Treasures of Vietnam Vacation

Contact | 18 Days

Active level: Easy

Hanoi - Mai Chau - Pu Luong - Ninh Binh - Lan Ha Bay - Da Nang - Hoi An - Hue - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Phu Quoc

Adventure

Your journey at a glance

It is exactly as it sounds: there are many hidden gems waiting to be discovered on this 18-day adventure through Vietnam. From the lesser-known places in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the pristine island of Phu Quoc and remote ethnic villages in Mai Chau and Pu Luong. You can dive deep into Vietnam’s history and culture, mingle with friendly locals, connect with serene nature, or just kick back and relax with your loved ones.

Brief

Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival

Day 2: Hanoi - City tour

Day 3: Mai Chau & Pu Luong

Day 4: Pu Luong - Village encounter

Day 5: Pu Luong - River Rafting

Day 6: Ninh Binh – Trang An Grottoes

Day 7: Lan Ha Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Day 8: Lan Ha Bay - Cat Ba National Park

Day 9: Hoi An - Fishing village & Ancient Town

Day 10: Da Nang

Day 11: Hue - City tour

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - City tour

Day 13: Mekong Delta - Ben Tre

Day 14: Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi Tunnels

Day 15: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 16: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 17: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 18: Phu Quoc - Departure

Hanoi - Mai Chau - Pu Luong - Ninh Binh - Lan Ha Bay - Da Nang - Hoi An - Hue - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Phu Quoc

Important Information

  • Uncover Hanoi’s street culture on a cylco
  • Hike through rice terraces in Pu Luong
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride in Ninh Binh
  • Cruise through karst peaks in Lan Ha Bay
  • Visit UNESCO sites in Hue & Hoi An
  • Experience Mekong Delta’s riverside life
  • Relax on the beach of Phu Quoc Island
  • 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 Vietnamese eateries in Michelin Guide.

Overnight in Hanoi

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 saving energy with local lunch, you will leave for the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which focuses on the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam. Returning to the city centre, we’ll hop aboard a cyclo and meander through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, passing by Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple and The Huc Bridge. Our journey concludes with a water puppet show, a delight for both young and old, promising an authentic cultural experience for you!

Overnight in Hanoi

Day 3: Mai Chau & Pu Luong

Day 3: Mai Chau & Pu Luong

Morning:
Get away from the crowded streets in Hanoi, we’ll have 3.5-hour car ride to the idyllic Mai Chau Valley. Surrounded by rolling forested hills rising from the valley floor, Mai Chau is a separate world where the sounds of nature replace the buzz of traffic and the fresh air fills our lungs. Upon arrival, the breathtaking panoramic views of verdant rice paddies will help you forget your travel fatigue.

Afternoon:
Mai Chau is a melting pot of diverse minority cultures. We can choose to have a cycling or walking tour along paved roads to the villages of Thai ethnic people. Engage with the locals at their long stilt houses to learn about their rural but peaceful lives, and discover their vibrant traditions and customs. Continue to Chieu Cave in which the climb up may be steep, but it’s worth it for the breathtaking view of Mai Chau that awaits you at the top. And the cave itself is a natural wonder, with striking stalactites and stalagmites that will leave you in awe. Along your way back, if you’re lucky, you might even encounter a peaceful herd of water buffalo returning from a day’s work in the fields. Afterwards, we will head to Pu Luong Nature Reserve and spend our night there.

Overnight in Pu Luong

Day 4: Pu Luong - Village encounter

Day 4: Pu Luong - Village encounter

Morning:
Surrounded by dirt but beautiful country roads, hiking is your ticket to discovering the stunning nature and culture of Pu Luong. Our first stop of today’s adventure is a far-flung ethnic village named Kho Muong, nestled between towering limestone cliffs and endless expanses of rice paddies. It’s a wonderful chance to witness rural life in action while soaking in the breathtaking countryside scenery.

Afternoon:
After getting some rest, we’ll continue on a downhill journey through lush valleys, offering a magnificent bird’s-eye view you won’t want to miss capturing on camera. As you descend, the misty mountains gradually reveal the picturesque Uoi Village with its traditional stilt houses dotting the landscape below. Once you reach the bottom, you’ll visit Lan Village, renowned for its traditional art of brocade weaving.

