Most Recommended Vietnam Itinerary 3 Weeks South to North for Seasonal Travelers

Vietnam is a country that truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking breathtaking natural landscapes, vibrant cultural experiences, mouthwatering cuisine, or thrilling adventures, Vietnam has it all.

Planning a three-week trip to Vietnam might seem daunting, but we’re here to help. In this blog post, Viland Travel presents the ultimate Vietnam Itinerary 3 Weeks South to North, curated by seasoned travelers to showcase the very best of this Asian gem. From the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City to the serene waters of Ha Long Bay, and the charming lantern-lit town of Hoi An to the historic capital of Hanoi, this itinerary covers it all. Get ready to be enchanted by the lush Mekong Delta, trek through the terraced rice fields of Sapa, and marvel at the ancient temples of Hue. By the end of this post, you’ll be equipped with all the insights and tips you need for an unforgettable journey through Vietnam. So, read on and prepare yourself for an adventure of a lifetime!

Vietnam Itinerary 3 Weeks South to North that will fulfill your hunger for travel

Three weeks in Vietnam offers the perfect window to immerse yourself in the country’s vibrant culture and stunning natural wonders. With an abundance of sights to see and experiences to savor, planning the perfect trip can be overwhelming. To help you make the most of your adventure, we present the ultimate Vietnam Itinerary 3 Weeks South to North recommended by experienced travelers. This carefully crafted journey ensures you won’t miss any highlights in the enchanting S-shaped land. Dive in and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, a bustling Asian metropolis that pulsates with energy and excitement. Here, you’ll find a captivating blend of traditional markets, vibrant streets teeming with scooters, and mouth-watering street-side food stalls. Alongside these cultural gems, you’ll also encounter modern elements like foreign restaurants, office blocks, and shopping malls.

As Vietnam’s economic powerhouse, Ho Chi Minh City has made remarkable progress in recent years. It’s a city that never sleeps, where life moves at a rapid pace, and optimism fills the air after a tumultuous 20th century.

Upon landing at Tan Son Nhat Airport, you’ll navigate the immigration procedures, with visa on arrival or via Vietnam E-visa if needed. The journey to your hotel will be an entertaining half-hour ride, immersing you in the chaotic traffic and the ubiquitous presence of motorbikes. For dinner, you have the freedom to choose your own arrangements.

Enjoy your overnight stay in the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh City, as you embark on an adventure filled with cultural exploration and unforgettable experiences.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels

Ho Chi Minh city Cu Chi tunnel
Ho Chi Minh city Cu Chi tunnel

After a delicious breakfast, your personal tour guide and driver will accompany you to explore the historic Cu Chi Tunnels. These remarkable underground passages were built by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the struggle for independence, playing a pivotal role in the Viet Cong’s victory over the Americans. At the tunnels, you’ll watch an introductory video before embarking on a walk through the reserve.

For the daring, there’s an opportunity to crawl inside the Cu Chi Tunnels and experience the challenging conditions faced by the fighters. With three underground levels to explore, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of their resilience. The exhibition of traps and weapons used against American GIs adds a chilling perspective. Afterward, return to the city center for a well-deserved lunch.

In the afternoon, delve into the architectural wonders of Ho Chi Minh City. From magnificent French colonial villas to striking modern structures, the city’s architecture showcases its diverse history. Marvel at the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Reunification Palace with your knowledgeable guide. If time permits, visit the Saigon Opera House and City Hall for an even richer experience.

End your day with an overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City, ready for more adventures in this captivating destination.

Day 3: Mekong Delta Day Trip

Embark on a full-day tour to Mekong Delta, a sprawling network of rivers, swamps, and islands. Known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, this region is famous for its lush landscapes and vibrant culture. Start your day with a boat trip on the Mekong River, visiting local floating markets where traders sell their goods directly from their boats.

Continue to explore small villages, where you can witness traditional handicraft production and enjoy a delicious lunch featuring local specialties. In the afternoon, take a sampan ride through the narrow canals, shaded by water coconut trees, and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the delta. Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the evening for another overnight stay.

Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City – Dalat

Da Lat daily life
Da Lat daily life

In the morning, take a short flight to Dalat, a charming town in the Central Highlands known for its cool climate, French colonial architecture, and picturesque landscapes. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and enjoy some leisure time to explore the town on your own.

In the afternoon, visit the Crazy House, an unconventional architectural marvel, and the beautiful Bao Dai’s Summer Palace. Stroll around Xuan Huong Lake and the vibrant Dalat Market, where you can sample local delicacies and shop for souvenirs. End your day with an overnight stay in Dalat.

Day 5: Dalat

Da Lat Cock Church
Da Lat Cock Church

Start your day with a visit to the Valley of Love, a romantic park with stunning flower gardens, and scenic views. Next, head to the Dalat Flower Park, home to a vast array of colorful blooms. In the afternoon, explore the serene Tuyen Lam Lake and Truc Lam Zen Monastery, where you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful surroundings.

Return to Dalat for an evening at leisure. Perhaps dine at one of the town’s charming restaurants, and enjoy your overnight stay in Dalat.

Day 6: Dalat – Nha Trang

After breakfast, take a scenic drive to Nha Trang, a coastal city known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach or exploring the city at your own pace.

In the evening, enjoy fresh seafood at one of Nha Trang’s beachfront restaurants. Overnight in Nha Trang.

Day 7: Nha Trang

Begin your day with a boat trip to the nearby islands, where you can snorkel, swim, and sunbathe. Visit Hon Mun Island for its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life. Afterward, head to Hon Tam Island for a delicious seafood lunch and some time to relax on the beach.

In the afternoon, visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers, ancient Hindu temples with stunning views of the city and coastline. Return to Nha Trang for an evening at leisure and an overnight stay.

