Nan standing in the tea fields during our Ha Giang road trip

How To Plan The Ultimate 10 Days Vietnam Itinerary

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One of the toughest decisions we had to make when planning our trip to Vietnam was which areas to visit and how to plan our time. With so much to see, ranging from exquisite food, incredible limestone mountains and caves, to heritage cities filled with historical culture, it can be difficult to know how to best spend your time. Now having traveled through Vietnam for over a month, we got to explore many of the highlights in each region and have gathered many tips and insights to help you organize your next adventure. So if you are seeking to create a 10 days Vietnam itinerary, this guide will walk you through the planning step-by-step.

Let’s jump right in! 

Nan on bicycle on bridge on Phong Nha national park

How many days do you need in Vietnam?

To fully experience Vietnam, we would recommend a minimum of 2-3 weeks. We spent a month there traveling from South to North and felt like we still had much to discover. Vietnam is filled with incredible history through its multiple wars, vibrant culture, and some of the most impressive caves in the world. If you can only do a 10 days itinerary in Vietnam, then you will need to make some choices regarding which regions to prioritize. Although it is theoretically possible to see all the way from South to North in 10 days, rushing through would be doing yourself an injustice. the true beauty of traveling through Vietnam is taking the time to immerse in the culture. 

Nan standing in the tea fields during our Ha Giang road trip

Nonetheless, with the 10 days Vietnam itinerary highlighted below, you will have time to discover much of what Vietnam has to offer. This includes the war history and people culture of Saigon, witnessing their beautiful UNESCO city of Hoi An, experiencing the jaw-dropping caves in Phong Nha, and trying out the delicious Vietnamese food throughout.  

Should you visit the North or South Vietnam?

With only 10 days in Vietnam, we would recommend focusing your visit to whether the Northern or the Southern region of Vietnam. It may not look like it, but Vietnam is actually a very large country spanning from the North to the South. To give you an idea, if you took a train from Saigon to Hanoi, it would take 33.5 hours! And that still has not covered the whole country.

Map of Vietnam and its highlight attractions

Whether you choose North or South Vietnam, you should definitely include Central Vietnam where you can experience the Phong Nha Cave National Park, Da Nang, and the UNESCO city of Hoi An.

Overall we preferred the South of Vietnam. Having travelled over 1 month through Vietnam, we felt the South had tastier food, the people were friendlier, the climate warmer, and overall the feeling more relaxed. The North in Hanoi had colder climate and the city itself felt far more chaotic and stressful. 

However, where you should visit will depend on what type of activities and experiences you want in Vietnam. For this reason, we have highlighted the best things to do in each region in the South, Central, and North Vietnam. Given how large the country is, it will help you piece together a functional itinerary. 


Best things to do in South Vietnam

The South part of Vietnam is known for its warmer climate, detailed representation of its historical past through the War Remnant museum and Cu Chi tunnels, and home to some of the best food you’ll find in Vietnam. Here are some of the highlight things to do and areas to visit.

Of course, you won’t have time for every single one of them, but it gives you multiple options that you can include in your 10 days Vietnam itinerary.

Ho Chi Minh City (a.k.a Saigon) (3-4 days)

War Remnant Museum (half-day)

We felt the War Remnant Museum was one of the most well-structured and interesting places to learn all about the multiple wars that Vietnam fought. There are several floors in this exhibition and on the ground floor, you can even get to see military tanks and helicopters used during the War.

We spent around 3-4 hours in the museum and listened thoroughly to the audio guide, which was excellent. However, for a quicker visit, it can be done in 1-2 hours. 

If you prefer a fully guided experience, the War Remnant Museum is frequently combined with a walking tour including other highlights in Saigon such as the Independence Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Saigon post office. We highly recommend this Saigon walking tour.

