A Beautiful 2 Week Vietnam Itinerary

Vietnam is a beautiful country filled with stunning landscapes, rich culture and delicious cuisine. In this 2 week itinerary, I will take you on a journey through some of south and central Vietnam’s most iconic destinations, including Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Da Nang and Phong Nha ke-bang National park. From exploring ancient temples to cycling through rice fields, this itinerary will give you a taste of all that Vietnam has to offer. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has something for everyone.

In 2022 I travelled to Vietnam for 2 weeks and spent months trying to work out where I should go and what I should see. I developed this great backpacking Vietnam itinerary that gave me the full experience of city, culture, beach and relaxing nature. 

Everyone has their own must-see destinations so if you don’t follow this exactly, I hope it helps you in planning your own amazing holiday.

Because Vietnam is so large, I knew I couldn’t see everything. As I was landing in Saigon, it made sense to focus on the South and Central areas of Vietnam. Next time I’ll do the North!

This itinerary incorporates Ho Chi Minh City (city), Hoi An (culture), Da Nang (beach) and Phong Nha (relaxing nature). It’s a relaxing itinerary and not too busy. 

My An beach in Da Nang

Summary of 2 week Vietnam itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Vietnam and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City 

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City 

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City

Day 4: Fly to Da Nang and transfer to Hoi An

Day 5: Hoi An

Day 6: Hoi An

Day 7: Hoi An

Day 8: Transfer to Da Nang 

Day 9: Da Nang 

Day 10: Train to Dong Hoi going over the Hai Van Pass

Day 11: Transfer from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha

Day 12: Phong Nha

Day 13: Phong Nha 

Day 14: Transfer to Dong Hoi airport and get on a plane to Ho Chi Minh where you travel home from there

The community cows blocking the road in Phong Nha

2 Week Vietnam Itinerary in Detail

DAY 1 – HO CHI MINH CITY 

Land into Saigon and get transport to your accommodation. I used a Grab and ordered one when I landed. You can also ask your accommodation to arrange transportation. 

At 11pm, my Grab was 180,000 VND ($11 AUD, $7 USD, $7 EUR) from the international airport to a District 1 Hotel. 

DAY 2 – HO CHI MINH CITY 

Start your day early by grabbing some vegan friendly food and by exploring the sights of Saigon

Visit The Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, Nguyen Hue walking street, Cafe Apartments, Ho Chi Minh Statue, City Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon, Saigon Central Post Office and Book Street. 

DAY 3 – HO CHI MINH CITY

You can choose to stay in the Saigon city area or plan a day tour to the Mekong Delta or Cu Chi Tunnels. 

I had a city day and wandered around Saigon more. 

I walked up Hai Ba Trung and stopped at Kafka Cafe for a vegan bagel and some aircon! Continued walking and saw Tan Dinh (the Pink church) while having a drink at Cong Caphe

Wandered around the local Tan Dinh market and checked out a secret base of the people’s army in the Vietnam War. 

Walked down very busy Tran Quang Khai to the Jade Emperor Pagoda.

Ordered a Grab to Ben Thanh Market then spent the evening enjoying the night life of Nguyen Hue walking street. 

DAY 4 – Transport day to HOI AN

Fly to Da Nang from Ho Chi Minh City domestic terminal. 

Ask your Hoi An accommodation to organise transport from Da Nang airport to Hoi An. 

Or a Grab. (Around 400,000 VND when I arrived at 12:30pm).

Spend the afternoon and night wandering around the old city. 

Hoi An river at night time

DAY 5 – HOI AN

Wake up early and head into the old city before 6am. It’s so quiet and lovely. 

Hire a bicycle and cycle south out of Hoi An to explore the villages. 

Come back to your accommodation in the afternoon to rest and swim in the pool. 

Cross the An Hoi bridge before dinner to explore. 

Cycling path south of Hoi An

DAY 6 – HOI AN

Hire a bicycle again and cycle north and east to An Bang beach. See water buffalos, rice fields and beautiful beaches.

In the afternoon, visit the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum

Nighttime is wandering around the old city. 

DAY 7 – HOI AN

Book a day trip to My Son Temples or Cham Islands. 
Another option is taking a Grab back to An Bang beach or spend your day relaxing in a pool.

An Bang beach

DAY 8 – Transport day to Da Nang

Ask your accommodation to arrange a transfer after checkout to Da Nang. Or order a Grab. Find a nice place to have lunch before you check in to your Da Nang hotel. In the afternoon, watch the sunset over My An beach and take yourself to the awesome Dragon Bridge before 9pm (on Saturday and Sunday only) to see the fire and water show. 

DAY 9 – Da Nang 

Early morning start as it’s time to explore Marble Mountains. Watch the sunrise over the beach first! Then take a Grab (around 83,000 VND) to Gate 1 around 7am and expect to be there for a few hours. 

Back to your hotel to freshen up and get some lunch. 

In the afternoon head to the Lady Buddha Pagoda area and Son Tra Peninsula

DAY 10 – Transport day to Dong Hoi

Exploring Vietnam by train is always a great experience. Book tickets beforehand (I used 12Go.Asia) for the Train to Dong Hoi. It’s roughly a 6 hour journey. I didn’t want to travel to Phong Nha during the night as a solo female so I stayed overnight at the yellow hotel opposite the train station in Dong Hoi. The name of the hotel is Nhà Nghỉ Lan Hương

Tall yellow hotel opposite Dong Hoi train station

DAY 11 – Transport day to Phong Nha

Check out this comprehensive guide on how to get from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha and look at the vegan food guide to Phong Nha before you arrive so you know where to eat 

Phong Nha ke bang sign

DAY 12 – Phong Nha

It’s cave day! Explore Paradise Cave and Phong Na Cave. There’s also the Dark Cave to see if you’re an adventurous person and love ziplining. Check out my Best Things to do in Phong Nha for more ideas!

DAY 13 – Phong Nha 

Hire a bicycle first thing in the morning and go on an independent adventure cycling around Phong Nha 

DAY 14 – Transport day to Ho Chi Minh City

Ask your accommodation to arrange transport to Dong Hoi airport or hop on the public bus (B4) back to Dong Hoi

The only flights that arrive and leave from Dong Hoi airport are direct to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Airlines that fly into and out of Dong Hoi airport include: Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines and SmartLynx. 

DAY 15 – Leave Vietnam

Last minute shopping and sightseeing then order a Grab to Ho Chi Minh International Airport. In August 2022 my Grab from District 1 to the airport was 118,000 VND (about $7 AUD). 

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