Ships anchored in Halong Bay
Ships anchored in Halong Bay
Aerial view of Ho Chi Minh, Cu Chi Tunnels & Sunset over the Mekong Delta
Aerial view of Ho Chi Minh, Cu Chi Tunnels & Sunset over the Mekong Delta
Nha Trang
Nha Trang
Hoi An
Hoi An
Hue
Hue
Hanoi city & Halong Bay
Hanoi city & Halong Bay

Classic Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

14 nights from €2,749 per person Including Flights

Overview

Travel the length of Vietnam, one of Asia’s most fascinating and diverse countries, on this 14-night small escorted tour. You’ll discover bays dotted with limestone karsts and motorbike-choked cities, rice paddies and beaches, as well as ancient temples and the tombs of royal emperors. Your adventure begins in Ho Chi Minh City in the south and ends in the northern capital Hanoi, stopping at Vietnam’s top destinations along the way.

Sail the emerald waters of UNESCO-listed Halong Bay, spend a night with locals in the Mekong Delta, explore the charming port city Hoi An and relax on white sands in Nha Trang. You’ll get the chance to sample authentic Vietnamese dishes, travel on a traditional sleeper train and learn about the country’s stirring war history. This tour offers the perfect blend of culture, adventure and history (INT - TVKT).

Please note: the minimum age for this group tour is 15 years of age.

Highlights

  • Stay with locals on a Mekong Delta cultural exchange.
  • Take an overnight cruise on Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Enjoy relaxing beach time, boat trips and snorkelling in Nha Trang.
  • Visit the ancient port city Hoi An, which is famous for its markets and tailors.
  • Explore Vietnam’s former capital, the royal city of Hue.
  • Tour Hanoi’s scenic Old Quarter and visit Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house.
  • Experience a traditional sleeper train journey.

 

Whats included?
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Checked baggage
  • CAR licensed & bonded
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
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Day 1

Ho Chi Minh City

Welcome to Vietnam! Your adventure begins with a complimentary airport transfer to your hotel. If you arrive early, take a stroll to get an initial taste of this vibrant, chaotic city before the welcome meeting at 6pm and dinner.

Dinner included.

Day 2

Ho Chi Minh City

Today you’ll take a trip to the  Cu Chi Tunnels, which were famously used by the Viet Cong soldiers in the war. During the tour, you’ll have a chance to look at the underground tunnels, which stretch over an impressive 120 kilometres, and learn about the tactics and booby traps employed by the Viet Cong against American soldiers.

The afternoon is at your leisure.

Breakfast included.

Day 3

Mekong Delta

After a buffet breakfast at KOTO, a restaurant that trains local underprivileged youths in hospitality skills, you’ll make the three-hour drive through the Vietnamese countryside to Cai Be. This is the jumping-off point for exploring the Mekong Delta, also known as Vietnam’s Rice Bowl, by boat. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings filled with rice paddies, villages and orchards where you can taste tropical fruit.

In the late afternoon, you’ll be taken to a guesthouse where you’ll spend the night with Mekong residents and sample a typical local meal. Since you’re staying with local hosts, the accommodation will be simple, consisting of twin and double rooms complete with bedding and mosquito nets. Bathroom facilities may be shared and have no hot water.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 4

Ho Chi Minh City

Start the day with a dawn trip to a traditional Mekong Delta market where you can shop and watch locals trade. Next, you’ll journey back to Ho Chi Minh city. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy optional activities like visiting the Reunification Palace, which was famously overtaken by Ho Chi Minh’s communist army in 1975, a key turning point in the war.

Breakfast included.

Day 5

Hoi An

The day starts with a short flight to Danang, followed by an hour-long bus journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An. Spend the rest of the day exploring this 15th century colonial port city independently. Stroll through the lantern and tree-lined streets, which are particularly tranquil due to a vehicle ban, and discover a mix of colourful French buildings, Vietnamese houses, Chinese merchant homes and a Japanese Bridge.

If you feel like shopping, Hoi An is the perfect place to pick up some souveniers. The streets are full of shops selling traditional crafts and tailor-made clothes. Express services can even whip up a quality, made-to-measure silk outfit in 24-hours, or ship items straight to your home country.

Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 6

Hoi An

Today, you have time to relax or continue exploring. Optional activities include heading to a nearby beach, or taking a combined bike and boat tour through the countryside and along the Thu Bon River. If you fancy tasting some of the local delicacies, join a street food by night excursion.

Breakfast included.

Day 7

Hoi An

You have a free day in Hoi An to fit in any activities you’ve missed or simply chill out. Head out early to the local street market where locals buy and sell fresh fish, produce and spices or take a Vietnamese cooking course and learn how to make classic dishes like Pho. If you prefer to do some more sightseeing, take a day trip to the World Heritage Site My Son, which is set in a beautiful valley surrounded by hills and the Cat’s Tooth Mountain. Discover temples and ruins of the Cham civilisation, which date back to the 4th century.

Breakfast included.

Day 8

Hue

Today you’ll move on to Hue, Vietnam’s former capital and home of the Nguyen Dynasty between 1802 and 1945. Along the way you’ll drive over the Hai Van Pass, one of the most scenic highways in Vietnam, set along the mountains overlooking the sea. You’ll make a stop at Lang Co, where you can take in the views over lunch.

