16 Days in Vietnam and Thailand – Complete Guide for An Enchanting Exploration

Spending 16 days in Vietnam and Thailand is an opportunity for you to immerse in a variety of terrains, a wealth of cultural traditions, and lively urban settings. This adventure to two countries invites you to delve deeper into the heart of Southeast Asia, where ancient traditions and contemporary life coexist harmoniously.

Is It Enough to Spend 16 Days in Vietnam and Thailand?

Venturing into the dynamic cultures of Vietnam and Thailand in 16 days is indeed an exhilarating escapade. Such a short yet packed timeframe might seem challenging, demanding meticulous planning and wise choices, but it is indeed possible to capture a glimpse of the essence and beauty of these two awe-inspiring nations.

From the animated lanes of Hanoi filled with history and charm to the untouched sandy shores of Thailand’s captivating islands, there lies a vast spectrum of experiences waiting to be discovered. Couple this with traditional foods to savor, age-old temples to explore, and local customs to embrace. By ensuring a thoughtfully curated itinerary and an ever-present zest for discovery, your 16-day voyage across Vietnam and Thailand promises to be a rich tapestry of memories, threading you through the heart of Southeast Asia.

Best Time for 16 Days in Vietnam and Thailand

The most suitable time to spend 16 days in Vietnam and Thailand is generally during their dry seasons, which usually span from November to April. These months offer more comfortable weather conditions with lower humidity and reduced rainfall, making outdoor activities and travel more enjoyable. However, it’s important to consider the regional variations in climate due to the geographical diversity of both countries. 

If your itinerary covers the entirety of Vietnam, including the northern cultural centers and the southern tropical landscapes, or if you plan to experience Thailand’s bustling cities and serene southern beaches, the dry season is the most favorable choice. It’s worth noting that this period is popular among tourists, leading to higher numbers of visitors, especially in well-known destinations. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey, early reservations for accommodations and activities are advisable during this peak travel season.

Suggested Itineraries for the Best 16 Days

Itinerary 1: Relaxing Trip to Vietnam and Thailand in 16 Days

Enjoy 16 day Relaxation in Vietnam and Thailand

Day 1 – Hanoi Arrival: Arrive in Hanoi, where you’re warmly greeted and transferred to your hotel. Explore the vibrant street food culture and night market in Hanoi Old Quarter.

Day 2 – City Tour in Hanoi: Explore Hanoi by visiting famous historical sites. Enjoy the afternoon in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, sampling local delicacies.

Day 3 – Head to Ha Long Bay: Travel to Ha Long Bay for a two-day cruise, including activities, a sunset view, and dinner on board.

Day 4 – Ha Long Exploration & Flight to Hue: Morning exploration of Ha Long Bay, followed by a return to Hanoi and a flight to Hue. Explore Hue’s vibrant nightlife.

Day 5 – Hue City Tour: Full day in Hue, visiting Dong Ba Market, the Imperial City, and various royal tombs.

Day 6 – Travel to Hoi An: Transfer to Hoi An via Hai Van Pass, with visits to Marble Mountain and Cham Sculpture Museum.

Day 7 – Hoi An Discovery: Half-day walking tour in Hoi An to explore iconic sites.

Day 8 – Flight to Bangkok: Transfer to Da Nang and fly to Bangkok. Begin exploring Bangkok’s vibrant atmosphere.

Day 9 – Bangkok City Tour: Full day exploring Bangkok’s iconic sites, including Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, and a cruise on the Chao Phraya River.

Day 10 – Kanchanaburi Journey: Visit the historic bridge over the River Kwai and explore related museums.

Day 11 – Ayutthaya Exploration: Explore Ayutthaya’s historical relics and Ang Thong’s Wat Muang before settling in Phitsanulok.

Day 12 – Trip to Chiang Rai: Visit Sukhothai’s ancient temples and continue to Chiang Rai.

Day 13 – Discover Chiang Rai: Explore Chiang Rai’s unique temples, Wat Rong Suea Ten and Wat Rong Khun.

