There are many different itineraries one visiting Hanoi can choose from. However, we believe that this amazing tour will take you to the most famous places in Vietnam, including the bustling city like Saigon, the ancient town in Ha Noi and mother nature’s favorite places like Ha Long Bay. Through different places, you will have the chance to experience the diversity of Vietnam culture and nature, enjoy local food that you can find nowhere else and meet locals, listening to their stories.
This itinerary is perfect for foreign visitors, who prefer slow-paced and relaxing tour. The trip is 7 – day in length, long enough for foreigners to explore the wonder of Vietnam in each place, yet short enough for a family to take a break between the crazy pace of life to take time and enjoy their life.
Day 1: Welcome to the heart of Vietnam – Hanoi
Welcome to our lovely Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. After a short break to wipe out all the tiredness from a long flight, you are good to go and explore this ancient, lovely city.
Our first recommendation is no other than the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater which is quite near the Old Quarters. This place is famous among both Vietnamese locals and foreigners who love the unique beauty of Vietnamese traditional art. The place that tourists will visit – Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is the perfect combination between modern light effects and traditional puppets culture, which is the result of its continued success in not only Vietnam but also 40 more countries around the world.
After the show, you can go and enjoy the fresh, delicious Vietnamese food at a luxurious restaurant, or discovery the maze of street food in famous locations like The Old Quarters of Dong Xuan Market. After the meal, you should totally have a nice walk around Hoan Kiem Lake to witness a typical night in Hanoi or experience the famous street food of this city like Egg coffee at Giảng or sugar cane juice with ice.
The food you should never miss in Hanoi: Steamed Rice Rolls (Banh Cuon), Bun Cha, Xoi Ga, Spring roll (Nem)
Day 2: A city tour around Hanoi is a big MUST
In this second day, you will explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its 36 streets with hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects, impressive modern art in the city’s numerous galleries and more.
For a very long time, the Old Quarter has played a culturally important role in Hanoian’s community. It has been the heart of Vietnam’s capital since day one and most nationally important events take place in this area. Therefore, you will have the chance to visit many historical and cultural places while going on a tour in the Old Quarter.
Tourists should visit places in this specific area:
- The Ngoc Son Temple: On exam season, Vietnamese students will visit this place, pray for a good result.
- Dong Xuan Market: The largest market in Hanoi with a wide array of products and souvenirs
- Saint Joseph’s Cathedral of Hanoi: This is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the city.
- Hanoi Weekend Night Market: This market is only available on the weekend and it has everything you can think of, at prices of your choices (if you are a good bargain) The market of a perfect combination of modern and old lifestyle in Hanoi.
For shopping at the Old Quarter, tourists can simply note that each old street has its perks:
- Hang Gai: selling clothing made from silk, handmade customs.
- Hang Ma: focuses on colorful and traditional decorating papers and toys. If you are in Hanoi on Tet holiday or during the Mid-Autumn festival, visiting Hang Ma is a big MUST!
- Hang Bac: this street specializes in selling gold and silver accessories and jewelry
- Hang Duong: in English, this street is called “Candy street or Sugar street” – so you know what it has: Vietnamese traditional sweets and mostly, O Mai (dried flavored fruits)
Restaurants in the Old Quarters is very variable, you can try food with authentic taste from all over the world in just one street. Our suggestion is that you try the Pho Mặn, Bun bo Hue, Banh mi, and desert: Egg coffee, Yogurt with Vietnamese chewy pearl, che (fruit mix).
In the afternoon, tourists will visit Hanoi’s main cultural attractions. There are countless of historical and cultural sites in Hanoi, therefore you can adjust so that your time can fit the schedule. Remember, you don’t need to rush to visit all in one go because that can make you exhausted and ruin your impression about a new place.
- The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: where people keep the embalmed remains of his body.
- The One Pillar Pagoda: This place is built to mimic a blooming lotus flower in the delicate pound, which makes it Asia’s most unique piece of architecture by the Asia Book of Records.
- The Fine Arts Museum: This is Vietnam’s primary art museum, playing an important part in conserving the cultural arts of 54 ethnic communities in Vietnam throughout times.
- Temple of Literature: This is Vietnam’s first-ever university and it is so important that one of the structures in this place makes it to the Vietnamese 20,000 dong bill.
This second day is totally a busy day, so don’t forget to treat yourself with hanoi’s most popular specialty at some Vietnamese traditional restaurant like Quan Ngon or Mon Hue in the evening!
Day 3: Halong Bay Excursion
There is no better way for one to visit ha Long Bay than traveling on a cruise. This cruise trip to Vietnam’s impressive World’s heritage site lasts 4 hours, long enough for you to explore this stunning area or stopping along the way to visit one of the most beautiful limestone caves in the world. At lunch, you will enjoy sumptuous local seafood cooked by professional chefs right on board. Remember to try lobsters, crabs and other local famous dishes like grilled scallops and fish rolls.
If you are more of a sporty person rather than going sightseeing, Halong Bay has all kinds of famous water sports tourists can try. List of activities you should not miss: Kayaking, Canoeing, Kitesurfing, kiteboarding. In the afternoon, tourists will be taken back to the harbor and return to your hotel in Hanoi for an overnight stay.
In the evening, you can rest in your hotel room if the morning cruise exhausted you, or you can discover the old streets of Hanoi that you don’t have enough time to visit the day before. Ha Noi always has small secrets for you to discover!