Arrive in Hue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which straddles the Perfume River and is filled with impressive historic treasures. Tour the 19th century Imperial City and Forbidden Purple City, where the ancient emperors once lived and ruled. This walled area is surrounded by a moat and filled with shrines, gardens and palaces.

Breakfast included.

Day 9

Hue

Breakfast on Bun Bo Hue, local beef noodle soup, before taking a cruise along the Perfume River. The trip includes a stop at the ornate, 21-metre high Thien Mu Pagoda, which is a Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. Among the displays you’ll see a car belonging to a monk who self-immolated to protest against the terrible treatment of Buddhists. Note that during festival season, you may have to travel over land rather than on the river.

Hue is also home to some of the decorative tombs of the last Vietnamese emperors. You’ll visit the royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, which is one of the most beautiful, set in a garden with a lake and frangipani trees. You’ll have lunch at a Buddhist monastery or nunnery, which gives you a chance to support these local institutions and taste some traditional food.

Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 10

Hanoi

Today you’ll fly north to Vietnam’s vibrant capital city, Hanoi, which is home to over 1,000 years of history. An afternoon tour will give you an overview of the city. Wander the maze-like, 36 streets of the Old Quarter, which are filled with traditional Vietnamese shops, restaurants and hordes of beeping motorbikes. This contrasts with the peace of nearby Hoan Kiem Lake, where locals gather to exercise, stroll and relax.

You’ll get to see architectural treasures such as the Chinese-style Temple of Literature and the One Pillar Pagoda. At the presidential complex, you’ll see a grand yellow palace and the traditional wooden stilt house where Vietnam’s revered revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh, lived. In the afternoon, you have free time to continue exploring Hanoi. Optional activities include visiting the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, which promotes the cultural heritage of the country’s ethnic communities.

Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 11

Ninh Binh

Today you will venture to the UNESCO protected Ninh Binh. This is a beautiful area, with a winding river making its way through towering limestone mountains. Upon arrival, you'll visit the Dinh and Le Temples built back in the 10th century, and dedicated two kings of Vietnam. Lunch is at a local home, where you'll enjoy authentic dishes. The day finishes with a rowboat cruise along the wetland of Van Long to see the limestone mountains and rice paddy fields.

Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 12

Ninh Binh

The morning is at your leisure, before an action-packed afternoon at the Thung Nham ecotourism zone. First is a cruise in a traditional rowboat to see the largest natural bird garden in the north of Vietnam, then, you'll adventure through the cave system that includes the Vai Gioi Cave, But Cave and Tien Ca Cave. Lastly, the'll be a visit to spiritual sights including the thousand-year-old banyan tree, Gii Dai Temple and Linh Than Mieu, before wandering through the Thung Nham flower nursery and vegetable garden.

Breakfast included.

Day 13

Halong Bay

Make the four-hour journey by private bus to Vietnam’s most popular attraction, Halong Bay. Enjoy an overnight cruise on the famous bay, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Sail the paper-flat emerald waters, which are dotted with over 2,000 unique limestone karsts and formations. Explore magical caves, take a swim in the summer months or go kayaking around the bay to see floating villages, which are home to locals who’ve inhabited the bay for generations.

You’ll stay on a traditional junk boat, which has twin cabins with air conditioning and private bathrooms. There’s a dining room where you’ll have group meals, including a seafood lunch buffet. It’s a good idea to pack an overnight bag for the cruise and store your main luggage in Hanoi. Note that due to restrictions on how many boats can stay in Halong Bay overnight, you may be placed on a larger vessel shared with another group.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 14

Hanoi

In the morning, you’ll drive back to Hanoi, making a stop at the Dong Trieu Factory, where locals make ceramic art. Back in the city you’ll watch a unique water puppet show hosted by a local family who specialise in this ancient art form, which originated in the Red River Delta Region. There will also be time for optional activities such as shopping and visiting the Museum of Ethnology. You can visit one of Hanoi’s most popular museums, the Hoa Lo Prison, a Spanish colonial institution that was later used to incarcerate American soldiers and fighter pilots.

Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 15

Hanoi

Spend your final day in Hanoi however you like. Stroll around the city, shop or soak in the atmosphere at a street-side coffee shop. If you want to make the most of your last day, you can opt to take a bike tour of the city, or a street food by night tour. You can depart your accommodation at any time.

Breakfast included.

  • Complimentary airport transfer upon arrival.
  • Accommodation: 12 nights in a hotel, one night in a guesthouse and one overnight boat.
  • Transport: boat, bus, taxi, train, domestic flights, private car.
  • Food: 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 4 dinners.
  • Group size of 1-12 travellers
  • Activities: Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum, Mekong Delta - Boat cruise with visits to local producers, Hoi An - Old Town walking tour, Hue - Imperial City entrance and guided visit, Hue - Royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, Hue - Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda, Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda & HCM stilt house, Hanoi - Temple of Literature, Ninh Binh - Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh - Van Long Nature Reserve Boat Trip, Ninh Binh - Thung Nham Ecotourism Zone, Halong Bay - Overnight Boat Cruise, Hanoi - Old Quarter Tour, Hanoi - Local water puppet performance

Please note that the minimum age for this group tour is 15 years of age.

Jill Maguire
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