Before our Southeast Asia trip, I was the most siked to visit Vietnam. The narrow but long country appealed to the imagination. Still very Southeast Asian, but also close to China; Vietnam was fascinating. Good looking. And left me wanting more. So check out our Vietnam travel route right hurrrr.
Vietnam travel route: practical
Time: we spent one month in Vietnam. But we really took our time. This route is recommended for people who have three weeks to discover the country. Do you only have two weeks? Then I advise you to delete two stops.
Direction: you can do this route from top to bottom, or vice versa. Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are two major cities and have large airports.
Best travel period: because Vietnam is so long, different climates can occur, especially when you go into the mountains. It is always pleasantly warm in Vietnam, but the best travel period is generally from December to March.
Why Vietnam? It is such an interesting country with a rich history. But the best thing I liked was that the country had both beach and nature as busy cities. There is only one other country in the world that has that combination to offer and that is Belgium (lol).
Vietnam travel route
Hanoi is a city like I had never seen one before. What a hustle! SO MANY scooters! You have to have a lot of courage to cross the streets here. What was also nice about Hanoi is that there is so much to do. Museums à la Hoa Lo Prison Museum or Vietnamese Women’s Museum are worth a visit, there are many places to eat, but the most charming was the night market. So make sure you stay in the capital in a weekend, because on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the city center is closed for cars and scooters and there is an amazing atmosphere thanks to the night market.
Where to sleep? Close to Hoan Kiem Lake.
It’s a must-do. But that does not mean that it’s a lot of fun. Halong Bay is the picture that most people have of Vietnam, and that is why it is getting too busy. You can book a tour just about anywhere in Hanoi, and you get the choice between 1, 2 or 3 days. We chose two days, and that is certainly more than enough. You can read all about it herezzzzzz.
It is often called ‘Halong Bay on land’. The same beautiful karst mountains, but not in the water. But also fewer tourists (yay!). And personally, I thought it was just a bit more impressive. Nice for a day trip!
Hué was the imperial capital of Vietnam until 1945, so once it was a big deal. Now not so much. The only highlight is Imperial City, and of course the cafes. If you do not have a lot of time, I’d skip this one.
Nahhhh. We didn’t feel Da Nang. Concrete jungle and a weird vibe, especially for a coastal city. Maybe we’ve done it wrong? However, large malls and a fun amusement park SunWorld.
Hoi An was the most beautiful, pleasant, cozy town in Vietnam that we have seen. You have a beautiful coastline on one side and a city center on the other side with the Thu Bon River as the thumping heart. Also a great place for party animals. We stayed at Ally Boutique, and that was suuuper good.
Many travelers skip Dalat, but we are glad we have visited the city, mainly because it is really a crazy ride. Fun for two days!
If you’re into kiting and surfing, this is the place to be. Waves of three meters, really crazy. But also nice to attach a beach getaway on your vacation. Must-visit: the food court!
Very cool city and quite different from Hanoi. There is much to do culturally, good vibe, a world city. In terms of food and drinks, this is also VERY cool, lots of bars and every kind of restaurant that exists there is to be found.
Vietnam travel route: transport
How we went from A to B?
Hanoi to Halong Bay: day trip with a van
Hanoi to Ninh Binh: day trip with a van
Hanoi to Hué: plane
Hué to Da Nang: train (via the Hai Van Pass)
Da Nang to Hoi An: city bus
Hoi An to Dalat: night train to Nha Trang, bus from Nha Trang to Dalat
Dalat to Mui Né: bus
Mui Né to Ho Chi Minh: bus
Do you think I missed something important in my Vietnam travel route? Let me know in the comments!
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