History & Culture Holidays in Vietnam
A beacon of modernisation and economic industry, Vietnam's French colonial influence, recent history against America and historic Chinese hegemony has left a fascinating mix that needs to be experienced to be understood.
Experience a country steeped in history
There are many historic sites remembering the conflicts in Vietnam with the eclectic mix of architecture styles reflecting the global influence of the country. Take note of the French boulevards of the capital Hanoi and the historic Dong Khoi Street with its French colonial buildings. The monumental marble mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh is a site not to be missed and, if timed right, you can catch the changing of the guards, which is said to rival that of Buckingham Palace.
Look around the Hoa Lo Prison – coined the Hanoi Hilton – which was originally a French colonial jail but during the war was used to hold America POWs. Heading south, the poignant Son My memorial commemorates the hundreds of villagers killed by the US forces in the My Lai massacre in 1968. As you begin to reach Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), you can visit the historic Cu Chi tunnels, an network of connecting undergrounds tunnels, which were used as hiding spots in the Vietnam War by Viet Gong guerrillas, with deadly booby traps laid for the American opposition. In the city itself, don't miss out on the iconic Independence Palace (also known as the Reunification Palace), and walk through the iron gates where in 1975 a tank came crashing through, marking the end of the Vietnam War.
Immerse yourself in local culture
Hoi An is a town that truly reflects Vietnam’s rich culture and history, once a major port, this atmospheric town is now full of historic grand architecture. Visit the Japanese covered bridge, constructed in the 1950s, this stunning bridge has become emblematic of Hoi An. Turn your hand to silk lantern making and experience for yourself the booming textile industry of the area. A trek through the terraced paddies and small villages of Pom Coong and Na Phon will allow you to discover the natural beauty of the valley while encountering the culture of the ethnic minority Thai people. To experience local life that revolves around the river rather than the road take a trip to the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam.
Explore tombs and temples
Striking temples can be found in every big city and there are also a tremendous number of monuments and imperial tombs for you to explore. For example the three beautifully ornate pagodas of Bich Dong in their mountainside location or, the temples of Dinh Tein and Dai Hanh equally make for a spectacular trip. The best place to see everything all at once is in Hue while exploring the imperial city. A sprawling complex of grand palaces, ornate temples and grand gates the imperial city is a walled fortress and palace home to the tallest pagoda in Vietnam – Thien Mu Pagoda. The most notable ancient site is perhaps My Son which was once a significant centre of religious Hindu ceremonies now is a remarkable architectural ensemble and a prime example of the cultural interchange of the past.
Let Wexas tailor your itinerary
When you book your holiday with Wexas, our expert travel consultants will use their in-depth knowledge of the country to tailor your itinerary to your every need so that your Vietnam holiday includes the historical and cultural experiences that interest you. Enquire today to begin planning your luxury, tailor-made holiday to Vietnam.
Our top itineraries for Vietnam History and culture
Between cruises on the Mekong Delta, private tours of Ho Chi Minh City's history and a luxury beachfront stay on an island paradise, this is your chance to showcase the highlights of southern Vietnam. And you’ll travel in style, with exclusive touring, luxury stays and private transfers throughout.
Discover the wonders of the Mekong on this two week tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, travelling from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap.
Discover the best of Vietnam, taking in the country's vibrant northern capital Hanoi, the emerald waters of Halong Bay and the historically rich central coastal towns of Hue and Hoi An. Then, fly south Ho Chi Minh City and the magic of the Mekong Delta and the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels.