VIETNAM TRAVEL BLOG

Vietnam Itinerary in 5 Days (North, Central & South Options)

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. FIND MORE INFO IN MY DISCLAIMER.

Hue in Vietnam

Are 5 days in Vietnam enough for a tourist? What is the optimal Vietnam 5-day itinerary?

Vietnam is fast becoming an incredible tourist destination! Located in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is the perfect blend of Nature’s raw beauty and sprawling tribal villages. 

It is a country that offers a wide array of flavors and experiences for tourists from all over the world.

Hoi An Old Town - Cantonese Assembly Hall

You should try to accommodate one of the incredible Vietnamese festivals in your itinerary. There are about ten festivals that are celebrated in this beautiful country, of which the Hoi An Lantern Festival and Buddha’s birthday are our favourites. 

We advise you to also witness a unique art form while in Vietnam – the water puppet show.

You can spend a peaceful evening in one of the temples or indulge in nail-biting adventures like rafting, trekking, snorkelling, sailing, or surfing.

It is not a small country with only a couple of attractions, so five days is not enough to explore all of Vietnam. So, we recommend exploring one of the three regions of the country – North, South, or Central.


Vietnam Itinerary in 5 Days

Finding the best 5-day Vietnam itinerary can be challenging. We have provided two alternative itinerary options for each region; for North, South and Central, to give you more flexibility.

If you are wondering what to do in Vietnam for 5 days, we have the answer.

1. Best 5-day Itinerary for Northern Vietnam

Here is all the information that you need to know before you go, and 2 amazing options of 5-day itineraries for Northern Vietnam:

How to get there:

Take a flight to the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

5 Key Attractions:

Here are five key attractions that cannot miss out on whilst visiting North Vietnam:

1. Hanoi

Vietnam’s capital city is famous for its delicious street food and ancient culture. You can indulge in exploring several historic sites and museums.

Authentic things to do in Hanoi

If you are visiting Vietnam for the first time, we recommend spending a day in Hanoi to get to know its history, culture, and traditions.

Here is a list of some of the places to visit in Hanoi:
  • Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Temple of Literature
  • Opera House
  • St Joseph’s Cathedral
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum
  • One-Pillar Pagoda
  • Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

Tip:


2. Ha Long Bay

We recommend spending two days on a Halong Bay tour. You get to enjoy various activities including visiting caves, kayaking in the Limestone Karsts, and swimming in cold water.

Indochina Junk Halong Bay Relaxation

Spending a night floating on the bay is an experience you do not want to miss.

You will most likely be amazed by the Surprise Cave in the Bo Hon Island and Titop Island. When visiting the latter, you get the unique opportunity to climb to the top of the islet and relish picturesque 360-degree views.


3. Mai Chau

Mai Chau is a serene town about 150km away from Hanoi. If you want to experience the lifestyle of native Vietnamese people, we recommend choosing a homestay for accommodation.

Mai Chau Vietnam

The surrounding mountains make this town an ideal retreat for Nature-lovers.


4. Sa Pa

If you are an adrenaline junkie, we recommend a trip to the Hoang Lien National Park in Sa Pa. You can hike to Fan Si Pan, the highest mountain in Vietnam.

Hinking in Sapa

The breathtaking views from the mountaintop are must-see!

Other attractions in the Hoang Lien National Park include the Ta Phin Village and the Cat Cat Village. It offers a diverse habitat for a wide array of animals, including some endangered species.

You may want to visit the tribal villages in Sa Pa, which are home to five highland tribes.

Tips:


5. Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh is a hidden gem in Vietnam. It is a small city that has a lot to offer.

Best Places to Visit in Vietnam

Here are some of the top attractions you must consider:

  • Boat ride in Trang An or Tam Coc
  • Go temple-hopping and visit Hang Mua, Bai Dinh Pagoda, and Bich Dong Pagoda
  • The Thung Nham Bird Garden
  • Cuc Phuong National Park

Itineraries:

You can choose to visit either Sa Pa or Mai Chau and Ninh Binh, based on the activities and experiences you are most interested in.

Option 1:

1st Day: Visit museums and other historic spots in Hanoi; overnight stay in Hanoi.

2nd Day: Take the 2-day Ha Long Bay tour; visit the Surprise Cave and Titop Cave; overnight stay on the boat.