Day 4: Goodbye Hanoi, you will head to Ho Chi Minh City
On the 4th day, you will fly to Vietnam’s largest city: Ho Chi Minh City after having breakfast in Hanoi. This city is the business and financial center of Vietnam, so there is no doubt about the bustling and energetic vibe here. In this tour, you will stroll through the city’s main shopping boulevard with fashionable boutiques and hill tribe crafts, high-quality linens and house-wares, visit world-famous landmarks and enjoy a delicious dinner.
After a short rest after the morning flight, a private tour of the country’s commercial center in the afternoon is waiting for you. You can visit many famous places in this tour, namely:
- Chinatown/ Cho Lon: It is an old Chinatown in Vietnam and used to be the biggest Chinatown in the world. Cholon is an ideal place for tourists to take a look around and shop without the fear of being hassled.
- Thien Hau Pagoda: This is a Buddhist temple, worshipping the goddess of the Sea, Mazu, who plays an important role in the Vietnamese culture.
- Reunification Palace: This place is seen as a symbol of Vietnam’s independence. Visiting here, tourists will have the chance to see hidden rooms, secret chambers with antique-look corridors, along with a beautiful tropical garden on the outside.
- Opera House: The famous three-floor Opera house is a colonial building in Saigon. Because of its unique look, this place is a MUST when you check in Vietnam.
- War Remnants Museum: This is where to see how a 30-year war between Vietnam and the USA has affected this S-shaped country. Tourists will be mind-blown by written letters, information and presentation of the War, seeing how a small, poor country regain their independence after 3 decades.
Since you will have an overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh city on this day, you can take your time visiting all of these. These places are Instagrammable, so remember to bring your camera with you!
Ho Chi Minh is equally known for its unique cuisine, so we have a list for you to try in the evening: Cơm tấm sườn nướng (com tam suon), Bún thịt nướng (bun thit nuong), Bún bò Huế (bun bo Hue). And don’t forget to try the nation’s favorite drink: Iced coffee. You can buy this drink at any place in Saigon, at any price.
Day 5: Mekong Delta Excursion – Ben Tre
On the 5th day, you will take a cruise to visit the Mekong Delta to enjoy the untouched nature of Ben Tre. The Mekong Delta is located in the southernmost part of Vietnam. This is where most rice in Vietnam are produced, not to mention all the tropical fruits and flowers. Therefore, you are guaranteed a wonderful view of the evergreen vegetation of the canals and fresh air with tranquil atmosphere while visiting this place on a private boat. You should take a walk along the waterfront and visit several French-inspired houses and shops in the region.
This place is also called “the coconut forest of the nation”, so don’t forget to enjoy fresh coconut juice and buy some coconut specialties here to surprise your family.
After the long trip, at about 4:00 pm, you should pack your luggage to head back to Ho Chi Minh city for an overnight stay. Here are some of the famous restaurants that suit foreigners’ taste:
- Signature Restaurant: 88 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Noir. Dining In The Dark: 178-180D Hai Ba Trung, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Hum Vegetarian, Lounge & Restaurant: 2 Thi Sach St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Day 6: Cu Chi Tunnels
You will have a half-day private excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi Tunnels’ historical features set it apart from other modern landmarks in Saigon. There is no better way for you foreigners to experience how extreme and dangerous the Vietnam war is than the first-hand experience from visiting here. You can see how smart, creative Vietnamese people were in their war by turning their small built into an advantage in this war to defeat the tall, well-built and well-armed invaders.
Visiting here, you will crawl through dark, narrow tunnels to reach all the underground facilities namely meeting room, kitchen, weapon storage. But, there will also traps and one-way-in with no-way-out tunnels. After the trip, you can spend your evening doing whatever you like in the busy, bustling street of Ho Chi Minh city, such as:
- Street beer at Bui Vien: This is also called “pho Tay”, which means “the street of the foreigners” since this place attracts travelers of all countries and nationalities with its cross-culture style. A night out at Bui Vien street with friends or family members, munching on delicious Vietnamese snack with some beer here is the experience you should never miss.
- Enjoy classy cocktails at rooftop bars: There are plenty of sky bars you can try in this modern city, giving tourists a wide range of options to suit your needs, regardless of whatever it is.
- Listening to live music at bizarre coffee shops: There is no better way to experience the nightlife of Vietnam than enjoying a nice cup of coffee with live music playing.
- Karaoke: this can be considered one of the most popular activities among Westerners. The song list is very variated, too, from ABBA, Eminem to Kpop sensation BTS – it is all up to you.
- Nightclub in Saigon: The “pho Tay” aka Bui Vien Street is considered the heart of fancy nightclub in Ho Chi Minh city, so I’m sure you will not be disappointed going there.
Day 7: Departure
This is your last day so many people choose this day to go around for souvenir shopping or jogging around Ho Chi Minh City to enjoy the unique energy of this city to wait for their transfer to the airport for the departing flight.
Some recommended souvenir shops to buy gifts:
- Ben Thanh Market and Cho Lon (Cholon) Wanders: These two markets are the most famous spots for foreign tourists to visit and to buy typical souvenirs like Non-La, Coffee or Ao dai. One thing you should keep in mind is that: there is no such thing as a fixed price there, so you can bargain as much as you like to have the best deal.
- The House of Saigon: They have everything you can think of as gifts, from food to clothing, from handmade accessories to impressive arts made from recyclable materials.
- Authentique Home: If you want to buy furniture with Vietnamese cultural breathe, this place is perfect for you because it is specialized in home decors such as dinnerware, wooden furniture or cutlery.
Luxury Travel believes that our week-long itinerary around Vietnam will help you understand our beautiful country more, have some time off for yourself just to chill and enjoy the moment while you are at it. Should you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to ask us any time!