by Joe Jamieson

Travel Experiences

Vietnam is a captivating country that delivers near-limitless options for new experiences. You'll explore ancient heritage sites, immerse yourself in vibrant local cultures, and stand in awe as you take in the most breathtaking landscapes in Southeast Asia. Undertake your placement in the central city of Hue and you’ll be perfectly placed to travel to some of the most exciting destinations the country has to offer.

This article will lead you through two travel itineraries in Vietnam. The first is centred on Hội An — a UNESCO World Heritage city, renowned for its lantern-lit streets and ancient architecture. The second weekend takes you to Hạ Long — a postcard-perfect bay, upon whose beaches you can unwind as you take in the impossibly tall limestone islets that protrude from the sea and dominate the horizon.

Floating fishing village and rock island in Halong Bay, Vietnam, Southeast Asia. UNESCO World Heritage Site. Junk boat cruise to Ha Long Bay. Landscape. Popular landmark, famous destination of Vietnam

Weekend one: Hoi An - A Charming City EsCape

After a busy week on placement, you'll be raring to explore the country. You might choose to team up with the new friends you've made in the Work the World house and hire a taxi to head down the coast towards Hội An via the Hai Van Pass.

The drive from Hue to Hội An is amazing in and of itself — you’ll see some of the most stunning landscapes in Vietnam. And on the way, you'll stop to take in panoramic views of lush green hills and turquoise waters off the coast. Your first stop might be Lang Co Lagoon, a beautiful tranquil body of water surrounded by lush greenery and the majestic Bach Ma Mountain.

Vietnam - Hue

Your drive takes you through the city of Da Nang. The first thing you'll see is the Marble Mountains — five limestone peaks that rise dramatically from the centre of the city. The mountains have a hidden network of caves and tunnels that lead to ancient pagodas that you could easily spend a day exploring.

You'll then head to your destination — the city of Hội An. Get lost in the bustle of the city, or explore the Ancient Town where you'll be spoiled for choice if historical sights like temples and museums are more your thing. By night you can take a cruise along the Thu Bon River, soaking up the magical atmosphere created by thousands of vibrant lanterns.

Marriage, Charlotte

“We went to Hội An, which was utterly beautiful. It’s worth a trip there for the lanterns alone.” - Charlotte Marriage, Nursing elective in Hue, Vietnam

While you're in Hoi An, you'll have the chance to go on a coconut boat village tour. And you should. Your boatman will row you along the calm meandering rivers that run through lush mangrove forests and local villages.

As you return to the Work the World house after a weekend of adventures, there’s one final stop you won’t want to miss. Head to the Ba Na Hills to experience the iconic Golden Hand Bridge, suspended on the side of a mountain which offers extraordinary views of the surrounding landscapes.

Butchers, Abigail

Weekend two: Ha Long Bay - A Breathtaking Beach Weekend

Another weekend travel option is to head to Ha Long Bay. Hop on a plane from Da Nang that takes you to Haiphong, where you can get a taxi to Ha Long. Ha Long Bay is instantly recognisable with its turquoise waters and towering limestone rock formations. One of the best ways to explore the islands and islets is on an overnight cruise around the bay. It will, without a doubt, leave a lasting impression.


Some overnight cruises include hands-on squid fishing in their itinerary. You'll use lanterns to lure the squid to the water's surface and then rely on traditional bamboo fishing poles to catch these elusive creatures. The ship's chef will then transform your catch into delicious Vietnamese dishes.

The still waters of Hạ Long Bay offer the perfect opportunity for sightseeing by kayak. As you glide through the picturesque scenery you'll get an up-close view of the hundreds of hidden caves, lagoons and pristine beaches. Your kayak can also be your ticket to visit the local fishing communities. The people here live on traditional houseboats that drift together among the islands like floating villages.

Yellow kayak on turquoise sea water amongst the rocks of Halong Bay

To finish off your trip to Ha Long Bay, the only thing left to do is relax. And you'll do so on some of the best beaches in Southeast Asia. Whether you’re looking for bustling stretches of sand, or small, undisturbed coves, thanks to the unique geography of the area there’ll be a beach to suit your taste. Grab yourself a coconut (or a cocktail) from a seller, sit back and take in the magnificent views.

Live With Other Healthcare Students From Around The World

During your stay, you’ll live in one of our exclusive, private, fully-catered houses that are exclusive to healthcare students and graduates on a Work the World programme. You get a premium, specialised experience with our team-run houses. You’ll live in safety and comfort the whole time you’re with us.


Remember, our in-country team is from the local area. So, naturally, they know things about the place that only a local could have. They’ll make sure you know where to find all the best bars, shops, markets, sights... Everything you could possibly need.


“A trip with Work the World puts you in the best place to take trips to new places with new friends. You have to make the most of these opportunities. They’ll help you blow off steam as you see some of the most beautiful places in the world.” - Charlotte Marriage, Nursing elective in Hue, Vietnam


When you travel with Work the World, alongside the career-boosting clinical experience you’ll gain from being in an overseas hospital, it’s your chance for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. These two weekends in Hội An and Hạ Long Bay are just a preview of the natural beauty and vast history you can experience while you’re on your Work the World trip to Vietnam.


Whether you're interested in adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Vietnam has it all. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today.

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