Overnight in Pu Luong

Day 5: Pu Luong - River Rafting

Day 5: Pu Luong - River Rafting

Morning:
Start your day with a quick transfer, crossing the suspension bridge over the Cham River, to reach the renowned water wheels of Pu Luong. You’ll be amazed as you see firsthand how the locals have been cleverly moving water from the river to the bamboo aqueducts, using these wheels for ages. Yet the real thrill kicks in when you hop onto a traditional bamboo raft and glide along the river, catching glimpses of rural life on both banks. And if you look for a touch of adventure, feel free to meet up with the friendly local fishermen. They will teach you how to steer a raft and paddle it by yourself.

Afternoon:
Say goodbye to Pu Luong for a 3-hour road trip to Ninh Binh. Upon arrival, shake off the travel fatigue and treat yourself to the peaceful atmosphere there.

Overnight in Ninh Binh

Day 6: Ninh Binh – Trang An Grottoes

Day 6: Ninh Binh – Trang An Grottoes

Morning:
Often called ‘Ha Long Bay on land’, Ninh Binh is known for its winding river flowing amidst towering limestone mountains. Firstly, 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.

Afternoon:
We’ll hop on a rowboat for a leisurely cruise along tranquil waterways to Trang An Grottoes, where vast paddy fields stretch out beneath the karst peaks. 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 Ninh Binh scenery.

Overnight in Ninh Binh

Day 7: Lan Ha Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Day 7: Lan Ha Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Morning:
Let’s swap city bustle for serene seas today 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:
A bamboo boat awaits to cruise you through a 70-meter water passage of Sang Cave, where you can marvel at the majestic limestone formations above your head. After that, our cruise will drop achor in Tra Bau, a tranquil area with emerald waters where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. 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 8: Lan Ha Bay - Cat Ba National Park

Day 8: 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, you’ll head to Da Nang in Central Vietnam. Our guide and driver will be there to welcome you and let your family enjoy a bit of downtime in this ‘best living city’ in Vietnam. Finally, our driver will depart for Hoi An, where you’ll be staying for the next two days.

Overnight in Hanoi

Day 9: Hoi An - Fishing village & Ancient Town

Day 9: Hoi An - Fishing village & Ancient Town

Morning:
Today we’re heading out bright and early to Duy Hai Fishing Village. You’ll witness the bustling activity of hard-working fishermen unloading their whole night’s catch, while merchants hustle for the freshest picks of fish. Dive deeper into the village, it’s time to discover the secrets behind local fish specialties like dried fish and fish sauce. Head to our next stop, Bay Mau Coconut Forest, where we glide through the serene Hoi An riverside on a basket boat. You can try some thrilling boat dancing or shop for beautiful handicrafts made from coconut leaves. Take a rest at a local home for a soothing foot massage and lend a hand in preparing your own traditional lunch.

Afternoon:
After you finish up your meal, let’s 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. End the day with a scenic sunset cruise on Thu Bon River – perfect for capturing stunning photos.

Overnight in Hoi An

Day 10: Da Nang

Day 10: Da Nang

Morning:
Lace up your shoes because today you’re going to Da Nang, Vietnam’s ‘best living city’. Our journey starts at Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village, a place with over 300 years of history. Be mesmerized by the stone masterpieces crafted by skilled artisans who pour their hearts and souls into their work day and night. From the village, your gaze will naturally be drawn to our next destination nearby, 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. Next up, we’ll make our way to the heart of Da Nang to explore 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.

Afternoon:
Our journey continues 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. Afterwards, we’ll hit the road along the scenic Hai Van Pass, with jaw-dropping vistas of the boundless ocean, before arriving at Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam.

Overnight in Hue

Day 11: Hue - City tour

Day 11: Hue - City tour

Morning:
You’ll start your day with a time travel journey to the UNESCO-listed Imperial Citadel. Built back in the 19th century, this complex was once the royal palace of Vietnam’s last dynasty, the Nguyen, with grand public buildings, opulent residences, and sacred sites of worship. Then head to Thien Mu Pagoda, the seven-storey historic symbol of Hue, overlooking the tranquil Perfume River. From there, we’ll get on a romantic boat ride to Thuy Bieu Village for a leisurely stroll through the village, passing by vast pomelo orchards. You can make a stop at a local family making joss paper, or money for the dead, to know more about Vietnamese worshipping tradition.

