Top 5 Must Do's in Vietnam

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Vietnam has many beautiful places to visit, but if you're in the country for any amount of time, then Vietnam must do's will be a concern. While it may be difficult to get from place to place in a limited amount of time, here are 5 top destinations in Vietnam and what you can expect to see in each one.

Hanoi

The capital of Vietnam is a good starting point for most tours. You can visit the Old District and the Tran Quoc Pagoda on its own island in the middle of a lake. Hoan Kiem Lake is also beautiful--Hanoi is the city of lakes, after all. A few other sites of interest include the citadel, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature. Hanoi is also a jumping off point for excursions to other Vietnam must do's: namely Sapa and Halong Bay. Sapa can be reached by overnight train, and you can enjoy hiking, weekend markets and visits with the natives. Halong Bay is closer, taking about 5 hours by bus. The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes thousands of islands and grottoes to explore.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Visit one of the largest markets in Vietnam, Ben Thanh Market, for your souvenirs or snacks. Notre Dame Cathedral is a legacy from the French, including stained glass windows and a fantastic belfry that you can climb. Quoc Tu Pagoda and the lake and garden park offer great views and the chance to swim, fish or boat within the bustling city. Mariaman Temple is the last Hindu temple in the city, and the War History Museum will be of interest to any history buff.

Hoi An

This city in the center of Vietnam is famous for its wooden houses and congregation halls, the latter of which were built for praying and meeting friends. The Fujian Congregation Hall is the best example with its beautiful temple and chapel. The Japanese Covered Bridge is remarkable with its carved guardians and the shrine at its center. You can also visit the local museums and pick up one of the famous lanterns as a souvenir.

Mekong Delta

Visit the floating markets at the Mekong Delta, one of the most popular Vietnam must do's. The markets are only functioning from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., so you may have to stay for at least 2 days to catch one. Otherwise you can tour the canals or visit the central city of Can Tho for its great restaurants and hotels. Be sure to sample the snake, a Mekong Delta delicacy. If you can, stop at Phoenix Island to see the Temple of the Coconut Monk.

Phu Quoc Island

South of Cambodia is Vietnam's largest island, Phu Quoc. Long Beach has the resorts, but Bai Dan and Bai Sao are famous for their white sands. The center of the island holds pepper fields, rain forests, a river and beautiful waterfalls. Visit the town of Au Thoi to sample the famous fish sauce. Best of all, enjoy the glorious sunsets on this island retreat.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore Hill Tribe in Northwest Tour

 

Itinerary in brief
Day1: Hanoi - Arrival
Day 2: Hanoi- Yen Bai- Nghia Lo
Day 3: Tu Le - Mu Cang Chai- Than Uyen (Hoa Binh Hotel)
Day 4: Than Uyen - Binh Lu (Home-stay in Lao Village)
Day 5: Binh Lu - Sin Ho (Thanh Binh Hotel)
Day 6: Sin Ho- Muong Te (Lan Binh Hotel)
Day 7: Muong Te
Day 8: Muong Te - Lai Chau
Day 9: Lai Chau- Son La
Day 10: Son La- Mai Chau
Day 11: Mai Chau - Hanoi
Day12: Hanoi - Departure

Detail Itinerary

Day1: Hanoi - Arrival
On arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. Ha Noi , Vietnam's capital, is a stylish and gracious city that retains an unique old world charm and some Asia 's most striking colonial architecture. The many lakes and parks make for relaxing atmosphere. (If time permit ) we enjoy a short cyclo excursion through the bustling old quarter streets named after the specific goods once offered for sale at these places. O/N in Ha Noi

Day 2: Hanoi- Yen Bai- Nghia Lo
Meet your driver 7:30am at the HOTEL, Soon the bustling streets of Hanoi give way to verdant rice paddies and farmland along Hwy 32. By early afternoon you'll be moving away from the Red River Delta and into the mountains of Yen Bai province, on your way to your destination of Nghia Lo. Nghia Lo is situated along a beautiful mountain ridge separating the Red and Black river. With lush forests, tea plantations, rice terraces and gum trees, the picturesque valleys are stunning. The area is home to Thai, Nung, H'mong, La Ha and Ma ethnic minority peoples. Overnight in hotel

