Backpacking in Vietnam on a Gap Year

Countries  »  Vietnam

Why Go?

A Gap Year in Vietnam

Vietnam is a firm favourite on the backpacker trail in South East Asia. It's about the same area size as Finland, although a very different shape. The most popular route for anyone bakpacking in Vietnam is to go from Ho Chi Minh City up to Hanoi taking in Da Lat, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Vinh Moc along the way, or vice versa. Vietnam is a really extraordinary and vibrant place, and there's loads for us gappers to see and do.

Hanoi, Vietnam

The cities

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is a great starting point for your Vietnam adventure. It's a big, busy city, packed with nightlife, markets, street food, and amazing sights like Reunification Palace and Notre-Dame Cathedral. There's also museums focusing on the turbulent history of the country.

Next up is Hanoi, the capital city, which has all the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City but wraps it up in a ludicrously picturesque package: dozens of lakes, incredible history, tree-lined boulevards, and more. Its popularity has seen it modernise quickly, but it's managed to keep its soul in one piece.

Elsewhere there's stunning Da Lat, surrounded by forests, hills, and waterfalls, and Da Nang in the centre of the country, home to some of the most beautiful beaches you're ever likely to see. Vietnam really spoils you for choice with its cities.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

The scenery

Oh, Vietnam, you beautiful thing! You simply can't miss out on seeing Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the north of the country that looks like a setting from a fantasy novel. You really, honestly, truly, will never want to leave.

Across the country you'll find dense tropical forest, towering mountains to both the north and the south, as well as the iconic rice paddy fields. This hilly, tree-covered country never stops serving up stunning vistas, making it the ideal destination for a road-trip or trekking adventure.

Beautiful Vietnam countryside

The beaches and national parks in Vietnam are some of the most spectacular in the world, the cities are lively and modern, there are hundreds of historic sites both ancient and modern, there are opportunities to volunteer, the food is fantastic and the people are friendly. What more could you want? As for money, it's cheap and easy to get around and there are plenty of internal flights and a north-south railway that's safe and reliable.


Travel Experiences in Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most popular countries on the South East Asia backpacker trail and for good reason. We have heaps of incredible experiences and deals for this awesome country, covering everything from tours, volunteering placements and round the world flights via Vietnam. Have a look at the selection below for some inspiration!

Experience Vietnam

Experience Vietnam

South East Asia Gap Year Package

Vietnam Top to Bottom

Vietnam Top to Bottom Tour

RTW Flight via Vietnam

RTW Flight Via Vietnam

Vietnam TEFL Internship

Vietnam TEFL Internship

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Advice & Tips on Backpacking in Vietnam

Travelling in Vietnam, South East Asia, can be daunting due to the language barrier and the fact that it's such a different culture, which is why we've put together a selection of articles advising you on everything you may need to know while you're there - food advice, health advice, travel tips, things to do and so much more!

Vietnam travel articles

Finding Food in Vietnam

Finding Food

A Taste of Vietnam

A Taste of Vietnam

Health Advice Vietnam

Health Advice

17 Things to Do in Vietnam

17 Things to Do in Vietnam

View all Vietnam articles