Two Weeks in Vietnam

When I told my mom we were going to Vietnam she about died. Growing up during the Vietnam War (or shall we say the War of American Aggression) days she had only war-crime filled images in her head. I suppose it would be like my kids going on vacation in Afghanistan (I’m here for it!).

My mental image of Vietnam was me riding on the back of a moped through a pineapple field! This is in large part to a SkyMiles commercial Delta was showing at the time. I had in my mind that we were going to rent a motorcycle and cross the country!

However once I looked into the logistics (where would we put our backpacks? etc because you know I’m not driving my own!), we decided to cross the country by plane and train and rent scooters in each city.

Note: There is one route over the Hải Vân Pass that is very popular and you can rent motorbikes while a company carries your bags alongside in a car if you want the best of both worlds!

Two Week Vietnam Itinerary

I planned our itinerary starting in the northern hub of Hanoi and working our way down to HCMC with stops along the way of Sapa, Ninh Binh, and Hoi An.

Kicking off the trip in Hanoi

We started our Vietnam adventure in the northern capital of Hanoi. We hit the ground running with a wild night on “Beer Corner” and a cultural food tour.

Check out our favorite memories of Hanoi here.

Trekking in Sapa

After a few days in the city we took an overnight train to go trekking in the rice fields of Sapa. The journey there was as cool as the destination.

Read all about our Sapa trekking trip here.

Scooting around Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh was amazing!! I loved renting a scooter and driving past the limestone cliffs to old temples.

Check out all the details on must-dos in Ninh Binh in this post.

Lighting Lanterns in Hoi An

The Ancient Town in Hoi An is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s easy to see why. This town is so charming and our hotel was amazing too!

See all of our Hoi An recommendations here.

Facing Reality in Ho Chi Minh City

We wrapped up our trip in HCMC where we did an amazing “back of the bike” food tour and visited the harrowing War Remnants Museum.

Read all about our visit to HCMC aka Saigon here.

What we didn’t do in Vietnam: Visit Ha Long Bay and the Cu Chi Tunnels.

After extensive debate over visiting Ha Long Bay we opted to skip it. Our budget didn’t allow for a super nice cruise and it seemed oversaturated with tourism. We went to Ninh Binh instead and loved it!

The Cu Chi Tunnels were on my list but they were out of town and we decided to spend our time in Saigon exploring the city vs taking a day trip. Grant’s parents went and said they were cool but spooky, apparently their van driver was playing anti-USA propaganda on the way and they feared they would be locked in the Cu Chi Tunnels as a means to pay reparations for the Vietnam War….kinda kidding, but really!

Vietnam was so amazing, we covered some serious ground and I would still come back to explore the rest.

Very Happy in Vietnam,


Note: We visited Vietnam in March and April of 2019.

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