ghettos’

Description: Throughout Saigon, there are clusters of crumbling old apartment complexes, all of which are on the verge of either collapse or demolition. As is so often the case in Saigon, street life enlivens these relatively poor areas, making them some of the most exciting street food destinations in the city……read more


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Saigon's Street Food 'Ghettos'

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Phu Quocs Beaches: A Guide

Region & Province: southwestern corner; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Guide: Phu Quoc’s Beaches: A Guide

Description: Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island, and fast becoming the country’s premier beach destination. There are dozens of excellent beaches on Phu Quoc Island, and this guide covers them all, including my tips for accommodation on each one……read more


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Phu Quoc Island's Beaches, Vietnam

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Nui Dinh Mountain & Springs:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Guide: Nui Dinh Mountain & Springs

Description: An unexpected swell of high ground, rising above the flat expanse of several river deltas just 90 minutes from Saigon, Núi Dinh Mountain is a peaceful retreat into the trees & streams on its rocky slopes, upon which perch dozens of Buddhist temples and pagodas……read more


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Núi Dinh Mountain, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Vietnam

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Public Swimming Pools in Saigon:

Region & Province: Saigon; Ho Chi Minh City Municipality [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-May

Full Guide: Public Swimming Pools in Saigon

Description: If you’re not lucky enough to be staying at one of the smarter hotels with a pool, or if you’re an expat looking to escape the heat and clamour of the city, Saigon has plenty of decent & inexpensive public swimming pools to choose from……read more


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Public swimming pools in Saigon, Vietnam

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The Con Dao Islands:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: February-May

Full Guide: Con Dao Islands: A Guide

Description: With its wild & beautiful beaches, rugged, jungle-covered interior & fascinating but tragic history, the Con Dao Islands is a remarkable place. Once a brutal penal colony, established by the French colonial administration, today the Con Dao Islands is one of Vietnam’s most beguiling destinations……read more


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The Con Dao Islands, Vietnam

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Phu Quy Island:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Binh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Guide: Phu Quy Island: Travel Guide

Description: A fascinating drop of land in the East Sea, Phu Quy is yet another of Vietnam’s previously ‘unknown’ islands that’s recently opened its doors to domestic and foreign travellers. A flat, green island rising gently to two volcanic peaks, Phu Quy is very isolated……read more


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Saigons Parks & Open Spaces:

Region & Province: Saigon; Ho Chi Minh City Municipality [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-February

Full Guide: Saigon’s Parks & Open Spaces

Description: During the dry season months, find respite from the heat in one of Saigon’s parks & open spaces. Some date from French colonial times; some are a product of the recent economic boom……read more


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Saigon's parks & open spaces

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Tan Lap Floating Forest:

Region & Province: inland southwest; Long An Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-February

Full Guide: The Floating Forest of Long An

Description: Only 100km west of Ho Chi Minh City, Làng Nổi Tân Lập is an enchanted patch of wetland where cajeput trees rise from the black, swampy waters creating beguiling corridors through which canoes glide & raised walkways wind……read more


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The Floating Forest of Tan Lap, Long An, Vietnam

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Pirate Islands:

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Guide: Pirate Islands: Travel Guide

Description: A small, rugged archipelago with calm seas & green hills, the Pirate Islands have only recently opened to foreign travellers. For centuries, the islands provided shelter for pirates, who lay in wait in the rocky coves, poised to attack commercial ships plying the lucrative Southeast Asia trade route, laden with goods……read more


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The Pirate Islands (Hai Tac Archipelago), Travel Guide, Vietnam)

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Phu Quoc: North & East Coasts

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Guide: Phu Quoc Island: North & East Coasts

Description: Right now, if you visit Phu Quoc, it’s all about the east & north coasts. Newly completed roads have opened access to beaches, bays, forests & hamlets that were previously difficult to get to. These parts of Phu Quoc have yet to see the huge developments & construction that currently blight much of the rest of the island……read more


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Phuong Boi Hill & Forest:

