From the heaving streets of Hanoi to the rippling rice paddies of Sapa, North Vietnam is one of the region’s most coveted travel destinations.
Seven days isn’t a lot of time to explore a single place, let alone an entire region. But as they say, impossible is nothing.
Here’s all you need to know if you want to travel North Vietnam in just 7 days.
Vietnam’s capital city is chock a block with colour and culture at every turn. Having fought through centuries of colonialism from both the Chinese and the French, modern day Hanoi boasts its own very original character while still maintaining an air of the olden days.
The Old Quarter’s winding streets teem with knick-knack shops selling colourful silk lanterns, fragrant bouquets, and handicrafts, while the outlying areas are jammed full of street food vendors dishing out mouth-watering local delicacies like pho, bun cha, and banh mi.
The wider city is filled with ancient Taoist and Confucian temples, immaculately preserved Buddhist pagodas, thoughtfully curated museums, and a series of beautiful lakes and rivers. Architecture appreciators, culture lovers, history buffs, and foodies will all find their fix here without any trouble.
Top attractions include the Museum of Literature, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Women’s Museum, the Hanoi Opera House and The West Lake.
Spend 2 days and one night here before taking the overnight bus to Sapa.
If you plan to travel North Vietnam, Sapa will likely be on your hit list.
The old French hill station is fast growing into Vietnam’s top location for trekking, hiking and climbing. Measuring in at 10,311 feet, Mount Fansipan is the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, and is situated just 9km outside of Sapa town.
The hillside terraces for which the area is famed are home to some of Vietnam’s most fascinating ethnic minorities. Since the area has begun to experience the effects of the national tourism boom, many of the locals now offer authentic homestays, where visitors can eat, sleep, and enjoy life with the local people.
Stay here for one night, then head directly to Vietnam’s most revered World Heritage site: Halong Bay.
Voted as one of the “7 Natural Wonders of the World”, Halong Bay has rightfully earned itself a reputation as one of the most scenically beautiful places in the world. If you plan to travel North Vietnam, Halong Bay can’t be missed.
Located in Quang Ninh province in the northeast of Vietnam, Halong Bay receives millions of visitors every year who come to marvel at the 1,996 karst islands that dot the emerald green waters of the bay.
Cruising is a crowd favourite here, thanks to their diverse travel routes and promises to bring you right into the most beautiful parts of the bay. With so many different tour companies to choose from, it’s easy to find one that appeals to you- whether you’re a shoestring backpacker or a luxury seeker, a crowd lover or someone who tends to stray off the beaten path.
Overnight cruises are considered to be the best option, because the cruises will have more time to take you out into the harder to reach places in the bay (and away from the busy tourist wharf), compared to 1-day cruises.
Spend a night on a cruise, wake up the next morning to the most stunning view, spend the final day cruising, and head back to Hanoi before flying out.
A Final Word
To travel North Vietnam in just seven days is no easy feat, but if you use your time wisely you’ll be able to catch the highlights- but I’m warning you… you won’t want to stay away for long.
Getting ready to travel North Vietnam? Drop us a line for information, advice, and bookings.