Fun Cities to Visit in Vietnam
Vietnam was filled with beauty - both scenic and people. The type of country you could leave your belongings on a bench in the city and not feel like they were going to be taken. As we got into Hanoi (the capital) we felt an automatic culture shock with the buzzing of mopeds, hole in the wall restaurants, shops, and a vibrant culture. This was our first trip out of the county as a family - with our 2 year old son and so grateful for all we were able to experience. If thinking of going to Vietnam, take a gander at our travel guide below. (We were in Vietnam 2 1/2 weeks)
- HALONG BAY
- HOI AN
- Cruise the city streets of Historic town in a Tut Tut. What a great way to get an overall feel for the city as you cruise the different districts - ceramic district, food district, glasses district, bag district, etc...
- Visit the Hanoi Hilton for history between Vietnam and USA during the war. The Hilton Hanoi was a prisonused by the French clonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War during the Vietnam War. During this later period it was sarcastically known to American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton.
- Also check out Temple of Literature and the Water Puppet Theatre. The Pupet theatre is quite bizarre, but fun if you want to see something you've never experienced before.
- Stay at La Siesta Hotel - A boutique hotel that caters to your every need with a modern contemporary feel. They make you feel special the moment you check in with a refreshing drink prepared in front of you to the moment you check out, with a parting gift. Airbnb is also a great option..
- Stay on a cruise boat to Cat Ba island; We took the Silversea Cruise Line - 4 Star and worth every penny ;) Tip: Don't buy online; wait to book till in Vietnam. There are agencies all over Hanoi and your hotel can also help out. Once on Cat Ba Island we stayed in a bungalo above water (away from cars and city life, the perfect time to detach and enjoy the kayaking on the still peaceful water.
- Apart from beaches, this town has the gem of Old Town - after 5pm the town is motor- less and you see people walking and biking in one of the most romantic settings with lights, candles on the river and unique bridge. Loads of coconuts for sale to sip and enjoy some coconut water.
- Getting there: We were in Vietnam 2.5 weeks so we decided to take the 1hr flight from Hanoi to Hoi An, instead of the drive that takes 16 hrs. (The flight allowed us to make the trip to central Vietnam)
- Apart from the beaches and Old town, make sure to visit Marble Mountain - Incredible caves and tunnels with temples galore, even with the crowds the mountain is so big and meditations going on that it feels peaceful.
- Stay at Hoi Ann Garden Palace - explore the beauty of the French influence while laying pool side and sipping on fresh fruit drinks. They also pick you up from the airport, convenient ;)
- If you enjoy hiking and massages, this is the place for you! The main village is surrounded by small villages, where rice is farmed. Exploring the villages around Sapa gives you a look in the hardworking lives people on the rice paddys live.