Amazing 2 Week Vietnam Itinerary: Hanoi to Hoi An

Vietnam is a country of breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. A two-week itinerary from Hanoi to Hoi An offers a perfect blend of bustling city life, serene countryside, coastal beauty, and historical charm. This detailed guide will take you through each destination, providing insights on what to see, where to stay, and how to make the most of your time in Vietnam.

1. Hanoi (Days 1, 2, 3, and 4)

Overview

Discover Hanoi Bia Hoi - A specialty not to be missed when coming to the capital
Discover Hanoi Bia Hoi – A specialty not to be missed when coming to the capital

Your journey begins in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese, and French influences. The city is a fascinating blend of East and West, with a lively street scene, bustling markets, and serene lakes.

Day 1: Arrival and Exploration

  • Arrival in Hanoi: After arriving at Noi Bai International Airport, transfer to your hotel in the city center.
  • Hoan Kiem Lake: Start your exploration at Hoan Kiem Lake, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. Visit Ngoc Son Temple on a small island in the lake.
  • Old Quarter: Wander through the narrow streets of the Old Quarter, where you’ll find traditional shops, street food vendors, and colonial architecture.
  • Water Puppet Show: In the evening, enjoy a traditional water puppet show at Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.

Day 2: Cultural and Historical Sites

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Visit the final resting place of Vietnam’s beloved leader, Ho Chi Minh. Nearby, explore the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house, and the One Pillar Pagoda.

    One Pillar Pagoda-Source: Collected
    One Pillar Pagoda-Source: Collected
  • Temple of Literature: This 11th-century temple is dedicated to Confucius and served as Vietnam’s first university.
  • Hoa Lo Prison Museum: Learn about the history of this notorious prison, used by French colonists and later during the Vietnam War.
  • Cyclo Tour: End the day with a cyclo tour through the Old Quarter, immersing yourself in the vibrant street life.

Day 3: Day Trip to Ha Long Bay

  • Ha Long Bay Cruise: Take a day trip to Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its emerald waters and limestone islands. Enjoy a scenic cruise, explore caves, and kayak in the bay.

    Ha Long Bay-Source: Collected
    Ha Long Bay-Source: Collected
  • Return to Hanoi: Head back to Hanoi in the evening for a relaxing night at your hotel.

Day 4: Further Exploration and Departure to Mai Chau

  • West Lake: Visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, located on the shores of West Lake.
  • Vietnam Museum of Ethnology: Explore exhibits on the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam, with artifacts, traditional homes, and cultural displays.
  • Departure to Mai Chau: In the late afternoon, depart for Mai Chau, a rural district known for its stunning landscapes and ethnic minority villages.

2. Where to Stay in Hanoi

Luxury: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Located in the French Quarter, this historic hotel offers colonial-era charm with modern luxury. Enjoy elegant rooms, fine dining, and a central location close to major attractions.

Mid-Range: Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa

A boutique hotel in the Old Quarter, Hanoi La Siesta offers comfortable rooms, a rooftop bar, and excellent service. It’s a perfect base for exploring the city’s bustling streets.

Budget: Little Hanoi Hostel

Ideal for budget travelers, Little Hanoi Hostel provides clean rooms, friendly staff, and a central location in the Old Quarter. It’s a great place to meet other travelers and plan your adventures.

3. Mai Chau (Days 4, 5, and 6)

Overview

Amazing 2 Week Vietnam Itinerary: Hanoi to Hoi An
Amazing 2 Week Vietnam Itinerary: Hanoi to Hoi An

Mai Chau is a peaceful valley surrounded by lush mountains, terraced rice fields, and traditional stilt houses. It’s home to the White Thai ethnic minority, known for their warm hospitality and vibrant culture.

Day 4: Arrival and Introduction

  • Arrival in Mai Chau: Arrive in Mai Chau in the evening and check into your accommodation, typically a homestay with a local family.
  • Dinner and Cultural Show: Enjoy a traditional dinner prepared by your hosts, followed by a cultural performance featuring Thai music and dance.

Day 5: Exploring Mai Chau

  • Cycling Tour: Start your day with a guided cycling tour through the villages and rice fields. Visit Pom Coong and Lac villages to see traditional stilt houses and handicrafts.
  • Local Markets: Explore local markets to experience the daily life of the residents and shop for handmade textiles and souvenirs.
  • Trek to Nearby Villages: Take a trek to surrounding villages such as Van, Buoc, or Xo, where you can interact with locals and learn about their way of life.

