Take an overall view of all-over S-shaped Vietnam. This is one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful countries. What did you expect whenever you visited somewhere? The bustling cities, high mountains with interesting structure or long golden sand beaches with blue water? All will be found in Vietnam.
Placed in global citizens mind, Vietnam appears as a small country located in Southeast Asia nearby China and Singapore. But more than this, the S-shaped country owns a coastline of 3,260 km (2,030 mi), excluding islands. Nature distributes affectionate advantages for this small country, from mountain to ocean, from valley to bay, you can find out any kind of terrain in Vietnam. The weather is the same, the tropical climate makes Vietnam become more special with the beauty of plant growth and animal also. From Sapa to Halong Bay, from Moc Chau to Ninh Binh, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh, all the spots throughout Vietnam are covered by the multi-culture and green ecosystem (sponsored by Mother Nature). Human, Culture, Nature, this trinity from Vietnam is definitely different from any country you have stood before, even the countries locate in Southeast Asia. People call it “Holidays”, but hope that it is your “Special Days”...in Vietnam. Come and see, see and experience it.
With Vietnam Itinerary 7 days, you will experience as a local when strolling around 36 ancient streets in Hanoi Old Quarter, or taste traditional specialities and fresh fruits in Mekong Delta. The plan is changed by individuals. Some people choose 3 weeks for discovering Indochina and spent 1 week for each country, the others one have only 1 week limited for their journey. Whatever the reasons, the itinerary always set based on yourself. It customises for you. 7 days a week is a good choice if your time is limited. Even local spends just one day and a half to travel to Sapa which is 300 kilometres far from Hanoi, 7 days is suitable to explore S-shaped country.
Furthermore, be open-minded to receive unique folk art values in Water Puppet Show and have your leisure time in Halong Bay with comfortable cruises. to live, eat and enjoy your journey from North to South, you will sense many lovely things. The detailed itinerary is mentioned in detail below.
Day 1: Hanoi - unique characteristic
Day 2: Essence of Hanoi (Hanoi Itinerary)
Day 3: Spectacular Halong Bay cruise
Day 4: Halong Bay, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City tour
Day 6: Floating on Mekong Delta
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City departure
You can not miss Ha Long Bay - the mesmerizing attraction in Vietnam
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh city arrival
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh city tour
Day 3: Mekong Delta - Can Tho
Day 4, 5, 6: Phu Quoc
Day 7: Phu Quoc - Ho Chi Minh Departure
Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa
Day 4: Sapa trekking
Day 5: Hanoi - Halong Bay Tours
Day 6: Halong Bay - Hanoi
Day 7: Hanoi Departure
The highest Buhddist Tower in Asia in Bai Dinh Temple complex
You are free to choose whether Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city will be your arrival destination. My what to see in Vietnam in 7 days plan starts with Hanoi.
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Hanoi - The Capital of Vietnam
As people have ever known about Hanoi, the city of peace is set off by a harmonious blend between traditions and modern life. Located in the suburbs of Hanoi, taking a taxi or bus is a must to move into city centre. The car will pass through Thang Long Bridge, the bridge has two floors; motorbike on the first floor and the car on the second one. Stay on top of bridge, you have opportunity getting a glimpse at all-over Hanoi: a city growing in the riverside of Red River with numerous ancient landmarks and colonial structures, symbolising time-honoured traditions that remain unimpaired throughout the bumps and scrapes of history still surviving amongst the locals. The towering skyscrapers grow through the sky symbolise the rapid modernisation of Vietnam’s urban centres of Hanoi showing the high development of the economy and the mixture of different cultures around the world. The French Quarter situates next to the Old Quarter, the effect of Chinese culture stands beside the Vietnamese traditional value at Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) a.k.a the first university of Vietnam.
It won’t take lots of time to go around the Old Quarter and the French Quarter but you need more to immerse yourself inside the area and find out more the interesting facts. Different from Ho Chi Minh city, the feelings living in Hanoi is more peaceful and tranquil. The ancient lines of the old temples or historical places bring to the capital the calm atmosphere that nowhere own.
The cost in Vietnam is absolutely cheaper than in any country you have visited in the Southeast Asia area. But highly recommend you research all the cost or discovering with the help of a Vietnamese friend unless you desire to throw the money through the window.
You can walk to Hanoi walking street at the weekend to blend with the locals
Water Puppet Show
After relaxation, we will enjoy the Water Puppet Show in the theatre right next to Hoan Kiem lake. This traditional art performance is one of the most unique cultural features in the world. The puppetry can appear in many countries, but the Water Puppet Show can be only seen in Vietnam. It turns out to be one of the historical-longest folk art in Vietnam. (Over 1000 years old seems unbelievable, right?)
Modern water puppetry is set up in a pool of water 4 square metres with the water surface being the stage. Performance transpires on one of three venues—on traditional ponds in villages where a staging area has been set up, on portable tanks built for travelling performers, or in a specialized building where a pool stage has been constructed. In the past, the original water puppet festivals were literally performed inside a rice paddy, with a pagoda built on top to hide the puppeteers who stand in the waist-deep water. The water plays a role as the stage for the show, and as a representative link to the rice harvest. It also hides the puppet strings and puppeteer movements, improves the musical and vocal acoustics, and provides a shimmering lighting effect.
Water puppet show represents the Vietnamese rice paddy culture and the daily life of the rural people. The performances are conducted by a wide variety of traditional Vietnamese folk music that is played on: Wooden bells; Bamboo flutes; Cymbals; Drums; Horns; Đàn Bầu (A single stringed guitar). Since then, water puppet had been often performed in festivals, Tet holiday, or special days of the village.
The one and only show in the word - Water puppet
There are a lot of places providing water puppet shows in Vietnam. You can check out the list below for more information:
Rong Vang Water Puppet Theater (55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1): 2 shows per day at 5 PM and 6:30 PM.
Ticket: VND 250,000/person
Phuong Nam Theater (2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1, inside Museum of Vietnam History): shows available from Tuesday to Sunday every week at 9 AM, 10 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM, 3 PM, 4 PM.
Ticket: VND 150,000/person
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater (57B Dinh Tien Hoang – Hoan Kiem District): Please visit the theatre’s website for more information about the schedule.
Ticket: VND100,000 ($5)/adult and VND60,000($2.5)/child
Vietnam Puppet Theater (361 Truong Chinh Street, Thanh Xuan District): 2 daily shows at 5 PM and 6:30 PM and other shows in Vietnam National Puppetry Theatre.
Hoi An Theater (548 Hai Ba Trung): shows available on Tuesdays, Friday and Saturday every week at 6:30 PM.
Ticket: VND80,000 ($3.5)/adult and VND40,000 ($2)/child
If you plan to do a walking tour, you might get a little bit scared about the traffic everywhere in the streets. In fact, there're a lot of ways to get around the city.
Where to Stay in Hanoi Old Quarter:
Hotels: Vietnam Backpackers Hostels, Bluebell Hotel, AZ Hanoi Hostel, Ga Hostel
Hotels: Golden Sun Suites Hotel, Hanoi Charm Hotel, Hanoi Elite Hotel
Free Old Quarter Walking Tour with AZ Local NPO (NoNon-Profitrganization by Local University Students)
Get ready to see the main attractions of Hanoi deep culture yet? We will start your journey in the attraction of Vietnamese heart first - Ho Chi Minh Complex. Ho Chi Minh Complex is considered as a spirit of Vietnam and a witness of long-rooted history and culture.
The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is an important place of travel for many Vietnamese and the area consists of botanical gardens, monuments, memorials and pagodas. There is no reason to refuse to observe Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the final resting place of noble Vietnamese President, also known as Uncle Ho. Others popular places of interest you must come are Stilt House - Ho Chi Minh's Residence and One-pillar Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hanoi.
Visiting the Presidential Palace - a remarkable French-Indochina architecture in the green garden and Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. In Ho Chi Minh’s house on stilts, you will understand his simple life and why Vietnamese people love him forever. At last, we reach the final spot inside Ho Chi Minh Complex - One Pillar Pagoda. This is one of the most special attractions in the world. If you notice its architecture in detail, you will find out.
You will also be required to leave all bags and cameras at the door. Supervisors will make sure you don’t dilly-dally too much as there is always a line and they want to keep everything moving smoothly.
Note: You should wear trousers and t-shirt unless you desire to be kept out. That means dressing respectfully, so no sleeveless shirts, short skirts, and the like. Make sure that you bring necessary stuff for all day. Less is more!
Have lunch and you go on our way to Temple of Literature - the first University of Vietnam. Next up, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology will show you insightful stories about Vietnamese culture, especially 54 ethnic minorities.
Then, discover Hanoi 1000 years old inside Old Quarter, a convergence of 36 ancient streets by cyclo. The slow-speed of this unique vehicle will offer you a great chance to fully sense classic and modern lovely Hanoi.
We start departure to Halong Bay – World Natural Heritage recognized by UNESCO. When we arrive, you can get on the cruise and enjoy a welcome drink. A delicious lunch is ready on board while the boat is sailing further to Halong Bay. On the way, don’t miss view sights of majestic limestone islands. Take a rest on the sundeck or relax in your cabin cause we have a lot of fun activities in the afternoon.
