Is it best to explore Vietnam on a guided tour?
Vietnam is a beautiful country with a great deal to offer the visitor. However it is also a country that can be very tiring and at times frustrating to navigate, particularly when short on time. Yet travelling independently can be extremely rewarding, so should a traveller go it alone or seek the help of professionals?
It is hard to give a general answer for all visitors as it really depends on what you wish to get from your trip. If you simply want a holiday, perhaps with a bit of culture thrown in then why not book independently – you can find a luxury resort around the beaches of Mui Ne or Hoi An that will offer a great chance to relax and unwind, with daytrips to nearby sights and attrations that can offer a glimpse of life in Vietnam, should you get bored of the beach.
If you’re a budget traveller, a backpacker short on money but with plenty of time, for a real adventure we would highly recommend travelling independently. You are in the unique position of being able to explore the nooks and crannies of the country where few would normally venture, to take the time to meet local people and ask where they would go and visit if they could. Furthermore, the cheap tours available to budget travellers are normally geared towards economies of scale, with rigid itineraries, packed buses and a fairly generic feel, so little is to be gained by taking the pre-planned route.