If you’re heading to Vietnam soon and plan on staying there for a month, then I’ve got the perfect blog post for you today! It includes my favourite spots of this beautiful country, where to stay and what to avoid, so keep reading!
If you look at the map of Vietnam, it’s (geographically speaking) a long and narrow country, so it makes most sense to travel from either north to south or the opposite. I did north to south in exactly 30 days, which is perfect if you have a visa for one month. Some countries, including Germany can get a 14 day visa on arrival, in this instance I would advice doing either the north or the south as both would be super stressful!
1. Hanoi (3 days)
Most international flights will fly to Hanoi. It’s also quite cheap to fly there from other Asian countries. The capital has lots to offer and a great starting point to explore the culture of Vietnam.
More information on where to eat and what to do in Hanoi → here
2. Cat Ba Island (4 days)
This serene island is located on the outskirts of Ha Long Bay and makes the perfect spot for visiting the famous limestone cliffs! Get a scooter and drive around the island to explore caves and the national park!
Stay: Catba Central Hotel for a great atmosphere and the best family hostel dinner!
Click here for more detailled information about Cat Ba Island.
3. Ninh Binh (1 day)
Located in the countryside, Ninh Binh makes a great spot for getting to know the locals life & taking boat tours through the magnificent nature there!
4. Cuo Lac (for Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park) (2 days)
Do not miss out on this place for easy access to the incredible caves of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. I’d highly recommend Paradise Cave, Phong Nha Cave and Dark Cave! Most hostels offer tours, but if you book a driver yourself to take you around for the day, you’ll find yourself saving lots of money!
Stay: There are plenty of guest houses in Cuo Lac, I stayed at Thien Phu Hostel which was basic but alright.
Read more about my visit to the caves here!
5. Hue (2 days)
Get a glimpse at the old glory of Vietnam by visiting it’s former capital Hue. The Imperial city is well worth a visit as are the tombs of former emperors.
Stay: Hue Happy Homestay for a great atmosphere and to meet the lovely family running this place! It’s close to the Imperial City, which means it’s easy to get around on foot.
More about my visit to Hue → here
6. Hoi An (5 days)
By far my favourite city in Vietnam! There’s so much to do here: explore the ancient town, cycle to the beach, take a cooking class or have a Vietnamese coffee at one of the countless cafés!
Stay: You must stay at Sac Lo Homestay & Hostel! There is no better way to meet fellow travellers than this amazing hostel. The owner Lyna will get everyone together for dinners and you’ll feel like you’re part of the Sac Lo family instantly!
Read more here about the reasons I loved Hoi An so much.
7. Nha Trang (1 day)
This coastal town is good for a quick beach stop if you’re headed south by bus. I wouldn’t recommend staying longer than a night tough, because it’s a popular holiday destination for Russians, meaning it’s crowded and expensive compared to the rest of the country.
Stay: Tabalo Hostel has a good location and it’s super clean. Not the most social place though!
8. Dalat (5 days)
If you fancy a bit of mountain air, Dalat is the perfect place. It feels airier and fresher than other parts of Vietnam and it’s full of culture! Don’t miss out on the Crazy House, 100 Roofs Café, taking the cable car to a beautiful monastary and a stroll around the lake!
Stay: Another great hostel that hosts a daily family dinner is Tiny Tigers Hostel. It’s easy to walk everywhere and in a quiet street.
Find out more about my time in Dalat here!
9. Mui Ne (3 days)
If you don’t have enough time to go to Phu Quoc island, head to Mui Ne to get your beach fix! Although there aren’t that many beaches, the town itself is really nice and has lots of seafood restaurants. You can go see the sand dunes or the fishermen in the local harbour. If you’re looking for a good night out, Dragon Beach is a good call!
Stay: There aren’t that many hostels around and I stayed at Mui Ne Backpacker Village which has a great pool and is located right on the main street with plenty of restaurants nearby.
10. Ho Chi Minh City (4 days)
The largest city of Vietnam is a must-see! I found it very different from Hanoi, but it’s hard to say how. It’s a great spot to explore the surroundings and take a trip to the Mekong Delta or to the Cu Chi Tunnels!
Stay: Sometimes you also need to give advice on where not to stay. When I got to Ho Chi Minh, everything was almost fully booked, so me and another girl booked the last rooms at Vietnam Inn Saigon, which turned out to be a full on party hostel. Not only was it incredibly loud, it was also dirty as hell. One word: Cockroaches!
If you want to treat yourself to a hotel, I’d recommend Yen Trang 2 Hotel. It’s close to Bui Vien and clean and quiet!
Read this post for more information on what to do in Ho Chi Minh City!
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