Afternoon:
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. Conclude our day at the hundred-year-old Dong Ba Market where you can find Hue’s finest crafts and culinary delights, promising to satisfy both your shopping desires and your appetite.

Overnight in Hue

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - City tour

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - City tour

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: Mekong Delta - Ben Tre

Day 13: 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 the whole process of making coconut candies. 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 make a stop at Ben Tre local market before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City.

Overnight in HCMC

Day 14: Ho Chi Minh city – Cu Chi Tunnels

Day 14: 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:
We head to the airport for a short flight to Phu Quoc Island, your home for the next four days. With its white-sand beaches and vast areas still covered in lush tropical jungle, Phu Quoc is a must-visit beach destination anyone in search of sun and relaxation.

Overnight in Phu Quoc

Day 15: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 15: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Today, you have the entire day to explore Phu Quoc to the fullest. While it’s tempting to relax on the beach all day, listening to the waves, there’s so much more to discover on this diverse island.
– Visit a factory that produces Vietnam’s renowned ‘Nuoc mam’ (fish sauce), or explore the pepper farm to bring home its spicy blends as a souvenir.
– Phu Quoc National Park, located in the northern and central-eastern areas of the island, is part of a UNESCO World Heritage biosphere reserve. Here, you can hike, kayak, raft, or dive in the crystal-clear waters among coral, parrotfish, stonefish, and blue ring angelfish.
– After a day of adventures, return to the hotel for sunset and enjoy a refreshing drink as you watch the sun dip into the ocean.
– Don’t forget the night market in Duong Dong Town, where you’ll find souvenirs, clothing, ice cream, fresh juices, and of course, the famous Phu Quoc seafood. You can select your seafood fresh from the tanks and have it grilled or barbecued to perfection right before your eyes.

Overnight in Phu Quoc

Day 16: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 16: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Today, you have the entire day to explore Phu Quoc to the fullest. While it’s tempting to relax on the beach all day, listening to the waves, there’s so much more to discover on this diverse island.
– Visit a factory that produces Vietnam’s renowned ‘Nuoc mam’ (fish sauce), or explore the pepper farm to bring home its spicy blends as a souvenir.
– Phu Quoc National Park, located in the northern and central-eastern areas of the island, is part of a UNESCO World Heritage biosphere reserve. Here, you can hike, kayak, raft, or dive in the crystal-clear waters among coral, parrotfish, stonefish, and blue ring angelfish.
– After a day of adventures, return to the hotel for sunset and enjoy a refreshing drink as you watch the sun dip into the ocean.
– Don’t forget the night market in Duong Dong Town, where you’ll find souvenirs, clothing, ice cream, fresh juices, and of course, the famous Phu Quoc seafood. You can select your seafood fresh from the tanks and have it grilled or barbecued to perfection right before your eyes.

Overnight in Phu Quoc

Day 17: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 17: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Today, you have the entire day to explore Phu Quoc to the fullest. While it’s tempting to relax on the beach all day, listening to the waves, there’s so much more to discover on this diverse island.
– Visit a factory that produces Vietnam’s renowned ‘Nuoc mam’ (fish sauce), or explore the pepper farm to bring home its spicy blends as a souvenir.
– Phu Quoc National Park, located in the northern and central-eastern areas of the island, is part of a UNESCO World Heritage biosphere reserve. Here, you can hike, kayak, raft, or dive in the crystal-clear waters among coral, parrotfish, stonefish, and blue ring angelfish.
– After a day of adventures, return to the hotel for sunset and enjoy a refreshing drink as you watch the sun dip into the ocean.
– Don’t forget the night market in Duong Dong Town, where you’ll find souvenirs, clothing, ice cream, fresh juices, and of course, the famous Phu Quoc seafood. You can select your seafood fresh from the tanks and have it grilled or barbecued to perfection right before your eyes.

Overnight in Phu Quoc

Day 18: Phu Quoc - Departure

Day 18: Phu Quoc - 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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