Region & Province: Central Highlands; Lam Dong Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Guide: Phuong Boi: Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s Retreat

Description: In the misty forests that once covered the slopes of the B’lao mountains, the young Buddhist monk, Thích Nhất Hạnh, came to build a retreat in the late 1950s. Together with several good friends, Nhat Hanh bought some land in Vietnam’s Central Highlands from a local hill tribe & began to work on a simple Buddhist retreat……read more


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Phuong Boi hill & forest, the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh's retreat, Vietnam

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Hon Son Island:

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Guide: Hon Son Island: Travel Guide

Description: Lying in the Gulf of Thailand, just over an hour’s boat ride from Rach Gia in the Mekong Delta, Hon Son means ‘Mountain Island’. Rising from the calm, blue sea, giant boulders dot the palm-studded lower slopes as they ascend steeply to several jungle-covered peaks……read more


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Hon Son Island, travel guide, Vietnam

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Dalats Waterfalls:

Region & Province: Central Highlands; Lam Dong Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-February

Full Guide: Dalat’s Waterfalls: A Guide

Description: The region surrounding Dalat boasts many waterfalls: some big, some small; some empty, some crowded; some spectacular, some disappointing. Here’s a guide to several of Dalat’s cascades……read more


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Nam Du Islands:

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Guide: Nam Du Islands: Travel Guide

Description: A glistening archipelago of small tropical islands lying in the calm waters off the southwestern coast of Vietnam, travel to Nam Du is still in its infancy……read more


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Nam Du Islands, Kien Giang Province, Vietnam

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Walking Saigons Allways:

Region & Province: Saigon; Ho Chi Minh City Municipality [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-February

Full Guide: Alley Walks, Saigon

Description: Saigon is a fascinating, vibrant & youthful city. To experience the best of Saigon, focus on its minutiae: the little details of this big city. There’s no better place to do this than in the city’s tangled network of narrow alleyways……read more


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Saigon to Dalat: the Back Ways

Region & Province: southern Central Highlands; Dong Nai & Lam Dong provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Guide: Saigon to Dalat: the Back Ways

Description: There are many ways to ride from Saigon to Dalat, but if you want a relatively direct route that avoids highways, there are several great options. These ‘back ways’ to Dalat utilize new, quiet & scenic roads to make the journey as fun as possible……read more


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Saigon to Dalat, the back ways, Vietnam

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The Ocean Road: Saigon to Mui Ne

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau & Binh Thuan provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-May

Full Guide: The Ocean Road: Saigon to Mui Ne

Description: Skirting the deserted coastline for much of its length, occasionally ducking inland through cashew trees & dragon fruit plantations, over white salt flats & green rice fields, past hot springs & hilltop pagodas, the Ocean Road is the scenic route between Saigon & Mui Ne……read more


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The Ocean Road: Saigon to Mui Ne, Vietnam

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Mountains in the Mekong:

Region & Province: southwestern Delta; An Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Guide: Mountains in the Mekong: Motorbike Loop

Description: Most of the Mekong Delta is as flat as a sheet of rice paper. But my favourite corner of the region, the western edge along the Cambodian border, is blessed with some high ground, in the form of a mini mountain range, which rises from the plains of An Giang Province. These mountains are connected by beautiful back-roads, perfect for a road trip……read more


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Mountains in the Mekong, motorbike loop, Vietnam

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Midnight Motorbike Loop: Saigon

Region & Province: Saigon; Ho Chi Minh City Municipality [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-February

Full Guide: The Saigon Midnight Motorbike Loop

Description: At night, Saigon is at its best: temperatures are cool, humidity is low, and traffic is light – it’s the perfect time to see the city. The Midnight Loop is an urban motorbike route designed specifically for riding after dark: a night out on two wheels……read more


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Midnight Motorbike Loop, Saigon

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Binh Thuan BackRoads:

Region & Province: southern Central Highlands; Binh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Guide: Binh Thuan Back-Roads: Inland Loop

