Three Week Itinerary in Vietnam

October 28, 2018 11:11 pm77 commentsViews: 257

Vietnam is a country that continues to endlessly inspire through it’s people, the landscape, the food and its culture. From the mystical waters of Halong Bay, to the pungent smells of fish sauce and durian, visiting Vietnam is a eye-opening experience and one of the best times is go is in the winter.

A typical trip to Vietnam is to arrive in Hanoi and travel down to Ho Chi Minh City over a period of three weeks, stopping through the main tourist spots such as the Imperial city Hue, Unesco-protected Hoi An, and the sandy beaches of Nha Trang.

Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a great place to start off. With bustling streets in the old quarter selling everything from shoes to saucepans, tree-lined boulevards and a huge lake in the middle of the city, it has no shortage of things to see. Watch out for the people selling baguettes on the street, as these are extremely tasty and surprisingly light in texture.

Highlights include riding a cyclo, walking through the old quarter, visiting Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and checking out Ho Tay (West Lake) where locals practise tai chi and kicking back with a bia hoi (beer) at the end of the day, and watching the city come to life.

Halong Bay

This majestic and dreamy seascape is listed by many as one of the most beautiful and magical sights in Vietnam. Countless stacks of limestone pinnacles emerge out of the waters, creating a wonderful vision of islets across the horizon. Many come to explore the caves, some of which are illuminated in an array of colours for the tourists.

Hué

Hué is home to some very interesting historic sights which include the tombs of the Nguyen emperors and the remains of the Citadel. A visit to the Citadel is a wonderful way to spend time in Hué, it’s sheer scale and historical significance is a natural draw as it dominates the city. Ten fortified gates surround the Citadel, which has a ten kilometre perimeter, and each has to be reached via a bridge across the moat.

Another sight of interest in Hué, is Dong Ba market, which is the city’s largest. Pretty much anything and everything can be bought here, and much of the site has been rebuilt since a typhoon destroyed most of the structure in 1986.

Hoi An

Hoi An, a wonderfully preserved and postcard pretty historic town, is one of the most alluring sights in Vietnam. Straight out of the pages of a storybook, it’s faded ochre walls and dark wooden rooftops are actually protected by Unesco, and the 800 and more buildings are gradually being preserved through the admission tickets and donations.

The town is also famous for it’s tailoring and it is here one comes to have a suit or dress made to measure. Do allow a few days in Hoi An for this, as it can take a while to make the garments and any alterations needed. Shipping costs can also be very expensive, so it is better to stay another night, and travel to nearby sights rather than leave.

Nha Trang

Moving further down the coastline, Nha Trang is a popular destination for many a tourist. With a long stretch of beach, this town has a reputation for sun fun and partying. The clear waters also make it a pleasure to snorkel and scuba dive in these areas, in the high season (June to October). It is also very pleasant to take a boat trip out on the waters, and see some of islands such as Monkey Island, or Bird’s Nest island.

Beach activities aside, the Po Nagar Cham Towers and Long Son Pagoda are well worth the visit. The Long Son Pagoda boasts a huge and beautiful white buddha statue. Nearby is Mui Ne beach, which is much quieter and boasts some truly beautiful sand dunes. Local children often gather here to earn a quick buck from tourists with their plastic slides.

Dalat

The mountainous city of Dalat, is noted for it’s clearer air and cooler temperatures, especially in the summer. It is also the honeymoon capital of Vietnam. Many Vietnamese travel here for its Alpine-esque scenery and abundance of waterfalls in the area. It is worth visiting this place for its landscapes and stunning views on the drive up.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a vast and sprawling city with an extremely fast pace. There is no shortage of things to see and do here, and it is one of the best places in the country to see the impact of the Vietnamese War. Top of the list the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. The Fine Arts Museum and the Notre Dame Cathedral are well worth a visit too.

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