Day 3: Tu Le - Mu Cang Chai- Than Uyen (Hoa Binh Hotel)
This day starts with a visit to the local market in Nghia Lo Town, a chance to explore and shop for local handicrafts. Today's drive will take you along one of the most exciting stretches of road in Vietnam and offers some of the most lush and verdant scenery found anywhere. As you climb over the mountain pass to Mu Cang Chai you'll meet H'mong, La Ha and Dzao along the way. The road, which is not sealed and can be muddy and exiting at times, winds along the Nam Kim river which descends the valley over some cascading gorges. At the bottom of the valley you'll arrive in the town of Than Uyen where you'll spend the night in hotel

Day 4: Than Uyen - Binh Lu (Home-stay in Lao Village)
Enjoy breakfast in a local restaurant, then its time to hit the road for Binh Lu. From Than Uyen the road rolls along the base of the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range, home to Mt. Fansipan, Vietnams highest peak. Tea plantations and rice terraces hug the Nam Ma river that winds along this valley dotted with Tay, Dzao and H'mong villages. At Binh Lu junction.

Day 5: Binh Lu - Sin Ho (Thanh Binh Hotel)
We meet Tay, Thai, H'mong, and Mang peoples. We drive through Tam Duong plain which is covered in shark's teeth-like limestone karst. We would visit a village of Mang people near Sin Ho with the next stop being Sin Ho which is home land of  the Red Hmong, Kho Mu, Mang and Dao ethnic minorities. They are settled there longtime ago and still retain their traditional culture and habits. The trip to Sin Ho is occasionally suspended due to the restriction of the local authority

Day 6: Sin Ho- Muong Te (Lan Binh Hotel)
An early morning departure to Muong Te. This upstream area of  the Da River is settled by many ethnic minority groups including the Thai, Ha Nhi, Cong , Si La and La Hu, just some of Vietnam's most colourful ethnic groups. The roads conditions are very poor; however the verdant and rugged mountain scenery combined with the colorful local population makes the hardship all worthwhile. Along the way we stop at seldom visited villages, a great chance for photographers

Day 7: Muong Te
today we have time to explore all day walk around the villages of the ethnic minorities. Dinner and over night in Hotel

Day 8: Muong Te - Lai Chau
Overland drive to LaiChau. 100 km. PM: Walk around the villages of the ethnic minorities. Dinner and over night in Hotel

Day 9: Lai Chau- Son La
Enjoy a boat ride down to Pa Uon (7 hours). View the spectacular scenery of the gorges on the Da River. With precipitous cliffs towering over river sides and hill-tribe villages (Black Thai, Xa, White H'mong) scattered on sandy bank, the boat trip ranks among the best in Vietnam. Have picnic lunch en route. Onwards to Son La (65km). Overnight in Son La

Day 10: Son La- Mai Chau
Leave for Xa Linh (120km) via a scenic road past Black Thai villages and lush rice field valleys. Have lunch at a Black H'mong home at Xa Linh. Trek to Hang Kia (8km), a Red H'mong hamlet. H'mong people used to be well-known for planting poppy trees, but now live on brocade weaving and cereal cultivation. Majestic mountains and the simple lifestyle of the locals amaze all tastes.Overnigt in Mai Chau

Day 11: Mai Chau - Hanoi
Leave for Hanoi via a pleasant road. The rest of the day is leisure for personal pursuits in Hanoi. The evening entertainment is a water puppet show, a theatrical genre reflecting the agricultural civilization of thousands of years ago. Overnight in Hanoi

Day12: Hanoi - Departure
There is a free time to relax and further explore Ha Noi. The trip ends after your transfer to Noi Bai Airport for departure.
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March 16, 2010 change by tiffanymparker

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