Description: Binh Thuan Province is known for its beaches, but inland there’s a rich and varied landscape waiting to be explored. A network of rarely used, rural back-roads takes you on an inland loop – over arid plains, through forests, and across rivers……read more


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Binh Thuan Back-Roads, motorbike loop

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River Road: The Cai Valley

Region & Province: lower Central Highlands; Khanh Hoa & Ninh Thuan provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-May

Full Guide: River Road: The Cai Valley

Description: A silver seam of glistening water, the Cai River meanders through a beautiful valley between Dalat & Phan Rang. A new road follows the course of the river, from its source in the high, forested hills to its mouth on the eastern seaboard……read more


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River Road, the Cai Valley, Vietnam

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The Pine Tree Road, Dalat:

Region & Province: Central Highlands; Lam Dong Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Guide: The Pine Tree Road

Description: An enticing road leads north from Dalat and into the remote forests and mountains of deepest Lam Dong Province. Coniferous forests stretch to the horizon, making this route great for camping or picnicking……read more


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The Pine Tree Road, Dalat, Vietnam

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Tet Classic: Lunar New Year Loop

Region & Province: southeast coast & Central Highlands; Dong Nai, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan & Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: January-February

Full Guide: Tet Classic: Lunar New Year Motorbike Loop

Description: Tết (Lunar New Year) is the biggest festival of them all in Vietnam, but travel can be very difficult at this time of year. That’s why, every year, I take a meandering road trip that bypasses popular tourist spots & makes the most of the dry season weather……read more


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Camping during a Tết road trip, Lunar New Year, Vietnam

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Saigon to Phu Quoc: Motorbike Loop

Region & Province: Mekong Delta & southwest coast; Tien Giang, An Giang, Kien Giang, Can Tho provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: January-February

Full Guide: Saigon to Phu Quoc Island by Motorbike

Description: Flying to Phu Quoc is easy, but if you want a real adventure, riding there by motorbike is much more fun. This road trip takes you from Vietnam’s biggest city to some its best beaches, via the waterways & back-roads of the Mekong Delta……read more


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Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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The Sand Dune Highway:

Region & Province: south-central coast; Binh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-May

Full Guide: The Sand Dune Highway: Mui Ne to Ca Na

Description: Get off the beaten track from Mui Ne with this short, scenic, easily navigable and rewarding road trip. Excellent coast roads lead between Mui Ne, Phan Ri Cua, Lien Huong and Ca Na, passing some great coastal scenery……read more


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The Sand Dune Highway, Mui Ne to Ca Na, Vietnam

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Nui Chua Coast Road:

Region & Province: south-central coast; Ninh Thuan & Khanh Hoa provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Guide: The Nui Chua Coast Road

Description: Nui Chua is a beautiful promontory jutting into the ocean between Phan Rang City & Cam Ranh Bay, on Vietnam’s south-central coast. A spectacular coast road has opened up access to its superb beaches, forests, rivers & fishing villages……read more


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The Nui Chua Coast Road, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

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Dragons Graveyard Coast Road:

Region & Province: south-central coast; Ninh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Guide: Dragons’ Graveyard Coast Road

Description: A new coast road has opened access to an arid, wild, windswept, boulder-strewn & cactus-studded section of coastline. People say this is where dragons’ came to die, and the earth scorched itself in grief……read more


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Dragon's Graveyard Coast Road, Vietnam

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Deep South: Riding the Dragons Tail

Region & Province: the far south; Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu & Ca Mau provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Guide: Deep South: Riding the Dragon’s Tail

Description: Vietnam’s ‘deep south’ consists of vast, flat, agricultural provinces, criss-crossed by rivers and canals. I like to call it the Dragon’s Tail. Travellers rarely make it this far south, but this motorbike loop is a lot of fun, taking in bustling Mekong towns & rustic backwaters……read more


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The Deep South, Vietnam

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The Burnt Road: Vietnams Desert

Region & Province: inland south-central; Ninh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-May

