Tuesday, November 7, 2023
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Ho Chi Minh Metropolis to Hanoi

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On this article, I’ll share our 7-day itinerary for Vietnam. 1 week in Vietnam isn’t a lot, however it’s potential to go to a few of the predominant highlights of this wonderful nation: from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis to Ha Lengthy Bay.

Hey there! Are you planning a visit to Vietnam however unsure the place to start out? Look no additional as a result of we’ve bought you coated with this 7-day itinerary! Prepare for an thrilling journey by way of a few of Vietnam’s most gorgeous locations, from the bustling metropolis streets of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis to the serene waters of Ha Lengthy Bay.

I’ll share with you the precise itinerary that we adopted in Vietnam: we landed in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, then went to discover Phu Quoc due to its good seashores and the truth that it was the one heat seashore vacation spot in Vietnam in winter. Afterwards, we flew to Hanoi and, from there, went to Ha Lengthy Bay. In whole, we spent 7 days in Vietnam, which isn’t loads, however we liked it a lot and can gladly be again to discover the center of Vietnam (Hoy An, Da Nang and different wonderful locations). 

Helpful hyperlinks to your journey to Vietnam:

I’ve acquired a number of requests to offer a quick abstract of all of the vital and helpful hyperlinks used on this publish for different articles that includes our itineraries, so right here’s an outline of helpful hyperlinks for the Vietnam 1-week itinerary:

Flights: Skyscanner for the flights to Vietnam and inside flights. I like to recommend flying with Vietnam Airways

Taxis: Seize

SIM card: you’ll be able to both purchase one on the airport or purchase a multi-country sim like Drimsim that works in plenty of totally different locations world wide

Plug kind: use this multi-country adapter 

Excursions: road meals tour of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis by motorcycle with native college students, Hanoi sightseeing tour, Phu Quoc snorkelling tour

Ha Lengthy Bay cruise: ebook right here

Lodges: Hammock Ho Chi Minh Metropolis Ben Thanh, Salinda Resort Phu Quoc, JM Marvel Hanoi 

Earlier than we begin with the itinerary, listed below are a few FAQs:

What’s the most effective time to go to Vietnam? When did you journey to Vietnam?

Vietnam is an all-year-long vacation spot. Nonetheless, summer season in Vietnam might be highly regarded and humid. We visited Vietnam in winter, December & January, and we had the most effective climate within the South – Phu Quoc and Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, however it was very chilly, unusually chilly, in Hanoi. After we had been in Hanoi, it was simply 15-16 levels. Nonetheless, it was relatively uncommon – it’s not usually that chilly in Hanoi in December! 

It’s onerous to say what’s the most effective time to go to Vietnam – it will depend on what precisely you want to go to. Since we picked a time of the yr first – we knew that we might solely have sufficient annual go away for this journey in December; over the Christmas holidays; we needed to work round that and embody the locations which have the most effective climate in winter. If we had been to journey in October, it could have been a distinct state of affairs, and we’d doubtless tweak this itinerary a bit of bit and go to totally different locations.

The center of Vietnam, the realm of Hoi An, will get very wet in winter – therefore, we determined to skip it and go to different locations with higher climate. 

What’s the easiest way to journey round Vietnam?

Travelling round Vietnam could be very reasonably priced, however provided that you journey by bus and prepare. Nonetheless, for that, you should have greater than 1 week in Vietnam. In any other case, you spend most of your time in Vietnam simply getting from one vacation spot to a different. If time is proscribed, you will have to purchase flights – and people aren’t too low-cost. Nonetheless, I discovered inside flights in Vietnam to be very dependable and fairly good total, particularly for those who fly with Vietnam Airways. 

When travelling contained in the cities, I like to recommend utilizing Seize – which is an Asian model of Uber. It really works in lots of international locations, and it’s fairly dependable and really reasonably priced. You need to use my referral hyperlink to put in it.

Alright, with out additional ado, let’s begin with the itinerary for Vietnam in 7 days – the most effective locations to go to in Vietnam in winter. 

The right itinerary for 1 week in Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Phu Quoc, Hanoi & Ha Lengthy Bay: a day-by-day overview

Earlier than I’m going into an excessive amount of element on what we did do on each day of our journey to Vietnam, I wished to offer a quick overview of our itinerary.

Days 1 & 2 – Exploring Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, staying at Hammock Inn Ben Thanh

Day 3: Morning flight to Phu Quoc, staying at Salinda Resort

Day 4: Exploring Phu Quoc

Day 5: Afternoon flight to Hanoi, an evening at JM Marvel

Day 6: Morning decide up from the Ha Lengthy Bay cruise firm, cruising the Ha Lengthy Bay

Day 7: Getting again to Hanoi, exploring the town 

Day 8: Morning in Hanoi and flying again 

Now, let’s discuss this itinerary in additional element.

