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Vietnam in 10 Days: Ultimate Itinerary for an Unforgettable Tour

Posted By: Richard Roeffen / Vietnam Travel Guides
A comprehensive guide for experiencing the best of Vietnam in 10 days. This itinerary offers a well-planned trip, covering popular destinations such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay, and more. Discover the country's rich history, vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and indulge in delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Don't miss out on this unforgettable 10-day adventure in Vietnam.

Highlights of Vietnam: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hue & Hoi An

Vietnam is a captivating country in Southeast Asia that offers a wide range of experiences for travelers. From vibrant cities to stunning natural landscapes, Vietnam has something for everyone. Here are some of the highlights of this incredible country.

Hanoi Old Quarter

Hanoi Old Quarter - (Source: Collected)

Hanoi: A City of Contrast

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a city that blends tradition and modernity. The city is known for its bustling Old Quarter, where narrow streets are filled with shops selling everything from street food to silk clothing. The Hoan Kiem Lake is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can learn about the country's history.

Ha Long Bay: A Natural Wonder

Ha Long Bay, located in northeastern Vietnam, is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning scenery. The bay is filled with thousands of limestone islands and islets that rise from the emerald waters, creating a breathtaking landscape. One of the best ways to explore Ha Long Bay is by taking a boat cruise, allowing you to admire the karst formations and visit hidden caves. The bay is also a popular spot for kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.

Hue: The Imperial City

Hue, located on the banks of the Perfume River, was once the imperial capital of Vietnam. The city is known for its rich history and the impressive Hue Citadel, a complex of palaces, temples, and tombs. The Imperial City, with its ancient gates and palaces, allows visitors to step back in time and learn about the country's royal past. Don't miss a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Vietnam's most iconic landmarks.

Hoi An: A Charming Ancient Town

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a charming ancient town located on the central coast of Vietnam. The town is known for its well-preserved architectural heritage, with narrow streets lined with centuries-old buildings. Hoi An is a paradise for shopping enthusiasts, with numerous boutique shops offering tailor-made clothing and unique souvenirs. The town is also famous for its lantern festival, where the streets are adorned with colorful lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere.

Flavors of Vietnam

10-Day Vietnam-Cambodia Itinerary: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Siem Reap and More!

10-Day Vietnam-Cambodia Itinerary: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Siem Reap and More! - (Source: Collected)

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and balance of textures. From pho to banh mi, here are some of the must-try dishes that showcase the unique flavors of Vietnam.

Pho: A Vietnamese Classic

Pho is Vietnam's most famous dish, consisting of a flavorful broth, rice noodles, and various toppings such as beef or chicken, bean sprouts, Thai basil, and lime. This hearty and aromatic soup is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Banh Mi: A French-Vietnamese Fusion

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that combines French baguette with Vietnamese ingredients. The sandwich typically includes a variety of fillings such as grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. The combination of flavors and textures makes banh mi a delightful street food snack.

Cha Ca: Hanoi's Signature Dish

Cha Ca is a specialty dish originating from Hanoi, consisting of grilled fish marinated in turmeric, served with vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, peanuts, and fermented shrimp paste. This fragrant and flavorful dish is a must-try for seafood lovers.

Bun Cha: A Hanoi Delicacy

Bun Cha is a popular dish in Hanoi, featuring grilled pork patties served with rice noodles, fresh herbs, and a dipping sauce. The smoky and slightly sweet flavors of the grilled pork combined with the freshness of the herbs create a delightful combination of flavors.

Impressions of Vietnam: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hoi An & More

Vietnam is a diverse and beautiful country that offers a multitude of experiences for travelers. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the serene landscapes of Ha Long Bay and the charming ancient town of Hoi An, here are some impressions of these incredible places.

Exploring Hanoi's Old Quarter

The Old Quarter of Hanoi is a maze of narrow streets filled with shops, markets, and street food vendors. Wandering through the Old Quarter is like stepping back in time, with its traditional architecture and vibrant atmosphere. The streets are bustling with activity, and the scent of street food fills the air. It's a sensory overload that truly captures the essence of Hanoi.

Cruising Through Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is a place of natural beauty that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Cruising through the bay allows you to witness the towering limestone formations up close and marvel at the tranquil waters. The boat ride offers a peaceful and serene experience, allowing you to fully appreciate the breathtaking scenery.

Exploring the Ancient Town of Hoi An

Hoi An is a town that exudes charm and nostalgia. The ancient town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its well-preserved architecture and lantern-lit streets. Exploring the town on foot allows you to discover hidden alleyways, visit quaint shops, and soak in the enchanting atmosphere.

Off the Beaten Path in Northern Vietnam

While popular destinations like Hanoi and Ha Long Bay are must-visit places in Vietnam, there are also hidden gems in the northern part of the country that offer unique and off-the-beaten-path experiences.

Sapa: Trekking in the Mountains

Sapa is a mountainous region in northern Vietnam known for its stunning rice terraces and vibrant hill tribe cultures. Trekking through the terraced fields and visiting local villages allows you to witness the rural way of life and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. Sapa is also a great base for exploring Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina.

Ninh Binh: The Inland Ha Long Bay

Ninh Binh, often referred to as the "inland Ha Long Bay," is a picturesque region with limestone karsts, rice paddies, and tranquil rivers. Taking a boat ride along the Tam Coc River allows you to admire the stunning scenery, with limestone formations jutting out of the water. Ninh Binh is also home to the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, where you can explore temples and learn about Vietnam's history.

Mai Chau: A Peaceful Retreat

Mai Chau is a tranquil valley located in the mountains of northern Vietnam. The area is known for its lush green rice fields, stilt houses, and ethnic minority communities. Stay in a traditional homestay and immerse yourself in the local culture, attending traditional performances and enjoying homemade meals. Mai Chau offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the cities.

Active Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho & Phu Quoc

Suggested Vietnam Itinerary: 10 Days, 2 Weeks, or 1 Month - Intentional ...

Suggested Vietnam Itinerary: 10 Days, 2 Weeks, or 1 Month - Intentional - (Source: Collected)

Vietnam not only offers cultural experiences and stunning landscapes but also opportunities for active adventures. From bustling cities to serene islands, here are some destinations in southern Vietnam that are perfect for active travelers.

Ho Chi Minh City: Exploring the Metropolis

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and offers a bustling atmosphere and a rich cultural heritage. Explore the city on foot or by bicycle to fully immerse yourself in its vibrant streets and colonial architecture. Don't miss a visit to the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels to learn about Vietnam's history during the Vietnam War.

Can Tho: The Mekong Delta Experience

Can Tho is the largest city in the Mekong Delta region and is known for its floating markets and agricultural activities. Take a boat trip along the canals to witness the bustling Cai Rang floating market, where vendors sell fresh produce directly from their boats. Explore the surrounding countryside to discover lush fruit orchards and rice paddies.

Phu Quoc: Relaxing on the Island Paradise

Phu Quoc is a tropical island located in the Gulf of Thailand, known for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. The island offers a range of activities, from snorkeling and diving to hiking in the lush forests. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and indulge in fresh seafood on this island paradise.

With its rich history, incredible landscapes, and warm hospitality, Vietnam offers a plethora of experiences for travelers. Whether you're interested in exploring historical sites, indulging in delicious cuisine, or seeking adrenaline-filled adventures, Vietnam has something to offer everyone. Consider booking Cambodia and Vietnam tours through trusted Vietnam travel companies to ensure a smooth and memorable vacation. Start planning your Vietnam vacations now and discover the wonders that this beautiful country has to offer.

Best Places in Vietnam

Vietnam is a country filled with stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From bustling cities to picturesque countryside, here are some of the best places to visit in Vietnam:

Hanoi

The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, is a vibrant city that seamlessly blends old-world charm with modern amenities. Take a stroll through the Old Quarter, where narrow streets are lined with historic buildings, traditional shops, and bustling markets. Don't miss the chance to visit the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature, which is Vietnam's first national university.

Hoi An

Hoi An is a charming town on Vietnam's central coast, known for its well-preserved Ancient Town. Take a walk along the colorful streets, where ancient houses, temples, and bridges reflect the town's rich history. Hoi An is also famous for its tailor shops, where you can have custom-made clothing crafted in just a few days.

Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Vietnam's most iconic natural wonders. Embark on a cruise through the emerald-green waters, surrounded by thousands of limestone karsts and islets. Discover hidden caves, go kayaking, and enjoy delicious seafood while taking in the breathtaking views.

Sapa

Located in the northwest region of Vietnam, Sapa is a mountainous town known for its stunning rice terraces and vibrant ethnic minority culture. Explore the picturesque valleys, hike to remote villages, and interact with the local hill tribes. Sapa is also a great base for trekking enthusiasts, with various trails offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

Hue

Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, is a city steeped in history and culture. Visit the Imperial City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore its magnificent palaces, temples, and gardens. Take a boat ride along the Perfume River, where you can visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, and immerse yourself in the city's rich royal past.

Things To Know Before Visiting Vietnam For The First Time

Before traveling to Vietnam, it's important to be prepared and informed. Here are some essential things to know before visiting Vietnam for the first time:

Visa Requirements

Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter Vietnam. Check the visa requirements well in advance and make sure to obtain the necessary visas or e-visas before your trip.

