Best Vietnam itinerary 10 days for first time travelers

Welcome to Vietnam, a fast-developing country filled with rich history, stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and warm hospitality. If you’re a first-time traveler to Vietnam and looking for the ultimate itinerary to make the most of your trip, you’ve come to the right place.  In this blog post, Viland Travel presents to you the best 10 days itinerary for Vietnam designed specifically for first-time visitors. Get ready to be captivated by the wonders of Vietnam and embark on an unforgettable adventure.

Best Vietnam itinerary 10 days for first time travelers

If this is your first time travel and you are planning for a 10 days itinerary for Vietnam, but you’re not sure what to do or where to go to make the most of your trip, take a look at Viland Travel’s recommended itinerary below.

VIV14 Vietnam cultural tour - 10 day trip with Viland Travel
Hanoi – Halong bay – Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi – Mekong Delta

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi

Located in the heart of the Red River delta region, Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy, and is the best location to start your Vietnam itinerary for 10 days. Despite being a capital city, Hanoi maintains a relaxed and unhurried pace, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a more tranquil experience. 

Upon your arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, begin with the immigration procedures and transfer to your hotel in Hanoi. Embrace the charm and allure of Hanoi as you settle in for a comfortable overnight stay, ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through this captivating city.

Day 2: Hanoi

Hanoi egg coffee
Hanoi egg coffee

In the morning, meet your guide at 8:30 am in the hotel lobby to discuss the day’s itinerary tailored to your interests. Begin by visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, paying respects to Uncle Ho and discovering his remarkable life. Explore the nearby Presidential Gardens and One Pillar Pagoda.

Next, choose two sites from the following options: Temple of Literature, Fine Arts Museum, Hoa Lo Prison, Military Museum, and the Ethnology Museum. With a full day ahead, you have the freedom to fill it as you please. Enjoy a delicious set menu lunch at a local restaurant.

Afterward, visit Hidden Gem Coffee Shop, a local spot in a small valley off Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Learn about their unique approach to recycling unused items and turning them into interior decorations – which promotes environmental protection. Don’t miss the chance to try traditional Vietnamese coffee, including the popular coffee with eggs – Ca Phe Trung.

Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay Tai Chi Class
Ha Long Bay Tai Chi Class

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay, an iconic image of Vietnam with its limestone islands emerging from the emerald sea. Embark on an overnight boat trip, the perfect way to experience this must-see destination. After a delicious breakfast, you’ll be transported through the picturesque Red River Delta to Halong Bay. 

Upon arrival, complete the check-in process and receive a warm onboard welcome. Indulge in a delightful lunch as you cruise towards the bay, with the afternoon offering various visits and activities or simply the opportunity to unwind onboard. As the day draws to a close, the boat anchors among the stunning karst formations, providing a picturesque backdrop for a delectable dinner. Spend a peaceful night in the enchanting Halong Bay, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Day 4:  Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hue

After witnessing the mesmerizing sunrise over Halong Bay, indulge in onboard activities tailored to your boat’s itinerary. As the vessel leisurely sails back to the port, savor a delightful breakfast. Upon disembarking, a transfer awaits to take you back to your hotel in Hanoi.

To ensure your comfort and relaxation, a day use room is available from 15:00 to 18:00, allowing you to freshen up before your next adventure.

In the evening, around 18:00, your guide and driver will accompany you to Hanoi Railway Station for a unique local experience – an overnight train journey from Hanoi to Hue. We recommend the SE3 Train, departing Hanoi at 19:25 and arriving at Hue Station around 08:55 (please note that train schedules are subject to change). Prepare for a unique overnight journey on the train, adding to the richness of your Vietnam travel experience.

Day 5: Hue

Hue Dong Ba market street foods
Hue Dong Ba market street foods

Upon arrival at Hue station, your guide and driver will transfer you to your hotel in Hue. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Afterward, embark on a full day tour of Hue. Explore a king’s tomb, visit a pagoda, and discover local handicrafts. Uncover the fascinating history of Vietnam’s emperors as we tour the Citadel and the forbidden Purple City. Indulge in a delectable traditional Buddhist banquet for lunch, served at a pagoda. This day is packed with scenic beauty, historical wonders, cultural insights, and delightful cuisine. For a unique experience, you can choose to join this tour by motorbike.

Day 6: Hue – Hoi An

Hue Lap An lagoon

Departing from Hue at 8.30am, embark on an unforgettable 160 km journey to Hoi An, passing through picturesque coastal rice paddies and the charming fishing village of Lang Co. Brace yourself for the awe-inspiring Hai Van Pass, a mountainous route renowned as one of the world’s best coastal roads. Ascend to 496m (1,627ft) on this Top Gear-famous stretch of road.

