Uncover the beauty of Vietnam’s landscapes and heritage on this customized Vietnam trip from the north to the south of the country. Beginning your vacation in the ancient city of Hanoi, explore its Old Quarters, markets, and famous landmarks such as the Temple of Literature. Explore the stunning Halong Bay on an overnight cruise, gliding past its towering karst formations and stopping at picturesque little islands dotting the bay. Next in Hue, explore the imperial city with a guide and then discover its verdant outskirts and scenic villages on a biking adventure. Next door in Hoi An, take a walking tour through this famous heritage city and then sign up for an authentic cooking lesson from an expert chef at the Red Bridge Cooking School.
Take a break on the sandy shores of Nha Trang, framed by dramatic mountains on one side and the South China Sea on the other. The final stop on your customized Vietnam trip is Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, which you can explore on a tailor-made walking tour with your private guide and chauffeur.
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Hanoi has served as an erstwhile capital city and the seat of government for over a thousand years. Explore exotic ancient monuments and remnants of colonial imperialism as well as affable merchants at Hanoi’s night markets and at bustling street food stalls.
Evening Water Puppet Show Discover the traditional art of water puppeteering for which Vietnam is famous around the world! In the evening, take in an hour-long show of a lively water puppet show accompanied by traditional music. Admire the dexterity of the puppeteers as they bring alive scenes from local life, and see their skilled craftsmanship firsthand in these colorful and lovingly designed puppets! (Evening Activity; Duration: 1 hr)
Group Tour of Hanoi Discover the rich cultural and architectural history of Hanoi over the course of this exciting day. Start your tour at the marble and granite mausoleum of the revolutionary leader, Ho Chi Minh. Next, pause to admire the wooden architecture of the One Pillar Pagoda that resembles a lotus. Arrive at a picturesque island in the West Lake to view the sixth century Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest in the city and a symbol of the country’s ancient Buddhist heritage. Explore the centuries-old tradition of Vietnamese pottery-making at the Tran Pottery Village or head to the Ethnography Museum to learn the history of this land. After lunch at a local restaurant, leave for the 11th century Temple of Literature. Originally built to honor the great philosopher, Confucius, it was later expanded into the Imperial Academy, Vietnam’s first national university. Drive along the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake framed by the imposing Ngoc Son temple and later, explore the atmospheric Old Quarter on your own. (Full Day; Shared Activity & Transfer; Time 0745 hrs; Lunch included; Fitness level: easy; please bring a hat, umbrella, rain-coat, light bags and avoid wearing shorts, mini skirts or shirts without sleeve; Please note that Bat Trang pottery village visit is available on Mon, Wed & Fri and Ethnology Museum on Sun, Tue, Thu & Sat)
Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkins is a dazzling world. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, you can witness the dense cluster of over 3,000 limestone islands as they rise spectacularly from the ocean. Geologically an extension, Lan Ha Bay is just as beautiful as Halong Bay but a lot more isolated.
A Class Legend Cruise in Halong Bay (One Night/Two Days) Day One: Leave Hanoi for Halong Bay making a quick stop en route for some refreshment. Enjoy lunch onboard the cruise boat as you sail towards mysterious Sung Sot Cave on Bo Hon Island, one of the finest and widest grottoes in Halong Bay. Next, stop at Ti Top Island for some swimming and snorkeling. Trek up to the highest point on the island for a bird’s eye view of the panoramic bay. Return to the boat in time to catch the sunset as you enjoy a cocktail party followed by dinner featuring an authentic Vietnamese menu. Before you retire for the night, try some squid fishing, read a book, watch a movie, or play board games. Day Two: Get up early in the morning for a Tai Chi demonstration on the upper deck before you enjoy a sumptuous breakfast. Sail down to Luon Cave and go exploring on a kayak or jump into one of the bamboo boats rowed by friendly locals. Return to the cruise boat and participate in a cooking demonstration on making spring rolls. Check out and have an early lunch as you sail back. Transfer back to Hanoi by road stop at a local village in the countryside to stretch your legs. (2 Days/1 Night; Shared Activity; Private Transfers; Meals Included; Fitness Level: Easy; Please note that the itinerary may be subject to change.)
