Traveling to a new country always is an interesting and unique experience. And of course, you should not forget to start your trip with those countries.
The best place to begin in Hanoi is with the city`s top tourist draw - the Old Quarter. Here centuries of commerce can be charted amid labyrinthine streets and tiny alleyways. Hanoi, however, isn`t all about classic images of old Asia. You`ll find classy lounges that wouldn`t be out of place in any world metropolis and bohemian hangouts where locals, foreign residents and visitors gather to soak in the atmosphere. The hustle and bustle of Vietnam`s capital can at first seem intimidating, but don`t let the weaving motorbikes and screaming street hawkers put you off. Behind the hustle and bustle you`ll find tranquility in the Temple of Literature, peace at One Pillar Pagoda, and more charming French patisseries then you could wish for. If you`re wondering what to do in Vietnam, and where to start, Hanoi is a good welcome.
Travel to Halong, sail among the jagged rocks of over 2000 islands in the Gulf of Tonkin at Halong, which translates as `where the dragon descends in to the sea`. If you want to get a closer and beautiful view, hire kayaks and explore the caves or find your own deserted bay.
Go trekking in the hills of Sapa for amazing views across the jungle and mountain ranges of north-west Vietnam. Equipment is cheap and easy to come by so don`t worry if you`re not a natural mountain goat, you`ll soon be up there, gazing at the views as the mist rolls in across the peaks.
For cultural travelers, there is no shortage of temples, tombs, pagodas and crumbling palaces to admire and explore in Hue. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Hueis home to the Citadel, once the emperor`s private residence, and the Forbidden Purple City, where he housed his many mistresses. When your feet are weary, grab some bún bò buế (beef noodle soup) and watch swan pedalos cruise the Perfume River (sông Hương) as the sun sets.
Foodies can feast on street food in Vietnam`s culinary capital. If you fancy trying your hand at Vietnamese cuisine, many restaurants offer half-day cooking courses. Sounds too much like hard work? Hit An Bang Beach instead for a day lounging on the deserted sand, sipping on ice-cold cocktails at the bar.
Ho Chi Minh (Sai Gon)
Former Saigon is now Vietnam`s international business hub. Get your gladrags on and head up to one of the many skybars, found on the top floor of the city`s sleek skyscrapers. Cocktail in hand, admire the best view of Ho Chi Minh City by night. Ho Chi Minh City has beautiful parks, French architecture, busy Chợ Lớn / Chinatown district with several historical Chinese temples, as well as a variety of markets, shops and restaurants. Popular day tours from Ho Chi Minh City include visiting Cu Chi tunnels, and nearby Mekong Delta.