An Awesome Two-Week Itinerary for Vietnam

In August I went to Vietnam. It was actually my first time in Asia and it was incredible to see this whole culture I’d heard so much about but never actually experienced.

I saw the crazy roads, the mad nightlife and the caring and friendly nature of the locals. I tasted delicious pho for the first time, experienced 15p bia hoi and witnessed the beautiful landscapes of Vietnam during my two-week itinerary.

Time was tight but I wanted to see as much as possible, without seeing too much and spending all my time worrying about my next sleep and how I was going to get there.

Vietnam for two weeks

More than a good few hours of research went into this 2 week itinerary for Vietnam. I spoke to my colleagues at gapyear.com, I looked into what the top travel bloggers had done in Vietnam before me, and I consulted too many websites to list.

Here’s my exact two-week Vietnam itinerary, complete with costs, reasoning, hotel recommendations and links to my experiences in more depth. I hope this helps and if you have any questions, just ask in the comments box below.

Two week itinerary for Vietnam

What to see in Vietnam in two weeks, South to North

Day 1 & 2. Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta, markets

Day 3, 4 & 5. Nha Trang –pagodas, markets, egg baths and snorkelling tour

Day 6, 7 & 8. Hoi An – shopping, beaches, great food and drink

Day 8 & 9. Hanoi – shopping, water puppet show, the lake

Day 10 & 11. Halong Bay – one night on a Junk Boat

Day 12, 13, 14 & 15. Ho Chi Minh City – back there again

– This 2 week Vietnam itinerary contains affiliate links. If you book through them I will earn a few pennies (literally) at no charge to you. You can read my disclosure here.
– All prices correct in October 2013.


I went to Vietnam for two weeks again, a few years later. This time I also visited Phu Quoc and cycled the same route from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi – yeah, all that way!

So take a look at my posts from there if you want to spice up your Vietnam itinerary a bit, or add to the original plans.


Vietnam itinerary

How to see Vietnam in 2 weeks

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Day 1: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City

We flew into Ho Chi Minh City from London on Saturday to arrive on Sunday for 1pm. The flight had cost £675 each about three months before.

We got a taxi to our hotel from the airport. Our hotel, the Saigon Mini Hotel 5 (now shut down, try nearby Bich Duyen Hotel as it was a great location), had already sent us an email detailing precisely how to get there, which was very helpful and reassuring. They told us to only get a Mai Linh or Vinasun taxi, which was advice echoed throughout our trip. The other taxi drivers tried to pretend they were from these companies, or that these companies ‘didn’t pick up here anymore’: not true.

Two-week itinerary Vietnam

The backpacker district of Ho Chi Minh City at the intersection of Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham streets was where we were staying. I’d definitely recommend booking your hotel in this area. It was about a 30-minute drive away from the airport and cost us 170,000 dong for the taxi (£5). He dropped us right at our door.

The staff at Saigon Mini Hotel 5 were lovely and had our train tickets we’d ordered ready for us on baolau.com. This took a weight off our mind, knowing they were sorted. [I’ve just checked in 2019 and they’re still the cheapest IMHO]. More on the trains in Vietnam later.

We were shown to our room, all great, all awesome, very tired.

As a quick round up we spent our first afternoon:

  • Wandering around
  • Cruising the Ben Thanh Market
  • Met a friend and had a delicious dinner of pho (approx £2 each)
  • Drank cocktails up at the Duc Vuong Hotel (approx £2.50 each x5)
  • Relaxed into the Vietnamese way of life
  • Little bit of shopping

One night at Saigon Mini Hotel 5 in a private double for two was 532.800 VND (£15.75).

(Just to repeat: now shut down, try nearby Bich Duyen Hotel as it was a great location)

Other attractions we didn’t visit in Ho Chi Minh City, but you could on your vietnam 2 week itinerary: Grand Independence Palace, Day trip to Cu Chi, Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, Museum of Vietnamese History, Ho-Chi-Minh Museum, Saigon Square.


Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City


Day 2: Mekong Delta tour

We pre-booked our Mekong Delta tour with the Saigon Hotel at 220,000 dong each (£6.44). The hotel let us leave our bags in their luggage room for free as we were leaving that night and we were picked up at 7:30am for the tour. If your selected hotel doesn’t offer this service, just ask at the many tourist information centres in the city.

The bus took us and around 10 others out to the Mekong Delta where we:

  • Rode a lot of different boats wearing the traditional hat
  • Ate elephant fish
  • Went to a cotton candy factory
  • Saw some beekeepers
  • Held a snake
  • Saw a water buffalo
  • Learnt a bit about the area
  • Ate fruit

Two week itinerary for Vietnam

We left the Mekong Delta area at about 5pm and were back at our hotel for 7pm. We had dinner on De Tham Street at Five Oysters and just relaxed after a hard day of sightseeing. It absolutely chucked it down – fun to watch from the safety of our restaurant. The food was yum, and I would definitely recommend.

At 10pm we went and picked up our bags and took a taxi to the train station (70,000 dong/£2). Here we had an ice cream for dessert and got some water for the journey from the shop.

At 11pm the train left the station for Nha Trang. It was $37 each (£23) through Vietnam Impressive for a 4-berth soft bed. Click for more on the trains in Vietnam, but let’s just say for now it was an adventure.


Trains in Vietnam

I’d strongly recommend you book your trains in advance – you don’t want a busy train to ruin your 2 week trip to Vietnam. You can book your trains on baolau.com easily and cheaply. I’ve done my research and it’s the cheapest place to find rail tickets for Vietnam IMHO. Fill in your request here to find out the latest prices… and timings.


Cost of Ho Chi Minh City


Day 3: Sightseeing in Nha Trang

We arrived in Nha Trang at 5:30am and decided to walk to Sun City Hotel where we were staying. It took about 30 minutes along a straight route, although there were plenty of taxis outside if you’d rather.

Thankfully, or I may have cried, they let us check in at 6am. We had a shower and a sleep before a delicious hotel breakfast which was included in the price at 9am.

Food in Vietnam two weeks

Two nights at Sun City in a private double cost $48 (£30). It was a simple room, but suited us and the view from the breakfast room was incredible.

I hadn’t done much research on Nha Trang so wasn’t sure what to do. We decided to take a walk around and go up to the Long Son Pagoda. I had to break at a coffee shop. I can’t describe how tired I was thanks to my train experience and while my boyfriend drank coffee I actually fell asleep at the table. Only three days into 2 weeks in Vietnam and I was shattered.

One hour later and I was able to continue the journey, just. We walked over the bridge taking photos, and then went up to the pagoda which cost 12,000 dong to get in (40p). We spent just over an hour there, it was so, so hot. Pretty cool to look around though and the temples were, odd.

Two-week itinerary Vietnam

We then made our way down and had lunch at one of the river-side restaurants. There were quite a few to choose from and we chose the busiest, don’t know the name though, sorry #badblogger.

After lunch we decided we’d go walking in the blistering heat once more. We walked for about an hour trying to find the market. Eventually we did but were too hot to face the stalls (it was August) so grabbed a beer and sat and watched the goings on for an hour or so.

Two weeks in Vietnam

We made our way back to our hotel to freshen up – a good hour’s walk along the seafront. We popped into the mall there with the aim of getting some cheap earphones: so expensive! It was like shopping at Harrods, not sure how it can sustain itself, but it must do somehow.

Vietnam for two weeks

We then went for a delicious dinner at Galangal. It was next to a cool art gallery, which was what caught our eye originally. The food was incredible. I wish I could taste it now.

We walked after dinner and stumbled across the Tarantino bar – every single thing in it was based around Tarantino, from the cocktail menu, to the bar names to the films showing on the wall. We drank cocktails and played pool for two hours, then left.

Bed time. So happy.


Hanoi to Saigon by bike

Click to find out more!


Day 4: Funky Monkey Snorkelling Tour

We were up early to get our 8:30am bus for the Funky Monkey Snorkelling Tour we’d booked at the front desk at 300,000 dong per person (£9).

We were taken to an aquarium and two different spots to snorkel and jump off the boat. We had a delicious lunch and sang some karaoke on the boat. Saw maybe one fish, but had a great time making friends with the rest of the people on the boat and sunning ourselves on the deck. The staff were awesome.

Two weeks in Vietnam


Take a look at all the things you can do in Nha Trang on Viator.com. 

Things to do in Nha Trang

Includes great deals on speed boats, waterfalls and foodie tours. Also, pedicabs and diving! Take a look. 


They dropped us back at around 5pm.

