10 Days in Vietnam: The Best 10 Day Vietnam Itinerary For First Timers

Have 10 days in Vietnam? Vietnam is full of amazing places to see but if you want to see the best places in Vietnam, then follow my 10 day Vietnam Itinerary! This Vietnam itinerary is based on my repeated trips to Vietnam so I can guarantee you will love these places!

Vietnam is probably one of the most underrated countries in Southeast Asia. While most of the tourists flock to Thailand or Singapore, I loved Vietnam so much that I went back multiple times just to explore different regions of Vietnam.

Vietnam is a country with rich history and culture, incredible food, beautiful beaches, mountains and scenery that will leave you surprised and amazed. It is one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia and it is probably the No.1 country I would recommend visiting in SE Asia.

There are many ways to spend 10 days in Vietnam. This Vietnam itinerary will focus on how to see the highlights of Vietnam from North to South.

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Planning your first trip to Vietnam?

I have written a TON on Vietnam to help you plan your amazing Vietnam trip.

Whether you are planning to spend 10 days or 2 weeks in Vietnam, you will definitely find these articles helpful.

From sleeper trains to Halong Bay cruise to Ba Na Hills to Hue, these articles will for sure make your trip memorable and fun!

Hue abandoned water park dragon

Where To Visit in Vietnam

Vietnam has a diverse landscape, spanning from the North to South, including mountains, rivers (and bay), rice terraces, the largest cave in the world, and beaches. Vietnam offers both modern cities and ancient towns, providing you with different experiences and a glance into its history.

Some of the best places to visit in Vietnam include (by Region):

Northern Vietnam

Central Vietnam

  • DaNang
  • Hue
  • Hoi An
  • Son Dong Cave
  • My Son Sanctuary

Southern Vietnam

  • Dalat
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Phu Quoc
  • Nha Trang

This 10 day Vietnam itinerary will cover some of the places above, assuming you are a first time visitor! Since there are multiple ways to plan a Vietnam trip and my itinerary is only an example you can follow, you can always swap out certain things as you plan your own Vietnam trip. Regardless of what you plan to do and see in Vietnam, I am still super jealous of all the great experience and food you will have on your trip.

Things To Know Before Visiting Vietnam For The First Time

  • Vietnam Tourist Visa may be required if you are from certain countries (like from the US or Canada). Make sure to check the visa requirement before you go. Some countries do enjoy visa-free entry into Vietnam, including many EU and Asian Countries (excluding China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc).

    You can apply for the Vietnam E-Visa online yourself on the official government website. It takes no more than 10 minutes and only costs USD 25. Follow my step by step instruction on how to apply for a Vietnam e-Visa.
  • Currency in Vietnam is Vietnamese Dong and 1 USD is about 23,500 Vietnamese Dong.
  • You need to have cash with you in Vietnam; most places do not accept credit card. You should have some USD (or Euros) with you so you can convert in Vietnam (like at hotels and banks) as ATMs are not readily available everywhere.
  • Use ATMs if you intend on taking out cash. You get better rates at local ATMs than if you were to exchange money
  • Do not drink the tap water in Vietnam and try not to get ice cubes with your drinks; buy water but make sure the bottles are properly sealed
  • Download Whatsapp! Businesses are done over Whatsapp (like bus/ train booking, hotel communication etc). It is so much easier to communicate over Whatsapp than email.
  • Your hotel can help you book almost everything, such as transportation, tours, attractions, etc.
  • A travel adapter/ converter is needed if you are traveling from North America and Europe.
  • Use an eSim or get a physical sim for Vietnam if you need internet.
  • Vaccine requirements for Vietnam: I didn’t take any special vaccines but if you are curious, visit the official CDC website here.

Where to Stay in Vietnam

It is super easy to find cheap (but good) accommodations in Vietnam. In fact we’ve stayed at a wide range of hotels and guest houses in Vietnam, from $30 a day to $200 a day (for two people).

The detailed itinerary below shows you where to stay in Vietnam in each of the cities on this itinerary but here I will give you a short highlight. These are the places I’ve stayed at in Vietnam since I’ve been a couple of times.

