While Vietnam isn’t a huge country, it’s long shape makes it difficult to see everything in one or even two weeks. If you only have seven days in the country, here’s a suggestion for how to spend your time.
Vietnam has arguably the finest food culture in Southeast Asia. Where some travelers may have a preference for the spicy tinge of Thai cuisine or the diversity and fusion of Malaysian food, the sheer volume of Vietnamese dishes–using an abundance of regional ingredients and cooking techniques—puts Vietnam’s food tradition near the top of most anybody’s list.
Once known as Faifo, Hoi An is located south of Da Nang. The city’s Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An exceptionally well-preserved example of a regional trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century, the city’s buildings and its street plan reflect the influences, both indigenous and foreign, that have combined to such a memorable effect over the centuries.
Vietnam has its fair share of landmarks to commemorate the Vietnam War during the 1960s and the French occupation before that, but for some, the Cu Chi Tunnels are the best representation of the life of a solider during those times.
Street food in Vietnam is notoriously varied, inexpensive, and accessible throughout the country, particular via street venders and market stalls. The baseline is a combination of a long history of evolving Southeast Asian culinary techniques and traditions and the happier impacts of a long history of French colonization.
For an extra dose of culture on your next trip to Vietnam, make sure you are around from February 10 to 13 for the Tet Fest Festival, better known as the Vietnamese New Year. Vietnamese nations from far and near flock back to the motherland to pay respects to their ancestors as well as gather with family, decorating the streets with flowers and other offerings.
In a country like Vietnam, where outdoor celebrations are rampant with almost any occasion, New Year’s Eve is especially amazing. In an already very busy District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City, millions of people pour into the heavily decorated streets, lighting up sparklers or holding glow sticks and having a few drinks to ring in the occasion.
Often included in informal lists of the world’s greatest natural wonders, Ha Long Bay’s karst formations make it a fantastic place to visit for travelers looking to devote a considerable amount of time on the water.
If you’re looking for a way to see the beautiful country of Vietnam and want to be more comfortable than you might be on a bus, the train is the way to go. Luckily for visitors, the train system is quite simple, as there is only one major line between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The train stops at multiple destinations along the way, and as a result, is a fantastic way to see the country and the terrain.