Vietnam is an astonishing mix of natural highlights and cultural diversity. The scenery ranges from jagged peaks seen from winding mountain passes down to verdant paddy fields painted every shade of green in the palette, while the nation’s long history and amazing number of ethnic minorities mean that culture-vultures will find plenty to admire.
Vietnam has seen its fair share of struggles. Ruled for almost a thousand years by various Chinese dynasties until 938 AD, Vietnam became a French protectorate in the 19th century. After independence, there was the Vietnam War. Today, Vietnam is a proud country and you can see why. Not just for fiercely defending its own independence, but for its incredible landscapes and history.
A long, narrow country squeezed in between the South China Sea and the Laos and Cambodia borders, Vietnam is a land of striking landscapes that range from the lush rice terraces and forested mountains in the north to the picturesque valleys of the Central Highlands and the fertile delta and beautiful beaches of the south.
The first words on everyone’s lips when speaking of Vietnam are undoubtedly Halong Bay, a beautiful set of karst islands and formations off the northern coast. Hanoi is the bustling, motorbike filled capital. There’s plenty of historical heritage at Hoi An, the beaches sparkle at the resort city of Nha Trang, and the Mekong Delta is full of winding waterways, floating markets, and lush scenery. Places to visit in Vietnam are almost endless.
Hikers, bikers, and outdoor lovers can get their teeth into the countryside within the numerous national parks, while the spectacular karst seascape of Halong Bay is one natural sight that even the more slothful can experience up close on a cruise. While the rural areas brim with fantastic panoramas, the big cities breathe with contemporary life and provide ample opportunities to get stuck into Vietnam’s tasty culinary highlights. This fascinating country is full of surprises and is one of Southeast Asia’s most underrated destinations.
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1 Halong Bay
The karst seascape of Halong Bay is one of the world’s most spellbinding sea views and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thousands of limestone islands sit within this bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, eroded into jagged pinnacles by wind and water action over millennia. With the bay’s scenery best seen by boat, this is prime cruising territory.
With its aqua-green water and cluster of limestone rocky outcrops rising from the water like sea dragons, Ha Long Bay resembles a scene from a fantasy story. Located about 130 km (80 miles) east of Hanoi in northern Vietnam, this otherworldly bay features more than 2,000 jungle-covered islands pitted with intriguing caves, grottoes, sinkholes and lakes. Many of the islands have been sculpted over the centuries by natural processes into fantastic formations.
Opt for at least an overnight tour to see Halong Bay’s iconic views as a day trip doesn’t do it justice. There are plenty of caves in the bay that can be entered including the Hang Sung Sot, with three mammoth caverns, and the Hang Dao Go, with superbly weird stalagmites and stalactites. For most people though, the highlight is simply cruising amid the karsts and soaking up the changing scenery of pinnacles as you pass by.
Halong Bay is one of the world’s natural wonders, and is always a highlight for Vietnam travellers
Halong Bay features more than one thousand awesome limestone karsts and islands of various sizes and shapes along the coastline of Bai Chay Beach. The best way to tour, see and enjoy Halong Bay scenery is to board a junk boat and cruise around the bay’s islands (if your time allows, we recommend you to take the overnight trip and enjoy your silent night there).
A Halong Bay cruise is an ideal way to spend the holidays with your family or friends. Halong bay cruise ships are fully decorated with lights, and holiday-themed music fills the air. Many cruise lines offer special holiday rates for the month of December. The best cruises travel to a variety of warm-weather destinations, including the Halong Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay, Cat Ba Island.
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2 Ho Chi Minh City
Big city fans no visit to Vietnam is really complete without a visit to Ho Chi Minh City, the buzzing and crazy commercial hub of the country. The streets are an insane clog of motorbikes and cars, the restaurant and cafe scene is incredibly cosmopolitan, and the shopping is the best you’ll find in the country. At its center is Dong Khoi, a relatively small and easily navigable central district, which holds most of the city’s sights. Here, you’ll find the HCMC Museum, with a brilliant collection of artefacts that weaves together the story of the city, and the grand Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 19th century. Check out the old district of Da Kao nearby for some of the best surviving examples of the city’s French colonial architecture and also to visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda with its dazzling array of Buddhist and Taoist religious iconography. Afterwards, the History Museum is a must-do for history fans with stacks of relics on display from various archaeological sites.