10 Day Vietnam Itinerary

Here is an overview of how to spend 10 days in Vietnam, then you will see the detailed day to day itinerary. This itinerary starts from the North in the capital city of Vietnam and moves down south.

Day 1: Hanoi
Day 2: Ninh Binh
Day 3-4: Halong Bay Cruise
Day 5-6: Hoi An in Central Vietnam
Day 7 & 8: Ho Chi Minh City
Day 9 & 10: Phu Quoc Island

Day 1: Hanoi

Start your 10 day Vietnam journey in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam and the largest city in Northern Vietnam. It is a super nice city to visit and a great place to start your 10 days in Vietnam.

If you are flying into Hanoi, here is a guide on Hanoi Airport to Old Quarters to give you some ideas on the best way to go to Old Quarters. For first time visitors, you will most likely be staying in the Old Quarter and do sightseeing around there.

This is a photo of Hanoi street early in the morning with a lot of people and motorcycles
Hanoi in the morning

Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and it is a cultural mix of Western and Eastern influences. As you wander around Hanoi, you will see there are many well preserved colonial buildings as well as ancient pagodas in Hanoi.

What to see in Hanoi

A few famous places in Hanoi you can check out include

  • Hanoi Old Quarter
  • Temple of Literature
  • Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Night markets (beware of pickpockets)
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Ho Chi Minh Museum
  • Visit pagodas and Cathedrals
  • Thong Nhat Park
  • Train Street
  • Beer Corner

I absolutely loved just walking around the Old Quarter to see what local life is like there. You will find tons of street food vendors, shops and coffee shops. If you see something that looks appealing, be sure to stop and try it!

In particular I enjoyed walking around the Old Quarter at night. On specific nights there will be night markets where you can buy souvenirs, clothes, food, and other small trinkets. You should also stop by the super famous Beer Street if you want to see how lively Old Quarter gets at night! I was walking alone and felt totally safe around 7-9pm!

This is a photo of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi during sunset with the golden hue
Hoan Kiem Lake

You can also watch a show at the Opera House, see a water puppet show in Hanoi and shop at the famous Dong Xuan Market.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This is a photo of Hanoi Train Street with a train coming through
Hanoi Train Street

One very famous Instagram worthy thing to do in Hanoi is to visit the Hanoi Train Street, where you can watch an actual train speed by along a cramped street full of cafes and shops (although some cafes may have closed due to government order and the pandemic).

Due to accidents in recent years, train streets do randomly get “closed down” but you can still visit. The most popular stretch of the train street have a lot of cafes and sometimes you will need a cafe owner to bring you in from the “backdoor”.

Other parts of train street without cafes are always open.

This is a photo of girl in a orange dress standing on the Hanoi Train Street on the tracks

Usually the trains come at 3:20pm (weekends only) and 7:30pm (weekday) but the timing is not always accurate. It’s best to go before the scheduled time and just wait around.

Tours You Should Consider in Hanoi

Hanoi has a ton of things to eat and I think you really should take one of the street food tours to explore the best local flavors. I highly recommend this Hanoi street food tour if you are curious about authentic Vietnamese cuisine!

If you are scared of street food don’t worry, you can always do a cooking class. I personally love the cooking class because you really get to learn how to make authentic Vietnamese dish at home.

Where to stay in Hanoi

I stayed at the Meritel Hanoi in the center of Old Quarter. The hotel is super modern with a rooftop pool and they helped us book our day trips to Tam Coc and Ha Long Bay overnight cruise the first time we visited Vietnam.

Another 2 hotels we stayed at in Hanoi during our two visits were Babylon Premium Hotel and La Storia Ruby Hotel. Both were good and La Storia Ruby Hotel was quite cheap and sufficient.

This is a photo of Meritel Hotel Hanoi Vietnam
Meritel Hanoi

If you want to stay somewhere very luxurious in Hanoi, then I would recommend either the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi or the Movenpick Hotel Hanoi. But personally I think the hotels I mentioned above are already really nice and clean.

