Southern Vietnam Itinerary: 2 Week Guide from South to Central

Southern Vietnam Itinerary

After several visits to Southern Vietnam, we have come to fall in love with this amazing and diverse part of the country. To be completely honest, many travelers we meet don’t seem to enjoy it for one reason or another. Maybe it’s the rugged nature and transportation, or quite possibly they might have just not had a good enough travel guide! Our 2 week itinerary for South and Central Vietnam will be your perfect guide as we break down the fun places to visit, where to stay, and all the best food.

Southern Vietnam Itinerary

Ho Chi Minh City – 3 Nights

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

  • 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

→ Best Vietnam Food: 34 Delicious Dishes to Try On Your First Visit

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: Mui Ne
How To Get There: To continue on this southern Vietnam itinerary take the morning train from Ho Chi Minh 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.

2 Week South Vietnam itinerary

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 on your Southern Vietnam 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.

Where To Sleep:

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 on your Southern Vietnam itinerary you can explore the latest prices here!

Next Stop: Da Lat Vietnam
How To Get There: Bus transfer from Mui Ne to Da Lat

*The bus ride will be very bumpy at parts due to road conditions. Keep this in mind when you’re planning your transportation after reading our travel guide for Vietnam!

2 Week South Vietnam itinerary

Da Lat – 2 Nights 

Da Lat has actually been one of the biggest surprises of our South Vietnam itinerary. While many travelers choose to leave it out of their plans, you should know it’s not to be missed! After the hot weather of Ho Chi Minh, 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: Nha Trang
How To Get There: Take the bus from Da Lat to Nha Trang!

Southern Vietnam itinerary

Central Vietnam Itinerary

Nha Trang – 2 Nights 

Honestly, at first we weren’t the biggest fans of Nha Trang. Our 2 week Vietnam itinerary didn’t originally include it because of its reputation as a touristy party town.

We ended up booking a hotel on the beach, and at once felt like it fully lived up to its reputation as the “Miami of Vietnam.” There are tourists everywhere you look and we found almost nothing authentic.

If this was all we saw we wouldn’t have even included it in our travel guide for Vietnam! However, as we explored away from the ocean and got deeper into the city we realized we were mistaken.

It instantly turned local with incredible food, and we learned there’s a much different side to be seen in this coastal city. There are also beautiful islands that you can day trip to from Nha Trang. 

  • Relax on the long white sandy beach.
  • Visit the islands off the coast.
  • Day trip to Vinpearl Land if you like amusement parks.
  • Eat your way through the back streets.

Where to Stay

InterContinental Nha Trang – 5 star resort beachside resort with luxury amenities. Amazing luxury hotel to include in your Central Vietnam itinerary.

Mojzo Inn – Modern Boutique Hotel and cheap rooms close to the beach and all the action. 

Next Stop: Da Nang
How To Get There: Time to Fly! We took an 1 hour flight instead of a 10 hour overnight bus, but both are available. Interestingly enough, if you book in advance the tickets can roughly be the same price. Just something to consider on your 2 week Vietnam itinerary.

*The airport is about 45 minutes from Da Nang so plan for a taxi or book a shuttle.

South Vietnam itinerary and 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.

Also, it’s a great jump off location for some of the best day trips in the entire country. Nha Trang is cool, but this is where your Central Vietnam itinerary truly 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 to 45 min taxi or shuttle bus ride from Da Nang. You can also stay in Da Nang or Hoi An and make a day trip to the other by motorbike. Here’s our full guide to getting between these two fabulous destinations.

Central Vietnam Itinerary

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. 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, and we ended up staying a whole week! So if some of the places on our South Vietnam 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

South Vietnam itinerary and Travel Guide for Vietnam

Your 2 week Vietnam itinerary, and this travel guide for Vietnam has unfortunately come to an end! Hopefully at this point you will leave with a deeper appreciation for the south and central part of the country. The closest airport to fly out of is Da Nang where most travelers book a hopper flight to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to start their South Vietnam itinerary.

Helpful Vietnam Travel Guides

Vietnam Travel Adventures

Have any questions on our travel guide for Vietnam? How about your own tips for a 2 week Vietnam itinerary? Let us know in the comments below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte and Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Southern Vietnam Itinerary: A Two Week Adventure

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. Channy
    July 22, 2021 / 10:33 pm

    This is just what I was looking for! Thank you so much!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      July 22, 2021 / 10:37 pm

      Anytime! Such a beautiful part of Vietnam to explore

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