Top tips for a fantastic trip to North Vietnam

To celebrate the release of Hollywood blockbuster Kong: Skull Island we’re letting you in on our top tips for fantastic trip to North Vietnam, where much of the movie was filmed.

Most people travelling to Vietnam will arrive in the bustling capital city of Hanoi and we would recommend you stick around for at least a couple of days to really get to grips with this phenomenal city.

For a moment of peace and serenity in the heart of Hanoi’s heaving old town, head to the Temple of the Jade Mountain on Hoàn Kiếm Lake: learn the legend of the lake’s Turtle Tower while incense burns in the temple grounds and Hanoians play mah-jong tiles in the shade. 

However, if you think tranquillity is overrated then an evening at one of Hanoi’s thriving jazz clubs is for you. Old town Hanoi meets downtown New Orleans in the clubs and bars of the Vietnamese capital where live musicians jam into the wee hours for a night like no other.

One thing you mustn’t miss out on is Vietnam’s famous street-food. Whether it’s the fragrant noodle soup of Hanoi’s markets and backstreets (pho) or the French-inspired bánh mi baguettes, make sure you grab some street food for an authentic Vietnamese experience.

When you’ve had your fill of this unique city, it’s time to explore the extraordinary scenery of Vietnam’s coast and countryside. Vietnam is famous for its spectacular landscapes, no wonder then that it’s a sought-after set location for major films like the latest in the rebooted King Kong franchise.

Kong: Skull Island filmed some of its scenes among the iconic limestone islands of Hạ Long Bay where you can cruise through the emerald waters on a traditional Vietnamese junk boat.

The film also made good use of the UNESCO World Heritage designated Tràng An Scenic Landscape Complex in the northern Ninh Binh province of Vietnam. This incredible area is one of dramatic contrasts: boats wind their way from the Red River Delta through cave systems which sit beneath sheer cliffs where mountain temples cling to the sides of imposing peaks.  

Experience the thrill of Hanoi’s lively streets, the anticipation as you board the vessel in Hạ Long Bay, and the sense of discovery in the exploration of Vietnam’s ancient caves. Follow our advice and a trip to Northern Vietnam should contain as much excitement and adventure as the action-packed movie that was made there! 

For more information on holidays in Vietnam please call our team of personal travel experts on 0344 847 0455 or send an email to

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