How to Spend 11 Days in Vietnam and Thailand? Suggested Itineraries & Budget Estimation

Thailand and Vietnam stand out as quintessential stops in Southeast Asia, particularly for first-time visitors. Both countries present a rich tapestry of experiences, intertwining vibrant urban environments and time-honored temples with unspoiled beaches and breathtaking terrains. If you are going to spend 11 days in Vietnam and Thailand, consider the following guidance for effectively crafting your itinerary through the cultural and natural splendors of both nations.

Is 11 Days in Vietnam & Thailand Enough?

To discover the vibrant cultures and stunning landscapes of Vietnam and Thailand, you may need up to 2 weeks. However, 11 days is still enough if you have a well-planned itinerary and plan everything carefully in advance.

An 11 days Vietnam and Thailand journey would typically allow you to explore a few key destinations in each country, giving you a taste of the local culture, cuisine, and notable attractions. In Vietnam, you might explore bustling Hanoi, cruise through Halong Bay, and perhaps explore historical Ho Chi Minh City. Meanwhile, in Thailand, you could immerse yourself in the lively streets of Bangkok, relax on the sandy beaches of Phuket, and explore the cultural treasures of Chiang Mai.

You’d get a snapshot, but to delve deeper into the local cultures, explore various regions, and truly immerse yourself in all the experiences of these countries, you might consider a longer stay or multiple trips. Still, 11 days can be a perfect start for a first-time traveler to get acquainted with these Southeast Asian gems!

Which Country to Enter First, Vietnam or Thailand?

Taking into account the ease of your international flights, initiating your trip in either Thailand or Vietnam should present no significant disparity since both capitals are readily accessible via international airlines.

For an enhanced travel journey, we recommend commencing your adventure in Vietnam and concluding in Thailand. This sequence gradually transitions you from the rich cultural and adventurous explorations in Vietnam to the serene, tropical island ambiance prevalent in Thailand, providing a well-rounded and relaxing culmination to your travels.

Suggested Itineraries for 11 Days in Vietnam and Thailand

Itinerary 1: From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

11 days in Vietnam and Thailand from Ho Chi Minh City

Day 1: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City Tour, visit the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office, Ben Thanh Market, and Chinatown.

Day 3: Mekong Delta day tour, explore Cai Be floating market, and join coconut candy making.

Day 4: In the morning, you visit Cu Chi Tunnels, where the Viet Cong lived and fought for the independence of Vietnam. Fly to Da Nang and onward travel to Hoi An in the afternoon.

Day 5: A day to explore Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary – two World Heritage Sites of Quang Nam province in Vietnam.

Day 6: Hoi An food tour: You will visit Tra Que Herbal Village and join a cooking class to learn how to make My Quang here.

Day 7: Fly to Bangkok. Afternoon city tour, visit Wat Arun Temple or Victory Monument. You can opt for a cruise dinner on the Chao Praya River to feel how romantic Bangkok is.

Day 8: Transfer to Chiang Mai through Ratchaburi, and visit Damnoen Saduak Floating Market on the way. Here, you can buy and enjoy food and drinks right on the boat. Choose some beautiful souvenirs and gifts for your relatives and friends. Take the night train to Chiang Mai.

Day 9: Arrive in Chiang Mai and join a temple tour of Phra Singh Temple, Jedi Luang Temple, and Chiang Man Temple. Check in at your hotel in the afternoon and have free time to relax.

Day 10: Explore Doi Suthep National Park, Phra That Temple, Pha Lat Temple, and Huay Kaew Waterfall, where you can learn many lessons about Thai culture.

Day 11: Depart Chiang Mai.

>>> See the full tour program at our Beauty of Vietnam and Thailand in 11 Days Tour.

Itinerary 2: From Hanoi, Vietnam

11 days in Vietnam and Thailand from Hanoi

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi. Optionally visit and join a night food tour at Hanoi Old Quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake.

Day 2: Hanoi city tour to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, and Tran Quoc Pagoda. In the afternoon, you will have a chance to check out the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

Day 3: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, and embark on a 2-day 1-night cruise. Follow the cruise itinerary to explore the magnificent landscape of this UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vietnam. You will have a chance to witness magnificent limestone karsts and go kayaking or swimming to immerse in the pristine clear water of the bay. Also, get your luck with night squid fishing.

Day 4: Tai Chi session at the sundeck in the morning and visit a magnificent cave on the bay. Disembark from the cruise at noon and fly to Da Nang, onward travel to Hoi An.

Day 5: Morning go to Bay Mau Coconut Forest and come back to explore Hoi An Ancient Town in the afternoon.

Day 6: Fly to Bangkok.

