While we dream of spending weeks exploring the magical country of Vietnam, the reality is that many of us can only spare two weeks away from ‘real life’. Fear not – it’s possible to travel in Vietnam in two weeks and have an amazing time. Here’s how to maximise your time in Vietnam.
Many international visitors fly into the city of Hanoi, and there couldn’t be a better spot to become immersed in Vietnamese culture. Spend the remainder of your arrival day exploring the city for yourself, before embarking on an organised tour the following day. This will ensure you get the best of both worlds – exciting solo exploration combined with insights from knowledgeable local guides. Amazing authentic cuisine, shopping in immense markets and stunning historical sites should all be on the agenda too. Your travels in two weeks in Vietnam start right here.
Save time on your two week Vietnam travels by going to the mountain town of Sapa via night train. This locality in the north of Vietnam is a must-visit for your itinerary. Treks from Sapa pass through picturesque rice paddies and dramatic mountain landscapes. Have a picnic in the best a fresco restaurant in the world and visit ethnic communities in their remote villages. It’s possible to sleep overnight in a homestay with one such community – there’s no better way to become immersed in local traditions.
Ninh Binh and Halong Bay
If you’ve seen photos of Vietnam’s waterways with forested towers of limestone karst sticking out, chances are these were photos of Ninh Binh or Halong Bay. Visiting these localities shows yet another side of Vietnam that is unmissable in a two week trip. In Ninh Binh, go on a boat journey along the waterways and take in immense former palaces. In Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the filming location of many movies – discover islands, beaches and unrivalled scenery. Complete the experience by staying overnight on one of the traditional junk boats. Life couldn’t be better.
Hue and Hoi An
Hue is a central Vietnamese city that you can stop over in on your journey to the south of the country. A much smaller city than Hanoi, enjoy the quaint feeling and be sure to visit the impressive citadel and the amazing historical sites. Dong Ba market and sweet garden restaurants complete the picture. Ho An is a gorgeous coastal city, bisected by canal ways and well-known for French colonial architecture. According to The Guardian, it’s a place for ‘temples, pho and beaches’
– who couldn’t resist that when travelling in Vietnam in two weeks?
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam’s city of the south – previously known as Saigon – blends the feeling of a fast-paced modern city with Vietnamese traditions. Foodies will be in heaven here, as the city is gaining a reputation for being a culinary destination. Indulge in delectable cuisines, meander in the markets and take in some of the historical and modern buildings. The Independent perfectly sums up the 10 best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
, including exploring the Cu Chi tunnels – a subterranean network used during the war.
If you’re travelling in Vietnam in two weeks – believe it or not but you still have time to visit one more destination. The Mekong Delta in the far south of the country is known as Vietnam’s rice bowl, as the gorgeous agricultural land and waterways produce a large proportion of the country’s food. This is a place to visit the water markets and get involved in local communities. You can even visit a family-run enterprise where coconut sweets are made; you can also stay over in the traditional Phu Tuc Village.
If you make smart decisions with your itinerary and get a little local help, it’s possible to travel in Vietnam in two weeks and see all of this. Mr Linh’s Adventures organises adventures such as these – find out more