When plotting your grand adventure in Vietnam, try to visit both the north and south, as this country packs a lot into a relatively small size. It's possible to see both regions in just a few days, but the longer you have, the more excursions you can take, like boat tours, mountain hikes, and visits to ethnic villages. And if time isn't an issue, add in trips to the central coast, northern bays, scenic river deltas, and more.
Vietnam Travel Insights
Head off the beaten path and into a land of wonders on this week-long exploration of central Vietnam. After a whirlwind tour of Hanoi, you'll catch a sleeper train down the coast to Dong Hoi. Explore the spectacular natural caves of Thien Duong and Phong Nha, then take a fascinating journey through the DMZ to reach the historic city of Hue. Discover its imposing Imperial Citadel, take a boat trip down the Perfume River, and venture into the surrounding countryside to cycle through a 500-year-old village and meet the fishermen of the Tam Giang Lagoon.
A trip to northern Vietnam is like returning to a bygone age before the encroachment of modern life. The region is comprised of highland mountains, terraced rice fields, serene lakes, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil rivers. These scenic landscapes are the perfect backdrop for an extended road trip and cultural exchange with the hill tribespeople in local villages, which is just what you'll do over 10 unforgettable days.
Cultural wonders and natural beauty abound on this 15-day journey through Vietnam and Cambodia. With an itinerary packed full of world-famous highlights and off-the-beaten-path gems, you'll set out from the buzzy capital of Hanoi to cruise through the magnificent Ha Long Bay, cycle through the countryside of Hue, and learn to fish with the locals in Hội An. After a trip through Ho Chi Minh's past and a leisurely float down the Mekong Delta, it's time to hop over to Cambodia and end your adventure among the ancient temples of Angkor Wat.
Make your travel plans wisely to get the most out of a week in Vietnam. Try a northern adventure that takes you to the colonial streets of Hanoi and the mountains of Sapa, or go on a southern tour of Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. See highlights of the north and the south on an itinerary that also includes stops at coastal cities like Hội An and Huế, or choose an off-the-beaten-path adventure to river caves, national parks, and country villages. The below itineraries cover all these options and more.
For a relatively small country, Vietnam offers something for everyone, be it mountain hikes, city tours, or lazing on tropical beaches. The options for excursions are near endless, as you could focus on feature cities like Hanoi, Hội An, and Ho Chi Minh, or opt for expeditions in national parks and trips on famous waterways like the Mekong Delta. Whatever your interest, the below itinerary options cater to every taste.
Turn a brief five-day vacation to northern Vietnam into an unforgettable discovery of Hanoi's secret gems and a visit to the beautiful river lands of Ninh Bình Province. You could also see the central coast and the ancient citadel of Huế, or travel further south beyond the bright lights of Ho Chi Minh City where an exciting excursion to the Mekong Delta awaits. And if you're eager for a hike amid the rice terraces and humble villages of rural Vietnam, consider five days discovering the Pù Luông Nature Reserve.
On this family itinerary, you'll pair the diversity of Vietnam and the cultural treasures of Cambodia. Over two weeks, experience classic sites including the charming streets of Hanoi, cruising the impressive Halong Bay, strolling the markets of bustling Ho Chi Minh City, and exploring the palatial and mysterious Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Your trip goes beyond guided tours allowing you many chances to get to meet locals in villages, take cycling through the countryside, and learn how to cook traditional foods.
With two weeks, you can travel the length of Vietnam plus add Cambodia or Thailand into the mix. Should you choose an exclusive Vietnam adventure, there are many highlight cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to see while also leaving time for mountain hikes, river trips, countryside tours, and visits to ancient landmarks. The five diverse itineraries below cover the best options.
Both north and south Vietnam offer optimum dry and sunny conditions, although much of the north is now becoming quite cool. In Central Vietnam, the monsoon rains are coming to an end, with plenty of sun in the mix—perfect for beach lovers. And, yes, even Christmas is celebrated! There’s nothing much not to like about Vietnam in December, except that both the numbers of visitors and prices soar.
Central Vietnam is still at its rainiest. But this is one of the best times to visit north or south Vietnam, which now bask in sunshine—perfect for beach vacations and active adventures. The high season is now in full gear with good reason: the north and south are enjoying some of the best conditions of the year.
The skies finally clear in North Vietnam in October, and the summer monsoon rains gradually fade away in the south, making this a great month for getting off the beaten track in either region while rains sodden Central Vietnam. And there’s no cheaper month to get there.
