16 Days in Vietnam: Tailored Itineraries for Unforgettable Journey 2024

Get ready to dive into the heart of exoticism with our itineraries for your 16 days in Vietnam. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the floating markets of the Mekong Delta, and the breathtaking landscapes of Halong Bay, we offer tailor-made itineraries that adapt to your desires. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, culture, or gastronomy, join us on this personalized journey to discover the hidden treasures of Vietnam in 16 days.

For budget travelers and backpacking enthusiasts, Vietnam stands out as a prime destination. It offers solid infrastructure, similar to other Southeast Asian nations, with reliable transportation means and a range of accommodation options for all spending levels. Street food, in particular, is remarkable and affordable.

The currency used in Vietnam is the dong (VND), with an approximate exchange rate of $1 equivalent to 24,275 VND. It is recommended to check the current exchange rate before your departure.

To give you a financial overview, we share the budget to anticipate during a trip to Vietnam.

suggested budget for a vietnam trip

Suggested Budget for a Vietnam Trip

Vietnam is generally considered an affordable travel destination compared to many other countries. For a trip, count a minimum of $25 per day per person, which is about 606,870 VND. This calculation is based on the assumption that two people share a room in a three-star hotel and includes the cost of two meals and a daily transport ticket for each person.

Ideal Itineraries for a Journey to Vietnam in 16 Days

Itinerary 1: Immerse in the Culture of Vietnam in 16 Days

Immerse in the Culture of Vietnam in 16 Days

Day 1 – Arrival in Hanoi: Welcome at Noi Bai Airport, transfer to hotel. Free time to explore the old quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake.

Day 2 – Hanoi City Tour & Overnight Train to Lao Cai: Visit a lively local market, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the Tran Quoc Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. Continue with the Vietnam Women’s Museum and the Old Quarter, then attend a water puppet show. End the day by taking the overnight train to Lao Cai from Hanoi station.

Day 3 – Lao Cai to Sapa, Visit Cat Cat Village: Transfer to Sapa, hike to Cat Cat Village, and explore local culture and landscapes.

Day 4 – Sapa Exploration, Lao Chai to Ta Van: Visit Lao Chai and Ta Van villages, interact with Black Hmong people, and return to Sapa.

Day 5 – Ethnic Minority Markets & Train to Hanoi: Explore local ethnic markets, evening train back to Hanoi.

Day 6 – Hanoi to Halong Bay: Head to Halong Bay to board a junk at noon. Sail among the iconic limestone islets and visit caves and a floating fishing village. In the late afternoon, stop at Luon Cave. If time permits, enjoy sunbathing or swimming on the boat’s deck before dinner.

Day 7 – Halong Bay to Hanoi, Flight to Hue: Sunrise over Halong Bay, visit Surprise Cave, return to Hanoi, and fly to Hue.

Day 8 – Hue City Tour: Visit the local Dong Ba market, then the Imperial City of Hue with its palaces and royal theater. Discover a traditional garden house and the imperial tomb of Tu Duc, surrounded by nature and statues. Learn how to make conical hats and visit Tu Hieu Pagoda.

Day 9 – Hue to Hoi An via Da Nang: Drive to Hoi An, visit Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Beach, Cham Museum, and Marble Mountain.

Day 10 – Hoi An Countryside & City Tour: Bike to the countryside, visit fishing villages, and afternoon city walk in Hoi An.

Day 11 – Free Day in Hoi An: Leisure day for personal exploration or relaxation.

Day 12 – Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City: Morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival in Saigon, visit the city’s iconic sites, including the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Municipal Theater, City Hall, Xa Loi Pagoda, and Ben Thanh Market.

Day 13 – Cu Chi Tunnels Exploration: Visit Cu Chi Tunnels to understand Vietnamese resistance during the war.

Day 14 – Discover Cao Dai Temple: Depart for Tay Ninh to visit Cao Dai Temple and learn about Caodaism.

Day 15 – Visit Cai Be: Explore Cai Be, and return to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 16 – Departure from Ho Chi Minh City: Free time before airport transfer for departure.

>>> Check the detailed tour program at this link.

Itinerary 2: Explore Vietnam from the Northeast to the Highlands

Explore Vietnam in 16 Days from the Northeast to the Highlands

Day 1 – Arrival in Hanoi: Arrive at Hanoi airport, transfer to hotel, brief tour introduction, free time, and dinner in Hanoi.

Day 2 – Hanoi to Ha Giang: Travel through Thai Nguyen and Tuyen Quang, visit the Museum of Ethnic Cultures, and stay overnight in Ha Giang.