Explore the Marble Mountains, a cluster of five karsts representing the five elements and revered by the Cham people and Vietnamese emperors. 

Arriving in Hoi An around noon, check in and unwind at your hotel. Hoi An, a 16th-century trading port and silk road stop, boasts enchanting lanterns, ancient architecture, and delectable street food from all over Vietnam. Later on, embark on an orientation walking tour of Hoi An, strolling along its cobbled streets, vibrant central market, and picturesque harbor. Visit a centuries-old private house, a family chapel, and the Sa Huynh Museum, offering insights into Hoi An’s rich history. Conclude the tour at the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, symbolizing the town’s connection with the Chinese quarters.

Day 7: Hoi An

Hoi An street vendor
Hoi An street vendor

Enjoy some free time at your leisure during your stay in Hoi An! If you’re up for an optional activity, join the Hoi An cycling tour and fun cooking class. The tour starts at 8am as you hop on a bike and pedal your way to the Thu Bon River, where you’ll visit a local fishing village. Ride along peaceful country lanes, observing local life and traditional rice farming practices. Cycle through palm forests, cross bridges, and pass by water buffalo in the fields. Take a break at Cam Thanh Village and then embark on a 1.5-hour boat ride in the Water Coconut Palm Forest. Learn basket boat sailing and try your hand at catching fish and “purple crabs.” Continue the bike ride to Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village, where you’ll discover sustainable farming practices. Participate in a cooking class to learn traditional Hoi An dishes and savor a delicious lunch. Afterward, cycle back to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. 

Day 8: Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels

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

After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, our driver will transfer you to Da Nang airport for a short morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon. This bustling city is a vibrant blend of markets, bustling streets filled with scooters, mouth watering street food stalls, and a mix of modern infrastructure including office blocks and shopping malls. As Vietnam’s economic powerhouse, Saigon has experienced remarkable progress in recent years, while still retaining its exotic charm.

After settling in your hotel, the guide will take you to explore the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. These underground passages were a crucial part of the Vietnamese resistance during their struggle for independence and played a significant role in the Viet Cong’s victory over the Americans. You’ll have the opportunity to watch an introductory video, walk through the reserve, and even crawl inside the tunnels to experience the challenging conditions faced by the Vietnamese fighters. The site also features an exhibition of traps and weapons used during that time. In the late afternoon, return to Ho Chi Minh City for a relaxing evening.

Day 9: Mekong Delta

Explore the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s agricultural heartland, where the mighty Mekong River fans out into a network of tributaries, sustaining life in the region. Witness a unique way of living on water as you navigate through the intricate tributaries.

Embark on a journey starting from Ben Tre, where you’ll board a boat on the Ben Tre River. Experience the bustling river scene with activities like fishing and water transfer. Visit brickwork sites to witness traditional brick-making techniques. Discover the charm of coconut processing workshops along the canal, and venture into narrow natural creeks towards the village. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you visit a family workshop, learn about sleep mat weaving, and savor fruits and tea.

Indulge in a biking or Xe Loi (motorized trishaw) ride, meandering through shaded paths, green rice fields, and vegetable plains. Gain insights into the tropical culture and rural life of the local peasants.

Relish a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, followed by a serene rowing boat excursion along the water palm creek. Return to Hung Vuong Pier, bid farewell to the Mekong Delta, and head back to Ho Chi Minh City for an overnight stay.

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

After savoring your final breakfast in Ho Chi Minh, you’ll have a leisurely morning to relax and explore on your own. Later, transport to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your departure flight, marking the end of your Vietnam itinerary for 10 days.

Let us create your unforgettable Vietnam itinerary 10 days

For every first-time traveler, planning the best Vietnam itinerary 10 days can be a challenge, which makes choosing a tour the perfect choice if you wish for a fulfilling trip. Viland Travel’s “Vietnam Cultural Tour: 10-Day Memorable Trip” showcases the enchanting cities of Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi, and the Mekong Delta. 

With expert guides and seamless logistics, this cultural tour offers a hassle-free experience. Explore diverse landscapes, delve into rich heritage, and savor mouthwatering cuisine. From comfortable accommodations to thoughtfully planned itineraries, every detail is taken care of. Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s captivating beauty, create lifelong memories, and uncover the true essence of this remarkable country. 

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity. Book now and embark on a journey of a lifetime.