Get an open bus ticket. It was really easy to just buy it in the beginning from our hostel and not have to worry about it. We didn’t buy one until we got to Ha Long Bay. We always got picked up at our hostel and dropped off at our next one, so we never had to pay for a taxi from a bus station. We never had to buy any flights because we made so many little stops along the way. So our bus rides were only always 3-12 hours long. Click here for our Vietnam video.
Sapa– Sapa is a small town up in the mountains. Most people go up there to go on a trekking tour. You will meet lots of Hill Tribe woman that will offer you to stay with their families in their village. They take you on a hikes through the rice patty fields.
Hanoi– Hanoi is a big city with a French background. Check out the shops and cafes in the French Quarter. Walk around Hoan Kiem lake. Try the street food you find down the little alleys. Check out a water puppet show. And, of course try the Vietnamese drip coffee.
Ha Long Bay– We booked our open bus ticket in Ha Long Bay at Ha Long party Hostel where we stayed one night before going to Cat Ba Island. There is not much to do in Ha Long Bay city. We arrived at night and got a ferry to Cat Ba island in the morning. Cat Ba is where most people go that are staying in Ha Long Bay.
Ninh Binh– Ninh Binh is a really small town so you only need one day to see everything. You can take a 2 hour boat ride down the river that stops inside caves and the only way you can see it is by going on the boat. The boats are small and only allow a few people on each one. Other then that you can rent a bicycle and check out the temples and scenery nearby. It is a really pretty town.
Phong Nha– Phong Nha is known for its National Park and the giant caves inside. There are lots of different tours you can go on to see the caves. If you don’t want to do a tour I would recommend renting a motorbike and exploring the National Park yourself. You can do Phong Nha in one day as well.
Hue– If you don’t have a lot of time in Hue rent a boat one day and take it down the river and stop at all the different sites. Stay at Hue Amazing House mainly because the hostel owners are so nice. They will take you to the market and cook dinner for you as well as free breakfast.
Hoi An– Hoi An was a really nice city. There’s the old town with cute cafes aligning the river and there are also some nice beaches.
Nha Trang– In Nha Trang we only had one day and we spent it at the beach. We also found that the same Indian restaurant, Ganesh, we went to in Hoi An was also in Nha Trang so we had to go again for dinner. They had some fun pool bars to go to near our hostel as well.
Da Lat– Stay at Da Lat Family Hostel. The nicest family owns the place. The mom cooks a massive feast every night for everyone. It’s basically a party at the hostel every night until 11 pm.
Ho Chi Minh-Stay at Vietnam Inn Saigon. The staff there was really nice and everyone parties together at night on the rooftop. You get free breakfast and two free beers at night for $6. Ho Chi Minh is a huge city with lots to do. Check out the Vietnam war museum and the underground war tunnels.