A Two Week Itinerary For Vietnam

In April I visited Vietnam for just over two weeks. Many an hour went into the planning of our two week itinerary – I scoured google, consulted travel blogs, asked various friends that I knew had been for advice, searched #vietnam on Instagram…the list is endless.

After working out how to actually travel around Vietnam, we eventually came up with a cracking route that made sure we got to all the places we wanted to see and more. Here’s my exact 2 week itinerary complete with costs, recommendations, accommodation advice, transport advice, excursion info and honest opinions. Before planning yours, make sure you include these top 8 things to do in Vietnam



2 week itinerary for vietnam

A quick summary:

Ho Chi Minh: Cu Chi Tunnels, Mekong Delta, Floating Markets

Hoi An: Shopping & Beach, Hai Van Pass

Phong Nha: Caves, National Park

Ha Long Bay: 2 Night Boat Trip

Sapa: 1 Night Sapa Trek

Hanoi: Shopping, Water puppet Show, Lake

Places we sacrificed: Da Lat (lakes & waterfalls), Nha Trang (beachy & diving), Mui ne (fishing village & coast).



We flew Emirates to and from Ho Chi Minh (via Dubai) as this was cheaper than flying into Ho Chi Minh and out of Hanoi. This cost £520 but we booked pretty last minute i.e. 1 month before! Booking at least a few months in advance you will get a MUCH better deal (like £350 – £430 return).

(I always research and book my flights on Momondo as I find it the cheapest site out there. I also find it’s the easiest website to use in terms of comparing price as it uses visual bar charts. <3)

We then got an internal flight at the end of our trip from Hanoi back to Ho Chi Minh with Jetstar which took 2 hours and cost £45 (we booked this last minute and is around £25 if booked further in advance).

Vietnam 2 Week Itinerary_



As we knew we didn’t have long, we didn’t waste any time and went and booked the Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta trip the night we arrived. This meant on our first day we could do the half day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels in the morning – this cost $5 (approx. £3.50) for the return bus (2 hours) and then 110,000 dong (approx. £3.40) for entrance (Vietnam uses both the American dollar and Vietnamese dong). There are tons of excursion offices dotted around Ho Chi Minh so just book tickets through one of these.
We got back from the trip at around 2pm and got dropped at the War Remnants museum which was really interesting and the best place to learn about the Vietnam War. This cost 15,000 dong (approx. 50p) for entrance. To fill the rest of the day we had a wander around Ho Chi Minh City and stopped by the cathedral, before exploring the Ben Thanh night markets at night.
Cheap (but nice) Hostel: Della Boutique Hostel (with rooftop bar!)
Gorgeous Hotel: An Lam Saigon River



We did the overnight Mekong delta trip. We were picked up at 7.40am and got back to Ho Chi Minh at 5pm the following day (day 3). This cost $26 (approx.  £18.00) for the overnight trip which included the home stay, the bus each way, the boat trip down the Mekong delta, a boat trip to a few other islands and the boat trip to the floating markets the next morning, as well as all food.
The homestay was great! Especially as we were taken down a river on a tiny boat in the pitch black to it – definitely an experience. The owners of the house also gave us a mini cooking lesson and taught us how to make rice paper rolls.




We did the boat trip to the floating markets in the morning. If I were planning this again knowing that we didn’t have much time, I would probably just take the day trip to the Mekong Delta rather than the overnight as the floating markets weren’t as great as we expected. Having said that though, the homestay was really cool so if you have time I would definitely recommend!
After getting back to Ho Chi Minh we took a taxi to the airport to fly up to Hoi An. We chose to fly as this part is a sizeable chunk of the journey up north and we didn’t want to waste time on a bus. There is the option of an overnight bus (this goes through Nha Trang with the option of getting off for a night or two) and takes around 19 hours overall.
We flew with VietJet for 880,000 dong (about £27) and it took an hour.




We spent the morning wandering around the markets of Hoi An Ancient Town, then in the afternoon went to a tailors and had some clothes custom made before heading to the beach for sunset. I would really recommend getting clothes made – the ladies are so lovely and the clothes they make are incredible! We also made sure we did the top 12 things to do in Hoi An


Cheap (but nice) Hostel: Paddy’s Hostel & Bar (with lush pool)
Gorgeous Hotel: Fusion Maia Hotel



We had a day off from moving around and got a taxi to the beach which cost 80,000 dong (approx. £2.50). The beach is about 3km away from the town centre – if you wanna spend more time in the sunshine rather than in a taxi you can also rent bicycles and enjoy the beautiful views along the way (mountains, locals working in the fields, water buffalo…).
That evening we had dinner on a barge on the river. There are a few that are all lit up with lanterns and it wasn’t any more expensive than the normal restaurants. A must!




