Thailand and Vietnam itinerary 3 weeks – Your once in a lifetime adventure

Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with our Thailand and Vietnam itinerary 3 weeks. This curated journey promises an exploration of two Southeast Asian gems, each offering a unique blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. 

From the bustling markets of Bangkok to the old quarter in Hanoi, and from the picturesque landscapes of Vietnam to the tranquil beaches of Phuket, this itinerary is crafted to showcase the best of these diverse nations. Join us on a three-week odyssey that will immerse you in the heart of these captivating destinations, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Thailand and Vietnam itinerary 3 weeks – itinerary for every traveler’s bucket list

Delve into a tailored exploration of the unique charms and shared marvels of Vietnam and Thailand. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or friends, our suggested Thailand and Vietnam itinerary 3 weeks invites you to discover a delightful fusion of culture, nature, and beach serenity. This guide is designed to inspire and unveil the myriad possibilities that await, providing you the flexibility to shape your perfect holiday in these enchanting Southeast Asian destinations.

Day 1: Hanoi

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Red River delta, Hanoi, Vietnam’s bustling capital, seamlessly blends historic charm with contemporary vibrancy, serving as the perfect starting point for your extraordinary 3 weeks Thailand and Vietnam trip.

Upon landing at Noi Bai International Airport, smoothly navigate through immigration procedures and transition to your Hanoi hotel. Surrounded by the captivating ambiance of Hanoi, your overnight stay marks the beginning of an unforgettable adventure, promising exploration through the enchanting city and beyond.

Day 2: Hanoi

Start your day with a delectable breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, setting the tone for a day filled with exploration. Join your tour guide at 8:30 in the lobby for a comprehensive day discovering Hanoi’s ancient architecture, delightful cuisine, and scenic landscapes. Begin at Ba Dinh Square, where Uncle Ho proclaimed the birth of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Explore historical sites like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Uncle Ho’s stilt house, and the one-pillar pagoda. After a short drive to the outskirts, delve into the fascinating Museum of Ethnology, marveling at its scientific layout showcasing the cultural richness of each ethnic group.

Lunchtime features the renowned Hanoian specialty, Chả Cá, a delightful blend of fresh noodles, grilled fish, sweet and sour sauce, and fresh vegetables. Visit the eco-friendly Hidden Gem Coffee Shop for traditional Vietnamese coffee. Explore the Temple of Literature, visit Long Bien Bridge, and enjoy a cyclo tour through 36 streets of Hanoi Old Quarter. The day concludes with a street food tour, revealing the beauty of Vietnamese culture through its diverse cuisine. This culinary adventure promises surprises in both ingredients and flavors, showcasing the essence of Vietnam’s lifestyle and culture. Dietary requirements are accommodated with prior notice to the guide.

Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Embark on the discovery of the mesmerizing landscape of Halong Bay, where limestone islands emerge dramatically from the emerald waters, creating an iconic Vietnamese vista. Opt for a convenient shuttle bus to reach Halong, a gateway to this natural wonder. Upon arrival at Tuan Chau Port, a warm welcome awaits with a refreshing drink and a comprehensive cruise briefing. Board the cruise and savor a Vietnamese set menu lunch as you embark on an afternoon cruise through scenic spots like the Incense Burner, Dog Stone Islet, and Fighting Cock. Explore the remarkable Surprise Cave, among Halong Bay’s most stunning grottoes. Evening activities include a fruit and vegetable carving lesson, traditional Vietnamese cuisine, and options like massages, board games, and guided squid fishing.

Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue

Start your day early with the mesmerizing sunrise at Halong Bay, one of the world’s wonders. Enjoy a delightful breakfast in the cruise dining room, offering a spread of tempting options accompanied by coffee, tea, and cakes. Rejuvenate with a 30-minute Tai Chi session on the sundeck, guided by our expert instructor. The morning’s highlight includes a boat ride to Titov Island, allowing an hour for swimming and climbing. Reach the island’s summit for a breathtaking 360-degree view of the bay. After this adventure, return to the cruise for a hearty lunch before heading back to the mainland. Dock at Tuan Chau port, savoring the magnificent beauty of HaLong Bay from the sundeck.

