Itinerary #1: Highlights of Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi & Ha Long Bay
Great for first-time visitors to Vietnam, you'll cover three top destinations on this six-day highlights tour. Begin in Ho Chi Minh City, embark on an exciting excursion along the Mekong Delta, tour the capital city of Hanoi, and relax on an overnight cruise of Ha Long Bay.
|Day 1||Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Guided Tour||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Day 2||Mekong Delta Day Trip||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Day 3||Transfer to Hanoi & City Tour||Hanoi|
|Day 4||Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Junk Boat Overnight Cruise||Ha Long Bay|
|Day 5||Cruise Bai Tu Long Bay, Return to Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 6||Depart Hanoi|
After arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, you'll see colonial landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the City Hall, and the harrowing War Remnants Museum. Enjoy a day cruising the Mekong Delta, stopping at My Tho's Rach Mieu Suspension Bridge and Nhon Thanh Market to purchase locally crafted artisanal products along the way. Transfer to bustling Hanoi and see the centuries-old Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. Indulge in local delicacies on a street food tour in the city's Old Quarter. Try pho (herby noodle soup), bun cha ta (grilled pork and noodles), banh mi (a meat-filled baguette), and bia hoi (local beer).
A four-hour drive takes you to Ha Long Bay harbor, where you'll begin your overnight junk boat cruise through one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Watch the sunset from the top deck and tuck into traditional Vietnamese cuisine as you sail through the stunning bay. Tour the stalactites and stalagmites at Thien Canh Son Cave and relax on the beautiful white-sand beaches of Ho Co (Grass Island) on your last full day before returning to Hanoi for your final night in Vietnam. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Explore Northern Vietnam: Hanoi, Ninh Binh & Ha Long Bay
Travelers looking to travel less and dedicate their time to just one area of the country will enjoy this six-day itinerary focusing on Vietnam's north. Explore the local markets and take part in a food tour in the capital city of Hanoi, go on a day trip to Ninh Binh to see the Bich Dong Pagoda, and spend two days on a leisurely cruise in Ha Long Bay.
|Day 1||Arrive in Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 2||Hanoi City Sightseeing & Street Food Tour||Hanoi|
|Day 3||Day Trip to Ninh Binh||Hanoi|
|Day 4||Cruising & Kayaking in Ha Long Bay||Ha Long Bay|
|Day 5||Cruising in Ha Long Bay, Return to Hanoi||Hanoi|
|Day 6||Depart Hanoi|
Upon arrival in Vietnam's thriving capital city, take your time to get accustomed to the bustling streets of Hanoi. Stroll through the Old Quarter and learn about Vietnamese culture and cuisine at Thanh Ha Market and Dong Xuan Market. Sample traditional culinary delights such as bun dau (tofu served in soup with rice noodles and fermented shrimp paste), pho sot vang (noodle soup with pork and herbs), and banh cuon (pork mince rice rolls). Visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda Buddhist shrine on an island in Tay Ho ("West Lake") and the stunning One Pillar Pagoda.
That following night, you'll dedicate an entire evening in Hanoi to a guided food tour to try even more traditional local dishes. Then on Day 3, discover Ninh Binh on a day trip from Hanoi, see the temples in Hoa Lu, and marvel at the cave temples filled with Buddhist statues at Bich Dong Pagoda. Relax on a boat trip in Trang An and spot sights such as Dia Linh Mountain and the Vu Lam Royal Steps. Days 4 and 5 will be spent on a picturesque cruise through Ha Long Bay, where you'll see the renowned Kissing Rock and swim or kayak around hidden beaches, coves, and grottoes. Enjoy a final evening in Hanoi before departing Vietnam. Learn more
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Itinerary #3: Central Vietnam: Hoi An, Cam Thanh Village & An Bang Beach
This trip plan concentrates on the highlights of central Vietnam, ideal for visitors who like to travel at a slower pace and focus their attention on a small part of the country. You'll spend six days exploring the magical lantern city of Hoi An. Take a food tour through the markets, visit Cam Thanh Village on an eco-boat day trip, and head to An Bang Beach for a final day of relaxing.
|Day 1||Arrive in Da Nang, Transfer to Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 2||Foodie Tour in Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 3||Cam Thanh Village Tour & Basket Boat Adventure||Hoi An|
|Day 4||Explore Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 5||An Bang Beach Day||Hoi An|
|Day 6||Return to Da Nang, Depart|
Land at Da Nang Airport and immediately transfer to Hoi An for the next six days. Your first experience will be a tasty food tour to explore some of Vietnam's world-class cuisine. Try authentic dishes such as Hoi-An-style roasted pork, fried spring rolls, cao lau (chewy noodles), white rose (Hoi An dumplings), and classic Vietnamese coffee. Venture on an eco-tour of Cam Thanh Village, where you'll cruise amid the 208-acre (84 ha) Bay Mau Palm Forest. Paddle in a Vietnamese bamboo basket boat and have a go at crab fishing before returning to Hoi An.
Rent a bicycle to explore the city at your own pace and marvel at the beautiful Chinese temples, the embellished Japanese Covered Bridge, and the French-inspired wooden houses and storefronts. Avid coffee drinkers will delight in sampling flavorsome Vietnamese drip coffee, and culinary fanatics should seek out a bowl of the best pho in the city. Journey 2 miles (3 km) north of Hoi An to spend your last full day in Vietnam relaxing, drinking, and swimming at An Bang Beach, taking in a final sunset before departing the next day. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Hidden Beauty of North Vietnam
This six-day adventure in Northern Vietnam is perfect for intrepid travelers who favor venturing off the beaten track and seeking out hidden gems on a self-drive tour. Spend the night in a local homestay in the Quan Ba district, marvel at the beautiful rice fields and waterfalls on the way to Dong Van and Bao Lac, and go swimming, kayaking, or boating in the Ba Be lakes of Ba Be National Park.
|Day 1||Drive to Quan Ba from Hanoi||Quan Ba|
|Day 2||Village Trek & Drive to Dong Van||Dong Van|
|Day 3||Drive to Bao Lac||Bao Lac|
|Day 4||Drive to Ba Be National Park||Ba Be National Park|
|Day 5||Boating in Ba Be Lakes||Ba Be National Park|
|Day 6||Return to Hanoi, Depart|
Begin this hidden gems itinerary from Hanoi to the northern tip of Vietnam. Stop for lunch in Tuyen Quang before arriving in the hilly town of Tam Son in the Quan Ba district. Relax for the evening in a local homestay before kicking off Day 2 with a village-to-village trek through lush rice paddies and past cascading waterfalls. Pay a visit to the local village hemp shop in Lung Cu to collect some souvenirs, then continue through the northern landscapes of limestone mountains, plunging valleys, and quiet villages.
Stop at the spectacular Vuong Palace, built in Chinese-Hmong style by the French in the 1920s, before you arrive in Dong Van for the evening. Drive through Dong Van Geopark, stopping to admire Ma Pi Leng peak and the Nho Que River along the way. Spend the night in Bao Lac, then depart for Ba Be National Park, where you'll enjoy two days of walking, cycling, swimming, kayaking, and boating through the Ba Be Lakes and hidden caves. Experience homemade teas and treats at a traditional tea plantation on your way back to Hanoi. Learn more
More Great Vietnam Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Vietnam? Check out these other Vietnam itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.