Vietnam’s world heritage check-list for a Vietnam 12 day itinerary

Vietnam is a thriving tourist destination that boasts a myriad of attractions from North to South. Each province has its unique allure, captivating visitors from around the world. 

Notably, Vietnam is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which have played a significant role in attracting tourists over the years. With Viland Travel as your guide, you can embark on a remarkable journey to explore these awe-inspiring properties. Prepare to be amazed as you delve into the ultimate Vietnam 12-day itinerary, carefully curated to showcase the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From ancient wonders to cultural treasures, this itinerary promises an unforgettable experience. 

Join Viland Travel and uncover the fascinating World UNESCO Heritage in Vietnam. Read on to discover the wonders that await you.

Vietnam 12 day itinerary with extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage

Vietnam World Heritage sites
Vietnam World Heritage sites

12 amazing days – 9 magnificent destinations including Hanoi Old Quarters, Thang Long Citadel, Trang An Landscape Complex, Halong bay, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Hue imperial city, Hoi An ancient town, My Son Sanctuary, this would be the trip that worth making your bucket-list and is an adventure of a lifetime. Follow us on a day to day Vietnam 12 day itinerary to make the most of your ultimate vacation! 

Day 1: Hanoi

Upon your arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi, where you can settle in and unwind. Begin your Vietnam 12 day itinerary in the evening by immersing yourself in the vibrant Vietnamese culture as you savor your first culinary experience at a charming restaurant housed in a historic French Colonial building. Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of the local cuisine, setting the stage for a memorable journey ahead. 

Afterward, prepare to be captivated by the renowned Water Puppet Theater, a unique traditional art form that originated from the ancient paddy fields of the 11th century. As the stories unfold, you will witness the enchanting tales of rural life, history, and mythology beautifully brought to life on the water’s surface. Be enthralled by the skillful performances and the palpable excitement from both the artists and the audience, creating an unforgettable evening of cultural immersion.

Day 2: Hanoi Old Quarters – Thang Long Imperial Citadel (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site)

Hanoi the imperial citadel of Thang Long
Hanoi the imperial citadel of Thang Long

Your knowledgeable guide will meet you at the hotel to discuss the day’s itinerary, which will be customized to match your interests and energy levels. The tour commences with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where you can pay your respects to Uncle Ho and learn about his remarkable life (viewing from outside). Next, explore the nearby Presidential Gardens and One Pillar Pagoda. The highlight of the tour is the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, renowned for its historical and cultural significance.

You’ll have the option to choose from several fascinating sites, including the Temple of Literature, Fine Arts Museum, Hoa Lo Prison, or the Military Museum. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, serving a set menu. Afterward, visit the Hidden Gem Coffee Shop, a unique place where unused or second-hand items are creatively recycled into interior decorations, promoting environmental conservation. Don’t miss the chance to savor traditional Vietnamese coffee, particularly the famous coffee with eggs. Finally, our guide and driver will drop you off at the hotel, allowing you to unwind and relax.

Day 3: Trang An Landscape Complex –  first site as a mixed natural and cultural heritage 

Ninh Binh Trang An landscape complex

Embark on a captivating journey from your hotel at 8:00 AM, traversing the scenic countryside of northern Vietnam, Ninh Binh. Discover the historic Hoa Lu, the country’s first capital, and marvel at the ancient temples honoring Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang and Emperor Le Dai Hanh. Take a rewarding hike up the karst hills for panoramic vistas. Savor a delectable Vietnamese lunch and continue your adventure, capturing the charm of local villages and stunning landscapes.

Next, visit the UNESCO-listed Trang An Landscape Complex. Glide along a tranquil river on a serene boat ride, passing through enchanting caves that immerse you in darkness. Admire the majestic limestone karst peaks reminiscent of Halong Bay. Experience the pristine nature as you listen to its soothing sounds. Those seeking adventure can climb Ngu Nhac Mountain to reach the awe-inspiring Bich Dong Pagoda, a complex comprising Ha, Trung, and Thuong Pagodas.

Day 4:  Cruise on Halong Bay – World Natural Heritage site

Ha Long Bay landscape in the sunset
Ha Long Bay landscape in the sunset

Halong Bay, with its mesmerizing scenery of towering limestone islands emerging from the emerald sea, is an iconic symbol of Vietnam. A must-see destination, the best way to experience its beauty is through an overnight boat trip. Each year, millions of visitors are captivated by the majestic peaks and serene waters of Halong Bay. 

Explore the hidden caves by rowing boat, marveling at the gleaming limestone pillars reflecting in the shimmering water. After a delightful breakfast, you’ll be transported through the lush farmlands of the Red River Delta to Halong Bay. Upon arrival, check-in and savor a delicious lunch while cruising towards the bay. The afternoon offers opportunities for sightseeing or relaxation on the boat. 

As the day comes to a close, the boat anchors amidst the karst formations, providing a picturesque setting for a delightful dinner. Prepare for an unforgettable overnight stay on board, surrounded by the natural wonders of Halong Bay.

Day 5: Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park – World Natural Heritage site

Wake up to a breathtaking sunrise in Halong Bay and begin your day with a peaceful Tai Chi session, promoting well-being and relaxation. Engage in a range of onboard activities, immersing yourself in the beauty of Halong Bay. Disembark and meet your private driver for a transfer to Noi Bai Airport, then continue to Phong Nha, Dong Hoi. Explore Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its captivating caves and underground rivers, including the world’s largest cave. Delight in an overnight stay, surrounded by the awe-inspiring natural wonders of Phong Nha. Prepare for an unforgettable adventure at every corner.

