5 Days in Vietnam: The Perfect Itinerary

For a long time, Vietnam was easily overshadowed by its complicated history. However, it is rapidly becoming a preferred tourist spot thanks to its unique traditions, and stunning natural wonders. Vietnam is also a very affordable place to visit and explore, becoming one of the most tourist-friendly places in the world. If you’re short on leaves, take a look at a short 7-day Vietnam trip itinerary.

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Vietnam at a Glance!

An extremely diverse country, there are plenty of things to do in Vietnam. The country is vast and offers something to every visitor. Indians can apply for a Vietnam visa either online or get it on arrival. Take a look at some trip details for Vietnam from India: 

Categories Specifications
Distance from India 3194 km 
How to Reach Vietnam Flight, Road
India to Vietnam Flight Duration 4 - 6 hours
Best Time to Visit Vietnam March - April
International Airport Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)

People spend weeks and months exploring both North and South Vietnam. While there are many possible Vietnam itineraries, you can quickly visit the most popular attractions here if you are short on time. However, be it for a few days or a month, make sure you buy travel insurance for your trip. It will keep you safe from any medical or journey-related emergencies.

Vietnam Country of Beaches and Sand Dunes

Day 1: Arrival in Vietnam

You will most likely arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, the former French capital of Vietnam. Also called Saigon, this city is a great cultural hub and is famous for its colonial landmarks and superb street foods. It requires at least 2 full days for you to soak in its major attractions. If you start your itinerary early morning, you can squeeze in a couple of other things.

  • On the day first day, make sure to visit nearby attractions like the Independence Palace, the Vietnam War Museum and others.
  • Head to the old Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Central Post Office. These are some of the most important landmarks of Vietnam's French colonial era. You can also find a lot of affordable souvenirs here!
  • Around the evening, head to the Ben Thanh Market for some street food. You can try different Vietnamese cuisines and even buy some things after bargaining!
  • If you still have energy left by 8-9 PM, head to Bui Vien Street to experience the authentic Vietnamese nightlife. You can try many bars, cafes and rooftop bars for the best food and view of the city!

Day 2: Visit the Ho Chi Minh Tunnels or the Mekong Delta

Once you have visited other landmarks, it's time for the big guns! Ho Chi Minh is most famous for its Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta- both considered some of the essential places to visit in Vietnam. They require significant time and energy so you need to be ready for some exertion!

  • Start your day by 6 AM. Vietnam coffee houses offer a very different experience and it's recommended that you get breakfast in one of these places. If you're in a rush, opt for a takeaway! Grab a banh mi or sticky rice cakes along and you're good to go.
  • After breakfast, try to reach the famous Cu Chi Tunnels by 7:00 - 7:30 AM. This trip will require around 4-6 hours because this place has a lot of history and is an important place from the Vietnam War. If you're into war history, head to the War Remnants Museum for a short half-hour trip.
  • If you finish the tunnels early, make sure to squeeze in the Mekong Delta ride. Usually, people choose one of these or opt for both if they are here for a longer duration. You can easily opt for a Sampan boat ride to visit the delta along the Mekong River. The tour is very pleasant and includes a lot of sightseeing and taking stops at some small villages!

Try to head home early so that you can prepare for your flight to Hanoi! A direct flight from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi is about 2 to 2.5 hours long. If you take a late-night flight to Hanoi, you can get adequate rest before starting the next day.

Day 3: Take a Flight to Hanoi

Vietnam's capital, Hanoi is famous for its egg coffee, the cheapest beer Bia hoi and its multicultural influences. People usually spend 3 days exploring Hanoi but we understand your time restraints!

  • Head to Tran Quoc Pagoda to visit the famous 11-story architectural wonder. This Buddhist attraction is one of the oldest in the country and provides a stunning backdrop for your soul and photos!
  • Reach downtown Hanoi from the pagoda to visit the Presidential Palace Historical Site. The place is a 15 min walking tour and you can walk further to see the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House and One Pillar Pagoda.
  • After a short break, make sure to visit the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and then head to the Hanoi Train Street in the Old Quarters.
  • Around 4-6 PM, head to the Dong Xuan Market for some unique street foods. You will also find many knick-knacks and souvenirs to bring back to India!
  • Just a few minutes' walk from the market, head to the Bach Ma Temple, Hanoi's most popular and dizzying lavish Buddhist temple.

If you want, head to the Hanoi Night Market for some shopping. You can also head to the hotel for an early night so that you can travel to Halong Bay later!

Day 4: Head to Halong Bay

Halong Bay makes a stunning day trip from Hanoi and is famous for its tropical climate & beaches. You wouldn't want to miss this UNESCO World Heritage Site on a short Vietnam vacation. The place is famous for its limestone karsts and peaceful beaches, overlooking emerald water.

  • Halong Bay is an extremely popular destination around 160 km away from Hanoi. You can either take a cruise trip or a bus and spend 1 full day or 1 and a half days here.
  • You can take a taxi along the newly constructed Hanoi-Hai Phon highway to Halong Bay in around 3 hours. There are also buses available at reasonable fares (~VND 150,000-250,000).
  • Taking a boat to explore this bay is one of the best things to do in Vietnam. You can extend your Halong Bay Tour by including some picturesque caves in your trip.
  • Try to visit the Thien Cung Cave, known for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
  • If you're spending a night here, you can also try night squid fishing with the locals and maybe stay up for a midnight barbeque!

Day 5: Wrapping Up the Halong Bay Tour & Return to Hanoi

  • If you manage to get up early, make sure to experience the stunning sunrise of Halong Bay.
  • Since you’ll be short on time, you can pick any of its 40 inhabited islands and try some local foods, or simply relax.
  • You can squeeze in some kayaking, snorkelling, cave exploring or swimming around before you finally head back to the airport.

Over to You,

Being so close to India, Vietnam has emerged as one of the best places to go on a destination holiday. Many Indians prefer Vietnam over its neighbours thanks to its quieter places and much more affordable rates. However, don’t be fooled by the affordability. Make sure to buy international travel insurance as soon as you book your flight to Vietnam so that you are covered for the entire trip. Once you buy travel insurance for Vietnam, you’ll be covered for any trip cancellations, baggage loss, emergency medical expenses and more throughout your journey.

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