In this blog post I am showing you some of my favorite spots and what I did during my Vietnam tour. Our first destination was my hometown Hanoi. This is the city where my parents grew up and the place where I always come back for holidays. I am living right in the middle of the old quarter and this is also the place to be in Hanoi. This is where you can find the best food, bars, cool clubs and shops.
Here are some of my fave food places in Hanoi which you have to check out when u are here in town:
Phở 25 – Hàng giầy (only at night)
Bún chả – 74 Hàng Quạt,29 Cau Go
Phở cuốn – 26 Ngũ Xã
Mỳ Vằn Thắn – Hàng Chiếu -9A Đinh Liệt
Xôi thập cẩm – 57 Thợ Nhuộm
Bánh Giò – Đinh Liệt
Ốc Luộc – Đinh Liệt
Bún Mọc – 7 Hàng Lược
Bánh Cuốn – 101 Bà Triệu
Bún Thang – 26 Lý Thường Kiệt
Bún đậu mắm tôm – 31 Hàng Khay
Chả cá lã vọng – 14 Chả Cá
Chè Đài Loan – 32 Quang Trung
Bánh cuốn bà Hoành – 66 Tô Hiến Thành, 14 Hang Ga
Hotpot Hutong – The Yard, 67 Phó Đức Chính
Veggie Restaurant Ưu Đàm Chay – 34, Hàng Bài
After party food – Tống Duy Tan Street
Bier Street – Lương Ngọc Quyến; Tạ Hiện
Best Club this year: 1900 Le Theatre – 8 Ta Hien Street
Our first trip was to Trang An. This time some good friends from Saigon came to visit me and that made the trip even more perfect! We booked an all incl. tour from a travel agency – including the 3h bus drive, lunch, a boat tour and Guiding to the Bai Dinh Temple. This temple is nice but not the best one I saw. It is kinda new and everything looks the same, so its not a “Must see” in my opinion.
From Bai Dinh Temple the bus drove us to a local restaurant to have lunch first before we are heading to Trang An.
In Trang An we enjoyed our boat tour on the clear water while surrounded by the alluring nature. Travel with good friends are always so much more fun. I wished days like this would never end – full of excitement and laugher. There are not many places in Vietnam where you can say it is clean but Trang An is really one of those places which kept its beauty . Under the clear water you can even see the green algaes and many fishes. I think during spring time this place is even more beautiful because of the sea roses. But the long and narrow caves which you went through whith the boat was my favorite part !
After an successful trip to Trang An we were all happy and excited for our next trip to Halong Bay.
From Hanoi we started our tour. From here you can get to SAPA, Ha Giang and Halong bay easily. But this time the problem was the bad weather during rain season. Because the rain and the storm was too heavy we couldn’t make it to Sapa or either Ha Giang. These places are beautiful and I will definitely see it next time when I am back.
After Staying 4 days longer in Hanoi the weather finally got a lil bit better and so we began our Journey. We took the 4h drive with the sleeping bus (travel agency) to Ha Long Bay.
But the weather was unexpected beautiful, just a lil bit cloudy. We booked the Golden suncruise tour with the travel agency: including sleeping and eating on the cruise, Cave exploring and beaching.
The beach is really small and not as beautiful as the rest of the bay but always good for a little refreshing after hiking in the caves.
From Hanoi we took the airplane to Danang and this was the time to say Goodbye to Hanoi after 3 amazing weeks. Now we are traveling to the middle of Vietnam – different food and also different accent which was really difficult to understand sometimes.
We stayed in Danang about 4 days and from this point you can travel to Hoi An and Hue.
In Danang we stayed very close to the most beautiful beach called “My Khe” in the Grand Sunrise Hotel. In this area are a lot of new beautiful hotels for a good price! But if you have more money to relax I would recommend the Intercontinental Resort. It’s just amazing!
If you want to eat super yummy and fresh sea food go to “Be Man”. It is very popular – even for local people. You can choose your favorite fresh seafood on spot and tell them how you want it to be cooked. Also there is a really good and popular local restaurant for Bún Chả Cá 109 (Fish Cake Noodle), which you can find in this street 109 Nguyễn Chí Thanh.
