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A Month in Vietnam: North to South Itinerary

September 26, 2022
25 Min Read
A woman wearing a Non La prepares food in Vietnam
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This is the ultimate 1 month Vietnam itinerary!

If you’re visiting Vietnam for the first time and want to see the highlights of the country, then this guide is for you. From the breathtaking mountain views in the Ha Giang Region to the idyllic beaches of the southern islands, this four-week itinerary will show you the very best of Vietnam. 

This one month Vietnam itinerary contains all of the information you need to know to prepare you for your trip. Not only will you find the best places to visit, but also your transportation, accommodation, activities, and many of our travel tips collected from three years of living and traveling around Vietnam.

Table of Contents
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A woman wearing a Non La prepares food in Vietnam

Travel Route For 


4 Weeks
  1. Hanoi
  2. Ha Giang & Sapa
  3. Halong Bay
  4. Ninh Binh
  5. Phong Nha
  6. Hue
  7. Hoi An
  8. Dalat
  9. Ho Chi Minh City
  10. Can Tho
  11. Southern Islands
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Before you Travel to Vietnam

There are many things to take into consideration before traveling to Vietnam. Make sure to read our top 17 travel tips for Vietnam to get you ready for your trip. This includes visa requirements, the best time to visit and other important things to be aware of before visiting.

Read: 17 Useful Tips Before Visiting Vietnam

Women harvest rice in Sapa, Vietnam

1 Month Itinerary for Vietnam

This Vietnam 4 week itinerary includes our recommended nights at each destination as well as our suggested time to travel from point A to point B. This is done so that you can make the most of your time. We’ve also included the best time to visit and how to get around. This route takes you from the north to the south of Vietnam. However, you may always do it the other way around to better fit your needs and travel style.

A woman wears traditional clothes in Vietnam

Day 1 & 2: Hanoi

Recommended Duration of Stay: 2 Nights

Best Time to Visit: October to February

How to Get Around: Foot, Motorbike

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and is well-known for its historic district, tree-lined boulevards, and relaxed atmosphere. This ancient city is also a great starting point if you plan to visit the beautiful regions in the north of Vietnam.

A woman sells bananas on the streets of Hanoi

How to Get to Hanoi Center from the Airport 

Bus: Bus 86, which runs every 15 to 30 minutes, is the cheapest way to get to Hanoi Old Quarter. A ticket costs around 2 USD and you can find the updated bus schedule on their Facebook page

Car: Booking a taxi or Grab car from Noi Bai airport is the most convenient option to reach Hanoi Center. Expect to pay around 13 USD for a 35 to 45-minute drive, depending on traffic and time of day. 

Tip: Book this Hanoi airport private transfer instead if you want a stress-free arrival at a reasonable price.

A busy market in Hanoi, Vietnam

Once you arrive in Hanoi, take your time and spend the rest of the day walking around the Old Quarter. If you arrive in time for the sunset, head to Hoan Kiem Lake located at the heart of the old town. You can walk around the lake and also visit the famous Ngoc Son Temple before it closes at 6pm.

Stay in the old quarter to be close to restaurants, bars, and major attractions. Find all Hanoi accommodations here.

A woman sells brooms in Hanoi, Vietnam

For your second day in Hanoi, we recommend discovering beyond the old quarter. The best way is to rent a motorbike and explore the countryside. About an hour's drive from Hanoi, you'll find Quang Phu Cau, home to a thriving incense industry. Here, you’ll find local families making and drying incense. 

Read: How to Spend 48 Hours in Hanoi

A woman rides her bicycle in Quang Phu Cau

The Bat Trang ceramic village is also worth a visit. Many shops sell a wide range of pottery, including large vases, animal designs, dining wares, and handmade vases with unique designs. This is the place to go if you like pottery. Either way, it's fun to browse the small local shops and a great pit stop on your way back to Hanoi center. 

Ceramic vases in Bat Trang, Vietnam

Visit the night market at night and try some of Hanoi's famous street food, such as Banh Tom and Xoi. You can also go to the famous beer corner and enjoy a beer the way the locals do - on a small plastic chair!

Day 3: Hanoi to Sapa

On day 3, you'll have the entire day to explore more of the old quarter before taking a night bus to Sapa. You can visit Hanoi's most popular attractions on your own in the morning, or you can hire a local guide to take you on a guided tour. 

