July 7, 2021 · 12 min read
Welcome to a 10-day itinerary through Vietnam. It might be an underrated country to visit in Asia. Still, this long and narrow country has diverse natural landscapes of mountains, beaches, rice terraces, waterfalls, rivers, and caves. With “The Essence of Vietnam,” you’ll travel by air from one city to another. So get on a unique adventure from the busy Ho Chi Minh, the coastal town of Nha Trang, the former port city of Hoi An, the French colonial port of Da Nang, the ancient capital of Hanoi, the imperial citadel of Hue, and the wonders of nature in Ha Long Bay. Our 10 Day Vietnam itinerary will be one exciting journey that definitely suits all types of travelers!
Marvel at impressive architecture, take your first bite of the delectable Vietnamese food and learn about Vietnamese war history.
Visit Reunification Palace. The highlights are the two originals tanks used to capture the palace during 1975 still parked on the grounds. This palace also features tunnels, a telecoms center, and a war room. Visit the Central Post Office. This place will make you feel like you’re back in time with its high ceiling arches, beautiful color interiors, intricate marble floors, and antique telephones. Walk to Notre Dame Cathedral. The highlight is its unique neo-Romanesque features with a red brick façade all imported from France. Go to the War Remnants Museum, a museum full of photographs and military equipment from the atrocious Vietnam War. Finally, head to Ben Thanh Market, the best place to buy local handicrafts, souvenirs, and arts.
Learn an in-depth understanding of what really happened during the Vietnam war and crawl along the tiny spaces of the Cu Chi Tunnels to see what it was like being a soldier during the war.
Take an organized day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels. An important part of the Vietnam war history, these tunnels were used by Vietnamese soldiers to escape and survive the Cu Chi carpet bombings. The underground tunnels extend to 200km long with trapdoors, storage facilities, living areas, kitchens, arsenal, command centers, and hospitals. On this day tour, you will climb the underground tunnels. This is an unforgettable experience of discovering the life of the Viet Cong soldiers during the brutal war.
Discover Nha Trang through an ancient temple complex, pagodas, a beautiful nature walk, and a cliff jumping pursuit!
Visit Po Nagar Cham Towers. This impressive temple complex was built during 8th to 11th centuries by the Cham rulers. These towers were built for the goddess Po Nagar and are made of red brick. Head to Long Son Pagoda. It is located at the bottom of the Trai Thuy Mountain, where you’ll see the famous massive white Buddha. Go to Suio Do Pagoda. It is a beautiful Buddhist temple sitting on top of a mountain with a tranquil ambiance surrounded by nature. Finally, go to Ba Ho Waterfalls. With the lush greeneries and singing birds around, it’s a serene environment perfect for downtime. If you are looking for the adrenaline rush, cliff jump and feel your heart race as you go!
Be impressed by the natural beauty of Da Nang, a French colonial port, and take in gorgeous views of the lush mountains.
Go to Ba Na Hills, situated at the Truong Son Mountains. This natural hill is turned into a luxury resort with various entertainment focuses. You can enjoy the majestic views of the mountains via a cable car, explore Europe when you visit the charming French village, or enjoy an exciting day at the Fantasy Park. The highlight of this trip is the iconic Golden Bridge. Snap a few photos as you walk along the 150-meter bridge as held by colossal hands. Head to the Marble Mountains. These are five limestone and marble hills known to be pilgrimage sites with stunning caves, tunnels, and temples. End the day at Dragon Bridge in River Han and watch the glittering show of lights, fire, and water.
Enjoy Hoi An, the most picturesque city in Vietnam. Explore the vibrant Old Quarter, cycle around the countryside and relax with a great view of the river.
Arriving in Hoi An. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, a beautiful Japanese architecture historical piece. As you cross over the pagoda bridge, you’ll see many paintings made by local artists. Then head to the Assembly Halls. These Assembly Halls are a place for the local Chinese to socialize. These halls have colorful ornaments, statues, murals, and meticulously designed interiors and exteriors. Next, escape the city and explore Hoi An’s countryside with a bike tour. Get a more cherished view of the local villages, local people, and their local way of life. Finally, head to the charming Thu Bon River. Chill and enjoy the sunset with the rustic beauty of the markets and old villages.
