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The Ultimate Vietnam Trip Itinerary: From North To South In 2 Weeks

A stunning photo of rice terraces in Sapa, Vietnam, capturing the bustling atmosphere and natural beauty of the landscape.

Planning a trip to Vietnam and feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. With its diverse landscapes and vibrant cities, deciding where to go can be challenging. Fear not! This guide will help you navigate the country from north to south in just two weeks, ensuring that you don’t miss out on any of the must-see spots.

Ready for an adventure?.

Key Takeaways

  • Two weeks is the ideal amount of time to explore Vietnam from north to south, allowing you to see all the main places while staying on a budget.
  • Options for getting around Vietnam include flying for quick traveltaking trains for stunning views along the coast, and using buses to reach smaller towns.
  • Highlights of a 2 – week itinerary include exploring Hanoi’s cultural and natural attractions, cruising through Halong Bay’s breathtaking landscapes, immersing oneself in Hue’s historical sites, enjoying the charm of Hoi An for several days, experiencing the coastal beauty of Mui Ne as a detour, and ending with bustling Ho Chi Minh City.

How Long Should You Spend in Vietnam?

A diverse group of travelers explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi.Two weeks is the best time for a full Vietnam trip. This gives you enough time to see all the main places from north to south. You start in Hanoi and finish in Ho Chi Minh City. These two weeks can be on a tight budget.It depends on where you stay, how you travel, and what you do. If your trip is in December or January, you will enjoy good weather too!

ULTIMATE 2-WEEK VIETNAM TRAVEL GUIDE (South to North)

Getting Around Vietnam

A busy railway station in Vietnam with diverse people, stunning scenery, and a passing train.

In Vietnam, you have many ways to move around. You can fly, use a train, or ride a bus. Air travel is quick and saves time. You can catch flights from big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Train rides give the best views. They go along the coast for some routes. This way, you can see the beautiful sea and mountains of Vietnam. The trains are comfy and great for long trips.

Buses are cheap but slow compared to planes and trains. Yet they reach small towns where planes do not land or trains do not stop at. But beware! Roads in Vietnam get busy! So keep this in mind when using buses.

How to travel Vietnam | 1, 2, 3 & 4 Week Itinerary BREAKDOWNS

2 Week Vietnam Itinerary

A street vendor selling delicious Vietnamese street food in Hanoi's bustling Old Quarter.

Explore the vibrant streets of Hanoi, cruise through the picturesque Halong Bay, immerse yourself in the historical city of Hue, get lost in the charming town of Hoi An, and experience the bustling energy of Ho Chi Minh City.

Don’t miss out on this incredible 2-week journey through Vietnam!

VIETNAM | Guide To Spending 2 Weeks In Vietnam

Hanoi: Days 1-3

A vibrant cityscape photo of Hanoi's bustling streets at dusk, featuring diverse people and captivating scenery.

Your Vietnam trip starts in Hanoi, the capital. Spend the first three days here. This city has a mix of culture and nature. You can see mountains and cities in one place. There are many things to do and places to see so you won’t get bored!

Halong Bay Cruise: Days 3-4

A stunning photo of the vibrant sunset over the limestone islands of Halong Bay.

On days 3 and 4 of your Vietnam trip, you’ll embark on a memorable cruise in Halong Bay. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its limestone islands, emerald waters, and picturesque landscapes.

The cruise typically lasts for two days, giving you plenty of time to explore the bay’s natural wonders and relax in the serene surroundings. You can choose from various activities such as kayaking, visiting hidden caves, or simply enjoying the breathtaking views from the deck.

It’s a perfect opportunity to unwind and immerse yourself in the beauty of Halong Bay before continuing your adventure in Vietnam.

Hue: Days 4-6

A stunning photograph of the Imperial Citadel surrounded by gardens and reflected in the Perfume River at sunset.

During days 4-6 of your 2-week Vietnam itinerary, you will be exploring the city of Hue. Located between Ninh Binh and Hoi An, Hue is a historical and cultural gem that should not be missed.