Day 8: Nha Trang – Hoi An

In the morning, fly to Da Nang and take a short drive to the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Check into your hotel and spend the afternoon exploring the charming streets, lined with well-preserved buildings, lantern shops, and tailors.

Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Assembly Hall of the Fujian Chinese Congregation, and the Hoi An Museum. In the evening, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Thu Bon River and dine at a riverside restaurant. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 9: Hoi An

Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town

Start your Hoi An day trip tour with a cycling tour to the nearby countryside, where you can visit local farms and learn about traditional agricultural practices. Enjoy a cooking class, where you’ll prepare and savor a delicious Vietnamese meal.

In the afternoon, return to Hoi An and relax on An Bang Beach, known for its soft white sand and clear blue waters. Spend your evening exploring the vibrant night market and soaking in the enchanting atmosphere of Hoi An. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 10: Hoi An – Hue

After breakfast, drive to Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. Along the way, stop at the Marble Mountains, a cluster of limestone and marble hills with stunning caves and temples. Upon arrival in Hue, check into your hotel and enjoy a leisurely afternoon.

In the evening, take a boat trip along the Perfume River and visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, a historic Buddhist temple. Overnight in Hue.

Day 11: Hue

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

Begin your day with a visit to the Imperial City, a vast complex of palaces, temples, and gardens that once served as the political and cultural center of the Nguyen Dynasty. Explore the Forbidden Purple City, the Royal Theatre, and the Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts.

In the afternoon, visit the tombs of Emperor Minh Mang and Emperor Khai Dinh, known for their elaborate architecture and beautiful settings. Return to Hue for an evening at leisure and an overnight stay.

Day 12: Hue – Phong Nha

Travel to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its spectacular caves and karst landscapes. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and spend the afternoon exploring the park.

Take a boat trip along the Son River to the Phong Nha Cave, known for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Return to your hotel in the evening and enjoy an overnight stay in Phong Nha.

Day 13: Phong Nha

Spend the day exploring more of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Visit the Paradise Cave, one of the largest and most beautiful caves in the region. Marvel at the stunning rock formations and the expansive chambers.

In the afternoon, take a guided tour to the Dark Cave, where you can zip-line, kayak, and explore the cave’s unique features. Return to your hotel in the evening for a well-deserved rest. Overnight in Phong Nha.

Day 14: Phong Nha – Hanoi

After breakfast, drive to Dong Hoi and catch a flight to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and spend the afternoon exploring the city’s vibrant Hanoi Old Quarter.

Wander through the narrow streets, lined with shops, cafes, and street food vendors. Visit Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ngoc Son Temple, and take a leisurely cyclo ride through the bustling streets. Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese dinner and an overnight stay in Hanoi.

Day 15: Hanoi

Hanoi cyclo tour
Hanoi cyclo tour

Begin your day with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can pay your respects to the founding father of modern Vietnam. Continue to the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s House on Stilts, and One Pillar Pagoda.

In the afternoon, explore Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which showcases the country’s diverse cultural heritage. In the evening, enjoy a water puppet show, a traditional Vietnamese art form. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 16: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Travel to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning limestone karsts and emerald waters. Embark on a luxury cruise and spend the day exploring the bay.

Visit the Surprising Cave, one of the largest and most impressive caves in Halong Bay. Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch on board and take part in activities such as kayaking, swimming, or simply relaxing on the deck. Spend the night on the cruise, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay.

Day 17: Halong Bay – Hanoi

Wake up early to witness the sunrise over Halong Bay and participate in a tai chi session on the deck. After breakfast, continue cruising through the bay, visiting more islands and caves. Return to the harbor around noon and drive back to Hanoi. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and have some free time to relax or explore the city at your leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 18: Hanoi – Ninh Binh

After breakfast, take a day trip to Ninh Binh, often referred to as “Ha Long Bay on land.” Visit the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, where you can explore the temples dedicated to the Dinh and Le dynasties. After lunch, take a boat trip through the Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its limestone karst peaks and tranquil waterways. Return to Hanoi in the evening for an overnight stay.

Day 19: Hanoi

After breakfast, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the One Pillar Pagoda, two of Hanoi’s most iconic landmarks. Continue to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology to learn about the country’s diverse cultures. Enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch before spending the afternoon exploring Hanoi’s French Quarter. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 20: Hanoi Departure

After breakfast, enjoy some free time for last-minute shopping or sightseeing before your transfer to Noi Bai International Airport for your departure flight. Safe travels!

Final thoughts

Embark on an unforgettable adventure through Vietnam, a land brimming with incredible activities and experiences. Over the course of three weeks, immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of bustling cities, uncover the mysteries of ancient temples, trek through stunning landscapes, and cruise along picturesque waterways. This journey promises something extraordinary for every traveler.

Maximize your adventure by booking Viland Travel’s personalized tours, featuring the expertly designed Vietnam Itinerary 3 Weeks from South to North. With their expertise and thoughtfully crafted plans, you’ll explore all the must-see destinations and partake in the most exhilarating activities. 

Don’t miss the chance to create lifelong memories and discover the full beauty and charm of Vietnam. Book your tour with Viland Travel and prepare for a captivating journey through this enchanting country.

Lucas Luong
Hi, my name is Lucas, and I proudly describe myself as a traveloholic since I have always had a great passion for travel. When I was a child, I had the opportunity to experience many lands in Vietnam. My parents are lovers of adventure travel, so I think I also inherited that spirit from them. Growing up with a love of travel and diverse cultures, I have been constantly traveling throughout Vietnam, Southeast Asia, and many countries in Europe for the opportunity to find and experience the cultural differences between countries. Traveling is an important part of my freedom-driven lifestyle, so working in the travel industry is something I've always wanted to do.