🚶 Saigon Walking Tour including War Remnant Museum

Cu Chi Tunnels (1 day)

The Cu Chi tunnels are a must-do experience as a day trip from Saigon. Here you will get see the incredible underground network of tunnels that were dug by the Viet Cong during the war to combat the invading armies.

What is incredible is that the local army, which consisted mostly of local civilians and farmers, were able to ingeniously devise strategies and traps that were able to fend off the far superiorly armed attackers. During your visit, you will be able to learn all about this and even experience crawling through these tunnels. In total, this network of tunnels spanned from Vietnam to the border of Cambodia, reaching a total length of nearly 250 kilometres.

It is insane to believe that the Viet Cong had to stay in these tunnels for several years while they fought the war. A truly eye-opening experience. 

There are two main sights to see the Cu Chi tunnelsBen Duoc and Ben Dinh. Ben Dinh is closer to Saigon, at about 1.5 hours drive, and is more touristic. Ben Duoc is an extra 20 minutes further, and is more quiet which is ideal for exploring the tunnels. 

tour guide explaining the cu chi tunnels

We would highly recommend checking out this tour which brings you to the lesser-visited Cu Chi tunnels. The maximum number of people in the group is 10, which is ideal since some tours have up to 24 people. Imagine cramming into the tunnels with 24 other people in your group. Not ideal!

🪖 Less Touristic Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Discovering their coffee culture (slow pace multiple days)

I frequently saw the coffee culture mentioned as one of the must-do things in Ho Chi Minh City. Initially, I didn’t understand how having a cup of coffee could be a highlight but now I do. The coffee culture in Saigon is at a whole other level. Did you know that Vietnam is the second-largest exporter of coffee in the world? I didn’t. 

The coffee scene here is incredible, merging delicious and intricate coffees in an ambiance of beautiful decor aesthetics. We noticed that we were excited every day to return to coffee shops and simply soak in the environment. We could easily sit there for 1-2 hours enjoying our coconut coffee, taro coffee, egg coffee, or silk smooth coffee. 

Here are some of our top coffee shop recommendations:

  • Phuc Long: it is a coffee franchise so you’ll see it all over Saigon. For a delicious and quick cup of coffee at an affordable price, this is the perfect place.
  • Running Bean: The Running Bean in Saigon features 6 floors of coffee space, each floor featuring different decor and aesthetics. I felt like I was sitting in an architecture magazine here. Also, their coffee is delicious. We came back here 3 times during our trip.
  • 96B coffee: If you want to not only enjoy a cup of coffee but also learn to make it, 96B coffee is the place! We did their Pha Coffee workshop where we learned to make 3 different types of coffee including coconut coffee and egg coffee. Not only was it very insightful and fun, but at the end, you get to enjoy what you made! 

Another great workshop you can checkout is this Secrets behind the Famed Egg Coffee workshop where you’ll learn all about the Vietnamese egg coffee. Alternatively, this is an excellent tour where you’ll learn both about the Vietnamese Coffee and Tea culture

🪖 Vietnamese Coffee and Tea culture tour

Motorbike food tour (4 hours)

What better way to discover Saigon than by eating your way through on their preferred mode of transportation, the motorbike.

By going on the tour, you will have a professional driver and guide to help you navigate the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh city, zigzagging through traffic and bringing you to some of the less-known neighbourhoods.

On our tour, we were brought to visit one of their subsidized living complexes that was built by the government following the war. It was a true cultural immersion and a side of Saigon we would’ve otherwise never seen. With the food tour, you will also get to try out a lot of street food while ensuring everything is clean and hygienic. If you want to do the same tour as us, check out this Saigon motorbike food tour led by local students.

🛵 Saigon motorbike Food tour led by local students

Keep in mind that not all food tours are built the same. They typically range from 7-10 dishes but many of them are snacks or drinks. I would highly recommend this Saigon motorbike food + sightseeing tour since it includes some of our favourite foods including Ban Xeo, Bun Bo hue, Banh Mi, and grilled oysters (other tours don’t have the oysters!).

