Itinerary #1: Vietnam Panorama: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
Travelers looking for variety will enjoy this comprehensive classic itinerary featuring cities, the countryside, and local experiences that cover Vietnam from north to south. You'll see a wide range of landscapes, from the Mekong River and countryside rice terraces near Pu Luong Nature Reserve to the bustle of cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh and the quiet life of fishing villages.
|Day 1||Arrive in Hanoi, Join in a Local Home-Cooked Dinner||Hanoi|
|Day 2||Cycle Rural Villages, City Tour, Water Puppet Show, Street Food Tour||Hanoi|
|Day 3||Transfer to Mai Chau, Hike in Pu Luong Nature Reserve||Pu Luong|
|Day 4||Explore the Most Remote Area of Pu Luong||Huyen Ba Thuoc|
|Day 5||Explore the Local Village, Transfer Back to Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 6||Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Explore World Heritage Site Bai Tu Long Bay||Ha Long Bay|
|Day 7||Morning Exploration of Bai Tu Long Bay, Transfer to Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 8||Experience Hoi An City & Countryside||Hoi An|
|Day 9||Fly to Ho Chi Minh City||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Day 10||Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City Tour||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Day 11||Day Trip to the Mekong Delta, Visit Cai Be Floating Market & Local Lunch||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Day 12||Depart Ho Chi Minh City|
Begin with a visit to a local home in Hanoi to help prepare food and eat together with a Vietnamese family on Day 1. On Day 2, cycle to nearby villages for a peek into Vietnamese daily life. Choose one of the many museums or temples before tasting authentic local foods on a group tour. Day 3 is for hiking through Pu Luong Nature Reserve with views of terraced rice fields, while Days 4 and 5 are for exploring the remote villages of Pu Luong, where you'll interact with local people and ride a bamboo raft down the river. Day 6 brings boating adventures in Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay, with its towering limestone islands.
On Days 7 and 8, discover the canals and architecture of the ancient town of Hoi An, including the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge and its pagoda. In the countryside, experience the daily tasks of a fisherman, cycle through the country, and cook with a local family. Explore Ho Chi Minh City on Days 9 and 10 with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels used in the Vietnam War, with your guide highlighting landmarks like the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace. Escape the city to boat the waterways of the Mekong River and see a floating market at Cai Be. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Vietnam Culture & Heritage: Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
Experience Hanoi, Hoi An, Ha Long Bay, and Ho Chi Minh on this Vietnam culture and heritage itinerary. People interested in cultural encounters will enjoy tasting authentic pho in Hanoi's Thanh Ha Market, sleeping in a Cham River homestay, cruising on Ha Long Bay's still waters, and learning how to make paper lanterns in Hoi An.
|Day 1||Arrive in Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 2||Transfer to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Hiking & Rafting||Pu Luong Nature Reserve|
|Day 3||Explore Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Transfer to Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 4||Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Cruise & Kayak Ha Long Bay||Ha Long Bay|
|Day 5||Cruise Ha Long Bay, Transfer to Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 6||Transfer to Hoi An, Explore Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 7||Hoi An Cooking Class & Lantern Workshop||Hoi An|
|Day 8||Hoi An Countryside Excursion||Hoi An|
|Day 9||Fly to Ho Chi Minh City||Ho Chi Minh|
|Day 10||Cu Chi Tunnels & Ho Chi Minh City Tour||Ho Chi Minh|
|Day 11||Day Trip to Mekong Delta & Ben Tre||Ho Chi Minh|
|Day 12||Depart Ho Chi Minh|
On Day 1, learn about noodle dishes at Thanh Ha Market and Dong Xuan Market and taste preserved fruits on Hang Cot Street. Discover Pu Luong Nature Reserve's forests, mountains, and villages on Day 2 before a scenic trip down the river to Tan Lap Bridge. While Day 3 brings a trek along verdant paths in Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Days 4 and 5 are for cruising Ha Long Bay, with its glassy waters and limestone islands. Navigate Hoi An's cobblestone streets on Day 6, passing the hundred–year–old Japanese Bridge and Phuc Kien Hall to see if you can sense the city's Chinese, Japanese, and French influences.
