HANOI

What’s it like? French colonial buildings line the wide, leafy boulevards of the Vietnamese capital. Along with the bustle of its markets and tourist hotspots, Hanoi’s grassy spaces and a city-centre lake makes it a varied metropolis with pockets of peace.

Hanoi also makes a convenient base for visiting the iconic Ha Long Bay, as well as Sapa Valley; the latter’s rippling emerald rice paddies and mind-bending precipitous hills exemplify Vietnam’s rural beauty.

Where to meet and what to do

• Walking tour of Hoan Kiem

Hanoi’s warren-like Hoan Kiem district (Old Quarter) is made up of 36 streets teeming with fragrant food stalls, shophouses with wares spilling out into the streets and nightlife. The instant sensory gratification means it’s easy to wander around for hours without realising how much you’re actually missing. Hidden Hanoi hosts two-hour group tours of the Old Quarter, led by a knowledgable local guide who kicks things off with a visit to a local coffee shop, then fills you in on the Old Quarter’s fascinating stories. hiddenhanoi.com.vn

• Apricot Hotel

Gigantic chandeliers dominate the lobby of this five-star art themed hotel, which offers the covetable option of a rooftop pool overlooking Hoan Kiem lake. Its elegant rooms and restaurants pair Neoclassical touches with contemporary flair, while event space includes a 250-capacity ballroom and the glitzy 300-capacity venue with a hovering’ stage – ideal for award ceremonies. apricothotels.com

• Ha Long Bay cruise

A highlight of any trip to Vietnam is sailing through Ha Long Bay – a seemingly endless stretch of limestone islands topped off with velvety greenery – and spending the night on board, the lumpy silhouettes surrounding you like curious creatures. A variety of destination management companies, including Destination Asia, charter cruises for groups that culminate in a candlelit cave dinners, where shadows ripple in motion with the sea outside. destination-asia.com

HUÉ

What’s it like? Situated along the seductively named Perfume River, the former Imperial capital of Vietnam is rich in relics from the Nguyen dynasty era (1802-1945). Featuring UNESCO World Heritage sites dating back to when emperors ruled the roost, Hue’s grandeur will satisfy delegates seeking epic Ancient Asian architecture.

Where to meet and what to do

• Rickshaw tour

Hue is best enjoyed from the back seat of a rickshaw, while a charismatic peddler does the hard work. Delegates will feel like they’re a character from ‘Wacky Races’ as they scoot around the traffic, weave amongst shoppers at Ben Ngu Market, and speed past heavenly stretches of waterlilies that coat the moat of Hue’s Citadel.

• Motorcycle between monuments

When there are so many historic sites to see in so little time, it makes sense to sit on the back of a motorcycle (helmet and professional driver in tow) and zip between them all. Group motorcycle tours in tandem will allow your guests to soak up everything from the serene Van Mieu temple (Temple of Literature) to the ruins of the mysterious Forbidden Purple City in one go.

• La Résidence Hue Hôtel & Spa

Overlooking the imperial Citadel, this five star property belongs to the M Gallery by Sofitel brand. Built in 1930 as a home for the city’s French governor, the building’s horizontal lines and original bowed facade will delight art deco fans. The plush French colonial-style rooms have beautiful dark hardwood floors, and the VIP meeting room holds 16 people for a boardroom meeting. la-residence-hue.com

HOI AN

What’s it like? One of Vietnam’s prettiest cities, Hoi An flourishes with deep pink blossom by day, while reams of golden lanterns glow against the inky Thu Bon river by night.

The pace of the former port town is relaxed – cars are banned, while the use of scooters is restricted – and the well-preserved timber bridges and Japanese-influenced architecture make Hoi An seem relatively unblemished by the modern influence.

