As many of my friends in Australia know that I used to own my own travel business in Vietnam. They always ask the same question “How many days to spend in Vietnam, Thu?”. When I go to Vietnam would you help me? I am sure you still have contact in Vietnam?

Of course I will. Let me know when you want to go. I’ll give you some tips” was my answer. That’s why I write this blog.

How many days requires to visit Vietnam

This is an important question, especially for someone visiting Vietnam for the first time. There are three parts of Vietnam. Our culture and landscape are distinct in each part of the country. So, it is difficult to just visit the country for a few days.

Ha Long Bay – most visited place in Vietnam

Working in the tourism business, many of my customers asked for advice when they planned to visit Vietnam. First, I would recommend them to grand visit three parts of the country. Then, after the first time, they would know where or which part of the country they want to revisit and spend more time on their next visit.

So, How many days to visit three parts of Vietnam?

I would say the ideal duration for the first time is about 10 days. Well, if you really only have 7 days or a few days. You still can enjoy the visit for one part or two parts of the country.

It is even better if you have a fortnight (2 weeks). So you have more time to explore and be a bit more relaxed.

I am a frugal traveller. I wouldn’t want to waste my flight ticket to Vietnam, then, rush to finish it quickly. Where to visit and how much does the tour cost will be my next questions when I plan to travel.

The most beautiful places in Vietnam for 10 days

For ten days, you can visit the most visited cities in the three parts of Vietnam. Let’s start from the North to the South or you can do vice verse. It depends on where do you arrive.

Let’s start from the North to the South.

Here is a quick glance of how many days required to visit in each part of Vietnam:

  • 3 days in Hanoi city and Ha long Bay – the two most charming and visited places in the North
  • 3 days in Da Nang city and Hoi An Ancient Town with the beautiful beaches and popular (visited) cities in the Centre.
  • 3 days in Ho Chi Minh city and Mekong Delta – the most most visited places in the South.
  • And allowing 1 day for travel.

There you go, now, some of you might say you only have 5 days or 7 days in Vietnam. Then, you can quickly decide which cities or which part of Vietnam you would like to visit first.

Here is an example of a very good 10 days itinerary from the TourRadar website.

The North of Vietnam

Hanoi will be the first city to stay in the North. Here, you can visit the city for one day. There are many historical and cultural places in Hanoi. You can either plan to visit the city by yourself, join a group tour, or have a private and /or tailor-made option.

Hoan Kiem Lake – Hanoi

In my experience, if you are a frugal traveller like me, join a group tour for one day would be an ideal option. You will often be picked up around 8 AM – 8:30 AM and dropped around 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM. And of course, if your budget is a bit generous, a private tour will be the best.

Read more about Hanoi

Ha Long Bay – UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, It’s a good idea to spend 2 days 1 night on the boat/cruise. Most people will join a group for this option. Either go with a tour group or book a boat/cruise in Halong bay.

There are some options:

Hanoi city tour 01 day

Halong Bay 2 Days 1 Night – Overnight on cruise

Private car pick up and drop off at the airport

The Centre of Vietnam

The Lady Buddha – Da Nang City

After coming back from Halong bay, flight to Da Nang city. Stay one night in Da Nang. Similar option, one day around the city visit the most beautiful beaches in Da Nang city. For instance, Non Nuoc beach – one of the six best beaches on the planet in 2005 selected by The Forbes magazine. Head to the Places to visit in Da Nang and Da Nang Food articles that I wrote earlier to pick places you want to visit and find the food you want to try.

Then, go to Hoi An Ancient Town – the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the late afternoon. Hoi An Ancient Town is the most atmospheric city in Vietnam. Food are delicious, charming old town with the delightful Japanese Bridge, the Chinese wooden trader’s house, Thu Bon river etc.

From Hoi An, take a cab to Da Nang airport and flight to Ho Chi Minh city.

