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Journey Through Vietnam: The Ultimate North to South Itinerary

Posted By: Paul O'Neill / Vietnam Travel Guides
Vietnam North to South Itinerary is a comprehensive travel plan that guides tourists through the cultural richness and diverse landscapes of Vietnam. This itinerary offers an immersive experience as travelers explore from the northern region, including popular destinations like Hanoi and Halong Bay, to the vibrant cities of central Vietnam, such as Hue and Hoi An, and finally to the bustling southern cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta.

Highlights

Vietnam is a captivating country in Southeast Asia that offers a wealth of experiences for travelers. From vibrant cities to breathtaking natural landscapes, Vietnam has something for everyone. This tour package combines the highlights of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, two of Vietnam's most iconic destinations. Explore the bustling streets of Hanoi and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of this vibrant city. Discover the top attractions of Ho Chi Minh City, from historic landmarks to bustling markets. This tour also includes a visit to the magnificent temples of Angkor in Cambodia, adding an extra dimension to your journey.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi

Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be greeted by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel. Take some time to relax and acclimate to the city.

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

Start your day with a guided tour of Hanoi's top attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. Explore the bustling Old Quarter and enjoy a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show in the evening.

Day 3: Halong Bay Cruise

Embark on a cruise through the breathtaking limestone karsts of Halong Bay. Enjoy a seafood lunch on board and explore the stunning caves and islands of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight on the cruise ship under the starlit sky.

Halong Bay Cruise

Halong Bay Cruise - (Source: Collected)

Day 4: Exploring Ho Chi Minh City

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and embark on a city tour. Visit the historic Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. Explore the bustling Ben Thanh Market and dine at a local restaurant to taste authentic Vietnamese cuisine.

Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta

Discover the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast underground network used during the Vietnam War. Take a boat trip along the Mekong Delta and explore the vibrant local markets. Enjoy traditional music performances and savor fresh tropical fruits.

Day 6: Arrival in Siem Reap

Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia, and explore the magnificent temples of Angkor, including Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple, and Ta Prohm. Marvel at the intricate carvings and learn about the rich history of the Khmer Empire.

Day 7: Departure from Siem Reap

Say goodbye to Vietnam and Cambodia as you depart from Siem Reap.

Detailed Itinerary

Motobike tour in Hanoi

Motobike tour in Hanoi - (Source: Collected)

Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi

Your Vietnam and Cambodia adventure begins as you arrive in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. You will be greeted at the airport by your tour guide and transferred to your hotel. Take some time to relax and acclimate to the city's vibrant atmosphere.

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

Start your day with a guided tour of Hanoi's top attractions. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can pay your respects to the revered leader of Vietnam. Explore the nearby One Pillar Pagoda, an iconic Buddhist temple built on a single pillar in the middle of a lotus pond. Continue to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first national university, and admire its beautiful architecture and tranquil surroundings. In the afternoon, explore the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, known for its charming colonial architecture, narrow alleys, and vibrant street markets. End your day with a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show, a unique cultural experience.

Day 3: Halong Bay Cruise

Embark on a memorable cruise through the stunning limestone karsts of Halong Bay. After breakfast, transfer to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay, known for its emerald waters and towering limestone islands. Step aboard a traditional junk boat and settle into your comfortable cabin. As you cruise through the bay, marvel at the breathtaking scenery and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch on board. Visit some of the magnificent caves and discover hidden lagoons. In the evening, enjoy a romantic dinner on the deck and overnight on the cruise ship under the starlit sky.

Day 4: Exploring Ho Chi Minh City

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, and embark on a city tour. Start your day with a visit to the historic Reunification Palace, where you can learn about the fascinating history of Vietnam. Continue to the War Remnants Museum, which provides insight into the Vietnam War from the perspective of the Vietnamese people. Admire the stunning architecture of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and visit the Central Post Office, designed by renowned architect Gustave Eiffel. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Ben Thanh Market, where you can shop for local handicrafts, souvenirs, and sample delicious Vietnamese street food. In the evening, dine at a local restaurant and indulge in the diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.