The city of danang is clean and pretty at night because of the big colorful exposed bridges. One of them is the famous Dragon Bridge which is spying fire on Saturday at about 8pm.
For dessert you can check this place :
Coco Dessert/ Kem Dua “Dua Ben Tre 190”
You can find there everything that has to do with coconut. I’m in love with the coco!
Hai Van Pass
The first day in Danang we spent at the beach and at the second day we rent a motorbike and drove all the way to Hue city, which took us about 4 hours (including taking pics on the way haha). This was one of the most incredible and adventures thing I ever did in Vietnam – driving the bike 4 hours on vietnams highway. Also the “Hai Van Pass” is beautiful and something you have to experience in life. From this pass you can see the Lang Co Beach. I am really recommending you to do this when you are in this area. If you don’t want to drive by your own there are also people who can take you with the motorbike from Danang to Hue. Just ask in your hotel about this and they will help you for sure.
Lang Co Beach
The picture where you can see us standing on the Road and behind us is the Lang Co beach, if you want to go down to this beach the entrance is right next to this “image” like 10 steps next to the spot where we are standing for this pic. There is also a sign with “entering beach 10 minutes walk”. When you are entering this place you can park your motorbike there, paying the woman who is taking care of your scooter 10k VND and walk/hike down the hills to the beach and it’s for sure not 10 minutes. It was exhausting and about 20 minutes hiking we finally arrived but it was so worth it. The beach is empty – feels like a private, still a lil secret beach, which was clean and refreshing.
Arrived in Hue we actually only went to eat something and visit the Imperial City. What you really have to try in this area is Bun Bo Hue, which is one of my most favourite Vietnamese dish and then all kinds of “Banh”. Just try everything !
The imperial palast was pretty but really exhausting because it was way to hot at this day. That’s why we left it already after 1,5 hour.
On the way back from Hue to Danang
We took a break at the elephant spring which is perfect to refresh, also the water was cleaner than expected. We were there at about 3pm and it was almost empty and the weather wasn’t as hot as at midday, which I would recommend you to do! The elephant spring is a little bit difficult to find and there is no real big sign so just keep asking the people on the road and you will find the way.
The next day we took the taxi from Danang (~500k) to Hoi An. This takes about half an hour. We stayed in Hoi An one night, which is enough but 2 nights wont hurt ;). At midday it is very hot so there is not much to do besides eating and drinking coffee. After 2pm we took some photos and walk around the old quarter. Hoi An is quite expensive because there is a lot of tourism nowadays. In the Evening there is a night market where you can buy small souvenirs. Hoi An is in my opinion most beautiful at night due to the glowing colorful lanterns -literally a small fairytale village glows in beautiful warm lights.
Things you have to check out:
Food Street: Nguyen Thai Hoc Street
Famous Chicken Rice: Com Ga Nga – 8 Phan Chau Trinh Street
Famous Banh Mi Pate: Banh Mi Phuong
One cafe place we can recommend you is CoCo Box and Hoi An Roastery. But there are quite a lot of cute cafes there so just check out.
Our next destination was saigon. We flew from Danang back to Saigon and relaxed a few days before we started to travel again. When you are in Saigon you can go to Dalat, Mui Ne, Can Tho, Nha Trang Beach or Phu Quoc Island.
We decided to check out Can Tho first because we were just very curious about the flaring market. Because this market is early in the morning, starts about 7am, you have to stay in Can Tho 1 night.
From Saigon we booked a sleeping bus from the company “Phuong Trang”. It took us about 4 hours from saigon to Can Tho. Arrived in the afternoon there was actually not much to do anymore. We just strolled around the city, had dinner and checked out the night market. Because we had to wake up early at 4am(what i recommend u otherwise the market will be fully packed) in the next morning we had to slept early.
Don’t do the tour from the hotels, do a private tour which is much more fun and way cheaper( we payed 20$ instead of 80$ ). When we arrived at the bus station there was a woman who talked to my boyfriend and she was one of the people who has a small private boat and knows everything about the Mekong Delta and the market. We made an appointment with her and met her the next day at 4.30am at the meeting point.
We were 5 people and this was perfect. I think 6 people will be okey too but not more.
