Iconic Vietnam Holiday

Contact | 13 Days

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Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Lan Ha Bay - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta

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Your journey at a glance

From majestic nature to unique architecture, local culture to friendly people, traveling through Vietnam brings endless joy and surprise. This highlight-packed itinerary in 13 days will let you see all the best of Vietnam, from the verdant Mekong Delta and booming Saigon in the south to graceful Hanoi and magnificent Halong Bay in the north with captivating landscapes and rich heritage in between. The trip is like a handbook that is both exploratory and suggestive, certainly stimulating you to see what lies hidden in Vietnam in the future.

Brief

Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival

Day 2: Hanoi - City tour

Day 3: Ninh Binh - Tam Coc Grottoes

Day 4: Lan Ha Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Day 5: Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba National Park

Day 6: Hue - City tour

Day 7: Danang - City tour

Day 8: Hoi An - Bay Mau Coconut Forest

Day 9: Hoi An - Free & Easy

Day 10: Hoi An & Ho Chi Minh City

Day 11: Mekong Delta – Ben Tre

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure

Hanoi - Ninh Binh - Lan Ha Bay - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta

Important Information

  • Uncover Hanoi’s street culture on a cylco
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride in Ninh Binh
  • Cruise overnight in Lan Ha Bay
  • Discover the coastal city of Da Nang
  • Visit UNESCO heritage sites in Hue and Hoi An
  • Learn war history in Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Experience Mekong Delta’s riverside life
  • Unlimited customization upon request
  • Instant support
  • Accommodation with breakfast in the central location and highly recommended on travel forum
  • Experienced local guide (language is upon request)
  • All entrance fees and sightseeing tickets as listed
  • Local dishes with hygiene (others are upon request)
  • Air-conditioned transfer during the whole tour
  • Complimentary water each day
  • Service charges and government taxes
  • Any extra services are upon request

This customized itinerary allows us to tailor the accommodation to your specific preferences and budgetary considerations. Our local travel experts will recommend accommodations that align with the unique requirements of your journey, ensuring comfort, convenience, and a memorable stay.

From local homestay, boutique hotels to renowned hotel chains, we prioritize collaboration with accredited and reputable accommodation providers, guaranteeing the highest possible standards of service and hospitality throughout your entire travel experience.

Detailed information about accommodation for this itinerary will be provided in the final tour proposal.

Here are some essential tips to keep in mind before your trip. Our team is here to help, so don't hesitate to reach out to us with questions.
- Visa & Passport: Check the visa requirements for your nationality well in advance. Also, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your trip.
- Health & Safety: Make sure you have suitable travel insurance and consult your healthcare provider about any vaccinations or medications you might need before you travel.
- Dress Code: Pack modest clothing, especially when you plan to visit religious sites or rural areas. Lightweight, breathable clothing is ideal due to the tropical climate.
- Travel Documents: Keep copies of important travel documents (passport, visa, and travel insurance) and store them in a separate place from the originals. It's also a good idea to have digital copies stored on your phone or in cloud storage for easy access.
For more helpful travel tips, check out our free Travel Guide. You can get your copy below:

Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival

Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival

Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Vibrant, inviting, and delightful – the city reveals itself with your first glimpse of scooters whizzing through the streets. Yet in contrast to the city’s modern tempo, the echoes of history still resonate in many architectural sites, reflecting the eras of dynasties and French influence.

No matter your flight schedule, our friendly guide and driver will warmly welcome you upon arrival and take you to your hotel in the city center. Once settling in, you will have a chance to explore Hanoi at your leisure. Why not start your first day in Hanoi by filling your stomach with some local dishes? If your taste buds need direction, our guide can introduce to you some local-favourite eateries.

Day 2: Hanoi - City tour

Day 2: Hanoi - City tour

Morning:
Today, let’s embark on a journey through Hanoi’s fascinating history and rich culture. We’ll start at Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum to delve into the inspiring legacy of ‘Uncle Ho’, Vietnam’s beloved former leader. Next, a visit to his traditional stilt house nearby will provide insights into his presidential years during wartime. Following our exploration is the unique architecture of One Pillar Pagoda, shaped like a lotus blossom. Our guide then takes you to the Temple of Literature, hailed as Vietnam’s first university, with doctoral steles dating back 1000 years.

Afternoon:
After lunch, we will leave for the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which focuses on the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam. Returning to the city centre, you’ll hop aboard a cyclo and meander through the bustling streets of the Old Quarters, passing by vibrant shops and street food stalls. Our journey concludes at Hoan Kiem Lake, home to Ngoc Son Temple on Jade Island, accessed via the iconic The Huc Bridge.