Day 5: Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta

Embark on a full-day excursion to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Discover the ingenious design of the tunnels and learn about the history and hardships of the Vietnamese soldiers. In the afternoon, take a scenic boat trip along the Mekong Delta. Explore the lively local markets, where you can taste exotic fruits and observe the daily life of the people living along the river. Enjoy traditional music performances and learn about the local traditions and customs.

Day 6: Arrival in Siem Reap

Bid farewell to Vietnam as you board a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, embark on a journey to discover the magnificent temples of Angkor, the largest religious monument in the world. Visit the iconic Angkor Wat, known for its stunning architecture and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology. Explore the mystical Bayon Temple, with its famous stone faces, and the ancient jungle-covered temple of Ta Prohm, often called the "Tomb Raider" temple. Immerse yourself in the rich history and spirituality of the Khmer Empire as you explore these impressive ancient ruins.

Day 7: Departure from Siem Reap

After breakfast, take some time to explore the vibrant city of Siem Reap at your own pace. Visit local markets, indulge in Cambodian cuisine, or take a relaxing stroll along the bustling streets. At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight, marking the end of your Vietnam and Cambodia adventure.

More Great Vietnam Itineraries

Exploring Northern Vietnam

Experience the beauty and diversity of Northern Vietnam with this itinerary. Start in Hanoi and explore the city's top attractions before venturing to the stunning landscapes of Sapa and Halong Bay. Discover the unique cultures of minority tribes in the remote mountains and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the countryside.

Central Vietnam Heritage Tour

Discover the rich history and cultural heritage of Central Vietnam with this itinerary. Explore the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its well-preserved architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Visit the imperial city of Hue, home to stunning palaces and historic landmarks. End your journey in the vibrant city of Da Nang, known for its beautiful beaches and modern attractions.

Map

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a map directly within this text format. However, you can easily find maps online or in travel guidebooks to help you visualize the locations mentioned in this article. Maps are a valuable resource for planning your Vietnam and Cambodia adventure and exploring the various attractions and destinations.

This Vietnam 3 week itinerary will show how to make the most of your trip to this beautiful country. It will take you across the country and let you explore the most must-see destinations.

GETTING AROUND VIETNAM

Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) Vietnam - (Source: Collected)

Transportation Options

When planning your Vietnam tours package, it's important to consider the various transportation options available to you. Vietnam has a well-developed transportation network that includes airplanes, trains, buses, and boats. Domestic flights are a popular choice for long distances, while trains offer a more scenic and leisurely experience. Buses are convenient for shorter journeys, and boats are ideal for exploring the country's stunning coastline and river systems.

Getting to Vietnam

If you're traveling from overseas, the best way to reach Vietnam is by air. The country has several international airports, with the most popular ones being in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There are direct flights from major cities around the world, making it easy to reach Vietnam from any continent. It's recommended to book your flights well in advance to get the best deals and ensure a smooth start to your trip.

Getting Around within Vietnam

Once you're in Vietnam, getting around the country is relatively easy. The most common modes of transportation for tourists are buses and trains. Both options offer affordable fares and access to various destinations. Buses are particularly popular for shorter distances, while trains are a great choice for longer journeys, offering comfortable sleeper cabins.

In cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are widely available and convenient for short trips. Motorbike taxis, known as "xe om," are also popular for navigating through traffic.

VIETNAM ITINERARY

Hanoi Top Attractions

Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, is often the starting point for many travelers. It offers a rich blend of history, culture, and vibrant street life. Some of the top attractions in Hanoi include:

1. Hoan Kiem Lake

Located in the heart of the city, Hoan Kiem Lake is a serene oasis. You can take a leisurely walk around the lake or visit Ngoc Son Temple, situated on a small island in the lake.

2. Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is a maze of narrow streets and ancient architecture. It's a bustling area filled with shops, markets, and traditional Vietnamese houses. This district is also famous for its delicious street food.

3. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

The final resting place of Vietnam's revered leader, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an architectural marvel. Visitors can pay their respects to Ho Chi Minh and learn about his life and contributions to the country.

Ho Chi Minh City Highlights

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is a vibrant metropolis in southern Vietnam. It's a bustling hub of commerce, culture, and history. Some of the must-see attractions in Ho Chi Minh City include:

1. Cu Chi Tunnels

A visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels offers a glimpse into the underground network used by Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War. You can explore the tunnels and learn about the ingenious methods used by the Vietnamese to resist American forces.

2. War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum showcases the brutal realities of the Vietnam War. Through photographs, artifacts, and exhibits, it provides a sobering insight into the impact of the war on Vietnam and its people.

3. Ben Thanh Market

Bustling and vibrant, Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit for shopaholics. Here, you can find a wide range of goods including clothing, handicrafts, and delicious street food.

VIETNAM ITINERARY – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

North to South Vietnam Itinerary Vietnam

North to South Vietnam Itinerary Vietnam - (Source: Collected)

Visa Requirements

Before traveling to Vietnam, it's important to check the visa requirements for your country. Many nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam. You can obtain a visa by applying at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate, or through an online visa service.

Weather and Climate

Vietnam experiences a varied climate depending on the region and time of year. The country generally has a tropical monsoon climate, with high humidity and distinct wet and dry seasons. It's advisable to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly for your visit.

Cultural Etiquette

When visiting Vietnam, it's important to respect the local culture and customs. Some key etiquette points to keep in mind include:

a. Dress modestly when visiting temples or religious sites.

b. Remove your shoes before entering someone's home or certain establishments.

c. Avoid public displays of affection.

d. Do not point at people or use your finger to beckon someone; it's considered impolite.

FINAL THOUGHTS – BACKPACKING VIETNAM

Vietnam offers a diverse range of experiences and attractions, making it a popular destination for travelers. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the stunning natural beauty of Halong Bay, and the historical significance of Ho Chi Minh City, there is something for everyone in Vietnam.

By following this 3 week itinerary and considering the necessary logistics, such as transportation options and visa requirements, you can make the most of your time in Vietnam and create unforgettable memories. Remember to immerse yourself in the local culture, try the delicious cuisine, and take the time to explore the hidden gems that exist beyond the popular tourist sites.

So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for an adventure-packed journey through the beautiful countries of Vietnam and Cambodia.

Best North to South Vietnam Itinerary: Exploring the Vibrant Cities and Breathtaking Landscapes

Discover the Charm of Hanoi

Start your North to South Vietnam itinerary by exploring the vibrant city of Hanoi. As the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi offers a mix of modernity and tradition. Walk through the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, where you'll find bustling markets, ancient temples, and delicious street food. Don't miss the chance to visit the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake and witness the lively daily activities of the locals.

Experience the Natural Beauty of Halong Bay

Continue your journey with a visit to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its stunning natural landscapes. Hop on a traditional junk boat and cruise through the emerald waters, surrounded by limestone karsts and verdant islands. Explore the hidden caves and enjoy activities such as kayaking and swimming. Witnessing the sunrise or sunset over the bay is an unforgettable experience.

Immerse Yourself in the Ancient City of Hoi An

Next stop on your North to South Vietnam itinerary is the charming city of Hoi An. Known for its well-preserved ancient town, Hoi An offers a glimpse into Vietnam's rich history. Take a stroll through the narrow streets lined with colorful lanterns and visit the historical sites such as the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese. Don't forget to indulge in the delicious local cuisine, including the famous Cao Lau noodles.

Explore the Vibrant Ho Chi Minh City

As you make your way down south, make sure to include a visit to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. This bustling metropolis is the economic heart of Vietnam and offers a vibrant mix of modern skyscrapers and colonial architecture. Explore attractions such as the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Experience the chaotic energy of the city by navigating through the bustling streets on a motorbike.

