18 days in Vietnam Itinerary

18 days in Vietnam Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Vietnam Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  20 h
1
Ho Chi Minh City
— 2 nights
Fly:  1 h 15 min
2
Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h 15 min
3
Nha Trang
— 1 night
+2
Shuttle + Foot + Fly:  3 h
4
Hoi An
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
5
Hue
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h 15 min
6
Hanoi
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + Taxi + Bus:  5 h 15 min
7
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  33 h
End: Chicago

2
nights
Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City ©
Formerly known in the West as Saigon and affectionately referred to as the "Pearl of the Far East," Ho Chi Minh City is a study of old and new, woven and piled together in a fast-paced urban hub.
On the 30th (Mon), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chùa Giác Lâm (Giac Lam Pagoda), browse the eclectic array of goods at Ben Thanh Market, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then ponder the world of politics at The Independence Palace, then pause for some serene contemplation at Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Central Post Office. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: make a trip to Cu Chi Tunnels, witness the site of a historic battle at Ben Dinh Tunnels, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tam Son Hoi Quan Pagoda, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Emperor Jade Pagoda, and finally view the masterpieces at Flymindz Art Studio.

For reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Ho Chi Minh City tour itinerary planner.

Chicago, USA to Ho Chi Minh City is an approximately 20-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Chicago to Ho Chi Minh City, you'll lose 13 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from Chicago in November: high temperatures in Ho Chi Minh City hover around 90°F and lows are around 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) to allow time to travel to Duong Dong.

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral ©
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
The Independence Palace ©
The Independence Palace
Chùa Giác Lâm (Giac Lam Pagoda) ©
Chùa Giác Lâm (Giac Lam Pagoda)

2
nights
Duong Dong, Phu Quoc Island

Duong Dong ©
A holiday in Duong Dong offers cultural diversity, great nature experiences, and a variety of educational and kid-friendly attractions.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Wed): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then look for gifts at All Good Things Phu Quoc, then experience rural life at Phu Quoc Countryside, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Ho Quoc Temple. On the 3rd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dinh Ba Thuy Long Thanh Mau, then experience rural life at Phu Quoc Mushroom, then experience rural life at Peppers in Phu Quoc chez Le Ho, and finally steep yourself in history at Di Tích Nhà Tù Phú Quốc.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Duong Dong route planner.

Getting from Ho Chi Minh City to Duong Dong by flight takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Nha Trang.

Things to do in Duong Dong

Historic Sites Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Phu Quoc Island, Phu Quoc Mushroom, Peppers in Phu Quoc chez Le Ho
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Di Tích Nhà Tù Phú Quốc ©
Di Tích Nhà Tù Phú Quốc
Fishing Charters & Tours
Dinh Ba Thuy Long Thanh Mau ©
Dinh Ba Thuy Long Thanh Mau

1
night
Nha Trang

On a vacation in Nha Trang, a famous Vietnam resort town, you can lounge on a beach all day and party into the night.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): take in the spiritual surroundings of Long Son Pagoda, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Po Nagar Cham Towers, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Nha Trang day trip website.

You can fly from Duong Dong to Nha Trang in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Hoi An.

Things to do in Nha Trang

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Po Nagar Cham Towers ©
Po Nagar Cham Towers
Long Son Pagoda ©
Long Son Pagoda

2
nights
Hoi An

Indisputably one of Vietnam's most atmospheric destinations, Hoi An contains a World Heritage-listed old town boasting over 2,000 years of culture and history.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): cast your line with a fishing tour, then take in nature's colorful creations at Jack's Cat Cafe, then identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, and finally indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: hunt for treasures at Dat Thanh Shoe Shop, look for gifts at Yaly Couture - Nguyen Thai Hoc branch, snap pictures at Japanese Covered Bridge, then don't miss a visit to Hoi An Ancient Town, and finally indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink.

To find reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Hoi An vacation planning site.

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Nha Trang to Hoi An in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. December in Hoi An sees daily highs of 77°F and lows of 68°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can go by car to Hue.

Things to do in Hoi An

Tours Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Spas
Fishing Charters & Tours
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
Hue

Hue ©
Nestled on the banks of the Perfume River, the city of Hue remains most famous as the former home of the Nguyen Dynasty, the influence of which remains evident in local palaces, temples, forts, and museums.
On the 7th (Mon), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then steep yourself in history at Imperial City, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Phu Cam Cathedral. On the 8th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the striking features of Thien Mu Pagoda, contemplate the long history of Tomb of Tu Duc, contemplate the long history of Imperial Tomb of Dong Khanh, then contemplate the long history of Tomb of Minh Mang, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at Royal Tombs.

To see ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Hue day trip site.

Drive from Hoi An to Hue in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Traveling from Hoi An in December, expect nights in Hue to be about the same, around 65°F, while days are slightly colder, around 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can travel to Hanoi.

Things to do in Hue

Historic Sites Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Imperial City ©
Imperial City
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Thien Mu Pagoda ©
Thien Mu Pagoda

3
nights
Hanoi

The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi has bounded back from the effects of war, and today serves as a bustling commercial and cultural hub bursting at the seams.
On the 9th (Wed), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Thai Vi Temple, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, don't miss a visit to Bich Dong Pagoda, then see the interesting displays at Hanoi Police Museum, and finally take in the exciting artwork at TiredCity Hang Bong. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, steep yourself in history at Hoa Lo Prison, then explore the activities along Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake), and finally wander the streets of Old Quarter.

Plan my trip to Hanoi with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Getting from Hue to Hanoi by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Hanoi

Historic Sites Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Ninh Binh
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum ©
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

3
nights
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park ©
Marked by underground rivers, famous caves, limestone cliffs, and tropical rainforests, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park wows visitors with a spectacular range of landscapes and wildlife.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is known for nature, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: relax in the rural setting at The Duck Stop, Head underground at Hang Toi (Dark Cave), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at U Bo Mountain (Nui U Bo), and stroll through Phong Nha Caves.

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park itinerary builder app.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Hanoi to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of flight, train, and taxi. On the 14th (Mon), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Phong Nha Caves ©
Phong Nha Caves
The Duck Stop ©
The Duck Stop
Phong Nha Botanic Garden ©
Phong Nha Botanic Garden

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