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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for How to plan a 7-day trip to Vietnam – A week-long adventure on your own terms
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How to plan a 7-day trip to Vietnam – A week-long adventure on your own terms

Vietnam! A nation drenched in age-old customs, jaw-dropping natural scenery and iconic landmarks that bring to light the very essence of its culture. Thus, for the wanderlust hoping to voyage to this country in the not-too-distant future, here is a detailed guide on how you can ready yourself for the pleasures and experiences that await.

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Days 1 – 2

After you arrive in Hanoi and have settled down in your hotel or resort, look forward to the prospect of renting out a bike or meandering along at a pace of your choosing towards the Old Quarter. Once here, you will be treated to bursts of Vietnamese culture and values inside marketplaces that make up the Old Quarter. Further, plenty of moving about is bound to work up an appetite and in this regard, you certainly are in the right place! Eateries and restaurants such as Banh Gio which is famed for pyramid dumplings or Bun Rieu where appetising crab paste vermicelli can be sampled will appear worthy contenders to be included in your bucket list. Commence day 2 with a trip to Central Hanoi where you will be confronted by the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long which is a cultural masterpiece of unimaginable workmanship. Further, Ba Ding Square’s Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex cannot be excluded for one will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness the preserved remains of Vietnam’s most popular political figure, Ho Chi Minh.

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Day 3

Kickstart day 3 with a journey to Ninh Binh Province but prior to setting foot outside, look at filling your belly with some of the sought-after dishes in this part of the country. For instance, try fresh Banh Mi which is a local bread and popular street food or opt for a flavourful noodle soup at Pho 10 Restaurant. Specifically, consider spending most of your time in the region of Trang An which is draped in astonishing natural appeal in the form of limestone mountains, valleys and deep caves. In order to maximise the opportunity, it is best that you book a boat ride that will soon have you travelling through and past these stunning sights that have made Ninh Binh Province a ‘must.’

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Day 4

Any holiday to Vietnam ought to include a visit to the beautiful environs of Halong Bay. Easily accessible via private taxi, bus or train from Hanoi, the Bay is a stunning mix of limestone islands teeming with greenery and surrounded by turquoise ocean. Of notable importance is Dau Go Island on which the Thien Cung Grotto is found. Inside this landmark, one will discover a series of stalagmite and stalactite structures that will have you falling in love with this area.

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Day 5

Embrace more of a laidback vibe no sooner you land in Da Nang which is easily reached via a plane ride. Replete with an abundance of leisure hotspots including a cable car ride, a replica of a French village and a visit to an ecological park, Da Nang also features a slew of restaurants that certainly pack a punch from both a taste and value point of view. However, be sure to call by the sublime Golden Bridge styled in accordance to depict that of a dragon which lights up in one magnificent display come nightfall.

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Day 6

On a penultimate day, consider hopping onto the next available night bus from Da Nang and heading over to Hoi An. Resorts the likes of Anantara Hoi An Resort will act as a good base from where you can visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is a recognised port city in Vietnam. In terms of leisure destinations, it is recommended that you stop by Ong Pagoda where you can watch people pray and make their offerings to the gods. Also, be mindful to reserve time for the Old House of Tan Ky which is filled with priceless antiques and be sure to traverse along the Japanese Bridge within Hoi An Ancient Town.

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Day 7

Once called Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City will serve as your final pit-stop which merges the old with the new in no uncertain manner. For a good dose of hustle and bustle, do make your way to Ben Thanh Market which consists of stalls that sell a rich array of textiles, accessories, souvenirs and Vietnamese street food that will have you salivating at the ends no sooner you’ve polished off your wok-fried noodles. Moreover, the city presents opera fans with the best seat in the house at none other than Saigon Opera House which comes with a reputation for leaving its visitors spellbound.

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