The Ultimate Two-Week Itinerary in Vietnam

One of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, Vietnam is a hotspot for nature lovers, thrill seekers and foodies. The picture-perfect landscape, friendly locals and culture make for an incredible experience. Its capital, Hanoi has an old-style feel to it unlike the rest of the country and its winding roads are easy to get lost in. Whereas Ho Chi Minh City is the polar opposite with skyscrapers and modern architecture. Vietnam has so much to offer with delicious food as well as natural wonders like Ha Long Bay. This two-week itinerary will help guide you through the must-visit sights of Vietnam.

Getting there

Getting visa on arrival Vietnam
Getting visa on arrival Vietnam

Deciding on where to fly into Vietnam isn’t always straightforward. The main airports’ travellers fly into tend to be either Hanoi (north), Da Nang (middle) or Ho Chi Minh (south). Most visitors start in the north or the south and make their way through the country from there. The stops along the journey are the same for each just in a reversed order.

Before flying to one of Vietnam’s major airports, you’ll need to have your visa already arranged. Without properly arranging your visa, you could be denied entry which puts a very immediate stop to your travel plans. If you’re not sure where to start, head to and they can help arrange everything for you. You can not only check your visa requirements and costs but easily apply for either an E-Visa or Visa on arrival.

Three Days in Ho Chi Minh City

Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh city
Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh city

Dive into Vietnamese culture and life by starting your incredible two-week journey in Ho Chi Minh City. Unlike any other place, Ho Chi Minh helps immerse you in the culture and offers some great sightseeing experiences. After trying out your first cup of Vietnamese coffee, definitely visit the Ben Than market and the War Remnants Museum. From Ho Chi Minh City you can also take day trips to both the Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnels. Whether you’re on a budget or can splurge on accommodation, there’s plenty of options. Pham Ngu Lao Street is a well-known backpackers street where you can find lots of hostels, bars and cafes.

Two Days in Hoi An & Da Nang

People walking on the streets of old town Hoi An
People walking on the streets of old town Hoi An

From Ho Chi Minh City fly to Da Nang to reduce time spent travelling and make the most out of the two weeks you have available. Internal flights within Vietnam are usually very good value and can be booked in advance or last minute. As Da Nang is so close to Hoi An, you can spend a morning or afternoon exploring the city before heading to Hoi An. The Marble Mountains in Da Nang are worth a visit and offer incredible views of the area.

Take a bus or taxi 30km to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An. An extremely popular designation due to its beauty and array of Chinese lanterns that come to life at night. Wander through the streets, visit the Japanese bridge and try out some delicious street food.

Two Days in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha - Ke Bang cave
Phong Nha – Ke Bang cave

You can either travel by bus or train to reach the national park. Buses leave Hoi An regularly and take the better part of a day to reach their destination. The other option is to take the train from Da Nang to Dong Hoi, then take a bus or private car from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha. If you can it’s best to travel at night so that you can utilise the time you have as much as possible and save on accommodation as well. Phong Nha has three public caves which can be visited. A tour to the Dark Cave includes swimming, zip lining and kayaking through the cave. If you’re looking for something a bit calmer, the Paradise Cave tour includes a boat ride and a chance to explore the cave.

Three Days in Hanoi

hoan kiem lake
hoan kiem lake

Hanoi is not only the capital but also the northern hub and connects many popular destinations together. Both journeys to Ha Long Bay and Sapa will leave from Hanoi so you will be coming and going through the popular city a few times. Explore and get lost in the old streets of Hanoi. Navigate through alleys in the Old Quarter with markets, street food stalls and shops. Take a wander around the Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning and try out some Hanoi delicacies such as an egg coffee, which is surprisingly tasty.

Two Days in Ha Long Bay

tourist junks in amazing Ha Long bay on a sunny day, UNESCO world heritage sight, Vietnam

Most visitors to Ha Long Bay book a tour from Hanoi. There are several options available and many hostels and hotels throughout Hanoi can arrange them for you. Spending a night in Ha Long Bay is an amazing experience and the natural beauty of the area is astounding. You’ll be picked up directly from your hotel and taken by bus to the harbour. Then you’ll board a boat and spend the night in the bay. The majority of trips include swimming and kayaking. For those looking to party, the three-day and two-night Castaway tour is for you.

Two Days in Sapa

Sapa in the mist
Sapa in the mist

Sapa is a beautiful destination to finish off your journey. The mountainous region is breathtaking and renowned for its rice paddies, trekking and minority villages. You can reach Sapa by train, bus or private car hire from Hanoi. While visiting, there a number of hiking options ranging from easy to hard, so make sure you have the energy and the ability to carry it out. If you’ve got the time, the hike up Fansipan mountain leads to spectacular views but it is very physically challenging. If that’s not for you, take the cable car up the mountain to get the rewards of the view without the hard work.

Cat Cat Village is great to explore in Sapa and leads to a waterfall. The mountain town’s relaxing atmosphere and unique culture are truly wonderful. Next head back to Hanoi to catch your plane home and start planning your next adventure.

Immigration Officer Stamping on a Travelling Passport
Immigration Officer Stamping on a Travelling Passport

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