Vietnam was one of the best places I have ever been, especially the north. I could and WILL go back and spend a lot more time exploring. It offers something for everyone.
Accommodation: Dinh Thanh Cong
Food: Street Food is the way to go, usually at a night market.
Activities: Mekong River Overnight Boat Tour - Can Tho: This is much more touristy, and if you want to see the biggest floating market...this is the tour. I wanted to see something more authentic, and there are about 15 villages on the Mekong.
Tra Su Forrest Tour - this is also on the Mekong, and is perfect. It's much more rural and off the beaten track, called Chau Doc. It cost $20, and this gentleman will happily organize for you: email@example.com. (7am-Midnight)
HO CHI MINH
Accommodation: Khoi Hostel or Saigon Backpackers Hostel (really central!)
Activities: - Ben Than Market
- War Remenants Museum (one of the hardest and heaviest things I did on my trip. It brought me to tears. Highly recommend, but dont plan much else afterwards).
- Cu Chi Tunnels (worth it! very touristy but really interesting to see)
Accommodation: Dalat Alan Hostel - This place is awesome, super cheap, includes free breakfast and has a family dinner also free which is a great way to meet people. I ended up meeting some of my best friends here.
Food: Maze Bar
100 Rooftops Bar
Activities: Canyoning Tour (with Viet Action tours). The guides are crazy but we had SO MUCH FUN!
Dalat Countryside Tour OR Rent a motorbike
PHOTO BY: VIET ACTION TOUR CO
Accommodation: Mama's House Guesthouse or Little Leo Homestay
Food: Cafe 43 (3,000d beer on tap!)
Banh Mi Phuong
Banh Mi Queen
Ganesha Indian Restaurant
Activities: Ancient "Old" Town (spend a day here)
Tailoring (look around. bargain. DO NOT go to a place recommended by a hostel or homestay. The prices are jacked and they make 50% commission).
Cau Rai Beach - Cycle Here!
My Son Temple
Cooking Class - WITH CAFE 43! (Highly recommend. Other places charge 50$ but this one was $7 total, and we got to learn 6 dishes. It was SO much fun).
Accommodation: Danang Beach Hotel
Activities: Dragon Bridge
BOTH VERY TOURISTY
© Kelli Spencer Photography
Accommodation: Hanoi 3B Hotel or Republik Hostel (the free breakfast here is AMAZING!)
Food: Giant Cafe for the local 'egg' coffee
Bun Bo Nam Bo (I ate here once a day...)
Banh Mi 25
Buncha "Obamas Place" (Buncha is my favorite vietnamese food...and for some reason people don't know about it...find this place or try BunCha. And don't worry...it's supposed to be served luke-warm to cold)
Activities: Old Quarter - 1 day and find the railway. (3pm weekends and 7pm weekdays)
Day Trip to Tam Coc
HALONG BAY & CAT BA ISLAND
Accommodation: Victor Charlie Hostel (Cat Ba Island)
Happy Halong Hostel (Halong Bay)
Thao Minh New Star Hotel (Cat Ba Island)
Activities: Cat Ba National Park (Rent a motorbike and hike to the top!!!! Incredible views, and no one goes here)
Bai Tho Mountain (The iconic view is here)
Day Cruise through Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay - Better than the overnight cruise...and only about $15!
Kayaking Halong Bay
Accommodation: Primrose Homestay
Activities: Ban Gioc Dietian Waterfalls (we rented motorbikes and this is a HAUL on a bike. You can also book a tour out to here. It's worth it. If you are comfortable on a bike, rent one and explore for a very full day or overnight. Be careful not to drive into China!)
Nguòm Ngao Cave