Overall the wettest month of the year, as Central Vietnam’s autumnal monsoon season begins while north and south Vietnam are approaching the tail-end of their summer monsoon season. As rains lighten in the north, mountain trekking is once again possible. And there are still plenty of sunny days in the mix nationwide, while this is one of the cheapest months for travel.
Things remain unchanged nationwide as north and south Vietnam endures the sultry monsoon wet season sauna, while Central Vietnam enjoys the last month of dry sunny weather before its monsoon begins. Shoulder season prices are attractive, so don’t let the rains put you off. There’s still plenty of fun in the sun to be had in August.
July mirrors June and is a mixed bag weather-wise. Both north and south Vietnam are in the midst of the monsoon wet seasons, while the coastal lowland and offshore islands of Central Vietnam still bask in rain-shadow sunshine, and its beaches are the country’s main draw in July. International visitors are relatively few, but Vietnamese families are traveling en-masse.
Vietnam is well into its summer monsoon season by now, and most everywhere except the coastal lowlands of Central Vietnam—which remains dry and sunny—you’ll need to account for high rainfall. With rain now spreading across the northern mountains and Central Highlands, this is a time to focus on a beach vacation while visitor numbers are the lowest of the year.
May is a transition month between spring and summer, with a good deal of rainfall and high temperatures in most of the country. Central and southern Vietnam enter into the steamy wet season, while Hanoi and the north remain relatively temperate and perfect for active adventures. With relatively few visitors this month, May offers plenty of reasons to visit, including plenty of days of sunshine.
By April, Vietnam’s spring peak season is drawing to a close. Prices remain low. And the weather is still sublime throughout the length of the nation, with little rainfall and plenty of bright sunny days. Plus, there are several important festivals to enjoy. Visit in April and you’ll experience Vietnam at its very best.
March offers sublime weather, with mostly bright sunny days the entire length of the country. There’s no better month for active adventures, especially trekking, with Goldilocks temperatures and little rain. For that reason this is still the spring peak travel season, but with the advantage of fewer visitors than February, and lower airfare costs.
February is a great month to travel in Vietnam, with mostly gorgeous sunny weather throughout the country. Visitor numbers are higher than January or March: in fact, this is the second busiest month of the year. And Vietnam’s premier celebration, Tet (Vietnamese New Year), culminates a month full of festivals that add cacophonous color and fun.
Vietnam in January is perfect, as the country has stepped out of the hot rainy season and you can bask in sunshine and mild temperatures—a great time, in particular, to enjoy the beaches of central Vietnam. Plus, the entire country explodes in joyous celebration of Tet, the six-day-long Vietnamese New Year.
This packed two-week itinerary includes all the highlights of Vietnam from south to north. Beginning in Ho Chi Minh City, you'll tour the historic metropolis once known as Saigon, plus take a river trip up the Mekong Delta—and that's just the beginning. The rest of the trip combines sightseeing in Hanoi and the river town of Hội An, as well as cruising the otherworldly jade-green waters and towering green islands of Hạ Long Bay.
Take the family on an in-depth discovery of a singularly beautiful country that's the well-spring of a deep culture: Vietnam. Over two weeks, you'll see it all, from the colonial Old Quarter of Hanoi to the terraced rice fields of Sapa and the historic fishing ports of the central coast. The trip culminates around the former Saigon, where you'll tour Ho Chi Minh City and explore the Mekong Delta by boat.
This two-week odyssey includes visits to some of the most historic cultural sites not only in Vietnam but in Cambodia, too. Beginning in Vietnam, you'll tour the capital of Hanoi, cruise along gorgeous Hạ Long Bay, and visit the UNESCO World Heritage river town of Hội An. After a stop in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), you'll jet off to Cambodia and tour the largest religious temple site in the world: Angkor Wat.
This two-week adventure packs two of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia into one itinerary. You'll arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam, and enjoy city tours on the back of a scooter plus kayak excursions on the jade waters of Hạ Long Bay. Then you're off to Thailand, where you'll discover the secrets to its cuisine in a cooking class, walk amid the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya, and travel north to Chiang Mai where you'll see more historic temples.
Vietnam is a great place to bring the whole family, as you'll find out when you travel the country over 10 action-packed days. This itinerary features ample city tours plus an overnight cruise on the gorgeous emerald waters of Hạ Long Bay. You'll also experience the cultural heritage of Vietnam as you travel by bicycle to the Mekong Delta to visit organic farms and floating market villages, where you'll learn to fish from traditional basket boats.