Day 6: Nature and Relaxation

  • Pu Luong Nature Reserve: Take a day trip to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, known for its diverse flora and fauna, terraced fields, and picturesque landscapes. Enjoy trekking, bamboo rafting, and visiting remote villages.
  • Return to Mai Chau: Head back to Mai Chau for a relaxing evening, perhaps enjoying a traditional Thai massage or a quiet night at your homestay.

4. Where to Stay in Mai Chau

Luxury: Mai Chau Ecolodge

Set in a lush green valley, Mai Chau Ecolodge offers eco-friendly bungalows with stunning views of the rice paddies. Enjoy the outdoor pool, spa services, and farm-to-table dining.

Mid-Range: Mai Chau Valley View Hotel

This family-run hotel provides comfortable rooms with balconies overlooking the valley. The friendly staff can arrange tours and activities to help you explore the area.

Budget: Homestays

For an authentic experience, stay in a traditional stilt house with a local family. Homestays offer basic but comfortable accommodations, home-cooked meals, and a chance to immerse yourself in Thai culture.

5. Cat Ba Island/Lan Ha Bay (Days 6, 7, 8, and 9)

Overview

Cat Ba Island Cruises 1Cat Ba Island, the largest island in Ha Long Bay, is known for its rugged landscapes, pristine beaches, and outdoor activities. Lan Ha Bay, located just south of Ha Long Bay, offers similar stunning scenery but with fewer tourists.

Day 6: Arrival in Cat Ba Island

  • Travel to Cat Ba Island: Depart Mai Chau early in the morning and travel to Cat Ba Island via bus and ferry. Check into your accommodation upon arrival.
  • Cat Ba Town: Explore Cat Ba Town, visit the local market, and enjoy a seafood dinner at a waterfront restaurant.

Day 7: Lan Ha Bay Cruise

  • Full-Day Cruise: Embark on a full-day cruise around Lan Ha Bay. Enjoy activities such as kayaking, swimming, and exploring hidden lagoons and caves.
  • Monkey Island: Visit Monkey Island, home to a population of playful monkeys and a beautiful beach. Climb to the viewpoint for panoramic views of the bay.
  • Overnight on Boat: Spend the night on the boat, enjoying a delicious dinner and the tranquility of the bay.

    Vietnam Discovery Travel Lan Ha Bay Vietnam Source Collected

Day 8: Cat Ba National Park

  • Trekking in Cat Ba National Park: Spend the day trekking in Cat Ba National Park, known for its diverse ecosystems and endangered species such as the Cat Ba langur. Hike to Ngu Lam Peak for stunning views of the island.
    Cat Ba National Park1
    • Cat Ba National Park
  • Hospital Cave: Visit Hospital Cave, a secret, bomb-proof hospital used during the Vietnam War, hidden within the karst mountains.
  • Relaxation: Return to Cat Ba Town for a relaxing evening, perhaps with a massage or a leisurely stroll along the promenade.

Day 9: Departure to Ninh Binh

  • Morning on Cat Ba Island: Enjoy a leisurely morning on the island, perhaps with a visit to Cannon Fort for panoramic views of the bay and island.
  • Travel to Ninh Binh: Depart Cat Ba Island and travel to Ninh Binh, known for its scenic landscapes and ancient temples. Check into your accommodation upon arrival.

6. Ninh Binh (Days 9, 10, and 11)

Overview

Ninh Binh, often referred to as “Ha Long Bay on land,” features stunning limestone karsts, winding rivers, and lush greenery. It’s a perfect destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts.

Day 9: Arrival and Relaxation

  • Arrival in Ninh Binh: Arrive in Ninh Binh in the evening and check into your hotel. Enjoy a relaxing night after your day of travel.

Day 10: Tam Coc and Bich Dong

  • Tam Coc Boat Ride: Start your day with a boat ride along the Ngo Dong River in Tam Coc, passing through three natural caves and surrounded by limestone karsts and rice paddies.
  • Bich Dong Pagoda: Visit Bich Dong Pagoda, a series of ancient temples built into a mountainside. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Thai Vi Temple: Explore Thai Vi Temple, dedicated to the Tran Dynasty kings, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful architecture.

Day 11: Trang An and Hoa Lu

  • Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex: Take a boat tour of Trang An, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its spectacular karst landscapes and grottoes. Visit temples and caves along the way.
  • Hoa Lu Ancient Capital: Explore the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, home to the temples of King Dinh and King Le, which date back to the 10th century.
  • Mua Cave: Climb the 500 steps to the top of Mua Cave for one of the most stunning views in Ninh Binh. Overlook the Tam Coc area and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

7. Where to Stay in Ninh Binh

Luxury: Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh

Emeralda Resort is a luxurious eco-resort located near the Van Long Nature Reserve. The resort offers spacious villas, a large outdoor pool, spa services, and several dining options. It provides a peaceful retreat with beautiful surroundings and top-notch amenities.