Read Next: How to Spend 2 days in Sapa

Day 2: Tam Coc (Ninh Binh) Day Trip From Hanoi

Take a day trip from Hanoi the next day to Tam Coc, an area in Ninh Binh.

Tam Coc is known as “Halong Bay on land“. It’s an area with rice paddies and Ngo Dong River running through limestone caves and mountains. It’s located 90 km from Hanoi but it’s way less crowded than Hanoi or Halong Bay.

You can take a full day tour to Tam Coc and different tours do offer different options.

  • Tour Option 1: Goes to Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, Mua Cave (beautiful view of the area), Tam Coc boat ride on Ngo Dong River and Bich Dong Pagoda.
  • Tour Option 2: Includes Bai Dinh Pagoda, Mua Cave and a 3 hour Trang An Boat ride (which is different than the 2 hour Tam Coc Boat ride above).

This is a photo of Tam Coc boat ride in Vietnam
Tam Coc boat ride

With the first tour, you can do the boat ride on the Ngo Dong River, where the rowers are local ladies who use their feet to row the boat. They are so good at it that it feels like they’ve been doing it forever. I suppose it’s just a lot easier to row with your legs/feet instead of arms.

This 3 hour Trang An Boat Ride with the second tour has 3 different routes and you get to pick the route and get off the boat at each stop along the boat ride. I really liked the Trang An boat ride (more than the Tam Coc one actually).

The whole area of Tam Coc looked like it’s straight out of a painting. I actually think the scenery in Ninh Binh (Tam Coc) is the most beautiful during our 10 days in Vietnam trip.

If you do not want to join a tour, you can definitely visit Ninh Binh by yourself from Hanoi. You can rent a scooter (or hire a private taxi) once you are in Tam Coc to explore all the spots.

You can take buses or trains (or even private transfer) from Hanoi by booking them on this website. This would give you more flexibility especially if you plan to stay overnight or spend more time at a particular spot.

Day 3 & 4: Halong Bay Overnight Boat Cruise

Halong Day is famous for its thousands of limestone islands in the emerald water. It is located in Northern Vietnam about 3-4 hours from Hanoi. Most people take an overnight boat tour on Ha Long Bay because it’s simply too far from Hanoi to do a day trip.

I have been to Halong Bay twice and had a good time both times.

This is a photo of Halong Bay Cruise with a girl in a red swimsuit in the pool on the deck

Different cruise companies offer different types of activities and amenities. Some of the cruise companies go to Lan Ha Bay and the itinerary includes exploring caves at Cat Ba Island, swimming and morning kayaking.

Some other cruise companies go to Halong Bay and they would go to floating villages and hiking up Titop Island for a panoramic view of Halong Bay.

Halong Bay view with floating villages

While onboard, Halong Bay cruises generally have Tai-chi class, cooking class, lounge chairs, deck, Happy Hour (you need to pay for the drinks), common area with TV and DVDs, evening squid fishing, etc.

Halong Bay Cave

Having done the Halong Bay cruise twice, I really do feel the cruise was the most relaxing part of our entire 10 day Vietnam itinerary (and yes I did two 10 day trips in Vietnam and both were intense!)

Everything was arranged and you just relax on one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world. You also get to try some Vietnamese wine and beer on the boat with this view, so what more could you need?

In recent years many newer cruises offer a route to Lan Ha Bay (a part of Halong Bay that is not as touristy). If you want a more laidback and relaxing trip to Halong Bay you can consider cruises offering routes to Lan Ha Bay.

Halong Bay luxury cruise in Vietnam

Some of the most luxurious Halong Bay cruises now include Emperor Cruise, Orchid Cruise, Stellar of the Seas Cruise, Heritage Cruise, etc. These are the instagram worthy cruises that you often see on social media with the pool on deck and floor to ceiling glass bathrooms.

To learn more about Halong Bay, see my complete Halong Bay Cruise guide.

Day 5 & 6: Hoi An Ancient Town

After spending a few lovely days in Northern Vietnam it was time to start traveling south to the middle of Vietnam. Hoi An is an ancient town located in the middle of Vietnam (near the water on the eastern side of the country).