On this 10-day adventure, you'll visit the highlight cities of Vietnam plus gorgeous national parks and UNESCO landmarks like Hạ Long Bay. It begins in Hanoi, where you'll not only tour the historic Old Quarter but also embark on a bike trip to country villages. Then, after cruising the jade waters of the aforementioned Hạ Long Bay, you'll fly to the central and southern coasts, visiting the ancient port city of Hội An and historic landmarks in and around Ho Chi Minh City.
The highlights of Vietnam are many, and you'll see a good deal of them over 10 incredible days. First, it's city tours of Hanoi followed by an overnight cruise around Hạ Long Bay, with its jade waters and limestone islets. After visiting the ancient coastal towns of Huế and Hội An, you'll finish the journey in the south with a Vespa tour around Ho hi Minh City, followed by a boat trip-cycling adventure on the Mekong Delta.
Explore the highlights of Vietnam from its southern cities to its northern coast. You'll start the journey in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and discover its French-colonial heritage on a city tour. After embarking on an adventure to the Mekong Delta, you'll fly north to Hanoi and walk the streets of its ancient Old Quarter before ending the trip cruising the jade waters of gorgeous Hạ Long Bay.
This quick seven-day getaway combines a bit of city life with a lot of beach time. You'll arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, a southern Vietnamese metropolis that balances a modern edge with historic French-colonial landmarks. Then you're off to the coast, where you'll laze on the white-sand beaches and enjoy optional leisure activities ranging from water sports to paragliding.
In just a week, you'll travel through highlights of one of the most beautiful countries in the world. This itinerary through Vietnam starts with city tours of Hanoi's historic Old Quarter, then heads to the coast for an overnight cruise on the emerald green waters of Hạ Long Bay. Later, you'll jet to the central coast, where you'll cap the adventure with a tour of Hội An, the most ancient and well-preserved port city in the nation.
This quick five-day tour of Vietnam's north lasts less than a week but covers the major highlights. It begins in Hanoi, where you'll see historic temples dating back thousands of years, plus discover the delicious flavors of Vietnam on a street-food tour. Then you'll head to the Gulf of Tonkin and Hạ Long Bay, where you'll hop on a cruise boat for an overnight journey on stunning emerald waters and amid towering limestone islands.
This five-day tour gives you the best of northern Vietnam, from Hanoi to the fertile river lands of Ninh Bình and finally to Hạ Long Bay. In Hanoi, you'll immerse yourself in the culture, enjoy delicious street food, and visit famous landmarks like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. You'll then travel to Ninh Bình for a boat journey on the river, followed by a trip to Hạ Long Bay, known for its emerald waters and over 1,000 uninhabited islands.
Travel deep into the cultural heart of Vietnam on this five-day excursion. It's an adventure beyond popular cities to the lesser-visited metropolises of Huế and Hội An. Besides road trips along the stunning coast and tours of ancient sights, you'll also see how locals live on a visit to a traditional fishing village, plus spend the day at a community project that raises money for disabled artisans.
This five-day excursion is the perfect chance to visit a side of Vietnam that many tourists never get to see. This is southern Vietnam, known for the gorgeous Mekong River Delta and Ho Chi Minh City, the historic metropolis once known as Saigon. You'll visit both, traveling by land and water on an adventure that includes visits to fascinating wartime tunnels and a tour of the famous floating river markets on the delta.
Experience all of the highlights of Vietnam on one trip with this extensive itinerary. Wander the streets of Hanoi, bike through small fishing villages and rice paddies, experience the beauty of Halong Bay, see the hidden charm of Mekong Delta, and explore the ancient Hindu temple ruins at My Son Holy Land.
Vietnam is a long, skinny country bookended by extremes: the northern areas bordering China are mountainous, while the Mekong Delta in the south is tropical. In between are vibrant cities, temperate highlands, and a huge range of natural attractions. While you can visit at any time of year, it's important to plan where you go around the country's climatic differences—you won't want to hit the beaches in summer, for example, or the northern mountains in winter. Read on for more tips on when to visit Vietnam.