🛵 Saigon Motorbike Food + Sightseeing tour

Explore Opera house + People’s Committee + Saigon Post office (half day)

They are all located within walking distance of each other and presents a more modern side of Vietnam with beautiful European architecture. These sights are all included in the Saigon Walking tour.

🚶🏼‍♂️ Saigon walking tour including opera house

Mekong Delta (1-2 days)

The Mekong Delta is famous for its floating markets and can be done as a day trip or an overnight trip. There are multiple floating markets including Cai Be Floating market, Cai Rang floating market, and Phong Dien Floating Market.

Mekong delta market

Although it can be done as a day trip, the highlight of visiting the delta is seeing the market very early at sunrise when all the locals are there to buy fresh produce. For this reason, we recommend doing the overnight trip. In addition, you will have time to do the coconut boats, visiting the local artisans, and canoe down the narrow delta canals. 

Check out these two tour options to visit the Mekong Delta:

Phu Quoc Island (2-3 days)

Phu Quoc island is located a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City and is the perfect destination if you are seeking beautiful white sand beaches.

Additional highlight attractions include visiting the Phu Quoc prison, the fish sauce factory, the Phu Quoc seafood night market, or taking the longest cable car in the world that connects you to Hon Thom Island. 

Phu quoc Island
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Best things to do in Central Vietnam

Regardless of whether you choose to do the North or South regions during your 10 days Vietnam itinerary, the Central region of Vietnam is an area you must include. Here you will find the beautiful Unesco town of Hoi An and be able to adventure into the stunning cave networks in the Phong Nha National Park.

Check out below for some of the highlight things to do. If you want a more detailed guide on the 12 unforgettable things to experience in Hoi An, check out our comprehensive Hoi An Guide.

View of Hoi An's ancient town

Hoi An (3-4 days)

Walk through Hoi An Old town (1-2 days)

The old town of Hoi An featured some of the most ancient and historical architecture that we saw in Vietnam. For that reason, it is no surprise the town was declared a Unesco Heritage site.

in the streets of Hoi An

One of the highlights of visiting Hoi An is simply strolling through the town, admiring the crafts from local artisans, and marvelling at the beautiful buildings. A canal also streams through Hoi An and is the perfect spot for an evening walk when everything is lit up and the canal is filled with small candles.

Night time view of Hoi An and the lights

If you want to ride the little canoes, it normally costs 150,000 VND for two people. To fully discover the Old town, we recommend going to visit it over 2 days, both during daytime and nighttime. 

For a super fun Hoi An walking tour where you’ll learn the untold stories of Vietnam, combined with a curated tasting of some of Hoi An’s most special cocktail bars in undiscovered spaces dating back 200 years, check out this Hoi An Secret Cocktail Experience.

🍸 Hoi An Secret cocktail experience

Make custom clothing (half day)

Hoi An is known for all things handicraft, especially tailored clothing. Head over to No 59 Fine Threads located on the Eastern edge of the old town and Mai will help you design any clothing you can dream of.

custom clothing making in Hoi An

What’s really fun is that she has a full booklet of clothing examples ranging from suits, dresses, to skirts, and she can make any of them for you. If none of the examples is exactly what you want, you can show her a picture you find online and she will do her best to copy it.

Her English is perfect and usually, the item is completed in 1-2 days. Where her store is located is surrounded by at least 50 other tailors so you can freely choose the shop you like!

Day trip to An Bang, Cua Dai, or Tan Thanh Beach (half day)

Located around 15 minutes from Hoi An on motorbike is a long stretch of beach. An Bang beach is the famous one but if you prefer a less crowded experience, then we would recommend checking out Tan Thanh Beach. Parking there is free on the street.

To enjoy the beach, you can sit on the sand or if you prefer, you can ‘rent’ one of the beach chairs. As a reference, renting a chair normally costs around 30,000 VND but is free with the purchase of a drink/food. It is not the most beautiful beach you will find in Asia, but it is pleasant and has a lot of wind activities such as windsurfing and kite surfing. 