Full Guide: The Burnt Road: Vietnam’s Desert

Description: A short, easy ride through a big, hot landscape of barren hills and abandoned farmhouses, Highway 27B is the Burnt Road. This road trip takes you inland, through the vast open spaces of Vietnam’s driest province……read more


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The Burnt Road, Vietnam's Desert

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The Southeast Loop:

Region & Province: southeast coast & highlands; Binh Thuan & Lam Dong provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Guide: The Southeast Loop: Motorbike Guide

Description: This road trip is a classic ‘Saigon escape loop’, taking in Mui Ne and Dalat via good coastal and mountain roads, but avoiding most of the big, busy highways. This guide hasn’t been updated for a long time, but the route is still just as rewarding as when I first wrote it……read more


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The Southeast Loop, Vietnam

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Dak Nong GeoPark Loop:

Region & Province: Western Highlands; Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Lam Dong, Dong Nai provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Guide: Dak Nong Geo-Park Motorbike Loop

Description: A meandering road trip in the cool, clear air, and vivid ‘HD’ colours of the Western Highlands, the Dak Nong Geopark↔Dong Nai River Motorbike Loop is packed with natural attractions & great riding roads……read more


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Ho Chi Minh Road (South):

Region & Province: Central Highlands; Binh Phuoc, Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Gia Lai & Kon Tum provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-May

Full Guide: Ho Chi Minh Road (South)

Description: Crossing vast, barren plateaus, huge swathes of dense agricultural land, infamous sites of 2oth century battles, and booming highland cities, the southern section of the Ho Chi Minh Road is long, wide, windy and busy with highland commerce……read more


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Cat Tien National Park: Where to Stay

Region & Province: southern Central Highlands; Dong Nai Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Review: Cat Tien National Park: Where to Stay

Description: Traditional longhouses, luxury safari tents, bamboo huts, camping under tall trees: accommodation in & around Cat Tien National Park is atmospheric, good value and, more often than not, environmentally & socially responsible……read more


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Where to stay in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam

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Beach Camping: Saigon to Nha Trang

Region & Province: southeast & south-central coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan & Khanh Hoa provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-May

Full Review: Camping the Ocean Road: Saigon to Nha Trang

Description: Pitch your tent under a coconut palm just metres from the surf & enjoy Vietnam’s south coast sleeping in the open air. This is my guide to camping on the beaches along the Ocean Road from Saigon to Nha Trang……read more


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Beach camping: Saigon to Nha Trang

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Ana Mandara Villas, Dalat:

Region & Province: Central Highlands; Lam Dong Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-February

Full Review: Ana Mandara Villas Dalat: Review

Description: With 17 beautifully restored French colonial villas on a pine-studded hillside, Ana Mandara Resort & Spa keeps the romance of Dalat alive. Luxury accommodation in the Central Highlands doesn’t get more atmospheric than this……read more


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Ana Mandara Villas Resort & Spa, Dalat, Vietnam

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Camping in Dalat:

Region & Province: Central Highlands; Lam Dong Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-February

Full Review: Camping in Dalat: A Guide

Description: Watch the sun set over purple mountains cloaked in pine forests stretching into the misty distance, with the smell of wood smoke & coffee blossom scenting the cool highland air, as you camp in the hills north of Dalat……read more


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Camping in the pine forests, Dalat, Central Highlands, Vietnam

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Ho Tram Beach Boutique:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Ho Tram Beach Boutique Resort: Review

Description: Just a couple of hours southeast of Saigon, Ho Tram Beach Resort is one of Vietnam’s most tasteful & charming coastal retreats. It’s romantic, elegant, refined yet understated, and blends in with the natural surrounds……read more


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Ho Tram Beach Boutique Resort & Spa, Vietnam

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Mango Bay, Phu Quoc:

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Review: Mango Bay Resort, Phu Quoc: Review

Description: Mango Bay Resort has been around for over a decade & withstood the massive changes the island has gone through. And, despite increasing competition, Mango Bay is still the best place to go if you want to live the tropical island fantasy for a few days……read more