We were both tired and hungry and just couldn’t find anywhere decent to eat. It was all burger joints, pizzas or pubs. We wanted something more authentic and ended up at a BBQ grill place where they cook the food in front of you. We didn’t enjoy it. It was cheap, but no taste and we had a woman with us cooking at the table the whole time, which was awkward when we just wanted to chat.

Be prepared and take a look at this post from Culinary Vietnam on the best foods to eat in Nha Trang

We went to the Why Not? bar afterwards, ultimate backpacker bar in Nha Trang. The PR girl ended up whacking my boyfriend one in the arm and accusing him of pinching her bum. He definitely didn’t. It turned out it was her friend, but we were done there. We went home to dream about owning a boat and riding the ocean waves, not being falsely accused and assaulted in a skanky bar in Nha Trang.

Other attractions in Nha Trang: Po Nagar Cham Towers, Monkey Island

Day 5: Nha Trang Egg Baths

We slept until about 11am. Needed it. It meant we missed the delicious Sun City Hotel breakfast though so we decided to go for an egg sandwich/Bhan Thai from the lady at the end of our street. Oh my days. It was incredible. I salivate when I think about it now. Please try one if you’re visiting Nha Trang. Anyway, moving on, this post is getting wordy.

Two weeks in Vietnam

We went for a coffee and a smoothie at the Sailing Club on the seafront. Awesome, delicious, and they had some great toilets, if you need.

We then got a taxi up to the Nha Trang Egg Baths in the mountains and had a great afternoon out. Click the link to find out more.

Back in Nha Trang and we decided to go to the Galangang restaurant we went to on the first night again, it was that good. We ordered loads and sat there and scoffed it with big smiles on our faces.

I randomly decided to just check our train tickets again and realised the train left in an hour, not three, oops. Tough being responsible for everything we did in Vietnam for two weeks. We scoffed up and went back to pick up our bags. We’d paid Sun City Hotel an extra half day so we could keep the room to change in for our return from the Egg Baths, and then left our bags in reception while we went for dinner.

We took a taxi to Nha Trang Train Station, seeing as we were running a bit late. I decided to buy a few beers from the shop, but in my haste and the women’s hurrying she ripped me off big style. I ended up paying about £8 for two beers and a packet of M&Ms, oops. I popped to the shop before we left then and bought two more for a fraction of the price.

We boarded the train to Danang at 8pm and settled ourself down for the night on our overnight train through Vietnam. Strangely this was the same price as the Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang leg at $37/£23. If you want to know more check out my trains in Vietnam post.

And as I say, I’d totally recommend booking your Vietnam trains with baolau.com.


CHECK OUT THE BEST BEACHES IN VIETNAM!


Day 6: Arrive in Danang for Hoi An

We arrived in Danang at about 6am and got a taxi to Hoi An. It cost 800,000 dong/£25 and seemed to take ages, or a little over an hour.

We stayed at the Huy Hoang Garden Hotel, which was by far the worst of the trip. Staff were rude, beds were hard and the room was full of bugs. Absolutely full of them. And the breakfast was majorly grim – once you’ve tried that you don’t go back.

Two nights in a private double was $50 (£31). I’d recommend you try somewhere nearer the centre of town though, go for a spot down by the river.

After a little chill out we ventured down to Hoi An to see what was going on.

Two weeks in Vietnam

Hoi An is awesome and needs to be on any Vietnam itinerary, no matter how long you go for. We walked by all the tailor shops, a little intimidated, and went for a coffee along the river. The coffee in Vietnam is absolutely delicious.

We just hung out for the day in Hoi An, lazily walking along the river and still pretty tired from the train journey. We ate more delicious Vietnamese food, including the White Rose that Hoi An is famous for, and more spring rolls.

We went for a boat ride with the lady above, who’s 53 and rows people up and down the river. She took us out to where she lived, and I couldn’t help but feel terrible for having this little old lady row our combined hefty weight around.

The river in Hoi An is absolutely incredibly by night and a definite must. You’ll find people setting off lanterns along the water and compared to the quietness in the day the town is buzzing with people.

Hoi An is absolutely beautiful and definitely needs to be on your Vietnam itinerary.

Day 7: Shopping in Hoi An

We tried to recreate the delicious egg sandwich we had in Nha Trang, but it just didn’t hit the spot in the same way from the road sellers here. The roadside coffee though, now wow, that’s a different thing all together. For next to nothing in a shabby looking coffee bar we had the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. Go for it.

Today was another day of wandering around. We went on an epic walk as far as we dared and were rewarded with some great views out to sea. It was also good to see what Hoi An was really like beyond all the buzz around the river and the market.

We finally got stuck into the shopping and got quite carried away with three dresses, three necklaces, a tie, a top, a bag and two pairs of shoes between us, all made bespoke and for great prices. Remember, barter.

When we’d had enough of the shops we walked over the Japanese Covered Bridge and came across a Japanese and Vietnamese Festival, backstage. That night we were invited to Moe’s Bar to meet the martial arts choreographers and stars of Kill Bill who’d been performing at the festival. It was awesome.

Two week itinerary for Vietnam

Other attractions in Hoi An you could see: My Son, Quang Ngai, Tra Que Village, Hai Van Pass, China Beach, motorbike tour, Marble Mountain, Huyen Khrong Cave, Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, Imperial Citadel, Cua Dai Beach


Take a look at all the things to do in Hoi An on Viator

Hoi An activities


 

Day 8: Collect shopping and go to Hanoi

We collected up our shopping and had a final look around Hoi An before getting a taxi to the airport direct from our hotel. Little bit annoyed with the hotel as I repeatedly checked they were booking us a shuttle bus, but it was an expensive taxi that showed up at £30 to Danang. Ah well, at least we go there a bit quicker. Again, I don’t recommend that hotel.

Two weeks in vietnam

We arrived at Danang Airport to find there was only a Burger King available. Ah well, cheeseburger it is then. One meal off the pho won’t do us any harm. Obviously the change in cuisine was a taste sensation, just as a one off.

Our Jetstar flight left at 3:55pm and arrived in Hanoi at 5:10pm. It was $90 (£55). There were cheaper planes but they were too early. The plane was comfy and easy, just another low cost airline. It felt quite luxurious after all the train journeys.

We arrived in Hanoi and got another taxi. I hadn’t done any research on this one and it took ages, maybe 90 minutes to get to the centre of Hanoi where we were staying. We passed some pretty dodgy places and were both getting worried, but it all turned out ok in the end. We later found out it was because we’d hit rush hour, and I just didn’t realise our hotel on Lo Sun was so far away.

Again, we used Minh and Viasun taxis, as we’d repeatedly been recommended.


CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE VIETNAM ADVICE YOU COULD WANT


two weeks in vietnam

We arrived at Gia Bao Grand Hotel at about 8pm and they welcomed us in. Although, they did tell us we had a free upgrade and only had to pay $10 for the pleasure. We said we didn’t need it and they said we could have it anyway. It was very odd. But we got a huge and comfy room for just $40 (£25) per night. The hotel was really nice and in a great location – I’d recommend it.

Unfortunately I think that’s shut down now so I’d recommend The Hanoian Hotel which looks fantastic and is around the same price.

The Hanoian Hotel

We went on the search for some food and were directed to the backpacker district near the Old Quarter. We went in the first place we saw – 72 Ma May Restaurant– and were led upstairs to what luckily for us turned out to be our own private balcony overlooking the street. We were soon joined by two backpackers who we ended up having a really good night with, lots of chat and fun and I was sad when they left. You have to find this restaurant if you visit Hanoi.

Then we went and had a few drinks in the are and ended up seeing one of the weirdest things in Hanoi.

Day 9: Sightseeing in Hanoi

Two week itinerary for Vietnam

Lots of walking today – we must have done a few miles around the city.

Other attractions in Hanoi to see in vietnam in 2 weeks: Hoa Lo Prison, or try these 52 Coolest Things to Do in Hanoi to keep you busy.


Cost of Hanoi


Day 10: Off to Halong Bay

We were picked up at 8am from our hotel by the guys from Golden Lotus Tours. It was a 5-hour journey out to beautiful Halong Bay. We had one stop along the way at a disabled centre (more on that later) and other than that we charged forward to get there.

Two weeks in Vietnam

On arrival we were taken out to the junk boat via a smaller one and left to explore the ship for a bit. We then parked up and went to the Cave of Wonders. It was just that.

Two weeks in Vietnam

We then went to a beach which was surrounded by the incredible limestone cliffs, which you could climb up for amazing views.

In the evening we had a cooking class and learned to make spring rolls. I have to say mine were pretty amazing. This was followed by more booze and a karaoke party, which was basically the boat staff and a tone deaf Spanish girl belting out stilted English. I stayed outside and drank vodka and chatted to some crazy Ozzie guy about the import and export business in Sydney.