This is a photo of Hoi An Ancient Town with yellow walls and pretty flowers above the wall | Hoi An travel guide

Hoi An is one of the most well known towns in Vietnam due to its well preserved historical center and the colorful lanterns and buildings. It used to be a major trading port from the 15th to 19th century. Since it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will get to experience how life looked like back in the days.

How to Hoi An From Hanoi

To travel from Hanoi to Hoi An, the fastest way is to fly. There are trains and buses to Hoi An but they take much longer although if you are planning to do an overnight bus or train these are good choices.

Hoi An does not have an airport of its own, so travelers need to fly from Hanoi to Danang (which is also a cool place to visit, it has a beach!). There are over 20 flights from Hanoi to Da Nang everyday and it’s a short flight about 1.5 hours.

Once you land in Da Nang, look for the bus station to Hoi An. Alternatively you can take a taxi or have your hotel pick you up. Our hotel offered to pick us up at 315.000 vnd/car, which is about 15 USD.

Things to See in Hoi An

  • Japanese Covered Bridge: The most famous site in Hoi An is the Japanese Covered Bridge, it’s a historical piece of Japanese architecture. If you want to walk through the bridge then you have to pay an entrance fee, so most visitors actually opt to just take a photo in front of the Japanese Covered Bridge.
  • Assembly Halls: There are a number of assembly halls in Hoi An and they were built by the Chinese community that lived there during the trading period. Some of the most famous Assembly Halls in Hoi An include Cantonese Asembly Hall and Fujian Assembly Hall.
  • Visit the Old Houses: Within the touristy zone there are 18th century Old Houses. You can visit these Old Houses and do a guided tour to learn more about the architecture as well as the historical background of them. We visited Tan Ky Old House and it was really interesting to know what the family experienced back then.
  • Visit a local market: If you are interested to see how locals shop or just want to look for some cheap fruits and everyday items, then be sure to stop by the Hoi An Central Market. I was able to get a large T-shirt (as PJ), nail clipper and other random things from the central market.
  • Get clothes tailored: Hoi An is tailor capital of Vietnam so you can find a large number of tailor shops in the old town. We went to Ba Ri to get a couple of dresses made and the turn around time was within 2 days.
  • Enjoy the lanterns at night: Hoi An is literally the cutest with all the lanterns lit up on its streets at night.
  • Check out Hoi An Night Market: Night market is a popular thing to do in Hoi An south of the river. You can find cooked food as well as clothes, gadgets and souvenirs at the night market.
  • Take a boat ride & release lanterns: A super romantic thing to do in Hoi An is to take a 20 minute boat ride on Thu Bon River at night. You can pre-book the boat here.

Read Next: How to spend one day in Hoi An – what to do and eat in Hoi An

(Optional Day Trip From Hoi An) Golden Bridge (Hand Bridge) in Ba Na Hills

In June 2018, Vietnam opened an incredibly cool looking bridge called the Golden Bridge near the city of Da Nang in Ba Na Hills Resort. Photos on social media immediately attracted tons of tourist and many visitors are going to Vietnam just for the Golden Bridge or the Hand Bridge.

Golden Bridge is located in a theme park called Sun World Ba Na Hills and can only be visited by riding a cable car up in the Ba Na Hills Resort. The bridge is 1500m above sea level and it’s about 500ft long.

Fortunately for those of you visiting Hoi An, you can take a taxi from Hoi An to Ba Na hills in about 1-1.5 hours to visit the Golden Bridge.

This is a photo of the Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills

After you visit the Golden Bridge, you should also explore other attractions at Ba Na Hills such as the French Village, Le Jardin D’Amour, Linh Ung Pagoda, etc.

This is a photo of Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park
Ba Na Hills Fantasy Park

You can check out my Golden Hand Bridge guide to get more details.

If you have some extra time in Vietnam, be sure to check out this 3 day Danang itinerary which also includes how to visit the Golden Bridge.