Along with that, you should not miss many attractive sites in the 1st crowded people of Vietnam: City Hall of Ho Chi Minh People’s Committee, Opera House, Central Post Office, Nha Rong Port, Ben Thanh Market and the Independence Palace. Recently, new projects such as Diamond Plaza, Bitexco Financial Tower, Saigon Trade Center are changing the trend as well as modern lifestyle of Saigon-Ho Chi Minh city. On the city outskirts, there are also prominent attractive sites with the famous destination is the Cu Chi Tunnels.
For many visitors, the two big hitter attractions not to miss are just a little out of the center, along Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street. The Reunification Palace, then known as Independence Palace, was the residence for South Vietnam’s president. It’s chiefly famous as the spot where North Vietnam’s tanks stopped on 30 April 1975, officially ending the war. It’s a completely fascinating place to visit complete with 1960s furnishings still in situ. Nearby is the War Remnants Museum, which although very obviously biased, paints a disturbing picture of the brutality of war and the many atrocities committed by US Forces during their Vietnam campaign.
Lying along the Siagon River near the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Saigon and served as the capital of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city of the reunified country, offering plenty of reasons to visit, from its blend of historic and modern attractions to vibrant shopping, dining and nightlife.
photo by flickr.com/pruzicka/
The verdant rice field countryside surrounding Sapa, bordered by the jagged peaks of the Hoang Lien Mountains (often still known by their French colonial era name of the Tonkinese Alps), are home to Vietnam’s most beautiful rural vistas. The deep valleys here are home to a diverse mix of the country’s ethnic minorities including the Hmong, Giay, and Red Dzao people while the rippling hills are terraced with rice fields and overlooked by the country’s tallest peak, Fansipan Mountain. This is the top trekking destination in Vietnam, with oodles of options to trek or day hike between tiny villages and experience the staggering mountain views. Sapa itself is the main base here – an old French hill station and now a bustling and forever growing tourist center that is a stark contrast to the sumptuous tranquil countryside right on its doorstep.
Surrounded by pictorial mountains, rice terraces and a diversity of hill tribes in the remote northwest of Vietnam, Sapa is a quiet town frequently used as a base for trekking in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains and touring rice paddies and traditional villages. From the town, there are many organized tours that aide tourists in mountain hikes and exploring the nearby rice paddies and remote villages. These tours present views of beautiful waterfalls and the opportunities to experience the food, customs and way of life among the local tribes.
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One of Vietnam’s most historic towns, Hue is packed to the brim with relics from the reign of the 19th-century Nguyen emperors. Sitting along the banks of the gorgeous Perfume River, the Imperial Enclosure is a huge site set within walls that sprawl for 2.5 kilometers. While touring the grounds check out the gorgeous Ngo Mon Gate, the Thai Hoa Palace with its finely lacquered interior detailing, the Dien Tho Residence where the Queen Mothers would live, and the Halls of Mandarins with its preserved ceiling murals. A dazzling number of historic sites lie outside the Imperial Enclosure walls as well.
Situated on the banks of the Perfume River in Central Vietnam, Hue once served as the imperial capital of the Nguyen dynasty. Today, the vestiges of this former glorious period are reflected in the city’s architecture, culture and cuisine, making it one of the best places to visit in Vietnam. Of the city’s monuments, the Citadel is the most famous. Once the seat of the Nguyen emperors, the Citadel is a sprawling complex of grand palaces, ornate temples, walls and gates Another important landmark on the river is the city’s official symbol, the Thien Mu Pagoda.
One of the nicest ways of visiting a collection of outlying sites is by taking a riverboat cruise on the Perfume River. A day cruise can take you to visit several royal tombs along with some pagodas. If you’re short on time, the best tomb to visit is the Tomb of Tu Doc and the most important pagoda in the area is the Thien Mu Pagoda, with its tower that soars for 21 meters high.
