10 days in Vietnam
Last year’s Christmas was not a traditional one. Instead of celebrating the holidays at home next to the big Christmas tree, we went to Vietnam instead. We started off in the north of the country, in the capital Hanoi to be more specific, and ended our Christmas travel in Ho Chi Minh before going back to Shanghai. If you want to get the most out of your stay in Vietnam and you want to see the country’s most notable destinations in 10 days, we suggest this route:
✈︎ Halong Bay
✈︎ Hoi An
✈︎ Saigon / Ho Chi Minh
✈︎ Mekong Delta
Start your journey in Hanoi and try to stay there for about two days. This should be enough time to appreciate everything the city has to offer. After having visited the capital, a trip to what is probably Vietnam’s most popular destination should definitely be added to your list: Halong Bay. We recommend you to stay there for another two days. Then continue south to Danang and Hoi An, Vietnam’s well-preserved ancient town listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Finally, end your trip in the country’s largest city, Ho Chi Minh. That being said, here is how we spent our first four days in Vietnam!
4 days in Hanoi and Halong Bay
When in Hanoi, you should definitely check out the Presidential Palace. Originally built for the French Governor-General of Indochina in the beginning of the previous century, this building now hosts official government meetings. While the palace itself is not open to the public, visitors can walk through this historical example of French Colonial architecture and enjoy the beautiful garden surrounding it.
Located next to the Presidential Palace is the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s most popular leader. Just like Mao’s Mausoleum in Beijing, Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body is on display in this historical monument.
If you want to enjoy a more traditional example of Vietnamese architecture, then a visit to the Temple of Literature should be right up your alley! This picturesque temple, dedicated to Confucius, will satisfy every history and culture enthusiast.
Water puppetry is a traditional Vietnamese performance that will take you back to ancient times, telling the story of rural Vietnam and Vietnamese folklore. Shows are performed in a pool of water that serves as the stage for the puppets.
From Hanoi, we drove to Halong Bay, one of Vietnam’s most popular destinations. The abundance of limestone karst mountains popping out of the water, different shapes of islands and impressive caves create such a breathtaking view that you’ll need a few days to explore the bay. We didn’t have the weather on our side, unfortunately, but that didn’t make the landscape any less beautiful!
From the boat, we took a bike to visit some remote farmer villages around the Halong Bay Area and to simply enjoy the beautiful nature. Discovering Vietnam by bike is a great way to experience its beauty and allows you to go off the beaten path.