There are two very enticing photos in part of the downloadable Lonely Planet Vietnam guide (.pdf format); you can download individual chapters or the whole book (well, at least here in Australia!). The country is pretty accessible and quite different to the ultra-modern world that most of us live and work in; in some respects it's like stepping back a few centuries! I would expect a few surprises. Might be best to go on an organised tour rather than solo; it seems to me that many solo travels pose the most perplexing questions in forums (e.g. lonelyplanet.com/thorntree).
What is your genre, landscape, people, architecture, mountains, festivals, night scenes? At the time mine was people and architecture (now, for a long time, the landscape). I can recall having been overwhelmed for a few days until I got my marbles back!! I was initially even fearful of the place (many beggars and touts that I can recall). Keep your wits about you and be wary of flashing expensive camera gear around in big-note cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh.