Vietnam is a great travel destination for couples as well as for solo women travellers. It is safe, beautiful and most of the time a bit loud :P. A few years ago, I went on a solo trip to Bangkok, Vietnam, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and I have found the 2 weeks I've spent back then in Vietnam were the right amount of time. Here is now vietnam 14 days itinerary
3 Days in Hanoi
Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and the second largest city in the country. The distance between Hanoi (in the North) and the second most important city in Vietnam - Saigon (in the South) - is as much as 1760 km.
My thoughts on Hanoi? Loud, loud, loud! Did I mention loud? :) Oh yes, be prepared for an intensive cultural shock. I really felt stressed out on my first walk through the city! First of all, the amount of motorbikes is crazy! It was the first time, I saw so many motorbikes on a road! And the only option was to walk on the streets since the pavements were occupied by parked motorbikes, bikes and people's grocery stands ;) Secondly, it was hot and humid as hell. And thirdly, at the end of my 3-day stay in the city, I LOVED IT! I know, I'm weird. But after adapting on all this noise, the heavy climate and the chaotic situation, I was fine! I started to enjoy the city by entering into some of these small shops with paintings and other hand-crafted stuff and by eating their incredibly tasty food (if I knew at that time that this was just the beginning of a food paradise in Vietnam)
2 Days at Halong Bay
Karst limestone peaks are a symbol of Halong Bay and a UNESCO designation. With its 1600 monolithic islands, rising from the emerald waters of Halong Bay, the area makes it a great vacation spot. Some of these islands are hollow on inside and offer therefore a great cave experience.
I engaged Asia Master Tours for my day tours from Hanoi. I opted for the group tours. The guides were amazing. I met with a different guide each day. They were all highly competent and fun to hang out with. The highlights of my trip was the tour to Halong Bay and Trang An.
The group tour to Halong Bay was perfect. I travelled in a luxury van via the highway (which meant shorter travel time by 1 hour) to Halong Bay. It was just us in the van with free wifi all the way. We then boarded a nice cruise ship with a top deck to take in the great views of the bay. We had the entire boat to ourselves.
I opted to take the bamboo boats to view the caves. Amazing experience.
2 Days in Sapa
My highlight in vietnam tour 14 days? Sapa, for sure! What a fantastic trekking experience! First, we went on a night train to Sapa and arrived early in the morning. We were then picked up by a van which brought us to the starting point of the Sapa trail. Sapa is a quiet mountain town, located near the border with China. It is known for its picturesque rice terraces and luxuriant vegetation. After our arrival, we were happily greeted by the local Sapa people. On the first day, we hiked about 5 hours until we reached our base. The hike turned out pretty challenging due to the weather condition. Due to the heavy rain in the previous days, the trail was all wet and very muddy! So muddy, that everyone of us fell at least twice :) At the end, everyone was so dirty that we were all smiles. However, the fact that it was all wet shouldn't discourage you to visit Sapa! The landscape was breathtaking - something very unique!
2 Days in Hue
We will have two full days in Hue before moving on to Hoi An
I have my days planned like this
Day 1 - Citadel, Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh and visit to the market.
Day 2 - Perfume River boat trip taking in Thien Mu pagoda and tomb of Ming Mang
For the river trip do we hire a boat for the two of us or do we join a group with pre arranged stops. Any idea of the cost please
I'm not sure how long we should allow for each day's trip. We also like to see the countryside. Are there any interesting nearby villages that are recommended.
2 Days in Hoi An
Another UNESCO Heritage Site is the ancient city of Hoi An. This was my favourite city of all the cities I've visited in Vietnam. It is a small city with yellow facade buildings. There are many clothes shops which are happy to sew custom-made clothes! With the people I've met on my trip through Vietnam, I enjoyed dining in restaurants, drinking coffees, visiting its food market etc. While being there, the water of the Hoi An river was extremely high, causing some floods. According to the weather forecast, a heavy storm was approaching towards Hoi An, therefore I was obliged to continue my travels via South.
3 Days in Saigon
Saigon resp. Ho Chi Minh really surprised me. It is a well-developed city with modern buildings. It is also home to lots of foreign companies. While in Hanoi I had my coffee in one of the small cafes, in Saigon I was obliged to go in a huge international coffee chain ;) To me, it seemed that Saigon is a center of young people, who want to be a part of the modern world and are keen with latest fashion and technology trends. This city is worth it if you want to get an insight of the overall Vietnamese economic development - from traditional and rustic North to the modern and well-developed South.
I am so happy to have found these guys, as yes, we did pay a little extra, but you get value for what you spend.
Thanks again Asia Master Tours for your help.