South Vietnam was once a vibrant and exciting tourist destination in Southeast Asia. The region offered visitors stunning beaches, delicious food, rich culture, and friendly people. Popular tourist destinations included Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, which was a bustling metropolis with fascinating historical landmarks like the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Mekong Delta, located in the southern part of the country, was also a popular destination, known for its scenic waterways, floating markets, and traditional villages. Sadly, the Vietnam War and subsequent political changes led to a decline in tourism in South Vietnam. However, in recent years, the country has seen a resurgence in tourism, with many visitors flocking to experience its unique culture and natural beauty.
What to see in South Vietnam in 10 days
If you have 10 days in South Vietnam, there are many things you can do and see. Here are some suggestions for your itinerary:
Day 1-2: Ho Chi Minh City
Start your trip in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Explore the city’s history by visiting the War Remnants Museum, the Reunification Palace, and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Take a stroll through the lively streets of District 1, and try some local street food.
Day 1: Explore Ho Chi Minh City
Here are some suggestions for what you can do on your first day in Ho Chi Minh City:
- Visit the War Remnants Museum: This museum provides an overview of the Vietnam War from a Vietnamese perspective. It is a sobering experience, but an important one to understand the history and culture of the country.
- Take a stroll around Ben Thanh Market: This is one of the city’s oldest and most popular markets. It is a great place to buy souvenirs and sample local street food.
- Enjoy a cup of coffee at a local café: Vietnam is known for its strong and delicious coffee, and there are plenty of cafés in Ho Chi Minh City to choose from. Some popular ones include Cafe Apartments, The Workshop, and L’Usine.
- Explore the city’s colonial architecture: Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) was once the capital of French Indochina, and there are still many beautiful buildings that reflect this period in the city’s history. Some notable ones include the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.
- Take a night tour: Ho Chi Minh City comes alive at night, with street vendors selling food, live music, and lively crowds. Taking a night tour of the city is a great way to experience the energy and excitement of this bustling metropolis.
Enjoy your first day in Ho Chi Minh City!
Day 2: Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels
Here are some suggestions for what you can do on your second day in South Vietnam, visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels:
- Explore the underground tunnels: The Cu Chi Tunnels were used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Visitors can explore the narrow tunnels, which were used for living quarters, hospitals, and even weapon storage.
- Learn about guerrilla warfare tactics: The Cu Chi Tunnels are a great place to learn about the tactics used by the Vietnamese during the war. You can see how they used the tunnels to launch surprise attacks and evade enemy forces.
- Watch a documentary: There is a documentary shown at the site that provides a great overview of the history of the Cu Chi Tunnels and their role in the war. It’s a great way to learn more about the site before exploring it in person.
- Try shooting range: For those interested, there is a shooting range where you can try firing some of the weapons used during the Vietnam War.
- Visit the nearby villages: The area around the Cu Chi Tunnels is home to many small villages that provide a glimpse into rural Vietnamese life. You can visit some of these villages to learn about local customs and try some traditional foods.
Day 3: Mekong Delta
Head to the Mekong Delta, where you can take a boat ride along the river, visit local villages and floating markets, and sample fresh fruit. You can also try your hand at making rice paper or coconut candy.
Here are some suggestions for what you can do on your third day in South Vietnam, exploring the Mekong Delta:
- Take a boat tour: The best way to see the Mekong Delta is by boat. You can take a tour that will take you through the winding canals and past rice paddies and fruit orchards.
- Visit local villages: There are many small villages along the Mekong Delta that offer a glimpse into rural Vietnamese life. You can visit some of these villages to learn about local customs and try some traditional foods.
- Try local fruits: The Mekong Delta is known for its abundance of fresh fruits, including dragonfruit, durian, and mangosteen. Be sure to try some while you’re there!
- Learn about the floating markets: The floating markets are a unique feature of the Mekong Delta, where vendors sell their wares from boats. You can visit some of these markets to see how they operate and even buy some goods.
- Take a bike tour: If you’re feeling active, you can take a bike tour of the Mekong Delta. This is a great way to explore the area and see some of the sights up close.
Day 4 – 5: Exploring Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island, located in Vietnam, is a tropical paradise. To enjoy your trip, visit Sao Beach, a stunning white-sand beach, and the Phu Quoc National Park. Try the fresh seafood at Dinh Cau Night Market, and explore the An Thoi Archipelago on a snorkeling tour. Don’t forget to visit the quirky Coconut Tree Prison museum.