Transfer to Noi Bai airport, where a one-hour flight takes you to Hue. Upon landing at Phú Bài airport, transfer to your comfortable hotel and explore the charms of Hue.

Day 5: Hue

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

After breakfast, journey 8 km eastward to Thanh Thuy’s scenic countryside. Immerse yourself in the vibrant local market, engaging with locals and exploring the 300-year-old Tile-Roofed Bridge of Thanh Toan and an agricultural and fishing tools museum. Return to the city center for a 2-hour exploration of the imperial city, Thien Mu Pagoda, and visits to royal tombs. In the afternoon, venture to King Khai Dinh’s tomb, exploring two traditional villages. Return to the hotel by approximately 5:00 pm.

Day 6: Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An

After breakfast, transfer to Hue train station for a scenic 3-hour journey to Da Nang. Enjoy picturesque views from the train, passing through diverse landscapes. Upon arrival, proceed to Hoi An, stopping at Marble Mountain. In Hoi An, embark on a city tour, engage in lantern-making, and savor Vietnamese Tea Tasting at the serene Tea House, concluding a day of cultural exploration.

Day 7: Hoi An 

Hoi An signature wall color
Hoi An signature wall color

Begin your morning at leisure before a 2:00 PM orientation walk through the captivating town of Hoi An. This guided tour unveils the town’s history, visiting a well-preserved centuries-old private house, the Sa Huynh Museum, and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda.

The latter part of the morning offers a hands-on lantern-making experience. With the guidance of a skilled instructor, select vibrant silks, construct a bamboo frame, and craft your lantern—a creative keepsake for your journey home. Dinner is at your discretion, and we recommend a romantic sunset dinner with Cinnamon Cruise to relish Hoi An’s enchanting moments.

Day 8: Hoi An

Indulge in a leisurely day in Hoi An, where relaxation takes center stage. Lounge by your resort pool, enjoy a refreshing dip in the ocean, or pamper yourself with a rejuvenating massage, facial, or pedicure.

For the more adventurous, consider these optional activities:

  • Option 1: Delight in an easy cycling adventure paired with a delightful half-day cooking tour.
  • Option 2: Embark on a full-day exploration of Cham Island.
  • Option 3: Uncover the cultural richness of the My Son UNESCO World Heritage Site on a half-day tour.
  • Option 4: Experience the enchanting Ba Na Hills and the iconic Golden Bridge on a full-day excursion.

Day 9: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, board a short flight from Da Nang to the lively commercial hub of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City). With a population of 10 million, it’s a bustling metropolis. Upon arrival, your dedicated guide and driver will accompany you to the historic Cu Chi Tunnels, an underground network built by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the struggle for independence. Explore this labyrinth, essential to the Viet Cong’s success against the Americans. A guided tour and an insightful video provide context, and you’ll venture into the tunnels to experience the challenging life within. Return to the city center for check-in after the Cu Chi Tunnels visit.

Day 10: Mekong Delta

Discover the essence of Vietnam in the Mekong Delta, the nation’s rice bowl. Commence your day with a hotel pickup in Ho Chi Minh City and head to Ben Tre. Board a boat on the Ben Tre River at Ham Luong Pier, a Mekong tributary. Observe vibrant river life, visit a brickwork, explore coconut processing workshops, and navigate narrow waterways to a local village. Walk to a family workshop crafting sleep mats, enjoy local fruits and tea, and embark on a bicycle ride along shaded paths, experiencing the countryside’s authentic spirit. Have a hearty lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, row along Water Palm Creek in a rowboat and return to Hung Vuong Pier. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City through rice fields, concluding an immersive Mekong Delta experience.