There are numerous museums and temples to visit in Hanoi, including the Thanh Long Imperial Citadel, the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. 

Street vendors in Hanoi, Vietnam

How to Get to Sapa from Hanoi

Bus: Taking the bus is the most convenient option to get to Sapa. Many buses run throughout the day, but we recommend taking a sleeper night bus so you can avoid rush hour traffic and save on a night's lodging. Typically, sleeper buses leave around 10pm and arrive at 5:30am. The tickets costs about 15 USD.

Book your bus to Sapa

Tip: For tall travelers, book a VIP sleeper bus as it has a bigger compartment. The additional cost is well worth it!

Yellow rice-terraces in Sapa, Vietnam

Day 4 & 5: Sapa 

Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 Nights

Best Time to Visit: March to May; September to November

How to Get Around: Foot, Motorbike, Bicycle

If you are looking to witness Vietnam’s majestic mountains and rolling rice terraces, then don’t miss out on Sapa. Though it can be a bit touristy, especially if you stay around the main town, there’s so much more to Sapa to discover.

Tip: Avoid visiting on the weekends and around the holidays. If possible, stay in smaller villages surrounding Sapa town. 

A woman wears traditional clothes in Vietnam

Sapa serves as a hiking destination for many travelers visiting Vietnam. One of the best things you can do is to hike with a local and have a more authentic insight into the lives of the ethnic minorities as you visit the small villages. Most of the trekking excursions are two days long so you can spend day 4 and 5 of your trip trekking in Sapa. 

Note: There are numerous packages available in and around Hanoi and Sapa town that offer generic tours with the promise of an authentic experience. However, you should be aware that only a few of these tours actually provide one. The rest simply take you where everyone else goes, with busloads of tourists at every viewpoint.

One of the trekking companies we found that promotes ethical travel and helps the local Hmong women is Sapa Sisters. You can learn more about their authentic Sapa tours on their website.

Children in traditional clothes in Sapa, Vietnam

Day 6: Sapa to Ha Giang

You’ll have the opportunity to spend more of your time exploring Sapa on this day before heading to Ha Giang. You can walk around and explore the local markets in Sapa town or discover the smaller villages in the area. Otherwise, you can relax, order a cup of coffee, and enjoy the magnificent views of Sapa. 

Rice-terraces in Sapa, Vietnam

How to Get to Ha Giang from Sapa

Bus: Head next to Ha Giang for the motorbike loop. You can either do the loop on your own or as part of a tour. If you book a tour, the company will arrange your transportation from Sapa. Otherwise, your best option is to take a bus from Sapa center and then rent a motorbike on your own in Ha Giang City. We suggest taking the sleeper bus to avoid traffic and to save money on lodging. The trip takes about 8 hours and costs around 15 USD. 

Book your bus to Ha Giang

A woman is weaving with hemp in Vietnam

Spend the night in Ha Giang city, which is the perfect place to start your Ha Giang motorbike loop the following day. Find all Ha Giang City accommodations here.

Winding roads in Ha Giang, Vietnam

Day 7 to 9: Ha Giang 

Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 Nights

Best Time to Visit: March to May; September to November

How to Get Around: Motorbike 

The Ha Giang region is ideal for a motorbike adventure and its popularity has grown in recent years. So if you’re expecting a complete “off the beaten path” experience, you might get disappointed. It does not, however, diminish the dramatic limestone peaks and remote villages encountered on the motorbike loop.

Tip: We recommend avoiding weekends and holidays as much as possible to avoid the majority of the crowd doing the loop. 

Muddy roads in Ha Giang, Vietnam

We would also strongly advise you not to drive on your own if you lack experience and do not have the necessary license. We've seen a lot of tourists get into accidents while doing the loop in recent years. The roads are definitely not for beginners. 

Read: Vietnam on Motorbike: Discover the Ha Giang Region

We completed the Ha Giang loop in three days, but if you have the time, we recommend doing it in four days. This allows you to see more of the northern part of the region. You'll get closer to the Chinese border, where the landscape becomes more rugged and grand. You can also take your time and explore some of the smaller villages you pass through. You can stop as many times as you want without having to drive longer distances.

3 women wearing Non La's harvest rice in Vietnam

There are many tour companies doing the motorbike trip but we highly recommend going with Ha Giang Hideaways. They organize everything from transportation to food and lodging. Not only that, the local guides and drivers have been doing the loop for many years so you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. 

