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Vietnam Itinerary in 2 Weeks: Essential Guide for the First-timers

“How can we plan our Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks” is an extremely popular concern among foreign visitors, who come to Absolute Asia Travel to ask for our consultation. We feel completely empathetic with your concern, as Vietnam is a vast and varied stretch of land brimming with bustling cities and incredible natural beauty. However, we advise you not to worry a lot about what to do and see in Vietnam. Just stick to the Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks we map out below, you will surely get the best of your Vietnamese adventure.

How to explore the best of Vietnam with Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks? 

Exploring Hanoi by cyclo ride around Hanoi’s Old Quarter

Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital is one of the country’s top tourist hot spots. It offers French-colonial architecture, rich food culture, and a long history. Hanoi is most well-known for the Old Quarter located in Hoan Kiem district. It is packed with charming colonial architecture, the preserved shop houses lying along the roads, as well as long and narrow alleys. Much as it looks very “old”, historical and traditional, you can expect to find plenty of modern hip coffee, bars, a variety of restaurants, bakeries, boutique shops in this area.

To enjoy the best feel of rich old Hanoi’s culture and beauty, and earn some precious moments to snap epic shots, you would be advised to take a cyclo ride tours around the old streets. A cyclo is a simple bicycle taxi that is pedaled by a cyclo driver behind you. It has a clear and open design in order not to cause visitors any hindrance while enjoying the wonderful sightseeing or taking pictures. For lots of visitors, a cycle ride is a much cleaner and comfortable way to explore the old streets than walking. Because it gives them the ultimate freedom to capture the beauty of the city and breath the culture. Moreover, friendly riders are willing to stop wherever you want to and show you around happily.

Watching a water puppet show

The water puppet show is a thoroughly enjoyable hour of entertainment at a very reasonable price, which should be included in your Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks. The water puppet performance tells the story of the daily life of Vietnamese farmers, communal entertainment, or historical legends. All the performances are acted out by puppets, which are controlled by puppeteers hiding behind a bamboo screen. Each show is also accompanied by a Vietnamese orchestra playing traditional music and some lighting effects.

To enjoy this unique Vietnam traditional art, you can drop in Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre. Located near Hoan Kiem Lake, it is a very familiar address for both domestic and foreign tourists. Tickets are sold fast and same-day tickets may not be available. Therefore, we advise your slots as soon as you arrive in town. And as the theatre accommodates a few hundred people and the puppets are quite small, you can pay a bit more to get closer to the action. The Water Puppet Theater admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost $5.00, while a popular guided tour starts around $1.00 per person.

Eating Hanoi’s street food

One of the must-not-miss things to do within your Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks is to enjoy its street food. You can embark on a Hanoi street food tour in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where you will get an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture. Most Vietnamese street food spots serve fresh and light meals drawing heavily on herbs, lime juice, and chili. With the wonderful combination of flavors and tastes, the local street food is one of the healthiest in the world. Some of the reasonably-priced and flavourful popular dishes that can be found on the street of Hanoi include Banh canh, goi cuon, pho, banh tom, banh cuon…

Cruising Halong Bay on a traditional Junk

Halong Bay, also known as “Bay of Descending Dragons”, is one of the most beautiful and sought-after destinations in Vietnam. It is renowned all over the world for its scenic rock formations. Halong Bay is seen by a large number of tourists as a magnificent feat of nature, and considered by the UNESCO World Heritage site as a natural wonder. Therefore, it should not be missed out on your Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks.

The most popular way to experience Halong Bay is on an overnight junk boat tour, which will surely give you time to relax and truly enjoy its scenery. Our route recommendation is that you leave for the Bay in the early morning, then board the traditional wooden junk to relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads towards the secluded islands. In the afternoon, you can visit ancient limestone caves, and go to sea kayaking and swimming. After that, return to the junk and relax on deck with a drink to watch the sunset. End your refreshing day with a freshly prepared seafood dinner under the stars.

There are varied options for day trips in Halong Bay, as there are for 1 night/ 2 day or 2 night/ 3 day tours and cruises. However, if you can not budget that kind of time in your Vietnam itinerary, at least spend one night.

Exploring Hoi An old town on foot

As described by UNESCO in 1999, Hoi An “is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century”. Since its history as a busy trading port, the architecture in Hoi An is a unique mixture of many different styles. Its culture also reflects the combination of indigenous and foreign cultures (Chinese, Japanese with later European influences).

