Ho Chi Minh City has exotic food, colonial architecture, and memories of war, writes Guy Wilkinson.
Vietnam Airlines' competitive business fares (currently from $4400 return to Paris via Hanoi or Saigon) make this airline an attractive option.
A shuttlecock, soccer ball or hacky sack can bring tourists and locals together in a fun and good-natured game of life.
Some resorts make it hard to even contemplate venturing out.
The mighty Mekong is one of the most bustling rivers in the world, offering ever-changing vistas from the comfort of a cruise deck.
And bia hoi, no-frills bars serving ice-cold, house-brewed beer, are the perfect introduction - high on quality and low on pretence.
From sunsets in Ha Long Bay to bustling Ho Chi Minh and cultural Hoi An, here are the best things to see and do in Vietnam.
Ethereal landscape meets bustling food markets; this former French colony is an exotic destination that taps all the senses. Tranquil beauty lingers from jade-coloured waters to soaring limestone islands in the north, majestical wonder surrounds old imperial palaces and bluey hill-tops around Hue, giving way to multi-storey department stores, mega-coffee houses and endless bustle of traffic in the big city life of Ho Chi Minh.