Day 7: Bangkok city tour, discovering the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. Enjoy a cruise dinner on the Chao Phraya River.

Day 8: Transfer to Ayutthaya, check out Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, Ayutthaya Historical Park, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, Wat Chai Watthanaram, and Wat Mahathat.

Day 9: Fly to Chiang Mai and be free to explore the city on your own.

Day 10: Morning traveling to Doi Suthep National Park and enjoy an afternoon visit to the Elephant Retirement Park.

Day 11: Depart Chiang Mai.

>>> For the comprehensive tour program, please check here.

Itinerary 3: From Bangkok, Thailand

11 days in Vietnam and Thailand from Bangkok

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok and join a night street food tour. Enjoy famous Thai food like Khao Krapow Gai Kai Dao, Pad Thai, Khao Kha Moo, etc.

Day 2: Discover Bangkok’s canals on a motorized longtail boat. Head to Kanchanaburi in the afternoon.

Day 3: Full-day explores Kanchanaburi’s highlights, including the Hellfire Pass, Death Railway, and Thailand-Burma Railway Museum.

Day 4: Explore a rice farm and Mahathat temple in Ayutthaya. Overnight on a sleeper car heading to Chiang Mai.

Day 5: Breakfast in Chiang Mai with sweet curry-yum and continue your day to discover the city’s gorgeous temples.

Day 6: Get up early to join the tradition of almsgiving in Suthep Hill. The rest of the day is on your own. You can visit the city’s gorgeous temples and pagodas or visit the elephant sanctuary if you want.

Day 7: Fly to Hanoi. Embark on a cyclo to discover Hoan Kiem Lake and Hanoi Old Quarter. End your day with a water puppet show at Thang Long Water Puppetry Theater.

Day 8: Hanoi city tour, visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Temple of Literature, and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

Day 9: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, and embark on a 2-day 1-night cruise. It is your chance to indulge in the gorgeousness of Vietnam’s World Heritage Site: witnessing magnificent limestone karsts and caves, swimming, kayaking, night squid fishing, and so on.

Day 10: End of the cruise itinerary at noon and return to Hanoi. The rest of the day is on your own. Free to go shopping at Hanoi Old Quarter or pay a visit to the romantic West Lake.

Day 11: Depart Hanoi.

>>> The detailed tour itinerary is presented here. Don’t forget to check out our list of well-planned Vietnam – Thailand tours for more suggestions. 

Budget Estimation for 11 Days in Vietnam and Thailand

Creating a budget for an 11-day trip to Vietnam and Thailand can be influenced by various factors including travel style, preferred accommodations, activities, and dining preferences. Here’s a rough estimation considering different aspects of travel.

Flights

  • International Flights: Depending on the season and booking time, costs can vary widely.
  • Domestic Flights: Estimate around US$50-150 per one-way ticket between and within countries, depending on the distance and airlines.

Navigating through the enthralling realms of Vietnam and Thailand often begins with organizing flight logistics. While international flights introduce a substantial chunk to your budget, strategic planning like booking in advance or leveraging off-peak seasons can yield more affordable options. Domestic flights, which bridge the scenic gaps between bustling cities and tranquil outskirts, will vary in price depending on distances and selected airlines. Ensuring a blend of cost-effectiveness and convenience will maximize your experience in these culturally rich nations.

Accommodation

  • Budget: US$15-30 per night for hostels and budget hotels.
  • Mid-range: US$30-100 per night for 3-4 star hotels.
  • Luxury: US$100-300 per night for 5-star hotels.

Your stay in Vietnam and Thailand can span from the simplicity of hostels to the opulence of luxury hotels, with each offering a unique lens to experience these vibrant countries. Budget accommodations often proffer a more authentic and grassroots engagement with the locale, while upscale hotels drape you in the region’s penchant for warm hospitality and intricate aesthetics. Your chosen tier of accommodation subtly crafts the backdrop against which your memories will cascade.

Food

  • Street Food: US$1-5 per meal.
  • Restaurant Meals: US$5-15 per person.
  • High-end Restaurants: US$15-50 per person.
Thai spring rolls vs Vietnamese ones

Thai spring rolls vs Vietnamese ones

Culinary explorations in Vietnam and Thailand unfold a tapestry of flavors, textures, and aromatic wonders. Street food, a window into the soul of local culture, is not only delightfully affordable but also a palate of genuine tastes and culinary craftsmanship. Venturing into restaurants allows you to traverse through a broader spectrum of local and international dishes, while high-end dining spots narrate a tale of regional ingredients meeting culinary artistry. Each meal becomes an intimate journey, a narrative told through spices, herbs, and heartfelt cooking.