Day 11: Canoeing and back to Hanoi

We woke up a little hazy from the night before at 7am. Then it was time to go kayaking – neither me nor my boyfriend have ever done this before and let’s just say that it didn’t go well, and when you shout at each other in Halong Bay, it echoes. There were some awesome caves to kayak in though, if you can actually steer the bloody thing.

Back on the boat after an hour and we had a semi-delicious English breakfast – it was the beans on toast that excited me. Then it was a three-hour scenic trip back to the mainland.

Two week itinerary for Vietnam

When we touched the shore we had lunch at a tasty restaurant on the coast line, which was included in the price. This was to give us the energy for our 5-hour journey to Hanoi, which I pretty much slept through. Again, we stopped once at a different disabled centre and bought and wrote out some postcards to pass the time.

Finally back in Hanoi and the tour company let us store our bags at their office – which was awesome – and we went off gallivanting round Hanoi’s Old Quarter. We actually ended up going back to the 72 Ma May Restaurant for dinner as it was so delicious on the first night, then polished off an awesome time in Hanoi with a few 15p Bia Hois.

Two weeks in Vietnam

We took a taxi to the airport, now, this was another adventure. I’ll write about it at a later date, but this is when we found out that even though the taxis are metered, they’re definitely still negotiable. Thanks to the 10pm time, it took half as long to get to the airport as it had when we arrived.

We stayed at the Avi Airport Hotel which was just ten minutes from the airport. This was an awesome idea, as there was no stress and who knows how long it would’ve taken in the morning rush hour. The Airport Hotel was pretty skanky, but we had a room, and a bathroom. Wi-Fi didn’t work, we had to climb 5 flights of stairs (the poor bell boy carried our bags) and the TV had no English channels, but it did the job and the staff were super friendly. Nothing better to do than sleep, so we were well rested for our early morning flight.


Have you seen my Vietnam Travel Tips video?

(Just hover over the bar and move the player to get to where you want to go)

Airports (0:32)

Money (1:37)

Costs (2:07, bit more at 14:20)

Hotels (2:45)

Traffic (3:10)

Overnight Trains (3:48)

Mopeds (4:06)

People (4:49)

Westerners (6:00)

Women (6:34)

Family Life (7:28)

Karaoke (7:56)

Language (8:35)

Tourism (9:44)

Food (10:23)

Booze (11:54)

Shopping (12:47)

Beauty (13:26)

Where to Go (14:57)

Wi-Fi (17:00)


 Day 12: Back in Ho Chi Minh City

Woke up at 6am and got our prebooked taxi to the airport – 10 minutes later we were there ready to board our 8:35am-10:40am Jetstar flight back to Ho Chi Minh City. The flight was $70 (£43) each.

Now this is where my two-week Vietnam itinerary will be different to yours, and it’s also what makes this the perfect two-week Vietnam itinerary for you. You now have two days to play with and insert where you like, I had to go back to HCMC for a wedding.

It was refreshing to be back in HCMC, we rode the familiar route into town and got to the Ruby River Hotel where we were to spend our last nights. The hotel was awesome – by far my favourite. The staff treated us like celebrities and nothing was too much trouble. It was in a great location too and turn left and there’s the best pho stall ever. Spicy, especially in the hot sun, but delicious.

Two weeks in Vietnam

We met up with friends who were also going to the wedding and spent the afternoon exploring and drinking and chatting about sex tourists in Vietnam. Then we went to the pre-wedding dinner as a twelvesome. Loved it.

Day 13: And relax

We hung out and explored some more. We went to the designer district, although it was still too pricey for me. It rained and we ended up in the incredible War Museum, but that’s definitely better covered in a separate post. I strongly recommend it though.

We also took a look at Reunification Palace from the outside, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. We ended the day with another big group meal and some bia hoi in the backpacker district afterwards. It was nice to chill out with friends and not rush around like mad dogs trying to look at things as we’d spent the last few days doing.

Ended up doing a lot of shopping and spending quite a few dong on the streets of Saigon too.


WHAT TO PACK FOR VIETNAM

Click to find out!


Day 14: Wedding day

The big day, the reason we were in Vietnam, the wedding. It started at 8am and went on till 1am, but more on that later.

Two week itinerary for Vietnam

Day 15: Hang out and buy souvenirs

Today we went for one final pho of a lunch up the Duc Vuong Hotel roof garden where we’d ended up on the first night. Again, the pho was delicious. We said goodbye to our friends and went back to our hotel to pick up our stuff and get a cab to the airport.

And that was it. Two awesome and incredible weeks in Vietnam to break my Asia virginity.


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Few tips for seeing Vietnam in 2 weeks

(For more Vietnam advice click here, or the pic below!)

Advice for Vietnam

This 2 week Vietnam itinerary worked perfectly for us. As we travelled we spoke to others and I said to a fair few I was sad to have missed out on Hue and Sapa, not one person made me feel bad about not going. ‘It’s just hiking”, “There’s not much there”. I guess if you were planning your two weeks you could fit one of these in as you wouldn’t need to fly back down, or go to a wedding, but to be honest the feedback didn’t really sound like you needed to.

  • We flew in and out of Ho Chi Minh City rather than doing one leg out of Hanoi just because it was cheaper.
  • I’d recommend you spend two nights on the junk boat in Halong Bay if possible, rather than just the one so that you can see more of the bay and relax into it.
  • Hoi An was beautiful and MUST be on anyone’s Vietnam itinerary.
  • Get into the shopping in Hoi An much earlier and go with an idea of what you want, both in cut and in fabric design.
  • I’d choose HCMC over Hanoi, if you only had time for one, but that could be because we had longer there and got to know it a little more. I just found the people to be friendlier and there was more to see.
  • Haggle and barter on everything.
  • Be prepared for the heat.
  • Drink lots of coffee.
  • Eat the Vietnamese street food.
  • Don’t be scared of walking around, but don’t be stupid either.
  • Nha Trang was super touristy, but if you’re looking for some rest and relaxation time and you like the beach, it’s well worth a visit.
  • On the way back we had a 9-hour stopover in Qatar, which was interesting…

And that’s it for your Vietnam vacation itinerary for now!

Let me know if you have any questions below, and let me know if you go too. If you want to know what I really thought of the trip, check out What Vietnam Was Like, For Me. It’s all in there. I’d love to know if this epic guide has helped you at all…

Vietnam itinerary

How to Book This Two-Week Vietnam Trip

Flights

You need to fly in to Hanoi and out of Ho Chi Minh City. It might be cheaper to buy a round trip to one of the cities, and then buy your ongoing flight cheaper. So round trip to Ho Chi Minh City, and then a separate flight up to Hanoi.

Check out netflights.com to compare flight prices to Vietnam.

How to book flights to Vietnam

I flew with Qatar Airways for £675 which sounds like a lot now I think about it. It could be because I went in August.

Flights to Ho Chi Minh City should start at around £400.

Accommodation in Vietnam

I booked all my accommodation through Booking.com which is my favourite hotel booking site. Mainly because they have good pictures, the site is set out in an easy to read way, and the bookings are all free to cancel. This is great when you’re on the move and not 100% sure.

I’ve used Booking.com for 85% of my travels, and then HostelWorld for the other 10%. Very occasionally if I can’t find what I want on those, I’ll use Hotels.com.

Where we stayed:

HCMC: Saigon Mini Hotel 5  – awesome but shut down, try the Bich Duyen Hotel nearby.

Nha Trang: Sun City Hotel – awesome, stay there.

– Hanoi: Huy Hoang Garden Hotel – don’t stay here, try the Hanoian Hotel instead).

– Halong Bay: Golden Lotus Tours – awesome.

Inside the junk boat Halong Bay

Or you could try the Azaela Cruise, the Mon Cheri Cruise (above) or the Uni Charm Cruise if you’d like a bit of lux in your life. All come very highly recommended on Booking.com by past guests. You have to go on a boat trip in Halong Bay, so why not stay overnight and really make the most of it?

Hanoi Airport: Hanoi Avi Airport Hotel – this was cheap, cheerful and perfect for the airport, but not necessarily a nice experience. You could try the VATC Sleep Pod instead. It’s in the airport so you’ll be ready for action as soon as your flight is.

HCMC: Ruby River Hotel – super awesome, stay there!

And if you’re looking for somewhere a bit fancier for your 14 days in Vietnam, check out The Best of the Unique Places to Stay in Vietnam


MONEY OFF BOOKING.COM


Transport

I booked our train tickets before I went on baolau.com. If you have a set date and time you want to travel I’d strongly recommend you book in advance – you don’t want a full train to scupper your travel plans on your two-week Vietnam itinerary.