Mid-Range: Tam Coc Garden Resort

Tam Coc Garden Resort is nestled in the heart of the Tam Coc area, surrounded by lush rice paddies and limestone cliffs. The resort features charming bungalows with traditional Vietnamese design, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and a bar. It’s an ideal place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Ninh Binh.

Budget: Ninh Binh Central Hotel

For budget travelers, Ninh Binh Central Hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms at affordable prices. The hotel is centrally located, making it convenient for exploring the area’s attractions. It provides basic amenities, including free Wi-Fi, breakfast, and helpful staff.

8. Hoi An (Days 12, 13, and 14)

Overview

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a charming town known for its well-preserved ancient architecture, lantern-lit streets, and vibrant culture. It’s a perfect place to end your Vietnam journey, offering a mix of history, culture, and relaxation.

Day 12: Arrival and Exploration

Hoi An Old Town
Hoi An Old Town

Bicycle Tour-Source: Collected
Bicycle Tour-Source: Collected
  • Travel to Hoi An: Fly from Hanoi to Da Nang, then take a short drive to Hoi An. Check into your hotel upon arrival.
  • Old Town Exploration: Spend the afternoon wandering through Hoi An’s Old Town. Visit the Japanese Covered Bridge, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, and the Old House of Tan Ky.

    Assembly Hall of The Chaozhou Chinese Congregation in Hoi An
    Fujian Assembly Hall is a notable tourist attraction in Hoi An (Source: collected)

    Fujian Assembly Hall is a notable tourist attraction in Hoi An (Source: collected)
    Fujian Assembly Hall is a notable tourist attraction in Hoi An (Source: collected)
  • Evening Lantern Boat Ride: In the evening, take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River and enjoy the beautiful sight of lanterns illuminating the town.

Day 13: Cultural and Culinary Experiences

  • Morning Market Tour: Start your day with a visit to Hoi An’s bustling central market. Experience the vibrant atmosphere and try some local street food.
  • Cooking Class: Participate in a Vietnamese cooking class, where you’ll learn to prepare traditional dishes using fresh, local ingredients. Enjoy your creations for lunch.
  • An Bang Beach: Spend the afternoon relaxing at An Bang Beach, just a short drive from the town center. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or sipping a cocktail at a beachside bar.
  • Evening Stroll: In the evening, take a leisurely stroll through the lantern-lit streets of the Old Town, shop for souvenirs, and dine at a riverside restaurant.

Day 14: Countryside and Villages

  • Bicycle Tour: Take a guided bicycle tour to explore the countryside around Hoi An. Visit Tra Que Vegetable Village, where you can learn about traditional farming practices and even participate in some gardening activities.
  • Cam Thanh Coconut Village: Continue to Cam Thanh Coconut Village, where you can take a basket boat ride through the water coconut forest and enjoy some local snacks.
  • Free Time: Spend the rest of the day at your leisure, perhaps indulging in a spa treatment, shopping for tailor-made clothes, or simply relaxing by the pool.
  • Farewell Dinner: End your Vietnam adventure with a memorable farewell dinner at one of Hoi An’s fine dining restaurants, savoring the local flavors one last time.

9. Where to Stay in Hoi An

Luxury: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai

Located on the pristine Ha My Beach, the Four Seasons Resort offers luxurious villas with private pools, lush gardens, and stunning ocean views. The resort features world-class amenities, including multiple dining options, a spa, and a variety of recreational activities.

Mid-Range: Little Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa

Situated near the Old Town, Little Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities and a blend of traditional and contemporary decor. The hotel features a swimming pool, spa services, and an on-site restaurant serving delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

Budget: Tribee Kinh Hostel & Bar

Ideal for budget travelers and backpackers, Tribee Kinh Hostel offers dormitory and private rooms with a friendly and social atmosphere. The hostel provides free breakfast, organized tours, and a bar where guests can mingle and enjoy nightly activities.

10. Recommend a reputable and quality tour provider with the lowest cost.

If you want to experience the best vacation in Vietnam, it is important to plan and book in advance. Among the many tour companies in Vietnam, Discover Vietnam Tours is an excellent choice that can arrange your travel itinerary with just a few emails and WhatsApp messages. We offer airport pick-up services, accommodation bookings, driver guides, and customizable activities tailored to your preferences.

With our support, you can tailor your trip to your desired schedule and interests, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience throughout Vietnam.