This Vietnam vacation offers the perfect introduction to both famous sites and hidden gems. Explore bustling old cities like Hanoi that have been shaped by centuries of history and experience the traditional pastoral life in lesser-known destinations like Ninh Binh. Get away from the crowds with a cruise in Lan Ha Bay just off Halong, and explore ancient capital Hue and modern capital Saigon. End your insightful vacation on the quiet shores of Phu Quoc Island by the azure Gulf of Thailand.
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 (One Hour)
Discovering the Cultural Heritage of Hanoi Experience Hanoi’s cultural attractions on this day-long city tour as you stroll down the city’s beautiful tree-lined avenues walking past colonial villas, national monuments, and pretty lakes. Pay your respects to ‘Uncle Ho’ at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, as the nation’s beloved revolutionary leader is called. Afterward, drop by the exquisitely beautiful 9th century Buddhist temple, One Pillar Pagoda, built in the shape of a lotus on a single stone pillar. Stop by Vietnam’s first national university, the 11th century Temple of Literature known for its characteristic Vietnamese architecture. Later in the afternoon, gain an insight into the country’s numerous ethnic groups at the Museum of Ethnology with its display of traditional costumes and artifacts. Walk down the winding alleyways of Hanoi’s Old Quarter reveling in the vibrant atmosphere of the neighborhood. Known for its ‘36 streets of 36 wares’, the quarter dates back to the 13th century. End the day with a fascinating water puppet performance, unique to northern Vietnam, accompanied by a traditional live orchestra. (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Duration: 7 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy; Note: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum closed on Mon & Fri and Museum of Ethnology closed on Mon).
Ninh Binh is a small town deep in the Red River Delta, 93 km south of Hanoi.
Spectacular Landscapes of Hoa Lu and Tam Coc Discover the spectacular limestone landscapes and verdant countryside of northern Vietnam on this day tour. Set off early in the morning from your hotel for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Trang An. Watch the famed karst limestone peaks and grottoes of Trang An emerge across the horizon. Marvel at the stunning complex of sheer rock walls, craggy cliffs and caves covered by lush tropical rainforests. This amazing karst limestone formation overlooks yet another picturesque landscape of meandering rivers and emerald rice paddies. Visit the region’s ancient capital city of Hoa Lu, parts of which continues to stand among this precious limestone eco-system. Stop by the ancient temples of northern Vietnam’s Dinh and Le dynasties, which stand in the middle of velvety rice paddies. Drive up to yet another impressive natural landscape of the region at Tam Coc. Also called ‘Halong Bay on Land’, explore the limestone caves and grottoes of Tam Coc on a leisurely boat ride along the meandering river and its canals. Stop by the beautiful Thai Vi temple before returning to Tam Coc. After your lunch at Tam Coc, return to your hotel in Ninh Binh. (Full Day; Time of Departure: 0730 hrs; Duration: 9.5 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Moderate; Please bring comfortable walking shoes)
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.
Hidden World Cruise on Halong Bay: 2D/1N The Ginger Cruise offers an intimate sailing experience on the idyllic La Han Bay, Vietnam. Day 01: Set sail around noon with a welcome drink in hand, soaking in the sight of the bay around you. Gather for lunch, and watch the beautiful scenery pass by. Enjoy various facilities available onboard – swim in the rooftop pool as you pass by towering limestone karsts or check into the spa for a unique massage out at sea! Bask on the sundeck that offers panoramic views of limestone pillars and lush islets around. Stop by at Cat Ba Island, the largest in this archipelago, and explore the island on bikes or electric cars, absorbing the lifestyle of the islanders. Learn about local cuisine during an interactive cooking class onboard. As night falls, enjoy a fine selection of drinks under a starlit sky. After a hearty dinner, watch a cinema with aperitifs by your side, or join the staff to fish for squids before retiring to your suite! Day 02: Wake up early for Tai Chi sessions on the sundeck, followed by morning beverages and pastries. Cruise to Tra Bau and discover the scenic emerald-green bay on kayaks and bamboo rafts. Enjoy the magnificent setting of tree-topped islands amid shimmering waters. After breakfast onboard, reminisce about your experience as you head to shore and bid farewell (2D/1N; Private Transfer; Meals included: Full board; Fitness level: Moderate. Please note that this ship cruises only in Lan Ha Bay and does not include visits to Halong Bay or any caves.)
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.