Day 14 – Chiang Mai Tour: Visit Chiang Mai Elephant Eco Valley and engage in animal-friendly activities.

Day 15 – Leisure Day in Chiang Mai: Free day in Chiang Mai

Day 16 – Chiang Mai Departure: Depart from Chiang Mai, concluding your 16-day journey through Thailand and Vietnam.

>>> You can consult the detailed itinerary at Incredible Thailand Vietnam in 16 Days

Itinerary 2: Explore the Wonders of Vietnam and Thailand

16 days in vietnam and thailand wonders explore

Day 1 – Bangkok Beginnings: Arrival in Bangkok, transfer to the hotel, free time to explore the vibrant streets, and enjoy the local cuisine.

Day 2 – Bangkok’s Cultural Gems: Half-day exploration of Bangkok’s iconic landmarks, including temples and the Grand Palace.

Day 3 – Chiang Mai Calling: Fly to Chiang Mai, free time to immerse in the local culture.

Day 4 – Free day in Chiang Mai: Optional temple visits in Chiang Mai or relaxation and exploration at your own pace.

Day 5 – Chiang Mai at Leisure: Free time in Chiang Mai or optional Half-Day Elephant Watching at ChangChill Elephant Camp.

Day 6 – Head to Hanoi: Fly to Hanoi, free time to explore the city’s vibrant streets.

Day 7 – Journey to Ha Long Bay: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, and embark on a cruise with activities, including kayaking and dining.

Day 8 – Sunrise in Ha Long: Morning Tai Chi, exploration of Ha Long Bay, and return to Hanoi.

Day 9 Hoi An Haven: Fly to Da Nang, drive to Hoi An, free time to explore the charming town.

Day 10 – Hoi An Town Tour: Full-day exploration of Hoi An’s Old Town with various options, including a street food tour.

Day 11 – Head to Hue City: Journey to Hue via Hai Van Pass, and explore Hue’s imperial history.

Day 12 – Hue’s Historical Tapestry: Visit Hue’s historical sites, including tombs, a garden house, and a boat ride on the Perfume River.

Day 13 – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, free time to unwind.

Day 14 – Mekong Delta Magic: Visit the Mekong Delta, and explore local communities and cultural experiences at Mekong Lodge.

Day 15 – Discover Delights of Mekong Delta: Visit the Cai Be Floating Market, cycle adventure, and return to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 16 – Farewell Vietnam: Depart Vietnam after breakfast, concluding your 16-day journey with cherished memories.

>>> For more details, please kindly visit Fantastic Thailand and Vietnam 16 Days Tour

Itinerary 3: Foodie Adventure to the Two Southeast Asian Gems

16 days in vietnam and thailand foodie adventure

Day 1 – Bangkok Arrival: Arrive at Bangkok Airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2 – Grand Palace & Wat Po: Visit the Grand Palace and Wat Po Temple in Bangkok.

Day 3 – Local Markets & Cooking Class: Explore local markets, have a cooking class, and visit Si Racha town’s local produce market and traditional grocery shops.

Day 4 – Thonburi Foodie Tour: Foodie tour of Thonburi with visits to local markets, street vendors, and small eateries.

Day 5 – Chiang Mai Arrival: Fly to Chiang Mai, enjoy a famous dish of Khao Soi, and embark on an evening biking foodie tour.

Day 6 – Doi Suthep & Cooking Class: Visit Doi Suthep temple, and Warorot Market, and explore the art of Thai-style Chinese Crullers. Later, enjoy a village cooking class.

Day 7 – Chiang Mai Excursion: A full-day excursion in Chiang Mai, join in exciting activities.

Day 8 – Hanoi Journey: Fly to Hanoi and embark on a beer crawl in the evening.

Day 9 – Hanoi City Tour: Morning exploration of Hanoi’s Old Quarters, a visit to iconic colonial buildings, and a visit to a war photography museum.

Day 10 – Head to Hoi An: Fly to Da Nang and drive to Hoi An. In the evening, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s Old Town, sampling iconic local dishes.