3rd Day: Visit Limestone Karsts for activities; return to Hanoi for overnight stay.

4th Day: Take a bus to Mai Chau from My Dinh Bus Station; connect with Vietnamese lifestyle; return to Hanoi for overnight stay.

5th Day: Take a bus or train to Ninh Binh on the final day; return to Hanoi for overnight stay.


Option 2:

1st Day: Visit museums and other historic spots in Hanoi; overnight stay in Hanoi.

2nd Day: Take the 2-day Ha Long Bay tour; visit the Surprise Cave and Titop Cave; overnight stay on the boat.

3rd Day: Visit Limestone Karsts for activities; return to Hanoi and take the night train to Sa Pa.

4th Day: Visit the Hoang Lien National Park in Sa, Pa; overnight stay in Sa, Pa.

5th Day: Visit villages and markets on the final day; take the night train to Hanoi.


2. Best 5-day Itinerary for Southern Vietnam

Here is all the information that you need to know before you go, and 2 amazing options of 5-day itineraries for Southern Vietnam:

How to get there:

Take a flight to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

7 Key Attractions:

Here are seven key attractions that cannot miss out on whilst visiting South Vietnam:

1. Saigon

Saigon Notre Dame Basilica

Just six kilometres away from the airport, Saigon in HCMC includes famous tourist attractions like the Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, Independence Palace, and the War Remnants Museum.


2. Cu Chi Tunnels

Take a drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels, 60km away from HCMC. It is a unique maze of twisting underground chambers, passages, booby traps, and rooms.

Cu Chi Tunnels Vietnam

Make sure you watch the introductory video on arrival before venturing into the labyrinth.


3. Cai Be Floating Market

How about exploring the floating market of the most significant fruit producing area in Vietnam?

Cai Be Floating Market

Located in the Tien Giang province, the Cai Be floating market has a wide variety of tropical vegetables, fruits, and flowers on display. If you have never been to a floating market before, you must not miss this.


4. Can Tho

Another viable option to explore floating markets in Can Tho. This city comes alive at night, and you should take a boat ride to check out its renowned canal network.

The Can Tho Museum and Can Tho Bridge make attractive tourist spots you can go to.


5. Chau Doc

Chau Doc is a small town near the Vietnam-Cambodia border. If floating markets sound interesting to you, you are in for a treat if you visit the floating villages and temples.

Chau Doc Temple

The market is often bustling with tourists, especially in the morning.

We recommend a trek to Sam Hill, standing 750ft tall. You can relish some awe-inspiring panoramic views of the city from Sam Hill, as it is the only high ground region.


6. Da Lat

Da Lat is probably the most famous honeymoon destination in Vietnam. The Valley of Love is an all-time favorite destination of couples. It is known as the “City of Eternal Spring” and the “flower capital of Vietnam.”

Da Lat Vietnam

The cable car ride is a must-visit, offering a splendid aerial view of the beautiful city. Da Lat is centered on a golf course and a lake and is surrounded by lakes, hills, pine forests, and waterfalls – literally in the lap of Nature.

Here are some of the top places to see in Da Lat:
  • Domain de Marie Church has an authentic French architecture
  • Datanla Waterfalls
  • XQ Historical Embroidery Art Village
  • Tuyen Lam Lake

7. Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a coastal town with a long beach line. You can indulge in several adventurous activities there like surfing, jet skiing, and parasailing. We recommend hiring a bicycle to ride around the city.

Nha Trang Vietnam

Some other places to visit in Nha Trang are:
  • Vinpearl Amusement Park
  • Long Son Pagoda
  • National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam
  • Nha Tho Nui Cathedral

Itineraries:

You can choose to visit Da Lat and Nha Trang or Cu Chi, Cai Be, Can Tho, and Chau Doc.

Option 1:

1st Day: Explore Saigon on the first day; overnight stay in Saigon.

2nd Day: Take a morning flight to Da Lat; take the cable car ride and visit the Tuyen Lam Lake; overnight stay in Da Lat.

3rd Day: Visit other places in Da Lat; evening road trip to Nha Trang; overnight stay in Nha Trang.

4th Day: Ride around Nha Trang on a rented cycle, take a stroll on the beach, indulge in water sports; overnight stay in Nha Trang.