Overnight in Hanoi

Day 3: Ninh Binh - Tam Coc Grottoes

Day 3: Ninh Binh - Tam Coc Grottoes

Morning:
You’ll leave Hanoi for Ninh Binh, often called ‘Ha Long Bay on land’, known for its winding river flowing amidst towering limestone mountains. Upon arrival, you’ll visit Hoa Lu’s two remaining temples, both built with dark-red lacquered pillars. The first, Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, dates back to the 17th century and honors the Dinh dynasty. Inside, you’ll find bronze bells and a statue of Emperor Dinh Tien Hoang, with the stone pedestal of a royal throne at the front. The second temple is dedicated to monarch Le Dai Hanh, who had great contributions in building and protecting the country in the 10th century. Later, you’ll enjoy a traditional Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon:
With a satisfied stomach, we’ll hop on a rowboat for a leisurely cruise along Ngo Dong River to Tam Coc, where vast paddy fields stretch out beneath the towering karst mountains. To conclude the day, you have the option to pedal along country roads, soaking in the serene countryside of Ninh Binh, or hike to the summit of Mua Cave for breathtaking views of the Tam Coc scenery.

Overnight in Ninh Binh

Day 4: Lan Ha Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Day 4: Lan Ha Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Morning:
Say goodbye to Ninh Binh as we’re off on an exciting journey to Lan Ha Bay. After a cozy ride in a private car to the port, you’ll check in and board a luxurious cruise, ready to reveal the untouched beauty of this UNESCO-listed natural wonder. Once the captain sets sail, it’s time to fill your tummy with a delicious lunch and feast your eyes with odd-shaped limestone pillars and hidden coves along the way.

Afternoon:
Once our cruise drops achor in Tra Bau, you can enjoy a refreshing swim in a tranquil area with emerald waters. When the sun sets, head back to the cruise for a breathtaking view from the top deck, followed by a traditional Vietnamese cooking class. Conclude the day with a delightful dinner and an overnight stay amidst the exotic landscape of Lan Ha bay. And for those craving even more fun, how about joining the cruise staff for midnight squid fishing? Who knows, we might just reel in some squid for a late-night party!

Overnight on cruise

Day 5: Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba National Park

Day 5: Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba National Park

Morning:
Waking up to the melody of waves lapping against the cruise, your day begins with a Tai-Chi session on deck and a warm breakfast after. Today we hop on Cat Ba Island for a hiking outing in Cat Ba National Park. Discovering this UNESCO biosphere reserve, it’s your chance to get to know a variety of rare species. As we go further, we’ll explore Trung Trang Cave with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. Returning to your cruise, save this time to soak in the panoramic bay views as we cruise back to the shore.

Afternoon:
Once we’re back in Hanoi, depending on the flight schedule, we’ll head to Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam. Upon arrival, our friendly guide and driver will warmly welcome and transfer you to the hotel. You will have free time to enjoy the city afterward.

Overnight in Hue

Day 6: Hue - City tour

Day 6: Hue - City tour

Morning:
Your journey begins with a romantic boat ride along the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda, the seven-storey historic symbol of Hue. Continue for a historical excursion to the resting places of the Nguyen’s fourth emperor – Tu Duc Tomb. The architecture reflects of the emperor’s personalities and philosophies, as well as the fluctuations of Vietnamese history in the 19th century.

Afternoon:
It’s time to teleport back in time at the UNESCO-listed Imperial Citadel. Built back in the 19th century, this complex was once the royal palace of the Nguyen, Vietnam’s last dynasty. Despite the ravages of war, the Citadel still holds within its ancient walls a wealth of historical treasures, including grand public buildings, opulent residences, and sacred sites of worship. Conclude our day with a leisurely stroll through the hundred-year-old Dong Ba Market, where you can find Hue’s finest crafts. You might have heard that bargaining is customary in Southeast Asia, but it’s important to approach it with respect. You should reach a fair agreement that satisfies both yourself and the seller/provider, rather than just aiming for the lowest price. So, keep a positive attitude and negotiate with goodwill – you’ll find that vendors are more than willing to accommodate your request.

Overnight in Hue

Day 7: Danang - City tour

Day 7: Danang - City tour

Morning:
Lace up your shoes because today we’re going to Da Nang. We’ll hit the road along the scenic Hai Van Pass, with jaw-dropping vistas of the boundless ocean, to reach Vietnam’s best living city. Our first stop will be the Museum of Cham Sculpture. Don’t let its size fool you; this small museum contains the world’s largest collection of Cham ethnic artifacts dating back from the 5th to 15th centuries. Continue to Linh Ung Pagoda, where Vietnam’s tallest Goddess of Mercy Statue is located. From there, you’ll be treated to an incredible panoramic view of the entire Son Tra Peninsula, complete with charming fishing villages and stunning beaches stretching into the distance.

Afternoon:
We will head to the magnificent Marble Mountains. The mountains have a harmonious blend of structures and nature, with caves, tunnels, towers, and pagodas. Sure, you’ll have to tackle a few flights of stairs to reach the summit, but the breathtaking panoramas make every step worth it. Afterwards, we’ll travel to the ancient town of Hoi An. Once settling in your hotel, you can freely explore the town.

