7-Day Itinerary to Explore Vietnam to the Brim

Travel advisor Anny Chen in a black shirt sits on a bench holding a wine glass
Curated By

Anny Chen

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  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Beaches

  • Vietnam

  • Outdoors

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Culture

Sunrise from a window.
Curator’s statement

Now that Vietnam has once again opened up to travelers, there is no better time to explore this rich and vibrant country. Roughly the size of Italy, this Southeast Asian country is known for its incredible food (birthplace of banh mi and pho,) beautiful pristine beaches, rivers and green lush mountains. Incredibly diverse from the north to the south, you can be surrounded by ancient rice paddies and majestic mountains in the morning, take a quick flight south and be on some of the most pristine and unspoiled beaches by the afternoon. This itinerary for a seven day trip, however, extra days can be added in for a full 10 day trip if desired. The shape of the country is like a long narrow S curving down, so internal flights are usually the best way to get from point A to point B. However, this specific itinerary takes advantage of a luxury train from Da Nang to Quy Nhon, so there is only 1 internal flight needed to maximize the best use of your time when you’re there.

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Where to stay

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Anantara Hoi An Resort

Upscale French colonial-style hotel boasting a high-end restaurant and sleek rooms in Hoi An.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An

Sprawling luxury resort with a sophisticated vibe on the shores of Hoi An Beach.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô

Luxury pool villas compose this stunning property spanning 245 acres of secluded beachfront and nature in Vietnam's Phu Yen province.

Fora Perks
  • $25 hotel / resort credit.

  • Welcome amenity.

  • Upgrade & late check-out whenever possible.

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Travel advisor Anny Chen in a black shirt sits on a bench holding a wine glass

Unlock perks by contacting Anny to book your trip.

Day 1: Hoi An

Colorful lanterns on a street in Hoi An.

Land in Da Nang, in the center of Vietnam. From here, make your way to Hoi An, an UNESCO World Heritage that Travel + Leisure declared the “best city in the world” in 2019. Anthony Bourdain has professed his love for this quaint beautiful riverside town and it’s not hard to see why. Beautiful quaint yellow buildings line the streets, and everywhere, there was gorgeous bright lanterns hanging. If you prefer to be in the heart of the old town, I suggest Anantara Hoi An, on the banks of the Thu Bon River and a quick 5 min walk to old town Hoi An. For a beach stay, there’s no better place than the Four Seasons Hoi An. Grab dinner at Morning Glory, one of the most famous and best restaurants in Hoi An, and take in all the local delights.

Day 2: Try Local Bahn Mi

A woman selling colorful lanterns in Vietnam.

Explore the old town of Hoi An on foot, get lost wandering the streets and for lunch, grab a Banh Mi. The birthplace of Banh Mi, going to at least one of the two famous Banh Mi places is a must. Take your pick between Madam Khanh - The Banh Mi Queen and Banh Mi Phuong. For a wonderful way to explore the surrounding areas of Hoi An, take a tour with Vespa Adventures, learn about the art of coffee roasting and see first hand how to make rice crackers. For dinner, try White Rose, home of the famous Hoi An White Rose Dumplings. Take a boat ride along the Thu Bon River, light a candle and make a wish.

Optional Day - stay another night in Hoi An, and take a day trip to Hue.

Day 3: Vietage Train from Da Nang to Quy Nhon

A train with two drinks.

Wake up early to catch the Vietage train from Da Nang to Quy Nhon. This is an exclusive luxury train car that was initially dedicated to guests traveling between Anantara Hoi An and Anantara Quy Nhon, but now is open to book for everyone. You must book early, there are only 12 seats on this luxury train car, as well as a full bar, restroom and a private room for massages. For the next 6 hours, take in the beautiful Vietnam countryside white you enjoy an amazing 3-course meal and an open bar.

Day 4: Stay at Zannier Bai San Ho

Sunrise at Zannier.

Wake up to the sunrise at Zannier Bai San Ho and enjoy a wonderful and relaxing day at the resort. I kid you not when I say this is one of the most breathtaking resorts I have ever been to in my life and I've been privileged to stay at some incredible places. On a secluded bay in the Phu Yen Province, this resort encompasses 245 acres, with just 73 private villas. The aesthetics and design have been spared no expense, and this is truly one of the most luxurious barefoot eco-chic resorts I've seen. Spend a morning on the pristine and undisturbed beach, have a leisurely lunch and spend the afternoon lazying away in your private pool. Take a hike around the massive property, or sign up for a cooking class.

Day 5: Arrive in Hanoi

A green street and rail tracks in Hanoi.

Take a flight from Quy Nhon to Hanoi. Check in to Sofitel Metropole or the Intercontinental Landmark72 after landing in Hanoi. Before dinner, enjoy a cocktail at the Metropole hotel. A hotel with a storied past that opened in 1901, past visitors have included Charlie Chaplin (on his honeymoon), Roberto Di Nero and Bill Clinton to name a few.

Day 6: Explore Hanoi

People on motorcycles in Hanoi.

Explore the rich and vibrant sites of Hanoi, from visiting Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, checking out Saint Joseph’s Cathedral or wander and get lost in the Old Quarter, to strolling around Hoan Kiem park, watching the locals play soccer and listening to the live music playing. This is a city that is full of life and culture.

Day 7: Halong Bay

Islets on an emerald bay with boats in Halong Bay.

Take a side trip to Halong Bay and stay overnight in a luxury junk boat. In emerald green waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, with over 750 rock formations jutting out of the water, watch the sunset and wake up to the sunrise over UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay. Leisurely cruise along, go kayaking, explore the caves and enjoy life on the waters for 24 hours.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspo? Check out my guide, The Insider’s Guide to Ischia, Italy.

Travel advisor Anny Chen in a black shirt sits on a bench holding a wine glass

Travel Advisor

Anny Chen

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Vietnam.