Coconut boat tour (half day)

If you missed out on doing to circular coconut boats in the Mekong Delta, you can easily do so here a short drive from Hoi An.

coconut boats in Hoi an

Check out this Coconut Forest Tour where you get to experience the coconut boats, try your hand a net crab fishing, and riding a bicycle through the local villages. 

🚣‍♀️ Coconut boat tour where you get to ride in those circular coconut boats

Eat the best Banh Mi of Vietnam at Banh Mi Phuong 2

Having travelled over a month through Vietnam, and eating Banh Mis throughout, we can confidently say the best one we had was at Banh Mi Phuong in Hoi An.

There are two Banh Mi Phuongs in Hoi An, where one is a full store and the Banh Mi Phuong 2 which is a small street food stall. We recommend going to the #2 since there is no lineup and is right by the market.

banh mi in hoi an

Also make sure to ask for the Banh Mi Heo Quay which is with crispy pork belly (it might not be on the menu, but ask for it anyways. She will make it for you). We still dream of this Banh Mi today. 

See a show at Hoi An Lune Art Centre (evening)

Another fantastic activity to do in Hoi An is seeing an acrobatic show at the Lune Art Centre. We saw the Teh Dar show but the shows change depending on when you go. It is a mix of incredible percussions, acrobatics, dance, and singing. Check out the Lune Art show tickets here

Marble Mountain (half day)

The Marble Mountains makes for a perfect day trip from Hoi An.

You can reach it by a tour or you can rent a motorbike and get there within 30 minutes. Here, you will see some incredible marble caves with massive Buddha statues carved right within the walls. There are several caves to visit and should take you a good 3 hours to properly explore. There are a lot of stairs and some are quite steep so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

At the time of writing, entrance tickets cost 40,000 VND and parking was 10,000 VND.    

Check out this Marble Mountain tour which also includes watching the sunset at Monkey Mountain.

⛰️ Marble Mountain tour including sunset at Monkey Mountain

Ba Na Hills (1 day)

Nestled in the lush mountains of central Vietnam, Ba Na Hills offers a whimsical escape from the bustling city of Da Nang. This enchanting resort is a blend of French colonial architecture and vibrant Vietnamese culture, featuring the iconic Golden Bridge held up by giant stone hands.

Large hands bridge at Ba Na Hills

Visitors can ride the world’s longest non-stop cable car to the summit, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding misty forests and winding rivers. Once at the top, you can also ride SunWorld’s Alpine coaster where you’ll zoom through twists and turns high above the mountainous landscapes. Ba Na Hills makes for a perfect day trip especially if you are travelling with children.

🏰 Ba Na Hills guided tour

Phong Nha Caves National Park (3-6 days)

One of the main reasons we decided to visit Vietnam was to explore their incredible caves network. In fact, Vietnam has the world’s largest cave called the Son Doong Cave. To visit it, you will spend 6 days venturing deep within the cave, camping inside the caves, and requiring some skilled climbing and repelling.

Although we love adventure, Son Doong Cave would be a little too intense and costly for us. So we ended up doing the Tu Lan cave expedition with Oxalis Adventure and spent 6 days to exploring multiple cave systems. 

The Phong Nha National Park has countless caves so you can explore them as day trips2 day trips, or extended multi-day trips like ours.

For multi-day tours, we highly recommend Oxalis Adventure as our experience with them was excellent and they have a very positive initiative to help support the locals there.

These are some excellent day trip Cave tours in Phong Nha National Park:

Alternatively, we recommend visiting Chay Lap Farmstay which can be the perfect base to do your Cave tours. To reach the National Park, you will need to head over to Dong Hoi, likely by train, and then take a transport to reach within the park area. 


