Located in the central highlands, Dalat, with its milder climate and picturesque landscape is the perfect escape from the unforgiving heat of Saigon.
A popular honeymoon spot for Vietnamese, it retains its local charm and the sense you are in real Vietnam, not just another holiday destination.
There is so much to see and do in and around Dalat: Elephant and Datanla waterfalls, Cable car, Motorbike Tours, The Night Market, Silk factories, Coffee plantations, the breath-taking countryside, hills and windy roads, the list goes on.
There are not many bars in Dalat, which is quite refreshing in itself, but easy to find are the pool halls and street games of Chinese chess which are ongoing throughout the day and night!
Located approximately halfway up the eastern coast of Vietnam sits Danang.
Danang is the third most populous city in Vietnam and brings with it a variety of good beaches; however they do require a motorbike or taxi to visit as they are located outside of the city.
A popular choice for some expats tired of the Saigon heat, Danang offers numerous teaching opportunities as well as a wide choice of dining and socialising locales.
Just a short distance to historical Hoi An, Danang has proven to be both a good holiday destination and a place to base yourself permanently while choosing to take regular weekend short breaks to discover either the central highlands or coastal Vietnam.
Based in the north of Vietnam the capital, Hanoi, is a wonderful city to discover.
It has many lakes, cathedrals, restaurants, the affordable beer hoi street cafes, numerous shopping opportunities and the awe-inspiring Ho Chi Minh mausoleum to entice the intrepid city bound traveller. Buying a map and hiring a motorbike or just walking is the best option to get off the beaten track in this city.
Although its reputation for not being as friendly as Saigon has deterred some from visiting Hanoi, I never found this to be true and can recommend it to anyone whether you stay in the city for a week or use it as a stop off while venturing on to Sapa, Halong Bay or inland to Mai Chau.
Historical Hoi An is situated 25km south of Danang on the eastern coast of Vietnam.
With its eclectic mix of new and old, Hoi An truly is an adventurers city. The architecture dating back many centuries serves as an ideal back-drop to the bustling markets and trading that takes place on a daily basis in this river city.
From markets to riverside cafes to historical shops and museums to street food to nearby beaches, Hoi An offers everything and a little bit more to anybody willing to tread the cobble stone paths.
A trip to the Mekong Delta is guaranteed to introduce you to the lifestyle of the real Vietnamese. It is alternative in that most life is centred on or in very close proximity to the Delta waterways themselves.
It is possible to avoid staying in the towns of My Tho or Can Tho and take the option of a home-stay in Ben Tre, which is highly recommended. You will be treated like royalty during your stay and providing you enjoy seafood, fruit and especially coconut, you will never go hungry!
Your hosts will either take you or treat you to an expedition on the waterways and you will visit local villages selling village specific products as well as visiting the floating market.
This is truly a must visit location and I am sure one you will recommend to all your friends – just don’t forget your mosquito spray!!