Where to Stay in Hoi An

For beach lovers, you would love the luxury Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa  or the Dai An Phu Villa. You can walk to the beach in under 5 minutes and there is a free shuttle service to Hoi An Ancient Town. There are spas and massages at the hotel for a truly luxurious experience.

For those who want to stay in a medium ranged hotel closer to the Hoi An ancient town, I would recommend either the Silk Luxury Hotel & Spa or Vinh Hung Heritage hotel.

If you are a budget traveler, there are nice hotels/ hostels that cost less than 30 USD a night that’s close to the center of Hoi An historical town such as Hoi An Ivy Hotel or Q Villa. We stayed at Q Villa and loved it.

Day 7 & 8: Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam by population. It’s located in the Southern part of Vietnam and has a tropical (wet and dry season) climate.

Ho Chi Minh City played an important role during the Vietnam War (anti-communist). Before that it was ruled by the Japanese and French, so that’s why most of the architectures you see in Ho Chi Mihn City are of French influence.

You can fly to Ho Chi Minh directly on Jetstar from Da Nang.

What to do in Ho Chi Minh City: some of the things you can do in Saigon include the

  • Cu Chi Tunnels (underground tunnels used during the Vietnam War)
  • Binh Tay Market and Ben Thanh Market
  • Independence Palace
  • War Remnants Museum
  • Cao Dai Temple
  • Jade emperor Pagoda
  • Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
  • bar hopping at Pham Ngu Lau Street
  • Visit a rooftop bar

If you have time, you can also do some excursions outside of the city, such as a visit to the Mekong Delta, the Cai Be Floating Market, etc.

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh: if you are looking to stay at a hostel, check out this post on hostels in Ho Chi Minh.

If you prefer a more luxurious experience, then I would highly recommend either The Reverie Saigon, Silverland Yen Hotel, or the Alagon D’antique Hotel & Spa.

Day 9 & 10: Beach At Phú Quốc

After the hustling and bustling of Saigon, it’s time to relax on the beach! Most people don’t realize that Vietnam has nice beaches (at least I didn’t know) but I was pleasantly surprised by the island of Phu Quoc.

Phu Quoc Island is located off the coast of Cambodia and is known for its white sand beaches and resorts. It’s a hidden gem because most tourists go to islands in Thailand so Phu Quoc is not nearly as crowded as Thailand.

Even though it was February but since the island is so south that it was actually a nice beach weather. There is a direct flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc so it was perfect for our itinerary.

Where to stay in Phu Quoc: there are a lot of wonderful hotels in Phu Quoc by the beach, such as the Seashells Phu Quoc Hotel & Spa, L’Azure Resort and Spa, Movenpick Villas & Residences, Dusit Princess Moonrise Beach Resort, etc. These 5 star hotels are no more than $150 a night which is crazy to me since they would cost over $1000 a night in Hawaii or something!

What to do in Phu Quoc: BEACH!! There are many nice beaches in Phu Quoc such as Truong Beach, Vung Bau Beach, and Sao Beach. The most famous one would be the Sao beach.

This is a photo of Vietnam Beach in Phu Quoc | Where to go in Vietnam in 10 days

This is a photo of Sao Beach in Phu Quoc | Things to do in Southern Vietnam
Sao Beach

If you are a fan of kayaking then this kayaking and starfish tour would be perfect for you.

Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities on Phu Quoc since the water is warm and calm.

This is a photo of of Phu Quoc Island Trip | How to see North and South Vietnam

This is a photo of Vung Bau Beach Vietnam | Best way to spend 10 days in Vietnam

Besides beach, you can also take the famous Phu Quoc cable car from Phu Quoc to Hon Thom Island. It takes about 15 minutes each way and it is a breathtaking experience. You get amazing views of the sea and islands on a clear day and it is the longest non-stop 3 way cable car in the world.

Other Vietnam Trip Planning Tips and Things to Know

Best (and worst) months to visit Vietnam

In general, December to April are the best months to visit Vietnam, avoiding the rainy season that takes place from June to October.