Best things to do in North Vietnam

The Northern part of Vietnam includes Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Sapa, Ha Giang, and Ha Long Bay. The weather in the north tends to be cooler and due to it’s proximity to the mountains, more extreme. If you want to see the rice terraces and mountains of Vietnam, the north in perfect for you.

Hanoi (3 days)

Train street (1-2 hours)

Have you ever wanted to enjoy a beer, sitting on a small stool right beside a passing train? I didn’t, until I arrived in Hanoi.

On the train street, you will get to enjoy a drink or a meal sitting quite close to the train tracks within the narrow street. It is quite the spectacle and is very lively around the times that the trains pass by. We feel it is somewhat of a tourist trap but meanwhile, it is a unique experience.

standing on the train tracks on the train street

It is not always clear what time the trains pass by as they do change day by day so you will need to message one of the local train street bars for more information.

🔺 Note that you cannot just go in to take a look. The restaurant and bar owners are all lined up at the entrance to the street and you can only go in if you agree to sit at their store. We saw several tourists getting yelled at by the locals because they were trying to squeeze through on their own. 

Street murals on P. Phùng Hưng street

Check out these beautiful street murals drawn all along the P. Phùng Hưng street that lines the train tracks. They depict a lot about the history of Hanoi and how it has changed over the years. It also highlights how many elements of their beautiful past are retained even till today.

street mural in Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and more

Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Presidential Palace are all within the same region and make for a very interesting visit.

We particularly liked the Presidential Palace with its European architecture and bright yellow decor, as well as the surrounding gardens. It actually reminded us a lot of Antigua in Guatemala.

Check out this half-day tour of Hanoi that includes all those sights and more!

If you want to ride in style, then check out this Half-day Hanoi tour with Vietnamese Army Legendary Jeep.

Vietnam Military Museum (half day)

Visit the Vietnam Military history museum where you can learn about the wars and prisons located in Hanoi. We overall enjoyed the War Remnant Museum in Saigon better but the Military History Museum was also very insightful. 

Discover the Old town (half day)

Discover the old town of Hoan Kiem District and go back through time.

Here you will see the old town building’s architecture, with many of the locals still wheeling their bicycles and baskets full of fresh produce like they did 50 years ago.

Pairing up the visit of Hoan Kiem District with the street Murals is perfect as the wall paintings showcase the before and after evolution of Hanoi. 

Ha Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay (2-3 days)

Ha Long Bay is probably the most famous and well-known attraction in all of Vietnam. Located around 3.5 hours from Hanoi, you can take a luxurious 2-3 day cruise that will bring you through the beautiful Ha Long Bay.

Unfortunately, due to its over-popularity, the area has become exceedingly crowded and actually quite dirty. As we don’t want to support tourism that ends up harming the local environment, we didn’t end up doing the tour. However, we have heard countless reports from fellow travelers who said the bay was filled with dirty plastic bags and you shared the space with hundreds of other kayakers tightly packed.

Ha Long bay

If Ha Long Bay is on your itinerary, make sure to do some extra research to set a proper expectation. We also hear that Lan Ha Bay is an excellent alternative to Ha Long Bay, providing similar scenery but without as many crowds. 

There are also tours that combine Ha Long Bay with Lan Ha Bay, and others that have created a new sailing route. Check out these options below:



Ninh Binh (1 day)

Ninh Binh is located about 2-2.5 hours from Hanoi and is the perfect escape from the busy city. In Ninh Binh, you will be able to ride a small boat that winds between the beautiful limestone mountains and even cross through several river caves.

Ninh Binh boat ride

The ride can take around 1-1.5 hours depending on which boat road you decide to take. The view is stunning throughout and has a quite mystical feeling. If you have time, you can also climb to the top of the mountain peak to get a panoramic view of the area including the rice terraces.

There are multiple zones in Ninh Binh that you can choose to visit but the one we did is called Trang An. 