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5 Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
One of the world’s best caving destinations, World Heritage-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a dramatic karst mountain formation honeycombed with huge caverns, which are home to superb stalactite and stalagmite displays. The most popular destination within the park is the Paradise Cave, which extends for a staggering 31 kilometers below ground. The yawning caverns here are truly spectacular. Tu Lan Cave is a “wet cave,” and a visit here includes swimming through the cave-systems river. The other most popular excursion is to the Phong Nha Caves, where the interior is accessed by boat. You can access Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park from Son Trach.
Photo by flickr.com/joxeankoret/
6 My Son
Surrounded by lush jungle-covered mountains, My Son is a ruined Cham era temple city that dates from the 4th century. This old Hindu religious center was still very much in use during the 7th to 10th centuries and only fell into complete decline and abandonment during the 13th century. There are around 20 temple structures still standing here, all built of brick or sandstone blocks and showing interesting influences from various Asian empires, including Indian and Malay. Note that the temples of Group B are the oldest, while Group A once contained the site’s most important monument but was destroyed deliberately by US forces during the Vietnam War. A good museum on-site houses plenty of information on the Cham. Access to My Son is from Hoi An.
Photo by flickr.com/jesusabizanda/
7 Hoi An
Beautiful Hoi An is the most atmospheric city in Vietnam, with bags of surviving historic architecture. The old town quarter is a joy to explore, packed to the brim with well-preserved merchant houses that hark back to Hoi An’s trading center heyday of the 15th century, when the town was a major meeting point for Japanese and Chinese merchants who flocked here for the local silks. Plenty of the old merchant houses have been opened to the public, so you can get a taste of these times. The best is 17th-century Tan Ky House, with fascinating architectural and decorative elements.
Located off the coast of the South China Sea in South Central Vietnam, Hoi An is a beautiful, old city dating back 2,000 years to the Champa Kingdom. The city’s historic architecture, traditional culture and textiles make it a popular destination in Vietnam. At the heart of Hoi An is its atmospheric Old Town which is small enough to walk around easily. The narrow, winding lanes of the Old Town are lined with beautiful old architecture, traditional wooden houses and hundreds of tailor shops selling clothing, shoes, bags, souvenirs and custom-made services.
Hoi An’s major symbol is the delightful Japanese Bridge at the western end of Tran Phu Street, while nearby, the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation is the old town’s most highly decorated temple. There are numerous small pagodas and museums dotted about town, but Hoi An’s true charm is found in simply rambling the old town streets admiring the well-preserved facades.
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Vietnam’s capital is the frenetic heartbeat of the nation and a place that befuddles travelers as much as it charms them. The motorbike frenzy, pollution, and constant clamor of street vendors can get too much for some travelers, but if you want to dive into Vietnamese city life, Hanoi is the place to do it. The old town quarter has plenty of dilapidated charm on offer, while history fans should make a beeline here simply to see the bundle of excellent museums. The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Vietnam Fine Art Museum are both brilliant introductions to the diverse artistry of the country, while the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important tribute to the founder of modern Vietnam.
Hanoi has the Indochina and Vietnam Wars to emerge as the booming capital city of a reunified Vietnam. At the heart of Hanoi is its Old Quarter, an open-air museum of historic Asian and French colonial architecture that has largely remained intact despite the bombings of the Vietnam War. Here among scenic tree-lined boulevards, tourists can browse busy markets, sip coffee at quaint cafes and visit prominent sites like the Grand Opera House, the Presidential Palace and Saint Joseph Cathedral.
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9 Nha Trang
For sandy fun in Vietnam, Nha Trang is king. The well-maintained beach trundles for six kilometers along the shoreline of central Nha Trang city and during summer is jam-packed with local families on vacation as well as foreign visitors. There is excellent swimming here with designated swimming areas and manicured lounging areas that make this a great option for relaxing days soaking up the sun and sand. If you do get bored of sunbathing, the ancient Po Nagar Cham Towers are just to the north across the Xom Bong Bridge and have been used as a place of worship here since at least the 7th century (with some historians saying the site itself has been a place of active worship since much earlier). There is also an excellent museum dedicated to the work of Alexandre Yersin who discovered the cause of the bubonic plague and founded Nha Trang’s Pasteur Institute (which still carries out vaccination programs in Vietnam today).
