One Month Vietnam Itinerary: Ultimate Guide South to North

One Month Vietnam Itinerary: Ultimate Guide From South to North

Who’s ready for an epic month in one of the most unique countries in Southeast Asia? Our one month Vietnam travel itinerary includes helpful information such as transportation, where to stay, and what to do in each place! Starting in the south, we’ll show you how to work your way up the coast to see all the most amazing towns, cities, and nature backpacking Vietnam. After five visits to this beautiful country, our guide combines the best of everything we’ve experienced to form one awesome 1 month Vietnam itinerary.

One Month Vietnam Itinerary 

Our one month Vietnam itinerary moves extremely fast as you travel non-stop form Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. We recommended you use this guide as a base for planning your own trip, but you don’t need to follow it exactly!

You can remove some stops to slow down your travels, and even add locations we haven’t been to yet. It doesn’t matter if you’re backpacking Vietnam or going for for an upscale holiday, this guide truly has something for everyone! 

  • Ho Chi Minh ⸰ 3 Nights
  • Phu Quoc ⸰ 3 Nights 
  • Mui Ne ⸰ 2 Nights
  • Da Lat ⸰ 2 Nights
  • Da Nang ⸰ 2 Nights
  • Hoi An ⸰ 3 Nights
  • Phong Nha Ke Bang ⸰ 3 Nights
  • Tam Coc ⸰ 2 Nights
  • Hanoi ⸰ 3 Nights
  • Ha Long Bay ⸰ 2 Nights
  • Ha Giang Loop ⸰ 4 Nights

Don’t have enough time to see the whole country? No worries! Check out our separate South and North Vietnam itineraries below.

Planning a Trip to Vietnam Amazing Beaches

Ho Chi Minh City – 3 Nights

Also known as Saigon, this bustling major city is sure to overwhelm even the most experienced traveler in Vietnam. Still, after spending a few days here you’ll see why it’s a popular spot to start a Vietnam travel itinerary.

It might take little warming up to, but if you embrace and craziness of Saigon you’re sure to have a great time! Here’s all the best things to do in the city to begin your journey in Southern Vietnam.

  • Shop, eat, and get lost in Ben Thanh Market.
  • Try specialties such as Banh Mi, Bun Bo and much much more! 
  • Explore the Cafe Apartments and have a cafe su da overlooking the city. 
  • Take a photo At Tân Định Church (The Pink Church).
  • Visit the famous Saigon Central Post Office and Notre-Dame Cathedral.
  • Pull up a stool and people watch late night on Bui Vien street. 

→ Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam: 15 Helpful Tips For First Time Travelers

Where To Stay

Luxury – Park Hyatt Saigon – Swim in the outdoor pool, relax in your upscale room, and enjoy the special touches that come with a luxury resort.

VacationFusion Suites Saigon – This hotel has a contemporary style and is completely unique to other places you will find in the city!

Boutique – Chez Mimosa Petite – Bright and fun rooms that are great for travelers on a budget. Located close to the Fine Arts Museum the hotel offers free bikes to explore Ho Chi Minh City.

Budget – City Backpackers Hostel – Fun hostel to meet other travelers. Also, it’s just a quick walk away from Bui Vien Street in the popular party area!

Next Stop: Phu Quoc Island
How To Get There: 1 Hour Flight From Ho Chi Minh City or 12+ hour bus and ferry.

*Consider booking a flight in advance to Phu Quoc on your one month Vietnam Itinerary. It should similar price to the bus and ferry if you plan ahead!

Saigon Street Food

Phu Quoc – 3 Nights

Phu Quoc is a large island in Southern Vietnam and known for having the best beaches in the country. If you have a few more days consider hopping on a round trip flight from Ho Chi Minh City which will get you to the islands in less than an hour.

We’ve actually been to Phu Quc twice and both times were a blast! Highlights were beach hopping, cruising around on motorbikes, and eating delicious seafood. Here are some more specific things to do below.

  • Jump on a motorbike and explore the island. It’s massive but you can still see most of it in two days.
  • Beach hop up the coast from Long Beach to Starfish Beach.
  • Grab a local beer and watch the sunset on Sunset Beach.
  • Hit the night market that overtakes the streets of the main town. 
  • Take the world’s longest overwater cable car to Pineapple Island.

→ Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam: 10 Helpful Tips For Your First Visit

Where To Stay

Luxury – JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa – This stunning 5 star resort sits right on the exclusive Khem beach on the south end of Phu Quoc.  From the incredible architecture and design to the crystal clear waters at the private beach, you’ll be in heaven at the JW Marriott.

Fun – Lahana Resort Phu Quoc – Eco-friendly accommodations on the mountainside overlooking the ocean. The views are amazing from the pool and the bungalows are very spacious and comfortable.

Affordable – Sun & Wind Paradise Bungalow – We actually stayed here on two separate Phu Quoc trips and absolutely loved it. The cute bungalows are tucked back from the main road, but still just minutes from Long Beach. It’s also one of the only hotels with a swimming pool in this price range!

Hostel – Sleep Box Hostel – Sleep box is fun, colorful, and the perfect place to meet other travelers on your journey. You’ll find plenty of fun island tours to go on with your new friends!

Next Stop: Mui Ne
How To Get There: After your flight back to Ho Chi Minh book the train to Mui Ne

*When you arrive at Mui Ne train station you’ll have to take a taxi 45 minutes to town. It’s around $15 USD so we recommend finding other travelers who are heading that way to share.

What to Eat in Phu Quoc Vietnam

Mui Ne – 2 Nights

Mui Ne has grown in popularity over the years mostly due to the fact that it’s the closest beach town from Ho Chi Minh City. Wind surfing is the most popular draw along with visiting the red and white colored sand dunes!

There is a lot to explore in this little ocean town so it will be an action packed two days in your Vietnam travel itinerary.

  • Watch the kite surfers from Sun Rise Bay.
  • Explore the early morning fish and fruit market.
  • Take a jeep tour of the White Sand Dunes.
  • Visit downtown Mui Ne and the Red Sand Dunes.
  • Walk The Mui Ne Fairy Stream.

→ Mui Ne Fairy Stream: A Strange and Beautiful Walk in Vietnam

→ Mui Ne White Sand Dunes in Vietnam: How to Plan Your Adventure

Where To Stay

LuxurySailing Club Resort Mui Ne – The Sailing Club has everything you need right on the beach! If you have the extra money to spend this place is definitely worth it.

Fun – Sunsea Resort – With 2 outdoor swimming pools, a restaurant, and the perfect location right on the beach. 

Budget – Hiep Hoa Resort – Hiep Hoa resort has a swimming pool, breakfast, and motorbike rentals available all at a budget friendly price.

Hostel – Mui Ne Hills Backpackers – This is definitely the best budget place to stay in Mui Ne, and will also give you a chance to meet some awesome new people!

For more places to stay in Mui Ne you can explore the latest prices here!

Next Stop: Da Lat
How To Get There: Bus transfer from Mui Ne to Da Lat. Be aware the ride will be very bumpy at parts due to road conditions.

White Sand Mui Ne

Da Lat – 2 Nights 

Da Lat has actually been one of the biggest surprises of our many trips backpacking Vietnam. While travelers choose to leave it off their one month Vietnam itinerary, you should know that it’s not to be missed!

After the hot weather of Southern Vietnam, we welcomed the cooler air of the gorgeous mountains heading north. The food is amazing, and this small city has some of the best markets we’ve seen in Asia.

  • Grab breakfast at the local Central Market.
  • Visit the strawberry farms and coffee plantations.
  • Take a swan boat ride on the lake.
  • Enjoy a bottle of Da Lat wine.
  • Get lost in the craziness of the night market.

→ Is Da Lat Vietnam Worth Visiting? Fun Guide to the Mountain Town

Where To Stay

Luxury – Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa – Located just outside the city center, enjoy being in nature at this resort set in the Da Lat mountains.

Budget – MayMay Da Lat Apartments – This is a great place to stay if you are on a budget but want a little more room. The property has studios, deluxe, and two bedroom apartments available. 

Hostel – Raon Villa – Offering both private rooms and dorm beds, Raon Villa is a true sanctuary for backpackers. The private rooms with large balconies overlooking the city. The hotel has a shared kitchen and can arrange transportation!