You can begin your tour of Hoi An by taking a gentle stroll around numerous landmarks. These include the 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien assembly halls, a museum, and the colorful local market. Following the narrow lanes, you walk along tiny streets with houses influenced by Chinese, Japanese, French and European architectures. Walking around the pleasant town is very peaceful and laid back.

Apart from exploring Hoi An on food, there are many other activities you can join. You can visit Vietnam’s grandest Cham ruins at My Son; attend a cooking class at a riverside restaurant. Or you can join other travelers to get up close and personal to daily farming and fishing life. If you want to go below, hop on a boat to Cu Lao Cham Island for a fun and relaxing day to explore exotic coral reefs and marine life.

Tread in the footsteps of emperors from the Forbidden Purple City to the imperial tombs of Hue

Hue is a charming city with many beautiful landscapes. If you are a history lover, or simply enjoy exotic cultures, Hue- Vietnam’s former Royal Capital is definitely on the top list of your travel plan.

Let’s spend a full day in Hue, Vietnamese capital during the Nguyen Dynasty and learn about the city’s regal past, which can still be seen inside the Citadel and the Imperial City. You can take a walk around the Imperial City of Hue. Then cruise the Perfume River by a dragon boat to serene Thien Mu Pagoda and visit the majestic Royal Tomb of King Ming Mang, King Khai Dinh, and King Tu Duc. Besides these places, with Hue city tour of your Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks, you can also explore the oldest pagoda in Hue called Thien Mu, and visit incense and hat-making village. And do not forget to head to Dong Ba market to learn about local produce and specialties, and get exposed to the local life.

Cultural city tour of Ho Chi Minh city

In your Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks, Ho Chi Minh city is the place that you could not miss. During your day tour in Ho Chi Minh city, do not forget to drop by Ben Thanh market. It is where you can buy almost everything from clothes, souvenirs, jewelry, food. For history lovers, you can spend time visiting the War Remnants Museum, which shows the war Vietnam got involved in the past. Then the Reunification Palace – the former South Vietnam Presidential Palace. Not very far from the museum are two other major tourist attractions: Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. As you reach there, get your camera working overtime peeking into the past of Vietnam’s biggest, most energetically progressive city.

Exploring the engrossing underground network of Cu Chi Tunnel

Located around 70 kilometers from the centre of Ho Chi Minh city is the Cu Chi tunnel. The tunnels were used by the Vietcong during the war to hide. Let’s plan your visit to the tunnel to memorize the war and see for yourself how it must have been back in the days.

Exploring the Mekong Delta

Leaving behind the busy city of Ho Chi Minh city, let’s take a 2-hour drive to Ben Tre, situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. On arrival, take a boat on Ben Tre River – one of the tributaries of the Mekong River to witness lively activities along the river such as fishing, water transferring. And do not miss a chance to get to know the traditional coconut production by visiting coconut processing workshops located along the canal. If you love to touch on real life and find out about tropical culture from local farmers, let’s take a motor-cart on shady village paths, passing by green rice fields and vegetable plains.

The day after, you can hop on a boat cruise to visit the vibrant Cai Rang floating market. This is where you will experience a “strange” type of market, in which all purchasing activities take place on boats and ships. Then continue to a small canal to visit a fruit garden, where you can enjoy many kinds of delicious fruits.

The aforementioned is the plan to visit Vietnam in 2 weeks, which could help you better map out your Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks. However, for first-time travelers to Vietnam, the way of detailing your itinerary can be very challenging and time-consuming. And it is even more difficult when you are not familiar with the locations and Vietnamese language. Therefore, you should need consultation and assistance from a professional travel agency. They can help you not only with figuring out your trips, but also support by providing local expertise to help you along the way. They can also take care of other things to make sure to provide you with the most comfortable trip.

With the customer-centric mindset, Absolute Asia Travel always puts the best effort on the customer journey and to enjoy their trip to the fullest. With helpful personal consultant and considerate tour guides, Absolute Asia Travel is well known for the capacity to satisfy the imaginative of curious explorers and passionate travelers. All of the tours are tailor-made to meet your demands.

For your Vietnam itinerary in 2 weeks, Absolute Asia Travel offers a great cultural discovery tour covering the highlights of Vietnam including the best of three regions: the North, the Centre and the South of Vietnam. However, the tour can be combined with extended nights or added more activities to your wish.

If you consider a multi-country tour in one go, the following options might interest you:

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