Hanoi

My 9 Days Trip to Vietnam: Ultimate Itinerary with Pho and Dragons!

Written By: Ravish Jha

This is my first time talking about my travel experience, and I am starting with my recent 9 days trip to Vietnam a while back. I enjoyed it a lot, and to be honest, I am still unable to comprehend why I didn't explore Vietnam earlier! Well, buckle up now because I'm here to spill the tea or, should I say the delicious Vietnamese coffee – on this exciting adventure!



Day 1: Hanoi and Hoi An Hoi

Hanoi was a quick hello and goodbye for this trip – just enough time to grab some delicious phở (gotta have that Vietnamese classic!). We just touched down, grabbed our bags, and hopped on a flight to Da Nang.


Our real adventure began in Hoi An. It is a charming ancient town with a serious case of lantern love. Seriously, have you ever seen so many colorful lanterns in one place? It was like stepping into a fairytale!


So after our flight, we checked into our hotel, the yarra ocean suite – gotta give them a shoutout for being super comfy! – we grabbed a cab and dove headfirst into the vibrant Hoi An nightlife. There, we feasted on local specialities; let me tell you, it was a delicious experience – still dreaming about that Pho and Banh mi.


After a mouthful of local food, we hopped on a boat to cruise down the Thu Bon River. The town shimmered with the soft glow of lanterns, and the whole scene felt like something out of a movie. The evening was pure magic that we honestly lost track of time until I yawned (well, I can't help when my body demands rest..)


So we headed back, and on our way, we wandered through the local market. That was a maze of stalls overflowing with silk, handicrafts, and all sorts of souvenirs (and we grabbed some unique ones – yes, on our first day!) and soaked up the atmosphere before heading back to Da Nang for the night. Honestly, the day was exhausting with all the flight, cab, and boat journeys, but we made it to the end – happy and contained.

Day 2: Bana Hills and Da Nang Delights

Our day two started bright and early with a trip up the Bana Hills. The views from the Golden Bridge were enough to take your breath away (literally, it was a bit chilly at that altitude!). There, we felt like conquering heroes; the feeling is something that cannot be expressed with words, but I can show you a glimpse from our pictures… we were happy!


After spending a few hours in the ambiance and getting our pictures clicked until we had candid and classic shots for our social, we descended the mountain and made a beeline for Da Nang's stunning beach.


It was magic..!! Spending the afternoon, soaking up the sun, and the turquoise water – ah, was pure bliss. It was our second day, and the sense of calm while watching the sunset took away all the traveling jitters. Every second of that moment was worth it. So, we decided to treat ourselves to an incredible dinner right on the beach – fresh seafood and exotic flavours. Personally, I'm not a fan of cherry, but when you say 'cherry on the top', the dinner at the beach was that!


I think the best way to utilise the evening in any city of the world would be by exploring the local market. No adventure would be complete without a dose of the lights, colors, and local culture. So, we finished our 2nd night with a visit to the fire-breathing Dragon Bridge, it was a sight that literally breathes fire (and is way cooler than it sounds), followed by the exploration of the Da Nang market.

Day 3: Sunrise and Sapa Calling

We started day three with a walk along the beach for the stunning sunrise. There's something incredibly peaceful about watching the world wake up with the sound of waves gently lapping at the shore. For me, that's the perfect way to clear my head and soak in a little more of Vietnam.


Later, after our delicious breakfast at the masala Indian restaurant, we began our Da Nang city tour, and the first thing we explored was the Marble Mountains, which was a cluster of caves and temples jutting out from the coastline. Later, we made our way to Chua Tam Thai. The views were breathtaking, and it was fascinating to see the religious significance of the site and a glimpse into Vietnam's history and spirituality.


Later that day, with a bittersweet feeling, we said goodbye to Da Nang and hopped on a flight back to Hanoi. But our adventure wasn't over yet! We caught a bus to Sapa, a beautiful mountain town located in the breathtaking Hoang Lien Son mountains.

Day 4: Moana Magic, Sapa and Cat Cat

Day four was all about exploring the captivating surroundings of Sapa. Our first stop was Moana Sapa Park. Now, let me tell you, this place felt like straight out of an Instagram. I mean, there were Bali-style gates, infinity pools with epic mountain views, and a giant golden hand literally reaching towards the sky. We snapped some epic pics (obvs!) and soaked up the fresh mountain air and surreal atmosphere.


In the afternoon, we moved to Cat Cat Village (a traditional Hmong village). There, we got a glimpse into the lives of the local people and unique customs – everything was a feast for the senses. We even tried our hand at some traditional crafts (let's just say my embroidery skills need some serious work!).

Day 5: Sapa City

Our day five was dedicated to exploring the hidden gems of Sapa town itself. We began our day with a city tour, discovered ancient temples, markets that were overflowing with local produce, and charming French colonial architecture. Sapa had a unique blend of history and local culture that was truly captivating. With a touch of sadness (and maybe a few too many souvenirs!), we boarded a night bus back to Hanoi.

Day 6: Ninh Binh

Hanoi greeted us with a familiar buzz as we arrived early in the morning. Wasting no time, we signed up for a day tour of Ninh Binh. This place is often nicknamed "Ha Long Bay on land." And let me tell you, the nickname did not disappoint! We cruised down emerald green rivers surrounded by limestone pillars, feeling like we were exploring a lost world (whenever I say lost world, I want to complete this with Jurrasic Park!)...moving on, we explored the temples located amidst the cliffs, and honestly, it left us speechless.

Day 7: Halong Bay (no wonder it is a Mystical Majesty on a heavenly Cruise)

Before we could realise it was already day seven and kind, it was the day we'd all been waiting for because it was for Halong Bay!!!


We boarded our luxurious junk boat and set sail towards towering limestone karst formations rising from the emerald waters. The scenery was breathtaking, and the feeling of being surrounded by such natural beauty was truly awe-inspiring. We kayaked through hidden coves, explored caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, and feasted on fresh seafood on board. Spending 24 hours cruising through Halong Bay was pure magic. It was the day that will stay forever with me!

Day 8: Hanoi for Round Two

By 2 pm on day eight, we were back in Hanoi for round 2. With a limited time left, we hit the ground running to visit some must-see spots. The iconic Train Street was a photographer's paradise, with a train literally running through the middle of the market! The Old Quarter, with its narrow alleyways and hidden shops, was a treasure to the eye. And, of course, no trip to Hanoi would be complete without getting lost (and then found) in the electrifying Hanoi Night Market. We indulged in delicious street food, grabbed some last-minute souvenirs, and just enjoyed every second of it.

Day 9: Incense, Goodbyes, and Namaste!

Our last day in Vietnam started with a visit to the Incense Village after a healthy breakfast. The air was thick with the sweet and smoky aroma of burning incense, and the process of making these sticks was fascinating to watch. With a final goodbye to Hanoi, almost around 3 pm, we hopped on a flight back to India with a bag full of souvenirs and a heart full of memories.


Reflecting on these nine days, it felt like a crash course in an incredible culture. From the delicious food to the stunning scenery and the friendly people, Vietnam left a lasting impression on me and left me wanting to explore more. Ah!!! Vietnam, you stole a piece of our hearts.


Until next time!

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My 9 Days Trip to Vietnam: Ultimate Itinerary with Pho and Dragons!

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