Vietnam is fast becoming a favoured destination for British travellers that want a little more from their holiday.

The chance to explore this mysterious land proving too great a temptation to resist, and with flight numbers not only increasing but becoming more affordable this number is set to increase further. The draw of Vietnam is clear, the emergence of this country from the tragedy of its past has created something unique and more than a little bit special, the streets are filled with contradictions, designer brands share space with street hawkers and tumbledown slums sit alongside gleaming hotels – this is a country with more than a glint of consumerism in its age old eyes.

The natural beauty of this south-eastern Asian country is matched only by the tenacity of its people, this proud nation bearing no grudges and welcoming the influx of tourists with open arms, whether you want dramatic coastline, lush tropical forests or rugged mountains, Vietnam can deliver, and give an experience never to be forgotten.

Vietnam has traditionally been part of the backpack trail and as such has a wide range of budget accommodation even in the more rural areas, finding high quality hotels outside the major cities is not quite as simple, but as tourism is on the up, this is slowly changing, the hotels are all generally good value for money but expectations may have to be lowered if you leave the main tourist areas.

For something quite luxurious, a stay at the harbour View Hotel in Hai Phong is recommended; this relatively new hotel is quite grand in design and offers excellent facilities throughout, like everything else in Vietnam it offers much more than its modest price suggests.

A country as diverse as Vietnam offers a whole plethora of culinary delights, but the particular highlights have to be the seafood found in the coastal regions and the local variations on ‘Pho’ a broth served with fresh aromatic herbs, lime and chillies;this staple foodstuff can be widely found throughout the country and is best served from one of the many street sellers, these stalls are generally perfectly safe as long as undercooked food is avoided.

Only recently opened to the public, the must see highlight of any tour of Vietnam must be the Son Doong Cave, not just any cave, this is the largest cave in the world and offers the chance to spend several nights within its confines, at 200m wide and 150m high there is no sense of claustrophobia here, instead the sheer jaw dropping scale will amaze, as will the profusion of flying foxes and monkeys that adorn the surrounding cliffs – this is set to become one of the most coveted trips known to travellers.

Hire a motorbike to see Vietnam the traditional way, this gives an authentic view of the countryside as you travel through it using the same transport as the locals do, most cities have the facilities to hire motorbikes and all the equipment that you will need, although riding like the locals is probably best avoided!

Vietnam has many different climates throughout its diverse lands, the north exhibits a pattern of four seasons ranging from cool winters to hot and wet summers whereas the south of the country is hot throughout the year with the exception of December and January when the temperatures drop marginally, although there is a distinct rainy season in this part of the country running from July until November.

The New Year celebrations that take place (varying year to year depending on the lunar calendar) are a great time to visit as the whole country participates in this annual celebration, travel becomes difficult, hotels may be booked up and amenities tend to be closed, but even with these minor inconveniences this is a fabulous time of year to enjoy Vietnam at its very best.