Next Stop: Da Nang (Via Nha Trang)
How To Get There: First you have to take a Bus from Da Lat to  Nha Trang. Then take an overnight train/bus to Da Nang, or quick flight from the Nha Trang Airport. Depending on the transfer times you may have to spend one night in Nha Trang. 

Da Lat Travel Guide

Da Nang – 2 Nights

Over the years we’ve found ourselves in, or passing through Da Nang quite a few times. This up and coming city is perfect for a night or two of hitting the beach and eating some delicious street food.

Here’s some of the best things to do in Da Nang. Also, it’s a great jump off location for some of the best day trips in the entire country. This is where your Central Vietnam itinerary begins!

Where To Stay

Luxury – InterContinental Danang Although it’s outside the main city, the InterContinental is one of the nicest beachfront resorts in all of Vietnam. 

City Side – Minh Tran Apartment and Hotel – Having a private apartment is ideal in the center of the city, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at Minh Tran. The two bedrooms are perfect for a groups and it even has a small rooftop pool overlooking Da Nang.

Beachside – Livie Da Nang – Set in the center of the ex-pat zone in Da Nang. You can pick from 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom units and it’s a popular spot for longterm monthly rentals. 

Hostel Light House Hostel – Fun hostel near the beach in Da Nang Vietnam. Everything is clean and new, plus they also have private rooms to accommodate couples.

Next Stop: Hoi An
How To Get There: 30 min taxi from Da Nang. You can also make a day trip here easily by motorbike or take the popular shuttle bus. Here’s all our tips for how to get from Da Nang to Hoi An!

Fire Breathing Dragon Bridge Da Nang

Hoi An – 3 Nights 

Hoi An is one of our favorite towns in Vietnam and the perfect place to spend a relaxing few days. From old town to the rice paddies and the ancient temples, there is so much to see and do in Hoi An! Also, with all the wonderful shopping you’ll be able to stuff your bags before you leave. 

To be fully transparent, the first time we visited Hoi An was planned for 3 nights. Yet, we had such a good time we ended up staying a whole week! If one of the other places on our Vietnam travel itinerary don’t interest you, consider adding more days in Hoi An.

  • Get lost in the charming back streets of old town.
  • Visit the Central Market and eat local Cao Lau noodles.
  • Marvel at the silk lanterns at the night market.
  • Get a custom outfit made.
  • Day trip to My Son Sanctuary.
  • Try 2 of the Best Banh Mi Spots in central Vietnam. 
  • Bicycle or motorbike around the countryside and through the rice paddies.
  • Hop around the unique rooftop cafes and bars in town!

→ 21 Amazing Things to Do in Hoi An Vietnam: Ancient Town & More!

Where To Stay

LuxuryLittle Riverside Hoi An – Beautiful upscale hotel & spa located on the river just down the street from the central market. The highlight of the hotel is the outdoor pool facing the banks of the Thu Bon river.

ApartmentQuang Vinh Apartment and Hotel Hoi An – Bright rooms, a wonderful rooftop pool, and a quick walk to the Hoi An Night Market.

Fun Hoi An Riverside Villas & Apartments – Just outside the craziness of Hoi An Old Town. Enjoy a stay overlooking the rice paddies while still being a quick bicycle ride away from everything. 

Hostel Cheerful Hoi An Hostel – Cute local hostel that is super popular with backpackers visiting the area. Good option to meet other travelers and has a buffet breakfast included.

15 Best Hoi An Boutique Hotels In & Around Old Town

Next Stop: Hue then Phong Nha Ke Bang via Hai Van Pass
How To Get There: Hire a motorbike and ride from Hoi An to Hue on the famous Hai Van Pass road. There are companies in town that can transfer your luggage for you. If you don’t ride a motorbike you can also hire a driver to make the trip. 

From Hue, spend all day exploring before hopping on a train or bus to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. If you have time on your 1 month Vietnam itinerary try to plan for at least a night in Hue. 

Boats of Hoi An Vietnam

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park – 3 Nights

Phong Nha Ke Bang is such a magical place for nature lovers in Vietnam! It it slightly secluded and not on the typical travel route, but the stories of its beauty are quickly spreading.

Made famous by the discovery of the world’s largest cave, this UNESCO National Park is filled with everything from blue rivers to wet caves, and endless rice paddies. 

