This Vietnam Discovery Itinerary 18 Days covered all best things to see and do in Vietnam. You’ll get full insights of local experiences from the North to Southern coastline, mountain ranges to beaches, charming city of Hanoi to ancient town and UNESCO sites.

  • Visit Vietnam’s colonial charm city – Hanoi, former Capital – Hue, sleepy riverside town – Hoian, modern metropolis – Saigon, heart of Mekong River city – Can Tho, City of Eternal Spring – Da Lat, and Coastal resort city – Nha Trang.
  • Trek through the rice fields in the hill tribe areas in Sapa.
  • Cast away on a traditional junk boat set sail through hundreds of limestone karsts that rise dramatically from the emerald waters of Halong Bay. Join activities such as: visiting fishing village on a bamboo boat, visiting caves, kayaking, swimming…
  • Experience the countryside life in Mekong Delta.
Halong catba Vietnam Discovery Itinerary 18 Days
Halong Bay

Start city: Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

End city: Hanoi (Vietnam)

Duration: 18 Days 17 Nights

Departure: Daily, upon your request.

Map Legend Journey Vietnam f93c1 729x1024 Vietnam Discovery Itinerary 18 Days

Cities to visit: Ho Chi Minh City – Ben Tre – Can Tho – Da Lat – Nha Trang – Hoi An – Hue – Hanoi – Sapa – Halong Bay

– Extendable with optional tours from Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and from Hanoi (Vietnam)

Overview Vietnam Discovery Itinerary 18 Days

  • Day 1: HCMC Arrival
  • Day 2: HCMC Tour
  • Day 3: HCMC – Ben Tre – Can Tho
  • Day 4: Can Tho – HCMC – Fly to Dalat
  • Day 5: Dalat City Tour
  • Day 6: Dalat – Nha Trang
  • Day 7: Nha Trang – Free at leisure
  • Day 8: Nha Trang – Fly to Danang – Hoian
  • Day 9: Hoi an City Tour
  • Day 10: Hoi an – Eco tour
  • Day 11: Hoi an – Danang – Hue
  • Day 12: Hue City Tour – Fly to Hanoi
  • Day 13: Hanoi City Tour
  • Day 14: Hanoi – Sapa
  • Day 15: Sapa Tour
  • Day 16: Sapa – Hanoi
  • Day 17: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Overnight on cruise
  • Day 18: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Departure

PRICE: Vietnam Discovery Itinerary 18 Days

Prices are quoted in US Dollars per person, double occupancy.

6 Persons$1,595Reservation
4 Persons$1,730Reservation
2 Persons$2,150Reservation
1 Person$3,600Reservation
> 6 PersonsContact us for even better offer

ITINERARY Vietnam Discovery 18 Days

Day 1: HCMC Arrival

Welcome to Vietnam’s financial hub – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Arrive in the late morning and enjoy an orientation tour through Saigon’s bustling streets en route to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to recover from jet lag and explore the city on your own.
Meals: N/A.
Accommodation: Hotel in HCMC.

Day 2: HCMC Tour

Enjoy a full day to tour Saigon’s diverse attractions. Start with a visit to Saigon’s China Town, then learn about traditional Vietnamese medicine at the FITO Museum and browse through the amazing array of goods at Ben Thanh Market. Stop for lunch then continue on the city tour with a visit to the War Remnants Museum and former Presidential Palace. You conclude the day exploring the city’s French colonial architecture, stopping at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Post Office.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in HCMC.

Day 3: HCMC Ben Tre Can Tho

Today you spend a day away from the busy city of Saigon and drive to Ben Tre Province. Visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, an ancient southern architectural gem in Tien Giang en route. On arrival at Hung Vuong Pier, take a boat on Ben Tre River – one of tributaries of Mekong River. Experience lively activities along river as fishing, water transferring… Stop at brickwork to see how to make bricks in handy traditional style by printing and baking. Reaching a bee-keeping farm where Vietnamese traditional music can be heard and seasonal tropical fruit as well as honey tea can be tasted.
Visit one of the plenty of coconut processing workshops where coconut candies are made and have a chance to learn the coconut candies making process located along canal. Turn on natural scissors creeks where they look smaller and smaller to go to village. Take a walk to family workshop making sleep mats. Afterward, being on a cart powered by a motorbike or biking and traveling through some tranquil villages where vegetables gardens to be able to touch on real life and find out about tropical culture from Peasants. Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon, take a rowing-boat along water palm creek and boat back to Hung Vuong Pier where your car will take you to Can Tho – the largest city in the Mekong Delta.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel in Can Tho.

Day 4: Can Tho HCMC Fly to Dalat

Wake early and leave the hotel to visit the famous Cai Rang floating market by motorized boat. This is a great opportunity to get fantastic photos of colourful boats laden with fruit and vegetables. Boats are filled with teetering piles of fruit and vegetables, from carefully balanced watermelons, to bright flowers. Then venture deeper into the country-side, passing traditional houses made of wood and palm leaves as you observe the activities of the local people, and sample the fresh, exotic fruit. Return to Ninh Kieu quay in Can Tho around 10 A.M. Check out the hotel then drive back to Tan Son Nhat Airport to take a domestic flight to Dalat – “City of Eternal Spring”. Upon arrival, our guide and driver will pick you up at Lien Khuong airport and transfer to your hotel in Dalat.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Dalat.