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City – Bangkok

After breakfast, embark on a morning tour of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, known for its architectural diversity reflecting Vietnam’s historical heritage. Visit iconic sites like the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Nguyen Van Binh Book Street, and the Reunification Palace. If time allows, explore the Saigon Opera House and city hall. After lunch, head to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for a brief flight to Bangkok, the next destination on your journey. Upon landing at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, settle into a downtown hotel. Experience Bangkok’s vibrant nightlife uniquely with a rice barge dinner cruise aboard the Manohra Cruise. Glide along the Chao Phraya River, enjoying views of landmarks like Wat Arun Temple of Dawn and the Grand Palace, creating unforgettable memories in just 2 hours.

Day 12: Bangkok

Bangkok Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Bangkok Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Commence your day in Bangkok with a delightful breakfast before embarking on a fascinating exploration. Begin at Wat Traimit, housing the world’s largest Golden Buddha statue, an impressive 3 meters high and weighing 5.5 tons, carved entirely from solid gold. Move on to Wat Pho to marvel at the immense reclining Buddha statue, symbolizing Buddha’s entry into Nirvana. A mere 800 meters away stands the iconic Grand Palace, a dazzling testament to Bangkok’s grandeur and a must-visit landmark.

As evening descends, the perfect conclusion to a day of sightseeing is a culinary adventure by Tuk Tuk. Boarding the Tuk Tuk at Sam Yan MRT with our expert guide, your first stop is a Northeastern Thai restaurant, offering delectable dishes like spicy raw papaya salad, deep-fried crispy catfish with spicy sauce, and more—an immersion into the region’s unique cuisine. The night concludes with a visit to a local rooftop bar for refreshing drinks and stunning views of the Chao Phraya River.

Day 13: Bangkok

bangkok-thai-streetfoods-viland-travel-1

Commence your day with an early breakfast at the hotel, then journey to Southern Ratchaburi Province. Along the 90km route taking approximately 1.5 hours, traverse Samut Songkhram, Thailand’s primary region for salt production. The highlight is the world-famous MaeKlong railway market, a spectacle where vendors swiftly clear stalls as a train passes. Continue to the iconic Damnoen Saduak floating market, explore the canals, and take a boat to immerse yourself in the countryside ambiance. Capture picturesque moments as merchants offer an array of food, fruit, and local products. Return to Bangkok for an evening exploration of the city.

Day 14: Bangkok – Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya Wat Mahathat

Embark on a northbound expedition to Ayutthaya, starting with Wat Phu Khao Thong, a captivating monument dating back to 1387. Explore the Ayutthaya Historical Park and the ancient palace grounds, visiting significant temples like Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and Viharn Phra Mongkolbopit. Enjoy a flavorsome Thai lunch and proceed to Wat Lokaya Sutha to marvel at the reclining Buddha of Ayutthaya. Conclude your historical exploration in the late afternoon, returning to Bangkok enriched with Ayutthaya’s cultural richness.

Day 15: Bangkok – Phuket

Start your day with a satisfying hotel breakfast, complete the check-out, and head to Bangkok airport for a short flight to the enchanting Phuket. Situated in Thailand’s southwest, embraced by the Andaman Sea, Phuket beckons with its natural beauty. The day is yours to relish in the largest island of Thailand, known as the “Pearl of the South.” With limestone karst islets encircling pristine beaches, Phuket offers a haven of natural wonders, vibrant resorts, and coastal villages. Immerse yourself in leisure, sports, and cultural riches, as Phuket unveils its diverse tapestry for an unforgettable escape.

Day 16: Phuket

Phuket beach

Embark on an immersive adventure connecting with our rescued elephants, understanding their communication methods and vital role as keystone species. The day includes roundtrip transfers, a light breakfast, vegetarian lunch and dinner buffets, and refreshing drinks. Gain insights into Asian elephants’ history and challenges, participate in feeding one for breakfast, explore the sanctuary with an expert guide, and witness their hydrotherapy session. Conclude the day by preparing elephant food, joining them for dinner, followed by your own satisfying vegetarian meal.