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Mango Bay, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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Thanh Kieu Resort, Phu Quoc:

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Review: Thanh Kieu Resort, Phu Quoc: Review

Description: The unsung hero of seafront, mid-range accommodation on Long Beach, Thanh Kieu Resort is an exceptionally lush, peaceful, and unassuming place to stay on Phu Quoc Island. It’s been my go-to resort for years……read more


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Thanh Kieu Resort, Phu Quoc Island

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Victoria Beach Resort, Mui Ne:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Binh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-May

Full Review: Victoria Beach Resort, Mui Ne: Review

Description: One of the first luxury resorts to grace the sands of Mui Ne, Victoria is still one of the best places to stay on this popular beach on Vietnam’s southeast coast. With lush tropical gardens & a long stretch of beach, Victoria is far more spacious than its competitors……read more


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Victoria Beach Resort, Mui Ne, Vietnam

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Binh Chau Hot Springs:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort: Review

Description: Just a couple hours’ drive from Saigon, Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort & Spa has improved its facilities and aesthetics in recent years: it’s now a lush, relaxing and satisfying retreat from the city……read more


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Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort & Spa, Vietnam

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Leman Cap Resort, Vung Tau:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Leman Cap Resort, Vung Tau: Review

Description: Sitting on the rocks above Vung Tau’s attractive seafront promenade, Leman Cap Resort is an excellent option for expats or mid-range travellers looking to escape Saigon for a couple of nights by the sea……read more


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Leman Cap Resort, Vung Tau, Vietnam

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Vinh Hy Bay Resort:

Region & Province: south-central coast; Ninh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Vinh Hy Bay Resort: Review

Description: Vinh Hy is a gorgeous natural harbour between Phan Rang & Nha Trang. At the centre of the pretty bay & fishing village, there’s an excellent-value place to stay: Vinh Hy Resort is perfect if you’re on a road trip along the coast……read more


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Vinh Hy Bay Resort, Vietnam

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Ocean Dunes, Phan Thiet:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Binh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Ocean Dunes Resort Phan Thiet: Review

Description: On the beach in Phan Thiet City, the Ocean Dunes Resort is excellent value for money. Offering high-end amenities at mid-range prices, the Ocean Dunes is a great option for budget travellers looking for a slice of luxury and, because of its wide greens spaces, for families……read more


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The Ocean Dunes Resort, Phan Thiet, Vietnam

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Ivory Falls Villa, Di Linh:

Region & Province: southern Central Highlands; Lam Dong Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Review: Ivory Falls Villa Resort, Di Linh: Review

Description: Surrounded by coffee farms, tea plantations, rice paddies & fruit trees, Juliet’s Villa Resort is a family-run, quiet, secluded & peaceful place to stay near Di Linh, a part of the Central Highlands most travellers overlook……read more


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Ivory Falls Villa Resort, Di Linh Highlands, Vietnam

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Lotus Lake Homestays, Mekong Delta:

Region & Province: southern Central Highlands; Lam Dong Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Review: Lotus Lake Homestays: Review

Description: In the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, a collection of bamboo & palm-thatch huts on wooden stilts above a sea of lotus flowers, offer a night in a hammock or on a futon under a mosquito net, just a few feet above the frogs, the fish & the flowers……read more


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Floating Lotus Lake Homestays, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

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Lak Tented Camp, Dak Lak:

Region & Province: Central Highlands; Dak Lak Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Review: Lak Tented Camp: Independent Review

Description: Spread over a lush hillside on a spur of land jutting into the water on the north shore of Lake Lak in the Dak Lak highlands, Lak Tented Camp is a wonderfully atmospheric accommodation with a deep attachment to the local community and natural environment……read more


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Lak Tented Camp, Lak Lake, Dak Lak, Vietnam

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Mia Resort Nha Trang:

Region & Province: south-central coast; Khanh Hoa Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Mia Resort Nha Trang: Independent Review