Ultimate North to South Vietnam Itinerary: Uncover the Rich History and Stunning Natural Beauty

Hoi An ancient Town

Hoi An ancient Town - (Source: Collected)

Unveil the Historical Sites in Hue

Start your ultimate North to South Vietnam itinerary by visiting the historical city of Hue. Known for its imperial citadel and royal tombs, Hue offers a glimpse into Vietnam's ancient past. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hue Citadel, visit the tombs of past emperors such as Minh Mang and Tu Duc, and take a boat trip along the Perfume River.

Marvel at the Natural Wonders of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Continue your journey with a visit to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, home to some of the world's most stunning caves and landscapes. Explore the famous Phong Nha Cave, where you can take a boat ride through an underground river and marvel at the limestone formations. Visit the Paradise Cave, known for its vast chambers and spectacular stalactites and stalagmites.

Visit the Idyllic Beaches of Nha Trang

Next on your ultimate North to South Vietnam itinerary is the coastal city of Nha Trang. With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, Nha Trang is a perfect destination for relaxation and water activities. Take a boat trip to nearby islands, go snorkeling or diving to explore the vibrant marine life, or simply unwind on the sandy beaches. Don't miss the chance to visit the iconic Vinpearl Land, a popular amusement park on an island.

Immerse Yourself in the Mekong Delta's Rich Culture

As you reach the southern part of Vietnam, immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Mekong Delta. Take a boat tour along the winding rivers and witness the local way of life. Visit floating markets, orchard gardens, and traditional craft villages. Indulge in the delicious local fruits and dishes such as fresh coconut candy and fish hotpot. Don't forget to try a traditional Vietnamese homestay experience for a deeper understanding of the local culture.

Vietnam Travel Guide: A Memorable Journey from North to South

Prepare for Your Vietnam Adventure

Before embarking on your journey from North to South Vietnam, it is essential to make necessary preparations. Ensure you have a valid passport with at least six months validity. Check if you require a visa for entry into Vietnam and apply accordingly. Research the best time to visit Vietnam, taking into account the weather and major festivals.

Getting Around Vietnam

Traveling from North to South Vietnam can be done by various means of transportation. Domestic flights are the fastest option, connecting major cities such as Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Alternatively, you can opt for overnight trains or buses for a more budget-friendly experience. Consider renting a motorbike for a unique and adventurous way to explore the country.

Trying Vietnamese Cuisine

One of the highlights of any trip to Vietnam is the exquisite cuisine. From pho and banh mi to fresh seafood and spring rolls, Vietnam offers a variety of flavors to tantalize your taste buds. Don't miss the chance to try regional specialties such as bun bo Hue (spicy beef noodle soup) and cao lau (pork noodle dish). Explore local markets and street food stalls for an authentic culinary experience.

Experiencing Vietnamese Culture and Customs

Vietnamese culture is deeply rooted in tradition and customs. Familiarize yourself with basic customs such as removing shoes before entering someone's home and dressing respectfully when visiting religious sites. Learn a few basic Vietnamese phrases to communicate with the locals and show respect for their culture. Embrace the warmth and hospitality of the Vietnamese people and immerse yourself in the local way of life.

North to South Vietnam Trip: Discovering the Charming Culture and Exquisite Cuisine

3 suggestions for Vietnam itinerary one week - Vietnam tours 2021

Ninh Binh, Vietnam - (Source: Collected)

Exploring the Ancient Capital of Ninh Binh

Begin your North to South Vietnam trip by visiting the enchanting region of Ninh Binh. Known as the "Halong Bay on land," Ninh Binh is famous for its stunning natural landscapes. Take a boat ride through the Trang An Grottoes, visit the ancient temples in Hoa Lu, and climb up to Hang Mua for a panoramic view of the countryside.

