After sharing 3 amazing Northern Vietnam itineraries and 3 more for Central Vietnam, it’s time for some Southern Vietnam travel! We love it when people decide to focus on a specific region of Vietnam as it means they can dig a little deeper into the local culture and explore further than if they tried to see the whole country. Each region of Vietnam is so different and it takes time to appreciate how special they are in their own right. Our Southern Vietnam Itineraries are all about city living in cosmopolitan Saigon, river life in the mighty Mekong Delta and stunning beaches on the coast.
Southern Vietnam Weekend Itinerary
Most traveller’s visiting Southern Vietnam for a weekend will be flying into Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport. From there, what should you see over 3 or 4 days?
Arrive at Ton Son Nhat International Airport and make your way to your central Saigon hotel. Freshen up and then it’s time to find some delicious Southern cuisine! Throw yourself in the deep end by visiting the Ben Thanh Market where you’ll find a plethora of local eateries offering all kinds of Vietnamese specialities. You can also grab a fresh fruit smoothie as you wander among the stalls. Today is about taking the time to simply wander and soak in the atmosphere of the city. In the evening head to one of the cities rooftop bars to do exactly this as you watch the sun go down. You could also check out our Saigon nightlife tour to show you the ropes.
Wake up early to make the most of a day of sightseeing! Today, you could book yourself on our Ho Chi Minh City day tour so that you can take in all the highlights of the city with a knowledgeable guide. Not to be missed are the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Post Office and the cities beautiful temples.
For your third day in Southern Vietnam, it’s time to head even further South into the watery world of the Mekong Delta. A day tour will give you a taste of what life is like in the rural ‘rice bowl of Vietnam’. Take a journey along the river and through the canals and meet the locals who call this place home. In the evening, make your way to the ‘backpacker area’ for an evening of local beers and food.
Today, head out of the city again to dig deeper into Vietnam’s past with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Vietnam War is a tragic piece of the country’s history and we believe that every traveller should aim to understand a little about it from the Vietnamese point of view. Before your flight out, take yourself off on a foodie wander to eat some of your favourite dishes one last time.
Southern Vietnam 1 Week Itinerary
With a week in Southern Vietnam, we recommend making a base in Saigon to take longer trips from.
Days 1 – 2
Your one week Southern Vietnam itinerary starts the same way as a 3-4 day trip, with two days exploring the cosmopolitan Southern capital. Enjoy the bustling markets, the mouthwatering street food snacks and a taste of Vietnamese big city life.
Days 3 – 4
For the next two days, head to the Mekong Delta for an overnight stay. This beautiful area is dominated by the Mekong waterways on which everyone relies for food, transport and their livelihood. Visit floating markets and local industries, as well as temples and homes on this 2 day, 1-night tour. Make your way back to Saigon for the evening.
Spend a leisurely morning in Saigon and then get yourself ready for a few days beachside! Take a minibus out to Mu Nei a few hours North of the city. Base yourself in a beachside hotel and relax into the coastal vibes of Vietnam. Mu Nei is famous for three things: seafood, kitesurfing and sand dunes. Try all three and consider your trip a success. Head back to Saigon in time for your flight and one last bowl of noodles at the airport!
Southern Vietnam 2 Week Itinerary
If you have more than 10 days in Southern Vietnam, then lucky you! This length of time allows you to get off the beaten path and explore more far-flung destinations, as well as spend more time relaxing in each place.
Days 1 – 8
The above 1-week itinerary for Southern Vietnam is the perfect way to begin a 2-week trip with an extra day in Saigon at the beginning. If you really love the rural landscapes and people of the Mekong, you could also consider adding on an extra night here too.
Days 9 – 11
Continue up Vietnam’s epic coastline from Mu Nei towards Phan Rang, Cam Ranh and Nah Trang. The first two boast stunning beaches based beside laid-back fishing villages and the latter is one of Vietnam’s beautiful beachside cities. Take your time exploring the different beaches and getting out on the water for snorkelling and fishing. If you’re looking for more nightlife adventures, Nha Trang is the place to do it!
Days 12 – 14
From Nha Trang, you have a few different options. You could head inland to check out Vietnam’s National Parks, mountains and jungles. You could continue up the coast to stunning Qui Nhon for more beach time. Or, you could make your way back to Saigon for more city exploring. You could also tag on a 3-4 day itinerary from the Central Vietnam or Northern Vietnam itineraries by flying to Danang or Hanoi from Nha Trang’s airport. The opportunities are endless! We hope these 3 simple Southern Vietnam itineraries help you to better understand how much you can see in your time in Vietnam and how to put together a realistic trip that is balanced between culture, adventure and relaxing beach time. As always, get in touch for help planning an itinerary that suits you, your time and budget and let us know if there is anything else you’d like to experience while in Vietnam.
Read more: The 10 best cities in Vietnam to visit
The best center Vietnam tour: Tour in Vietnam