From the splendour of Halong Bay to the marvel that is the Cu Chi Tunnels, a 2 week tour in Vietnam gives a perfect opportunity to really appreciate what this country has to offer. A 14-day itinerary can focus on a particular region of the country or a highlights tour that travels the entire country from the north to the south.
Here is a great travel itinerary that mainly focuses on North Vietnam:
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and appreciated for its traditional Vietnamese lifestyle, delicious food and French colonial architecture. A two day stay in Hanoi is well worth it to see most of its attractions, but a one day stay is a possibility for those short on time.
One of the most fascinating tours organized is to discover the Old Quarter district on a cyclo (3-wheeled bicycle taxi). This region is split into 36 narrow streets with many specialising in a particular type of goods. For instance, a visit to Silk Street (Hang Dao) offers the chance to explore shops selling silk fabrics and products. A half-day tour can easily be taken up roaming the Old Quarter. Other attractions in the region include St. Joseph’s Cathedral Church, Literature Temple, and Hoan Kiem Lake.
A 3.5 hour journey from Hanoi leads to the must-see site of Halong Bay which is likely to feature on every tourist agenda. Halong Bay is appreciated for its limestone islands, natural caves, and stunning bays. Plus, this stunning part of Vietnam is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site and listed in 1994. For the best experience on the Vietnam customized tour, book an overnight cruise to get a relaxing night sleeping out in the bay.
A cruise of Halong Bay makes it possible to explore the dense cave network throughout the region. Hang Sung Sot (Grotte des surprises) and Hang Luon are the most recognised and famous. Halong Bay is best visited from October to March. Other things to do in the area include scuba diving and sunbathing on the beach.
Sapa is located in the northwest of Vietnam. This mountainous region has foggy weather and an average temperature of about 15-18° C year-round. Sapa is a perfect destination for a trekking adventure and worth organizing the overnight stay with a local Vietnam travel company for the most authentic experience.
An English-speaking guide is a great way to get around in Sapa with a trek to an ethic minority village, such as Ta Phin, Sin Chai and Ta Van, to give a great chance to discover a different side of this country. The preferred time to travel to this region is between March-May and September-November. Travelling later in the year means the weather is a bit colder at night. A trip to Sapa is great for its local liquor, motorbiking on the mountains, and climbing up Fansipan mount.
Any worthwhile tour itinerary of Vietnam wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a stay in the historic city of Hoi An. This city is approx 30 km from Danang and well-known for its amazing traditional Vietnamese food, distinct prehistoric architecture, beautiful beaches and talented tailors.
A peaceful walk around the charming old town of Hoi An makes it possible to feel lost in a small fishing village that dates back hundreds of years. The ancient town is easily explored on the Indochina holiday with the help of a hired bicycle, while at night the area is lit up with traditional lanterns.
Hoi An is a great place for travellers into shopping with plenty of tailor shops offering clothes, as well as handmade suitcases and handbags. Great things to do while in Hoi An include viewing the sunset in the evenings, Cam Thanh Coconut Island, visit My Son Holy Land, visit Cua Dai beach, or wandering around the ancient town.
Fly to Danang to experience a relaxing and peaceful beach resort break. This coastal city in central Vietnam is well-known for its pristine beaches and makes a great base for local attractions like the inland Ba Na hills. An after-dark tour of Danang makes it possible to explore the city as its neon-lit best. The street food scene in this city is certain to deserve closer investigation. Also, Asia Park is a large theme park with plenty of things to see and do including the beautifully lit up Ferris wheel.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is the country’s commercial hub and one of the most vibrant cities to visit. This city is appreciated for its food culture and amazing coffee, exciting nightlife, and hustle and bustle lifestyle. A great place to stay in Ho Chi Minh City is District 1 with plenty of places to stay, restaurants, and tourist sites to explore. A major landmark is the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral with other attractions including the Central Post Office and Ben Thanh market, with plenty of sites built at the time of the French colonial rule.
The city has a great reputation for its nightlife with rooftop bars a firm favourite in Ho Chi Minh City. The rooftop bars are best visited in the early evening (about 6 pm). Also, Ho Chi Minh City has a great coffee culture with plenty of modern and traditional coffee shops throughout the city.
A further interesting destination to visit on the Vietnam travel while in Ho Chi Minh City is the fascinating Cu Chi tunnel system which is about 50 km from the city. These underground tunnels were built by the Viet Cong at the time of the Vietnam War to act as hiding spots. A half-day tour of the network of tunnels can give a real insight to the reality of this past conflict.