Weather and Seasons

Vietnam experiences different weather patterns throughout the year. The country is generally divided into three regions - northern, central, and southern. Research the weather conditions for the specific time of your visit and pack accordingly. Be aware that the weather can vary greatly between regions.

Local Customs and Etiquette

It's important to respect Vietnam's customs and traditions. Some general etiquette tips include dressing modestly when visiting temples or pagodas, removing your shoes before entering someone's home, and using both hands when giving or receiving items. Learning a few basic phrases in Vietnamese can also be greatly appreciated by the locals.

Food and Hygiene

Vietnamese cuisine is diverse and delicious, but it's important to take some precautions to avoid stomach issues. Stick to bottled water, avoid eating street food from unhygienic vendors, and choose well-cooked, hot meals. Also, be mindful of the local dining customs, such as using chopsticks and sharing dishes with fellow diners.

Transportation and Safety

Getting around Vietnam can be an adventure in itself. Consider using reputable Vietnam travel companies when booking transportation or tours to ensure quality and safety. Be cautious when crossing the busy streets, as traffic in Vietnam can be chaotic. It's always a good idea to have travel insurance that covers any unexpected incidents.

Where to Stay in Vietnam

10 Days in Vietnam Itinerary: Vespa Tour

10 Days in Vietnam Itinerary: Vespa Tour - (Source: Collected)

When planning your Vietnam vacation, choosing the right accommodation is crucial. Here are some popular options for where to stay in Vietnam:

Hanoi

Hanoi offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. From luxury hotels in the city center to budget-friendly guesthouses in the Old Quarter, there is something for everyone. Consider staying in the Old Quarter to be close to the city's main attractions and bustling nightlife.

Hoi An

In Hoi An, you'll find a variety of charming boutique hotels and resorts. Many accommodations are located within walking distance of the Ancient Town, allowing you to easily explore the city on foot. For a unique experience, consider staying in a homestay or a traditional Vietnamese villa.

Da Nang

Da Nang boasts numerous luxury beach resorts and international hotel chains. This coastal city offers stunning beachfront accommodations with world-class amenities. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, consider staying in the nearby beach towns of My Khe or Non Nuoc.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, offers a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious skyscraper hotels. The city center and District 1 are popular areas for tourists, with easy access to attractions such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral and Ben Thanh Market.

10 Day Vietnam Itinerary From North to South

A 10-day itinerary is an ideal way to explore the highlights of Vietnam from north to south. Here is a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Hanoi

Start your journey in Hanoi. Explore the charming Old Quarter, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and watch a traditional water puppet show in the evening. Don't miss sampling street food delicacies like pho and banh mi.

Day 2: Tam Coc (Ninh Binh) Day Trip From Hanoi

Vietnam Itinerary for 10 Days (Map, Routes, and Costs) | Vietnamnomad

Vietnam Itinerary for 10 Days: Tam Coc, Ninh Binh - (Source: Collected)

Exploring the Tranquil Beauty of Tam Coc

On the second day of your Vietnam vacation, embark on a day trip from Hanoi to Tam Coc in Ninh Binh province. Tam Coc, also known as "Halong Bay on land," is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty.

Start your day journey by hopping on a boat to sail along the picturesque Ngo Dong River. As you meander through the waterways, surrounded by towering limestone karsts and lush greenery, you'll feel a sense of tranquility envelop you. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning landscapes!

Exploring the Caves of Tam Coc

A highlight of Tam Coc is its series of caves, formed by the eroding force of the river over centuries. The most famous caves in Tam Coc are Hang Ca, Hang Hai, and Hang Ba.

Each cave offers a unique experience, with Hang Ca being the longest and boasting mesmerizing stalactites and stalagmites. Hang Hai is known for its peaceful ambiance and ethereal light entering through small openings. Hang Ba, with its mysterious atmosphere, will transport you to another world.

Immersing in Local Culture and Traditions

Along with exploring the natural wonders, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions of Tam Coc. Visit the nearby villages and witness the daily life of the friendly local people.

Indulge in a traditional Vietnamese lunch in a local restaurant, savoring the flavors of the region. You can also try your hand at making local handicrafts or cycling through the quaint rural surroundings.

Day 3 & 4 in Vietnam: Halong Bay Overnight Boat Cruise

Embarking on a Magical Journey through Halong Bay

For the next two days of your Vietnam vacation, venture to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. This stunning archipelago, featuring thousands of limestone islands and emerald waters, is truly a sight to behold.