Travelling by trains in Vietnam is one of the most fascinating ways to get around – I’d definitely recommend you try it out.

Tours

If you want to book on the Halong Bay Day tour, or a rice paddies tour in Sapa, I’d definitely recommend you book in advance. Check out the tours on Viator for the latest prices.

What to do in Vietnam

If you’re just doing the odd day trip or food tour then just book when you’re in your location in Vietnam though. You’ll get a better rate and all the money will go to who it’s meant to. If there’s a group of you you may also be able to get a good deal.

You’ll find Tourism Information offices readily available in the bigger cities.

Longer tours in Vietnam

The second time I went to Vietnam for two weeks I went with Intrepid Tours on a cycling adventure across the country. I cycled 700km from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and it was a really cool way to see the country from a different perspective. It was a great pace too.

Intrepid have some great tours across Vietnam if you don’t fancy doing the booking and planning yourself, or if you’re travelling alone and you just quite fancy going with some new friends.

Intrepid Tours Vietnam trips

They have a Hike, Bike and Kayak tour that looks pretty bladdy awesome, or the Vietnam Real Food Adventure appeals for obvious reasons. I loved my Intrepid Tour and really enjoyed having our Vietnamese tour leaders there to answer all my questions about Vietnam. Their trips start from £600, take a look on their website here.

See my Vietnam cycling tour on Intrepid Travel here.


What Vietnam is like


Vietnam Travel TipsMore on Vietnam…

Everything You Need to Know About Backpacking in Vietnam 

My Tips for Travelling Vietnam Solo

Where to Go in Vietnam

How Much Will I Spend in Hanoi?

52 Coolest Things to Do in Hanoi

Beautiful Halong BayEating in Vietnam
Halong Bay: The Most Beautiful Place in the World?
'Sleeping' on the Overnight Trains in Vietnam

161 Comments

  1. by Helen on October 18, 2013  10:05 pm Reply

    Fab post Vicky! I did a similar trip over a month! Vietnam is AMAZING! HCMC and Hoi An were my favourites!

    H x

    • by Vicky on October 20, 2013  5:38 pm Reply

      Thanks Helen. Yeah, me too. Loved Hoi An – all the food, the sites, the shopping – great fun.

  2. by Bob on October 19, 2013  4:11 am Reply

    Hey great read Vicky,
    Wow you shore packed a lot into a short time. Reckon I would be sleeping for a week after that. Look forward to hearing the story on the lady in the boat.
    Cheers,
    Bob

    • by Vicky on October 20, 2013  5:39 pm Reply

      Ha, got back for two days and went off to South Africa. Love travelling! I will get that post up for you asap :)

  3. by Pippa on October 21, 2013  9:37 am Reply

    Sounds amazing! This post has made it clear to me that I need a Vietnamese trip in my life!
    How much would you say you spent altogether?
    Pippa :)

    • by Vicky on January 8, 2014  2:50 pm Reply

      Hi Pippa, we spent about £300 each for the two weeks. Bargain!

      • by Alastair on March 6, 2014  4:25 pm Reply

        The trip sounds excellent, very helpful post.
        Just to clarify does the £300 include accommodation, food, travel and activities?

        • by Vicky on March 7, 2014  8:31 pm Reply

          Yes, included everything! Cheap as chips.

  4. by Nicole on October 21, 2013  7:25 pm Reply

    Looks like a great itinerary! You covered a lot! =)

  5. by Sammy Dorn on November 7, 2013  8:54 pm Reply

    Great post! Vietnam is my favourite country I have visited so far. I actually preferred Hanoi over HCMC, but Sapa was by far my fav :)

    • by Vicky on November 12, 2013  10:49 pm Reply

      Ah ok, that's interesting. Quite a few people along the way said that Sapa wasn't actually that impressive – glad you hear you liked it. Hopefully I'll get to go back one day and check it out.

  6. by Paula Davison on December 23, 2013  6:10 pm Reply

    Great read, I'm travelling around Vietnam with my husband in March and love your itinerary. I notice that you didn't go to Phu Quoc island, would you recommend giving this a miss and concentrating on the main land?

    • by Vicky on December 24, 2013  10:27 am Reply

      Hello Paula, a few people we met on our trip were going there but with our short time frame it hadn't even entered our heads to be honest. I think it will depend on how much time you have, we couldn't fit it in so I can't really recommend, sorry.

  7. by Georgia on January 3, 2014  11:13 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky, I'm thinking of going to Vietnam later this year for about 2-3 weeks, so this was perfect :)

    • by Vicky on January 4, 2014  12:51 pm Reply

      Brilliant news! Glad to be of service to you :) You're going to have a great time.

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  9. by Juan on January 25, 2014  3:24 pm Reply

    Hey, I'm Juan from Mexico;

    I'm living in China right now, and definitely that will be my Chinese New year!! in Two days I'm going to do THAT!!!!, sweet Info, will help me a LOT!!!!

  10. by Brittany on February 1, 2014  1:35 pm Reply

    Awesome post! Planning our trip to Vietnam in March and this was very helpful. Thanks so much!

  11. by Jane on February 12, 2014  11:41 am Reply

    This is great I have booked to go to vietnam in April for 12 days and my planned itinerary is exactly what you did! Very helpful, only have one day in HCMC though, would you recommend the museum or the Mekong?

    • by Vicky on February 12, 2014  10:40 pm Reply

      I'd definitely recommend the Mekong – a must if you're in HCMC!

  12. by Erika Estrada on March 7, 2014  12:37 pm Reply

    What company did you do the Mekong Delta tour with??

    • by Vicky on March 7, 2014  8:31 pm Reply

      Hey Erika,

      We just booked it through our hostel at Saigon Mini Hotel 5, I don't know what it was called I'm afraid. Sorry.

  13. by MightyTravels on March 17, 2014  4:53 pm Reply

    I wasn't sure if I liked Saigon too much. But I sure liked the food - it was just fantastic!

  14. by Erika on March 18, 2014  8:04 am Reply

    Hi again! What do you suggest the best way for obtaining a visa for Vietnam. I'm from California..

  15. by Erin on March 27, 2014  8:53 am Reply

    Hi Vicky,

    Going for 2 weeks in May, your itinerary is so helpful. One silly question...do you recommend we travel with rucksacks? Would it be tricky with suitcases

    Thanks!

    • by Vicky on March 27, 2014  9:50 am Reply

      Hi Erin, as long as the suitcases aren't too big I don't think that will be a problem. I personally prefer rucksacks but as long as you can lift it above your head I'd say you'd be fine. The reason for that is the night trains and the fact you might be put on a high up bunk.

      • by Erin on March 27, 2014  9:56 am Reply

        Thanks - makes sense :)

  16. by Martyn on April 6, 2014  9:08 pm Reply

    Vicky - You certainly crammed one helluva lot into your 15 days in Vietnam. The Nha Trang egg sandwich sounds awesome and the picture of the eggs frying in the pan looks well appetizing. Thanks for the journey and top banana read.

  17. by Erin on April 14, 2014  9:54 am Reply

    Hey again Vicky,

    Just wondering if you got vaccinations going to Viet Nam or anti-malarial? Lots of differing opinions out there..

    thanks
    Erin

    • by Vicky on September 25, 2014  12:18 am Reply

      Hi Erin, no I didn't take anti malarials to go. I get quite sick on them. You should check with your doctor though.

  18. by brett on June 4, 2014  9:37 pm Reply

    Vicky-
    Your trip looks like a lot of fun and I cant wait to do one similar coming up here in August.
    One question about your flight from Da Nang to Hanoi...did you buy your plane ticket in advance or along the way?
    Don't want to be locked into an exact date but also don't want to overpay for a quick flight.
    thanks
    Brett

    • by Vicky on June 15, 2014  1:09 pm Reply

      Hi Brett, I bought the tickets in advance, just because I knew exactly what I needed and when. I'm not sure if the prices go up. To be honest, they probably do so if you're looking to save a bit of cash I'd book now. But if you're happy to pay a little extra, wait!

  19. by Camille on June 11, 2014  2:34 am Reply

    Leaving in a week to take my son from USA to Vietnam/Cambodia for his High School graduation trip...so excited!!! This post was awesome and was exactly what I was looking for.

    I will let you know how our experiences were.

    • by Vicky on June 15, 2014  1:08 pm Reply

      Great! Happy to hear I could help Camille, and what an amazing opportunity for your son. Have a great time!