  • Hire a boat and visit Phong Nha Cave and Dong Tien Son.
  • Go deep underground and make the steep climb down to Paradise Cave.
  • Jump on a motorbike and circle the national park.
  • Watch the sunset over the beautiful rice paddies. 

→ How to Visit Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park: Full Vietnam Guide

Where To Stay

Luxury – Victory Road Villas – Set right on the river, these beautiful villas are the most upscale place to stay in Phong Nha National Park. 

Fun  – Phong Nha Farmstay – This one of a kind accommodation is located just outside of town in a secluded part of Phong Nha. Here you can enjoy the beautiful scenery, on-site restaurant, and free bicycles. 

Budget Diep Le Homestay – This was where we stayed before our journey to Phong Nha Cave! Diep Le gives you a front row view at breakfast to the gorgeous river, and also has rooms facing the mountainside to the back. The staff is super friendly and is more than willing to set up any activities or tours for you. 

Hostel – Central Backpackers Hostel – If hostels are your thing then you’ll love the atmosphere at Central Backpackers! The property features hammocks, a pool, full bar, and is the perfect jump off point to all the famous caves in Vietnam. 

Next Stop: Tam Coc
How To Get There: Overnight Bus from Phong Nha to Tam Coc. 

One Month Vietnam Itinerary

Tam Coc – 2 Nights

Tam Coc is is a small town in the Ninh Binh region. While many travelers make the trip here from Hanoi via overnight bus, you can actually stop and see it without having to backtrack.

This area is called the Ha Long Bay of the land for the massive limestone mountains that rise from the ground. Whether you choose to explore by motorbike, bicycle, or boat tour, this is 100% a place to add to your one month Vietnam itinerary!

Where To Stay

Luxury – Tam Coc Garden Resort  -This Tam Coc resort is located out in the rice paddy fields which makes it the perfect place to relax in Ninh Binh. The secluded property includes large bungalows and a beautiful pool area.

Fun – Ninh Binh Hidden Charm Hotel & Resort – If you’re looking for a nice hotel instead of a lodge or bungalow then this is for you! Hidden Charm is also complete with restaurant, gym, and pool for you to enjoy during your stay.

Budget – Tam Coc Nature Lodge – This was where we stayed for a few days while visiting Tam Coc Vietnam. The rooms are surrounded by rocks and mountains which gives you a one of a kind intimate feel in nature. 

Hostel Life – The Banana Tree Hostel – Banana tree is an awesome place to make friends, hang out by the pool, and plan your next adventures through Vietnam. There aren’t many hostels in Tam Coc, but this is one of the best. 

Next Stop: Hanoi
How To Get There: 2 Hour Bus, Train, or Private Transfer 

Vietnam travel itinerary

Hanoi – 3 Nights 

As both the capital and our favorite city in Vietnam, Hanoi will be an amazing place to start your adventure in the north. Stroll the back streets of the old quarter, take a spin around the lake, and soak in the views from the epic cafes and rooftop bars.

Hanoi is the type of place you’ll be happy to get lost in as you dive deeper and deeper into the real Vietnam. Each time we visit, we discover more new and fun things about this city!

  • Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the Temple of Jade Mountain.
  • Get lost in the Old Quarter where each street takes on its own theme.
  • Eat your way through the Hanoi specialties.
  • Drink fresh beer and take in the night life on Ta Hien Street.
  • Shop for warm clothing in the stores and night markets.
  • Visit Phung Hung Mural Street
  • Try an egg coffee on Hanoi’s famous railroad tracks.

→ Hanoi Old Quarter in Vietnam: 12 Awesome Tips For Your First Visit

Where To Sleep

Luxury Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel– Amazing luxury property with a rooftop swimming pool overlooking Hanoi.  

Fun Nova Luxury Hotel – Right next to the Hanoi Old Quarter with a beautiful chic design.

Budget Scent Premium Hotel – Located in the center of the Old Quarter and just a quick 2 minute walk to the lake. 

Hostel Little Charm Hanoi Hostel– Clean rooms, soft beds, and in the heart of Hanoi. Great budget option in one of our favorite places to visit in Vietnam.