Meet A Kite Maker in Hoi An Indulge your childhood dreams of flying kites! Located by the famous Perfume River, Hue offers ideal conditions for this fun pastime. On a sunny day, you can observe hundreds of kites lining the clear blue sky, soaring over the Imperial Citadel as the adventurous populace compete against each other. In the Royal city, kite flying is considered an interesting hobby for people of all ages. Begin your tour at the home of Mr. Cu, who has been crafting kites for more than four decades. During your conversation, the skilled craftsman will explain the history of this traditional recreational activity and share his passion with you. Learn how to make a kite yourself and afterwards, if the weather permits, watch your kite soar high above the clouds over Hue. (Half Day, Afternoon, Private Activity & Transfer, Travel Time to Activity: 15 mins, Duration: 2-3 hrs, Fitness Level: Easy, Please note that this activity can be cancelled due to poor weather conditions between May – October)
Imperial Vietnam by the Banks of the Perfume River Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s rich imperial heritage on this tour of historic Hué. The town is dotted with ancient pagodas, royal tombs, and the remains of an imperial stronghold. Set off after breakfast to visit Hué’s iconic, 17th century monument of Thien Mu Pagoda, whose narrow, seven-storied structure stands atop a hill by the Perfume River. Afterwards, you could either explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Hué Monuments centered on the Imperial Citadel, or the royal tomb of Emperor Minh Mang. At the Imperial Citadel, be dazzled by the regal architecture and royal gardens. Set amid a forested area, the Royal Tomb is equally spectacular. In the afternoon, drive down to the charming little village of Duong No, which was home to the young Ho Chi Minh. Walk over to the ornate Thanh Toan Covered Bridge spanning the Perfume River, featuring traditional Asian design and a timber arch dotted with ceramic elements and elaborate calligraphy. (Best Time to Travel : Oct – Mar; Times : 9 AM – 3 PM; Duration – 5 hours; Private Activity; 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.
Serene Ben Tre Village Life Experience the timeless rhythms of Mekong country life on this day trip to the tranquil village of Ben Tre. Leave the urban bustle of Ho Chi Minh for the calm waters of the Mekong. A leisurely boat trip brings you to the quaint village where your first stop is a coconut workshop. Marvel at the variety and intricate beauty of products made from this eco-friendly resource. Next, hop on a bike or tuk-tuk to arrive at a lush orchard heavy with tropical fruits. Walk through the leafy fragrant groves where fruits like pomelo, rambutan and durian are grown the organic way. Drop by a wooden chopstick workshop to witness the age old techniques that go into making this ubiquitous dining accessory. Tuck into a colorful ethnic lunch at a local restaurant after which you are ready to return to your hotel but not before you have experienced the serene delights of sailing in a sampan or wooden boat. (Full Day: Time: 0800 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Duration: 8 hrs; Fitness level: Easy).
Half Day Highlights of Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon Explore the commercial capital of Vietnam! Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City has more than eight million people and four million motorbikes and yet retains its old world charm. A half day tour takes you to the Notre Dame Cathedral – a replica of the Parisian marvel across the square from which lies the Central Post Office – designed by French architect Gustave Eiffel. The former Presidential Palace and the War Remnants Museum tell the story of Saigon’s turbulent past. Enjoy a break with your guide at a local coffee shop, to see the city’s famed street coffee culture and learn interesting tidbits about life in Saigon.
Saigon Opera House & AO Show Discover the iconic opera of Ho Chi Minh City! In the late evening, set out to discover the unique history and architecture of the 19th century Saigon Opera House, which was built by famous French architect Eugene Ferret. Witness a live performance inside the theatre to truly appreciate this historic venue. Before the A O Show begins, step backstage to witness an exclusive presentation of instruments used in the performance and/or meet one of the actors. Gain unique insights into the history and inspiration for the performance. An intricate blend of bamboo cirque, acrobatics, live music and visual drama, the show itself is a beautiful depiction of life in urban and rural Vietnam. Enjoy traditional live music and plenty of action, supported by exquisite stage design and lighting to make it an unforgettable experience! (Evening Activity; Duration: 2 hrs; Private Transfers; Show Timings – 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm or 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Flight from Phu Quoc Island to Ho Chi Minh / Saigon
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 6,690 /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 13 days / 12 nights.
Meals as indicated
Economy flights for all sectors :
Hanoi – Hue
Hue – Ho Chi Minh / Saigon
Ho Chi Minh / Saigon – Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island – Ho Chi Minh / Saigon
All activities as listed :
Hanoi: Evening Water Puppet Show (One Hour)
Hanoi: Discovering the Cultural Heritage of Hanoi
Ninh Binh: Spectacular Landscapes of Hoa Lu & Tam Coc
Halong Bay/Lan Ha Bay: Hidden World Cruise on Halong Bay: 2D/1N
Hue: Meet A Kite Maker in Hoi An (Half Day)
Hue: Imperial Vietnam by the Banks of the Perfume River
Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon: Serene Ben Tre Village Life
Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon: Half Day Highlights of Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon: Saigon Opera House & AO Show (2 Hours)
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
Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
Welcome kit including all important documents and information regarding your itinerary
Fees and taxes
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
This was our first experience with a full service travel company where they literally made all the arrangements. Ordinarily I do all my own. From beginning to end my wife and I both felt extremely comfortable with how the schedule was being monitored and controlled by excellent staff in every location. Whenever we had any questions their local Representative was available and efficient in answering any concerns or requests we had to the point of calling us peridically directly at our hotel to ensure we were completely satisfied. It was impressive.