Day 11 – Kim Bong Cycling Tour: Cycling tour around Kim Bong Village, visiting carpenters and traditional handicraft makers. Return to Hoi An to explore or visit tailor shops.

Day 12 – Herb Fam & Cooking Demo: Visit a local organic herb farm and participate in a cooking demonstration of traditional Central Vietnamese dishes.

Day 13 – Ho Chi Minh City Tour: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and join a city tour.

Day 14 – Mekong Delta Adventure: Travel to the Mekong Delta, explore Ben Tre province, take a motorized trishaw ride, boat, and sampan ride, and enjoy a riverside lunch.

Day 15 – Flower Market & Food Sampling: Visit a wholesale flower market and explore market alleys to sample various local foods.

Day 16 – Departure Day: Transfer to the airport for your departing flight home or onward journey.

Impressive Souvenirs of Vietnam and Thailand to Bring Home

Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese Coffee

One of the defining cultural treasures of Vietnam, Vietnamese coffee is unlike any other brew you’ve tasted. Characterized by its robust flavor, it is traditionally prepared using a drip filter and sweetened condensed milk. This unique blend offers a delightful contrast of bitter and sweet, making it a perfect memento to evoke memories of your mornings in Vietnam. Pick up a bag of locally sourced beans or a traditional drip filter set to recreate this iconic beverage back home.

Vietnamese Conical Hat

Vietnamese conical hat is an emblematic symbol of the country’s rural life. Handcrafted using bamboo and palm leaves, it’s not just a decorative item but a practical one, offering shade and protection against rain. Worn by locals throughout the nation, this hat embodies Vietnam’s rich history and traditions. Bringing one home ensures you carry a piece of Vietnam’s heart wherever you go.

>>> Check out more Vietnamese Souvenirs at 14 Best Vietnam Souvenirs To Bring Home

Tiger Balm in Thailand

Originally from China but immensely popular in Thailand, Tiger Balm has cemented its place as a must-have remedy for aches and pains. This herbal ointment, with its distinctive aromatic scent, is a blend of essential oils, offering relief from muscle strains and insect bites. It comes in various formulations, each housed in a compact tin. A jar of Tiger Balm is not only a useful memento but also a testament to the age-old herbal wisdom of the region.

Thai Spa Products

Thailand, renowned for its luxurious spa experiences, boasts an array of exquisite spa products. From aromatic essential oils, and rejuvenating body scrubs, to herbal compress balls, these products encapsulate the essence of Thai wellness traditions. Sourcing these from local markets ensures authenticity and provides an opportunity to recreate a Thai spa-like ambiance in your own home. Relive the tranquility and therapeutic touch of Thailand every time you indulge.

We believe the information shared above will be beneficial as you plan your 16 days in Vietnam and Thailand. Why delay? Begin your preparations now! If you need guidance in shaping your ideal voyage, please feel free to contact us. We’re eager to curate a unique itinerary tailored to your preferences. Thank you deeply for taking the time to read this!

Read more:

Both Vietnam and Thailand have reliable public transport systems, especially in major cities. However, for remote attractions, private transport might be more convenient.

Vietnam uses the Vietnamese Dong (VND) and Thailand uses the Thai Baht (THB). It’s advisable to carry local currencies for everyday expenses.

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Phuong Khanh

Hello, my name is Khanh, I'm a travel blogger at IDC Travel. After my adventures and what I've learned on my trips and from my research, I will help you with planning your trip to Vietnam & Southeast Asia and make your journey remarkable.


  1. Can I do Vietnam and Thailand (and/or Cambodia) in 16 days? I am still wondering whether to visit Cambodia or not. I have about 15 days, and can extend to 20 days as maximum.

    1. Hi Hugh,
      With a smart itinerary, you can visit all highlights of Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia in 15 – 20 days. However, if you want to travel at a leisure pace or want to get a deep glimpse of a region, it is better to visit two countries.
      For a suggested tour program, you can refer to our list of Indochina tours here. Or, contact us for a private consultation.
      Thank you so much!
      Best regards,
      IDC Travel Team.

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