Vietnam Itinerary 8 days - Ideal for First-time Visitors

Lê Ngọc Minh Châu - Updated February 28, 2019

Vietnam Itinerary 8 days is not an easy one to plan, especially for an international visitor.

If you have never been to this tropical Asian country and are unfamiliar to the geography here, some local advice is necessary.

8 days in Vietnam SApa

Common Question from travelers:

“Travelling to Vietnam for 8 full days in Vietnam.  Group of a few guys, Never been to Vietnam before.

- Looking to spend a few big nights out and hopefully the rest of the trip sightseeing

- Will probably sign up with some tours when we get there, but would like to roughly plan something beforehand

Nothing else has been booked.”

-- See more: Other Itineraries you may be interested in the Vietnam Itinerary - 3 days - 4 days - 5 days 6 days - 7 days - 8 days - 9 days - 10 days - 11 days - 12 days - 14 days  - 3 weeks 

AZ Local Trip would like to give you some recommendations

3 main options for 8 days in Vietnam

Itinerary #1: North Vietnam

  • DAY 1 and 2: Explore Hanoi and relish its street food (Hanoi Itinerary)
  • Day 3 – 5: Go Cruising, 007 styles on Halong Bay
  • Day 6 – 8: Trek through the rice fields of Sapa and enjoy its Tribal Hospitality:

Itinerary #2: North and Central Vietnam

  • DAY 1 and 2: Ho Chi Minh City (include city tour and Cu Chi Tunnels).
  • Day 3,4,5,6: Fly for Da Nang (trip Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue) 4 days.
  • Day 7,8: Mekong Not time for Nha Trang or Phu Quoc and maybe a little expensive.

P/s: If you like beaches, you can try in Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An (beautiful beaches).

Itinerary #3: (From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh)- North to South Vietnam

  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival
  • Day 2: Hanoi City Tour – Halong
  • Day 3: Halong Bay Cruise – Hanoi – Fly to Hoian
  • Day 4: Hoian Walking Tour – Boat trip
  • Day 5: Hoian – Danang – Hue
  • Day 6: Hue – Fly to Saigon
  • Day 7: Saigon – Mekong Delta day trip

This itinerary could be turned around starting from Ho Chi Minh

Vietnam Itinerary 8 days - Ideal for First-time Visitors

Vietnam Itinerary 8 days in detail from the North to the South

Day 1: Hanoi Free city tour with Local Guide 

Hanoi Free Local Tours was set up in 2016 and is a student-run organization offering free city tours in Hanoi.

The programme provides students with the opportunity to practice their English and provides visitors with a great value guide to Hanoi. The organization says it hopes to bring to travelers insights into Vietnamese culture, tradition, and sightseeing.

  • Visit Temple of Literature

You first need to have a rest after your flight to Hanoi. Then you start your city Hanoi city tour with Temple of Literature.

Temple of Literature, dedicated to Confucius, sages, and scholars, is Vietnam's first official educational institution.

8 days in Vietnam Hanoi Van Mieu

  • Have a leisurely stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake and drop by Ngoc Son Temple

By walking around Hoan Kiem Lake, you can observe the vibrancy of Hanoian's city life.

Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem LakeNext, Ngoc Son Temple, located on a beautiful islet in the middle of the lake, is another nice stopping spot. The traditional architecture here will leave an impression on you.

  • Watching the water puppet show

Watery puppet show, a traditional art form, is a great performance of all ages. Once you make a cultural journey to Hanoi, it is worth including in your Vietnam Itinerary 8 days.

Vietnam Itinerary 8 days - Ideal for First-time Visitors

Hanoi free walking city tour with local student guide is available at AZ Local Trip.

Day 2, 3: Halong Bay – Flight to Da Nang City

I have already recommended a detailed 28+ BEST Things To Do In Halong Bay – Attractions & Activities in my previous blog. Please read it for further information.

My plan includes highlighted features of this world natural wonder: Sung Sot Cave – Titop Island – Luon Cave.

Following this itinerary, you will have a relaxing cruise trip. As a result, no worries upon overwhelming your two days!

In the late afternoon of Day 3, you return to Hanoi and take a domestic flight to Da Nang.