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10 Củ Chi Tunnels
An absolutely fascinating experience for all travelers, not just those interested in Vietnam’s modern military history, the Củ Chi Tunnels are an extensive tunnel network that during the war, stretched for more than 250 kilometers, allowing VC troops to operate and communicate in the area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City. Two short sections of the network can be visited with a guide who’ll take you down into the narrow unlit confines, which definitely are not for claustrophobia sufferers. You will literally be crawling on your hands and knees and some points. You can access the tunnels at either Ben Dinh village (the more popular choice) or Ben Duoc village.
Photo by flickr.com/rod_waddington/
11 Ba Be National Park
Tranquil Ba Be National Park is absolutely stunning with the three interlinked Ba Be Lakes at its heart, rimmed by jagged karst peaks and thickly forested slopes. Most visitors come here to take peaceful boat trips or kayak on the lake and explore the caves full of stalactites and stalagmites in the vicinity, but for the more active, there’s also excellent hiking and trekking in the hills here between ethnic minority villages. This is one of the most peaceful spots in Vietnam, and travelers who spend the night here sleep in traditional stilt-house homestay accommodation along the lakeshore, allowing an experience of simple rural life.
Photo by flickr.com/princeroy/
12 Mekong Delta
The far south of Vietnam is where the mighty Mekong River finally finds its way to the sea in a maze of waterways that crisscross the floodplain. Incredibly lush, with paddy field vistas and mangroves, and full of local life, with chaotic floating markets to explore by boat, the delta is one of the most interesting regions for travelers to discover. Can Tho is the most popular town to use as a base as it’s close to the floating markets of Phong Dien and Cai Rang, while boat trips from Ca Mau allow you to explore the U Minh Mangrove Forest and Cau Mau Nature Reserve.
Colorful floating markets, fruit orchards, rice paddies, sugar cane groves, bird sanctuaries and quaint villages are all what draw many to the Mekong Delta in southwestern Vietnam. Nicknamed “Vietnam’s Rice Basket,” the Mekong Delta is an agricultural region made fertile by the maze of canals and streams fed by the Mekong River. Stretching from the Gulf of Thailand to Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta feeds more than a third of the country from its rich plantations, orchards, rice paddies and fish farms.
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Year-round cool weather and idyllic scenery of misty valleys, lush pine trees and colorful flowers are some of the reasons that Dalat was once used by Vietnamese emperors and French colonials as a summer retreat. Today, this charming town in the South Central Highlands of Vietnam is a popular destination for those looking for relief from the heat. A walkable city, Dalat is a beautiful scene of French colonial architecture and villas set amid picturesque landscapes.
Photo by flickr.com/patrikaxelsson/
14. Mui Ne
The beach of Mui Ne is just amazing with yellow sand, blue water and clear sky. Mui Ne is relatively different to the other places in Vietnam. The weather in Mui Ne is dry all year since Binh Thuan province – where Mui Ne resides – is the driest region in South East Asia; and even in the rainy season, there seems to be very little rain in comparison to nearby places, like Nha Trang, Hoi An.
If you want to enjoy the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam, you should visit Mui Ne from December to April. In these months, the beach of Mui Ne is just amazing with yellow sand, blue water and clear sky. Tourists will have a great time lying on the beach under the palm trees; that will definitely be a memorable experience.
It will be an omission if we don’t consider Mui Ne as one of the most stunning beaches in Viet Nam. Mui Ne is located in Phan Thiet – the capital of Binh Thuan Province. It is a beautiful beach with many high-ranked coastal resorts, which can easily satisfy any traveler. Mui Ne attracts not only international but also domestic traveler with its gorgeous beach and many interesting activities. Besides that, Mui Ne is also famous for kite and windsurfing.
Photo by flickr.com/rod_waddington/
15. Ban Gioc Waterfall
To most travelers visiting the north-western border provinces, Ban Gioc Waterfall is a “must see” tourist site.
The waterfall is in Đầm Thủy Commune, Trùng Khánh District, Cao Bằng Province, on the border with China’s Guangxi Province.
Ban Gioc waterfall is the fourth largest border waterfall after Iguazu between Brazil and Argentina, Victoria between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and Niagara between Canada and the US. It is one of the 10 most spectacular waterfalls in the world, according to Touropia travel site.