Are you ready to have the adventure of a lifetime exploring the rugged mountains of Ha Giang?

Book your tour with Ha Giang Hideaways now!

Two boys look at the camera in Northern Vietnam
Rice-fields and mountains in Ha Giang, Vietnam

Day 10: Ha Giang to Halong Bay

After your motorbike loop, take a relaxing boat cruise through Halong Bay, one of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations. Instead of taking a day trip from Hanoi, we recommend booking an overnight boat tour. This way, you'll have more time to enjoy Halong Bay without feeling rushed, and you'll avoid the majority of the day trippers. 

Rock formations in Halong Bay, Vietnam

How to Get to Halong Bay from Ha Giang

Bus: You can take an 8-hour night bus from Ha Giang to Ha Long for around 13 USD and organize your boat tour there. If you pre-booked a tour, your tour company may arrange transportation for you for an additional fee. Because most tour companies pick up their guests in the Hanoi Old Quarter, you may need to take a bus back to Hanoi first. 

Book your bus to Halong Bay.

Rock formations in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Day 11: Halong Bay

Recommended Duration of Stay: 1 Night

Best Time to Visit: October to December

How to Get Around: Boat Tour

Halong Bay, with its over 3,000 towering limestone cliffs and emerald green water, is a must-see for anyone visiting Vietnam. There's a reason it's so famous, and we believe that it’s worth a visit.

Rock formations in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Most overnight Halong Bay tours include all meals and activities, such as kayaking and exploring caves and hidden beaches. There are many companies to choose from and prices vary but an average two-day Halong Bay tour starts at 150 USD per person. 

Read: What to Expect on your Halong Bay Tour!

Rock formations in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Day 12: Halong Bay to Ninh Binh

Wake up to Halong Bay's dramatic karst scenery and spend the rest of the morning on board. Your boat tour will conclude around noon, and you will return to the port after lunch. Following your relaxing boat ride, travel to Ninh Binh to explore the mossy pagodas and vast rice fields. 

Read: Plan your Trip to Ninh Binh: 2 Day Itinerary

Boats on the Tam Coc river in Ninh Binh

How to Get to Ninh Binh From Halong Bay

Bus: Taking a local bus from Halong City is the cheapest way to get to Ninh Binh. The journey takes about 4 hours and buses leave every 30 minutes. The price of a bus ticket should be around 9 USD.

You can also pre-book a VIP bus online for an additional fee. We recommend taking the afternoon bus and arriving in Ninh Binh before dusk.

Book your Bus to Ninh Binh

Temples in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Spend the night around the Tam Coc area. Accommodations here offer a unique experience and breathtaking views of karst mountains. Find all Ninh Binh accommodations here.

Day 13: Ninh Binh 

Recommended Duration of Stay: 2 Nights

Best Time to Visit: Late May to Beginning of June

How to Get Around: Motorbike, Bicycle

Due to the limestone formations surrounded by rice fields, Ninh Binh is often called the land version of Halong Bay.

Discovering Trang An or Tam Coc is one of the top things to do while in Ninh Binh. For your first full day, head out early in the morning to either Trang An or Tam Coc, which are landscape complexes that best showcase the region’s beauty. 

Read: Ultimate Guide to Tam Coc Boat Tour in Ninh Binh

Rice fields and limestone mountains in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

In a small boat, you'll row through rough caves and see the limestone mountains of Ninh Binh. It can get quite hot during the day, so remember to bring plenty of water and dress comfortably.

Read: Trang An Boat Tour: A Guide to Ninh Binh's Best Attraction

Keep In Mind: Day trips from Hanoi to Ninh Binh are popular, but we don’t recommend these. Your visit will be extremely rushed and you discover the area in a “train” with other tourists. 

Small boats in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

In the afternoon, you can ride a scooter or a bicycle around the area. Hang Mua Cave is one of the places you can visit. Climb the steps to see the breathtaking scenery of endless rice fields and limestone mountains.

Read: Hang Mua Viewpoint: A Must Visit Destination in Vietnam

A temple and a Vietnamese flag at Hang Mua cave in Ninh Binh

Day 14: Ninh Binh to Phong Nha

You can spend your second day in Ninh Binh taking another boat tour of Trang An or Tam Coc, whichever you did not do the day before. Otherwise, you can spend the rest of your day relaxing and enjoying the scenery or exploring around on a bike. Some places you can visit are Bai Dinh pagoda, Hoa Lu ancient village and Bich Dong pagoda. 