Transportation

  • Public Transport: A few dollars per day.
  • Taxis/Grabs/Private car rental: Variable, but potentially US$10-30 per day.
  • Scooter Rental: Around US$5-10 per day.

Exploring the aesthetic and cultural tapestries of these nations necessitates considering diverse transportation modes. Whether you immerse yourself in the authentic chaos of public transport, revel in the flexibility of taxis and Grabs, or embark on self-guided adventures on rented scooters, each mode offers distinct perspectives and experiences. Seamless transitions between cities, landmarks, and hidden gems pivot largely on how you choose to traverse these sprawling, multifaceted landscapes.

Activities

  • Sightseeing/Tours: US$10-50 per activity/tour.
  • Entrance Fees: US$1-10 for most temples, museums, and attractions.
Visit the sacred Doi Suthep Temple

Visit the sacred Doi Suthep Temple in Thailand

Adventures, explorations, and the gentle caress of new experiences beckon travelers through myriad activities and tours. Whether meandering through the silent reverence of temples, diving into the vibrant chaos of markets, or drifting upon tranquil waters, your pursuits will be defined by entrance fees and tour costs. Each activity, from the serene to the exhilarating, weaves into your journey’s rich tapestry, inviting a blend of relaxation, exploration, and learning in these ancient, storied lands.

Miscellaneous

  • Shopping: Variable.
  • Spa Services: US$5-50.

These are very approximate costs and actual expenses can fluctuate based on various factors. For a more precise budget, consider looking at actual costs closer to your travel date, factoring in specific accommodations, tours, and other preferences. It’s also wise to set aside an emergency fund for unexpected costs. Always consider travel insurance, which can be a budget saver in case of unplanned situations.

An estimation of daily and the whole expenses for 11 days in Vietnam and Thailand are presented in the table below:

Budget estimate for 11 days in Vietnam and Thailand

Budget estimate for 11 days in Vietnam and Thailand

Essential Travel Tips

  • If you are a first-time traveler to Vietnam and Thailand, always choose the best time with favorable weather, from November to April so that you can follow your tour itinerary without unwanted interruption caused by terrible weather conditions.
  • Research the weather carefully and pack your luggage smartly.
  • Grab a SIM card upon arrival to stay connected during your trip.
  • Be aware of scams on the road, especially in big and crowded cities.
  • Although English is widely spoken in Thailand and Vietnam, it is still advisable to learn a few Vietnamese and Thai keyphrases before going on your journey.
  • Bring enough cash.
  • Never drink tap water, in both Vietnam and Thailand.

Now, you know how your 11 days in Vietnam and Thailand are going to be. Start planning your trip right now or contact us for a customized tour itinerary of your preference. Also, if you have any questions or other ideas to share with us, please comment on the box below. Thank you so much for your reading!

Read more:

Frequently Asked Questions

Not only you can combine Vietnam and Thailand in one trip but also get unforgettable memories in these two countries. They have many similarities in culture and geography, making it convenient for you to discover.


Both countries are cheap in comparison to other destinations in Asia. However, when it comes into consideration, Vietnam is a bit more budget-friendly than Thailand. From food to transportation and accommodation, all is cheaper in Vietnam.


If you are among party-goers and clubbers, Thailand is much more appealing than Vietnam.


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Alice Pham

Hello, I'm Alice Pham - a travel blogger at IDC Travel. I have traveled to almost places in Vietnam and gained numerous useful experiences. I'm here willing to help you plan the most wonderful trip to our stunning S-shaped country.

Comments(2)

  1. Thailand and Vietnam, which more is more beautiful? I still cannot decide whether to visit Thailand or Vietnam or both.

    1. Hi Cheri,
      Both Thailand and Vietnam are incredibly beautiful countries, each with its own unique charm and attractions. The beauty of a destination is subjective and depends on individual preferences and interests.
      Thailand is known for its stunning tropical beaches, lush jungles, vibrant cities, rich cultural heritage, and diverse landscapes. It offers a mix of traditional and modern experiences, with famous destinations like Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and the Phi Phi Islands.
      Vietnam, on the other hand, boasts breathtaking natural landscapes, including picturesque terraced rice fields, dramatic limestone karsts in Halong Bay, historic cities like Hanoi and Hoi An, and a fascinating blend of cultures. Vietnam’s cuisine is also renowned worldwide for its delicious flavors.
      Ultimately, whether Thailand or Vietnam is more beautiful is a matter of personal preference. Both countries have their own unique beauty and attractions, and the choice between them often comes down to the kind of experiences you seek while traveling. You can refer to our list of Vietnam tours and Thailand tours for a deeper glimpse of what you can do in each country.
      Thank you so much!
      Best regards,
      Alice Pham.

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