Do you have 10 days to spend in Vietnam? Lucky you! It is a relatively easy place to travel (despite a few rip off merchants!) and you can cover a lot of ground in a short space of time. Here’s our top 10 Days in Vietnam Itinerary.
Day 1 – Start your 10 Days in Vietnam Itinerary in Hanoi
Your 10 Days in Vietnam Itinerary will commence in the North of Vietnam in Hanoi. Starting your trip by landing in Hanoi will really set you up for an amazing adventure – Hanoi is an awesome city, filled with energy, culture and amazing people. Picking where to stay should be no problem in Vietnam as it’s one of the biggest travelling destinations around. Personally, you should choose to stay at Vietnam Backpackers Hostel if you want a great time, amazing tours and like to meet people.
Start your trip by joining their free walking tour as it’s a great way to experience the city quickly. On the tour, it’s also a good opportunity to meet a lot of new travellers who have just come to the hostel, as most people join the tour.
If you get a chance, one of the best places to eat is at Hanoi-Lang Lieu, the restaurant is renowned for its great spring rolls and Asian dishes. Hanoi-Lang Lieu was one of my favourite restaurants that I have eaten at in Vietnam.
During the night time, go and spend some time around Hoan Kiem Lake, which is where Hanoi comes alive. Here, there are plenty of street performers and games for everyone to get involved in. You can partake in games of tug of war, human gender and watch people do magic tricks. You can also join the hostel free pub crawl if you want to experience Hanoi in the after hours!
Day 2-3 Halong Bay and Sightseeing
From Hanoi, kayaking in HaLong Bay is an absolute MUST. Book a trip to Halong Bay through your hostel, and you’ll get to spend 2 nights on your own private island in the middle of a natural wonder of the world. The hostel takes you to Castaway Island where you will explore the bay and can participate in activities such as: rock climbing, kayaking, wake-boarding and high-speed tubing. The island is just for the hostel only, and you share the island with 75-100 different people from the hostel. This makes the night time and the parties amazing! There’s drinking games galore, a lot of alcohol and great people – not really much more you can ask for!
On the second day on the island, you get your own private ‘sightseeing tour’ (read: booze cruise), where you start the day with a shotgun and end the day partying up with your new friends. The booze cruise is really fun, and it allows you to have a great tour of HaLong Bay. On the cruise you get to jump off the boat and swim with fish, kayak and just relax sunbathing and listening to music.
When you get back to the island, you again get to party the night away with all your new drinking partners before returning back to Hanoi the next morning with a probable hangover.
Day 4-6 – Sapa Region
Putting the hangover to one side – it’s time to travel north to the Sapa region. Again through the hostel you can book a tour to Sapa and experience what the northern mountains have got to offer. You will take a 6hour bus ride before checking into your hotel. Whilst in Sapa, rent a bike and drive around the mountains as it will give you breathtaking views of the region and will really knock your socks off.
On day 5, a local guide will come to your hotel and take you on a two-day expedition through the mountains. The treck will last most of the day, but you do get some free time to swim in the river and grab a bite to eat. Some of the sights you track through are memorising, and quite frankly out of this world. At the end of the first day of trekking you will arrive at your home stay, where locals provide you with a place to stay and give you A LOT of great food.
Day 6 will arrive before you know it, an incredibly early start, you will start trekking again through the mountains in order to see the sunrise. Before long you’ll be travelling back to your start part before heading pack to Hanoi in the afternoon.
Day 7 – Hoi An
Again through the hostel, you can choose to do the ‘Buffalo Run’ which is a 7 day long tour taking you from Hanoi down the coast to Hoi An – which honestly is really incredible. However, as this is a 10 day itinerary, I would suggest taking a bus down to the Hoi An region and then hiring a bike to go through the Hai Van Pass. The Hai Van Pass is a brilliant mountain road, where you get stunning views, the sun and hopefully you brought a beer with you for the ride. (Hai Van Pass became really famous during the Top Gear Vietnam Special).
In Hoi An you have the option to stay again at Vietnam Backpackers Hostel, where the hostel hosts the “Beer Olympics” and has a great Pizza if you fancy some Western food!
Day 8-10 Ho Chi Minh City
During your last stint of your trip, it’s probably a good idea to start making your way to Ho Chi Minh City. The city is a really famous city due it being named after Ho Chi Minh and his importance to Vietnam and its people. One of the most famous things to do in the city is visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels. These tunnels date back to the Vietnam War and you can go through them and just see how mental the living conditions of hundreds of people were. The tunnels are ridiculously warm and claustrophobic but give you a brilliant insight into the struggles the soldiers and civilians would have faced.
The night market in the city is another big tourist attraction in the city. The Ben Thanh Market is like no other! It has so many different stalls, from all items of clothing to food. A quick side note, the food is just sublime. If you want fresh, rich, authentic Asian food, then this market will be one of your highlights of a trip of many highlights.
Personally, when I go to the city, region or country I like to eat traditional food. Hence why I love the night market in Ho Chi Ming so much. However, another great Vietnamense restaurant in the city is ‘The Garlik’ – it makes fresh Vietnamense food. The service is sublime, the prices are really cheap and the food is exceptional!
If you enjoyed this 10 Days in Vietnam Itinerary you might also like to read about the 7 best Yoga Retreats in Vietnam.