Where to meet and what to do

• Boat and Bike tour

Beyond Hoi An’s charming streets lie rustling rice paddies, sleepy villages and bathing buffalos. Urban Adventures can help groups escape to the countryside with a short cruise along the Thu Bon River, followed by a gentle guided cycling tour of Hoi An’s agricultural surrounds. The tour ends with a sunset barbecue on a private river island. urbanadventures.com

• Tailoring experience

Treat delegates to a bespoke souvenir with visit to one of Hoi An’s world-renowned tailors. Ask them to bring a picture of whatever dress or suit they’d like made. They can then choose the fabric and get a high-quality made-to-measure version delivered to their hotel the following morning, for a fraction of the price they’d get at Savillle Row (I’ve sported my Hoi Ancrafted imitation of a Kate Middleton frock to many-a-wedding).

• Cooking class

Famed for its fresh spring rolls and its succulent cao lau pork noodles, Hoi An’s distinctive cuisine is worth exploring. The best way? A cooking class with chef Trinh Diem Vy at her Market Restaurant and Cooking School. Participants are led around Hoi An’s wet market to choose the ingredients, before Vy gives them a two-hour hands-on culinary masterclass (group size needs to be between 12 and 32 people). msvy-tastevietnam.com

NHA TRANG

What’s it like? Known to be popular among Russian luxury travellers, the beach haven of Nha Trang occupies a hilly stretch along the East coast of Vietnam. If you’re looking to reward employees for their hard work, checking them in to one of Nha Trang’s show-stopping resorts will more than suffice.

Where to meet and what to do

• Six Senses Ninh Van Bay

Laid-back luxury prevails in this barefoot resort, which is all about seclusion and staggering views of rugged rocks opening out to the South China Sea. The 60 villas offer everything from direct sea access to private wine cellars, while casual meetings can be arranged in cushioned beach pavilions. Delegates will be spoilt for choice with downtime activities, which include water sports, hiking, scuba diving or morning tai chi on the beach. However, it’s the world-leading spa offering traditional Vietnamese treatments that really steals the show. sixsenses.com

• Thap Ba hot springs

The natural, warm, mineral-rich mud of the Thap Ba hot springs is said to strengthen bones, relieve stress and even reduce your blood sugar. A trip to 100 Egg mud baths – where you sit in an egg-shaped pod to immerse yourself fully in the substance – should make a memorable team-bonding experience. Group or individual ‘eggs’ are available.

HO CHI MINH CITY

What’s it like? Vietnam’s economic hub is frenetic, and can feel like hard work at times. Motorcyclists swarm in droves along the highways for their morning commute – all wearing helmets, as is the law – and it’s easy to feel slightly swallowed up by the jungle of tower blocks, bars and neon lighting.

It’s the harrowing historical sights that really makes Ho Chi Minh City a must visit. From the explicit photography and poignant artefacts of the War Remnants museum, to the fascinating nearby Cu Chi Tunnels, the pivotal role that Ho Chi Minh City played in the Vietnam War has left a lasting legacy.

Where to meet and what to do

• The Reverie Saigon

A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, this opulent property celebrates showy Italian design in its guest rooms; lashings of marble, silky chaise longues and headboards crafted from extremely expensive fabrics. There are 15 meetings spaces, including a lavish fifth-floor ballroom inspired by Milan’s legendary Teatro alla Scala, with a green malachite stone grand piano. The Reverie Saigon occupies the top floors of Ho Chi Minh’s Times Square skyscraper, allowing guests to gaze at the city stretched out in front of them from up high. thereveriesaigon.com

• Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre

For large-scale events, the SECC is the place to go. Located 17km from the city centre, it offers four exhibition halls and 20,000 sqm of outdoor space, and is the venue of choice for international tradeshows in southern Vietnam. secc.com.vn

• Cu Chi Tunnels

A completely unique attraction. During the 1960s, members of the Viet Cong guerrilla force would hide in wait within a 250km network of underground tunnels, ready to attack American soldiers; the strategy was instrumental in the resistance effort against the US.

Group tours of the Cu Chi Tunnels’ accompanying open-air museum are possible, and visitors can even experience time in a tunnel for themselves (warning, not one for the claustrophobic…)

For more advice about organising meetings, events or incentives in Vietnam, visit vietnamtourism.gov.vn

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