December comes signing the blooming season of wild sunflowers and buckwheat flowers stretching along the sides. Ban Gioc waterfalls are difficult to reach, however worth the trip because of its absolutely stunning scenery. To be assured, just book the private tour to this place.
what to bring traveling to vietnam
Hundreds of thousands of people travel to experience the wonders of south-east Asia every single year, and understandably, Vietnam – the land of emerald waters, tropical islands and an exceptional history – is one of the top destinations in that part of the world. Although visitors may travel on a variety of budgets, trip durations and holidaying styles, here’s a list of essential items that should definitely be packed no matter what. Take a look at these
For the most part, Vietnam is a hot country! Even during monsoon season, expect to sweat despite the continuous rain. While there are some places in the country that relatively have cooler weather, it’s best if you plan what to pack around the heat and humidity.
Considering all the walking and traveling you will be doing, a thick-strapped backpack is necessary to carry all of your belongings, like a change of clothes, a water bottle, sunscreen and snacks for the day. Plus, if you make any purchases along the way, they can be stored safely in your pack instead of in plastic bags that would otherwise get in the way.
A Travel Pillow
If you are planning on taking a number of trips around the country, prepare for hours upon hours of time spent on the road. These days, transport within Vietnam offers air-conditioning, but a travel pillow will aid you in getting that much needed shut-eye whilst in transit.
Light sleepers should bring a pair of ear plugs with them to get a full night of restful sleep. Very cheap and effective, they are a way to ward off distracting snorers in shared hostel rooms, as well as that wailing baby on that long bus journey across the country.
3 shorts (1 Athletic Pair, 1 denim, 1 board shorts)
2 dresses (1 maxi, 1 short)
3 tank tops (I tend to stick to basic colours to make them easier to mix and match)
1 cotton shirt
1 Dri Fit T-Shirt
1 Leggings (long or cropped)
1 long trousers (hippie pants) – buy them in Asia (they’re so cheap!!)
1 long sleeved base layer (thin)
1 Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
5 pairs of Travel Underwear
2 bikinis to mix and match (P.S. Check out my FAVE bikinis) Cupshe Fashion Bikini Set |Strappy Cross Back Bikini
4 pairs of travel socks (have at least 1 hiking pair)
2 Sports Bra
1 light weight travel scarf/sarong
1 hat (sports hat or a cute but small sun hat)
1 Hiking Boots/trainers (low cut and light weight)
1 flipflops (don’t buy expensive ones as you will eventually loose them)
1 sandals /TOMS Women’s Classic
3 shorts (2 boardshorts, 1 Travel Shorts)
4 Tank tops
3 Cotton T-Shirt
1 Dri-fit T-shirt
1 Long Trousers
1 long sleeved base layer (thin)
1 Lightweight Rain Jacket (super important if you are riding a motorbike)
5 pairs of Travel Underwear
4 pairs of travel socks (have at least 1 hiking pair)
Backpacker security belt (This product is awesome!)
1 lightweight scarf
1 Hurley Dri-Fit Hat
Men’s hiking boots
Microfibre travel towel (Don’t travel with out this)
closed shoes (vans or toms)
A Quick-Dry Towel
Not all hostels or hotels will provide towels free of charge, so a super lightweight and non-bulky option might be a good idea. A quick dry towel is an essential item that can really enhance your traveling experience, whether it is drying off after getting caught in torrential rain during the monsoon season or covering yourself after a swim.
There’s no getting away from it, at some point during your travels, it is likely that you will be hit by a stomach bug from drinking non-bottled water or simply eating something you’re not used to. Although most symptoms will pass quite quickly, it might be worthwhile to bring along travel remedies to speed up the recovery process when you’re in areas far away from a drug store.
Below-the-Knee Skirts or Trousers
If you would like to get access to pagodas and temples, modest below-the-knee clothing is a must. Despite the heat, local men and women dress quite conservatively, and you should be expected to do the same by covering your shoulders and legs, especially when visiting sacred places and government buildings. Avoid 100% cotton garments as you are likely to be too hot and uncomfortable – the perfect balance being a blend of Rayon and Polyester.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of trekking or hiking on your trip, a pair of durable closed-toe shoes will ensure that your feet remain blister-free and protected from the elements. Alternatively, opt for a comfortable flat sandal as sneakers may not be too kind to your feet in the warm weather.
