Best Vietnam 9 Days Itinerary for First-Time Travelers

Welcome to Vietnam, a rapidly evolving gem that boasts a rich tapestry of history, breathtaking landscapes, bustling cities, and the warmest of welcomes. If you’re embarking on your first journey to this enchanting land and seeking the ultimate itinerary to maximize your experience, you’re in the right place.

In this blog post, Viland Travel unveils the best Vietnam 9 days itinerary crafted specifically for first-time explorers. Prepare to be enchanted by Vietnam’s wonders and set off on an adventure you’ll never forget.

If you’re planning your first trip to Vietnam and wondering how to make the most of a 9-day adventure, Viland Travel has crafted the perfect Vietnam 9 days itinerary just for you. Discover the best of Vietnam with our expertly designed journey, ensuring you experience all the must-see sights and hidden gems. Dive into Viland Travel’s recommended itinerary below and prepare for an unforgettable exploration of this captivating country.

Day 1: Hanoi

Nestled in the heart of the Red River Delta, Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, seamlessly marries old-world charm with modern vibrancy, making it the perfect starting point for your Vietnam 9 days itinerary. Despite its status as a bustling capital, Hanoi exudes a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere, ideal for travelers seeking tranquility amid urban life.

Upon your arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, navigate through immigration and transfer to your hotel in Hanoi. As you settle in, let the city’s captivating allure envelop you. Prepare for a restful overnight stay, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey through the enchanting streets and rich heritage of Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay, a quintessential image of Vietnam with its limestone islands rising from the emerald sea. Embark on an unforgettable overnight boat trip to fully experience this must-see destination. 

Your adventure begins with a scenic drive through the picturesque Red River Delta to Halong Bay, where a warm onboard welcome awaits you. After checking in, indulge in a delicious lunch as you set sail towards the bay’s captivating seascape. The afternoon is yours to explore with various visits and activities, or to simply relax and soak in the stunning surroundings.

As the day transitions into evening, your boat anchors among the majestic karst formations, offering a breathtaking backdrop for a delectable dinner. Drift off to sleep surrounded by the serene beauty of Halong Bay, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Day 3:  Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue

Thien Mu Pagoda

After witnessing the mesmerizing sunrise over Halong Bay, dive into the onboard activities specifically curated for your boat’s itinerary. As the vessel glides back to the port, savor a delightful breakfast. Once you disembark, a comfortable transfer will take you back to your hotel in Hanoi.

To ensure you feel refreshed and relaxed, a day-use room is available from 15:00 to 18:00, allowing you to unwind and prepare for your next adventure.

As the evening approaches, around 18:00, your guide and driver will escort you to Hanoi Railway Station for a truly unique experience—a night train journey from Hanoi to Hue. We recommend the SE3 Train, which departs Hanoi at 19:25 and arrives at Hue Station around 08:55 the next morning (train schedules may vary). This overnight train ride offers a distinctive and memorable addition to your Vietnam travel adventure.

Day 4: Hue

Inside The Citadel. Imperial Forbidden City. Hue, Vietnam / Source: Smoke666 - YayImages
Inside The Citadel. Imperial Forbidden City. Hue, Vietnam / Source: Smoke666 – YayImages

Once you arrive at Hue station, you’ll be whisked away to your hotel for a delightful breakfast. Once refreshed, set off on a full-day adventure through the heart of Hue. Begin by exploring a king’s tomb, visiting a serene pagoda, and discovering the intricate local handicrafts.

Dive deep into the rich history of Vietnam’s emperors as you tour the majestic Citadel and the mysterious Forbidden Purple City. For lunch, savor a traditional Buddhist banquet at a tranquil pagoda. This day is brimming with scenic splendor, historical marvels, cultural treasures, and exquisite cuisine. For those seeking an extra thrill, opt to join this tour by motorbike for a unique and exhilarating experience.

Day 5: Hue – Hoi An

Embark on an epic journey from Hue to Hoi An, commencing at 8.30am and spanning 160km of breathtaking landscapes. Traverse coastal rice paddies and the quaint fishing village of Lang Co before braving the legendary Hai Van Pass. Ascend to 496m on this iconic stretch of road, immortalized by Top Gear. Discover the mystical Marble Mountains, where five karsts represent the elements revered by Cham people and Vietnamese emperors alike. 

Upon arrival in Hoi An, surrender to the charms of this 16th-century trading port. Check into your hotel and immerse yourself in the city’s ambiance, adorned with lanterns, ancient architecture, and a tapestry of street food flavors. Embark on an enchanting walking tour, meandering through cobbled streets, bustling markets, and a picturesque harbor. Explore a centuries-old private residence, a family chapel, and delve into Hoi An’s vibrant history at the Sa Huynh Museum. The journey culminates at the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, an emblem of the town’s cultural fusion. Surrender to the allure of Hoi An’s timeless beauty and storied past.