Prepare your lunch during a cooking class and learn about Hoi An's lanterns at a lantern workshop on Day 7. Day 8 brings an excursion to the countryside with a cycling trip along the river and meeting anglers to learn about net fishing. Venture to Ho Chi Minh City for the next four days, beginning with food stalls at Ben Thanh Market and District 5. Next, visit the underground tunnels of Cu Chi before seeing the city's palaces and cathedrals and sampling more street food. You'll take a day trip to Ben Tre and the Mekong Delta, where you'll cruise along the Ham Luong River past islands and small villages. Learn more
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Itinerary #3: Active Vietnam Adventure
Following a similar route as the previous two itineraries, this active adventure picks up the pace. It has you mountain biking through the Mai Chau Valley to Pom Coong and Pu Luong Nature Reserve. You'll then kayak Ha Long Bay, pedal and ride a cyclo to the historical sites in Hue and Hoi An, visit the floating markets of Can Rang, and browse bustling Ho Chi Minh City.
|Day 1||Arrive in Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 2||Mountain Bike to Mai Chau||Mai Chau|
|Day 3||Off-Road Cycle to Pu Luong Nature Reserve||Ba Thuoc District|
|Day 4||Trang An Grottoes Boat Trip||Ninh Binh|
|Day 5||Bus to Ha Long Bay & Bai Tu Long Bay Cruise||Ha Long Bay|
|Day 6||Cruise Ha Long Bay & Return to Hue||Hue|
|Day 7||Imperial City Tour, Boat Trip & Rural Bike Ride||Hue|
|Day 8||Royal Tomb Visit & Coastal Drive to Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 9||Fishing Villages & Hoi An Tour||Hoi An|
|Day 10||Fly to Can Tho, Explore||Can Tho|
|Day 11||Floating Market Boat Experience, Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Day 12||Depart Ho Chi Minh City|
Day 1 is for exploring Hanoi and gearing up for the next day's adventures. On Day 2, mountain bike along the peaceful Hoa Binh lakes down to Mai Chau and arrive in the Thai village of Pom Coong, where you'll spend the night. Off-road cycle to Pu Luong Nature Reserve on Day 3, coasting into Don village with views of terraced rice fields. Day 4 brings a boat ride through the meandering streams of the Trang An Grottoes, while on Days 5 and 6, you can cruise through Ha Long Bay and past the karst formations of Bai Tu Long Bay, relax on a secluded island beach, paddle around in a kayak, and take a rowboat tour.
On Day 7, visit Hue's Imperial City, followed by a boat ride along the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda. Next, bike to the flower village of Tien Non and Thanh Tien to try paper-flower-making. Spin through the streets on a cyclo ride to the Dong Ba market and the Royal Tombs before driving to Hoi An, perhaps stopping at Lang Co beach or the Marble Mountains. Boat to a fishing village for a glimpse into the lives of the local fishermen on Day 9. On Day 10, you'll transfer to the riverside villages of Can Tho on the Mekong Delta, and on Day 11, you'll visit the Cai Rang floating markets. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Impressions of Vietnam & Cambodia
This multicountry itinerary is a great way to cover the highlights of both Vietnam and Cambodia. You'll cover a lot of ground by visiting the museums in Hanoi, hiking the mountains of Sapa, touring ancient Hoi An and the surrounding river villages, and visiting Cambodia's ancient temples of Angkor in this busy itinerary.
|Day 1||Arrive in Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 2||Hanoi City Tour, Transfer to Sapa||Sapa|
|Day 3||Hike to a Rural Village||Sapa|
|Day 4||Day Hike Around Sapa||Sapa|
|Day 5||Hanoi to Ha Long Bay, Cruise & Activities||Ha Long Bay|
|Day 6||Fly to Da Nang, Transfer to Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 7||Visit Fishing Village & Hoi An Tour||Hoi An|
|Day 8||Day Trip to My Son Sanctuary||Hoi An|
|Day 9||Transfer to Da Nang, Fly to Siem Reap (Cambodia)||Siem Reap|
|Day 10||Angkor Highlights Tour||Siem Reap|
|Day 11||Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat Day Tour||Siem Reap|
|Day 12||Boat Tour of Tonlé Sap, Depart Cambodia|
On Days 1 and 2, bike around Hoem Kiem Lake in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Browse the markets and street vendors, tour the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius, and see a traditional water puppet show. Hike through the mountains of Sapa and Hoang Lien National Park to the rural village of Sin Chai on Day 3, passing Nam Nhiu, a village home to the nomadic tribe, Red Dao. Stay in Nam Cang village, known for its embroidery. Continue your hike around Sapa on Day 4 to Lech, where you'll have a cultural encounter in a traditional wooden home.
Boat around Ha Long Bay and swim in a secluded lagoon in Lan Ha Bay on Day 5. Explore Hoi An for the next three days, where you'll join in on local fishermen's activities and take a day trip to the Hindu tower temples at the My Son Sanctuary. On Day 9, cross the border to discover Siem Reap, Cambodia. Spend Days 10 and 11 wandering through the Angkor ruins, including Banteay Srey, a Hindu temple made of pink sandstone; Srah Srang, a reservoir used for ritual bathing; the royal city of Angkor Thom, and Angkor Wat's massive temple complex. On Day 12, stop by the floating village of Kompong Pluk. Learn more
More Great 12-Day Vietnam Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Vietnam? Check out these other 12-day Vietnam itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.
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