Uncover the Hidden Gems of Dalat

Next stop on your North to South Vietnam trip is Dalat, a picturesque hill station known for its cool climate and stunning scenery. Explore the beautiful flower gardens, visit the colorful Linh Phuoc Pagoda, and take a cable car ride to enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Don't miss the chance to try the local coffee and fresh strawberries.

Experience the Charm of Hoi An's Lantern Festival

If your North to South Vietnam trip coincides with the full moon, make sure to visit Hoi An during the Lantern Festival. During this time, the ancient town is beautifully adorned with colorful lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere. Take part in the candle-lit lantern procession, enjoy traditional music performances, and witness the breathtaking display of lanterns floating on the river.

Indulge in the Culinary Delights of Ho Chi Minh City

As your North to South Vietnam trip comes to an end, savor the diverse culinary delights of Ho Chi Minh City. Explore the bustling Ben Thanh Market and sample a wide variety of street food, from banh xeo (Vietnamese crepes) to banh cuon (steamed rice rolls). Don't miss the opportunity to learn the art of Vietnamese cuisine with a cooking class and bring home the flavors of Vietnam.

Must-Visit Destinations on a Vietnam Itinerary from North to South

Discover the Ancient Wonders of My Son

Include a visit to the ancient ruins of My Son on your Vietnam itinerary from North to South. Located near Hoi An, My Son is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the religious center of the Champa Kingdom. Explore the well-preserved Hindu temples and learn about the rich history and artistry of the Cham people.

Experience the Unique Charm of Sapa

Venture into the highlands of North Vietnam and visit the picturesque town of Sapa. Known for its terraced rice fields and vibrant ethnic cultures, Sapa offers breathtaking landscapes and cultural immersion. Take a trekking tour to discover the hill tribes such as the Hmong and Red Dao, and witness the colorful traditional costumes and customs.

Explore the Ancient Temples of Angkor Wat

Extend your Vietnam itinerary to include a trip to Cambodia and visit the iconic Angkor Wat. Located near Siem Reap, Angkor Wat is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Marvel at the majestic temples, including the famous Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm. Explore the intricate carvings and learn about the rich history of the Khmer Empire.

Relax on the Paradise Island of Phu Quoc

End your Vietnam itinerary by unwinding on the beautiful island of Phu Quoc. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc offers pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters, and lush tropical landscapes. Relax on the white sandy beaches, go snorkeling or diving to explore the vibrant coral reefs, and indulge in fresh seafood. Don't miss the chance to visit the Phu Quoc National Park and witness the diverse flora and fauna.

Conclusion

In conclusion, planning a Vietnam north to south itinerary is an excellent way to experience the diverse beauty and culture of the country. With various travel options available, including customized Vietnam tours packages, you can easily explore the stunning landscapes, historical sites, and vibrant cities that Vietnam has to offer.

Starting your journey in the bustling capital city of Hanoi, you can visit its top attractions such as the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake, ancient temples like the Temple of Literature, and the vibrant Old Quarter with its bustling markets and street food stalls.

As you head south, you can explore the breathtaking natural wonders of Halong Bay, cruise along its emerald waters, and visit the limestone karsts and hidden caves.

Continuing down to Central Vietnam, you can discover the historic city of Hue, known for its Imperial Citadel and ancient pagodas, as well as the charming town of Hoi An, famous for its well-preserved old town and vibrant lantern festivals.

Further south, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, awaits with its impressive French colonial architecture, bustling markets like Ben Thanh Market, and historic landmarks such as the War Remnants Museum.

For those seeking even more adventure and cultural exploration, extending your trip to include Cambodia can be a great option. In Cambodia, you can explore the majestic temples of Angkor Wat and experience the rich culture and history of this fascinating country.

Overall, from the captivating landscapes to the vibrant cities and historical sites, there are countless places to see in Vietnam and Cambodia, making a north to south Vietnam itinerary an unforgettable travel experience.

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