Best of Northern Vietnam Itinerary in 9 Days: The Ultimate Backpacking Guide for 2020

Northern Vietnam Itinerary

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam soon? Then, check out this amazing Northern Vietnam Itinerary for 9 days to make the most of your vacation!

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Northern Vietnam Itinerary

In this Northern Vietnam itinerary, you will find information on three main destinations in north Vietnam.

Day 1: Ninh Binh

One of the prettiest places to visit in Vietnam, Ninh Binh is a must-stop destination on your vietnam itinerary. Here are a few places to explore in this destination.

Of course, since this region is known for its rice fields, you cannot miss a chance to explore it. Take your cycle and go exploring around in the area. After exploring the rice fields, you can take a boat tour to the Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ninh Binh, Northern Vietnam Itinerary
Ninh Binh, Northern Vietnam

The best thing about Trang An is that there are several limestone mountains here but they are not connected to each other.

How to Reach Ninh Binh

Start your trip from Hanoi in Northern Vietnam to reach Ninh Binh. You can book your tickets from Cat Ba to Ninh Binh online using Bookaway to avoid any last-minute hurdles.

Day 2: Ninh Binh Tour

After resting on day 1 and doing a little exploring,go for the early morning hike to Hang Mua Peak. It offers the best viewpoint in Ninh Binh. After Hang Mua Peak and Cave, head to the Bich Dong Pagoda. This is one of the best pagodas to explore in this region. Later, you can make your way to Van Long Reserve, a wetland nature reserve that is the perfect place for bird watchers and nature lovers.

Hang Mua Peak, Northern Vietnam Itinerary
Hang Mua Peak, Northern Vietnam

Also Read: Travel Guide on South Thailand

Day 3: Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island

After Ninh Binh, head to Cat Ba Island. There is a lot to do in Cat Ba. From beaches to hikes, there is something for all kinds of travelers here.

How to Reach Cat Ba Island

To reach Cat Ba, you need to take a bus + ferry. You can book your tickets Ninh Binh to Cat Ba online too.

Day 4: Lan Ha Bay Boat Tour

One of the top things to do in Cat Ba Island is to take the Halong Bay, Lan Han, or Bai Tu Long Bay cruise from here. For those who are on a budget, a day trip to Lan Ha Bay will be perfect! This includes your food, kayaking, a stop at Monkey Island, and more.

Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay, Northern Vietnam

Day 5: Cat Ba Island Tour

After the Lan Ha Bay tour, you can relax for a day or tour around the Cat Ba Island. There are many beautiful beaches to explore here and food to try.

Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island

For adventure seekers, there are several caves to explore here too along with hiking trails.

Day 6: Cat Ba Island to Hanoi

From Cat Ba, you head back or forward to Hanoi, one of the cultural cities in Vietnam. A few top attractions to visit in Hanoi are the Temple of the Jade Mountain, Hanoi Old Quarter, Train Street, and more. Don’t forget to take a stroll in the Hanoi night market that is held during the weekends here.

How to Reach Hanoi

Take an early morning bus and a ferry to reach Hanoi that will take around 4 – 6 hours. Book your tickets for route Cat Ba to Hanoi from Bookaway website.

Also Read: Travel Guide on North Thailand

Day 7: Hanoi City Tour

The next day, you can begin your Hanoi city tour. Begin your tour with a visit to the Hoan Kiem Lake, a popular place to visit for the locals.

Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

After that, you can head to the famous Hoa Lo Prison Relic museum to learn the history of Vietnam. Here, you will get to know more about the infamous Vietnam war and this is the place where the prisoners’ were kept.

Another great place to visit in Hanois is Dong Xuan Market, one of the largest markets in the city. From souvenirs to clothes, you can buy all kinds of things here.

If you don’t wish to spend 2-3 days at Cat Ba, then you will find day tours from Hanoi to Cat Ba as well.

Day 8: Hanoi City Tour

On day 8, you can explore the remaining places in Hanoi including the Train street. Start your day by visiting a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Next, head to the Old Hanoi Quarter where you will find the famous Train Street

Train Street
Train Street

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

After this, you can head to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and admire the final resting place of the greatest leader in Hanoi. One of the top things to do in Hanoi is to attend the Thang Long Water Puppet Show that is held every evening in the city.

Day 9: Departure from Hanoi

This is the last day of your northern Vietnam trip. Get ready to leave Vietnam or start for South Vietnam. You can get a cab or the Airport Bus to reach the Noi Bai International Airport.

Did you like our northern Vietnam itinerary? If yes, then do let us know in the comments! 

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Arnav Mathur
3 years ago

This literally brought back all the memories from my Vietnam trip back in 2017. While you did Ninh Binh – Cat Ba – Hanoi. I did Ninh Binh as a day trip from Hanoi, and Cat Ba as a 2D 1 N trip. But Vietnam is really so beautiful, and without a doubt one of my favourite destinations.

Rajesh Jain
Rajesh Jain
3 years ago