But since Vietnam is a very “long” country, there are different climates in different regions of Vietnam:

  • Northern Vietnam: generally a lot cooler than the rest of the country. However, if you are in mountainous regions, the whether during November to March can be quite foggy and cold but relatively dry.
  • Central Vietnam: enjoys tropical climate and has pretty warm weather almost year round. Central Vietnam gets the most amount of rainfall between September and November and there is a high chance of flooding.
  • Southern Vietnam: generally enjoys a relatively consistent warm weather all year round, with the highest level of rainfall from May to October. The islands in Vietnam will be warm enough even in the “winter” months, but with the most clear skies in February.

How to get around Vietnam

It is pretty easy to get around Vietnam, and some of the most popular methods to get around Vietnam include:

  • Rent a moped or motorbike: This is a flexible way to get around Vietnam cheaply. Motorbikes up to 50 cc can be ridden in Vietnam without a license, but this may not be the best option for long distance. If you are thinking about simply riding around a city, then this is the perfect option.
  • Take a local bus: Local buses are the easiest way to travel long distance in Vietnam. You can take a sleeper bus to save time during your travel. This is the best website to book a Vietnam bus.
  • Take a sleeper train: Sleeper trains are another convenient way to get around Vietnam. I took a luxury sleeper train to get from Hanoi to Sapa. This is the best website to book a sleeper train.
  • Ride a shared van: You can easily book a shared luxury van to get around Vietnam. These vans come with AC and USB port and we took these vans to get to Halong Bay and Ninh Binh and loved them.
  • Call car services: There is no Uber in Vietnam but you can use Grab App to call a car. It works just like Uber but I had to use cash to pay as for some reason my credit card didn’t go through.
  • Take a flight: You can easily fly around Vietnam for cheap. I always took Vietnamese Airlines as it was more reliable and our flight from Hue to Hanoi was only 50 USD. My friends have taken Bamboo Airways or VietJet but said VietJet changed their flight to 3 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Is Vietnam safe?

Vietnam is a pretty safe country for tourists, even for female solo travelers.

However, like any Southeast Asia country, there is petty crime such as pick pocketing. Be sure to watch your bags/wallets closely, especially in crowded areas (and if you do not look Asian).

I have heard stories from friends that their purses were slashed from behind when they were shopping at street markets in Hanoi.

If you have jewelry you may want to leave them at home. It is not prudent to flaunt your wealth with big bling blings in Vietnam. You may not get robbed but it’s frowned upon.

For those who are not familiar with the traffic conditions in Vietnam, you will need to watch out for cars and motorbikes. Motorbikes are the main transportation in Vietnam and in cities like Hanoi, it can get quite overwhelming.

Even though the drivers will try to avoid you (they are very good at that!), but still use caution when crossing the streets. Try to follow locals when crossing the street in Vietnam.

Vietnam Street scene | The complete first-timer Vietnam Itinerary

If you are thinking about taking overnight trains or buses, then the good news is that these types of public transportation is safe for solo travelers.

I took both overnight trains and buses, and they felt perfectly safe.

What to Eat in Vietnam

Different regions in Vietnam also have different speciality food. You will need to do some research to figure out what are the best local specialities are in each region. But in general, here are what some of the typical dishes are in Vietnam.