Day 6: Hoi An

Indulge in some leisure time during your Hoi An stay! For those seeking an optional adventure, join our thrilling Hoi An cycling tour and captivating cooking class. Kick off at 8 am, pedal your way through the charming city streets to the Thu Bon River, and delve into the heart of a local fishing village. Traverse serene country lanes, witnessing traditional rice farming techniques and local life unfold. Glide through palm groves, cross quaint bridges, and catch glimpses of water buffalo grazing in the fields.

Pause for a breather at Cam Thanh Village before embarking on a mesmerizing 1.5-hour boat journey through the Water Coconut Palm Forest. Learn the art of basket boat sailing and try your hand at fishing for “purple crabs.” Next stop, Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village, where you’ll unearth the secrets of sustainable farming. Engage in a hands-on cooking class to master the art of crafting traditional Hoi An delicacies and relish a delectable lunch. Then, pedal back to the hotel and unwind for the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.

Day 7: Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels

Ho Chi Minh Cu Chi Tunnel
Ho Chi Minh Cu Chi Tunnel

Indulge in a scrumptious breakfast at your hotel before our chauffeur whisks you away to Da Nang airport for a quick morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City, affectionately known as Saigon. This dynamic metropolis pulsates with life, teeming markets, bustling avenues brimming with motorbikes, tantalizing street food stalls, and a juxtaposition of sleek skyscrapers and traditional architecture. As the beating heart of Vietnam’s economy, Saigon boasts a captivating blend of modernity and old-world charm.

Upon arrival and settling into your accommodations, your guide will lead you on an adventure to the iconic Cu Chi Tunnels. These subterranean networks served as vital lifelines for Vietnamese insurgents during their struggle for independence, proving pivotal in the Viet Cong’s triumph over American forces. Immerse yourself in history as you watch an informative video, traverse the reserve grounds, and even brave the narrow tunnels, gaining insight into the harsh conditions endured by guerrilla fighters. Explore an array of traps and weapons on display, offering a glimpse into wartime tactics.

As the sun dips below the horizon, return to the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City for a leisurely evening, unwinding amidst the city’s electric ambiance.

Day 8: Mekong Delta

Embark on an enchanting voyage through Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s agricultural nucleus, where the mighty Mekong River spreads its arms into a labyrinth of waterways, nurturing life in the region. Experience the captivating lifestyle on water as you navigate through the intricate tributaries.

Begin your odyssey in Ben Tre, where you’ll set sail on the Ben Tre River, immersing yourself in the bustling river scene with activities like fishing and water transfers. Witness age-old brick-making techniques at brickwork sites and marvel at the coconut processing workshops lining the canal. Venture into narrow natural creeks, exploring the village’s hidden gems.

Immerse yourself in local culture as you visit a family workshop, master the art of sleep mat weaving, and indulge in a feast of fruits and tea. Embark on a scenic biking or Xe Loi ride, winding through lush rice fields and verdant vegetable plains, gaining insights into rural life and tropical culture.

Savor a delectable lunch at a local eatery before embarking on a tranquil rowing boat excursion along the water palm creek. Bid farewell to the Mekong Delta at Hung Vuong Pier, cherishing the memories of this unforgettable journey, before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for an overnight retreat.

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City

unusual things to do in ho chi minh city

As you indulge in your last breakfast in Ho Chi Minh City, the vibrant energy of Vietnam still lingers in the air. With a leisurely morning ahead, take this opportunity to wander and discover hidden gems on your own. 

As the day unfolds, embark on a journey to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, where your departure flight awaits, bidding farewell to your Vietnam 9 days itinerary. Though this chapter may close, the memories and experiences crafted along the way will remain etched in your heart forever. 

Final thoughts

For novice travelers, crafting the ideal Vietnam 9 days itinerary can pose quite the challenge, making a guided tour the optimal choice for an enriching experience. Viland Travel’s tailor-made journeys encompass all the captivating cities you’ve been dreaming of.

With seasoned guides and seamless organization, our cultural expeditions ensure a stress-free voyage. Immerse yourself in diverse landscapes, unravel centuries-old heritage, and indulge in delectable cuisine. From cozy accommodations to meticulously curated schedules, every aspect is meticulously arranged. Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s spellbinding allure, forge everlasting memories, and unveil the essence of this extraordinary nation.

Don’t let this extraordinary opportunity pass you by. Secure your spot now and set off on an adventure of a lifetime.