  20. by lisa dunne on June 14, 2014  12:13 am Reply

    Hi Vicky,

    My fella and I are off doing 3 weeks shortly and this blog has been a great help so firstly thanks!!! Plus you said its cheap! :) One question for you did you book your flights before going out to vietnam or once there?

    thanks

    • by Vicky on June 15, 2014  10:01 am Reply

      Hi Lisa, we booked it before, just because we were on such a tight schedule. I used jetstar. Hope you have fun!

  21. by Liisa on July 6, 2014  8:19 am Reply

    Hi
    We are planning to go to Vietnam for 2 weeks. Do you think it is a must to go to the south. I was planning to travel only around the north.

    • by Vicky on July 7, 2014  4:07 pm Reply

      Hey Liisa, it really depends how much time you have. Covering a smaller area more thoroughly is definitely best in my eyes. As long as you make it to Hoi An, you're alright :)

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  23. by Rye And Cai on July 8, 2014  8:49 am Reply

    Very Informative! We are planning on going this December but for 1 week only. We’ll work our way around your schedule and squeeze in as much as we can. Thanks for this post..

    • by Vicky on July 8, 2014  11:31 am Reply

      Hope you have fun guys!

  24. by Erika Estrada on July 9, 2014  4:53 am Reply

    Hi Vicky!

    I just went to Vietnam not too long ago and pretty much referred back to this blog; it was the perfect itinerary!

    I saw a few comments below that you also went to South Africa! Do you have a blog on that, too? I'm going to South Africa in October! Any tips?! :) thanks!!

    • by Vicky on September 25, 2014  12:22 am Reply

      Hi Erika, I hope I'm not too late but all my South Africa stuff is here: https://vickyflipfloptravels.com/category/africa/south-africa/

      So happy to hear you used my blog :)

  25. by Liisa on July 10, 2014  12:24 am Reply

    Hi Vicky
    We have booked flights to HCMC, just because it was cheaper to than fly to Hanoi. We wanted to start our trip in Hanoi and end to HCMC. What would be the cheap airline to fly from HCMC to Hanoi and how long it will take to travel from international airport to domestic airport, just that how long we should give us time to do the transfer, before I book domestic flight. Thanks!

  26. by Matt on July 11, 2014  10:30 am Reply

    Your thoughts please:

    Return flights to HCM arriving Sun 14 September 2014 19:00

    Day 1. Transfer from HCM to downtown Saigon for overnight stay in hotel.

    Day 2. 08:00 am start of Mekong Delta overnight tour(Mekong Eyes)

    Day 3. Return to HCM after Mekong Tour and catch evening Flight to Nha Trang for two night stay.

    Day 5. Overnight train to Da Nang , stay one night Da nang

    Day 6. Travel to Hoi An for two night stay

    Day 8. Fly to Hanoi from Da Nang for 3 night stay in Hanoi

    Day 11. Overnight trip to Halong Bay

    Day 12. Stay Hanoi 2 nights

    Day 14. Fly back to HCM for return flight home to UK

    Too many nights in Hanoi? Should we spend more time in Hoi An/Nha Trang?

    Another option was to fly from Nha Trang direct to Hanoi, do the Halong Bay and 2 nights in Hanoi then work our way back down to Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An - HCM.

    Thanks

    Matt

    • by Vicky on July 11, 2014  6:53 pm Reply

      Yep, definitely too long in Hanoi, even before I read that you thought that I'd decided. Take 2 nights of Hanoi and add to Hoi An and you're sorted :)

      • by Matt on July 12, 2014  12:41 pm Reply

        Sweet. 4 nights Hoi An it is then. We have also decided against the overnight Mekong, choosing to stay 2 nights Saigon now and do the Mekong on a day tour like you did. Can you remember the name of the tour company? Thanks Vicky

  27. by kaylia on July 16, 2014  2:37 am Reply

    Hi Vicky - Love love love your account of your holiday! We are looking into the same route for 2 weeks. The only question i have is Independent travel vs a 2 week tour?? Your thoughts please. I realise there will be a difference in price.

    Oh and one more, suitcase vs rucksack? :)

    Thanks

    • by Matt on July 16, 2014  11:50 am Reply

      Hi Kaylia,

      While your waiting for Vicky to reply, i can offer you my advice, i am travelling to Vietnam on September 13th - September 27th (see my iteinerary on post above) and i have booked everything independantly including hotels,airfares and tours, the total cost is £550 versus £1200 with Travelfinders or STA Travel, i believe i will be staying in better hotels, have breakfast included, and have better tours which i can do at my leisure. The only thing i dont have is a tour guide and a party of ten people to accompany, but i do have my best friend coming with me. so i can live without the tour guide etc and save £650. Most hotels will offer a tour guide cheaper anyway. Hope this helps

      • by Vicky on September 25, 2014  12:24 am Reply

        Definitely agree with the doing things at leisure. I hate when you're in a group and you have a set time to do things, sometimes it's too long, others too short. I definitely prefer to plan it myself.

      • by Caroline on January 3, 2016  9:56 pm Reply

        Hi Matt ive just been reading through Vickys blog and saw you organised your own trip really cheaply. Who did you book your flights with, were they direct? Thanks for your help Caroline

    • by Vicky on September 25, 2014  12:21 am Reply

      I'd definitely say to do it independently. You get a lot more out of your trip and it'll be so easy with this guide that you can save your money and just enjoy travelling yourself! Rucksack!

  28. by David on August 15, 2014  10:03 pm Reply

    Hey Vicky,

    Great blog! I have been trying to decide on where my next trip in Asia lies and I think it's pretty nailed on to be Vietnam (I may incorporate some of Cambodia too).

    I will also be heading from HCMC to Hanoi, just a quick question, would you have spent more time in Halong Bay or would you say that 2 days/1 night is enough?

    HCMC, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hanoi are definitely on my itinerary, maybe Hue too. So much to see!

    Keep up the good work :)

    • by Vicky on September 25, 2014  12:20 am Reply

      Hi David, hope I'm not too late! I would have loved to have spent another night there to be honest. It was very rushed and the Bay is so beautiful it would've been nice to hang out on the boat a bit and just enjoy taking it all in. Definitely a lot to see there – debating going back actually!

  29. by Liisa on August 18, 2014  10:06 am Reply

    Hi Vicky
    I have heard a lot of different views about how to organize visa to Vietnam. How did you get it?

    • by Vicky on September 25, 2014  12:18 am Reply

      Hi Liisa,

      It was pretty easy. I just dropped the passports off at the visa office in London and they did it for me. I could do it for my boyfriend at the time too.

  30. by Viajes a Vietnam on August 27, 2014  1:12 pm Reply

    Thanks Victoria for sharing your great travel experience in Vietnam.

    • by Vicky on September 24, 2014  11:57 am Reply

      No worries, I love it when I hear I've helped someone to plan their trip :) Here to help!

      • by Matt Hampson on September 25, 2014  5:42 am Reply

        Hi Vicky,

        We're comin to the end of our two week trip in Vietnam,we stayed in Signature Saigon Hotel in HCMC for three nights,then flew to Nha Trang and stayed Hotel Michelia,but we weren't so keen on NT as it seemed to be full of cold Russians,however the beach was fantastic and we also visited Monkey Island there for 150,000 dong (about £3) this was followed by 2 nights in Hanoi at the Elegance Diamond hotel (very good and free upgrade to penthouse) we also did Ha Long Bay for one night but I echo your comments regarding a 2 night stay here. Rather than visit Hoi An we decided to come back to HCMC for the past couple of days because we like it here better. All in all its been a great trip and your blog helped us immensely in planning our stays etc. We have also spent less than we thought. Thanks from a very wet Saigon .....Matt

        • by Vicky on September 25, 2014  10:59 am Reply

          Ar, thanks for letting me know Matt. Really glad to have helped you sort your holiday. I'm pining after Vietnam a bit at the moment and I'm debating going back next year. And excellent news you've spent less than planned – such good value there for all the fun you can have isn't it!

  31. by Amy on September 26, 2014  12:41 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky

    This is such a great itinerary! So glad I stumbled across it, we are heading to Vietnam/Cambodia for 3 weeks in November and this has been so useful! Hoping to visit all of these places and try to squeeze in a visit to Da Lat too!

    Thanks :)

    Amy

    • by Vicky on September 26, 2014  4:40 pm Reply

      Hope you have a great time! Let me know how you get on with Dalat. I'm looking at going back to Vietnam next year and I'd love to know what you think of it.