  • Pho: The famous Vietnamese noodle soup made with beef or chicken broth, rice noodles, and a variety of fresh herbs and condiments. It is one of the best things you can eat in Northern Vietnam (at least I find the ones in Northern Vietnam tastier)
  • Bánh Mì: World renowned Vietnamese sandwiches, which are typically filled with a combination of grilled meats, vegetables, pâté, and fresh herbs, served in a baguette. I had the best Banh Mi in Hoi An!
  • Gỏi Cuốn: Fresh spring rolls filled with shrimp, herbs, pork, rice vermicelli, and other ingredients, often served with a peanut dipping sauce.
  • Bún Chả: Grilled pork patties and sliced pork belly served over vermicelli noodles, often accompanied by fresh herbs, peanuts, and a dipping sauce. There are some really good places for this in Hanoi Old Quarter.
  • Cơm Tấm: Broken rice served with grilled pork, fried egg, and fish sauce, often garnished with pickled vegetables.
  • Bánh Xèo: Vietnamese sizzling pancakes filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs, typically served with a dipping sauce. You can find some of these really good ones in Hue
  • Bún Bò Huế: A spicy beef noodle soup originating from the city of Hue, featuring tender slices of beef and pork, lemongrass, and chili
  • Cá Kho Tộ: A popular Vietnamese braised fish dish, often cooked in a caramelized sauce with black pepper and served with rice
  • Bánh Cuốn: Steamed rice rolls filled with ground pork, mushrooms, and other ingredients, often served with fried shallots and fish sauce
  • Chả Giò: Fried spring rolls, often filled with ground meat, shrimp, and vegetables, wrapped in rice paper
  • Hủ tiếu: A noodle soup dish with a clear and flavorful broth, typically containing seafood, pork, and rice noodles
  • Bánh Canh: A thick Vietnamese noodle soup made with wide, udon-like noodles and a variety of toppings, including seafood, meat, or vegetables.
  • Hấp Hủ tiếu Nam Vang: A dish featuring clear rice noodles topped with a mixture of shrimp, squid, pork, and a special savory sauce.
  • Bánh Khoai: A Vietnamese crepe or pancake often filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts.

There are also a ton of popular Vietnamese desserts that you should try, and here are some of the famous ones:

  • Vietnamese coffee: You absolutely cannot leave Vietnam without trying their coffee, especially the famed Egg Coffee and Coconut Coffee!
  • Chè: Chè is a broad category of Vietnamese sweet soups or puddings made with a variety of ingredients. These can include mung beans, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, lotus seeds, tapioca pearls, and fruits.
  • Bánh Bò: Bánh bò, also known as Vietnamese honeycomb cake, is a spongy, steamed cake made from rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, and coconut milk. It has a unique honeycomb-like texture.
  • Bánh Chuối Hấp: This is a steamed banana cake, typically made with ripe bananas, rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. It’s a moist and fragrant dessert.
  • Bánh Flan: Bánh flan is the Vietnamese version of crème caramel or flan. It consists of a layer of caramelized sugar topped with a creamy, egg-based custard.
  • Bánh Tiêu: Bánh tiêu are Vietnamese hollow doughnuts that are deep-fried until they puff up and turn golden brown. They are often filled with sweet mung bean paste or custard.
  • Chuối Nếp Nướng: Grilled sticky rice and bananas are a delightful dessert often found in Vietnam. The combination of grilled sticky rice and caramelized bananas creates a sweet and slightly smoky flavor.
  • Kem Xôi: This dessert combines two popular Vietnamese items, kem (ice cream) and xôi (sticky rice). The sticky rice is often dyed with natural colors and served with a scoop of ice cream.

To find good restaurants to eat in Vietnam, I would recommend that you use Google Maps and TripAdvisor! We used both and found the reviews spot on!

How to get a SIM card and internet in Vietnam

I highly recommend that you get a SIM card when traveling in Vietnam. You can also purchase a Vietnam SIM card at the airport when you first arrive.

The most popular tourist SIM cards are offered by Viettel, Mobiphone, Vietnamobile and VinaPhone. I’ve seen a lot of people using Viettel so you can definitely consider that. You can ask for a 1 month tourist sim which costs about 10 – 20 USD (price and package may change since things change fast there).

If you want the convenience of just having your internet work right after you land, you can consider getting a Vietnam eSIM with Vietnamesim.com before you fly.

They provide a wide range of data plans and the most popular plan is 120GB for 30 days (max 4 GB per day) including free first 20 minutes of every call to Vinaphone numbers. I activated the eSim to one of my phones before I flew and internet worked immediately when I landed in Vietnam, so it was super convenient.

If you have T Mobile Magenta Plans (or Magenta Max Plans), you can enjoy free internet roaming. Magenta Max plans give you 5GB of high speed internet (then after that it’s 256kps speed) and Magenta plans give you 256kps speed internet.

Booking Resources for Vietnam

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Read My Other Vietnam Travel Blogs

Be sure to check out my other Vietnam travel resources to help plan your trip!

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