Visit the land of cultural tradition in Vietnam, the Quang Nam Province. Take a trip to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and end the day sipping drinks by the beach.
Take a trip to My Son Sanctuary. Explore the famous archeological site that is important in the history, lifestyle, and culture in Vietnam. Discover the cluster of ruined temples showing a peek at the ancient Champa civilization. Known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the sanctuary houses Hindu-themed ruins of Hindu deity stone sculptures and ancient temples and towers surrounded by a tropical jungle. Then head to An Bang Beach for a relaxing end of the day. This is a famous beach in Hoi An featuring powdery white sand and clear blue waters with a few beachfront resorts, restaurants, and bars. Take a dip in the sea, go tanning on a sunbed, then end the day with a sumptuous seafood dinner by the beach.
Delight in a short trip to the imperial capital Hue. Visit Hue Imperial City and pay attention to an era when emperors reigned the lands.
Arriving in Hue. Explore the elaborate complex of the Hue Imperial City with a guided tour. Here you will see an impressive architectural design with nostalgic beauty during the Nguyen Dynasty. Then head to the Tomb of Kai Dinh. This unique royal tomb is located on a mountainside honoring the Nguyen Emperor Kai Dinh. It is difficult to reach the royal tomb as you need to head up the stairs with 127 steps. Head to Thien Mu Pagoda by riding the dragon boat along the scenic Perfume River. Thien Mu is a historic temple in Hue with an iconic seven-story pagoda. End the day in Nguyen Dinh Chieu Walking Street, a charming walking street perfect for trying their delightful street foods and buying from their lovely souvenir shops.
Visit the bustling and vibrant capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, to see some of the country’s best sightseeing like the old quarter, museum, and opera house.
Arriving in Hanoi. Head to Hanoi Old Quarter, a bustling street known to be a hub of locals, backpackers, and tourists. Visit Bia Hoi Corner. You’ll see locals, tourists, and vendors all on the street selling and buying snacks and drinks. Head to Temple of Literature, a well-preserved Vietnamese traditional-style architecture built under Ly Thanh Tong’s dynasty. Visit Fine Arts Museum. Here you will see displays of arts created by Post-war artists. Go to Hoan Kiem Lake, a serene lake located within the Old Quarter of Hanoi. It the best place to be away from the noise and crowd of the city to enjoy the tranquility. Then head to Hanoi Opera House to watch a theatrical attraction, such as ballet, drama, and symphonies.
Begin a nature adventure at the sparkling Ha Long bay. Get on a boat and enjoy the marvelous views of the bay, limestone karsts, floating villages, and caves.
Go to Ha Long Bay and choose a tour company. Get on a boat to Cat Ba Island, then head for a tour to the floating villages. Cruise along Lan Ha Bay and enjoy majestic views of hundreds of limestone islands. While in Cat Ba island, you can also go to a pristine beach, head for a swim, go for a tan, and have a few drinks and snacks. You can also explore the five famous historic caves in Ha Long Bay: Virgin Cave, Amazing Cave, Luon Cave, Paradise Cave, and Pelican Cave. These caves hold unique features like little treks and climbs, narrow and giant passageways, and colorful cave formations different from each other. Some are reached using a rowboat or kayak to fit due to its limited height.
During your last day in Hanoi, visit the historic mausoleum, palace, and house of the most iconic leader in Vietnam before heading to shop for souvenirs at the Old Quarter.
Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum. Located in Ba Dinh Square, this is the final resting place of the most iconic leader in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. This mausoleum was built like Russia’s Lenin Mausoleum and is made of granite. Nearby you can also visit the Presidential Palace, which was created for Ho Chi Minh but later decided to live in the Stilt House. Then, head to One Pillar Pagoda, a little pagoda that elegantly rises from one pillar. For a last-minute shopping and souvenir spree, head to the Old Quarter. Then head to Noi Bai Airport for your flight.