Here are some suggestions for what you can do on your fourth and fifth day in South Vietnam, exploring Phu Quoc Island:
- Visit the Phu Quoc National Park: The national park covers over half of the island and is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Phu Quoc ridgeback dog. You can go trekking or take a guided tour to see the park’s flora and fauna.
- Explore the beaches: Phu Quoc Island is known for its beautiful beaches, including Sao Beach and Long Beach. Spend some time soaking up the sun and enjoying the crystal-clear waters.
- Go snorkeling or diving: The waters around Phu Quoc Island are home to an abundance of marine life, including colorful coral reefs and tropical fish. You can go snorkeling or diving to see these creatures up close.
- Visit a fish sauce factory: Fish sauce is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine, and Phu Quoc Island is known for producing some of the best fish sauce in the country. You can visit a fish sauce factory to learn about the production process and try some of the sauce for yourself.
- Take a boat tour: There are many boat tours available on Phu Quoc Island that will take you to nearby islands and snorkeling spots.
- Visit the Phu Quoc Prison Museum: This museum provides a look into the history of the island, including its use as a prison during the Vietnam War.
- Enjoy some local seafood: Phu Quoc Island is known for its delicious seafood, including fresh fish, squid, and shrimp. Be sure to try some while you’re there!
- Visit the night market: The night market in Phu Quoc is a great place to sample local street food and buy souvenirs.
Day 6 – 7: Exploring Nha Trang
Here are some suggestions for what you can do on your sixth and seventh day in South Vietnam, exploring Nha Trang:
- Visit the Long Son Pagoda: This beautiful pagoda features a large white Buddha statue and offers stunning views of the city from the top.
- Relax on the beach: Nha Trang is known for its beautiful beaches, including Nha Trang Beach and Bai Dai Beach. Spend some time soaking up the sun and enjoying the crystal-clear waters.
- Take a boat tour: There are many boat tours available in Nha Trang that will take you to nearby islands and snorkeling spots.
- Visit the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam: This museum has a wide range of marine life on display, including sea turtles, sharks, and colorful tropical fish.
- Visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers: These ancient towers were built by the Cham people between the 7th and 12th centuries and are a testament to their impressive architecture and engineering skills.
- Go scuba diving or snorkeling: The waters around Nha Trang are home to an abundance of marine life, including colorful coral reefs and tropical fish. You can go scuba diving or snorkeling to see these creatures up close.
- Enjoy a mud bath: Nha Trang is known for its mud baths, which are said to have a variety of health benefits. You can enjoy a mud bath at one of the many spas in the area.
- Visit the Nha Trang Night Market: The night market in Nha Trang is a great place to sample local street food and buy souvenirs.
Day 8 – 9: Exploring Dalat
Dalat, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, is known for its temperate climate, pine forests, and waterfalls. Don’t miss the Truc Lam Zen Monastery, the Datanla Waterfall, and the Valley of Love. Take a cable car to the top of Langbiang Mountain for stunning views. Experience the local culture at Dalat Night Market, and sample the region’s fresh strawberries and avocados.
Here are some suggestions for what you can do on your eighth and ninth day in South Vietnam, exploring Dalat:
- Visit the Crazy House: This unique building was designed by a local architect and features surrealistic designs and sculptures.
- Explore the Dalat Flower Gardens: These gardens are home to a wide variety of flowers, including roses, hydrangeas, and orchids. Be sure to bring your camera!
- Go canyoning: Dalat is known for its adventurous activities, and canyoning is a popular one. You can rappel down waterfalls and swim through natural pools.
- Visit the Dalat Market: This bustling market is a great place to buy souvenirs and try local food.
- Visit the Pongour Waterfall: This beautiful waterfall is one of the largest in the area, and you can swim in the pools at the bottom.
- Take a bicycle tour: Dalat is a great place to explore on a bicycle, and there are many tours available that will take you through the city and surrounding countryside.
- Visit the Truc Lam Pagoda: This pagoda is located on a hill overlooking the Tuyen Lam Lake and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
- Go hiking: There are many hiking trails in the area, including the Langbiang Mountain trail, which will take you to the top of a nearby mountain.
On your last day in South Vietnam, here are some suggestions for what you can do in Ho Chi Minh City:
- Visit the War Remnants Museum: This museum provides a look into the Vietnam War from a Vietnamese perspective and displays artifacts and photographs.
- Visit the Reunification Palace: This historic building was the site of the end of the Vietnam War, and you can tour the palace and see the presidential offices and meeting rooms.
- Explore Ben Thanh Market: This bustling market is a great place to buy souvenirs, clothing, and local food.
- Visit the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica: This beautiful cathedral was built in the late 19th century and is a popular tourist attraction.
- Visit the Central Post Office: This historic building was designed by Gustave Eiffel and is still in use today. You can tour the building and send postcards home.
- Take a food tour: Ho Chi Minh City is known for its delicious street food, and there are many tours available that will take you to the best food stalls and markets in the city.
- Relax at a spa: After a busy week of exploring, why not treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment? There are many spas in Ho Chi Minh City that offer massages, facials, and other treatments.
South Vietnam 10 days trip cost
Here is a sample 10-day itinerary for a trip to South Vietnam, along with estimated costs per day:
Ho Chi Minh City
- Visit the War Remnants Museum and learn about Vietnam’s history
- Take a stroll around Ben Thanh Market
Enjoy a cup of coffee at a local café
- Cost per day: $35-50 USD
Cu Chi Tunnels
- Explore the underground tunnels used during the Vietnam War
Learn about guerrilla warfare tactics used by the Vietnamese
- Cost per day: $30-45 USD
- Take a boat tour through the Mekong Delta
- Visit local villages and learn about their traditional ways of life
Try local food and fruit
- Cost per day: $50-70 USD
Phu Quoc Island
- Relax on the beach and enjoy the island’s natural beauty
- Go snorkeling or scuba diving
Visit the night market
- Cost per day: $50-80 USD
- Visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers
- Relax on the beach or take a boat tour
Try local seafood
- Cost per day: $40-60 USD
- Visit the Valley of Love and Xuan Huong Lake
- Explore the city’s French colonial architecture
Go hiking or canyoning
- Cost per day: $40-60 USD
Last day Ho Chi Minh City
- Take a cooking class and learn how to make Vietnamese cuisine
- Visit a rooftop bar for a view of the city
Try some street food
- Cost per day: $35-50 USD
Overall, the estimated cost for a 10-day trip to South Vietnam would range from $370-545 USD per person, not including flights or accommodations. Of course, the actual cost can vary depending on your travel style and preferences.
What to pack for 10 days in vietnam
Here are some essential items to pack for a 10-day trip to South Vietnam:
- Lightweight clothing: Vietnam is hot and humid, so bring lightweight, breathable clothes such as cotton t-shirts, shorts, and skirts. Pack a few long-sleeve shirts and pants for cooler evenings or visiting religious sites.
- Comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so pack comfortable shoes like sneakers or hiking sandals.
- Sunscreen and insect repellent: Protect yourself from the sun and pesky mosquitoes with sunscreen and insect repellent.
- Swimwear: Pack swimwear if you plan to visit beaches or enjoy water activities.
- Rain gear: Vietnam can experience heavy rain, so bring a rain jacket or poncho.
- Hat and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun with a hat and sunglasses.
- Power adapter and charger: Vietnam uses Type A and Type C power outlets, so bring a power adapter if needed.
- Cash and credit card: Bring cash for small purchases and credit cards for larger expenses. ATMs are widely available.
- Medications and first aid kit: Pack any necessary medications and a small first aid kit.
- Travel documents: Bring your passport, visa, travel insurance, and any other necessary documents.
Remember to pack light, as you’ll likely be moving around frequently during your trip. Laundry services are readily available in most places, so you can wash your clothes as needed.
After 10 days of traveling in Vietnam, you will have experienced a diverse range of landscapes, cultures, and cuisines. You may have explored bustling cities like Ho Chi Minh City, sampled street food, and learned about the country’s history. You may have also ventured into rural areas, visiting the Mekong Delta and mountain town of Dalat, where you can experience a more laid-back way of life. You may have enjoyed relaxing on stunning beaches or taking part in outdoor activities like trekking or scuba diving. Wherever you went, you will have been struck by the warmth and hospitality of the Vietnamese people, and the richness of the country’s traditions and natural beauty.