Explore the cultural and natural highlights of Vietnam on this 17-day trip. Arrive in Hanoi and indulge in a street food walking tour, followed by a day at Pu Luong National Park and dinner with a local host family. Next, explore the beauty of Trang An's caves, followed by an overnight cruise along Halong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. Then, trek through Phong Nha National Park and camp overnight before discovering the stunning Tu Lan Cave System. Next is Hue, and another dinner with a local family, as well as a tour of the ancient city. Head to Hoi An for some sightseeing, a free day, and a fishing village tour. The trip concludes in Ho Chi Minh City with a Vespa tour and a day trip to the Mekong Delta.
On this odyssey in Vietnam, you'll discover historic cities, scenic caves, and delicious local flavors. In Hanoi, you'll visit the first university in Vietnam and the infamous Hoa Lo Prison. Then it's a boat tour of massive caves followed by a tour of the Imperial Citadel of Huế. Throughout the trip, you'll sample the deep flavors of authentic Vietnamese food and drink throughout the trip.
Tied the knot and want a customized trip to celebrate your love? Try honeymooning in Vietnam. This 10-day tour combines culture, relaxation, beautiful landscapes, and a touch of adventure, perfect for an unforgettable honeymoon. Starting in Hanoi, you'll spend two luxurious nights in the esteemed Topas Ecolodge amid some of the region's most remote hill tribe communities, overnight in a private cabin on Hạ Long Bay, and end your stay in postcard-perfect Hoi An.
Spend 13 days exploring some of the far corners and favorite cities of Vietnam. You'll not only explore Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but also trek through the mountainous northwest, visiting ethnic minority villages. Cruise through limestone formations to Cat Ba island and along the Mekong river to see what life is like across the country.
On this 11-day tour of Vietnam, enjoy a mix of cultural and active excursions. Begin in Ho Chi Minh City with sightseeing, then take a 21-mile bike ride from the Mekong Delta to Long An, passing orchards and villages along the way. Next, take a boat along the famed floating markets in Cai Be and Can Tho before winding down with some free time to relax by the beach and visit the temples and markets of Phu Quoc.
Vietnam is one of the most intriguing destinations in Southeast Asia, with its sublime mix of tropical coast, remote farming villages, and cities filled with culinary delights and historical significance. Learn about the nation’s harrowing past in Ho Chi Minh City, eat your way through Hoi An, or cruise through the panoramic jewel of Halong Bay with this roundup of highlights and itinerary ideas.
Take in the rural villages, misty pine forests, and lush tropical coastal forests on this unforgettable 11-day cycling itinerary. Start in Dalat to see where Asia's favorite coffee is grown, then descend to the coast to see fishing villages maintain traditional ways of life. Cycle along the coast to reach the heritage trade town of Hoi An, then top off your trip with a cruise on the beautiful and tranquil Lan Ha Bay.
Led by a local guide, this weeklong bike trip begins in Vietnam's majestic highlands—with views of coffee plantations and misty pine forests—and descends to the South China Sea. This is where you'll ride along the picturesque coast toward the UNESCO-listed ancient trade town of Hoi An while interacting with locals, relaxing on the beach, and dining on fresh seafood for an adventure rarely experienced by tourists.
Travel from the mountains of the north through the history of Vietnam down to the southern river delta on this twelve-day itinerary. You'll start off with two days of cycling through northern Vietnam's nature reserves, then cruise through the dramatic karst scenery of Ha Long Bay. Explore the historic sites and modern city life in Hue and Hoi An before making your way south down the Mekong Delta, ending your trip in the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City.
Head from Hanoi up into northern Vietnam for six days of highland journeys. You'll make your way over mountain roads, past dramatic scenery through villages and markets, then spend two days amid the tranquility of the Ba Ba Lakes before you return to Hanoi.
Escape the city on this 5-day village-to-village trek through the idyllic countryside of northern Vietnam. Go off the beaten path as you hike through peaceful forests, verdant valleys, and along terraced rice fields. You'll get to know some of the ethnic Thai locals who call this remote region home as they host you on a series of homestays.
Retirees Neil and Kate Mann are self-described "fiercely independent travelers." They love every aspect of planning a trip, but decided to enlist some help from kimkim for their most ambitious endeavor yet: a month-long journey through Vietnam and Cambodia. Neil shares his favorite moments, the importance of cultural experiences, and advice for travelers interested in recreating their itinerary.
See all the classic highlights on this nine-day trip to magical Vietnam. Roam around the bustling streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, cruise on the azure waters of Ha Long Bay, and hike to villages and terraced rice paddies in the countryside. This tour is ideal for first-time visitors or travelers with limited time who want a well-rounded showcase of Vietnam's history, charm, and natural beauty.