In the evening, take a sleeper bus heading to Phong Nha: Vietnam’s Adventure capital

Temples in Ninh Binh, Vietnam

How to Get to Phong Nha From Ninh Binh

Bus: The fastest way to reach Phong Nha from Ninh Binh is to take a bus. The drive takes around 7 hours and tickets start at 13 USD. 

The bus also drops you at the main street of Phong Nha where most of the accommodations are. If you take the night bus around 10pm, you’ll arrive in Phong Nha at around 4 in the morning. 

Book your Bus to Phong Nha 

Blue boats in Phong Nha, Vietnam

Stay on the main street of Phong Nha town. This is a great area where most of the restaurants and bars are located. It is also close to the most popular caves in the area. Find all Phong Nha accommodations here.

Tip: Have a room booked the night before your arrival. Having a guaranteed room upon arrival will give you a few hours of proper sleep so you can take advantage of a full day exploring. 

Rice fields and mountains in Phong Nha, Vietnam

Day 15 & 16: Phong Nha

Recommended Duration of Stay: 2 Nights

Best Time to Visit: January to August

How to Get Around: Foot, Bicycle, Motorbike

If you like caves, Phong Nha National Park is a must-see destination because it has some of the most spectacular cave systems in Vietnam. Not only that, but it is also home to the Son Doong Cave, the world's largest cave. 

Rice fields and mountains in Phong Nha, Vietnam

You'll arrive in Phong Nha early in the morning, allowing you to make the most of your first day. We suggest taking it easy and just relaxing and enjoy the slow paced environment in town. You can rent a bicycle and explore the area while visiting some of the smaller caves that are open daily from 7:30am to 4:00pm, such as Phong Nha cave and Tien Son cave.

Read: Complete Travel Guide to Phong Nha

For your second day in Phong Nha, we recommend you join a tour and explore the bigger cave systems. One of the caves we visited was the Tu Lan cave system. We did a two day tour with Oxalis and we highly recommend it as our experience was spectacular. You can read more about our Detailed Cave Experience here to help you decide. 

Otherwise, you can also enjoy other activities in Phong Nha, including cycling around the Bong Lai valley and visiting the surrounding green paddies. 

Read our post about the Tu Lan Cave Encounter with Oxalis to find out more!

A woman transports grass with her motorbike in Phong Nha, Vietnam

Day 17: Phong Nha to Hue

Transfer to Hue on this day. If you join a cave tour, you will be dropped off earlier in the afternoon at Phong Nha's main town. There we recommend hopping on a bus and heading to Hue before dusk. 

Spend the night in the center of Hue, where most of the restaurants and bars are located. It is also conveniently located just across the Cau Truong Tien bridge, and you can walk to the Citadel easily. Find all Hue accommodations here.

How to Get to Hue From Phong Nha

Bus: The best and most convenient way to reach Hue from Phong Nha is to take a bus. Bus tickets start at 10 USD. Depending on traffic, it may take you around a 3 hours drive. 

Book your bus to Hue

Day 18: Hue

Recommended Duration of Stay: 2 Nights

Best Time to Visit:  January to April

How to Get Around: Foot, Motorbike, Bicycle

Most visitors use Hue as a start point for the famous Hai Van Pass. This charming little city, on the other hand, has a lot to offer and we recommend spending at least one full day. 

Temples in Hue, Vietnam

Hue is a historical city and one of Vietnam's oldest cities. One of the best things you can do is to explore Hue's historic citadels and magnificent royal palaces. 

If you have more time, explore the photogenic streets of Hue and sample the meals that unfold over several courses at Madam Thu restaurant. They serve delicious and affordable Hue specialty food. As most dishes are divided into smaller servings that are perfect for sharing, head to the restaurant with an empty stomach and try as many dishes as you can!

Temples in Hue, Vietnam

Day 19: Hue to Hoi An

There are several ways to get from Hue to Hoi An. Use this day to transfer, and depending on your mode of transportation, you can spend more time walking around Hue and exploring the city before continuing on to Hoi An. 

Once in Hoi An, spend the evening walking around and exploring the lantern-lit streets of the old quarter. Cross the Thu Bon bridge to the night market and admire the rows of lantern stalls that light up the street.