⛰️ Ninh Binh tour: includes the incredible boat ride, see the famed “Ha Long Bay on Land” mountains, and see the panoramic view for the mountaintop.

Sapa or Ha Giang Loop (3-5 days)

If you want to witness the beautiful rice terraces of Vietnam high in the mountains, then we recommend doing the Sapa Loop or the Ha Giang loop.

Villages on the mountains in Ha giang

The Sapa Loop goes through areas that have been long developed for tourism so there you will find high-quality accommodations and developed tourism villages. It is the perfect place to unwind and relax in nature while discovering the local tribes. 

The Ha Giang loop on the other hand is newer in the tourism scene and thus provides a more rustic but authentic experience. If you are curious about our experience in the Ha Giang loop, check out our post where we highlight 10 things that you must know before visiting Ha Giang.

Ryan standing on mountain in the Ha Giang loop during our 10 days Vietnam itinerary

Normally, the Sapa or Ha Giang tours last between 3-5 days, and their starting points are located about 6-7 hours drive from Hanoi. For this reason, I would not recommend any trip to Sapa or Ha Giang that is less than 3 days.

Check out these two great tour options for exploring Sapa or Ha Giang:


Our Recommendation for a 10 days Vietnam Itinerary

Having travelled over 1 month in Vietnam, we got to see quite a lot of what Vietnam has to offer. If we had only 10 days to explore this beautiful country, we would choose to focus on the South and Central parts. Below we have highlighted an itinerary that would be perfect for those seeking culture, history, and some adventure:

Nan sitting on steps of ancient building during our 10 days vietnam itinerary
  • 4 days in HCMC to see the War Remnant MuseumCu Chi Tunnels, maybe overnight at Mekong Delta, and exploring Saigon’s city attractions.
  • Take a train (18 hours) or flight (1.5 hours) to Da Nang, before taking a taxi to Hoi An (45 mins). We suggest taking a flight since the time you save is very valuable in a 10 days Vietnam itinerary. 
  • 3 days in Hoi An to explore the ancient town including the secret cocktail Hoi An tour, then day trip to Marble Mountain, visit the beach, and maybe get some custom-made clothing.
  • Take a train or bus to Dong Hoi from Da Nang (5.5 hours). From there, you can take a transport/taxi to your accommodation. For the best nature immersive experience, head towards the town of Phong Nha which is around 50 minutes from Dong Hoi and is the ideal base for cave expeditions. Alternatively, we loved our stay at Chay Lap Farmstay.
  • 3 days Phong Nha caves. You can join an Oxalis multi-day expedition, or do mini cave day tours such as visiting Paradise Cave (the most popular), Dark Cave, or Cave Kayaking.
  • Return to Dong Hoi where you can take a train or flight out

The itinerary’s activities can be easily swapped for alternatives based on your preferences. 


This post is part of our series about Vietnam. If you want to learn more about Vietnam, planning your trip, and some of the best experiences there, check out the guides below:

If you have 2-3 weeks in Vietnam

If you have 2 or 3 weeks in Vietnam, then you will have sufficient time to explore all 3 regions.

We would spend one week in the South including Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnels, and Mekong Delta. Then spend one week in the Central region where half the time is spent in Hoi An and the other half in the Phong Nha National Park. Then one week in Northern Vietnam visiting Hanoi, and including a trip to whether Ha Long Bay/Lan Ha Bay/Sapa Loop/Ha Giang loop


Things to know before arriving in Vietnam

Visa

To visit Vietnam, you will need to get a Visa. Fortunately, it is fairly easy now to apply for the visa and it can be conveniently done online. Make sure however to go to the official Vietnam visa website as many third-party websites are made to look official but then charge a hefty service fee. 

The normal cost of getting a visa should be about 600,000 VND, or 25 USD. Processing times are around 2-3 business days so make sure you apply for it ahead of time.  The E-visa is valid for an entry up to 90 days.

