Hanoi Old Quarter is arguably the best and most convenient place to stay in the capital.
There are several budget hostels in Hanoi, but I would recommend staying at Little Charm Hanoi Hostel or Babylon Garden Inn. Located in the heart of Hanoi Old quarter, both accommodations provide facilities similar to a hotel except with a shared room. You can also enjoy a lovely swimming pool after a long day exploring Hanoi.
For a trendy hotel, you can check out O’Gallery Majestic Hotel & Spa. This hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness room, and a garden. The staffs are friendly and welcoming, and tasty breakfast will make your trip enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a luxurious stay in Hanoi, Apricot Hotel is a great option. Apricot Hotel offers modern and luxurious accommodations with a rooftop swimming pool and a panoramic fitness center.
Day 3 & 4 – Sapa
Option 1: Sapa Tour from Hanoi
If you only have 2 days for Sapa, the easiest option is to book a Sapa trekking tour that includes transportation service, accommodation, food, and an English tour guide.
Get Your Guide offers a great 2 days 1 night Sapa trekking tour that takes you to explore the most popular attractions in Sapa: Cat Cat, Lao Chai, Ta Van, and Giang Ta Chai.
Tips: If you still have enough energy, you might want to wake up early to catch the sunrise before heading to Ninh Binh by bus.
The journey takes about 5 hours from Cat Ba island to Ninh Binh by bus.
After checking in at your hotel, you can rent a bike to Hang Mua (Mua Cave) – a scenic mountainside spot in Ninh Binh. Although you will need to climb 500 steps to get to the top, the view is totally worth it.
Depends on where you want to go, you should choose to stay either near Trang An or Tam Coc.
With a modern design, Trang An Retreat features an outdoor swimming pool and a sun terrace. The staffs are very accommodating, bringing you a mini resort experience mini resort experience with homestay feeling.
Day 8: Ninh Binh and train to Hue
Things to do: Take a Trang An boat ride & explore Hoa Lu Ancient capital
What to eat:
Budget: $10 (Trang An boat ride) + $1 (Hoa Lu entrance fee) + $10 (food) Taxi/ Bike rental fee
Evening: Get to Hue
One of the best option to get from Ninh Binh to Hue is by train. Vietnam Railways offers several trains daily to Hue from Ninh Binh, and the journey takes 10 hours 43 minutes.
You should take a train that departs at 21:47 pm so you will be able to sleep on the train and get to Hue the next morning at 8:30 am.
If you’re looking for a comfortable ride, Livitrans and Violette are private trains that offer high-quality service.
Places to visit: Imperial city, Thien Mu Pagoda, Royal tomb
What to eat: Bun Bo Hue, Banh bot loc, Com hen
Budget: From $10
Where to stay in Hue?
Located in the city center, Hue Nino Hotel is a budget hotel with comfortable room and great breakfast.
If you’re looking for a trendy hotel, Rosaleen Boutique Hotel is one of the top picks in Hue. The hotel features an amazing outdoor pool, surrounded by sun loungers.
Day 10 – Da Nang
In the morning, take a train ride passing Hai Van Pass from Hue to Da Nang.
The Hai Van Pass is an approximately 21-km long mountain pass on National Route 1A in Vietnam. Hai Van Pass or Sea Clouds Pass offers a stunning landscape of clear blue skies and mountain, overlooking the blue sea.
The ideal train to enjoy the best of Hai Van pass is SE1, SE3, and SE19 that depart at 10:59, 8:37 and 9:31 respectively.
If you’re going from Hue, don’t forget to choose the left seat so you can enjoy the view.
Exploring Da Nang
Since you’ve been traveling around Vietnam for 10 days, take this day at Da Nang to relax and enjoy a nice time on the beach.
Things to do: Swimming, Seeing the Dragon bridge at night
What to eat: Banh trang thit heo (Pork wrapped in rice paper), Mi Quang
Budget: From $5
Where to stay in Da Nang?
There are several hotels located along the coast of Da Nang, offer a great experience for who love relaxing on the beach.