Days 1 & 2: Exploring Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

Touchdown in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

Should you solely have one week to spend in Vietnam, I like to recommend shopping for multi-city flights, similar to we did. We landed in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis and departed from Hanoi, which was very handy. 

Our flight to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis was a direct flight from London, and it landed very early within the morning, round 5AM. Since we hadn’t managed to sleep on the aircraft, we determined to ebook a really reasonably priced resort subsequent to the airport simply to sleep for a few hours. We ended up reserving Victoria Airport Lodge, which wasn’t an awesome place to sleep because it was very noisy, however a minimum of we might chill out for a number of hours, from 6am to 11am. 

Exploring Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

We arrived at our house for the subsequent 2 nights, resort Hammock Ben Thanh round 12pm and, fortunately, managed to examine in early. Hammock Ben Thanh is positioned in the most effective space of Ho Chi Minh for exploring the town – there are many cafes, eating places and points of interest close by, and you may stroll to a lot of the different main points of interest.

Central Market

We went for a stroll across the Ben Thanh space, tried a standard Vietnamese sandwich, Bahn Mi, for lunch, after which later spent a while exploring the Central Market. The Central Market is legendary for its replicas of designer items. Nonetheless, we had been taken with one other part of this market – the realm with fruits, teas and sweets from Vietnam. We managed to purchase a number of edible souvenirs there. Should you’re trying to purchase some items, e.g. sweets, espresso or tea from Vietnam – it’s a great place to buy them. 

Avenue meals tour by bike

Within the early night, we had our Ho Chi Minh Metropolis road meals tour by bike with native college students. We booked this tour prematurely on GetYourGuide right here. It’s a tour that I undoubtedly advocate to everybody visiting Vietnam. Not solely we tried plenty of totally different dishes we wouldn’t have tried in any other case, however we additionally discovered loads in regards to the historical past of Vietnam, rode a bike within the metropolis with most bikes in Vietnam (and possibly all the world) and frolicked in nice firm! Every of us bought assigned a scholar who drove us round by bike and confirmed us the most effective issues to eat in Vietnam. The tour lasted for nearly 4 hours, and it was improbable! We ended the tour close to the Strolling road – the get together road of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis!

Attempting Egg Espresso

Just a few folks advisable we attempt the normal Vietnamese Egg Espresso, and the subsequent morning; we headed to essentially the most iconic place to attempt it, Little Hanoi Egg Espresso. Egg espresso is a really distinctive factor, and I haven’t seen it anyplace else however Vietnam. It’s espresso with an egg inside, and it must be consumed scorching (I’ve tried the chilly model as effectively, and it wasn’t that nice).

Strolling across the upscale a part of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

Later, we went for a stroll across the extra upscale a part of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, the place a lot of the boutiques had been positioned, proper subsequent to the Ho Chi Minh Monument, the Individuals’s Committee Constructing and The Opera Home. That is in all probability essentially the most lovely a part of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, so it’s undoubtedly price exploring.

Taking a look at Ho Chi Minh Metropolis from above in Bitexco Tower

One other must-visit place in Ho Chi Minh is the Commentary Deck on the Bitexco Tower. The doorway prices lower than $10 per particular person, and the views from there are nice! Bitexco Tower was once Vietnam’s tallest constructing for a protracted whereas earlier than Landmark Tower was constructed. Nonetheless, Bitexco Tower continues to be one of the iconic buildings within the nation and even in all the world.

Sipping cocktails with the most effective view at Landmark Tower

Our subsequent vacation spot, the Landmark Tower, was a brief Seize drive away (btw as I discussed earlier than, Seize is an Uber various in Asia), and you may use my hyperlink to put in it.

At Landmark Tower, we had been heading to the Clean Lounge Espresso Bar by Nest – one of many highest cafes/bars in Asia. We didn’t have a reservation, however fortunately, there have been some out there spots on the open-air terrace, which was terrific. We additionally liked the cocktails and desserts there – the menu was inventive and really scrumptious. If I used to be to advocate one place in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, it could be Clean Lounge. 

Exploring the Outdated Publish Workplace and the Notre Dame Cathedral

Our last vacation spot in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis was the previous a part of the town with the Publish Workplace and Notre Dame Cathedral. The publish workplace (Sai Gon Central Publish Workplace) is free to go to, and inside, it has a working publish workplace and some memento outlets. Notre Dame Cathedral is without doubt one of the oldest surviving buildings in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis (it was completed in the midst of the nineteenth century), and it’s a working cathedral which you can simply go to. 