Day 5: Dalat City Tour

After breakfast, visit Thien Vien Truc Lam – the largest Zen Monastery of Vietnam. Then take the steps down toward the Tuyen Lam Lake, enjoy sightseeing of the nicest vast lake of Dalat on boat. On the way back to the city for lunch, visit Lat village, home to a number of distinct ethnic minority groups with varying traditions and beliefs. Here you have the chance to purchase traditional handicrafts and gain a unique insight.
An afternoon of sightseeing takes in the art deco former summer residence of Bao Dai – the last Emperor of Vietnam, the old Dalat Railway Station, the Central Market and famous XQ embroidery workshop. There will be the chance for a short walk around Xuan Huong Lake to get a feel for this delightful city in the evening.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Dalat.

Day 6: Dalat Nha Trang

After breakfast, embark on scenic driver from the highlands to the beautiful coastal city of Nha Trang. Nha Trang is a perfect place for travelers who loves Sun, Sand, and beautiful beaches. Besides the pre-requisite golden stretches of land and crystal clear waters, the coast is dotted with many islands, each with their own distinct character. The turquoise waters play host to a variety of marine life, and snorkeling and scuba diving are always favorites.
In the afternoon, take a city tour to visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers, the Alexandre Yersin Museum, Long Son Pagoda, with its enormous white Buddha statue, and the lively, colorful Dam Market.  
Overnight in Nha Trang.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Nha Trang.

Day 7: Nha Trang Free at leisure

Today is your free day for relaxation by the beach.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Nha Trang.

Day 8: Nha Trang Fly to Danang – Hoian

In the early morning, your driver will pick up and transfer you to Cam Ranh Airport to take a short flight to Danang. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in Hoi An.
Rest of the day is your free time at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.

Day 9: Hoi an City Tour

This morning take part in a cooking class at the Red Bridge Cooking School. Meet at the Hai Scout Cafe in Hoian’s Old Town. From there we will head to Hoian’s colorful market. Explore the market and interact with local vendors to purchase some fresh ingredients for today’s cooking class. Next, board the Red Bridge boat for a leisurely 25min cruise along the Hoian River to the Red Bridge Cooking School. Discover the school’s herb and vegetable garden. Learn to cook and help prepare five traditional dishes to enjoy for lunch. You will also be entertained and taught some special techniques at the fruit and vegetable carving demonstration.
Enjoy an afternoon walking tour through the narrow, winding streets of the ancient quarter, visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, the Chinese Assembly Hall, the 200-year old Tan Ky ancestral house and the famous Japanese Bridge. Conclude the day with a relaxing sunset boat trip.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.

Day 10: Hoi an – Eco tour

8:00 AM: Pick up at hotel by bicycle.
Take a leisurely bike ride to a local farm, passing through rice paddies and breathing in the fresh air. Meet the local farmer and learn about daily farm life. Enjoy a break while sipping a cup of tea in the rice fields before changing into your farming clothes!
Change into farm clothes before getting into muddy rice fields: Authentic Vietnamese traditional farmer clothes, conical hat, boots (provided).
Learn the traditional process of growing wet rice and what it entails including the agricultural water system and farming techniques such as using a water buffalo plough!
Return to the hotel enjoy the free afternoon and evening at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoian.

Day 11: Hoi an – Danang – Hue

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel then check-out and drive over the 500m-high Hai Van pass to Hue. Enjoy a stop at the scenic Lang Co Beach for a drink before continuing on to Hue – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Vietnam’s former capital. Spend the afternoon on a leisurely walking tour through the ancient city. Visit the Royal Citadel, the Imperial Museum, as well as the Mausoleum of King Tu Duc (a replica of the king’s palace built for the next reincarnation of the king).
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue.

Day 12: Hue City Tour Fly to Hanoi

Spend the morning on a private boat cruise down the romantic Perfume River to visit the Lady Pagoda (Thien Mu Pagoda), Dong Ba Market and the ornate Minh Mang’s tomb. Drive to the airport in the afternoon to catch your short flight to Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi. Upon arrival, get transferred to your hotel in the city centre. Free at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

Day 13: Hanoi City Tour

Today is a full day to explore Vietnam’s charming capital. Start with a visit to the Temple of Literature, which is well known as the first university of Vietnam. Follow it with one of the city’s museums (a choice between the History Museum and the Ethnology Museum) before your lunch (own account).
In the afternoon, transfer to the Ba Dinh Square where stands the Mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh who led Vietnam to independence from French colonial rule. This site has become an important city landmark and a perfect place to learn more about Vietnam’s rich history. From there, wander through the beautiful surrounding gardens toward the One Pillar Pagoda and Presidential Palace, where a replica of Ho Chi Minh’s simple working space is on display.
Later, hop on a cyclo, one of the most typical vehicles in Hanoi, is a human-powered transport with a seat at the front for passengers and the driver at the back. With this an hour leisurely ride, which is perfect chance for photos and slow-moving sightseeings, you will have a great chance to have the local closer touch. Disembark at the ancient city gate of O Quan Chuong, then continue walking to Thanh Ha local market and through bustling streets& alleys before ending at Ta Hien Street where you will enjoy a glass of local beer at its corner with all the locals around. Conclude the day with a traditional Water Puppet Performance – a unique Vietnamese Art form hailing from Southeast Asia’s wet-rice culture.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