Board an overnight boat cruise and set sail through the majestic waters of Halong Bay. As you drift among the karsts, enjoy the breathtaking views and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere. You'll have the opportunity to witness mesmerizing sunsets and sunrises, made even more magical by the dramatic landscape.

Exploring the Hidden Gems of Halong Bay

During your boat cruise, take the time to explore the hidden gems of Halong Bay. Visit the awe-inspiring caves, such as the popular Sung Sot Cave (Surprise Cave), and marvel at the intricate formations that nature has sculpted over time.

Engage in activities like kayaking, swimming, or simply lounging on the sun deck, soaking up the natural beauty around you. You can also join a cooking class on board and learn how to prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Day 5 & 6 in Vietnam: Hoi An Ancient Town (Or Optional Day Trip to the Golden Bridge aka the Hand Bridge)

Vietnam Itinerary for 10 Days: Hoi An Ancient Town

Vietnam Itinerary for 10 Days: Hoi An Ancient Town - (Source: Collected)

Immerse Yourself in the Charm of Hoi An Ancient Town

On days five and six of your Vietnam itinerary, head to Hoi An Ancient Town, known for its well-preserved architecture and quaint streets.

Take a leisurely stroll through the ancient town's narrow alleyways and marvel at the vibrant mix of Chinese, Japanese, and French influences. Admire the beautifully preserved ancient houses and shop for unique souvenirs at the lively night market.

Optional Day Trip: Discovering the Golden Bridge

If you're looking for an extra adventure, consider taking a day trip to visit the Golden Bridge, also known as the Hand Bridge. Located in the nearby Ba Na Hills, this architectural marvel is a must-see.

The Golden Bridge features two giant hands supporting a bridge, creating the illusion of walking on air. The bridge offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lush landscapes. Be sure to have your camera ready to capture this unique experience!

Day 7 & 8: Ho Chi Minh City

Exploring the Vibrant Cityscape of Ho Chi Minh City

As you enter the second week of your Vietnam vacation, make your way to Ho Chi Minh City, the country's bustling metropolis.

Explore the city's vibrant streets, lined with towering skyscrapers, historic landmarks, and bustling markets. Visit the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral to delve deeper into the city's history and culture.

Indulging in Vietnamese Cuisine

No visit to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without savoring the diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Taste authentic street food at local markets or enjoy a gourmet experience at one of the city's renowned restaurants.

From flavorful pho and banh mi to mouthwatering seafood dishes, Ho Chi Minh City offers a culinary journey that will delight your taste buds.

Day 9 & 10: Beach At Phú Quốc

Relaxation and Tranquility in Phú Quốc

For the final leg of your Vietnam vacation, head to the beautiful island of Phú Quốc located in the Gulf of Thailand.

Unwind on the pristine beaches, with their soft white sands and crystal-clear waters. Take leisurely walks along the shore, swim in the turquoise sea, or simply bask in the warm tropical sun.

Exploring the Island's Natural Wonders

Aside from the breathtaking beaches, Phú Quốc is also home to stunning natural wonders. Explore the Phú Quốc National Park, encompassing dense rainforests, sparkling streams, and diverse wildlife.

Visit the mesmerizing Suoi Tranh Waterfall, where you can take a refreshing dip in its cascading waters. For a unique experience, take a tour of the island's fish sauce factories, learning about the traditional production methods handed down through generations.

As your Vietnam vacation comes to an end, savor every moment of relaxation and rejuvenation in this tropical paradise.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a 10-day itinerary in Vietnam offers a diverse and exciting travel experience. With the help of reputable Vietnam travel companies, you can easily plan and organize your trip, ensuring you make the most of your time in this beautiful country.

During your 10-day visit, you can explore a range of incredible destinations in Vietnam, from the bustling streets of Hanoi and the charming ancient town of Hoi An, to the picturesque landscapes of Halong Bay and the stunning Mekong Delta. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Cu Chi Tunnels or take part in a cooking class to learn more about Vietnamese cuisine.

While planning your itinerary, be sure to include time to visit some of the must-see places in Vietnam, such as the imperial city of Hue, the enchanting limestone caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

For a well-rounded experience, consider incorporating a visit to neighboring Cambodia during your 10-day trip. Cambodia and Vietnam tours offer the chance to explore iconic sites like Angkor Wat and learn about the rich history and culture of both countries.

Whether you're interested in history, nature, or simply immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture, a 10-day itinerary in Vietnam promises to be a memorable and rewarding vacation. With proper planning and the guidance of experienced travel companies, you can create the perfect itinerary that suits your interests and budget.

So start planning your Vietnam vacation today and get ready for an unforgettable journey through this fascinating Southeast Asian destination.

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