Got One Week In Vietnam Here’s How To See Its Stunning Beauty
Vietnam is absolutely an incredible country you should visit, it has plenty of bustling cities and amazing natural beauty. And of course, thanks to its historic past, Vietnam today is a country that gives a unique perspective for travelers.
I know one week in Vietnam will never be enough, but I will be sharing my itinerary with you so you will get to see Vietnam’s highlights even if you only have limited time.
So are you ready to make new memories in this gorgeous country? Then please keep on reading below.
Day 1: Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City
My itinerary begins in Ho Chi Minh City which is known to several locals as Saigon. After we checked in to our hotel, we got out and did not waste any moment to explore the streets.
Ho Chi Minh City is a busy economic hub of Vietnam and is one of the fastest growing city. Its streets offer beautiful sights of grand old hotels and variety of interesting museums. If you head towards Nguyen Hue, I'm sure you will get to enjoy the view of French colonial architecture. Make sure to look for the Peoples Committee Building too, which can be found on top of the street; believe me, it is one of the most striking sights in Vietnam.
But most of all, there is plenty of excellent food all over
Right then and there, I knew that my one week in Vietnam would absolutely to be going fun.
To call it a day, we went to the roof of the nearby Rex Hotel for some drinks.
Day 2 & 3: Explore Ho Chi Minh City More
For days 2 and 3, we explored Ho Chi Minh City more. This is the largest city in Vietnam and it is packed with fun things to do. So I listed below interesting and exciting activities you should not miss in Ho Chi Minh City.
Appreciate Ho Chi Minh City from above
Saigon is situated on the banks of the Mekong River and you might find it pretty much flat. But you will be impressed to see it from above at the Bitexco Financial Tower. It will only take you $10 USD for an elevator ride that will get you to the Saigon Skydeck. I can really say that this is the coolest thing I’ve done in Ho Chi Minh, so don’t ever miss this.
The view is just amazing, especially on clear days. There is also a small museum inside that features a nice exhibit on the Ao Dai, the traditional dress worn by Vietnamese women. This is a great way to learn a little more about the country’s culture and way of life.
After seeing the city from above, another fun thing to do is going underground. Exploring the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels, one of Ho Chi Minh’s most iconic attractions, can be an eye-opening experience.
These tunnels have been used by the Vietnamese during the war with America and these have been a big help for the whole villages to stay safe and for the Vietnamese guerrilla fighters to take the enemy by surprise.
You can enjoy a lot of activities during your visit. One popular thing to do is following the narrow routes of the underground tunnel. Before you get in the underground tunnels, you get to watch a short film of Chu Chi Tunnels; a great way to fully understand how the tunnel system works. Then you can crawl your way through a 100m stretch of the tunnel and watch the tour guide show you with horrible pleasure the ingenious traps the Vietnamese used in killing or maiming US soldiers
Haggle in the best markets of Saigon
I can really say that among the cities I have been to, Saigon is one of the most amazing places to shop. There are interesting markets all over the place that offers a lot of things, from the latest electronic gadgets and to mouthwatering street foods. This activity is also a great way to observe a bit of local life.
Give karaoke a try
If you are a night owl like me, then you are in the right place. There are boundless things you can do even during the night, Ho Chi Minh City has everything from fresh beer (which they call bia hoi), to a variety of restaurants, bars, and clubs that will suit whatever your taste is.
Karaoke is the country’s favorite pastime, and you will see bright-colored signs announcing it almost everywhere. You can give it a try, it will surely be fun. But if you don’t want singing, you can relax and listen to traditional and popular Vietnamese music.
Day 4 & 5: Relax at Nha Trang
Nha Trang is just a short one hour flight from Saigon. This is the most popular beach resort city in Vietnam that offers a great selection of hotels situated on beachside and lots of exciting day trips
Anyway, here are some of the best things you can do at Nha Trang.
Go for some exciting scuba diving.
Most of the scuba diving activity in Nha Trang happens within Nha Trang Bay Marine Protected Area (MPA) where the shallow water can be ideal for beginners or even with your kids. You will see a wide variety of small colorful tropical fish in this area as well as pufferfish, moray eels and thriving coral reefs.
There also a natural cave and swim-through tunnels found at Octopus Rock.
Make sure you try island hopping
Nha Trang has plenty of neighboring islets and the best way to experience an entire day of sightseeing, exciting activities, and live entertainment is through some island-hopping tours. There are a lot of tour operators that will organize boat cruises on a daily basis that will take you to Mieu Island, Tam Island, Mot Island and Mun Island. Visitors can even enjoy water sports like kayaking and jet-skiing at Tam Island. Most of these tours serve lunch that comes with complimentary drinks and seasonal fruits. Some boats even have live entertainment featuring the local guides.