First we checked out the first market which is also the living area of the market people, incredible how they are living all their life in those boats and just coming home to their villages only on Chinese New Years. Passing this area we arrived at the noodle factory which was very interesting to see. At this place we could eat some fresh noodle soup “Huu Tieu Noodle Soup” for breakfast which was so good.
After this we headed to the second flaring market. There were not a lot of boats left but still enough to get the feeling of how it’s going on.
At about 12am we were finished with the tour.
Our last trip was from Saigon to Mui Ne which took us about 5/6hours bus drive ( Phuong Trang Bus). We booked a very nice hotel/bungalow in Mui Ne –
“Lang Ca Voi Resort” which I recommend you 100%. Not only the facility was beautiful but also the host was very thoughtful and helpful! I will never forget her kind hospitality.
On the first day we just explored the beach of Mui Ne for a bit and had yummy food.
On the next day at 4.30am a jeep came to bring us to the desert (40min drive). We just asked the hotel host to help us arrange this tour.
We arrived there perfectly at sunrise – beautiful view over the desert. But actually I was a little bit disappointed because the Desert was way smaller than expected. But yeah, it’s not like we are in Dubai haha.
For taking pictures it’s perfect tho.
Also quads driving was fun (500k VND -40 min)
Good place to eat in the morning – “Y Thao” Pho Bo Kho : 256 Nguyen Dinh Chieu
After eating we just head to the Hot spring center to relax before driving back to Saigon.
Saigon, also called Ho Chi Minh City is the most modern and prosperous city in Vietnam. This is the city where opportunities are waiting for us and dreams come true. Here you can experience cool parties, awesome bars and great shopping! Food is different than in Hanoi. I think Hanoi still has the best range of food, especially more street food while in Saigon you are usually eating in restaurants. Party in Saigon is like in Europe, there is no time limit and you can go out until late night, while in Hanoi it is officially closed at about 12.30am. You can go shopping in Saigon in many little boutiques, such as Nosbyn, Popbirdy, Ren, The Blue T-shirt, Pocosin, Floralpunk and so many more. On Nguyen Hue Street is also a Plaza which called “Lucky Plaza” there you can get exported stuff for a cheaper price, for example brands like Zara, Pull&Bear, Forever21 and more.
We always enjoy our time in Saigon a lot, because most of our friends are living here and also there are so many things to do! Saigon is a never sleeping city with is so much fun at every time!
Places we recommend you in Saigon:
Huu Tieu – 28 Trần Cao Vân, Q3
Banh canh cua – 87 Trần Khắc Chân, Tân Định
Pizza 4ps – 8/15, Lê Thánh Tôn
Café Xinh Oldschool – 330/2 Phan Đình Phùng, q. phú Nhuận
San Fu Lou Cantonese Kitchen – 76A Le Lai
Quán Phở Phú Gia – 146 Lý Chính Thắng
Au Parc – 23 Hàn Thuyên, Bến Nghé
Authentic Vietnamese Food:
Cục Gạch Quán – 10 Đặng Tất, Tân Định
Quán Bụi – 17a Ngô Văn Năm, Bến Nghé
Hoa Tuc (in the Refinery compound) – 74/7E, Hai Ba Trung Street, Ben Nghe Ward
SI Vietnamese fusion – 7A Ngô Văn Năm, Bến Nghé
Crystal Jade in Legend Hotel – 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang
Ocean Palace – 2 Lê Duẩn, Bến Nghé
Boaz Dimsum – 86-88 Nguyễn Tri Phương, Phường 7
Bar & Coffee nightlife:
Qui Cuisine Mixology – 22 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé
Stoker – 44 Mạc Thị Bưởi
Heritage Coffe 10 Pasteur – Open 24h with cool music and people
Broma Bar – 41 Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé
Glow Skybar – 93 Nguyễn Du
Più – Piu Bar – 97 Hai Bà Trưng
The Fishsauce – Rooftop Level 6, 41 Lê Duẩn (in OCB Bank)
The Penthouse – 208 Đường Nguyễn Trãi, Phạm Ngũ Lão
Lush (Ladies night Tuesday!) – 2 Lý Tự Trọng