Check out from the hotel

Some tour options:

Hoi An Country side bike tour in the afternoon

Da Nang city tour

Hoi An Cooking Tour

Car pick up and drop off at Da Nang airport

The South of Vietnam

From Hoi An, take a cab to Da Nang airport and flight to Ho Chi Minh city. I would recommend to 2 nights in Ho Chi Minh city. Take half of the day to visit Cu Chi tunnels – the most visited tourist place near Ho Chi Minh City. Cu Chi tunnels where the Vietnamese military (known as ‘Viet Cong’) used to hide during the Vietnam war. When you are here you can feel the difficulty, hardness, and determination to succeed the enemy during the war of the Vietnamese military.

Then, half of the day to visit Ho Chi Minh city – the biggest and the most busiest city of Vietnam.

Take a day trip to Mekong Delta – the most interesting and visited place for tourists. You can join a group for a tour to My Tho or Can Tho mekong river.

This trip you will have an experience life of locals with boat traveling and chaotic floating markets; and enjoy fantastic paddy field views.

Some tour options:

Cu Chi Tunnels

Mekong One Day Trip to My Tho

Car pick up and drop off at Tan Son Nhat International airport

Tour Cost in Vietnam for 10 days

To answer this question depends on the standard of service that you want to have.

For example, the standard of the hotels you want to stay? Do you travel alone or in a group? Then, do you want to join a group or do you want to have a private tour?

The more people you travel with, the cheaper it will be because you can share the costs of hotels, transports, foods etc.

Hoi An Ancient Town – Most visited city in Vietnam

For instance, if you are a backpacker, staying in a bunk bed in a hostel. Accommodation will cost you around 180,000 VND – 300,000 VND (around US $ 8 – US $ 15) in a big city like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. On average, it will cost you around US $10. Eating delicious street food will cost you around 30,000 VND – 50,000 VND ( US$ 1.5 – $ 3), not too much drink. Using local transportation e.g., public transport, local train, local buses etc.

3-star standard service (Mid-range budget) – many of my customers often asked for this option when they requested a price proposal. So, I pick this option to calculate an average costs for a day.

Accommodation with Vietnamese 3-star hotel standard often costs around 850,000 VND – 1,200,000 VND (around US$ 45 – US$ 65) per night for a double or twin bed. This option will be a private room in a good location in the city. In Da Nang city, many hotel with this option will have a beautiful view and swimming pool. rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow”

With this option you will often get private transport and enjoy your meals at sit-down restaurants or sometimes Western food (how about French cuisine in Hanoi?). Join more activities in places. Attraction fees in Vietnam often cost around 40,000 VND -50,000 VND (US $ 2 – $3 ) for the local cultural sites. Or around 180, 000 VND – 280,000 VND (US $ 8 -$ 12) for the UNESCO Heritage Site or big tourism complex.

Luxury range – Accommodation is often 4-star or 5-star standard. Well, you don’t have to worry about the dollar. Roughly from US $ 125, you will have pretty good service in Vietnam. How much you want to spend will be up to you.

(US $)
(US $)
Attraction fee
(US $)
(US $)
Average Daily Cost
(US $)
Backpacker$10$ 5$ 10$ 5$ 30 – $ 40
3-star Standard$ 30$ 20+$ 20$ 20$ 80 – $90
Luxury $ 50+ $ 35+$ 25$ 30$ 125 + 
Approximately average daily cost for services/tours in Vietnam


For the flight tickets: I provide quite a generous budget here with the 3-star standard range. When my family travels I normally book our flights early. Good deals are there when you plan ahead.

Accommodation: Check out the deals on accommodation websites and contact the hotel directly to see if I can get a better deal.

If you are traveling to Vietnam for the first time, booking your service through trusted websites is a better option.

I often check the price with first, then check the price directly on the hotel website. Make sure you check the reviews from other people who stayed in the hotel before you contact the hotel directly.

Transport: Even for the mid-range (3-star standard option), joining a group tour will have more fun. For example, in 2010, when I travelled with four friends in the South of Vietnam. We chose to join a group tour to the Mekong Delta, and Cu Chi tunnels and then shared a bus to Mui Ne beach. We had lots of fun and laughed a lot as we talked to other people in the groups. We also saved a lot of money.

There you go, now you have it. First time, you travel to Vietnam, do not worry about it. You can even tailor your own tour and book services by yourself now.

Enjoy your holiday!


All of the content in this blog is based on my own personal experience. However, I have included some links that you might find useful – and I do make a little money if you use them.