Days 3-4: Phu Quoc

On the third day of our 7-day journey to Vietnam, we awakened fairly early to go to the airport and seize a flight to Phu Quoc. Out of all of the seashores, there in Vietnam, we determined to select Phu Quoc as a result of it was just about the one place with good climate in December!

The place to remain in Phu Quoc?

There are many choices for lodging in Phu Quoc, and we did numerous analysis earlier than committing to at least one place. We booked Salinda Resort – which is without doubt one of the greatest resorts in Phu Quoc, it has nice rankings, however isn’t overly costly. It has a beautiful seashore, and it’s only a quick taxi journey from Phu Quoc city with its evening market. 

Issues to do in Phu Quoc in 2 days:

Should you simply wish to relaxation, you are able to do that completely effectively at Salinda Resort. You’ll be able to spend more often than not enjoyable on the seashore and swimming and within the afternoon, stroll alongside the excessive road and go to a therapeutic massage place or a espresso place, for instance.

Should you’re eager on doing a bit extra sightseeing in Phu Quoc, you’ll be able to rent a motorbike and do a tour across the island. Alternatively, listed below are the highest issues to do in Phu Quoc:

  1. Discover the bustling evening market in Phu Quoc, the place you’ll be able to pattern scrumptious Vietnamese road meals and buy souvenirs. The market is definitely accessible by taxi (simply 9 minutes by taxi from Salinda Resort).
  2. Take a scuba diving or snorkelling tour and uncover the colorful coral reefs and various marine life round Phu Quoc. You’ll be able to pre-book this tour prematurely right here
  3. Embark on a guided tour of Phu Quoc Nationwide Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the place you’ll be able to discover lush forests and encounter uncommon wildlife.
  4. Go to the historic Phu Quoc Jail Museum to study in regards to the island’s previous through the Vietnam Warfare and acquire perception into the resilience of the Vietnamese folks.

There’s additionally an incredible cocktail place/speakeasy bar positioned throughout the street from Salinda Resort, which we liked and I can 100% advocate! 

Day 5: Afternoon flight to Hanoi 

On our fifth day in Vietnam, we took a flight to Hanoi. Our flight was within the afternoon, so we had an opportunity to spend the morning on the resort and swim a bit extra. The flight from Phu Quoc to Hanoi is for much longer than the one from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis to Phu Quoc and takes virtually 2 hours (it’s far!). We landed in Hanoi round 3pm, and it took us virtually an hour to get to our resort, JM Marvel. We booked a taxi by way of Seize app, as at all times, however it took some time to reach. 

Issues to do in Hanoi in December

We had a complete night to so spend in Hanoi. Nonetheless, it was very chilly. The climate in Hanoi in December might be fairly temperamental. It was simply 14 levels on our first day in Hanoi, 16 on our second day and 21 levels in every week once we returned from Laos. When packing for this journey in winter, ensure that to deliver some heat garments with you. I like to recommend bringing a light-weight, packable goose climate jacket (like those from Uniqlo) – I wore It on our first and second days in Hanoi and in addition within the night on the Ha Lengthy Bay Cruise.

On our first night in Hanoi, we determined to have dinner in a restaurant that’s advisable by numerous guides, Duong’s. They’ve numerous conventional Vietnamese dishes with a twist.

Afterwards, we went to see the trains on the well-known prepare tracks cafes. Mainly, it’s a pedestrian-only road with prepare tracks within the center and cafes and outlets on each side. From time to time, a prepare passes, and everybody must clear the road and keep within the cafes/outlets – the trains cross very near folks!  

After that, we walked a bit of bit across the centre of Hanoi, had some milk tea and headed again to our resort, JM Marvel, to sleep early to organize for the early decide up for the Ha Lengthy Bay cruise.

Day 6: In a single day Ha Lengthy Bay Cruise 

Which Ha Lengthy Bay Cruise to ebook

It’s important to ebook your Ha Lengthy Bay cruise prematurely – we booked ours a month prematurely, and many cruises had been already bought out. We tried to ebook Athena, however there was no availability, so the company urged Paradise Magnificence Cruise as an alternative. Paradise Cruises supplied a free switch to the cruise and again, which was very useful, and the minibus was very snug. You’ll be able to examine the provision of the cruise right here.

Attending to Ha Lengthy Bay

Our pick-up was round 8:25am from the foyer of our resort. Then we drove to select up one other couple from a resort close by. 

The drive to Ha Lengthy Bay takes round 2-2.5 hours, relying on the site visitors. Most transfers additionally make a technical cease on the Pearl Museum, the place there’s a museum, a big pearl store, a number of cafes and a rest room. 