Day 3 – Ha Giang to Dong Van: Journey through the mountains to Dong Van and Meo Vac, explore ethnic villages and markets, and stroll in Dong Van’s old quarter.

Day 4 – Dong Van to Bao Lac: Visit Meo Vac, Ma Pi Leng passes, Lo Lo and Pu Peo ethnic groups, and Khuoi Khon village in Bao Lac.

Day 5 – Bao Lac to Ba Be: Early departure to Ba Be, enjoy scenic drives and ethnic encounters, and relax in Cho Ra.

Day 6 – Ba Be Lake to Cao Bang: Explore Ba Be Lake, national park, Puong Cave, ethnic villages, and Dau Dang waterfalls; overnight in Cao Bang.

Day 7 – Cao Bang to Ban Gioc and Nguom Ngao: Visit Ban Gioc Waterfall and Nguom Ngao Cave, boat ride at the falls, and return to Cao Bang.

Day 8 – Cao Bang to Lang Son: Travel to Lang Son, explore local caves and markets, and experience border city life.

Day 9 – Lang Son to Halong Bay: Head to Halong Bay, board a junk, enjoy a seafood lunch, cave exploration, and overnight on the junk.

Day 10 – Halong Bay to Hanoi: Morning in Halong Bay, visit Vung Vieng village, brunch on board, and return to Hanoi with a stop at But Thap Pagoda.

Day 11 – Hanoi to Kontum via Pleiku: Fly to Pleiku, visit Jarai village, continue to Kontum, and overnight in a Rong house.

Day 12 – Kontum Hiking & Rafting: Morning hike and rafting in Dak Bla river, picnic lunch, and return to Kontum.

Day 13 – Kontum to Buon Ma Thuot: Travel to Buon Ma Thuot, explore Gia Long waterfall, and swim in the “fairy pool.”

Day 14 – Buon Ma Thuot to Yok Don National Park: Visit Yok Don National Park, wildlife and flora observation, meet the Giarai minority, and return to Buon Ma Thuot.

Day 15 – Buon Ma Thuot to Ho Chi Minh City: Free time, flight to Ho Chi Minh City, and explore Saigon.

Day 16 – Ho Chi Minh City Departure: Free time in Ho Chi Minh City before airport transfer for departure.

>>> See the comprehensive tour program at our Beauty of Vietnam in 16 days tour: From the Northeast to the Highlands.

Itinerary 3: Enjoy 16-day Relaxation in Vietnam and Thailand

Enjoy 16 day Relaxation in Vietnam and Thailand

Day 1 – Arrival in Hanoi: Upon arrival at Hanoi airport, you’ll be greeted and transferred to your hotel. Experience Hanoi’s vibrant street food culture and bustling night market in the Old Quarter.

Day 2 – Hanoi City Tour: Explore Hanoi’s iconic attractions including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex, and Tran Quoc Pagoda. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in the Old Quarter and try local delicacies.

Day 3 – Transfer to Ha Long & Cruise: After breakfast, transfer to Ha Long Bay for a 2-day cruise. Enjoy lunch onboard, visit attractions, and engage in water activities. Experience sunset views and dinner on the cruise.

Day 4 – Explore Ha Long Bay & Fly to Hue: Start with a light breakfast and optional Tai Chi on the sun deck. After lunch, transfer back to Hanoi and fly to Hue. Explore Hue’s nightlife and have dinner.

Day 5 – Explore Hue City: Visit Dong Ba Market, the Imperial City of Hue, the tombs of Khai Dinh and Minh Mang, and Thien Mu Pagoda. Enjoy local dishes in the evening.

Day 6 – Transfer to Hoi An: Breakfast in Hue, then transfer to Hoi An via Hai Van Pass and Marble Mountain. Visit Cham Sculpture Museum and explore Hoi An’s ancient town – a UNESCO-listed site. Free dinner choice.

Day 7 – Explore Hoi An: Walking tour of Hoi An, including the Japanese Covered Bridge and Fujian Chinese Congregation. After lunch, enjoy leisure time and return to your hotel for rest.

Day 8 – Transfer to Da Nang & Fly to Bangkok: Morning free time in Hoi An, then transfer to Da Nang airport for your flight to Bangkok. Explore Bangkok’s cuisine and atmosphere.

Day 9 – Explore Bangkok City: Drive through Yaowarat Chinatown, and visit Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. Cruise on the Chao Phraya River and visit Wat Arun.

Day 10 – Visit Kanchanaburi: Travel to Kanchanaburi to see the River Kwai Bridge, War Museum, and Hellfire Pass. Return to Bangkok for the evening.