Spend 2-3 days here to fully experience what the city has to offer. Start by visiting the Imperial Citadel, an ancient fortress filled with palaces, temples, and beautiful gardens.

Don’t forget to take a boat ride along the Perfume River to see Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most iconic landmarks. In addition, immerse yourself in Vietnamese history at the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang and Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh.

Hoi An: Days 6-11

A woman wearing a traditional Vietnamese ao dai stands by colorful lanterns in Hoi An.

In Hoi An, you’ll have a whole five days to explore this charming city and its many attractions. You can start by visiting the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, known for its unique architectural style.

Don’t forget to check out the Hoi An Night Market, where you can find delicious street food and shop for handmade crafts. If you’re up for some adventure, consider taking a side trip from Hoi An to visit the My Son Sanctuary or take a boat tour to the nearby Cham Islands.

Make sure to book your accommodations in advance as Hoi An is a popular tourist destination with plenty of options to choose from.

Mui Ne Detour

A windsurfer is captured in action on the vibrant turquoise waters of Mui Ne beach.

In your 2-week Vietnam itinerary, make sure to include a detour to Mui Ne. This beautiful coastal town is famous for its stunning beaches and sand dunes. With its strong winds, Mui Ne is the perfect place for water sports like kiteboarding and windsurfing.

The red and white sand dunes in Mui Ne offer breathtaking landscapes that attract many tourists. You can relax on the beach or enjoy activities like sandboarding and quad biking. Don’t miss the chance to visit the local fishing village, where you can see the fishermen at work and savor delicious fresh seafood.

Ho Chi Minh City: Days 11-14

A street vendor sells colorful fruits and vegetables in a bustling market.

In the last leg of your two-week Vietnam trip, you’ll spend three days exploring Ho Chi Minh City. There are plenty of attractions to see, including the War Remnants Museum and Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon.

If you love shopping, make sure to visit popular markets like Ben Thanh Market and Binh Tay Market. If you have extra time, consider taking a day trip outside the city to places like the Mekong Delta or Vung Tau.

It’s a bustling and vibrant city with lots to offer before saying goodbye to this beautiful country.

Offbeat Vietnam Itinerary

A stunning photograph capturing a serene sunrise over the winding roads of the Vietnamese countryside.

Explore the road less traveled with our recommended tours and offbeat destinations in Vietnam.

Recommended tours

A group of friends hiking through lush mountains on a nature trail, captured in a stunning photograph.

Looking for some recommended tours to enhance your Vietnam trip? Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Cu Chi Tunnels Half-day Tour: Explore the historic Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City and learn about Vietnam’s history during the Vietnam War.
  2. Sapa Trekking Tour: Take a trekking tour in Sapa and marvel at the stunning rice terraces and breathtaking landscapes of this mountainous region.
  3. Mekong Delta Boat Tour: Embark on a boat tour of the Mekong Delta and experience the vibrant river life, floating markets, and lush green scenery.
  4. Ha Giang Loop Motorcycle Tour: Go on an adventurous motorcycle tour through Ha Giang province, known for its majestic mountains, ethnic minority communities, and scenic winding roads.
  5. Ninh Binh Day Tour: Visit Ninh Binh and explore its stunning natural beauty, including limestone karsts, ancient temples, and tranquil river valleys.

Things to Know Before Traveling to Vietnam

A woman wearing a traditional Vietnamese ao dai standing in front of the iconic Ha Long Bay.

Before traveling to Vietnam, there are a few things you should know:

  • December to January is a great time to visit as the weather is favorable in both the North and South.
  • If you’re interested in underwater activities, consider snorkeling in Con Dao or Phu Quoc Island.
  • Make sure to try the local cuisine, such as pho and banh mi, which are delicious and affordable.
  • It’s important to be respectful of Vietnamese customs and traditions. For example, when visiting temples or pagodas, remember to dress modestly and remove your shoes.
  • Bargaining is common in markets and street vendors, so don’t be afraid to negotiate for a better price.
  • Stay hydrated and protect yourself from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent and wearing long sleeves or pants, especially if you’re visiting rural areas.
  • Familiarize yourself with basic Vietnamese phrases like “hello” (xin chào) and “thank you” (cảm ơn) as it will make it easier to communicate with locals.