Day 6: Phong Nha Ke Bang – Paradise Cave

Phong Nha Paradise cave

The Paradise Cave, discovered by the British Caving Research Association in 2005, is a remarkable natural wonder in Vietnam. Stretching over 31 km, it holds the distinction of being the longest dry cave in Asia. With its stunning primitive features, the cave resembles a breathtaking landscape painting, captivating visitors with its beauty. As you venture deeper into the cave, you’ll be mesmerized by the clarity and magnificence of the white crystal stalactites and other extraordinary formations. 

Phong Nha cave, part of the historic Ho Chi Minh trail, holds both natural and historical significance. During your visit, you’ll explore this captivating cave, known for its enchanting rock formations with names like the “Lion” and the “Fairy Caves.” 

After a delightful lunch in Phong Nha village, you’ll have the opportunity to discover the mesmerizing Paradise Cave, located within the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Immerse yourself in the wonders of this extraordinary cave before returning to your accommodation in the Phong Nha area for the night. 

Day 7: Phong Nha – Hue

After a delightful breakfast, continue your journey to Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Visit the famous Vinh Moc Tunnel, a testament to the resilience of the Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War. Next, explore the historically significant 17th Parallel, marking the border between the North and South. Arrive in Hue in the afternoon and check into your hotel. Discover the former capital’s nostalgic charm along the Perfume River, home to the UNESCO-listed Hue Monuments. Immerse yourself in the rich history and spirituality of the Nguyen Dynasty. Rest in Hue, energizing yourself for the exciting adventures to come.

Day 8: King Khai Dinh’s Tomb – Hue’s Citadel – Hue Imperial City: World Cultural Heritage Site

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

Get ready for an exciting morning as your guide greets you at your hotel and introduces you to our skilled drivers, known for their careful approach and comfortable riding pace of 40 km or less. After a safety briefing, your adventure begins.

Embark on a thrilling tour that takes you through charming laneways, alongside picturesque canals, and vibrant local markets. Explore King Khai Dinh’s tomb, visit a pagoda, and discover local handicrafts along the way. Immerse yourself in the history of Vietnam’s emperors as you visit Hue’s Citadel and the intriguing Forbidden Purple City.

Indulge in a delectable traditional Buddhist banquet for lunch at a serene pagoda. This action-packed day offers a perfect blend of breathtaking scenery, fascinating history, rich culture, and mouthwatering cuisine. For added convenience, you also have the option to join the tour by private air-conditioned vehicle. Get ready to make lasting memories on this immersive journey.

Day 9: Hoi An Ancient Town: World Cultural Heritage Site

Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda
Hoi An Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda

Embark on an unforgettable 160 km journey from Hue to Hoi An, starting at 8:30 am. Experience the scenic beauty of coastal rice paddies and the charming fishing village of Lang Co. Brace yourself for the legendary Hai Van Pass, a breathtaking mountainous route featured on Top Gear. Marvel at the Marble Mountains, revered by the Cham people and Vietnamese emperors. Upon arrival in Hoi An, check into your hotel and take a moment to relax. Explore the enchanting lantern-lit streets, ancient architecture, and tantalizing street food of Hoi An. Join an orientation walking tour, visiting a private house, family chapel, Sa Huynh Museum, and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda. Immerse yourself in Hoi An’s rich historical heritage and vibrant atmosphere.

Day 10: My Son Sanctuary: World Cultural Heritage Site

My Son Sanctuary
My Son Sanctuary

Embark on a morning adventure as your personal guide collects you from the hotel to begin your journey from Hoi An to the enchanting My Son holy land. By 8:45 am, you arrive at this sacred site, ready to immerse yourself in its beauty. Accompanied by your knowledgeable guide, spend two hours exploring the wonders of My Son, taking advantage of the peaceful ambiance and cooler temperatures in the morning. Marvel at the architectural marvels and soak in the spiritual atmosphere. 

As a special treat, witness a captivating display of traditional Cham dance, showcasing local costumes, songs, and traditional instruments. Bid farewell to My Son, and make your way back to Hoi An, eager to continue your exploration of this charming town.

Day 11: Hoi An

Hoi An Cam Thanh Village round basket boat
Hoi An Cam Thanh Village round basket boat

Enjoy a leisurely day in Hoi An where you can unwind in the town, lounge by the beach, or partake in various optional activities. Indulge in a cooking class, embark on a bicycle tour, explore the historical wonders of the My Son Ruins and Marble Mountain, or immerse yourself in a day of snorkeling at Cham Island. Simply inform us of your preferences, and we will handle all the arrangements for you. Rest and rejuvenate in Hoi An as you prepare for another exciting day ahead. Spend the night in Hoi An, embracing the charm of this enchanting town.

Day 12: Hoi An – Danang

After savoring your final breakfast in Hoi An, you’ll have a leisurely morning to relax and explore on your own. Later, transport to Da Nang International Airport for your departure flight, mark the end of your Vietnam 12 day itinerary.

Final thoughts

Does this itinerary have everything you’re looking for in an adventure of a lifetime? Embarking on the “Discover Wonderful Vietnam World Heritage Sites 12-day trip” with Viland Travel, we will take you on an incredible journey through Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. This 12-day itinerary is carefully crafted to showcase the best of Vietnam’s world heritage sites, offering a unique and unforgettable experience. With Viland Travel’s expertise and attention to detail, you can rest assured that every aspect of your journey will be taken care of. 

Book your trip now and embark on a remarkable adventure through Vietnam’s world heritage check-list.