Day 11 – Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Phitsanulok: Explore Ayutthaya’s historical sites, visit Wat Muang in Ang Thong, and travel to Phitsanulok. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Phitsanulok.

Day 12 – Sukhothai & Transfer to Chiang Rai: Breakfast in Phitsanulok, then visit Sukhothai. Transfer to Chiang Rai, with free time in the evening.

Day 13 – Chiang Rai Highlights & Transfer to Chiang Mai: Visit Wat Rong Suea Ten and Akha hill tribe village. Explore Wat Rong Khun and transfer to Chiang Mai.

Day 14 – Chiang Mai Elephant Eco Valley: Visit Elephant Eco Valley for interactive activities with elephants. Visit Wat Doi Suthep and enjoy free evening time.

Day 15 – Fly to Bangkok: Free time in Chiang Mai, then fly to Bangkok. Explore Bangkok’s nightlife.

Day 16 – Depart Thailand: Enjoy your last morning in Bangkok with free time until your airport transfer for departure.

>>> Consult the detailed itinerary at our Incredible Luxury Thailand Vietnam 16 Days Tour. Seek more similar multi-country tours at our best Vietnam – Thailand tours

Perfect Vietnamese Souvenirs for Friends and Family

When visiting Vietnam in 16 days, you will be immersed in a vibrant cultural mix, ranging from bustling markets to shopping alleys, designer boutiques, and street vendors. During your journey in Vietnam, you can easily find a variety of items when strolling down the streets: ethnic textiles, shoes, coffee, handicrafts, art pieces, and culinary delights. Bargaining is a fun aspect of the shopping experience. To take a piece of this culture home with you, check out our suggestions for traditional souvenirs to acquire in Vietnam.

Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese Coffee

Renowned and varied, Vietnamese coffee is a must-try for visitors. From traditional iced black coffee to egg coffee, Vietnam, the world’s second-largest coffee exporter, offers a unique caffeinated experience. For about 4 to 5 dollars, you can buy 500g of coffee from the popular brand Trung Nguyen. Don’t forget to also buy a Vietnamese coffee filter (Phin) to prepare a real Vietnamese coffee at home.

Vietnamese Salted Dried Fruits (O Mai)

Salted dried fruits - a favorite snack in autumn in Hanoi

Salted dried fruits

Salted dried fruits (O Mai) is a traditional Vietnamese confectionery made from marinated and caramelized fruits, often consumed during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. In Hanoi, Hang Duong Street is famous for its family-owned and ancestral O Mai shops. Prices range from 7 to 10 dollars per kilogram, and you can try before you buy.


Vietnamese Ceramics

Vietnamese Ceramics

Vietnamese ceramics, an ancient art valued since the Le dynasty, remain flourishing in Bat Trang with its many active kilns. Ceramic pieces from Bat Trang, as well as other villages like Chu Dau, Than Ha, and Bau Truc, are prized both locally and internationally, despite competition from plastic products. These creations, emblematic of Vietnamese heritage, are coveted souvenirs requiring careful packaging for transport.

Conical Hat

Vietnamese Conical Hat

Vietnamese Conical Hat

Vietnam’s traditional conical hat is a cultural emblem associated with peasants and the elegance of the Ao Dai. Originally designed for protection from the sun and rain, it is now a popular souvenir for tourists, offered in lighter and more economical versions, costing between 2 and 5 dollars. Its unique shape can pose a problem for transport, but wearing it during the flight is a commonly used trick.

>>> You can also check out more souvenirs in our article Best Vietnam Souvenirs To Bring Home

To conclude, our itineraries invite you on a personalized journey of 16 days in Vietnam, a country of enchanting beauty and complexity. Let yourself be seduced by the street food, breathtaking panoramas, rich culture, and warm hospitality of the locals. This trip promises not only to reveal the many facets of Vietnam but also to leave you with indelible memories and a definite desire to return. Why hesitate? Let’s start making your own trip today! Don’t forget to contact us for the best tailor-made adventure in Vietnam in 16 days.

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Pack light, comfortable clothing suitable for a tropical climate, including a mix of shorts, t-shirts, and light long-sleeve shirts for sun protection. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Also, pack a light raincoat or umbrella, as sudden showers can occur, especially if traveling during the rainy season.

While credit cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants, and stores, cash is still king in Vietnam, especially in smaller towns and local markets. ATMs are widely available. It’s advisable to carry some cash in Vietnamese Dong for everyday purchases.

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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. Hi Hollie,
      Glad to know that you have had a wonderful experience in Hue.
      Hope to see you more in Vietnam.
      Best regards,
      IDC Travel Team.

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