  32. by Karen on October 10, 2014  1:58 pm Reply

    Brilliant itinerary Vicky. I used it last month to travel to Vietnam with my best friend and we pretty much followed it down to a tee. Apart from the wedding part of course! Thanks for such a helpful guide – couldn't really find much else on the internet actually. So cheers!

    • by Vicky on October 10, 2014  2:03 pm Reply

      Ar yay! Glad to hear I could help Karen :) Yeah, I found it difficult to plan too – not much useful stuff out there, is there?

  33. by Carley on October 21, 2014  9:50 pm Reply

    Hello,

    I am planning on following your itinery but to include an extra day halong bay and maybe go sapa too! My have recently been to Thailand and booked everything when I got there. Did u also do that in Vietnam or can you recommend any good companies to book all inbound flights, trains, hotels through? And did u book your trips before you arrived or whilst u were there? Thanks xx

    • by Rae on April 4, 2017  9:59 am Reply

      hi Carley interested to hear what you thought about Sara and whether it was worth the trip out there ?

      • by Vicky on April 11, 2017  8:31 am Reply

        Me too – what did you think? :)

  34. by Mark on December 6, 2014  10:55 am Reply

    Hi Vicky your itinerary looks perfect for our trip next Aug we're organising - I want to do the exact same as yours now. I am in the same situation as some of the above with the debate of organised trips versus DIY. Are there any tips you would give on organising yourself, recommend anyone (or did you just use the hotel.) and how much had you organised before landing in vietnam? Thanks again for a great post - I'm worried about reading your other posts now as I'll start planning another trip!! But they're great!

    • by Vicky on December 6, 2014  5:14 pm Reply

      Aw thanks Mark! I planned pretty much everything before I arrived, just because we knew that we had to be back in Ho Chi Minh City for the wedding and we knew what we wanted to see. I also wanted to get the best price on flights and stay at some cool hotels. I loved planning and researching so it wasn't a chore for me. Yeah, read my other posts, sure you'll find a new treat of a destination in there somewhere :)

  35. by Gavin Jolis on December 23, 2014  7:27 am Reply

    Hi Vicky, how are you? Hope this finds you well. Great itinerary! Am planning to go for my first Vietnam trip on Feb 2015, and pretty much your itinerary covers most of it. Am just curious, were Mui Ne considered in your itinerary? If not, would appreciate if you let me know because I am torn to select between Nha Trang and Mui Ne to be part of my itinerary.

    • by Vicky on December 24, 2014  11:37 am Reply

      Hello Gavin, I hadn't actually considered Mui Ne when I was going to Vietnam. I've just googled it and it looks beautiful! I wasn't really into Nha Trang but it depends want you want from your trip. I reckon you should go to Mui Ne and let me know what you think!

  36. by Jade on December 26, 2014  3:06 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky, how did you book the train tickets? Did you do it in advance since they can get filled? I have a flight into HCMC on the 29th and fly out on the 11th so I don't want to get stuck.

    • by Vicky on December 26, 2014  3:38 pm Reply

      Hi Jade, yes, I booked them in advance on the website above. It was really easy and they delivered them to the Mini Hotel Saigon where I stayed on the first night. Not sure if they can get filled. Guess it depends on the route and time of year. If you're worried, I'd say definitely book in advance.

  37. by Gavin Jolis on December 27, 2014  4:57 am Reply

    Thanks Vicky for the reply and for sure I will let you know on Mui Ne. Do you still remember the travel agent that provided the Mekong Delta tour. Its quite cheap from what you shared :)

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  39. by Amy on February 1, 2015  9:09 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky,

    My husband and I are just planning our honeymoon to Vietnam this April and your blog is so useful!
    We were just wondering if you booked the Halong Bay trip through Golden Lotus tours online or did you do it when you got there? I'm worried we might not get a space if we wait until we are there and we are on a tight schedule as we only have two weeks like you did! Do you have any advice?

    Thanks so much!

    Amy

    • by Vicky on February 2, 2015  1:45 am Reply

      Hi Amy, I booked it through Airbnb before I went. Because I was on a strict schedule I didn't want anything to go wrong and just felt better knowing that it was definitely going to happen. I'd advise you to book beforehand, especially if you're going to worry about it!

      • by Amy on February 10, 2015  9:16 pm Reply

        Thanks Vicky! We have taken your advice and booked ahead of our trip. One other thing I was wondering is how you booked your Delta river trip? We have booked the Saigon Mini Hotel too but have not had an email from them, nor can we find one. Any advice?

        • by Vicky on February 14, 2015  6:20 am Reply

          Ermm, maybe email them? Google search their address and just say you'd like to book the tour. Or you may be able to book it on arrival – they offered the service at the front desk when I went.

  40. by Darren on May 25, 2015  3:54 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky hope this finds you, we're just in the midst of planning our 3 weeks in Vietnam (did two last year and loved it) your blog was great and helped massively,
    We've planned for 2 nights in Hoi Ann can you suggest any hotels ?

    thanks Darren

  41. by Zeena on May 26, 2015  6:11 am Reply

    Hi Vicky, I was wondering if you have any hotel recommendations for honeymooners? For our two weeks in Vietnam we want to add a few extravagant hotels/ resorts into our adventure.

  42. by Arianwen on July 20, 2015  10:28 pm Reply

    Boom. My Vietnam portion of my trip is sorted, just like that! You're a star! :)

    • by Vicky on July 22, 2015  8:39 pm Reply

      Ooo you're going to Vietnam – awesome! Details please?!

  43. by Heather on August 12, 2015  5:24 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky!
    Great blog.
    I'm think of going to either Thailand or Vietnam next year. I wanted to know (if you don't mind me asking) how much spending you took with you for the two weeks?
    Cheers.

    • by Vicky on August 15, 2015  10:37 pm Reply

      Hi Heather,

      We spent around £300 each for the two weeks – bargain!

      Vicky

  44. by Dammar Klaus on August 13, 2015  2:40 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky!

    Great post! I too am headed on a virgin trip to Asia by way of Vietnam - and I'm looking for suggestions for packing. What did you bring vs. buy as far as clothing? What is an absolute must have & what turned out to be unneeded??!!

    Thanks!!
    -Dags

    • by Vicky on August 15, 2015  10:28 pm Reply

      Oh my god it was so hot when I went! What time of year are you planning on going because that would change things...

  45. by Rachel on August 17, 2015  9:36 am Reply

    Hi Vicky, just wanted to say that I LOVE this post (and your blog!), it really helped me plan my trip this April and I have written a blog post on our adventure to pass on what we did etc. It would be great if you could take a look? https://littlelawsonloves.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/two-weeks-in-vietnam/ X

    • by Vicky on August 19, 2015  8:39 pm Reply

      Thanks Rachel, sounds like you had a great trip. Well jealous you did the bike ride. I definitely missed out there. I do really want to go back someday though, so hopefully I'll fit it in. It's so cheap in Vietnam isn't it? Almost unbelievable. And a moped food tour – sweet! YES, iced coffee.

      I'm sure I warned about the taxis in a blog post somewhere – listen to FlipFlop :)

      Great post there with lots of good advice. I'll make sure to reread when I make it back. Thanks for sharing!

  46. by Keith Valentina on August 29, 2015  2:34 am Reply

    Thank you very much for your sharing. It is really helpful. I also travel Vietnam in August and see it interesting to get good services, cheap airlines, friendly locals and I also share my reasons why should visit Vietnam in August here http://govietnamtour.net/news/tips-guides-c7/reasons-for-should-travel-in-august-vietnam-d288.html.

    Once again, thanks your post. If come back Vietnam, I will travel Ha Long bay.

    • by Vicky on August 31, 2015  9:26 am Reply

      Yeah Halong Bay is awesome! I love Vietnam :)

      • by Alice van der Velden on October 5, 2015  7:40 am Reply

        Hi Vicky,
        Did you book all your tours in advance through the hotels? Or book when you got to the city? We don't have much time so am worried if we wait to book the tour the day before we will miss out on the day we want to go. But, it seems as if all the tours are much more expensive to book online.
        Thanks,
        Alice

        • by Vicky on October 12, 2015  11:47 am Reply

          Hi Alice, we booked them through the hotels apart from the Halong Bay one which I booked before. There are always tours being offered all over the place, I wouldn't necessarily worry about that. There's always another one round the corner. If you want cheap ones then book locally with Vietnamese companies – American or European owned ones will always charge more and probably be the same to be honest.

  47. by Minh Nguyen on November 7, 2015  5:09 am Reply

    Hello, I'm so happy that you had such a great time in my country :) and if someone who wanna go to Vietnam but has any questions 'bout the travel or you just wanna a tour guide for free?, contact me. i'm now living in HCMC and studying at a university. i do this to improve my English, not any other purposes :)

    • by Vicky on November 10, 2015  11:17 am Reply

      Very generous of you Minh! I loved Vietnam and hope to go back at the end of the year :).

