Vietnam is rightly a traveller’s paradise. With jaw-dropping scenery, a rich repository of heritage, some of the most scrumptious food, and unforgettable experiences lurking around on every corner of the country, a vacation in the Land of the Ascending Dragon is unparalleled to any other experience. Whether it’s exploring the world’s most astounding cave systems in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, or kitesurfing the tropical oceanic waters off Mui Ne, and roaming around ancient temples displaying Chinese influences, there is just too much ground to cover.

But what if you have only 48 hours to discover this piece of gem? Don’t worry, we have got you covered!

Day 1

Make yourself comfortable in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Ho Chi Minh is fun, chaotic, modern and traditional – all rolled into one giant ball of crazy activity. Take a seat at one of the many street food places dotting every nook of the city. Not sure which one to pick? Just go for the one that has the longest queue. Walk along the antique streets and temples in District 5. Join a group of art enthusiasts and tour the various art galleries District One, an area famous for museums, galleries and parks. Go for a river tour on a leisurely trip along the Saigon river to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels. Or head down the Mekong river to discover the colourful lives of locals residing along its banks. Wind down with an evening show at the Opera House, followed by a late dinner by the river at some of the more upscale places that will offer you a great experience of Vietnamese cuisine.

Day 2

Move ahead to Hoi An

Hoi An is possibly one of the most beautiful destinations of Vietnam. Moreover, it is extremely difficult to run out of things to do in this city – from the beach to the shopping and boat trips, there’s plenty to choose from. Soak up the sun on An Bang beach or Cua Dai Beach, both considered the best here. If you are looking for some quiet, ‘me’ time, take a boat trip out to one of the Cham Islands for a private tropical getaway. If you’re adventurous, hop onto one of the local ferries and glide along the many fishing villages, where you’ll see boat yards in production, rice noodles being made in homes, hidden temples and children waving to you. Hoi An is also considered one of the food capitals in the country. Chomp on some white roses, shrimp dumplings made from translucent rice dough, and made in a way they look like roses. Head to another great restaurant called Mango Mango that specializes in Vietnamese fusion cuisine. Make the most out of your night strolling around the ancient streets bustling with silk lanterns and their glow.

Day 3

Spend some time in Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is the second biggest city in the country. With an eclectic mix of the East and the West (communist influence plus remnants of French invasion), it is very popular with tourists. Visit the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a building at the center of ancient Hanoi. Head for a sightseeing tour around the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can see Ho Chi Minh’s preserved body in a glass case. Walk around the Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son, a popular hangout place for locals and tourists. It is a great spot to watch the sunrise or the sunset from. You can also opt to take a bike tour around the city. When you are done walking and biking, soak up some culture in the Hanoi Opera House, modeled after the Paris Opera House, which also happens to be the most beautiful building in Hanoi. Visit the Temple of Literature, watch a unique Water Puppet theatre performance. And most importantly, do not forget to eat some Bun Cha Hanoi. It is considered a must when you are visiting Hanoi and consists of a delicious plate of grilled meat served with sweet and tangy broth with fresh herbs.

So, all set to plan your Vietnam Holiday?

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