Book your accommodation within walking distance of the old quarter. You can also stay close to the night market or around the Cam An area to be closer to the beach. Find all Hoi An accommodations here.

A woman rides her bicycle in the colorful streets of Hoi An, Vietnam

How to Get to Hoi An From Hue

Motorbike: The best and most scenic way to get to Hoi An is by motorbike. If you're an experienced driver, rent a motorcycle and enjoy the breathtaking views of the famous Hai Van Pass. The drive takes about 3 hours, depending on often you stop. 

The cost of renting a motorcycle can range from 20 to 85 USD, depending on the type of bike. Furthermore, many businesses offer free luggage services. Which means, they will deliver your luggage to your next accommodation so you don't have to strap it to your bike.

If you are unsure about riding a bike on your own, some tour companies offer drivers and guides. It costs more, but it is well worth it for your safety and peace of mind. 

Bus: There are also numerous bus companies that provide transfers from Hue to Hoi An. If you take the bus, we recommend leaving in the afternoon to give yourself more time in Hue.

Book your bus to Hoi An

A woman rides her bicycle in Hoi An, Vietnam

Day 20 & 21: Hoi An

Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 Nights

Best Time to Visit: April to August; December to March

How to Get Around: Foot, Motorbike, Bicycle

Hoi An is one of those places that you must see if you visit Vietnam. Stepping into the colonial streets of this Unesco World Heritage site is like stepping back in time. From lantern lit nights to romantic boat rides on the Thu Bon River, Hoi An makes you want to stay longer. So we recommend spending at least two full days exploring the old town and nearby attractions.

Lanterns in Hoi An, Vietnam

Spend your first full day exploring the ancient town of Hoi An. You can discover the small alleys by foot or by renting a bicycle. The Precious Heritage Art Gallery is one place we recommend visiting. It is a magnificent work of art that preserves and showcases Vietnam's magnificent customs and traditions.

Read our Hoi An Ultimate Guide to find out other things you can do in Hoi An. 

Vendors sell goods at a market in Hoi An, Vietnam

On your second day, leave the old quarter and explore the nearby attractions surrounding Hoi An. You can choose to visit the My Son Sanctuary, which is about 40 kilometers from the old town. It's simple to rent a motorcycle and go exploring on your own or you can also join a guided tour from Hoi An.

Colorful streets in Hoi An, Vietnam

Day 22: Hoi An to Dalat 

Use this day to travel from Hoi An to Dalat. You can spend the morning relaxing or exploring the old town one last time before transferring to Da Nang to catch your flight.

Vendors sell good in Hoi An, Vietnam

When you arrive in Dalat, go to the night market and enjoy the colorful stalls selling local snacks. You can also buy some souvenirs and other Dalat specialties here.

Stay in Dalat center so you can walk to the majority of the restaurants and bars. If you rent a motorbike, stay near Le Van Tam Street for great mountain views and a relaxed atmosphere. Find all Dalat accommodations here.

How to Get to Dalat from Hoi An

Plane: The quickest and easiest way to get to Dalat is to fly. Drive to Da Nang airport from Hoi An and then fly to Dalat. The flight takes around 1 and 15 minutes. We recommend purchasing your tickets in advance because there is usually only one flight per day.

Book your plane to Dalat 

Day 23: Dalat 

Recommended Duration of Stay: 2 Nights

Best Time to Visit: December to March

How to Get Around: Motorbike

Dalat is a picturesque town well-known for its laid-back atmosphere, delicious food, and excellent coffee options. You can enjoy a cooler climate in Dalat, so make sure you bring the proper clothes.

Greenhouses in Dalat, Vietnam

For your first full day in Dalat, begin with a cup of coffee as you enjoy the mountain views. You can read our list of Top 6 Best Coffee Shops in Dalat here. Or you can rent a motorbike and explore the scenic town as you drive around the Tuyen Lam lake and enjoy the fresh mountain air. 

If you're looking for more adventure, Dalat is also well known for its canyoning tours. Book a tour to see Dalat's spectacular canyons and gorges. 

A woman is seen canyoning in Dalat, Vietnam.