Description: A crisp, clean & contemporary resort straddling the cliffs on the spectacular coast road between Nha Trang & Cam Ranh Airport, Mia is the embodiment of minimalist-chic. A luxurious beach resort with excellent facilities, great service, good dining options & a fabulous location……read more


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Mia Resort Nha Trang, Vietnam, Independent Review

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The Myst Dong Khoi:

Region & Province: Saigon; Ho Chi Minh City [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Review: The Myst Dong Khoi: Review

Description: The Myst is a brand new, quirky, yet elegant & comfortable, high-end hotel in the centre of Saigon. From its perplexing, asymmetrical exterior to its eccentric & stylish interiors, the Myst is a unique, bold, concept-driven boutique accommodation……read more


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The Myst Dong Khoi hotel, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City

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Bamboo Cottages Phu Quoc:

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Review: Bamboo Cottages Phu Quoc: Review

Description: Situated on one of Phu Quoc’s most attractive & least developed bays, Bamboo Cottages is a small, mid-range beach resort powered by solar energy. By generating electricity through solar panels, Bamboo Cottages is almost 100% power-independent & off the national grid……read more


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Bamboo Cottages, solar-powered resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

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Camping on the La Nga River:

Region & Province: south-central highlands; Binh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Review: Camping on the La Nga River: A Guide

Description: Camping by fresh water is special. There’s something about being close to a natural body of water for a day or more: you get to know its character, its ebbs & flows, its smells & personality: its ‘ways’. The La Nga River runs clean, clear & cool, making it good for bathing & swimming……read more


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Camping on the La Nga River, Vietnam

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Du Parc Hotel Dalat:

Region & Province: Central Highlands; Lam Dong Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Review: Du Parc Hotel, Dalat: Review

Description: Offering excellent-value, mid-range accommodation in the highlands city of Dalat, the Du Parc is housed in a French colonial building dating from the 1930s. The Hotel Du Parc provides colonial ambience & modern amenities at very reasonable prices……read more


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Victoria Can Tho Resort:

Region & Province: central Mekong Delta; Can Tho [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Review: Victoria Can Tho Resort: Review

Description: A handsome, colonial-style hotel on the banks of the Mekong River, walking distance along a waterfront promenade to the centre of the delta’s largest city, Victoria Can Tho Resort is an excellent place to stay with lots of amenities to boot……read more


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Victoria Can Tho Resort, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

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Fusion Suites Vung Tau:

Region & Province: south coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Fusion Suites Vung Tau: Review

Description: Thanks to an immaculate rooftop infinity pool & sky bar with 360-degree city- and sea-views, Fusion Suites is set to become one of the most photographed places in Vung Tau. This is a sleek, modern, stylish, high-end, high-rise accommodation…….read more


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Fusion Suites Vung Tau, An Independent Review

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Escalade Cam Ranh Resort:

Region & Province: south-central coast; Khanh Hoa Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Escalade Cam Ranh Resort: Review

Description: Thatched-roof bungalows raised on stilts above large boulders looking over treetops to a white sand beach & a bright blue bay, Escalade Resort is the newest place to stay in one of my favourite coastal regions of Vietnam……read more


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Escalade Resort, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

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The Grand Ho Tram:

Region & Province: south coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-March

Full Review: The Grand Ho Tram: Review

Description: Big, brash, bold & extravagant, The Grand Resort & Casino marks the beginning of the transformation of the quiet & unassuming coastline of Ho Tram, into what is hoped will become Vietnam’s answer to Macau & Las Vegas……read more


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Victoria Nui Sam Mountain Lodge:

Region & Province: southern Mekong Delta; An Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-March

Full Review: Victoria Nui Sam Mountain Lodge: Review

Description: Built on a rocky escarpment near the summit of a sacred mountain, Victoria Nui Sam Lodge offers tasteful, well-appointed rooms with views over acres of rice paddies, canals & hills, a stone’s throw from the Cambodian border……read more