Dragon Pearl Cruise in Halong Bay (One Night/Two Days) Enjoy a marvelous one night cruise aboard the Dragon Pearl! From your hotel you will be taken to the harbor where you can check-in, meet your crew, and receive a safety briefing. Then you can set sail for the magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay and Cap La, where the astonishing formations of Halong Bay await you. Enjoy a delicious lunch en route. If you wish, you can disembark and visit the local fishing village or go kayaking. Back on board, relax and unwind or have a swim before dinner. The following day you can cruise through an incredible panorama of grottos and explore Thien Canh Son cave. Enjoy a swim and another delicious lunch aboard the junk before a smooth cruise back to the harbor at Hanoi. (2 Days/1 Night; Shared Activity; Private Transfers; Meals included; Fitness level: Easy)
The ancient Imperial Capital of Hue, lies at the mouth of the Perfume River and is considered the fulcrum of Vietnam’s two rice baskets – the Red River Delta and the Mekong River Delta.
Group Tour of Hue City Explore the imperial city of Hue on this fascinating day trip! Meet your guide at the local pier before taking a traditional dragon boat cruise down the Perfume River, soaking in the beautiful riverside landscape surrounding you. Your boat ride ends at the Thien Mu pagoda, standing atop a hill by the river. Explore the seven-storied medieval monument and enjoy panoramic views of the Perfume River flowing beneath. Drive over to the famous UNESCO World Heritage ‘Complex of Hue Monuments’, which houses the Imperial Citadel, and admire its intricate architecture. Stroll through the royal gardens, stopping at the old royal court, as your guide shares historic trivia. Visit the royal antique museum before dropping by the bustling Dong Ba market for a feel the pulsating city. (Duration: 4 hrs; Time: 0800 hrs; Shared Activity; Fitness level: Easy; Please wear comfortable walking shoes).
Hidden Charms of Rural Hue by Bike Drive out for a few miles from Hue to explore charming suburbs that are rich in ancient culture and architecture. Hop onto a bicycle for a 10 mile long leisurely ride, enjoying the fresh air of the verdant countryside and exploring the small 100-year-old village of Thuy Bieu. The village is surrounded by the Perfume River on three sides, and is dotted by old garden houses (Ruong houses) and large Thanh Tra gardens (a specialty Pomelo related to grapefruit, which used to be given only to royal families). Pass by rice fields, family temples and bamboo orchards observing the different means of livelihood of the local people. You could also stop at a handicraft workshop where necklaces are being made out of aloeswood. Visit the home of a family who has been in the craft of making incense sticks for generations. Understand the traditional techniques and how they strive to keep the craft alive. After a brief stop at a silk painting workshop, visit the Voi Re temple – the temple of elephants – where the king’s war elephants were buried and worshipped. Move to the Ho Quyen (Tiger Fighting Arena) that was built in the mid 1800s by Emperor Minh Mang where elephants and tigers fought to death to entertain the royal family. Explore on your own for a while, before heading back to Hue. (Duration: 4 hrs; Time of Day: 0800 hrs or 1300 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Leisure biking for 10 miles approx; Seasonal/Open/Close Dates: The tour is closed during Tet holidays. Please note that a vehicle is always available as a back-up if you don’t wish to ride a bicycle)
En Route Activity: Marble Mountain Visit En route from Hue to Hoi An, discover some of Vietnam’s treasured architecture. Your first stop is at Rong Cao, the Dragon Bridge, Da Nang’s treasured architectural symbol, also a pyrotechnic attraction every weekend. Visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture showcasing a splendid collection of rare artifacts and paraphernalia from the Cham culture. Head to the Cao Dai temple and admire the ornate interiors with gilded letters, carved pillars, and a dominating all-seeing eye. Explore the city’s periphery for a unique cultural experience at Nui Ngu Hanh Son, a cluster of five marble and sandstone mountains representing the five elements. Stop by at Non Nuoc, a charming village of local marble sculptors and craftsmen at the foothills. Discover historic caves, temples, tunnels, and peaks with figurines and statues carved out of stone. As you climb the meandering stairways dotted with beautiful 17th century pagodas, be rewarded with an excellent vantage of the surrounding beaches of Da Nang, the city below, and other rock faces. (En route Activity from Hue to Hoi An; Time of the Day: Morning or Afternoon; Duration: 3 hr; Private Activity)
Hoi An pays testament to its remarkable history as a major port town, booming with grand architecture of old Japanese merchant houses, pale yellow houses draped in bougainvillea, shopfronts lit with glowing silk lanterns, and ageing tea warehouses.
