|Subject: Hong Kong and Vietnam questions|
This is short on detail, but these are my impressions.
A week in Vietnam is not a long time. Where you stay depends on your interests. Although the Vietnam government calls it Ho Chi Minh City, the people who live there still call it Saigon. I am part of the Vietnam War generation and was quite affected by my visit to that city. There are a number of day trips you can take from there, including to the Mekong Delta, which is well worth it. We took a package, but it was only four of us so we could do whatever we wanted. I think if you check companies like Pacific Delight you will find that you can hook up with a guide for just you or end up with a very small group and have almost as much flexibility as you want to have. Also, from Saigon it would be easy to go to Siem Reap in Cambodia to spend two to three days at Angkor, which is one of the most amazing sites I have ever visited. The photographs we see do not even come close to doing it justice.
Have you considered Hanoi? Other parts of the country are more easily accessible and the city itself is very interesting. It feels much more conservative than Saigon. Our guide there was far less flexible than the guide in Saigon, and her grasp of English was not as good.
There are several people on the list who did travel independently in Vietnam without difficulty, and, having been there once, I would do it upon returning. It just might be limiting with only 7 days.
Lisa in Chicago