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Victoria Nui Sam Mountain Lodge, Chau Doc, Vietnam

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The Shells Resort Phu Quoc:

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Review: The Shells Resort, Phu Quoc: Review

Description: A contemporary resort with a uniquely quirky – but classy – character on the west coast of Phu Quoc, The Shells offers generously proportioned & well-appointed rooms (all with sea-views), a quiet location with a beautiful private beach & tropical gardens, and two large swimming pools……read more


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The Shells Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, Independent Review

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Liberty Central Nha Trang:

Region & Province: south-central coast; Khanh Hoa Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Review: Liberty Central Hotel Nha Trang: Review

Description: A contemporary, stylish, high-rise hotel just a block from Nha Trang’s famous seafront, Liberty Central is a modern, well-equipped, 21st century accommodation with fantastic sea views……read more


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Liberty Central Hotel, Nha Trang

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Phu Quoc Island by Fast Boat & Car Ferry:

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Guide: Phu Quoc Island by Fast Boat & Car Ferry

Description: Taking the boat to Phu Quoc Island is fun, reasonably priced, relatively easy, and a really convenient way to combine a trip to the island with travels in the Mekong Delta or the Cambodian coast……read more


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Phu Quoc Island by Boat, Vietnam

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Saigon to Phan Thiet by Train:

Region & Province: southeast coast; Binh Thuan Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Guide: Saigon to Phan Thiet by Train: A Guide

Description: The daily, non-stop express train between Saigon & Phan Thiet (Mui Ne) is a cheap, easy, fun, fast & efficient way to get from the city to the beach. Put your motorbike on the train with you & let the rails carry your wheels……read more


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The Saigon Waterbus:

Region & Province: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Guide: Saigon Waterbus: Guide & Itinerary

Description: As a way of seeing the city’s increasingly impressive skyline, of experiencing its many different neighbourhoods, and for sheer value for money, the Saigon Waterbus is pretty much unbeatable……read more


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Saigon Waterbus, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Soc TrangCon Dao Fast Ferry

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ba Ria-Vung Tau & Soc Trang provinces [MAP]

Best Time to Go: February-May

Full Guide: Soc Trang to Con Dao by Fast Boat: A Guide

Description: Daily fast boats (which can also accommodate a limited number of motorbikes) now run between the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to Con Son Island. The ferries are fast & comfortable, meaning that travellers can now add the Con Dao Islands to their Mekong Delta itineraries……read more


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Soc Trang to Con Dao Superdong ferry, Vietnam

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SaigonRach Gia Limousine Beach Bus

Region & Province: southwest coast; Kien Giang Province & Ho Chi Minh City [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-May

Full Guide: Saigon to Rach Gia Limousine Bus

Description: Part of a growing trend in luxury bus lines on popular routes, Thien Thanh Limousine service runs between Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and the Mekong Delta hub of Rach Gia, gateway to Vietnam’s islands in the Gulf of Thailand……read more


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Thien Thanh Limousine bus, Saigon to Rach Gia, Vietnam

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Can GioVung Tau Car Ferry

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ho Chi Minh City & Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: December-April

Full Guide: Can Gio to Vung Tau Car Ferry: A Guide

Description: A great boon to travellers, particularly those on motorbikes, the new Can Gio↔Vung Tau car ferry connects two of the most popular destinations near Ho Chi Minh City: Can Gio mangrove forest and Vung Tau beach……read more


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The New Can Gio-Vung Tau Car Ferry

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SaigonVung Tau Fast Boat

Region & Province: southeast coast; Ho Chi Minh City & Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Best Time to Go: November-April

Full Guide: Saigon to Vung Tau by Fast Boat: A Guide

Description: Taking the fast boat between Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) & Vung Tau is one of Vietnam’s most underrated journeys. It’s a fascinating voyage from the skyscrapers of downtown Saigon, along several busy rivers, through mangrove forest & across open sea to Vung Tau……read more


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Saigon→Vung Tau→Can Gio ferry boat, Vietnam


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