👉 Click here for the Official Vietnam Visa page

Transportation in Vietnam

The two main ports of entry to Vietnam are Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the far south, and Hanoi in the far north. This is where most of the international flights will be arriving and departing from.

For transportation across Vietnam, there are three main options:

Flights: there are multiple daily flights connecting the main cities of Saigon and Hanoi with the smaller towns. The most common carriers are VietJet, Vietname airlines, and Bamboo Airways. Flight prices are quite affordable usually ranging from 50$-100$ per person. You can check out the current prices here on Trip.com which we’ve frequently used in Asia.

Trains: There are multiple seated as well as sleeper trains connecting the cities. For example, going from Ho Chi MInh City to Da Nang (where you can reach Hoi An), takes around 18 hours by train. In comparison, a flight connecting the two cities takes only 1.5 hours. We recommend booking your trains with 12go.asia. We booked several times with them and everything went smoothly and the price was always the cheapest.

Bus: There are multiple bus companies that provide connections between the cities. However, we would recommend taking planes or trains given the long distances travelled and that tickets are quite affordable. If you still want to checkout buses, we would also recommend 12go.asia.

Grab App: This is the Uber equivalent in South East Asia. We have been using it almost daily and have always had an excellent experience.

Money and ATMs

In Vietnam, cash is still the most widely accepted currency. When shopping at the markets or street stands, they will only accept Cash. Even when booking accommodations from websites like Booking.com, certain establishments will reserve your room with your credit card, but you need to pay in cash upon arrival.

market prices in Ha Giang loop during our 10 days vietnam itinerary

Although it is modernizing and credit card machines are gradually becoming more available, most vendors will charge a 3%-5% service fee. For this reason, we highly recommend having cash on hand.

To take out cash, we recommend doing so from the bank ATMs. Each Bank will have a different cash withdrawal limit as well as transaction fee. For this reason, I have highlighted below the best banks with the lowest withdrawal fees to take cash from.

  • TP Bank: 5,000,000 VND withdrawal limit (195 USD), no foreign transaction fee. TP bank is also very widely available, and can provide instructions in English.
  • Agribank: 3,000,000 VND withdrawal limit (118 USD), 22,000 VND transaction fee (1$), also widely available and great for when you can’t find the TP bank.

Most other bank ATMs will charge close to 49,500 VND (2$) and have a withdrawal limit of 5,000,000 VND.


Using WISE card in Vietnam

When taking cash out of an ATM while abroad, you will most likely be charged both a foreign exchange fee and a foreign transaction fee by that country’s ATM. With my Canadian card, this can easily be 3-4$ + 2.75% + a markup on the exchange rate charged by my bank, and then another 3-5$ charged by the foreign ATM.

Wise card

This can be really costly. For this reason, we recommend using WISE card which has only minimal fees and just about no foreign currency exchange markup. This helps me save at least 5-7$ every time I take out money from an ATM. 


Is Vietnam expensive?

You’ll be happy to hear that Vietnam is a very inexpensive country to visit. Most meals can be had for under 10$ for two people if eating in a small restaurant or street food. Entrance tickets to museums are usually under 5$ per person. Transportation by Grab is also convenient and affordable, where a 30-40 min trip from the airport to the city centre costed under 6$.

Pink church in Ho Chi MInh City

The average we spent on hotels was around 30-40$ per couple per night, including breakfast. These were mid-range hotels and were both comfortable and beautifully decorated.

We would consider the cost of traveling to Vietnam to be about equivalent to that of Thailand.


Summary: 10 days Vietnam Itinerary

One of the most difficult parts of planning our Vietnam trip was figuring out what each region of Vietnam has to offer and how to best divide up our time. Each region has something truly unique to offer so we hope our highlights summary and tips helped with the decision of which areas to include in your trip. Whether you are seeking culture, history, nature, adventure, or just somewhere perfect to unwind, you are sure to find something for you in Vietnam.


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