Exploring Vietnam: A 15-Day Travel Itinerary

Welcome to Vietnam, where every corner is a new adventure waiting to be explored! In this thrilling 15-day Vietnam travel itinerary, As a local I’ll take you on a journey through the vibrant streets of Hanoi, the majestic beauty of Ha Long Bay, the serene landscapes of Ninh Binh, the breathtaking mountains of Sa Pa, the imperial history of Hue, the coastal charm of Da Nang, and the ancient allure of Hoi An. Get ready for an unforgettable experience as we dive into the heart and soul of this mesmerizing country!

Day 1-2: Hanoi (2 nights)

Touch down at Noi Bai Airport and take a Grab straight into the buzzing energy of Hanoi! Explore the maze-like streets of the Old Quarter, where every corner holds a new surprise. Don’t miss the chance to sample street food delights like Phở, Bún Chả and bánh mì from local vendors. Visit iconic landmarks such as Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum for a glimpse into Vietnam’s rich history.

Local tips: book Grab Car (similar to Uber car) or Xanh SM ( local e-bike/e-car) from Airport to city central or even going around the cities to avoid hassle.

Local eat: Bún chả – 74 Hàng Quạt , Phở Lâm – 48 Hàng Vải

Trấn Quốc Pagoda

Day 3-4: Ha Long Bay (1 night)

From Hanoi, hop on a bus or join a tour to the breathtaking Ha Long Bay. Marvel at the towering limestone karsts and emerald waters as you cruise through this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore hidden caves, kayak through pristine lagoons, and watch the sunset paint the sky in a symphony of colors. Indulge in freshly caught seafood onboard and fall asleep to the gentle sway of the waves. Ha Long to Binh Binh via a bus in the afternoon (about 3h15′). You may reserve the bus ticket in advance on Vexere.com

Ha Long Bay

Day 5-6: Ninh Binh (1 nights)

Take a boat ride through the enchanting Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, where limestone cliffs tower over winding rivers and lush greenery. Visit Bai Dinh Pagoda, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Vietnam, and marvel at its grandeur and beauty. Take a bus (about 1.5hrs) from Ninh Binh to Hanoi. Evening at leisure in Hanoi.

Tam Cốc

Day 7-9: Sa Pa (2 nights)

Next up, it’s time to venture into the misty mountains of Sa Pa! Take an overnight train or bus from Hanoi and wake up to breathtaking views of terraced rice fields and ethnic minority villages. Embark on treks through the lush countryside, meeting local tribespeople and learning about their fascinating cultures. Don’t forget to try the hearty mountain cuisine, including steaming bowls of Thắng Cố and savory grilled meats.

Rice terraces

Day 10-11: Hue (1 night)

Fly from Hanoi to the imperial city of Hue and immerse yourself in its rich history and heritage. Explore the UNESCO-listed Imperial City, cruise along the Perfume River to visit ancient tombs (my favorite is Minh Mang tomb), and marvel at the intricate architecture of Thien Mu Pagoda. Sample Hue’s famous delicacies, such as Bún Bò Huế and Hến, at local eateries and market stalls. Highly recommend to try Corn Coffee at Tan Cafe which you might unable to find it else where.

Local eats: Cơm Hến Hoa Đông , Bánh Bèo bà Cư , Bún Bò Huế O Phượng

Imperial Palace

Day 12-13: Da Nang (2 nights)

From Hue, make your way to the coastal city of Da Nang by train or bus, a gateway to some of Vietnam’s most stunning natural wonders. You can also rent a bike from Hue driving to Da Nang which you will able to experience Hai Van Pass, then return the bike in Da Nang. Explore the mystical Marble Mountains, lounge on the golden sands of My Khe Beach, and wander through the ancient streets of Hoi An. Indulge in fresh seafood at beachfront restaurants and treat yourself to a tailor-made ao dai or silk lantern as a souvenir of your time in this enchanting city.

Day 14: Hoi An ( Day trip from Da Nang)

Our journey concludes in the charming town of Hoi An, where lantern-lit streets and centuries-old architecture await. Join a cooking class to learn the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine, stroll through the colorful markets, and take a sunset boat ride along the Thu Bon River.

Vietnam travel itinerary

Day 15: Take flight from Da Nang to Hanoi

As you bid farewell to Vietnam, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had and the memories you’ve made.

There you have it, an action-packed 15-day Vietnam Travel itinerary exploring the best of Vietnam from North to Central. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the tranquil beauty of Ha Long Bay, the cultural riches of Hue, and the ancient charm of Hoi An, this journey promises unforgettable experiences at every turn. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Vietnam!

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