      • by Minh Nguyen on November 13, 2015  1:36 pm Reply

        Wow! Vietnam always welcome you back haha! when you be here in HCMC, just mail me and let's have some beer together :) [email protected]

        • by Vicky on November 18, 2015  10:40 am Reply

          Thanks Minh! Hoping to be back sometime in the next year so I’ll let you know!

  48. by paul on November 12, 2015  10:20 am Reply

    i am going to vietnam solo on the 19th dec till 9th jan, so 3 weeks. How would you put this itinerary for 3 weeks. I'ts my 1st time in vietnam. i'm more for the culture, food and adventure. I've done, hong kong,china, thailand x 2, bali, brazil, vienna, madrid, ibiza, and macedonia.

    • by Vicky on November 18, 2015  10:41 am Reply

      Hi Paul,

      If I was you I’d do this itinerary but have longer in Hoi An and go and explore the beaches there. You could also hike in Sapa – those are the two experiences I feel like I missed out on. Oh, and take a look at having a motorbike experience while you’re there too. Looks awesome!

      Sounds like you’re pretty well travelled. Would love to go to Hong Kong!

      • by paul mitrevski on December 14, 2015  8:03 pm Reply

        Hi Vicky, thanks. Yes, i will plan to visit sapa and probably stay longer in hoi an. I haven't booked any accommodation for anywhere apart from ho chi minh. I am planning to book everything else when I'm there. I leave this week....looking very forward to it.
        I enjoyed hong kong and met some great people. I travelled around using the metro system and explored every stop, spending half a day in each stop...great way to see alot.

      • by paul mitrevski on December 14, 2015  8:28 pm Reply

        I just don't know where to spend new years at...any recommendations?

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  50. by Alex on January 23, 2016  8:56 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky, thank you so much for sharing your travels with the world! My girlfriend and I will be traveling to Vietnam this March and your itinerary closely matches ours. Your insight has so far been very valuable as we tighten up our precise schedule.

    One question: did you learn any Vietnamese before your travels? I am finding that even common phrases are incredibly difficult to pronounce. I am not sure if it is worth the time to learn some Vietnamese, given that our trip is a little over a month away, or if English will be adequate enough.

    • by Trang Pham on February 3, 2016  6:52 pm Reply

      Hi Alex,

      In case you need support from a local people when you are in Vietnam, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] I'm willing to help any time.

      P/s: I'm a private tour guide in Vietnam, but i consider my mission is not only about business, but also to help traveller when they traveling to a country that they can't speak the language.

      Wish you a great trip to Vietnam

      Cheers,
      Trang
      www.vietnamamazingtrip.com

  51. by Allie on January 28, 2016  7:21 am Reply

    Thanks for this amazing blog post and itinerary! I'm living in Myanmar for the year, and I'm trying to figure out what kind of side trips I can take while I'm here. Vietnam is high on the list, but I'm terrible at planning and research. This gives me great ideas!

  52. by Eibhlin on February 8, 2016  11:01 pm Reply

    Hi Vicki thanks for all the information. I am planning on going to Vietnam on honeymoon in July we will be leaving from Hanoi and want to go somewhere swish / relaxing before we head home to recharge after travelling! We also plan to spend two nights in Ha long Bay. Any ideas for somewhere quiet romantic and relaxing not far from Hanoi? Thanks :)

    • by Vicky on February 14, 2016  3:43 am Reply

      Sorry, all my tried and tested tips are in the post. If I was to suggest anywhere it would just be from internet research rather than actually being there so I'm afraid at this stage, I can't. Will definitely be going back though, but I'm afraid too late for your honeymoon. Great place to go on your honeymoon by the way!

  53. by Carmen B on February 11, 2016  3:58 am Reply

    Great itinerary!
    We backpacked for 3 weeks in Vietnam and loved it... one place I would recommend adding is Tam Coc, aka Inland Halong, the landscapes are gorgeous :)
    Check out our blog for more inspiration and tips:
    http://bonatravels.com/2015/09/28/country-summary-vietnam/

    • by Vicky on February 14, 2016  3:39 am Reply

      Ooo thanks good tips! I'm debating going back in December and looking for more unique things to do and places to see so could be perfect!

  54. by alkesh on March 21, 2016  12:06 am Reply

    Vicky,

    Spectacular blog and commentary. I was looking for ages for some guidance on Vietnam. I have a 14 day itinerary and was thinking of doing London - hanoi and then work my way down south to ho chi minh and cambodia. I am having trouble with whether to start from the north and go south and what would be the best way to do this? or to start in ho chi min and work up north. in terms of day apportionment, was thinking hanoi, nhtrang, han oi, dnang, halong, mekong and cambodia for a day or two?!

    Too many places? what are the top 5 places i should visit over a two day period, just struggling with how many days to allocate!

    your help is appreciated.

  55. by Kim on March 24, 2016  8:18 am Reply

    Your blog inspires me. I am Vietnamese but not come to Hoi An and Nha Trang yet. If there's a chance you come back Vietnam, I recommend you visiting Binh Thuan and Ninh Binh. They are my favorite destinations. :)

    • by Vicky on March 31, 2016  9:48 pm Reply

      Thanks Kim! I hope to make it back there at some point so I'll definitely keep your recommendations in mind :)

  56. by rach on April 2, 2016  7:01 pm Reply

    what time of year did you go?

    • by Vicky on April 3, 2016  3:41 am Reply

      I went in August Rach.

  57. by Lynne Dunne on June 5, 2016  1:02 pm Reply

    Great post! Vietnam is my favourite country I have visited so far. I actually preferred Hanoi over HCMC. We tooked whole package tours in Northern of Vietnam for 7 days and 6 nights including Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa, Hoa Lu- Ninh Binh and Mai Chau. Halong Bay and Sapa were the highlight and best places to visit in Summer. Booked through Impressive Travel Vietnam and Manager Nancy supported us so much, very honest lady and we highly recommend.

  58. by Vicky on June 22, 2016  8:37 pm Reply

    Yeah I feel like HCMC and Hanoi divides people, but I'm definitely in the HCMC camp! I really want to go back and explore the south a bit more as I feel like there's so much more to see. I'm glad you had a good time, sounds like I need to see more of the north too!

  59. by sophie rimes on July 28, 2016  9:03 pm Reply

    Hi
    I was just wondering how much you booked when you were in Vietnam and how much you booked before?
    Did you book your hotel, flights and tours before?

    • by Vicky on August 1, 2016  12:51 pm Reply

      Yep, I booked it all before. It was my first time in Asia and I was super eager and excited so I went a little OTT on booking stuff. It was all very exciting. You don't have to, but I did.

  60. by Paul on August 22, 2016  11:26 am Reply

    Hi Vicky,
    Going to Vietnam for two weeks with the girlfriend. What we have planned is 3 nights in Hanoi/Ha Long bay, four nights in Hoi An, 3 nights in Ho Chi Minh. Not sure what to do with the remaining 4 nights however, have being recommended three different places by friends, Dalat, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc Island. Which would you recommend, and also for Hoi An did you stay in the city or by the beach?

    • by Vicky on August 23, 2016  10:05 am Reply

      Hey Paul, I stayed in the city in Hoi An. You can get a motorbike or similar out to the beach easily though. Unfortunately I didn't go for some reason, but I'd love to next time. My friends have recently been to Phu Quoc Island and it sounded awesome, so through them I'd recommend that. Nha Trang was cool, but basically just a lot of bars and restaurants, so I guess it depends if that's your think or not. I hope that helps...

  61. by sinny on September 30, 2016  2:09 am Reply

    Hello, may I check with you how you went about going from city to city?

    thanks :)

    • by Vicky on October 2, 2016  9:59 am Reply

      Hello Sinny, it's all in the post! Let me know if you have any specific questions :)

  62. by Chloe on October 15, 2016  8:42 pm Reply

    Hello, Im thinking of a 14-16 day trip to Vietnam after reading the amazing things you got up to! I was just wandering, can you give me a rough price on how much your whole holiday came to? Excluding the flights as obviously they change quite a lot depending on when you go etc. We are just trying to work out how much money we need to save up and how much we would roughly be spending. Any help would be greatfully recieved :) thank you x

    • by Vicky on October 16, 2016  1:54 pm Reply

      Hi Chloe, sounds great! I spent around £300 for two weeks. Bargain!