We booked mopeds with Motorvina rental through our hostel. We rented 3 for 6 of us and they cost $20 per bike (approx. £14.00) . A van took our backpacks to Hue for $1. The journey is only 144 km but it is so beautiful and we stopped often to take photos so it took us around 7 hours. Try and leave Hoi An at around 8/9am to allow time  for stopping as it gets dark at around 7pm.
 **IF YOU ARE DOING THE HAI VAN PASS MAKE SURE YOU DOWNLOAD THE APP ‘MAPS ME’ FROM THE APP STORE** This is basically an offline google maps and is amazing for any travelling. If we didn’t have this we would probably still be lost there now as the map that they give you to follow is sooo basic!
Cheap (but nice) Hostel: Why Not Hostel
Gorgeous Hotel: La Residence Hotel & Spa



We boarded the 4 hour bus from Hue to Phong Nha National Park at 7am – it picked us up from our hotel. The tour we booked included the bus and a 2 hour boat ride into the caves which were beautiful. We booked it with Than Hu Tu Travel in Hue at a cost of 480,000 overall (approx. £15.00). It included a bus back to Hue but we stayed in Dong Hoi (the nearest town to the National Park and the other option to get dropped off at) so we could get the sleeper bus up to Hanoi that night.

The sleeper bus picked us up from a hotel in Dong Hoi At 9pm. This cost 200,000 dong (approx.  £6.20) and took around 8 hours, arriving into Hanoi at around 5am.

If you have time you can go zip lining, kayaking and also on a cave mud trek (this looks so cool!)




We used this day to book up our Halong Bay and Sapa trips. We also walked around the lake and went to the water puppet show in the evening which was really cool! This cost us 100,000 each (approx. £3.12) – there are a few performances each day – definitely recommend.
We booked our Ha Long Bay cruise with Golden Bay cruises from a tour office in Hanoi. It cost $120 for 1 night on the boat followed by 1 night on Cat Ba Island (the standard 2 night trip) but you could probably get it for cheaper so shop around and go to a few tour offices before you choose one. The food was really good and the rooms were fine so I would recommend if you’re on a budget. If not then there are loads of other boats around that cost a bit more but look a lot nicer. You can also do a 1 night trip if you are short on time.


Cheap (but nice) Backpacker: Nexy Hostel – (think cool, design type feel)
Gorgeous Hotel: Sofitel Legend Metropole – (beautiful rooms)



We got picked up from our hotel at 8.30am and driven the 4 hours to Ha Long to board the boat. We were shown to our rooms and served lunch before kayaking around the bay in the afternoon and just enjoying the scenery in general. To end the day we had cocktails and dinner while we watched the sunset.




After an early start we went on a 2k cycle ride up to a cave (you have the choice of going in the car – be warned this is all uphill). There was then a 2 hour hike scheduled up a mountain to give you panoramic views from the top, but the weather was so misty when we were there that we wouldn’t see anything. So instead we chilled at the hotel and explored the island, followed by a boat trip to monkey island that afternoon (this was included). We hiked up to the top of a rocky mountain and it gave us some pretty cool views so we were happy.



This was a travelling day. We got the bus from our hotel back to the boat (30 mins), the boat back to Ha Long (1.5 hours), and then the bus from Ha Long to Hanoi (4 hours). To save a night, we got the night bus to Sapa that night which left at 9pm. Check on this post on how to get to Sapa for more info on the bus and the other ways of getting up there.




We arrived at Sapa at around 5am and were met by local women who were our tour guides. They took us to a hotel at the very top of the hotel to freshen up and have breakfast before beginning our 12k trek through the rice terraces and local villages. We stopped at a local village for lunch – be warned you will be bombarded with women and children trying to sell you things…stay strong! We arrived at our home stay at around 3pm giving us plenty of time to cool down and enjoy our beautiful surroundings. We had dinner while watching the sun set over the mountains…heaven.
The 1 night Sapa trip cost us $55.00 (approx. £38) and included the return sleeper bus, the trek both days, the homestay and all food. You can also do it yourselves and rent mopeds to bike around the terraces, rather than trek.


Cute Homestay: Zizi Mekhoo Homestay
Gorgeous Hotel: Topas Ecolodge – (bath with insane views!)



We had a relaxing start with pancakes and Sapa honey for breakfast before we started our shorter trek at 10am ish. We passed waterfalls and streams as we continued down the mountain towards a mountain side restaurant where we had our lunch. We were picked up at about 1.30pm and taken back to the hotel.  The hotel you are taken to is right near Sapa town centre so if you are getting the night bus at 9pm this leaves you time to wander around the markets and enjoy the fabulous views. There is also a day bus that leaves at around 4pm if you want to get back to Hanoi earlier.