Next Stop: Ha Long Bay
How To Get There: Book a 3 Night Ha Long Bay Cruise with transfer to and from Hanoi included.

Hanoi Mural Street Vietnam

Ha Long Bay – 2 Nights 

Here it is! The nature of Ha Long Bay is what many people come to Vietnam for to begin with. This will be a highlight of your 1 month Vietnam itinerary, so we recommend spending a little more on a boat to enhance the experience.

Two nights on a cruise and one night in a hotel on Cat Ba Island will give you the perfect mix of land and sea. If you only have limited time in Vietnam you should book a company that combines everything. This will include the transfer from Hanoi to and from Hanoi, the boat tour, and hotel on Cat Ba Island.

  • Spend two nights at sea sleeping in your water view cabin and sailing through Ha Long Bay.
  • Buy snacks from the boat vendors.
  • Sit on the top deck and take in the massive rock mountains that shoot up from the water.
  • Go kayaking through Ha Long Bay.
  • Hike Cat Ba Island.
  • Spend one night on the island away from the boat to see a different side of Ha Long Bay on your One month Vietnam itinerary.

→ Halong Bay Vietnam: How to Pick the Best Cruise & More Fun Tips!

Next Stop: Ha Giang Loop via Hanoi
How To Get There: A limousine bus from Hanoi to Ha Giang. You may want to spend one night in Hanoi in between to rest before this next part of your one month Vietnam itinerary.

Nothing Familiar Halong Bay Vietnam

Ha Giang Loop – 4 Nights 

4 days driving the Ha Giang Loop will be a highlight of your northern Vietnam travel itinerary, and it was the best thing we did during any of our four visits to Vietnam!

Each day the scenery became more and more dramatic to the point where we still question if it was real. You might have thought that places like this only exist in movies, but it’s right here in Northern Vietnam! You just have to jump on a motorbike and travel to the far reaches of the country to find it.

The Ha Giang Loop is for the adventurous traveler who might be looking for something more than a relaxing vacation in Vietnam. If this isn’t for you consider switching Ha Giang for Sapa, which you can can easily reach by train from Hanoi.

  • Grab a coffee at Heaven’s Gate for a spectacular view.
  • Climb the Lung Cu Flag Tower on the border of China.
  • Plan extra time for lots of photo stops and viewpoints.
  • Participate in a family dinner at your homestay.
  • Ride through the rice paddies in Du Gia
  • Sample the local “happy water” (rice wine) if you dare!

→ Ha Giang Loop Vietnam: Amazing 4 Day 3 Night Motorbike Route

Where To Stay

Ha Giang (Night 1) – Lila Inn 

Yen Minh (Night 2) Milk Milk Homestay or Homestay Hoàng Vũ

Dong Van (Night 3)Ancient Town 29 Phố Cổ 

Du Gia (Night 4)Du Già Village Homestay

Next Stop: Hanoi
How To Get There: Book your transfer back to the Hanoi with your guesthouse in Ha Giang.

Exploring Ha Giang Loop

Ready to Plan Your 1 Month Vietnam Itinerary?

Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be! Wherever you decide to go on your one month Vietnam itinerary it’s sure to be an amazing experience. Also, be sure to check out this article if you’re considering Vietnam vs Thailand for your next vacation.

Have any questions or your want to share your own tips for backpacking Vietnam? Let us know in the comments below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte and Jake

Pin For Later 

One Month Vietnam Itinerary: Ultimate Guide From South to North

Vietnam Travel Planning 

Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through Vietnam! 

 Flights: For cheap flight deals check out Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we found flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc for $20 USD and Vietnam to Thailand for less than $50! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Tours: Get Your Guide is an amazing place to find fun activities all over Vietnam! There is everything from a Hanoi Cooking Class and market tour to a Mekong Delta Pagoda & rowing boat trip, and even the Phu Quoc Cable Car Ride with three island snorkeling tour! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are always there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Vietnam Travel

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2 Comments

  1. Love
    November 17, 2023 / 6:45 am

    Going on a 7-day trip next week, so glad I found this! I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos but I still haven’t finished my itinerary, this is really helpful. Thanks!!!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      November 17, 2023 / 7:18 am

      Thanks for reading! Glad we could help you plan your itinerary

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