This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.
When the big day is over and you board the plane with your soulmate, you should be heading somewhere magical. Somewhere that matches the excitement of being newlyweds but offers just the right amount of relaxation, and somewhere that is easy to stick to a budget while traveling. This stunning destination is Vietnam. Here’s why we think your honeymoon should take you to this Southeast Asian gem.
Start North and Head South
Vietnam is a long, skinny country, so to keep travel time to a minimum, start in the north and head south. To begin, fly into Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi where beautiful French architecture and culinary heaven awaits. The downtown core is a buzzing city full of charming cafes, fairy lights strung on banyan trees, kind locals, and some of the best coffee you’ve had in your life.
Not to be missed is a Hanoi specialty of egg coffee, rich espresso topped with a meringue-like combination of whipped egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk. Savor this local coffee from one of the cafes surrounding St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Built by the French colonial government, the church opened in 1886 and resembles Notre Dame in Paris. We love this European touch in Asia – sipping coffee on a terrace that overlooks a beautiful church. For a full day’s schedule in Hanoi, check out this itinerary.
Hanoi is the birthplace of pho (pronounced fuh), a noodle soup with your choice of meat or veggies in a flavorful broth. Join in with the locals and eat this specialty dish on the sidewalk sitting on a tiny stool made for a child. Silly as it feels, it’s sure to be a laughable memory.
From Hanoi, hop on a cruise to Halong Bay, one of the most stunning waterscapes in the world. If you’re interested in a less touristy cruise, hop on one that specializes in the area around Cát Bà which is similar scenery but a lesser-known area.
Hoi An’s Lantern City and the Metropolis of Da Nang
With Chinese temples, Japanese bridges, French architecture, and excellent Vietnamese dining options, the pedestrian-only area in Hoi An is romantic at all times of the day. A boutique hotel with an infinity pool overlooking the Thu Bồn River is just what your honeymoon needs. The calm serenity of the river mixed with the atmosphere of a pedestrian-only city creates the tranquility every honeymoon needs.
This ancient town is a UNESCO world heritage site, being one of the best-preserved Southeast Asian trading ports.
Hoi An also specialized in tailoring, with many offering a less than a 24-hour turnaround. Walk in with a style in mind, choose the fabric, and get measured. Or go in with nothing particular in mind and browse the stylebooks. Nothing feels better than wearing hand-tailored clothes made especially for you and in Ha Noi, the artists certainly excel in craftsmanship and quality, often at a fraction of buying it off the shelf.
Only 30 minutes away is the neon-light clad city of Da Nang. But there’s more here than just a big city. It’s also home to a beautiful stretch of white-sand, My Khe Beach. Dotted along the beach are five-star resorts to make your honeymoon special with stunning rooftop bars, afternoon tea, spa services, and tropical views fit for newlyweds. Five-star resorts in Vietnam are often a great deal compared to their international counterparts, so this suits the budget-minded honeymooners too.
While in town, head to Marble Mountain for a little hiking and culture. The mountains are a collection of five peaks made of limestone and marble. Caves and Buddhist temples are found all around these mountains. Along your route, you’ll encounter local artists selling their hand-carved marble carvings, a great souvenir to bring home.
Relax on the Beaches of Phu Quoc Island
With palm trees, white-sand beaches, and crystal blue water, Phu Quoc is your Vietnam honeymoon beach destination. Located in the southern part of the country on the Gulf of Thailand, the island offers luxurious resorts or intimate cabanas on the beach to suit your honeymoon style. By day, explore the jungles of the national park. By evening, take in the sunset beachside in the pool, ocean or at a romantic dinner.
Home to some seriously impressive and budget-friendly golf courses, Phu Quoc is full of adventure activities. If golf isn’t for you, opt for a jungle tour of the national park, or hire a private boat for the day for some swimming, snorkeling, and pristine beaches you’ll have all to yourselves.
If you enjoy over-sea cable car rides, Phu Quoc offers the longest one in the world, offering some unforgettable views of this tropical paradise. Paired with incredible Vietnamese cuisine on every street, Phu Quoc offers a great value for a romantic and picturesque beach honeymoon.
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Bio: Lauren Allain is the resident blogger at Awaken Travels, a travel agency with locations in Arizona, California, and Oregon.
Awaken Travels plans custom dream vacations including: destination weddings, honeymoons, anniversary vacations, engagement trips, baby-moons, adult only vacations, bespoke travel experiences, cruises, group travel, family vacations, hotel reservations, travel insurance, and excursions.