Let’s get one thing out in the open – 14 days in Vietnam is NOT enough. As a country it has so many beautiful sights to see and places to visit. We came into Vietnam by land. This only gave us a 15 day visa. Having 14 whole days we wanted to see as much of this beautiful country as possible. Let’s face it, 14 days is better than none at all. Also its a great feeling when you leave somewhere and can’t wait to plan a return trip. So this is what we done and where we stayed. We had been backpacking for 5 weeks at this point and as part of a 14 weeks trip around Asia we were on a budget. We still done everything we wanted and the accomodation wasn’t bad. We even found a few hidden Gems along the way.
Day 1 and 2 – Hanoi
Spending time exploring the countries capital. From city walks, museums and enjoying the crazy city. If you are looking for a unique experience head to the old town and watch the train pass in the narrow streets.Be sure to taste the local dish PHO and enjoy a traditional egg coffee.
We booked our tours through Moon Travel, the last was so helpful. Take a day trip to Tam Coc and Hoa Lu. Visit the king temples. Take a bike ride around the green town and finish with a boat trip on the Tam Coc river. Day trip cost including hotel transfers and a buffet lunch $25pp.
Accomodation – Hanoi Chic Boutique hotel. Costing $33 a night.
Day 3 and 4 – Ha Long Bay
Ha Long bay is now classed as an UNESCO world heritage site. Set in the north of Vietnam, just a couple of hours drive from Hanoi. Sail around the islands and kayaks around the pearl farms. With so many boats to choose from you can decide on what you fancy for your budget. We paid $120pp for a 1 night 2 day trip. Our boat was called silversea cruise. Slightly higher price than what we normally budget. The rooms were spacious and clean. The food is incredible. Price included transfers to and from Hanoi, food and accomodation.
Later on day 4 arrive back at Hanoi for around 5pm. We took our bags back to our hotel and set out to explore some more of the city. We had a 10.30pm train booked to Da Nang. If you have time to kill I recommend going to watch the water puppet show. You really will be amazed.
Arrive at the train station and onto the sleeper train. With lay down beds it a cheap way to travel through the night and not miss any of your valuable travel days. For a four person room the price is $58pp taking 16 hours.
Day 5 and 6 – Danang
Wake up to the beautiful scenery of ocean and green fields and you approach Da Nang. The city will feel so quiet compared to the crazy streets of Hanoi. Spend the days discovering the white beaches and shopping malls. Take a walk over dragon Bridge and watch the sunset over the river. Add a love lock to the bridges and watch as the bridges around you change colour. The street food is also delicious.
Accomodation – Binh Duong Hotel costing $22 a night
Day 7,8, 9 and 10 – Hoi An
Take a taxi or bus from Da Nang to Hoi An. It’s less than an hour south of Da Nang. A taxi will cost you around $15 whilst a local bus is around $2.
Hoi An was our favourite city. Spend time relaxing and enjoying the laid back old town. Take a day trip to the beautiful marble mountains. Bike around the rice fields and water buffaloes. There is so much to do in Hoi An you will be spoilt for choice. We enjoyed setting lanterns off in the river of the old town. Also don’t forget to check out the famous Vietnamese rolls. For just $1.50 your taste buds will be extremely satisfied.
We stayed in a beautiful family run villa about 1.5km from the centre. Clean, modern and they couldn’t do enough for you. At just $20 a night including breakfast. Relax Garden boutique Villa. Our favourite accomodation in Vietnam.
Day 11 -Da Nang
Heading back to Da Nang for the evening ready for an early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 12,13 and 14 – Ho Chi Minh City.
Take the 7am flight to Ho Chi Minh city. As your last few days approach there is still so much to explore in Ho Chi Minh city. Be sure to visit the Cu Chi tunnels, Independence palace and the war museum. You’ll find a great atmosphere down walking street in the evening. Offering cold beer and cheap local food – starting at just $2 a dish.
We stayed at the sunny tropical appartments. Costing $25 a night.
Where ever you visit in Vietnam you will be amazed. It is one country where I found every part to be completely different. Enjoy your trip. Let me know what your favourite places were.