You can start your travelling in Vietnam from Hanoi its capital city! You ll arrive at Noi Bai International. We suggest that you choose a central hotel, which is quite cheap and in walkable distance to the city’s highlights. First day take a rest guys and explore the city by yourself! Discover the market area Dong Xuan Market or the night market Hang Dao. There are a lot of trully cheap hostels centrally located but it wasnt an option for us since we didnt like the district where they are located.
On the second day you can visit the Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, and his former residence, the one Pillar Pagoda and the Quan Thanh Temple. Before travelling make sure you have checked the opening hours and days. You can also visit other sites on the same day such us the Temple of literature, Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake. Between those visits you can try having a cyclo tour and in the evening you can watch a Water Pupper Show for some Vietnamese folklore art.
Third day must be spent at Hallong Bay and enjoy a cruise discovering this amazing natural beauty! The name Hạ Long means “descending dragon”. Administratively, the bay belongs to Ha Long City, Cam Pha City, and is a part of Van Don District. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes.
Book a fight to Danang airport and arrive at Hoi An. Start exploring this colourful place, its quite small and more touristic that Hanoi. You ll see the difference immediately. Visit old markets, old houses, silk factories and get some info about the floods! If you are visiting Hoi An on full moon you ll get the chance to enjoy a beautiful festival thta takes place. On that noght people put some candles into the river and make wishes!
You cant leave Hoi An without visiting a traditional house of a close village. Visit the countryside ask for the families that use to accommodate and take around tourists and spend half day with them. Ask them if you could eat with them and feel like a local!
Last city visited must be Ho Chi Minh or Saigon! Again our first day advise is to walk around the city on your own without any planning. This is a big city with too much noise and scooters all over the place! We liked a lot the flea market Ben Than Market where you ll definetely get lost! Watch out for your stuff, its really overcrowded over there! Yu can also visit Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. Later explore the bay area!
One of the most unique experiences in Vietnam is visiting the Cu chi tunnels the iconic area of whole Vietnam. Stay awake while driving to the tunnels and look at the spectacular rise fields! The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968. he tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped to counter the growing American military effort.
Last but not least you can visiti the Mekong Delta this peaceful place and a small town called Ben Tre.You will get lost into jungles, rivers, canals. You will meet local people who are really hospitable, share theri stories and even have some lunch with them. Try local flavours, they are really great! A great fact about Mekong river is that it is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. It is the world’s twelfth longest riverand the seventh longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,350 km, and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 , discharging 475 km3 of water annually. From the Tibetan Plateau the river runs through China’s Yunnan Province, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Food ideas at Hanoi (proposed by a local to us):
- Vietnam’s currency is Dong (VND) and Credit cards are generally accepted.
- Carry small money on you.
- Tipping is a common thing to do when in Vietnam, everyone expects you to tip them!
- Watch out when it comes to street food.
- Only drink bottled water and stay hydrated.
- Bargain at the markets! Everyone expects you to do so!
- Always respect the locals.
- Transportation: rickshaw rides or cyclo (always negotiate first) and taxis (prefer the green ones).