We have been in historical city Ho Chi Minh for around 4 days with family friends in December. There are many places to visit around city but I couldn’t stop myself to visit 3 places which are specially child friendly as we were accompanied by a super cool baby.Best way to reach city from international airport is prepaid taxi costing around 180,000 Dong.We booked hotel near Airport due to late night flight but I recommend others to stay in District 1 for easy access to most of sightseeing attractions.We took Chu chi tunnels tour and Mekong delta day tour with The Sinh Tourist company.
Mekong delta (Cai Be Vinh Long): Nice day tour with english speaking tour guide. What you get what you paid for. It’s a group tour for those people who don’t have enough time to explore mekong delta. Trip Advisor review link
Cu Chi Tunnels: We took morning half day tour to visit Cu Chi.This place rewinds the history of Vietnamese people during war and show how they planned fight in mekong region.
Ben Thanh Market: Evening half we went ben thanh to buy souvenirs. This place really check your bargaining skills. I was surprise people have great interest in Indian and Indian TV serials.
Tips: Take one round to see what you want to buy with what people are offering you, even there is a fix rate line inside market to give you fair idea about max price.
Ho chi Minh local: You can consider Saigon Central Post Office , war museum and Reunification Palace for a full day itinerary for your last day or just rest with visiting local place and eat.
Hanoi water puppet
If you are planning to visit hanoi then you should consider at least 3-5 days for city including outskirts of the city.The best place to stay in Hanoi can be old quarter, famous for house of backpackers.Now get ready to explore mouth watering breakfast around hotel and dinner in main street.Our itinerary was 2 days in city and one day in Ninh Bình province.
- One Pillar Pagoda It is most iconic temple around city and very next to Ho Chi Minh Museum.
- Temple of Literature This is oldest temple and first Vietnam national university devoted to education. Even now a days you can see many college students come there to click graduation photo shoot.
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum It’s a memorial built in the memory of Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh.
- Trấn Quốc Pagoda Oldest buddhist temple in hanoi and best place to relax near lake and enjoy serenity.
- Dinner Like we are vegetarian so we moved to Namaste Hanoi for dinner, a bit expensive but good for authentic taste of Indian cuisine.
- Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre I highly recommend this place even the show is in Vietnamese but the best part is to watch artistic work.
- Hoàn Kiếm Lake I love the ambience of this place specially in early morning or late evening lights.
- Local market around lake You can see many nice souvenir and craft here, I love hat and egg cover painting.
- Dinner Around lake you can find many asian cuisine and BBQ houses.
Tran quoc pagoda
Full day Hoa Lu Tam Coc trip This is nice place to discover Halong bay on land. Nice paddy field and boating in Ngo Dong River. My recommendation is to go early morning or late afternoon when things are quitter. Do not forget to keep some change(20000~50000 D) for tip to rowers they will definitely ask you as a custom. Almost many trip provide you buffet lunch with boating and cycling.
Dinner You can have dinner in old quarter near by hotel as they will drop you around 18:00 at your hotel.
Tips: You can also consider Vạn Phúc silk village and Bat Trang Ceramic Village For your other days stay or just replace existing one based on your interest.
Whenever I think about sea, landscape, and relaxation Halong Bay is in top list.If you too interested in sea, cruises and relaxation during holiday then this the place you are looking for. Your research plan can start from 1- How many days you want to stay on cruse? 2- What’s your budget? 3- Which activities you like?
If you have enough time to spend in hanoi then better to book cruise during your hanoi stay, there are many travel agencies in old quarter and lake area who give you on the spot deal after bargainning. Average price for peak season is 80~90$ per night for each person.Usually cruise company’s bus come to hotel in the morning 8:00 ~ 9:00 for pickup and drop you in bay after 3 hours.We choose paragon cruise for visiting cave , pearl farm and top of Titov Island.
Best part of the trip was drinking on cruise , karaoke, kayaking and swimming in the evening with friends. Don’t forget to keep your camera with you every time you switch to small boat for excursion.Nature lovers and honeymoon people can consider this place without even a single doubt.
Special notice – Please be aware with fraud happening while booking tour , when you are bargaining then confirm your rate with included and excluded list.Sometime they will lower money and may send you some cheap cruise, so better to make sure cruise name with itenary.If you are vegetarian tell them in advance they will definitely serve you
Ha long Bay