We had a lie in and late check out before heading for a last wander around the city. We bought our last souvenirs (kimono/chopsticks/silk sleeping bag) before heading to the airport to fly back down to Ho Chi Minh for our return flight home.


That’s it for now! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below 🙂


Other posts you may enjoy if you’re planning a trip to Vietnam:

8 Things You Cannot Miss In Vietnam

Top 12 Things To Do In Hoi An

7 Different Ways To Travel Around Vietnam

Train, Sleeper Bus, or Moped: How To Get From Hanoi To Sapa


Heading elsewhere in Asia?

Which Island For What? Thailand Island Hopping – The Ultimate Guide

A Quick Guide To Bali

Everything You Need To Know Before Your Trip To The Gili Islands

7 Best Spots in Cambodia To Learn About The Khmer Rouge

Komodo Sleeper Boat: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly



  1. chloe
    29th January 2017 / 18:47

    I’m off to Vietnam in June and am really interested in going to Sapa however am a bit confused how to book tours there to go trekking, especially since you arrive so early in the morning. Who did you use and do you have any advice?

    • 4th February 2017 / 21:13

      Hey Chloe,
      So exciting! Yes, Sapa is a must, it was definitely my favourite place in Vietnam. 🙂 Most of the tours up to Sapa depart from Hanoi. There are loads of independent travel agencies in Hanoi that offer trips including the return bus to Sapa, accommodation and trekking and this is definitely the best way to book everything. This also means you can compare a few companies and find the best package for you. Trips can be booked for the same day / next day departure so no pre-planning needed!

      Enjoy 🙂 xx

  2. Baptiste
    16th February 2017 / 12:52


    I was wondering if you could give the name of the agency for booking the mekong delta trip. With these things you never know how it can go, so when someone says it was great, its great to know exactly which agency you went for.

    • 7th March 2017 / 08:10

      Hey Baptiste,

      I honestly don’t remember which specific agency I booked with. Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to book with the exact same tour company, as there are so many operating every day doing a very similar (if not the same) thing. There are lots of tour companies in the same place so you shouldn’t have trouble booking one. Hope you have a great trip!

  3. Steph
    12th May 2017 / 08:52

    This blog is so helpful. We are planning a trip at the moment and this itinerary is really useful.
    What time of year did you travel? We’re thinking of going in late August/early September but don’t want it to rain for the full 2 weeks.

    • 12th May 2017 / 17:21

      Hey Steph,
      Thank you, I’m glad it helps with planning your trip. 🙂 We travelled in April – I think Aug / Sept can be rainy sometimes but I think it depends where abouts in Vietnam you go as well. I had friends travel in Sept and they said the north was perfect weather and the south was a little drizzly at times. 🙂 If it helps, when we were there in April we had a lot of grey skies! I’m sure Vietnam would be great whatever month you travel. Enjoy! X

  4. Conor Lilley
    15th July 2017 / 11:22

    So what was the total cost of your trip excluding the flights to and from Vietnam? This looks great but toying with the idea of either doing a tour or doing it myself!


    • 3rd August 2017 / 15:39

      Hey Conor,

      Sorry, I’ve only just seen your message! It’s hard to say exactly but I would imagine excluding flights we each spent around £650? ish? It’s cheap once you get there so we mainly spent our money on the tours we booked. 🙂

      Hope that helps! x

  5. Vishnu
    9th September 2017 / 01:28

    Hi your blog is very helpful. I was wondering if you remember the tour you booked in Sapa. I am seeing a lot of tours online but are very expensive. Thanks!

    • 24th October 2017 / 17:50


      I don’t I’m afraid, but all the travel agencies in Hanoi sell the tours and they are all very similar. I would wait and book it when you are there rather than in advance. It means you will get a much better price and will be able to research it more. 🙂 Have fun! x

  6. Simon
    10th September 2017 / 09:53

    This is a stunning set of information. We are looking to go early next year and your suggestions are pointing me in exactly the right directions.
    I see us doing almost all that you have covered (although unfortunately may have to sacrifice Sapa due to limited time).
    Many thanks for putting up such a great page, well crafted and so useful.
    Due to your page I am really looking forward to our trip now

    • 24th October 2017 / 17:47

      Hi Simon! Thank you I’m glad it has helped, and thanks for your kind words too. 🙂 It’s a shame you’ll have to sacrifice Sapa, it was easily the best part of our whole trip! Definitely try and factor it in if you can… Hope you have a brill time and good luck planning x

  7. Lee Mcgowan
    7th October 2017 / 21:24

    Fantastic read, thinking of going for two weeks in April 2018.
    It will be myself and my my 16 year old sons first adventure backpacking 😬

    • 24th October 2017 / 17:43

      Thanks Lee, you will have an incredible time. The perfect place to take your son, make sure you do the Hai Van Pass and Sapa! x

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