A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide

Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah

As soon as you shortlist the place you are planning to travel to next among the numerous holiday destinations on your wishlist, the actual task will start post that. Because up until now, the excitement was the highlight. But post that, it’s necessary to get into work mode to make a proper itinerary which will ensure that you can enjoy the location to the fullest and don’t miss out on any experience that is worth the trouble. Adequate planning for the trip did help me have a great time in Vietnam without wasting time thinking about what to do next. Here I am sharing my very own itinerary with you to help you plan your Vietnam tour as well. So let me take you with me in a day-wise breakdown of a memorable time in Vietnam!

Places To Visit In Vietnam

Day 1: Saigon Arrival (Tan Son Nhat International Airport)

As the direct flight was available from Mumbai, I caught an early morning one so that I could land in Saigon after a four and half hour long journey. Saigon, being the largest city in Vietnam, was on my list to explore anyway. So I took the opportunity to do so. You can witness the influence of the French community on its architecture which is worth viewing in itself. I decided to grab a quick beer by the riverside as this city is known for its craft beer along with delicious food.

Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport

Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah

Day 2: Chu Chi Tunnels

The next day, I headed off to Ho Chi Ming city which is the official capital of Vietnam. This day was dedicated to making the most of my time in the city. So I booked myself a half-day tour in order to experience the Chu Chi tunnels, which are a highly extensive network of tunnels that are spread out all across the city. The rest of the day is dedicated to exploring the city as a local and lounging around at the famous spots here.

Củ Chi tunnels(Entrance sign at the tunnels.)

Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah

Chu Chi tunnel – Vietnam

Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah

Day 3: Mekong Delta

As the name already gives away, the Mekong Delta is set on a water body. In order to enjoy the waters, I booked myself a Mekong Delta tour in advance. This tour started from the city of Ho Chi Minh in a private boat with a long tail. The guide accompanying us was highly experienced hence the cruise through the river was informative. Throughout the trip, the islands and villages coming along the way were pleasant to witness. This tour also offers the local cuisine of Mekong specialty dishes as a part of lunch that can’t be found elsewhere. You can also have a pit stop to try out exotic fruits or tour a coconut candy farm.

Mekong Delta

Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah

Day 4: Flight to Da Nang

The next day, I woke up slightly earlier than usual to catch a flight to Da Nang. This is a coastal city in Vietnam that is majorly popular for housing sandy beaches and a reflection of the remnants of the French colony that it was. On the other side of the beaches, one can find the hillside that offers a spectacular view of the Marble Mountains and Da Nang Bay. As I had some time to spare before my next activity, I took the liberty of exploring limestone caves that are known to have hidden Buddhist shrines.

Da Nang

Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah

Day 5: Ba Na Hills

On enjoying the tropical beauty, I thought let's go and check out the hilly terrain this country has to offer. Hence my next stop was the Ba Na Hills. The views that you can witness from here will literally take your breath away! This place gained popularity mainly because of the giant hands that hold the Golden Bridge. I took a cable car to visit this as I watched on CNN that it is one of the ten most impressive cable car systems all across the globe and of course they were right. Ba Na Hills also has Sun World which is an entertainment resort that has some of the most unique features you can ever find.

Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills

Photo of Golden Bridge, Hòa Vang by Meeta Shah

Day 6: Explore Hanoi

After an eventful day at the Ba Na Hills, my next stop was the city of Hanoi. If you’re planning a Vietnam trip, this city already must be a part of your places worth visiting. Hanoi is the second largest city in this country and is officially its capital. On entering, I felt like it was just another new-age city. But I’m glad that I had kept aside a day to simply explore it because this city is brimming with architecture that dates back centuries ago and is an amalgamation of cultures inspired by China, Southeast Asia, and France.


Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah

Day 7: Hanoi Full City Tour

After venturing into the city myself, I went ahead with the full-day city tour I had booked for myself as such tours help with covering all the worth visiting aspects of a place. As it was a full-day tour, it lasted roughly for around seven to eight hours and was fulfilling, to say the least. It covered important places such as the Temple of Literature, the first National University of Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh complex, etc. I could take a stroll around HoanKiem Lake which is considered the heart of this city. The traditional water puppet show which is a classic representation of Vietnamese culture was the highlight of my day!

Hanoi City

Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah

Day 8: Halong Bay Cruise

I wanted my last day to be special so I reserved the Halong Bay Cruise for the last. This is actually the miniature version of the fancy cruises and the size difference is because the duration of this cruise is not as long as the fancy ones. The purpose of this cruise is to enjoy the serene beauty around which is not possible from the surface of the land. It gradually sails through the waters giving you an adequate view of the natural beauty that is around you and also the islands you pass by. You can simply lounge on the deck or the balcony of your room to soak in this experience.

Halong Bay Cruise

Photo of A trip through Vietnam: an extensive guide by Meeta Shah


I came back from my Vietnam tour feeling highly content that I could have a taste of all the major highlights of a country that I was aiming to visit for a while. The best part about my holiday was that this country is filled with such a vast variety of things to do that there isn’t a dull moment and the variety keeps you engaged throughout!