Top 4 Short Trips in Vietnam

Vietnamese culture is diverse, complex, and represents a contemplative history. The nation's labyrinthine, hurdled business quarters are rich in local crafts and echoes centuries-old mercantile influences. One can find distinct Chinese influences in the north and Hindu origins in the south, while the grand state buildings and tree-lined, broad boulevards grace the capital since the French colonial period. The starling contrast with the city’s skylines defined by sleek luxury hotels and clusters of glass-and-steel corporate HQs alongside the struggling Vietnamese folks with the cane-made hats is something that resonates a larger picture that none can avoid.

Sparing the history and culture, culinary of Vietnam holds a special mention in every traveller’s note. Outstanding in its diversity and incredibly subtle in its flavours, here’s a list of the most popular short trips in Vietnam transcending beyond the history and culinary tours of Vietnam.

•  Touring Ho Chi Minh City

Known as Vietnam's Saigon City that deserves a short trip in Vietnam, the rich culture of Ho Chi Minh City is a trove of historical sites waiting to be explored!

You can start the day visiting two iconic architectural landmarks - the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Renowned designer Gustav Eiffel built both of them between 1877 and 1883. Interestingly, the cathedral still remains an active church with services each day and is one of the ideal locations for Vietnamese wedding photographs.

A short stroll along Dong Khoi Street from the cathedral takes you to the Opera House. From being a bomb shelter to serving as the parliamentary Lower House, this Opera House offers interesting history. In 1995, it was restored and returned to its roots working as a theatre.

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office
Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office

Reunification Palace, Saigon
Reunification Palace, Saigon

The Reunification Palace stands as a symbol of the South Vietnamese Government. See the war room, the presidential office, the banquet hall and some unusual gifts the nation received. Go for a guided tour in the War Remnants Museum that reveals the story of the city’s darkest and most tragic hours during the Vietnam War. It displays the military aircraft, weaponry and many photographs that holds on to the history of the time.

The city’s Chinatown and Thien Hau Pagoda, Cho Lon has some interesting carved tableaus intricate friezes, carved tableaus and impressive incense coils.

Read More:  Ho Chi Minh Tunnels

•  Full Day Excursion To Mekong Delta

See the beauty of Southern Vietnam on a full day excursion to Mekong Delta! The relaxing boat ride tour offers exploration through the iconic fishing villages with rice paddies and stilt houses. The highlight of the short trip in Vietnam is also the traditional Vietnamese lunch with the snack on fresh fruit and honey tea, sampling locally made coconut candy, and more.  

A 9-hour trip over the picturesque Mekong Delta in Ho Chi Minh City is one of the must-do short trips in Vietnam. Located in southern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is a stunning maze of islets, rivers, small villages with rice paddies and fruit plantations. Many like to jam the short trip in Vietnam with a visit to the peaceful Buddhist Vinh Trang Pagoda. Once done, head over to Tortoise Islet for lunch before continuing on a boat to An Khanh, which is serene green province of Ben Tre. As said, you should not miss the signature snack of seasonal fruit and aromatic honey tea to the beats of Vietnamese folk music. Stop by for another delicious surprise where you can visit the coconut candy family business before heading back to Ho Chi Minh. Many visitors spend a day or two in Can Tho, which is the biggest settlement of the delta. Predictably enough, the best time to visit the delta is in the dry season, which is from December to May.

Read More:  10 Reasons for Mekong River Cruise

Vinh Trang Pagoda on Mekong River
Seeing the Vinh Trang Pagoda on Mekong River
Vietnamese Folk Music
Enjoy Vietnamese Folk Music

•  Halong - Cat Ba Island Trip

Situated about 50km (31mi) east of Hai Phong city in the north of Vietnam, Cat Ba Island is one of the 366 islands that lie within the larger area of Halong Bay. The island is easily accessible from Bai Tu Long Bay and Halong Bay, which not only offers exceptional natural beauty but also options of adventure, relaxation, and cultural exchange. Cat Ba is the largest island in Halong Bay which is craggy, rugged and jungle-clad. With a tourism surge in recent years, Cat Ba Town is now framed by a chain of low-rise concrete hotels which serves as a tranquil option for family as well as adventure tourists. In 1986, almost half of Cat Ba Island (sprawling across 354 sq km) and 90 sq km of the adjacent waters were named as a national park. The spectacular limestone hills, some as high as 331m (1086ft), lakes and waterfalls with grottoes offers nothing less than majestic natural beauty.

Limestone Hills in Halong Bay
Spectacular Limestone Hills

Coloful Caves, Vietnam
Amazing Coloful Caves

•  Visit Any of the Fishing Villages

  Hoi An

Being one of Vietnam’s most important tourist destinations and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An offers intriguing history and an irresistible charm to the connoisseurs. A major port between the 16th and 18th centuries, the town offers an exciting mix of Japanese, Chinese, and European influences in its tradition. Start the day visiting any local fish market where sellers and buyers are busy chatting and haggling. For shutterbugs, this is one of the finest places to capture the beauty of the real life of the Vietnamese folks. During the sunny days, the beams of sunlight on the riverbank, punctuated by hundreds of local tribes with conical hats is a mesmerising subject for anyone who is interested in street life.

Hoai River, Hoi An
Hoai River, Hoi An

Riverside, Mekong Delta
Fishermen Busy on Riverside, Mui Ne

  Mui Ne

If you wish to peek into the lives of local Vietnamese fishermen, Mui Ne’s chaotic early morning market is your perfect choice. The routine revolves the same every morning where the fishermen get their catch to the shore. The family members sort out the catch and sell it to people who are mostly local vendors, restaurant owners, and street food sellers.  This trading floor shines a different silver you wish you had seen sooner! You can also spot buckets overflowing with fish, fishing nets full of seafood, shells strewn everywhere, grating conversation, and plenty of other tourist who loves to delve into this peculiar South Asian market culture.

The other fishing markets where you can experience this fascinating feature of Vietnamese culture are:

•  Lang Co Fishing Village, Hue City

•  Cua Van Fishing Village, Quang Ninh Province

•  Thanh Nam Fishing Village, Hoi An City

•  Cai Beo Fishing Village, Hai Phong City

•  Cua Tung Fishing Village, Quang Tri Province

Read More:  Jaw Dropping Sand Dunes in Vietnam

Further Reading:

A Month in Vietnam: A Lifetime of Memories       How to Spend 7 Days in Vietnam?