Half Day Red Bridge Cooking School Experience For the adventurous palates, visit Red Bridge cooking school – a highlight of Hoi An’s culinary scene. Meet your chef at Hai Café in the old town for an introduction and welcome drink. Then explore the central market with him, learning about the quintessential ingredients of Vietnamese cuisine. Enjoy photographic moments on the 20min cruise to the school, with glimpses of local river life. Visit the school’s herb garden and enjoy a private hands-on cooking class. Savor what you have created. (Best Time to Visit: All Year; Total Duration: 4- hrs; Timings: Two slots: 08:00 hrs and 11:00 hrs; Important Notes: Private class is available for the afternoon only)
Walking Tour of Hoi An Accompany your local expert through the narrow lanes of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An, which served as a prosperous trading port from the 15th century to the 19th century. Stroll through the pedestrian-only streets of this well-preserved architectural heritage passing by various buildings, temples, merchant houses, and pagodas showcasing French, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese influences. Walk across the 400-year-old Japanese covered bridge over the stream as your guide narrates its history. Head on to the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation for a closer look at the intricate wood carvings on the walls and beams. Explore the vibrant local market, past stalls displaying colorful wares, spices, and exotic fruits, that is particularly famous for its locally produced silk and tailors who even have a section of the market dedicated to them. (Half Day; Fixed Time: Yes; Time of Day: 0900/1400; Duration: 2 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Fitness Level: Easy.
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), still often referred to as Saigon, was a Khmer seaport in the 17th century before becoming a French colony. Rapid and thrilling and, even with the maddening traffic as cyclo drivers speed under vast neon billboards, you can immerse yourselves in variety at HCMC.
Personalized Walking Tour of Saigon Explore Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam’s largest and busiest city, as you walk past boulevards lined by colonial French buildings. Discover fine examples of French architecture such as the iconic Saigon Opera House, CIA building, and the Central Post Office designed by architect Gustav Eiffel of the Eiffel Tower fame. Admire the neo-Romanesque features of Notre Dame Cathedral nearby before you stroll through lush gardens and secret rooms of the Independence Palace. Hop over to Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street and pass by the regal Supreme Court building. Walk through the colorful Ben Thanh market, stopping for coffee at a small cafe. Admire the boat-shaped Nguyen Van Hao’s building built by a rich businessman in 1933 pausing to click pictures. Stop by the Maison Marou for a little history lesson and a tasting session of the best Vietnamese chocolate. Stroll through Le Thi Hong Gam Street, the Fine Arts Museum, and Le Cong Kieu Street browsing through antique shops. After the walk, unwind with a craft beer at the Pasteur Street Brewing Company, or with traditional tea at Villa Downtown Royal Antique, or local lunch at a hidden restaurant. (4 hours from 0830 hrs or 1330hrs, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; Notre Dame Cathedral permits outside visits only due to renovation until 2023; Chocolate tasting at Maison Marou only on Saturday on own account; Fine Arts Museum is closed on Monday)
Transfer from your hotel to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City Airport
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 3,490 /person
Option 2 From $ 4,390 /person
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation in one double room for 12 days / 11 nights.
Meals as indicated
Economy flights for all sectors :
Hanoi – Hue
Danang – Nha Trang
Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh / Saigon
All activities as listed :
Hanoi: Evening Water Puppet Show
Hanoi: Group Tour of Hanoi
Halong Bay/Lan Ha Bay: A Class Legend Cruise in Halong Bay (One Night/Two Days)
Halong Bay/Lan Ha Bay: Dragon Pearl Cruise in Halong Bay (One Night/Two Days)
Hue: Group Tour of Hue City
Hue: Hidden Charms of Rural Hue by Bike
Hue: En Route Activity: Marble Mountain Visit
Hoi An: Half Day Red Bridge Cooking School Experience
Hoi An: Walking Tour of Hoi An
Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon: Personalized Walking Tour of Saigon
Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
On request: A printed set of your travel documents by post
Fees and taxes
All activities specified in the itinerary, including entrance fees, accompanied by your tour guide
A high-quality air-conditioned vehicle with chauffeur for the activities specified in the itinerary
All airport and hotel transfers as indicated above
Tips, additional meals, and personal expenses
Travel, health and cancellation insurance
International airfare (from your home country to your destination and return)
What our guests say about this trip
From day one, when I first contacted Corin to the end of the trip with Sapna, things couldn’t have gone better. Corin was great with the planning of the trip. He asked questions of where I wanted to go and do. Excellent employee. When I was handed off to Sapna, things also went very well. She was in contact with me every day via e-mail. She let us know who our guide would be for that leg of the trip. She also monitored our internal flights and made necessary changes to make sure we got to where we needed to be. Both Corin and Sapna are 5-star gems in your company. I have traveled all over the world and have used other travel companies and by far your company outweighs the others. I will definitely use you guys again.