Where to go in Vietnam? – 7 cities you don’t want to miss

I visited Vietnam for 30 days in total, and I had the best time of my life, I met many friendly and helpful people, saw amazing landscapes, beautiful beaches, and everything for a very affordable price. But what did I visit in Vietnam? Where did I stayed and for how long?

Ninh Binh
Here is my – as I think – perfect trip through Vietnam from the north to the south, but of course you can also go the opposite way it’s the same.


I arrived on the first of November in Hanoi from Hongkong, but I stayed there only for one night because it was too late to take the bus to Cat Ba. I still had time to see the river by night and to have a decent meal.

Cat Bah:

The other morning, I left to the Island of Cat Bah. I took a train and another speedboat to the city Cat Bah. I stayed for four nights on the island because I wanted to relax a little bit after China. If you are under time pressure, you can stay there for only two nights that’s enough. For me, the first two days only consist of chilling on the beautiful beaches of the island and eating good food. On the third day I did a motorbike tour around the island, and on the last day, I did a day tour to Ha Long Bay.

Cat Ba IslandHalong bay

From Cat Bah, I returned to Hanoi to visit the city for two days. I did a free walking tour, and I went to a small ceramic village in Hanoi. In the evening I watched the sunset on the West Lake and had a party. Hanoi is an excellent city to spend a few extra days, the parties are nice and cheap, and the food is good.

Ha Giang Loop:

I decided spontaneously to make the Ha Giang loop, so I went after three nights in Hanoi to the very north part of Vietnam. This tour was one of the best experiences I had so far in my life and the best thing I did so far in my travels. We drove with a motorbike four days, over 450 km, through the upper north of Vietnam, mountain pass up and down. The views were specular, and I had such a good time with all the family dinners, new friends and culture I saw and experienced. It’s dangerous but amazing to drive by yourself. If you’re not keen on driving an own Motorbike, you can hire an easy rider, and you’ll sit on the back and enjoy the views.

Ha Giang Loop

Ha Giang LoopHa Giang Loop

Ninh Binh:

From Ha Giang, I drove with a night bus directly to Ninh Binh where I stayed one night but two full days. I visited the Mua Cave and the Bei Dinh Pagoda, a Buddhist temple outside the city. To be honest, I think one day in Ninh Binh is enough, you can do a day tour from Hanoi, and it should be enough, but it’s maybe also an excellent stop to avoid a long bus drive.

Ninh Binh
Phong Nha:

Phong Nha is not well known in the outside world partly because it is a new region for tourists. Caves were discovered here in the past years, and these are the best tourist attractions. Because of that, it isn’t that touristic there than in other places in Vietnam, although it’s getting very touristy very fast. In Phong Nha, you can visit the caves – for example, the dark cave and the Phong Nha cave – but you can also hike in the jungle and enjoy a walk alongside the river. I stayed there for three nights and four full days.

Botanic garden Phong nhaDSC02307

Hoi An:

Hoi An is probably the most beautiful city in Vietnam, and the nicest beaches can be found there too. I stayed there for four nights. After one beach day, I visited the town on the second day. For the other two days, I rented a motorbike and went to Da Nang and the Marble Mountains. On the last day, I drove with my motorcycle over the Hai Van Pass and returned in the evening.

Hoi AnHoi AnHai Van Pass
Ho Chi Minh:

The last city was Ho Chi Minh. I stayed there for the last 4 days of my trip. As in every big city, you can have a great party here, get a massage and eat well. Other than that you should visit the war museum and learn about the horrific things the USA did in this country. The Cu Chi tunnels are also good evidence of the war, and a must visit to learn more about history.

Ho Chi Minh

This was my journey through Vietnam and as I said I had the time of my life. There are other cities like Mui Ne or the Mengkok Delta you can visit too. I skipped them because of bad weather or because of a lack of time. If you don’t like big cities, you can spend more time to visit these places too.


  • Total countries I visited until now: 30


  • Distance traveled: 17810
  • Planes: 4
  • Busses: 21
  • Trains: 14
  • Boats: 4
  • Km running: 772

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Author: Flo

Hey everybody, I took the decision of my life and will start my worldtravel on the 1. October 2018. Hope you'll follow my journey and enjoy all the posts.

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