Anyway, before you go back to the main island, your boat will make a stop at Hon Mieu Island which features the Tri Nguyen Aquarium. This has been built in the year 1971, it looks a lot like a massive pirate ship that’s made from concrete. This is a home to hundreds of marine species and a manmade pond on the ground floor. You will find souvenir shops on the second, and a restaurant on the top floor.
If you love to party, there’s a popular boat tour called The Funky Monkey which is a unique floating bar where you can enjoy a good selection of beers and selections, plus there’s a live entertainment that you will really enjoy. This is known to be a booze cruise among backpackers.
Day 6 & 7: Explore Hanoi and Halong Bay
After spending two days at Nha Trang, get ready to travel to Hanoi. There are more than 11 flights from Nha Trang to Hanoi every day and it will only take you two hours.
Anyway, these the things you should not miss when in Hanoi.
Immense in some culture in Hanoi Opera House
Hanoi Opera House has been modeled after the Paris Opera House and it is the most beautiful building you will see in Hanoi. The opera can be found in the French Quarter and it features Vietnamese Opera Performances including some ballet performances, musical concerts, and Asian dance.
Pay a visit to the Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature is stunning temple complex that is situated in the center of Hanoi which is now an amazing park filled with shrines, pavilions, and a rich garden. But take note that the temple is open daily except on Mondays until 4:30 PM
Get impressed with the Water Puppet Theatre Performance
Hanoi has plenty of theaters where you can watch this unique Vietnamese performance, but Thang Long Puppet Theatre is the most popular theater that features a water puppet performance; so make sure you don’t miss one of the five shows daily.
Anyway, for your last day in Vietnam you need to explore Halong Bay too, a UNESCO World Heritage site which is an amazing bay in the far north of Vietnam. This bay has been famous for its stunning limestone islands.
Here are the things you can do at Halong Bay:
Sunbathe in Halong Bay
There are countless of places where tourist can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, fishing, snorkeling or kayaking once you arrive at Halong Bay.
For instance, choosing to stop at Cat Ba Island which is a home to different popular beaches for you to relax on. Some of the experienced tourists say that the stunning scenery of the mountain cliffs that can be seen out of this bay becomes an excellent backdrop for several water-based activities.
Visit the floating village
The floating village is absolutely an interesting feature to the daily life of the locals of Halong Bay. I know you find it a unique experience to be cruising on Halong Bay’s emerald clear green water, but imagine living your everyday life surrounded by this beauty. Wouldn’t it be great?
Well, the floating villages have been the home to several generations of fishermen in Halong Bay whose families have been earning their livelihood from the diversified supply of marine life. So paying a visit to this charming village is the best way to understand more about the real life of fishermen around the area.
Take a ride on the Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba is being considered to be the biggest island in Halong Bay. This island is home to some of the most impressive natural beauty as well as a wide range of species and its natural habitats. You can explore the limestone hills in this island, discover one of the hidden waterfalls, lakes, and grottoes, go snorkeling off the coast to see the underwater life and spot some wildlife hiding in the coastal forest and mangroves.
The best way to approach this island is by boat, but the best way to enjoy it is by riding a rented bicycle or exploring it on foot.
Tips When Visiting In Vietnam
I have to admit, Vietnam can really be a tricky country to explore. This is a place you need to travel smart. So here are some tips you need to know before you visit Vietnam.
- Prepare to haggle. There are no fixed prices in Vietnam, the thing is they will always try to inflate the prices. I know this can be daunting so the best thing you can do is to be informed and prepare to offer a good price.
- Keep yourself safe. Vietnam, in general, is a pretty safe country to travel around in; though there are some scams you need to be aware of. Also, the most common accident that happens is related to a motorbike. Since I recommend driving around the country on a motorbike, make sure that you have your proper license from your home country with you.
- Know where to stay. What’s great about Vietnam is that accommodation is very affordable. So I have listed down below my personal recommendation on the best places to stay in Vietnam.
- Saigon Backpackers. This is a budget hostel which is a great place if you are looking for a clean but affordable place to stay for one week in Vietnam
- Hong Kong Kaiteki Hotel. If you are looking for an unusual place to spend a few nights, then you should not look further.
- GoCo Hostel. This stylish hostel is just a few minutes’ walk from the backpacker’s area so the party will just be nearby
So there you have it! I hope this article will help you plan and make the most of your one week in Vietnam. Have a blast touring and falling in love with Vietnam.
If you still have any more questions, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends too!