Alongside practical footwear, bring along a pair of flip-flops – or even better, purchase some once you’re there. Not only will these be easy to take off when visiting temples, certain bars and restaurants, but they will also allow your feet to breathe in the hot and humid weather. Avoid expensive footwear that might ‘walk away’ when you’re not looking.
Portable Phone Charger
Pre-charged battery packs and portable phone chargers will save your life on that long bus or train ride. This is also essential if you plan on using your GPS a lot, meaning that your battery will burn down faster. After all, there’s nothing worse than being stranded in a place you don’t know.
Sun Protection and a Hat
For protection from the powerful sun rays, opt for a high SPF solution or a spray. A wide-brimmed hat is also a must to ward away the dreaded sun-stroke.
A Light-Weight, Waterproof Jacket
During the monsoon season, it is wise to bring a light jacket to protect you from the rain that can come and go in a flash. Or do as the locals do and opt for a plastic poncho, especially useful if you are planning on cycling or riding a motorbike.
Thai sockets fit two plug types. However whilst your plug will work in Thailand, it is recommended you come prepared with a global adapter in case you have to travel through other countries.
Although malaria is rare and seldom found in most areas of Vietnam, Dengue fever can pose quite a problem – this is a viral infection that knows no bounds, with outbreaks in urban areas being quite common. Due to this, it is wise to carry a bottle of insect-repellent just in case. Try to remember to apply the mosquito repellent every morning before you head out for the day and to re-apply right before dusk.
If you do happen to get bitten by mosquitoes, tiger balm or cortisone cream can prevent the bites from getting infected. Rub it over the affected area to reduce aches, swelling and other discomfort.
what to know travelling to Vietnam
Remember that negotiating is not rude but expected. Haggle for the best price or risk paying well over the actual price of an item. Try ‘walking away’ to get a better price. If that doesn’t work, you can always go back to the vendor later. For a few tips on how to haggle.
2.Learn a Little Bit of Vietnamese
Vietnamese is a difficult language to perfect but that shouldn’t stop you from memorising a few key phrases to facilitate your voyage. Even if you don’t say something correctly you’ll often be rewarded with a smile from whoever you’re talking to. The Vietnamese are usually happy to help you out and the effort made can reward you with a new friend.
3.TAKE YOUR VISA SERIOUSLY, VERY SERIOUSLY INDEED
Yes, it seems like common sense, but I have seen tourists turned away at the airport for visa misinformation or failing to print their visa-on-arrival pre-approval paper. Double, triple check all of your information, have your accommodation address ready to go for the arrival form, be very respectful to the immigration officers, no matter how cold they are. Get stamped and enjoy.
BOOKING HOTELS OR HOSTELS ONLINE WILL NOT SAVE YOU MONEY
The price in Vietnam is always cheaper when you show up in person. Plus, you can check out the room and bargain it down a bit, generally. Can’t do that online.
vaccines / immunization when travelling to Vietnam
If possible, book an appointment with your GP 6-8 weeks before you travel to find out which travel vaccinations you are due. There are a few new vaccinations on the market now which your GP may offer you, such as Japanese Encephilitus, but it doesn’t come cheap. Decide for yourself what you feel comfortable with but I would advise ensuring you’re covered for the basics at the very least.
Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended – including for example, seasonal flu vaccine (if indicated), MMR, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
Courses or boosters usually advised: Diphtheria; Tetanus.
Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Rabies; Typhoid.
Selectively advised vaccines – only for those individuals at highest risk: Japanese Encephalitis.
No yellow fever vaccination certificate required for this country
Diphtheria: spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.
Hepatitis A: spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route.
Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation is poor.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs.
Hepatitis B: spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse.
Risk is higher for long stays, frequent travel and for children (exposed through cuts and scratches), those who may require medical treatment during travel.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who change partners frequently; people who inject drugs.
Japanese Encephalitis: spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is highest for long stay travellers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.
Rabies: spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, and also cats and bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children.
All travellers should avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic) particularly dogs and cats. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
Tetanus: spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
Typhoid: spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited