HOW TO BEST EXPLORE VIETNAM IN 14 DAYS
Vietnam, is one of the jewels of South East Asia and I completely fell in love with the country. It’s a country with a pretty turbulent communist past but for me the romanticism lies in the unknown. An incredibly spectacular country, Vietnam is a cultural immersive destination boasting awe inspiring scenery, architecture steeped in history, friendly, inspiring locals, mouth-watering food and some incredible boutique residences and abodes. It is possible to experience a lot of Vietnam in 14 days with the correct logistical itinerary planning.
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- When is The Best Time To Visit Vietnam?
- How Long To Spend in Vietnam
- How To Get To Vietnam
- 14 Days in Vietnam Itinerary: A Snapshot of Destinations
- How To Best Explore Vietnam in 14 Days: An Itinerary
- Days 2-4 Hanoi/Halong Bay
- Day 4 Halong Bay/Hanoi
- Day 5 Halong Bay/Hanoi
- Day 6-7 Hue
- Day 7 Hue/Da’nang/Hoi An
- Day 8-10 Hoi An
- Day 11-14 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City (Day 13)
- Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City (Day 14)
- Dining In Ho Chi Minh City
- Be-lavie Pro Tips For Vietnam in 14 Days
- Basic Vietnamese Words
- How To Best Explore Vietnam In 14 Days: Round-Up
- Related Posts To 14 Days In Vietnam
- Pin & Save
This 14 days in Vietnam itinerary aims to cover the breadth of the country and some well-known spots such as Halong Bay, Hanoi, Hue, Da’Nang, Hoi An and Ho Chi Min City. Additionally I’m sharing my hand-picked abodes, experiences and dining options.
Be-lavie used a local travel agency in Vietnam, Viet Vision who assisted with transfers, private tour guides, internal flights, train reservations and visa entry documentation. We crafted the itinerary as per our interests in the country’s culture and activities that we wanted to experience as a priority. The travel advisors at Vietvision helped with the logistics of our desired itinerary plans and any further documentation
When is The Best Time To Visit Vietnam?
The short answer is it’s best to visit Vietnam between March to April, as this is when rainfall is at its lowest and the temperatures are mild without higher humidity.
Vietnam is more than 1,600 Km, around 1000 miles long, therefore its weather varies an awful lot as you transition through the north to the south. You’ll see a big difference
In a country more than 1,600 kms (1,000 miles) long, the weather in Vietnam varies considerably as you go from north to south, from a temperate to a tropical climate.
- Best time to visit North Vietnam (Sapa, Hanoi, Halong Bay) – Spring time (March to April) and autumn (September to November), when days are generally warm and sunny.
- Best time to visit central Vietnam (Hue, Hoi An) – any time between February and August, sunny 30°C (86°F) days are perfect in July and August.
- Best time to visit South Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta) – temperatures unbearable from March to May, when temperatures are around 40°C (104°F).
Be-lavie Tip: Monsoon season in South Vietnam is between June-November. the rain comes in short bursts and wouldn’t really affect travel plans. The Monsoon season is one of the best times for photography and capturing dramatic thunderheads floating along the Mekong Delta and rice fields which turns a beautiful bright emerald green.
How Long To Spend in Vietnam
This is really perusable choice and how much time you have available. 14 days or 2 weeks is ample time to spend around 2-3 nights in all the major places in the country to get a good feel for the culture and land. If you have more time such as 3-4 weeks, you can incorporate more time including beaches and hikes in Sapa in the north. But whatever you decide upon Hoi An in a destination not to be missed. 14 days in Vietnam is just he perfect amount of time for most travellers who love immersing themselves into the local culture and way of life.
How To Get To Vietnam
When booking flights to Vietnam it’s good to note that if you are planning on travelling north to south, you’ll most likely need to book. flights into Hanoi and out of Ho Chi Minh City. Also internal flights between Da’Nang and Ho Chi Minh would save on a lot of time, especially if you have limited travel time.
Visa’s to Vietnam are required as well as other entry documents. UK citizens along with a number of other countries can viist for upto 14 days without. visa but it’s best to check all requirements at your country embassy for Vietnam.
If working with. a local tour provider, they can take care of visas for you, making teh process as seamless as possible.
14 Days in Vietnam Itinerary: A Snapshot of Destinations
How to use map: click top left hand box to reveal destinations
Day by day itinerary locations and no of days to spend in each one as a guide:
- DAY 1 ARRIVE HANOI
- DAY 2 HANOI/HALONG BAY
- DAY 3 HALONG BAY
- DAY 4 HALONG BAY/HANOI
- DAY 5 HANOI/HUE
- DAY 6 HUE
- DAY 7 HUE/DA’NANG/HOI AN
- DAY 8 HOI AN
- DAY 9 HOI AN
- DAY 10 HOI AN
- DAY 11 HOI AN/HO CH MINH (SAIGON)
- DAY 12 HO CH MINH (SAIGON)
- DAY 13 HO CH MINH (SAIGON)
- DAY 14 HO CHI MINH/RETURN (SAIGON)
How To Best Explore Vietnam in 14 Days: An Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi
- Hotel Name: Hotel de L’opera. Deluxe Room. Bed and Breakfast Basis
- 29 Trang Tien Street. HoanKiem District. Hanoi. 10000. Tel. +84 24 6282 5555
- Website: Hotel de L’opera
- Price Range: $$
An M Gallery hotel, centrally located five star boutique hotel incorporating colonial French architecture, fantastic service and beautifully designed glamorous rooms.
Things To Do in Hanoi
Flights generally get in from the west early afternoon so its best to use the day to get your bearings by having a walk around the Old French Quarter and taking in the European vibe of the French Quarter.
Take a leisurely stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake (City Orientation)
Hoan Kiem lake is a large lake located in the centre of Hanoi and is a great place to reprieve the chaos of the city and is home to some of Hanoi’s well known temples, bridges and statues.
Location I Hoan Kiem Lake
Strolling The Streets of The Old Quarter (City Orientation)
One of the main highlights in Hanoi is wandering through the streets, admiring the colonial French architecture, dodging the motorcycles trying to cross roads, taking in the local scene, street food stalls and shop vendors sprawling into the streets. No where else have I seen the sights, sounds and flavours transpiring through the streets, as I have in Hanoi.
Other Things To Do In Hanoi
Here are some more tour ideas in Hanoi to consider during your 14 days in Vietnam:
Days 2-4 Hanoi/Halong Bay
Early morning transfer by private car to Tuan Chau Island to start the two night Halong Bay Cruise. A 2 night, 3 day day cruise with paradise cruises is an excellent choice and they also have a private departure lounge at Tuan Chau island.
Paradise Luxury (11 cabins and 4 suites)
The Cabin & Style
The option of Deluxe cann with a balcony is substantial for the couple of days on teh boat as it allows you to get out and see the changing landscape of the bay and rock formations.
Deluxe cabins are located on the upper deck with a private balcony and is furnished in dark wood and traditional fabrics with an en suite bathroom.
All passengers are met on board by the Paradise crew, Cruise Manager and the whole team with a detailed list of what you’ll be doing on-board. This includes, meal times, games, itinerary for excursions as well as cookery classes, morning yoga and more.
Over the next couple of days, guests can prepare to be waited on with delicious food and drink, breakfast, lunch, High Tea and dinner which are all served at different time slots in the elegant dining room.
Additionally there are Vietnamese cookery classes on board top deck prior to dinner as well as Tai Chi at 6 am for early risers on the deck with stunning views of the sun coming up over the bay and limestone formations.
The cruise incorporates the following stops along its route:
- Halong Bay, Sung Sot cave,
- Ti Top Island
- Tung Sau Pearl Farm
- Cua Van Village
- Trong cave.
Evenings on board can be spent relaxing with movie nights, using the spa and massage service.or relaxing in your cabin. During your 14 days in Vietnam, Halong bay really is one of the must-do activities.
Location I Halong Bay
Book Halong Bay Cruises
Day 4 Halong Bay/Hanoi
The cruise ends at midday with transfers back to Hanoi arriving mid afternoon. This allows for some free time to further explore the capital at leisure.
Day 5 Halong Bay/Hanoi
A private tour of Hanoi is a great way to see and learn the history of this cultural yet cosmopolitan city. The organised tour saves on time but it’s possible to also cover the tour solo with taxi or public transportation.
Must-See Sights on Your Hanoi Things To Do List
Temple of Literature
The Temple of Literature or Temple of Culture is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The temple hosts the Imperial Academy, Vietnam’s first national university. The temple was built in 1070 at the time of Emperor Lý Thánh Tông
Location I Temple of Literature
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a museum in Hanoi, Vietnam, which focuses on the 54 officially recognised ethnic groups in Vietnam. It is located in the Cầu Giấy District, about 8 km from the city centre
Location I Ethnology Museum
Thang Long Water Puppet Show
The Thank Long puppet show dates back to the 11th century and is entirely in Vietnamese. Although it was a little difficult to know what was going on, there are programmes in English, which are complimentary and circulated around to help you follow the acts. The puppetry and musical instruments are pretty interesting and set the scene for a traditional experience.
Location I Thang Long Water Puppet Show
Hanoi Train Street
Train Street is one of Hanoi’s most popular attractions, but it wasn’t built for tourists at all! The Hanoi railway traverses through the city. It’s doors are open and even appear to come off their hinges. Local people live and work on the train tracks – they just shuffle aside their belongings when they hear the train coming! There are also some cafe spots located on either side of the tracks.
Location I Hanoi Train Street Tracks
Dining in Hanoi
Red House Restaurant (Nhà hàng Nhà Đỏ). is a real authentic Vietnamese affair and they cater well to vegetarians. Definitely one for your list and the service is pretty friendly too.
Location I Nhà hàng Nhà Đỏ
The nex leg of the journey, involves heading to Hanoi Railway station to board the overnight sleeper train bound for Hue for 19:00, known as the SE1
Be-lavie Tip: if working with a local agent like Vietvision, they should take care of the train tickets and arrangements for you. Alternatively tickets can be bought from the railway station in advance for an overnight sleeper train. The trains usually depart at around 19:00.
Location I Hanoi Railway Station
Be-lavie Tip: Each cabin comes with four beds (bunks) and we ended up hiring the whole cabin so we could store our luggage with us. It’s good to note that conveniences are limited on the sleeper train and you’re travelling with locals who may try and convince you to use your cabin free of charge. Additionally we found it was difficult to sleep due to the station calls and general passenger noise.
Other Things To Do in Hanoi
- Visit Hỏa Lò Prison in the French Quarter
- , Grab a beer at Bia Hoi Corner
- Shop at Dong Xuan Market.
Day 6-7 Hue
Arrival via the overnight sleeper train in Hue is around 08:00, It’s a good idea to transfer straight to your hotel or accommodation as facilities for bathrooms are very basic on the train. It’s also quite hot and humid.
Azarai la Residence & Spa. Deluxe Room. Bed and Breakfast Basis.
A colonial style luxury boutique hotel with impeccable gardens and a beautiful spa facility.
Location I Azarai La Residence
Things To Do In Hue
Take A Private Cruise Along The Perfume River
The Perfume River crosses Huế, in the autumn flowers from orchards up river from Huế fall into the water, giving the river a perfume-like aroma, hence the name.
Athien Mu Pagoda (the Pagoda of the Heavenly Lady)
This iconic seven-story pagoda is regarded as the unofficial symbol of the city of Hue and the temple has often been the subject of many folk rhymes and sits high on the Hà Khê hill
Location I Athien Mu Pagoda
En route to King Tu Duc’s tomb, there are many opportunities to stop and watch how the skilled incense makers make these beautiful coloured and lovely smelling worship aids. We bought some as I’m a Hindu and also use incense for ceremonial purposes. It’s also great to be giving back to the community of trades people out in the country side.
King Tu Duc Tomb (Nguyen Dynasty)
Tu Duc Tomb is located on the outskirts of the former Imperial Capital and was built between 1864 and 1867. Tu Duc Tomb was designed as a tribute to the fourth Nguyen Emperor’s long and somewhat sad life.
Location I King Tu Duc Tomb
The Imperial City of Hue was once an enormous complex full of all the executive and bureaucracy you would expect from a country’s capital. It was enclosed within a square fortress (also known as the Hue Citadel), with each of the four walls about two kilometres long and a wide moat on the outside. When in Hue it is a must do, as the citadel is still owned by the countries Royal family.
LocationI Hue Citadel
Other Things To Do in Hue
Here are some more tour ideas in Hue to consider during your 14 days in Vietnam:
Dining In Hue
A traditional brunch of the area at Mandarin café, where the owner Mr Cut, is a keen photographer and will definitely have you eyeing up his beautiful images, which can be purchased!
Location I Mandarin Cafe
Within the grounds of the citadel is a lovely restaurant named Yhao Garden. As the name suggests its set in lush gardens and serves a lovely three course set menu of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.
Location I Thao Garden
Day 7 Hue/Da’nang/Hoi An
At this time it may be that after all the culture, you need a couple of days to relax at the beach and mid0way through the itinerary is a great time to do this, especially in and around Hoi An. With a private trip booked through VietVision, there was a driver and guide to accompany us to each location and instead of taking an internal flight, it’s great to see the Vietnamese countryside. This also provides flexibility to make stops along the way, such as having lunch in Da’nang, visiting the Cham museum and also Marble Mountain.
The drive started down the incredibly scenic highway A1 where we stopped to admire views north of Lang Co Beach before driving South to Da’Nang. We also saw some amazing sites on our way to Da’nang, such as villages and a peaceful shrimp farm.
Things To Do In Da’Nang
One of the most interesting people who lived in Vietnam were the Chams. They were Hindu and the museum houses the most complete collection of Chan Artefacts anywhere in the world.
Location: Cham Museum
During the Vietnam war, the Americans named this beach China Beach and used it as a base for their rest and relaxation periods. It’s a 20 mile long white sand beach and worth a visit if you have some free time. It was rather windy when we arrived!
Location: China Beach
Marble Mountains is a cluster of five marble and limestone hills located in Ngũ Hành Sơn District, south of Da Nang city in Vietnam. The five mountains are named after the five elements: Kim, Thuy, Moc, Hoa and Tho. In English these elements are water, wood, air, fire and earth. It’s a bit of an up hill trek but you will be rewarded with great views and many stunning Pagodas.
Location I Marble Mountain
Arrival in Hoi An would be early afternoon.
Palm Garden Beach Resort. Beach side Bungalow
Location: Palm Garden Beach Resort
Traditional Vietnamese décor with a stunning beach side setting complete with private beach view/side bungalows. An abode for relaxation complete with great spa facilities.
Day 8-10 Hoi An
Things To Do In Hoi An
Walking tour around the ancient town of Hoi An
The best way to get to know anywhere and especially the beautiful colonial city of Hoi An is by just wandering the streets and getting lost up the small alley ways and winding paths. You may even come across some fantastic street scenes.
Hoi An centre is a UNESCO World heritage site therefore you won’t see any high rises or over developed areas. Hoi An has a very much traditional Vietnamese town feel, almost like time has slowed down.
Don’t forget to walk the beautiful lantern covered streets of Hoi An. Especially in the evenings when the lanterns are lit, the place looks magical with a technicolor illumination above you.
Japanese Covered Bridge
This bridge was built by the Japanese in the 1500s to join two parts of the city together and allow pedestrians to walk through easily. It’s beautifully decorated and maintained and well worth a visit.
Location I Japanese Covered Bridge
The Pottery Museum
Built in 1859, the Pottery Museum is a great example of Vietnamese ceramic craftsmanship.
Location I The Pottery Museum
Tan Ky (The Old House)
A traditional old 18th century house, which has been beautifully preserved with artefacts and traditional Vietnamese artefacts. It’s one of those places that everyone goes to when in Hoi An.
Location I Tan Ky
Founded in 1786, this assembly hall has a tall, airy entrance, which opens on to a splendidly over-the-top mosaic statue of a dragon and a carp. The main altar is dedicated to Quan Cong. The garden behind has an even more incredible dragon statue. The goat statue at the rear is a symbol of Canton (Guangzhou), China.
Location I Cantonese Congregation
Hoi An Silk Street
One of my most memorable and interesting experiences in Hoi An was visiting the Hoi An Silk Village where we were shown the process of making silk with silk worms and eventually very skilfully made into items of clothing. This is a highly recommended experience if you have an interest in silk. You can also support the silk farm by purchasing hand woven items from here.
Location I Silk Street
There are many pagodas around Hoi An, which you can go and admire or even light some incense at but generally you will see many from just walking around the old town.
There is an abundance of tailor in Vietnam and if your looking for the likes of suits, dresses or any other garments, all you need is a photo or style in mind and you can collect your item within 48 hours! Prices are also pretty competitive but the quality and workmanship is second to none.
Quóc Huy Tailors are very friendly and do a fantastic job. If you’re in.a hurry, they can get items to you in 24-48 hours.
Be-lavie Tip: Take some designs and examples with you of the styling of clothing you’d like made to measure
Location: Quoc Huy Tailors
There are a couple of different markets in Hoi An that are definitely worth some time spent wandering around. Central Market is known for its delicious breakfast of Vietnamese pancakes and Cau Lau, a dish made of noodles.
If you love fish, then you’ll want to check out the fish market. The fish are delivered daily on the river next to the market!
The area around Hoi An has. a number of beaches, that you can head to within a 15 minute taxi drive away.
- An Bang Beach
- Cua Dai Beach
Other Things To Do in Hoi An
Here are some more tour ideas in Hoi An to consider during your 14 days in Vietnam:
Dining in Hoi An
Miss Ly in old town Hoi An is a lovely little cafe/restaurant to sit and watch the world go by. Miss Ly and her husband run the place serving up delicious Vietnamese street food favourites as well as some Western dishes. We sat outside and watched the Hoi An scenes unfold as the day went on.
Location I Miss Ly
Community Development Charities
Reaching out Vietnam
Reaching out is a social enterprise created to provide people with disabilities the chance to learn skills and give them meaningful employment opportunities. The people working here make amazing goods and crafts that you will most certainly cherish as a souvenir. They also hold workshops where you can learn how to perform a traditional tea making meditation ceremony as well as how to make Vietnamese lanterns.
Further Information I Reaching Out Vietnam
Karma waters is a family owned charity that runs two Vegan restaurants. They also offer vegan cooking classes and many different types of tours & homestays. All money goes towards their different charity programs such as their nutritional lunch program, (offers low-cost lunch to the needy & homeless) and their ethnic support program (they deliver food, clothes, books and more to ethnic minority families in Vietnam).
Further Information I Karma Waters
Day 11-14 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
We got an internal flight from Da’nang airport to Ho Chi Minh City where we met by our guide to be taken to our hotel for the next three nights. We arrived in the city early morning so had the whole day to relax.
Hotel Grand Saigon three nights in a Deluxe Room
Location I Grand Hotel Saigon
Housed in a restored colonial building the Grand Hotel Saigon has a fabulous location in District 1 and is in easy walking distance to most attractions within the city. Rooms are spacious and come in a variety of comfort levels.
Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City (Day 12)
The Opera House
The Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh is an elegant colonial building at the intersection of Le Loi and Dong Khoi Street in District 1, very close to the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and the classic Central Post Office. The restored three-storey 800-seat Opera House was built in 1897 and is used for staging not only opera but also a wide range of performing arts including ballet, musical concerts, Vietnamese traditional dance and plays. Performances are advertised around the building and information can be found in the state-operated tourist information centre close by.
Location I The Opera Hous
Intercontinental Hotel Saigon
Dating back to 1880, this hotel lies on one of the oldest streets in Ho Chi Minh City and is a beautiful luxury hotel. It has a pretty cool rooftop bar for when the twinkly city lights go on following golden hour!
Location I Intercontinental Hotel Saigon
The Reunification Palace
Reunification Palace was the base of Vietnamese General Ngo Dinh Diem until his death in 1963. It made its name in global history in 1975. A tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its main gate, ending the Vietnam War. Today, it’s a must-visit for tourists in Ho Chi Minh City. The palace is like a time capsule frozen in 1975. You can see two of the original tanks used in the capture of the palace parked in the grounds. Reunification Palace was the home and workplace of the French Governor of Cochin-China. It has lush gardens, secret rooms, antique furniture and a command bunker. It’s still in use to host important occasions in Ho Chi Minh, including APEC summits.
The Post Office
The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh is a beautifully preserved remnant of French colonial times and perhaps the grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia. Located next door to Notre Dame Cathedral, the two cultural sites can be visited together and offers visitors a chance to imagine life in Vietnam during the times of the Indochinese Empire. The building was designed by Alfred Foulhoux and features arched windows and wooden shutters, just as it would have in its heyday in the late 19th Century.
Location I The Post Office
Notre Dame Cathedral
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 1880s by French colonists, is one of the few remaining strongholds of Catholicism in the largely Buddhist Vietnam. Located in Paris Square, the name Notre Dame was given after the installation of the statue ‘Peaceful Notre Dame’ in 1959. In 1962, the Vatican conferred the Cathedral status as a basilica and gave it the official name of Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. Measuring almost 60 metres in height, the cathedral’s distinctive neo-Romanesque features include the all-red brick façade (which were imported from Marseille), stained glass windows, two bell towers containing six bronze bells that still ring to this day and a peaceful garden setting in the middle of downtown Ho Chi Minh City District 1
Location I Notre Dame Cathedral
Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 is a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. Here, you’ll find eating stalls inside the market where you can get a taste of hawker-style Vietnamese cuisine or simply cool off with a cold drink when the bargaining becomes too much. The market is big, difficult to navigate at times and certainly best avoided during the hottest part of the day but all the same its well worth a look. When night falls, restaurants around the perimeter of the market open their doors creating a vibrant street side scene filling the air with the scents of wok-fried noodles, barbecued fish and meats. One of Saigon’s oldest landmarks, Ben Thanh offers a great atmosphere that is absolutely authentically Vietnamese.
Location I Ben Thanh Market
Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City (Day 13)
A Day on The Mekong Delta
No trip to Ho Chi Minh or southern Vietnam is complete without spending time on the Mekong Delta. This day trip starts with an early morning transfer to Cai Bé to board a private fishing boat and cruise the colourful floating market, amongst local barges full of fruit and veg. For more of an authentic experience stop at at local workshops on the delta where you saw how products such as rice pastes, coconut candy and pop-rice popcorn is produced to be sold all over Vietnam. It’s a delicious snack and it’ll be hard to resist buying some to take away with you and you’ll also be supporting the local economy.
Spending some time out of your 14 days in Vietnam on the Mekong Delta really is one of teh most authentic experiences you can so and it also helps supports many of the small businesses that rely on the river to survive.
Following tea and rice pops with a local family (which you’re sure to pass by) you can get on a small rowing boat and glide further and deeper into the Mekong Delta, into the countryside through the smaller side canals to enjoy some peaceful time. It’s really fascinating to see the small traditional houses constructed of wood and palm tree leaves and additionally see how local fishing is done by the farmers on the delta.