3-Week Itinerary in Vietnam

A stunning panoramic shot of Ha Long Bay at sunrise, showcasing its natural beauty and bustling atmosphere.

Explore Vietnam from north to south with a 3-week itinerary that offers two options: starting in the north and heading south or starting in the central region and going all the way up to the north.

North to South option

A group of diverse travelers posing in front of a traditional Vietnamese temple.

The North to South option is the perfect way to explore Vietnam’s diverse landscapes, culture, and attractions. This itinerary takes you from Hanoi in the north all the way down to Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

In between, you’ll have the chance to visit iconic places like Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, and Mui Ne. This option is ideal for first-time visitors who want to see a little bit of everything that Vietnam has to offer.

With proper planning and time management, you can make the most of your 3-week trip and experience all the amazing sights and experiences that Vietnam has in store for you.

Central to North option

In the Central to North option of your 3-week Vietnam itinerary, you’ll start your journey in Hanoi, which is located in the northern part of Vietnam. Hanoi is a popular starting point because it has great connections for international flights.

From there, you’ll have the chance to explore big cities, beautiful countryside, and must-visit attractions throughout North and Central Vietnam. This itinerary will take you through a mix of culture, history, bustling city life, stunning natural landscapes, and delicious local cuisine.

It’s a fantastic way to experience the best of what Vietnam has to offer!

Extension Options

A diverse group of hikers explore the lush mountains of northern Vietnam.

Explore the stunning landscapes and vibrant culture of Vietnam with these extension options for a week in the north or south.

1 Week in Vietnam: The North

If you have just one week to explore the northern part of Vietnam, there are some incredible places you can visit. Start by spending a couple of days in Hanoi, the capital city known for its bustling streets and vibrant food scene.

From there, take a cruise through Halong Bay, where you can marvel at the stunning limestone karsts and enjoy kayaking or swimming in the turquoise waters. If you have more time, consider visiting Ninh Binh for its breathtaking landscapes and ancient temples.

And if you’re up for an adventure, venture further north to Sapa and experience the beautiful rice terraces and meet local hill tribes. Remember that September to November is considered the best time to visit this region.

1 Week in Vietnam: The South

If you only have one week to explore the southern part of Vietnam, there are some must-visit destinations you should consider. Start your journey in Ho Chi Minh City, where you can immerse yourself in the bustling energy and rich history of this vibrant city.

Don’t miss out on visiting popular attractions like the War Remnants Museum and Ben Thanh Market.

From there, take a day trip to the Mekong Delta, where you can cruise along the winding rivers and experience local life in the floating markets. If beach time is more your thing, head to Mui Ne for its stunning sandy beaches and picturesque sand dunes.

Next stop: Phu Quoc Island. Known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, it’s a perfect place to unwind and relax. Explore the island’s coral reefs or simply soak up the sun on Long Beach.

Accommodations and Activities for Each Destination

A diverse group of travelers enjoying breakfast on a rooftop with the city skyline in the background.

In Hanoi, you can stay at the luxurious Hilton Hanoi Opera and explore popular attractions like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Old Quarter.

Hanoi

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a vibrant city that should be on everyone’s travel itinerary. With its rich history and charming culture, Hanoi offers a unique experience for visitors.

The city is famous for its colonial architecture, which reflects its French influences. You can stroll through the streets lined with beautiful buildings and immerse yourself in the old-world charm.

Hanoi is also known for its delicious food, so make sure to try some of the local delicacies like pho or banh mi.

As part of the ultimate Vietnam trip itinerary, Hanoi serves as an excellent starting point for your journey from North to South in just two weeks. From here, you can easily explore other popular destinations such as Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a stunning destination that should be included in your ultimate Vietnam trip itinerary. It is famous for its breathtaking scenery, with thousands of limestone islands and emerald waters.