  63. by zakes on November 14, 2016  2:20 am Reply

    Hi, thganks for sharing! the highlighted map, i find it a bit misleading, as it shows one going overland from Danang to Hanoi, but you actually flew, but yes i understand.
    Im more interested in knowing, is there anything special worth travelling overland for, from DaNang to Hanoi, or is this leg worth skipping and saving those 13 hours or so (total travelling time, whether taken in a single trip or broken over few days) for a one hour flight.


    Im aware of a place called Hue, for pagodas, temples, but i believe this is nearer to Danang and can be visited with Danang as a base.

  64. by Vicky on November 25, 2016  4:33 am Reply

    Hi Zakes,

    This was just the easiest way to show the route. Let me know how you think I should’ve shown the flight and I could possibly change it.

    I’d recommend you to fly, especially if you’re on a short time scale. Hue sounds amazing, I’ve heard of that too. I’m going back to Vietnam in January so will hopefully visit then. When are you going?

    Vicky

  65. by Chelsea on January 4, 2017  2:59 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky wow your blog is soo much help we are thinking of going for 2 weeks but starting in Hanoi and working down but once I get to hoi an I don't no where to go I want to get to Ho Chi Minh but don't no where else to stop over first any ideas???
    Thanks
    Chelsea

  66. by Sarah on January 5, 2017  1:34 am Reply

    Hi Vicky

    I know this post is a little old now but we're reading everything to help us plan our Vietnam trip in Feb and this has been really helpful! If you'd had an extra week what would you have included that you missed? Thanks!

    • by Vicky on January 5, 2017  5:53 pm Reply

      Hi Sarah, I'd definitely include some time in Phu Quoc and Can Do, and Sapa too. I'm just getting ready to go back to Vietnam on Sunday and will be going to all those places. You can see what I'm doing to fill in the gaps of my Vietnam knowledge here: https://vickyflipfloptravels.com/month-in-vietnam/

      I'm so happy to hear I was helpful. You're going to have a great time! :)

      • by Sarah on January 7, 2017  10:49 am Reply

        Ah that's awesome, thanks for the reply! Enjoy your trip :)

  67. by Vicky on January 5, 2017  11:24 am Reply

    Hi Chelsea, great news! Did you read all of the above? You could stop over in Nha Trang or Dalat? Good beachy places?

    I'm actually going to Vietnam on Sunday again. Well excited! You can see my route here: https://vickyflipfloptravels.com/month-in-vietnam/

    That could help?

    Thanks for reading.

    Vicky

  68. by Chelsea on January 5, 2017  6:29 pm Reply

    Thanks so much can't wait to read your blog when your back

    Chelseax

  69. by Ayfa on January 27, 2017  12:36 pm Reply

    Sounds awesome. How much is the bike tour?

    • by Vicky on January 31, 2017  1:29 pm Reply

      Hi Ayfa, it's around $2k, depending on when you book it for. You can see more details here: http://bit.ly/cycle-vietnam-vff

  70. by Flightradar on March 23, 2017  9:57 am Reply

    What a fun and exciting article to read! A trip to vietnam is something i've been willing to do for a long time now. Guess next year i'll just have to finally go there!

    • by Vicky on March 23, 2017  10:49 am Reply

      Vietnam is an awesome country. My brother is actually out there at the moment following this very route. You should definitely go!

  71. by Winkle on May 18, 2017  11:25 am Reply

    Your trip sounded great , we are planning our Vietnam trip for next Easter, would you recommend Vietnam with two children in tow (aged 12 & 8)?

    • by Vicky on May 18, 2017  11:37 am Reply

      Oh definitely! I think it would be a great place for children of that age to open their eyes and see the world. I definitely would! Hope this post helps. :)

  72. Pingback : The Best Things to Do in Vietnam - nnphuong.com

  73. by Kris Morris on August 25, 2017  11:19 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing this great information. Vietnam and Cambodia are breathtaking destinations of diverse delights.

    • by Vicky on August 29, 2017  9:15 pm Reply

      I'm desperate to go to Cambodia – one day!

  74. by Carolyn on November 6, 2017  11:06 pm Reply

    Thank you for your itinerary ideas. I am planning to Visit Vietnam next year and this helps me for planning it. Going to go most likely independent as it's so much cheaper. I found it was like that when I traveled to South America independently. Tons of tour agencies to choose from, including from the hotels/hostels.

    • by VickyFlipFlop on November 8, 2017  9:33 am Reply

      Yeah, I think Vietnam is a great place for solo travellers – it's so easy to get around and you can just pick up day tours here and there when you need them. Have fun!

  75. by scott on December 23, 2017  2:51 am Reply

    Stumbled on your page while doing some early research for a trip in April.
    i love your writing style. very humorous but not try-hardy. well done. very entertaining and informative.
    -Scott

    • by VickyFlipFlop on January 1, 2018  11:10 pm Reply

      Ah thank you Scott! I hope this post has helped you plan :).

  76. by Kevin C. on February 14, 2018  9:28 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky;

    Your itinerary is the one that convinced me to make it to Vietnam. I noticed you went in August? Did you really find everything achievable during the day in the heat? I was going to go in November this year, but learned that the time of year could result in flooding and typhoons in Hoi An and Hue, my two most desired spots, so I was wondering about moving it up to early September or pushing it into April of 2019. I've been veering towards the latter because too many people talk about the heat being unbearable during August-September and impossible to sightsee, but then I see posts like you and wonder if it's as bad as they are making it out to be.

    • by VickyFlipFlop on February 21, 2018  10:16 am Reply

      August was VERY hot. I remember leaving the hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and then just being drenched with sweat within minutes. I wouldn't say NOT to go then, but just bear in mind that if you're someone who suffers in the heat then you might have problems. When I went I still managed to sightsee and do everything I wanted, but could've been super hot when your friend went. I can't really say whether to go or not, I don't know what you're like in the heat, but I'd go again in August if that's what suited my schedule.

      Hope that helps!

  77. by Marisa on August 18, 2018  12:27 pm Reply

    Hi! Thanks for this, Any tips on DaNang?

    • by VickyFlipFlop on August 20, 2018  9:04 am Reply

      Hi Marisa,
      I didn't really spend long in Danang to be honest. It was more to get to Hoi An. Make sure you eat lots though and food tours are always fun!

  78. by Charlotte on September 7, 2018  1:08 pm Reply

    Wow, you've covered the entire eastern coastline in two weeks. That's amazing! Seems like I've just decided on my next travel destination. And the itinerary is already done for me. Thanks :)

    • by VickyFlipFlop on September 17, 2018  9:49 am Reply

      Yay! Love Vietnam! Think it's fair to say my visit there changed my life. Hope you enjoy it and let me know if you have any questions!

  79. by shop my pham on October 24, 2018  1:34 am Reply

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit
    and sources back to your blog? My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would definitely benefit
    from some of the information you present here. Please let me know
    if this okay with you. Cheers!

    • by VickyFlipFlop on October 24, 2018  9:29 am Reply

      Please can you send me the quotes to approve first? Thanks. Vicky.

  80. by Colin on November 14, 2018  2:14 am Reply

    Thank- you so much Ms flipflop,
    I’m starting to plan a Vietnam holiday for my wife and I as a surprise , I’ve Confused myself between numerous websites, deals, doing it myself or get a organised tour and all the rest. Decided on making my own arrangements and your two week itinerary and blog has made it a breeze, can’t thank you enough,

    • by VickyFlipFlop on November 14, 2018  10:33 am Reply

      Oh that is absolutely brilliant to hear Colin, thank you for letting me know. You will have a brilliant time with this itinerary, and just let me know if you have any more questions. Enjoy Vietnam!

  81. by Ray on November 21, 2018  6:44 am Reply

    HI Vicky, How to arrange for the local travel for all these places for full 2 weeks?

    • by VickyFlipFlop on December 3, 2018  10:28 am Reply

      Hi Ray, there are some tips in the post. As in, you can use the train website and the airlines I used. Otherwise, just ask locally for the best deals. Vietnam is an amazing place, and super tourist friendly. You can also ask your hotel for help and they'll be able to direct you to the right people.

  82. by Vietnam Bike Tour on December 20, 2018  3:04 pm Reply

    Thanks for the itinerary of Vietnam... it makes me more friendly & it will help me when I visit Vietnam...

    • by VickyFlipFlop on January 3, 2019  12:02 pm Reply

      No worries. I hope you have a brilliant time there and make the most of it!

  83. by Michael on April 9, 2019  12:50 pm Reply

    Very Interesting and useful article!!!

    • by VickyFlipFlop on April 11, 2019  8:00 am Reply

      Thanks Micheal – hope it helps you plan your trip!

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