Day 14: Hanoi – Sapa

After breakfast, hop on a car for 5 hour scenic ride from Hanoi to Sapa on the Vietnam’s longest and modern highway with a comfort stop at the half way. Upon arrival, check in the hotel followed by your lunch (your own account).
In the afternoon, walk down streets for the orientation guided tour to get acquainted with the town. The tour includes all the key sites such as the Old Church, local market and the dining& shopping streets… Then, continue to Sau Chua ethnic Black Hmong village. This village has been recently discovered and much less visited. It is located on the mountain summit, therefore you can take the best photos of panorama Sapa town down there at sunset. Besides, you will have lots of interactions with the villagers who show their great hospitality and want to share their life so you’ll learn more about how they live.  Back to the hotel then and have the rest of day at your leisure.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa.

Day 15: Sapa Tour

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, before setting out on a full day’s trek to explore Sapa’s cultural diversity and haunting natural beauty. Take a guided hike through yawning valleys decorated with terraced rice fields and pass through remote hill tribe villages. You have three trekking options to choose from: Soft trek (~ 3 km), medium trek (~ 6km) and long trek (~ 12km). Trekking is an excellent way to explore the daily life and familiarize yourself with the cultures of the H’mong, Dzao and Dzay people who populate the region. Drive back to Sapa in the afternoon.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel in Sapa.

Day 16: Sapa – Hanoi

Early morning your driver and guide will take you to one of the local markets (Coc Ly on Tue/ Sin Cheng on Wed/ Can Cau on Sat and Bac Ha on Sun). Wander through the stalls packed with hand-crafted goods peddled by the various hill tribe peoples who come here to buy and sell their wares. The specific details will be proposed by your travel consultant based on the travel date.
After lunch, farewell the Vietnam’s Northwest area for a journey back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi around 9.00 PM.
Meals: Breakfast.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi.

Day 17: Hanoi Halong Bay Overnight on cruise

*The itinerary is a sample and it will be different between cruises. Our travel consultants will provide the exact schedule and program if you book other cruise such as Hera Cruise, Halong President Cruise, Emperor Cruise, Halong Violet, Halong Jasmine, Paradise Luxury Cruises, Orchid Cruise, Indochina Sails, Au Co Cruise, Starlight Cruise etc.*
After breakfast at the hotel, your driver will take you on a 2.5 hour drive passing the countryside of the Red River Delta to Halong Bay. Spend nearly 24 hours on a traditional junk cruise in the amazing bay: a natural wonderland composed of jutting limestone islands and sparkling turquoise waters. Arrive at the dock around noon and board your junk. Savor a gourmet lunch of fresh seafood onboard as we sail out into the mystical bay. In the afternoon, cruise around some of Halong’s many islands, including Dinh Huong and Ga Choi. Along the way visit one of the bay’s 3 largest caves (Thien Cung, Dau Go or Sung Sot). Stop at an island cove with a sheltered white-sand beach and take a dip in the warm waters of the Tonkin Gulf (weather permitting). Pass the night on your junk, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of calm waters.
Optional: recommends the 25-minute scenic flight on the seaplane to those book an overnight cruise departing from Tuan Chau Habour. It will be a “love at first sight” as you admire Halong Bay’s magnificent beauty from the top of view. Flights are scheduled at the most suitable and most beautiful time of the day for sightseeing above more than 1,900 magnificent islands and limestone pillars. Excitement like never before! (excluded in the tour package, contact your travel consultant to book with best offer!)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Accommodation: on cruise.

Day 18: Halong Bay Hanoi  Departure

Awake early and participate in Tai Chi on the top deck or simply relax and enjoy the sunrise over the bay’s towering islands. Enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea and light brakfast, before setting out to explore nearby islands by rowboat. Return to the junk and check-out of your cabin as you navigate back to Halong City. It’s time for you to take advantage of the sundeck and admire the amazing rock formations of the bay. Have brunch on board the boat before returning to Halong pier. Your driver will meet you at the dock and take you to Noi Bai Airport of Hanoi for your departure flight home which depart no earlier than 5:30 PM. Trip ends.
Meals: Brunch.
Accommodation: N/A.


  • 3 star accommodations
  • Services of private drivers and air-conditioned vehicles
  • Service of English speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
  • 3 domestic flights
  • Two day/ 1 night cruise package on Halong Bay
  • Entrance fees, boat trip for all mentioned sights visited
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.


  • Travel insurance
  • Flights into and out Vietnam
  • Vietnam Visa fee
  • Tipping and other personal expenses.

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Tonyreview32 Vietnam Discovery Itinerary 18 Days
Vietnam travel experienced reviewer

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