Kayaking is very easy for everyone at all levels and ages. Our expert and experienced guide dedicatedly instruct you basic paddling steps before leading you to discover magnificent beauty of Halong Bay.
After an hour exploration, we will return to the cruise for relaxation for a while. In the late afternoon, you will know how to make simple Vietnamese dishes in Cooking class.
Appreciating a delicious Vietnamese cuisine in a dinner under the the light of a thousand of stars and be charmed with the fabulous 360-degree panoramic view of the bay.
Wake up and see Halong Bay sunrise in the early morning. Attend in Tai Chi Class on the sundeck to let our mind free. On the upper deck, you can unwind, sightsee and capture moments of stunning rocky islands on emerald water of Halong bay.
After breakfast, we will go inside Sung Sot cave - one of the finest and widest grottoes of Halong Bay. Then, the boat keeps cruising and the fishing village appears with its unique way of life.
Then, it’s time for you to enjoy one last time in Halong bay in this Vietnam Itinerary 7 days. After having a traditional Vietnamese lunch and relax for awhile, leave the boat, go ashore and come back to Hanoi.
Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh city
About 4:30 pm, you will arrive at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter, pack your back and get ready to be in Ho Chi Minh city this night. More than 2 hours after, you will be at Tan Son Nhat airport. Welcome to Ho Chi Minh city! Stay ovenight in Ho Chi Minh City.
After breakfast time, head to historical relic of the Vietnam War - Cu Chi Tunnel. Located some 60 kilometres to the Northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, it will take about one and half hour drive, you get to Cu Chi, where you will widen your knowledge in a network of tunnels. With the length of more than 200km, it used to be the shelters of guerrillas during the war. It is an extensive maze of underground tunnels extending all the way to the Cambodian border. Built-in over a period of some 25 years and initial construction began in 1948 by the Viet Minh during the war against the French. Back then, the tunnels were a method of communication between villages and to also helped the Vietnamese pretend French soldiers scouting the area.
Fun fact: Many booby traps were placed by Viet Minh soldiers around entrances to the tunnels to scam being revealed by American troops above ground. The traps truly caused 11% of all deaths related to the Vietnam war. After that, the Americans began using German Shepherd dogs to sniff out these traps. However, the Viet Minh were smart enough to cheat these dogs. Not only using American soap, but they also planted uniforms of captured American soldiers by these traps. The dogs thought these were friendly and safety areas and so, many ended up getting killed or maimed by the traps that their handlers refused to continue using them.
Then, we will have lunch at a local restaurant. Time for Ho Chi Minh city tour with highlight attractions of Saigon.
The first destination is Reunification Hall, formerly known as Presidential Palace. This place marked a milestone in Vietnamese history when the tanks rolled on April 30th, 1975. It’s the great moment that 2 parts of Vietnam finally reunite and be together!
All the truthful stories of war from Vietnamese perspective will be told here. Historical facts are reinforced by precious exhibits ranging from photographs, machinery, weapons…, which will give you a full understanding of the war in Vietnam.
This post office is designed by Gustav Eiffel (you definitely know Eiffel Tower. marking the French presence in the late 1800s. Many people feel that the grand building outlook is like an elegant railway station. Is it true? Go there to find out.
Since the late 18th century, this town has been one of the most crowded places in Ho Chi Minh City. Not surprising that this area bustles with restaurants, temples, exotic stores, and markets
This is a symbol for the city and one of the liveliest areas in Saigon. Spending time to discover Ben Thanh Market in your Vietnam Itinerary 7 days is a must. Let's start your day by taking a glimpse at Ben Thanh Market, an indispensable symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. From tiny markets to huge luxury malls, the city has it all but Ben Thanh Market has its own speciality. One of the earliest existing structures of the city, this architectural masterpiece is where the sight-seeing experience being a must of the first day in 3 days itinerary for reasons: it is emblematic of Saigonese culture, appeared in many famous movies and articles.
Going out of bustle Saigon, we head to Mekong Delta, Vietnam's largest granary.
Your first adventure in My Tho, you will get on a boat and row downstream, along with Dragon Island. Observing 2 sides, you can see daily local activities on the river: catching, raising fish on the farm.
Next, you go through Xếp canal (natural) to witness local industries. You can stop in a local house, enjoy fresh fruits, honey tea and listen to their special music. Continue our small rowing boat trip until lunchtime in a restaurant by the river. The last spot in Mekong Delta is coconut candy workshop. Taste some sweet candies before getting back to My Tho. We transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon.
Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife scene is different in each district, although venues that play live music closed soon after midnight because of Vietnam’s rather stringent laws. If you’re looking to party in style, District 1’s rooftop bars and swanky nightclubs stay open until 03:00 or later, offering excellent service, dance tunes, stylish ambience, well-dressed crowds, and panoramic views all over the city and beyond. Moving down several kilometres into Districts 3 and 5, Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao is lined with tumultuous bars and pubs, cheap street foods, live music, and casual ambience – it is definitely a great choice for tourists looking to mingle with fun-loving locals. Ho Chi Minh is quite “complex” and “hard” at night so make sure you are in safe and always have a plan B for covering all the risks that you can face off.
In your last day of this Vietnam tour, it’s impossible to miss out amazing foods of Saigon cuisine heaven, right? If you wanna experience and enjoy as a young Vietnamese people, don’t miss this chance!
This is one of the most shocking foods for Western tourists because they would never do that! But for locals, this is one of the best street foods, not only in Ho Chi Minh city, but also in Hanoi and other areas. Nutritious ‘Trứng vịt lộn’ adds more tamarind sauce, fried fragrant knotweed, a little bit buttery from monkey nuts. Just look and I can feel it’s tasting deliciously buttery. This exotic sour tamarind sauce is a star of this dish, attracting many students to drop by after school.
“Trứng vịt lộn sốt me” appears in most street food stalls across Saigon streets. The average price is about VND7.000 – 8.000 per egg. So cheap for what you have tasted.
Whenever the bell signals the end of school time, students stand around hot, full pot of pha lau. This is a delicious food that many generations of Saigon students eat at least once. Wanna try to be Saigon student once?
This modest dish, only a small full pot and several bowls, is captivating enough for students to notice. Only VND10.000/bowl with coconut flavour is full for a whole class period.
Crispy fried rice mingled with onion fragrance, gentle spicy chilli and traditional flavour of floss, always succeeds in awaking to appetizing.
Again, with VND10.000, you can scoop freely until you’re full.
If Hanoi is famous for egg coffee, Ho Chi Minh city is well-known for egg tea. Sweet is harmonious with bitter, faintly redolent of tea fragrance. So, this is favourable street foods in the hot summer.
Only VND13.000 is all you need for a full bowl of egg tea.
Flan fragrance is already aromatic, now flan in the shape of the eggshell is more exotic, bringing us an amazing feeling when eating. Only 7.000 VND and you have a yummy eggshell flan to be chill with friends
This quality longan ice-cream is only VND10.000 too.
Ingredients making this fried corn are so simple: corn, dried tiny prawn, small spring onion, butter and some local spices. I don’t know how this food is perfectly outstanding like that only from popular flavours.
Maybe the slogan for fried corn is: Simple but subtle! And reasonable too: only VND10.000 – 15.000
With aromatic fragrance, the small grilled pastry is ready to pull back anyone who come across, especially the youth. The pastry is grilled, having the greasy taste of egg, salty sweet of dried tiny prawn. Only with VND10.000 – 12.000, you can instantly taste this small cutie pastry.
In contrast, beaches in the South is much more tranquil and peaceful with sunny days, serene waves and glamorous sunrise and sunset views. One I can say is Phu Quoc Island
Waterfall near the beach? Can you believe that?
Actually, you still need to rent a scooter on Phu Quoc island to visit Suoi Tranh Waterfall. One fascinating thing is how large the waterfall differs in 2 seasons (if you have a chance to visit here one more time)
Discussion about what the most beautiful beach on Phu Quoc island is always ebullient! Each person has their own opinion, and no one is wrong. From my perspective, in the humid season, Sao Beach takes the throne to be the most glamorous beach of the island. Here you can lazily lie on a lovely bed looking towards emerald-blue water.
Going for a spa here has a very reasonable price though! During the peak season, title of the beach now belongs to Long Beach. Water at that time is bright blue and very calm.
As I mentioned right above, Long Beach is a spectacular spot to enjoy a dreamful vacation on Phu Quoc Island, especially for sunset view. Take your cocktail in your hand and land your feet in the sand while your mind on the cloud, live that moment!
Snorkelling is one of the most interesting activities you can do on Phu Quoc Island. Just remind that you go on Phu Quoc trip right in the dry season. Why?
Because in the rainy season, chances are the water is too fierce to your arrival in the smaller An Thoi Island. Located in front of the coast in the South of Phu Quoc, An Thoi Island is the best spot to go snorkelling and diving according to local advice.
Unfortunately, in the rainy season, you might stay in the bay in front of the coast where there’s not much landscape to see.
Who says there isn’t a night market on the island? In Duong Dong, the centre of Phu Quoc, it’s definitely a big miss-out not to drop by this vivid, splendid nightlife of Dinh Cau Night market.
That’s all the best for our Vietnam Itinerary 7 days!
If you still wonder anything, feel free contact us – AZ Local Trip for more explanation and further recommendation.
Look forward to see you!
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