Planning a Trip to Vietnam?

How long would a visit to the country take?

(my opinion only): Ideally, 1 week in HCMC (a.k.a. “Saigon”) and vicinity + 1 week in Hanoi (a.k.a. “Ha Noi”) and vicinity. That makes 14 days  😉

(1) Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

-Many Pubs & Bars with cheap beers (start from abt USD 1.00)

-Varieties of Vietnamese food – if u want to live dangerously, in terms your tummy, try the street side food. (I did once… it went well!)

-Ben Thanh Market (very big market with all kinds of stuff)

-Chinatown, Binh Tay Market (another big market)

-War Museum (be careful with the timing .. they close for lunch from 11.30am to 1.00pm)

-History Museum

-Independence Palace

-Municipal Theatre

-People Committee building (see it at night, beautiful!)

-Notre Dame Cathedral (French built)

-General Post Office (another majestic French built structure)

-some very small casinos (in 5 star hotels)

-just walk around, many sights, sounds, foods, and do be careful of motorbikes.

Out of HCMC:

-Mekong Delta floating markets, quite different from Thailand’s (abt 4 hours away)

-Cu Chi tunnels, where the Vietcong had a web of tunnels (abt 5 hours away)

-Mui Ne & Pan Thiet beaches (beautiful places to relax by the sea)

-Vung Tau, a city at the southern peninsula (with 2 beach fronts)

-Dalat highlands, the place where a lot of VN couples go for honeymoon (about 8 hours away, I haven’t even gone there)

-Further north, Na Trang, another place with nice beaches

(2) Hanoi

(bear in mind the distance from HCMC to Hanoi is similar to the distance from Singapore to HCMC):

Out of Hanoi, these are famous places:

-Hoi An

-Halong Bay (beautiful scenes, the backdrop for many Hollywood movies)


-Danang (where the US army were based)

Directions to St Joseph Cathedral (Catholic), Hanoi

The facade of St.Joseph’s Cathedral

  • 2 alternative routes (on foot):(1)from Hoan Kiem Lake’s westbank(facing south):along Le Thai To, turn right to Hang Trong, then left to Nha Tho Street.(2)from lake’s north bank(exit Hotel Royal 1, turn right): Cau Go, straight to Hang Gai, straight to Hang Bong, immediate left to Le Quoc Su and straight on (the cathedral will be on your right)
  • There was only one English Mass when I last visited in 2009: 9.30am


About Stephen T. (Johor Bahru, Malaysia)

Trying to live a simple life in a complicated world. I am a Malaysian (of Chinese ancestry) living in Johor Bahru, Malaysia
This entry was posted in My time in Vietnam and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Planning a Trip to Vietnam?

  1. Your blog is very useful. I found from Bing. I will back in one day. Thank you I already bookmark your blog.

  2. Stephen Tan says:

    thanks.. sorry, I have been delayed … My apologies!
    I have been so tied up at work, and not updated my blog much!
    Hope you have a good day!

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