Ho Chi Minh City – 2 Nights
Arguably the best place to start a trip through Vietnam is in Ho Chi Minh City, the former capital that is still commonly referred to as Saigon. After American troops left the city in 1975 during the Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh City shrank in size, since many of the residents fled. In the decades since, the city has grown again, becoming the economic center of Vietnam. There are an endless number of ways to pass the time in Ho Chi Minh City, but some of the truly must-see attractions include the Reunification Palace, the French colonial City Hall, the Notre-Dam Cathedral and the Saigon Skydeck in the Bitexco Financial Tower, which lets you enjoy breathtaking views over the expansive city below.
Cu Chi Tunnels – Day Trip
Exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels is an amazing experience and a great day trip from Ho Chi Minh City that helps to sum up the incredible hardship of war as well as the tenacity and strength of the Vietnamese people. This elaborate system of more than 240 km (150 miles) of tunnels was dug exclusively using bare hand and simple tools throughout the French occupation and later the Vietnam War. The residents of Cu Chi lived in these tunnels, which also gave American soldiers a wartime advantage. Today, guided tours are available that depart from Ho Chi Minh City and explore the tunnels of both Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc.
Nha Trang – 2 Nights
Although Vietnam is closely associated with its recent wars, it is also home to beautiful beaches, some of which are found in Nha Trang. This coastal resort destination is the ultimate place to relax and unwind for a few days of your 2 weeks in Vietnam, and it boasts all kinds of outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition to soaking up the sun from the sand of Bai Dai Beach, you can admire the Yang Bay Waterfalls, hike to the Thap Ba Hot Springs and Mud Baths, take a sailing lesson, go surfing, rent a bicycle or go scuba diving.
Hoi An – 1 Night
If you’re interested in the ancient history of Vietnam, its architecture and its people, then Hoi An is an amazing place to visit. Hoi An was once a port city in the Cham Kingdom, and it dates back to more than 2,000 years ago. The Old Town of Hoi An is the hub for historic landmarks, museums, and architecture, so don’t miss out on seeing places like the Japanese Covered Bridge’s Pagoda, the Quan Cong Temple, the Hoi An Museum of History and Culture and the Phung Hung House, which has been continuously inhabited by more than eight generations of the same family. Hoi An is a popular place to get custom shoes or suits made, so head to Hoang Dieu Street if that’s what you’re looking for as a souvenir.
Hue – 2 Nights
Hue was once the imperial capital of Vietnam, making it the home of several emperors in the 19th and early 20th centuries. On the banks of the Perfume River, Hue boasts countless architectural masterpieces and museums devoted to the history of the country. Start in the Imperial Citadel, or Dai Noi, to tour the sprawling complex made up of the Thái Hòa Palace, where the emperors had their coronations, the Trường Sanh Residence, a royal palace, and the Hue Jungle Crevice, a sad monument to the ravages of wartime. You can also tour several imperial tombs as well as a number of hot springs just outside the city limits.