Day 17: Phuket – Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi snorkeling
Koh Phi Phi snorkeling

Commence the day with an early pick-up around 5:00–5:15, starting your adventure at the Royal Phuket Marina. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast before boarding a premium speedboat for the famous Maya Bay, featured in the iconic movie, THE BEACH. The early departure ensures a crowd-free experience on the pristine beach with soft white sand, crystalline waters, verdant mountains, and a serene ambiance. Capture stunning moments at Loh Samah Bay’s viewpoint behind Maya Bay.

Explore Pileh Lagoon, an emerald gem surrounded by limestone mountains, marvel at Viking Cave and Monkey Cliff, and enjoy a late-morning snorkeling session in the vibrant coral reef. A delectable lunch awaits at the Private Beach Restaurant, offering Thai and Western cuisine. Head to Bamboo Island for more relaxation and snorkeling. The tour concludes at the Royal Phuket Marina by 15:00, followed by a comfortable return to your hotel, leaving the remainder of the day for exploration at your own pace.

Day 18: Phuket

Savor a day of pure bliss on the captivating island of Phuket. Relax on its immaculate beaches or plunge into the lively marine world through snorkeling or diving in the crystal-clear waters teeming with vibrant coral reefs and tropical fauna. Consider a boat or catamaran charter to explore the serene islands of the Andaman Sea, crafting memories that linger. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the historical allure of Phuket Town, uncovering its cultural treasures. With a myriad of options, your day unfolds with limitless possibilities and enthralling diversions, ensuring an indelible experience on this tropical paradise.

Day 19: Phuket – Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Gold Temple
Chiang Mai Gold Temple

Begin your day by heading to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai. Upon arrival at Chiang Mai Airport, a transfer will take you to your hotel in the Old Town area. After a satisfying lunch, set out on a half-day city tour.

At 13:30, ascend to the Gold Temple atop the mountain using a gondola. Inside the main temple, a stunning golden spire takes center stage amidst historical murals, shrines, and statues. Explore the complex, which features a replica of the Emerald Buddha statue. Outside, discover the Shine of the White Elephant, a viewing terrace, colossal gongs, a wall of bells, and more. Descend the Naga Serpent staircase with 309 steps to continue your adventure. Return to downtown Chiang Mai to visit the Three Kings Monuments and the Chiang Mai City Arts and Culture Center. Please note that the Chiang Mai Arts & Culture Center is closed on Mondays and during the Songkran Festival. Operating hours from Tuesday to Sunday are 8:30-17:00. Remember to dress respectfully and remove your shoes when inside the main temple. Shoe racks are available for your convenience, or you can stow them in your backpack.

Day 20: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai elephants conservation in action
Chiang Mai elephants conservation in action

Embark on a day of care and learning with Patara’s Baby Elephant program—an ideal journey focusing on the well-being of pregnant elephants and mothers with their babies. Immerse yourself in the conservation philosophy of “The Elephant Conservation In Action,” actively participating in their daily healthcare routine. This includes health inspections, feeding, walking with the elephants for exercise, and bathing. Witness the elephants’ natural interactions within their families in a serene environment. The knowledgeable staff at Patara will share insights into their daily care. Notably, this trip emphasizes ethical treatment, omitting elephant rides and making it suitable for everyone, especially families, children, and animal enthusiasts.

Day 21: Chiang Mai

After a delightful final breakfast in Chiang Mai, enjoy a leisurely morning to unwind and explore on your own. Later, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your departure flight, marking the conclusion of your Thailand and Vietnam 3 weeks itinerary.

Final thoughts

Tick off your ultimate travel’s bucket list with a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with the Thailand and Vietnam itinerary 3 weeks, a journey that encapsulates the essence of Southeast Asia’s diverse beauty. Viland Travel’s customized multi-countries tours adds a unique touch to your exploration, ensuring every moment is tailored to your preferences. 

From the bustling streets of Bangkok to the tranquil landscapes of Vietnam, this meticulously crafted itinerary offers an immersive experience into the rich cultures, historical wonders, and natural marvels of these enchanting destinations. 

Let Viland Travel be your guide on this extraordinary odyssey, where every day unfolds as a personalized chapter in the story of your unforgettable journey.