5th Day: Visit other places in the city; take a flight to Saigon; overnight stay in Saigon.


Option 2:

1st Day: Explore Saigon on the first day; overnight stay in Saigon.

2nd Day: Drive to Cu Chi Tunnels; road trip to Cai Be; return to Saigon for overnight stay.

3rd Day: Road trip to Can Tho; explore the floating markets; overnight stay in Can Tho.

4th Day: Road trip to Chau Doc; trek to Sam Hill; overnight stay in Chau Doc.

5th Day: Explore the city; return to Saigon.


3. Best 5-day Itinerary for Central Vietnam

Here is all the information that you need to know before you go, and 2 amazing options of 5-day itineraries for Central Vietnam:

How to get there:

Take a flight to the Da Nang International Airport.

6 Key Attractions:

Here are six key attractions that cannot miss out on whilst visiting Central Vietnam:

1. Hoi An

Hoi An is a World Heritage site and has preserved ancient households built-in Chinese, Japanese, and Thai designs.

Hoi An Old Town Travel Guide

You can go to the Silk Farm, Pottery Village, and Tra Que Village to get a taste of the lifestyle of locals. Hoi An also has a flawless beach where you can relax and sunbathe.

Tip:


2. Hue

Hue is a UNESCO site and is most renowned for the Imperial Citadel.

Hue in Vietnam

You can choose to visit any of the seven Royal Tombs all over the city or the Thien Mu Pagoda, which has a seven-story tower.


3. My Son

It is a cluster of partially ruined and abandoned Hindu temples that are exquisite ancient relics of the Champan civilization.

My Son Sanctuary

You should visit My Son for its sheer cultural and historical heritage.


4. Pleiku

Pleiku is a perfect destination to relax amidst Nature. It is one of the few Vietnamese cities that is unaffected by significant tourism.

Pleiku Vietnam

We recommend going to the various temples and local shops during your stay in Pleiku.


5. Kon Tum

Kon Tum is one of the rare places which are still relatively untouched by modern tourism.

Kon Tum Vietnam

You will get a fresh and authentic insight into Vietnamese culture and lifestyle.

Tourists often visit the bishops building and the wooden church.


6. Buon Ma Thuot

If you want to go to a place where you get solitude and serenity, Buon Ma Thuot is the ideal option. It features numerous trails and waterfalls, including the Dray Nur and the Dray Sap waterfalls.


Itineraries:

You can choose to visit My Son and Hue or Kon Tum, Pleiku, and Buon Ma Thuot.

Option 1:

1st Day: 45-minute drive to Hoi An; explore the city; overnight stay in Hoi An.

2nd Day: Road trip to Kon Tum; overnight stay in Kon Tum.

3rd Day: One hour drive to Pleiku; shop and visit temples; overnight stay in Pleiku.

4th Day: Road trip to Buon Ma Thuot; visit waterfalls and trails; overnight stay in Buon Ma Thuot.

5th Day: Explore Buon Ma Thuot; take a return flight to Hoi An.


Option 2:

1st Day: 45-minute drive to Hoi An; explore the beach; overnight stay in Hoi An.

2nd Day: Visit the Silk Farm, Pottery Village, and Tra Que Village; overnight stay in Hoi An.

3rd Day: 1.5-hour drive to My Son; go to the temples; return to Hoi An for overnight stay.

4th Day: 3-hour road trip to Hue; visit the Imperial Citadel; overnight stay in Hue.

5th Day: Explore the royal tombs; overnight stay in Hue.


Conclusion

Vietnam is renowned for its impressive architecture, war history, fine dining, beautiful beaches, markets, and temples! Whether you prefer a serene retreat in the lap of Nature or an exquisite party in a nightclub, Vietnam will not disappoint you.

It is not easy to decide what to see in Vietnam in 5 days and our recommendations are not exhaustive. You may tweak our itineraries to suit your needs and budget.

The best time to go to Vietnam is either spring or autumn, so try to plan your trip accordingly. Select the Vietnam itinerary in 5 days that perfectly matches your interests.

We hope you have a wonderful trip to Vietnam!


Further Reading:

Here is some more information that you might need before you venture out to Vietnam:

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply