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 is just not a lot, but it surely’s doable to go to a few of the principal highlights of this superb nation: from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis to Ha Lengthy Bay.

Hey there! Are you planning a visit to Vietnam however undecided the place to start out? Look no additional as a result of we’ve received you lined with this 7-day itinerary! Prepare for an thrilling journey by means 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 seaside 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 so much, however we liked it a lot and can gladly be again to discover the center of Vietnam (Hoy An, Da Nang and different superb locations). 

Helpful hyperlinks in your journey to Vietnam:

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

Flights: Skyscanner for the flights to Vietnam and inner 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 a lot of completely different locations world wide

Plug kind: use this multi-country adapter 

Excursions: avenue meals tour of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis by bike 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. Nevertheless, summer time in Vietnam may 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, but it surely was very chilly, unusually chilly, in Hanoi. After we had been in Hanoi, it was simply 15-16 levels. Nevertheless, it was slightly uncommon – it’s not typically that chilly in Hanoi in December! 

It’s arduous to say what’s the most effective time to go to Vietnam – it will depend on what precisely you wish to go to. Since we picked a time of the 12 months first – we knew that we might solely have sufficient annual depart 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 will have been a special state of affairs, and we’d probably tweak this itinerary slightly bit and go to completely 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 one of the best ways to journey round Vietnam?

Travelling round Vietnam may be very inexpensive, however provided that you journey by bus and prepare. Nevertheless, for that, it is advisable 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 restricted, you have to to purchase flights – and people aren’t too low cost. Nevertheless, I discovered inner flights in Vietnam to be very dependable and fairly good total, particularly when you 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 nations, and it’s fairly dependable and really inexpensive. You should utilize 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 proper 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 on daily basis of our journey to Vietnam, I needed 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 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

For those who solely have one week to spend in Vietnam, I like to recommend shopping for multi-city flights, identical 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 airplane, we determined to ebook a really inexpensive lodge subsequent to the airport simply to sleep for a few hours. We ended up reserving Victoria Airport Resort, which wasn’t an ideal place to sleep because it was very noisy, however not less than we might loosen up for just a few hours, from 6am to 11am. 

Exploring Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

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

Central Market

We went for a stroll across the Ben Thanh space, tried a conventional Vietnamese sandwich, Bahn Mi, for lunch, after which later spent a while exploring the Central Market. The Central Market is known for its replicas of designer items. Nevertheless, we had been all in favour of one other part of this market – the realm with fruits, teas and sweets from Vietnam. We managed to purchase just a few edible souvenirs there. For those who’re seeking to purchase some presents, e.g. sweets, espresso or tea from Vietnam – it’s place to buy them. 

Road meals tour by bike

Within the early night, we had our Ho Chi Minh Metropolis avenue meals tour by bike with native college students. We booked this tour upfront on GetYourGuide right here. It’s a tour that I positively suggest to everybody visiting Vietnam. Not solely we tried a lot of completely different dishes we wouldn’t have tried in any other case, however we additionally realized so much in regards to the historical past of Vietnam, rode a motorcycle within the metropolis with most bikes in Vietnam (and doubtless all the world) and hung out in nice firm! Every of us received 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 unbelievable! We ended the tour close to the Strolling avenue – the occasion avenue of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis!

Making an attempt Egg Espresso

A couple of folks advisable we strive the standard Vietnamese Egg Espresso, and the subsequent morning; we headed to essentially the most iconic place to strive 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 most likely essentially the most lovely a part of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, so it’s positively value exploring.

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 individual, and the views from there are nice! Bitexco Tower was Vietnam’s tallest constructing for an extended whereas earlier than Landmark Tower was constructed. Nevertheless, Bitexco Tower remains 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 suggest one place in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, it will be Clean Lounge. 

Exploring the Outdated Put up Workplace and the Notre Dame Cathedral

Our last vacation spot in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis was the previous a part of town with the Put up Workplace and Notre Dame Cathedral. The submit workplace (Sai Gon Central Put up Workplace) is free to go to, and inside, it has a working submit workplace and some memento retailers. Notre Dame Cathedral is likely 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 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 a number of analysis earlier than committing to at least one place. We booked Salinda Resort – which is likely one of the finest resorts in Phu Quoc, it has nice scores, however is just not overly costly. It has a beautiful seaside, and it’s only a quick taxi experience from Phu Quoc city with its night time market. 

Issues to do in Phu Quoc in 2 days:

For those who simply wish to relaxation, you are able to do that completely effectively at Salinda Resort. You possibly can spend more often than not enjoyable on the seaside and swimming and within the afternoon, stroll alongside the excessive avenue and go to a therapeutic massage place or a espresso place, for instance.

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

  1. Discover the bustling night time market in Phu Quoc, the place you’ll be able to pattern scrumptious Vietnamese avenue meals and buy souvenirs. The market is well 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 numerous marine life round Phu Quoc. You possibly can pre-book this tour upfront 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 be taught in regards to the island’s previous in the course of the Vietnam Struggle 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% suggest! 

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 lodge, JM Marvel. We booked a taxi through Seize app, as all the time, but it surely took some time to reach. 

Issues to do in Hanoi in December

We had an entire night to so spend in Hanoi. Nevertheless, it was very chilly. The climate in Hanoi in December may 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, be certain 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 a number of guides, Duong’s. They’ve a number of 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 avenue with prepare tracks within the center and cafes and retailers on each side. Once in a while, a prepare passes, and everybody must clear the road and keep within the cafes/retailers – the trains go very near folks!  

After that, we walked slightly bit across the centre of Hanoi, had some milk tea and headed again to our lodge, JM Marvel, to sleep early to arrange 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 upfront – we booked ours a month upfront, and many cruises had been already bought out. We tried to ebook Athena, however there was no availability, so the company instructed Paradise Magnificence Cruise as a substitute. Paradise Cruises offered a free switch to the cruise and again, which was very useful, and the minibus was very snug. You possibly can verify the supply of the cruise right here.

Attending to Ha Lengthy Bay

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

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

By 11:20am, we arrived at a lodge for a cruise check-in, the place we received bracelets of various colors. The color of your bracelets dictates your boarding time. We received 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 lodge foyer. There was only one cafe and never sufficient sitting area 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 an extra cost of round $12 per individual. Nevertheless, because it was solely 16 levels outdoors 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 seaside – 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 finest views had been seen throughout our go to to Ha Lengthy Bay.

Nevertheless, the island is insanely busy, so it takes 20 minutes and a number of stairs simply to go up and doubtless, much more, to go downstairs. 

We received 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 reside music in one of many rooms on the cruise.

The subsequent exercise was very early within the morning, and it included a go to to the most important and essentially the most well-known collapse Ha Lengthy Bay. Nevertheless, 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 lodge, 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 town, so we determined to do some sightseeing. Listed below 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 in the course of the Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties. Contained in the Citadel, there’s a wide range of constructions, together with palaces, temples, and residences. These constructions had been constructed in numerous 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 all in favour of Vietnamese tradition and historical past.

Another locations I like to recommend visiting in Hanoi: 

  • Hoan Kiem Lake: That is the guts 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 a lot of conventional retailers, avenue meals stalls, and historical temples. This space is a glimpse into Hanoi’s previous and an ideal place to expertise town’s vibrant tradition. Nevertheless, it’s probably that you’ve seen most of it already throughout your first night in Hanoi
  • Thang Lengthy Water Puppet Theatre: a novel and conventional artwork kind 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, reside music, and vibrant lights.
  • Cong Ca Phe – our favorite espresso place in Hanoi. It’s a sequence with just a few espresso retailers, and so they have superb distinctive drinks. 

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

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 will probably get a bit chilly). You may also invert this itinerary and begin from Hanoi and end in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis!

In case you have any questions, be happy to DM me at @lizatripsget – I’d be capable to assist!

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