You then transfer to Hoi An Ancient Town and have a free night there.

8 days in Vietnam Da nang

Day 4: Hoi An countryside tour

  • Visit Cam Nam village

The village, only a bridge away from the main town, is a great spot for an escape from the hectic life.

You can experience everyday activities in a rural village in Vietnam: water vehicles, ploughing with buffalos, rice cultivation, weaving, fish catching, etc.

  • Continue to Bay Mau Coconut Forest

The forest is a new ecotourism destination attracting both domestic and foreign travellers.

You can grab the chance to row a basket boat and catch fish like a local. Besides, the peaceful atmosphere of the rural area is also a highlight.

  • Visit Tra Que Village

You may attend a cooking class to make Hoian authentic dishes with local guidance.

Day 5: Hoi An Ancient Town – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City

8 days in Vietnam Ho Chi Minh_20181115123455.jpg

  • Enjoy a leisurely walk around Hoi An Ancient Town

Including Hoi An Ancient Town in your Vietnam Itinerary 8 days, you can visit Japanese Covered Bridge and Phuoc Kien Assembly Hall.

  • Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City by plane

Day 6: Cu Chi Tunnel to Ho Chi Minh City

  • Discover Cu Chi Tunnels

According to Asian Record, Cu Chi is the longest tunnel in the region.

During the Vietnam War, Viet Cong guerrillas used it as hiding spots. It was also a route serving communication and supplying food, medicine and weapons.

Visiting the tunnel enables tourists to have understanding about part of Vietnamese history.

  • Visit Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)

Its architecture combines traditional features and modern 60s style. This famous historical site has witnessed Vietnam Wars against French colonist and American emperor.

  • Get to Saigon Central Post Office

Ho Chi Minh City Post Office (Saigon Central Post Office), constructed in the late 19th century follows Gothic, Renaissance and French architectural styles.

  • Have an easy evening at Nguyen Hue walking street

Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta

8 days in Vietnam Mekong Delta

  • Pay a visit to Cai Be floating market

The floating market is a typical market form in Mekong Delta. You definitely should include it in your Vietnam Itinerary 8 days.

  • Have lunch at a local food stall on An Binh Island
  • Take a traditional rowboat deeper into the countryside

See more: Vietnam Itinerary 7 Days

Day 8: Vietnam goodbye

You are free to have a relaxing morning around the center of Ho Chi Minh City.

I hope that my suggested Vietnam Itinerary 8 days help you somehow.

If you want to take a deeper trip to any part of Vietnam, please contact AZ Local Trip for free itinerary planning.

Have a memorable journey!

More information for destinations that are not mentioned in the 8 days itinerary

Sapa ( at least 2 days)

Around 3days - 2nights in Sapa is enough for your trip.

Vietnam Itinerary 8 days - Ideal for First-time Visitors

On top of Fansipan Mountain - the highest mountain of Vietnam which located in Sapa

- Visit the local markets: Coc Ly on Tuesday, Lung Khau on Thursday, Can Cau on Saturday and Bac Ha Market is held every Sunday.

- 2days trekking down to the villages nearby the Sapa town then overnight at the village to get the experience.

- Visit the waterfall or visit the dragon mountain.

Hope this information will help you a little bit.


Nha Trang

Vietnam Itinerary 8 days - Ideal for First-time Visitors

5 / 4 nights in Nha Trang and 2 / 3 nights in Ho Chi Minh would work quite well (dependent on the weather though as Nha Trang is definitely more of a beach destination and I am not sure what the weather is like in February but a search of these forums should easily tell you that).

You cannot see why there is so much hate for Nha Trang. We even enjoyed the 'tourist' areas to be completely honest.

Also, You could feel the must not miss of Ho Chi Minh is taking a trip out to the Cu Chi Tunnels - this gave some great perspective of the war (would also recommend a guide for this activity as the extra information they provide can be extremely valuable).

Hoi An

We recommend you might spend 2 days in Hoi An visiting old houses, temples, pagoda, the markets, weaving factory and doing some shopping, visiting Cham museum in Da Nang. (Day 1). Then drive to visit My Son Cham ruined tower. My Son is one of the most stunning sights in Hoi An area.

Source: Tripadvisor, Lonely Plannet

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