Vietnam is a captivating country that pops up on the bucket list of many travellers worldwide. With its rich history, vibrant culture, diverse landscapes, and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder so many tourists flock to this Southeast Asian gem. In this article, we’ll guide you on planning the perfect Vietnam travel itinerary in just five steps. To do so, we’ll delve into everything from choosing the ideal time to visit, highlighting must-see places, suggesting activities, and sharing valuable tips for a memorable experience. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey and unlock the secrets to crafting your dream Vietnamese vacation.

Table of Content

  1. Choosing the Best Time to Visit Vietnam
  2. Exploring Regional Highlights
  3. Prioritizing Experiences and Activities
  4. Securing Accommodation and Transportation
  5. Respecting Local Customs and Culture

Choosing the Best Time to Visit Vietnam

The first step in creating the perfect Vietnam itinerary is selecting the best time to visit. Vietnam’s elongated shape means its climate varies significantly from north to south. As such, it’s crucial to consider weather patterns and regional factors carefully when planning your trip.

North Vietnam

North Vietnam experiences four distinct seasons, making it a great destination year-round. However, each season presents a unique set of advantages and challenges:

  • Spring (March to May): Warm weather with occasional showers, perfect for outdoor activities and celebrating the Lunar New Year.
  • Summer (June to August): Hot and humid, with heavy rainfall. Ideal for budget travelers as it’s the low season.
  • Autumn (September to November): Mild temperatures and clear skies, ideal for photographers and nature lovers.
  • Winter (December to February): Cold and dry, suitable for trekking and admiring the stunning rice terraces.

Central Vietnam

Central Vietnam has a more consistent climate, with hot and dry conditions lasting from January to August, and rainy season stretching from September to December. The ideal time to visit is from February to May, when temperatures are comfortable and precipitation minimal.

South Vietnam

In the southern regions of Vietnam, the climate is divided into a dry season (December to April) and a wet season (May to November). The best time to visit South Vietnam is December to March, when the weather is most pleasant with less humidity and rainfall.

Exploring Regional Highlights

Vietnam’s diverse landscape spans from picturesque mountain ranges to pristine white-sand beaches. Make the most of your visit by identifying must-see sights and destinations in each region.

North Vietnam Highlights

  1. Hanoi: The bustling capital city, steeped in history and rich in culture
  2. Halong Bay: A UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for its emerald waters and towering limestone islands
  3. Sapa: A picturesque mountain town surrounded by picturesque rice terraces and minority villages
  4. Ninh Binh: An inland Halong Bay, known for its striking karst formations and traditional rural life

Central Vietnam Highlights

  1. Hue: A city steeped in imperial history, home to the ancient Imperial City and royal tombs
  2. Hoi An: A charming UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its well-preserved Ancient Town and lantern-lined streets
  3. Da Nang: A coastal city boasting white-sand beaches, the Marble Mountains, and the iconic Golden Bridge
  4. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park: A UNESCO-listed park filled with remarkable caves, including the world’s largest- Son Doong Cave

South Vietnam Highlights

  1. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): Vietnam’s largest metropolis, offering a mix of modern skyscrapers and historic French colonial buildings
  2. Mekong Delta: A fertile region characterized by sprawling wetlands, colorful floating markets, and rustic villages
  3. Phu Quoc Island: A paradise for beach-lovers, boasting idyllic sandy shores and lush tropical jungles
  4. Cu Chi Tunnels: An extensive underground network offering a glimpse into the lives of Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War

Prioritizing Experiences and Activities

With a plethora of fascinating destinations and experiences to discover, it’s essential to prioritize your personal interests when planning your Vietnam itinerary. Consider the following activities:

History and Culture

Explorer Vietnam’s rich history and immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting renowned museums, exploring ancient temples, and sampling traditional dishes. Additionally, consider attending traditional performances, such as water puppet shows or musical events.

Adventure and Outdoor Activities

For thrill-seekers, Vietnam offers a wealth of outdoor activities, including trekking, cave exploration, and watersports. Take advantage of the country’s varied landscapes to embark on unforgettable adventures.

Food and Culinary Experiences

Vietnamese cuisine is both diverse and delectable. Savour your taste buds by attending street food tours, enrolling in cooking classes, or simply indulging in the local culinary scene at popular restaurants and markets.

Relaxation and Wellness

Take time to unwind by relaxing on pristine beaches, rejuvenating at luxurious spas, or attending wellness retreats in Vietnam’s tranquil countryside.

Securing Accommodation and Transportation

Once you’ve identified your preferred destinations and experiences, it’s time to book your accommodation and secure transportation. Keep the following tips in mind:


Vietnam offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts. Research and compare multiple options, taking into account factors such as location, amenities, and reviews from fellow travelers. Popular accommodation booking platforms include, Agoda, and Airbnb.


Thanks to Vietnam’s extensive transport network, getting around the country is relatively straightforward. With domestic flights, trains, buses, and private vehicles at your disposal, choose the option that best aligns with your budget, time, and preferences. Don’t forget to factor in travel time and potential delays when creating your itinerary.

Respecting Local Customs and Culture

As a visitor, it’s vital to show respect for Vietnam’s unique customs and culture. Familiarize yourself with local etiquette and adhere to the following guidelines:

Conservative Dress

When visiting religious sites, dress conservatively by covering your shoulders and knees. Avoid revealing clothes, especially in rural areas, where locals are more conservative.

Etiquette in Public Spaces

Be mindful of your behavior in public spaces. Avoid displaying excessive public affection or raising your voice, as it may be considered disrespectful. When visiting temples, keep noise levels to a minimum and follow any posted rules.


Always ask for permission before taking photographs of locals, particularly in more remote regions where villagers may be unfamiliar with tourists. Be respectful of their privacy and personal space.


While tipping is not a requirement in Vietnam, it’s becoming more customary, especially in the tourism industry. A small tip for excellent service will be greatly appreciated.

In summary, planning a memorable Vietnam trip requires careful consideration of several factors, including the best time to visit, regional highlights, preferred experiences, accommodation, transportation, and respect for local customs. By following the five steps outlined in this article, you can look forward to a Vietnamese journey filled with breathtaking landscapes, unique cultural experiences, and a lifetime of memories.

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