Beside canyons there are some waterfalls you can visit near Dalat. You can go to larger waterfalls, such as Pongour waterfall, but they are further from town and require an entire morning to visit. The Datanla waterfall is the closest waterfall to Dalat's main center. Many activities are available, including Asia's longest alpine coaster. You can visit the waterfalls on your own or you can join a tour. 

Book your waterfall tour in Dalat

People work in the fields in Dalat, Vietnam

Day 24: Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City

Today, you should head out early in the morning to visit one of our favorite places near Dalat. The Cau Dat tea plantation. Here you’ll find many viewpoints and if you're lucky, you might even see locals harvesting tea leaves during the day. The Cau Dat tea fields are approximately 22 kilometers from Dalat's center and it typically takes 35 minutes to drive to.

Tea is still harvested by hand at the Cau Dat plantation. Read our story to find out more about this ancient practice.

Women harvesting tea leaves in Cau Dat, Vietnam

You can also stop by Linh Phuoc pagoda on your way back to the center. This stunning pagoda is a work of art in and of itself, with intricate designs throughout. It is made up of thousands of pieces of colorful glass, pottery bowls, and porcelain. 

You can spend the afternoon relaxing or driving around Dalat before taking the night bus to Ho Chi Minh City.

Read: The Ultimate Dalat Travel Guide

Linh Phuoc pagoda in Dalat

How to Get to Ho Chi Minh from Dalat

Bus: From Dalat, take the bus directly to Ho Chi Minh City, which takes about 7 hours depending on the traffic. You can expect to pay around 15 USD for a ticket. 

Book your bus to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City from above.

Day 25 & 26: Ho Chi Minh City

Recommended Duration of Stay: 2 Nights

Best Time to Visit: December to March

How to Get Around: Foot, Motorbike, Taxi

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is Vietnam's largest city. Amidst the energy and chaos you'll encounter, there are plenty of things to see and do in this Asian metropolis.

You will arrive early in the morning and on your first day, it’s a good idea to take it easy. You can start by having breakfast at Banh Mi Hoa Ma. You may want to relax after breakfast or you can start exploring the city before it gets really hot at midday. 

Book a hotel in district 1 (the center) so you can walk to most of the main attractions and a variety of restaurants and bars. Districts 3 and 4 are also great areas to stay. Find all Saigon accommodations here.

Skyline of Ho Chi Minh City.

You can spend your afternoon visiting Saigon’s main attractions, such as the Notre Dame cathedral and the War Remnants Museum. If you’re looking for a great place to watch the sunset, head to Bitexco Financial tower for a 360-degree view of the city. 

Book your Bitexco Financial Tower ticket

Bitext Financial Tower

This vibrant city also offers some of the most exciting and affordable street food.

At night, we recommend walking around the famous flower market and trying as much street food as you can handle. You can also book a guided food tour that will take you around the city on a motorbike and introduce you to some of Saigon's hidden gems.

A woman prepares Banh Mi in Saigon, Vietnam

On your second day in Saigon, get out of the main tourist area and explore more of the city. Begin your day in Chinatown, where you can get lost in the vibrant market, pagodas, traditional shops, and local food stalls. 

Busy streets in Saigon, Vietnam

You can also use this day to take a tour if you want to visit the Cu Chi tunnels. It is located around 55 kms away from the center and takes about 2 hours to drive. We suggest taking the morning tour so you avoid the midday heat.

In the afternoon, you can explore more of the city and stop by the Nguyen Hue walking street, which is home to the famous apartment cafe.

If you want to enjoy the night with some drinks, you can also go to Bui Vien walking street. This street is well-known for its nightlife, having bars playing music on both sides. If you want a more laid-back night out, we recommend Warda, a small Lebanese lounge that serves delicious drinks and shisha.

Day 27: Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho

Use this day to travel from Saigon to Can Tho. Head out early in the morning to avoid heavy traffic and so you can spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the city. 

Can Tho is Vietnam's fourth largest city, and renting a motorbike is the best way to move around. So, after you arrive, rent one from your hotel and go exploring. At night, visit the night market and try some local dishes. You can also walk along the riverside near the market to the lotus bridge to end the night. 

Find a hotel in the center, near the riverside and the night market, so you can have plenty of food options nearby. Otherwise, book an accommodation outside the city to enjoy a more relaxing stay. Find all accommodations in Can Tho here.

A boat on the Mekong River

How to Get to Can Tho from Ho Chi Minh 

Bus: The easiest way to get to Can Tho from Saigon is by bus. The trip takes about 4 hours and costs roughly 9 USD.

