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Ultimate 13-Day Vietnam Adventure: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

Ultimate 13-Day Vietnam Adventure: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary

Published: 2024 Feb 28

Exploring the Capital: Hanoi's Rich Heritage

Morning
Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Bun Cha Ta, a popular local spot known for its delicious Vietnamese cuisine. After breakfast, visit the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) and take a leisurely walk around the lake. Don't miss the Temple of the Jade Mountain (Ngoc Son Temple) located on a small island in the lake.
Afternoon
For lunch, head to Quan An Ngon, a restaurant famous for its traditional Vietnamese dishes. After lunch, explore the Hanoi Old Quarter, known for its narrow streets and bustling atmosphere. Visit the Bach Ma Temple and the Dong Xuan Market for a taste of local life.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at Cuc Gach Quan, a charming restaurant offering authentic Vietnamese cuisine. After dinner, attend a traditional Water Puppet Show, a unique art form that originated in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam.
Bedtime
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Historical & Cultural Gems of Hanoi

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the final resting place of Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. After paying your respects, explore the One Pillar Pagoda (Chua Mot Cot), a historic Buddhist temple. For breakfast, try the famous Vietnamese dish, Pho, at Phở Hòa Pasteur.
Afternoon
After lunch, visit the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which showcases the diversity of Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups. Then, explore the Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) and the Hanoi Opera House, a beautiful example of French colonial architecture.
Evening
Enjoy a delightful dinner at The Refinery, a French-style brasserie located in a former opium factory. After dinner, take a leisurely stroll around the West Lake (Ho Tay), the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi.
Bedtime
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Day Trip to Ninh Binh: The Inland Halong Bay

Morning
Depart early for a day trip to Ninh Binh, often referred to as the "Halong Bay on land." Visit the Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its spectacular karst landscapes and cave systems. Enjoy a boat ride through the picturesque scenery.
Afternoon
After exploring Ninh Binh, have lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, the historic capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries. Explore the ancient temples and learn about the region's rich history.
Evening
Return to Hanoi in the evening and enjoy a relaxing dinner at Secret Garden Restaurant, known for its tranquil ambiance and authentic Vietnamese dishes.
Bedtime
Find amazing hotels in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Culinary Delights & Hidden Gems of Hanoi

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Long Bien Bridge, an iconic symbol of Hanoi. Then, embark on a Saigon Street Food Tasting & Sightseeing Tour by Motorbike to experience the city's vibrant street food scene. Sample local delicacies and explore the city's hidden gems.
Afternoon
After the street food tour, visit the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), Vietnam's first national university. Then, explore the Ho Chi Minh Museum and the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum to learn about the country's history and culture.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at L'Usine Le Loi, a stylish restaurant and cafe known for its fusion cuisine. After dinner, take a leisurely walk around the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the surrounding area.
Bedtime
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Day Trip to Halong Bay: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Morning
Depart early for a day trip to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped with rainforests. Enjoy a cruise on the bay and explore the stunning caves and grottoes.
Afternoon
After the cruise, enjoy a seafood lunch on board the boat. Then, visit the Ti Top Island for panoramic views of Halong Bay. You can also take a swim or relax on the beach.
Evening
Return to Hanoi in the evening and enjoy a dinner at Propaganda Bistro, a restaurant with a unique atmosphere and a menu that reflects the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine.
Bedtime
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Historical & Cultural Wonders of Hue

Morning
Travel to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Start your day with a visit to the Imperial City (The Citadel), a UNESCO World Heritage site that served as the political, cultural, and religious center of the Nguyen Dynasty. Explore the royal palaces, temples, and gardens.
Afternoon
After visiting the Imperial City, have lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, an iconic seven-story pagoda located on the banks of the Perfume River. Then, take a boat cruise on the river and enjoy the scenic views.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at Mandarin Restaurant & Bar, a restaurant known for its traditional Vietnamese dishes and elegant ambiance. After dinner, take a leisurely walk along the Perfume River (Song Huong) and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Bedtime
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Discovering the Royal Tombs & Countryside of Hue

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Tomb of Khai Dinh, a magnificent royal tomb built in the 1920s. Explore the intricate architecture and design of the tomb. Then, visit the Tomb of Tu Duc (Lăng Tự Đức), the final resting place of Emperor Tu Duc.
Afternoon
After visiting the royal tombs, have lunch at a local restaurant and then take a guided tour of the Hue Countryside. Explore the picturesque villages, rice paddies, and traditional houses. Learn about the local way of life and enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at Bep Me In Saigon, a restaurant that offers a modern twist on traditional Vietnamese cuisine. After dinner, attend a Royal Dinner at Hue Royal Palace, where you can experience the royal cuisine and enjoy traditional music and dance performances.
Bedtime
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Relaxing & Rejuvenating in Hue

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Thuan An Beach, a beautiful beach located about 15 kilometers from Hue. Relax on the sandy shore, take a swim in the clear waters, or enjoy water sports activities.
Afternoon
After spending the morning at the beach, have lunch at a local seafood restaurant. Then, visit the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Perfume River (Song Huong) for a leisurely boat cruise. Enjoy the serene beauty of the river and the surrounding landscape.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at The Deck Saigon, a restaurant located on the banks of the Perfume River. After dinner, take a walk along the river and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Bedtime
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Exploring the Art & Culture of Hue

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Hue Museum of Royal Antiquities (Bảo tàng Điện Thư), which houses a collection of royal artifacts and treasures. Then, visit the Hue Fine Arts Museum to see works by local artists and learn about the region's artistic heritage.
Afternoon
After visiting the museums, have lunch at a local restaurant and then take a guided tour of the Hue Countryside. Explore the picturesque villages, rice paddies, and traditional houses. Learn about the local way of life and enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at Temple Club, a restaurant located in a historic building that offers a unique dining experience. After dinner, attend a traditional Royal Dinner at Hue Royal Palace, where you can experience the royal cuisine and enjoy traditional music and dance performances.
Bedtime
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Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City: The Vibrant Southern Metropolis

Morning
Travel to Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. After checking into your hotel, start your day with a visit to the War Remnants Museum (Bao Tang Chung Tich Chien Tranh), which provides a sobering insight into the Vietnam War. Then, visit the Reunification Palace (Independence Palace), the former presidential palace of South Vietnam.
Afternoon
After visiting the historical sites, have lunch at a local restaurant and then explore the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon) and the Saigon Central Post Office, two iconic landmarks in the city. Then, take a walk around the Ben Thanh Market (Cho Ben Thanh) and experience the bustling atmosphere of the market.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at Ciao Bella Saigon, a restaurant known for its authentic Italian cuisine. After dinner, take a leisurely walk around the Saigon River (Song Sai Gon) and enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the city.
Bedtime
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Cu Chi Tunnels & City Highlights

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an impressive underground network used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Explore the tunnels and learn about the history of the site.
Afternoon
After visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, have lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda, a Taoist temple known for its intricate architecture and religious artifacts. Then, take a walk around the Cholon (Saigon Chinatown) and explore the vibrant markets and temples.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at Au Parc Saigon, a restaurant located in a beautifully restored colonial villa. After dinner, take a walk around the Bitexco Financial Tower and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation deck.
Bedtime
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Mekong Delta & River Cruises

Morning
Depart early for a day trip to the Mekong Delta, known as the "rice bowl" of Vietnam. Take a boat cruise on the Mekong River and visit the Cai Be Floating Market, where local vendors sell their goods from boats. Explore the lush orchards and traditional villages.
Afternoon
After the boat cruise, have lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda, a beautiful Buddhist temple with traditional Vietnamese architecture. Then, take a walk around the temple grounds and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
Evening
Enjoy a dinner at The Racha Room, a restaurant known for its innovative fusion cuisine and stylish ambiance. After dinner, take a leisurely walk around the Saigon River (Song Sai Gon) and enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the city.
Bedtime
Find amazing hotels in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Cultural Shows & Farewell to Vietnam

Morning
Start your day with a visit to the Suoi Tien Theme Park, a popular amusement park in Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy the rides, attractions, and cultural shows at the park.
Afternoon
After the theme park, have lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the Saigon Opera House (Opéra de Saïgon), a beautiful example of French colonial architecture. Then, take a guided tour of the opera house and learn about its history and cultural significance.
Evening
Enjoy a farewell dinner at Nha Hang Ngon, a restaurant known for its traditional Vietnamese dishes and lively atmosphere. After dinner, attend the A O Show Bamboo Circus at Saigon Opera House, a mesmerizing performance that combines acrobatics, dance, and music.
Bedtime
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