Heading to Vietnam? Well, you’re in for a TREAT! A little overwhelmed at what route to choose and where to stop? Well, after spending 30 days in Vietnam, we’re here to give you a complete Vietnam one month itinerary. We’ll have you ready to travel north to south in 30 days.
Obtaining Your Vietnam Visa
First things first, your Visa. Vietnam’s visa process was the most work we had to do for any of our Visas while we were backpacking through Southeast Asia. What you’ll need is…
- 2 passport size pictures
- A passport that has been valid for 6 months
- Visa application
- Approval letter from an agency
- $25 USD visa fee
We worked with Dao’s Travel Agency to get our Visas approval letter squared away. Dao’s Travel Agency was great. They were very responsive, and we had absolutely no issues with the paperwork they supplied us.
The paperwork they provided us was our approval letter, which we had to pay $13 USD for, and our visa application.
We entered the country from Laos through Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport.
Upon arrival, we had our approval letter printed, our visa application printed and filled out, our valid passport, 2 passport size pictures and $25 USD for the Visa fee.
We presented all items to the immigration officer and we were stamped in no problem. “Welcome to Vietnam!”
From Hanoi’s airport you can catch an Uber to your accommodation. Before heading out of the airport, make a pit stop at the ATM to withdrawal some Vietnamese Dong. You’ll be needing that!
30 Day North To South Vietnam Itinerary
Depending on your travel plans, you can approach our itinerary two ways, North to South or South to North.
For us, we did North to South. However, for those doing it opposite of what we did, no worries! You can just take our itinerary and reverse it 🙂
Let’s get to it – 30 days in Vietnam
- Day 1: Arrival in Vietnam (Hanoi)
- Day 2 – 3: Hanoi
- Day 4: Hanoi to Mai Chau
- Day 5: Mai Chau / Pu Luong
- Day 6: Mai Chau to Hanoi
- Day 7: Hanoi to Cat Ba Island (Ha Long Bay)
- Day 8 – 9: Cat Ba / Ha Long Bay
- Day 10: Ha Long Bay to Phong Nha
- A long travel day, but we so enjoyed it. We left Ha Long Bay and arrive in Tom Coc. We had a 4-5 hour spat of time in Tam Coc (Ninh Bhin) to sightsee and take a river cruise. It was the perfect amount of time to see the place before hoping on the night bus to Phong Nha.
- Day 11 – 12: Phong Nha
- Day 13: Phong Nha to Hue
- Day 14: Hue
- Day 15: Hue – Hoi An
- Make sure you rent scooters and drive yourself to Hoi An. Such an amazing experience and so worth it!
- Day 16 – 18: Hoi An
- Day 19: Hoi An to Dalat
- Day 20 – 22: Dalat
- Day 23: Dalat to Mui Ne
- Day 24 – 26: Mui Ne
- Day 27: Mui Ne to Siagon
- Day 28: Siagon
- Day 29: Siagon to Can Tho
- Day 30: Can Tho
- Day 31: Leave Vietnam from Can Tho (Bus to Cambodia)
Alternative Options / Call Outs To Our 30 Day Vietnam Itinerary
Fly Out vs. Overland Travel
The only note we’d like to add is if you’re flying out of Saigon or Hanoi, you’ll need to alter our above route a bit. You have two options.
1) Cut out the Mekong Delta (Can Tho)
2) If you have your heart set on the Mekong, trim a few days off other cities to make it work.
In our opinion, we’d skip the Mekong Delta and keep the other days in order to make your flight out of the country.
Wait, Where’s Sapa?
Ha, yes, we did not go to Sapa. We were back and forth with this for weeks leading up to Vietnam. We read so many blogs and eventually decided against it when we discovered Mau Chau and Pu Luong Nature Reserve.
Mau Chau and Pu Luong are stunning and will give for sure give you your Sapa fix. Plus, they’re way closer to Hanoi!
We were completely content with skipping Sapa after we were in Mau Chau and Pu Long. We took a leap of faith on a recommendation and it did not disappoint.
Would We Do Anything Different?
Maybe only one….
If we were to redo it, we’d cut a day from Dalat and spend another day in Hue. Oh, and if you can spend more time in Vietnam, DO IT.
We wish we could have spent an additional 2 weeks here doing the motorbike loops up North and make laying on the beach on the southern island of Phu Quac. But hey, guess we’ll just have to go back 🙂
Regardless how long or what route you take in Vietnam, you’re in for an amazing ride.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)