Book your bus to Can Tho

A young man makes clay pots in Vietnam

Day 28: Can Tho to the Islands

Recommended Duration of Stay: 1 Night

Best Time to Visit: October to February

How to Get Around: Motorbike, Boat

There are few day tours you can take from Ho Chi Minh city to the famous Cai Rang floating market. However, we don't recommend taking a day tour as you'll have to leave around 2am. Instead, consider staying at least one night in Can Tho city. This is so you can visit the floating market before sunrise. 

Floating Market in Can Tho

The Cai Rang floating market is the most popular in Can Tho, however it is no longer as authentic as it once was. It has evolved into a wholesale market, with larger boats trading items rather than locals on smaller boats.

We also recommend visiting Phong Dien floating market. This market is not as touristy and you will still few traders on small boats. It is roughly a half hour drive from the Can Tho center, and the market is at its busiest in the earlier hours.

Women on a small boat in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

In the afternoon, take a flight to the southern islands of Vietnam to enjoy the beach. Can Tho has an airport so you can save time by flying directly without returning to Ho Chi Minh City.

Colorful boats in Vietnam

Day 29 to 31: Phu Quoc or Con Dao

End your trip by visiting some of Vietnam's most beautiful islands, complete with the best sunsets and beaches. We recommend either going to Phu Quoc or Con Dao, which are located in the south of Vietnam. 

If you have the time, you can also explore both because they are worth seeing. It is important to note, however, that there is no direct flight between these islands. If you want to visit both, you'll have to return to Ho Chi Minh City to catch another flight. 

We've detailed both islands below to help you decide which one is best for you. 

Colorful boats in Vietnam

Phu Quoc Island

Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 Nights

Best Time to Visit: November to April

How to Get Around: Foot, Motorbike, Taxi

Though we haven’t personally visited Phu Quoc, we know for a fact that it is an excellent tropical getaway based on the numerous blogs we’ve read and from local friends who have visited. 

Everyone raved about how amazing this island is and why it should be on your itinerary. It is more developed than Con Dao, with more lodging and restaurants. If you want a relaxing vacation with everything at your fingertips but don't mind crowds, Phu Quoc might be the place for you.

This idyllic island paradise has a pristine coastline and a tranquil atmosphere that is ideal for travelers looking to unwind. You can watch the sunset on Ganh Dau beach, or you can also choose to relax in the powdery sand and calm waves of Sao Beach, also known as Star Beach. 

Book your plane to Phu Quoc

Blue oceans in Con Dao, Vietnam

Stay around the Duong Dong area if you want to be close to most restaurants and lively. The Ong Lang area is great for a quiet holiday but has limited dining options. Find all Phu Quoc accommodations here.

Colorful boats in Vietnam

Con Dao Island 

Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 Nights

Best Time to Visit: February to September

How to Get Around: Foot, Motorbike, Taxi

Con Dao is without a doubt one of the best islands we've visited in Asia, and we can't recommend it highly enough. Con Dao is characterized by pristine long stretches of beaches and dense jungles. The island is less well-known to tourists and less developed than Phu Quoc Island. Because of that, you will more likely enjoy a secluded beach to yourself.

Book your plane to Con Dao

Stay in the main town on the east side to be close to the restaurants and markets. For a beach view, book your accommodation along Ton Duc Thang Street or close to An Hai Beach. Find all Con Dao accommodations here.

You can visit the Con Dao prison and discover one of Vietnam's largest and most brutal prison camps to learn more about the island's tragic history. Then, enjoy the day at Dam Trau beach, one of Con Dao's most secluded beaches. Take in the peaceful, beautiful, and untouched nature of Con Dao Island.

Read: Ultimate Guide to Con Dao Island

Fish in Con Dao, Vietnam

And there you have it!

The ultimate one-month Vietnam travel itinerary. You can always modify this itinerary to better meet your needs. You can also start in Ho Chi Minh and work your way up to Hanoi. If you don't want to go to certain places or have already visited them, you can adjust it accordingly and devote more time to other places.

We hope that this guide will help you in planning your trip in Vietnam.

Now, to better prepare for your upcoming trip, read our list of the top 17 things you should know before visiting Vietnam.


Tell us in the comments which places in Vietnam you are most looking forward to visiting!

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