Overnight in Hoian

Day 8: Hoi An - Bay Mau Coconut Forest

Day 8: Hoi An - Bay Mau Coconut Forest

Morning:
We begins our first day in Hoi An at the 7-hectare Bay Mau Coconut Forest, where you’ll glide along tranquil waterways on a charming basket boat. You’ll pass through a traditional fishing village, witnessing fishermen casting nets – a fascinating scene straight out of National Geographic’s cover. As you continue, the distant sound of disco music grows louder. You’ll soon encounter crowds of tourists watching coconut boat performers dancing on their boats. Experiencing the swift circular motion of the boat firsthand is truly unforgettable, and you can even request to join in on the fun.

Afternoon:
Return to Hoi An Ancient Town and dive into exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site. As you wander through the charming alleys, you’ll discover the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, the Chinese Assembly Hall, Tan Ky Ancient House, and the bustling ChinaTown. Conclude the day with a scenic sunset cruise on Thu Bon River – perfect for capturing stunning photos of Hoi An.

Overnight in Hoi An

Day 9: Hoi An - Free & Easy

Day 9: Hoi An - Free & Easy

Today is all yours to freely explore the beauty of Hoi An. Do you need some inspiration? These suggestions might be helpful for you:
– Why not bring back home a new wardrobe? Hoi An’s talented ateliers offer custom-made garments at affordable prices, tailored just for you in a matter of days.
– For all beach lovers, head to An Bang Beach or Cua Dai Beach, with white sand and crystal clear water (Make sure to only swim at areas with lifeguards!)
– When night falls, the best way to see the whole old town is from a boat on Hoai River. If you want a wish to come true, light up your paper lantern with a candle and release it into the water, just like the locals believe.
– And for dinner, let’s try some local cuisine. Hoi An is truly a food paradise! From famous banh mi to delicious ‘Com ga’, ‘Mi Quang’, or ‘Banh xeo’, there’s something for everyone, including vegan and Halal options.

Overnight in Hoi An

Day 10: Hoi An & Ho Chi Minh City

Day 10: Hoi An & Ho Chi Minh City

Enjoy your last free day in Hoi An before taking the flight to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Previously known as Saigon, HCMC is a dynamic commercial hub with modern skyscrapers and lively streets. Yet amid the modernity, you can easily find serene pagodas and temples, where the smell of incense fills the air with peace. And if you’re eager to learn more about the city’s history, there are plenty of museums filled with artifacts, stories and memories.

Our friendly guide and driver will warmly welcome you upon arrival and take you to your hotel in the city center. Once settling in, you will have a chance to explore HCMC at your leisure. HCMC is truly a melting pot of cuisines, combining ingredients and recipes from many different regions and cultures. If your taste buds need direction, allow us to suggest some must-try dishes like ‘Com tam’ (broken rice), ‘Banh xeo’ (crispy pancake), and the most iconic ‘Ốc’ (snails/shellfish).

Overnight in HCMC

Day 11: Mekong Delta – Ben Tre

Day 11: Mekong Delta – Ben Tre

Morning:
Journeying out of the city, we head to Ben Tre in Mekong Delta, famously known as ‘Vietnam’s coconut kingdom’! Did you know it produces 40% of the country’s coconuts? On arrival, we’ll have a ride on a motorized rickshaw to discover how the locals have been subsisting on coconut for generations. Our first stop is a cottage industry in Phong Nam, where you’ll see coconut shells being separated to make charcoal and coconut flesh being used for delicious desserts. Then, it’s time for a boat ride along Chet Say Canal, watching coconuts being transferred by boat while we’re sipping fresh coconut water. Next up, we’ll visit Nhon Thanh, famous for its traditional mat weaving from sedge plants. You can even try your hand at making a mat with the help of a craftsman. Savor your lunch at a local restaurant filled with Mekong specialties.

Afternoon:
We’ll hop on a sampan boat to glide through coconut groves along the maze of small canals, a hallmark of the Mekong Delta. You can also test your balance on the monkey bridge, named for the playful postures travelers make while crossing these bamboo poles. As the day comes to a close, we’ll head back to HCMC.

Overnight in HCMC

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels

Morning:
Your day begins with an incredible journey to Cu Chi Tunnels. We’ll explore just a small part of this 250 km underground network built by Vietnamese back in the wartime. These massive tunnels were not only war shelters but also kitchens, hospitals, command centers and secret storages for food and weapons. While crawling through the tunnels, you’ll hear incredible stories about the Viet Cong guerrillas who lived, fought, or even sacrificed here during the Vietnam War.

Afternoon:
It’s time to discover some of the most iconic spots in HCMC! We’ll embark on insightful history tours at the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum, which document significant milestones of Vietnam’s history, particularly the war period from 1955 to 1975. Following this, we’ll visit the Central Post Office, renowned for its stunning colonial French architecture with elements of Gothic and Renaissance styles. Afterwards, the day is all yours to explore the hustle and bustle of HCMC!

Overnight in HCMC

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure

Your journey across iconic destinations in Vietnam comes to its end. After breakfast today, you’ll get the morning to yourself – no scheduled activities. Whenever you’re ready to go, our attentive driver will be ready to take you to the airport, ensuring a seamless transition for your departing flight. Until our paths cross again on your next adventure, safe travels!

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