There are local houses where you can pre-book lunch which is traditional alongisde a dessert of tropical fruit. Following lunch, you can listen to a traditional Vietnamese group perform some folk songs for us.
Post lumch it’ spossibel to walk walk off the delicious food by biking down the village paths to get a feel for the area, passing local farms, houses and ancestral sites before heading back to the city.
Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City (Day 14)
Cu Chi Tunnels
No visit to this region is complete without stopping off at The Cu Chi Tunnels, otherwise known as ‘Irin Triangle or ‘Iron Land’. The drive to the tunnels is through countryside, rubber plantations and rice paddies.
Once at the tunnels, there is a short video on the history of the Vietnam war and then you can access the tunnel the army used to hide as well as see mantraps and the remains of an Americal tank, numerous bomb craters made by 500lb bombs dropped by B52 bombers.
**Transfer to Ho Chi Minh airport in the early evening.if suitable flights are available**
Location I Cu Chi Tunnels
Other Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh City
Here are some more tour ideas in Ho Chi Minh City to consider during your 14 days in Vietnam:
Dining In Ho Chi Minh City
Here are two of our favourite dining spots in Ho Chi Minh City…
Le Chateau de Saigon
A beautiful French/Vietnamese restaurant located in a well pruned park. Food is beautifully presented and usually the menu is foxed. Ensure to call ahead if you’re vegetarian and going for the fixed price menu option.
Location I Le Chateau de Saigon
Vietnam House Restaurant
This fancy Vietnamese restaurant located in an old French colonial building serves up some delicious traditional cuisine in fancy surroundings. Great place to try a number of fusion dishes and cocktails.
Location: Vietnam House Restaurant
Be-lavie Pro Tips For Vietnam in 14 Days
- Getting a VISA can be quite daunting so my advice is use a good travel agent like we did to organise the paperwork so you can sail through immigration with ease. We used Viet Vision based in Hanoi as mentioned previously.
- Ensure taxi rates are negotiated well before you get in and drive away to avoid any scamming.
- The traffic situation is manic and driving can seem very kamikaze so just wait until there is a break in the road, be patient and you will get to the other side in one piece. You actually just need to worry about the cars and lorries as motorbike drivers will weave around you. It may seem very scary but you will get used to it.
- Cash is king in Vietnam for sure but getting money out of a ATM is quite pricey so plan accordingly. Try and pay for as much as you can in advance and organise your itinerary so most things are paid for before leaving.
- Packing right for Vietnam is key and its noteworthy that different parts of the country can experience differing climates. So always keep a rain coat or waterproofs with you as well as light clothing for sunny days. Ensure you have good footwear too as well, flip flops will be good for the beach; roads are muddy, cobble stoned and unfinished so covered comfortable shoes are a must. Many temples require modest dress, so long skirts/trousers are a must.
- As with many other countries in the world, English is not spoken as widely as in other South East Asian countries but then again why would they? Therefore I used the Lonely Planet Vietnam Guide for basic phrases to help show appreciation when we were out and about. Hello = Xin Chào (sin chow)
- Ensure you spilt your 14 days in Vietnam equally with 2-3 nights in each destination , with a view to completing you priority experiences in the first 24 hours.
Basic Vietnamese Words
- How are you? = Ban Khoe Khong (Ban Kwe Khom)
- Thank you = Cam on (kahm uhn)
- Sorry = Xin Loi (Sin Loy)
- Goodbye = Tam Biet (Tarm Byeet)
- Yes / No = Dạ / Không (yah / comb)
- How much? = Bao nhiêu? (bow nyew
- Too expensive! = Mắc quá (mack wha)
How To Best Explore Vietnam In 14 Days: Round-Up
Vietnam is a complete jewel in South East Asia, full of cultural, historical experiences to be discovered as well as a wonderful melting pot of cuisine. This Vietnam in 14 days itinerary should be just the right amount of time to have an introductory immersion into the way of life in Vietnam as well as taking more of a deeper dive into some of the different regions and what they have to offer.
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