By 11:20am, we arrived at a resort for a cruise check-in, the place we bought bracelets of various colors. The color of your bracelets dictates your boarding time. We bought black bracelets and had been among the many final ones to board. Our boarding began at 12:20pm, and we had one hour to kill within the resort foyer. There was only one cafe and never sufficient sitting house for all company, so the wait was fairly tiring. 

Onboard expertise on Magnificence ship (Paradise Ha Lengthy Bay cruise)

By 1:30pm, we had boarded and already had a fast briefing and lunch (it was a buffet, and the standard and selection had been glorious). There are 2-3 actions you are able to do on the primary day and 1 exercise on the second day of the cruise.

The primary exercise included kayaking and a go to to the pearl farm, which required a further cost of round $12 per particular person. Nonetheless, because it was solely 16 levels exterior and also you needed to be in a swimsuit, we determined to skip the exercise.

At 4pm, the second exercise began – it was a go to to Titov island – there’s a good seashore – if there climate permits, it’s good to swim there. Alternatively, there’s a hill in the midst of the island, and you may climb it to see magnificent views of Ha Lengthy Bay – a few of the greatest views had been seen throughout our go to to Ha Lengthy Bay.

Nonetheless, the island is insanely busy, so it takes 20 minutes and numerous stairs simply to go up and possibly, much more, to go downstairs. 

We bought again to the boat round 5:30pm, simply in time for the sundown. Throughout sundown, there was a free cooking class, and after dinner, there was stay music in one of many rooms on the cruise.

The following exercise was very early within the morning, and it included a go to to the biggest and essentially the most well-known collapse Ha Lengthy Bay. Nonetheless, you needed to be prepared by 6:35am to go on this tour. By 8:15am, you needed to be again on the boat and have breakfast and the checkout was at 9:30-10am. 

As you’ll be able to see, the 2-day, 1-night Ha Lengthy Bay cruises do probably not take 2 days – it’s extra like 24 hours. By 10:30am, we had been already within the foyer of our resort, ready for the return switch and by 1:30pm, we had been again in Hanoi! 

Day 7: Exploring Hanoi 

On our final day of seven days in Vietnam, we had on a regular basis since 1:30pm to see the town, so we determined to do some sightseeing. Listed here are some landmarks I like to recommend visiting:

Imperial Citadel 

It’s one of many oldest and most spectacular buildings in Hanoi. It was the political centre of Vietnam for over 13 centuries and served because the capital of the nation through the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties. Contained in the Citadel, there may be a wide range of buildings, together with palaces, temples, and residences. These buildings had been constructed in several intervals, and every displays the distinctive architectural types and cultural influences of its time.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This imposing constructing is the ultimate resting place of Vietnam’s most well-known chief. Guests will pay their respects to Ho Chi Minh and study his life and legacy. 

The Temple of Literature

The Temple of Literature is a historic temple devoted to Confucius, with gorgeous structure, tranquil gardens, and a wealthy historical past. This website is a must-visit for anybody taken with Vietnamese tradition and historical past.

Another locations I like to recommend visiting in Hanoi: 

  • Hoan Kiem Lake: That is the center of Hanoi, surrounded by lovely parks, temples, and historic buildings. Take a stroll across the lake or sit by the water and people-watch
  • The Outdated Quarter with plenty of conventional outlets, road meals stalls, and historic temples. This space is a glimpse into Hanoi’s previous and an awesome place to expertise the town’s vibrant tradition. Nonetheless, it’s doubtless that you’ve got seen most of it already throughout your first night in Hanoi
  • Thang Lengthy Water Puppet Theatre: a novel and conventional artwork type that originated in North Vietnam, water puppetry is a must-see expertise in Hanoi. Performances are held on the Thang Lengthy Water Puppet Theatre, that includes elaborate puppets, stay music, and vibrant lights.
  • Cong Ca Phe – our favorite espresso place in Hanoi. It’s a sequence with a number of espresso outlets, they usually have wonderful distinctive drinks. 

Alternatively, you’ll be able to take a sightseeing tour in Hanoi – a educated information will have the ability to deliver you to a few of the most vital landmarks and share the historical past of Vietnam with you. This tour, for instance, is wonderful – as you get to be pushed across the metropolis on a classic motorcycle!

Abstract of seven days in Vietnam: from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

I hope you loved this itinerary for every week in Vietnam, visiting Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Phu Quoc, Ha Lengthy Bay and Hanoi. I like to recommend taking this itinerary in winter, because it’s the most effective season to go to the South of Vietnam, and it’s additionally a dry season within the North (nevertheless, it could get a bit chilly). You may also invert this itinerary and begin from Hanoi and end in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis!

When you’ve got any questions, be happy to DM me at @lizatripsget – I would have the ability to assist!

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