Located on the west coast of the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, Halong Bay offers a unique and unforgettable experience. When you visit Halong Bay, you can take a cruise to explore the picturesque islands and caves or relax on beautiful sandy beaches.

Travel guides provide essential information for first-time visitors, helping them make the most out of their trip to this must-see destination in Vietnam. So don’t miss out on the chance to witness the natural beauty of Halong Bay during your 2-week journey through Vietnam!

Hue

Hue, an old imperial capital of Vietnam, is a must-visit destination on your 2-week trip from North to South. This city is full of historical attractions such as the Citadel, royal tombs, and even an abandoned water park.

When you’re not exploring these landmarks, be sure to indulge in Hue’s delicious local cuisine. There are plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose from during your stay in Hue. Don’t forget to admire the beautiful pagodas, old city walls, Royal Tombs, and Imperial architecture that make this city so unique.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a small and charming city in Vietnam that should not be missed on your two-week itinerary. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a unique experience with its canals, colorful boats, and provincial atmosphere.

Known as one of the top dining destinations in Vietnam, Hoi An boasts a wide variety of restaurants serving delicious local cuisine. From exploring the ancient town’s historic architecture to shopping for traditional crafts at the night markets, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in Hoi An.

Whether you’re looking for cultural immersion or simply want to relax by the beautiful beaches nearby, Hoi An has something for everyone. With its rich history and vibrant atmosphere, this city is definitely worth spending several days exploring during your trip to Vietnam.

Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a popular resort located in Binh Thuan Province on Vietnam’s east coast. It’s about 215 km east of Ho Chi Minh City and only about 11 km east of Phan Thiet. Mui Ne is known for its beautiful sand dunes and stunning beaches, making it a great destination for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts.

There are plenty of fun things to do in Mui Ne, such as visiting the colorful sand dunes, trying out water sports like kiteboarding and windsurfing, or simply relaxing by the beach.

The town offers a mix of adventure and relaxation, providing travelers with an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking for thrilling activities or just want to unwind amidst natural beauty, Mui Ne has something for everyone.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is the final stop on your two-week Vietnam trip. It’s recommended as the city to fly out of when you’re done exploring the country. Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a popular destination for travelers in Vietnam.

It’s a bustling and vibrant city with a rich history and culture. In Ho Chi Minh City, you can visit famous landmarks like the Notre-Dame Cathedral and Reunification Palace. Don’t forget to explore the busy street markets and try some delicious Vietnamese street food.

Conclusion

A diverse group of travelers admire the breathtaking landscapes of Vietnam's mountain peak.

Plan the ultimate 2-week trip in Vietnamstarting from Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh City. Experience the diverse landscapes, visit popular cities such as Halong Bay and Hoi An, and explore offbeat destinations along the way.

Customize your itinerary based on personal preferences and make unforgettable memories in this beautiful country.

FAQs

1. What are the must-visit places in Vietnam during a 2-week trip?

Some must-visit places in Vietnam for a 2-week trip include Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and the Mekong Delta.

2. How should I plan my itinerary for a 2-week trip in Vietnam?

To plan your itinerary for a 2-week trip in Vietnam, divide your time between the northern region (Hanoi and Halong Bay), central region (Hue and Hoi An), and southern region (Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta).

3. What is the best way to travel from North to South Vietnam?

The best way to travel from North to South Vietnam is by domestic flights or overnight trains, which offer convenience and save time compared to road travel.

4. Are there any visa requirements for visiting Vietnam?

Yes, most tourists visiting Vietnam need to apply for a visa before arrival. You can check with your local Vietnamese embassy or consulate for specific visa requirements based on your nationality.

5. Can I cover all major attractions in Vietnam within 2 weeks?

While it may be challenging to cover all major attractions in Vietnam within 2 weeks due to its size and diverse offerings, you can create an itinerary that includes popular destinations and experiences representative of different regions of the country.

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