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Vietnam - 7 days from HCM

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I am seeking itinerary suggestions. We have 7 days in Vietnam, which does not include 2 travel days. We fly in and out of Ho Chi Minh - Christmas week - Dec 2015. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children, ages 3 and 6. Our priorities are cultural experiences and natural beauty, although leisure for the children is important too. Off the beaten path ranks high for us, although the children may limit us somewhat. We are willing to rent a car, if that is recommended.

So, the question is how many days in Ho Chi Minh? Should we include a Mekong Delta day trip or overnight or skip altogether? Which other city or cities north of Ho Chi Minh would you prioritize given our time constraints. I am thinking we can only get to one or possibly two cities outside of Ho Chi Minh - we might consider a domestic flight or train ride, if need be.

Thank you!

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