Vietnam Winter Escape

Contact | 18 Days

Active level: Easy

Ha Noi - Ninh Binh - Lan Ha Bay - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - Phu Quoc Island

Highlights

Your journey at a glance

As cold weather approaches, many wonder, “Where’s the best place to spend the winter?” Vietnam’s sun-drenched landscapes is the perfect answer. This 18-day getaway from north to south is a great way to celebrate your festive season or simply have a break from the winter blues! Experience the chilly climate with tranquil boat rides in Ninh Binh and cultural walks around Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Embrace the summer heat as you head south for leisurely days on Phu Quoc Island. And throughout the journey, the hospitable Vietnamese will surely warm your heart.

Brief

Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival

Day 2: Hanoi - City tour

Day 3: Ninh Binh – Tam Coc

Day 4: Ha Long Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Day 5: Ha Long Bay - Surprise Cave

Day 6: Hue - Imperial Citadel

Day 7: Da Nang - City tour

Day 8: Hoi An - Ancient town

Day 9: Hoi An - Free & Easy

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City - City tour

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels

Day 12: Mekong Delta - Ben Tre

Day 13: Mekong Delta - Floating market

Day 14: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 15: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 16: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 17: Ho Chi Minh City - Free & Easy

Day 18: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure

Ha Noi - Ninh Binh - Lan Ha Bay - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta - Phu Quoc Island

Important Information

  • Uncover Hanoi’s street culture on a cylco
  • Enjoy a scenic boat ride in Ninh Binh
  • Cruise overnight in Ha Long Bay
  • Visit UNESCO sites in Hue & Hoi An
  • Discover the coastal vibe of Da Nang
  • 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. While no meals have been planned for today, why not fill your stomach with some local dishes? Did you know that Hanoi is the birthplace of Pho, the world’s favorite noodle soup? If your taste buds need direction, our guide can introduce to you the best Pho eateries in town.

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 Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, unveiling the cultural diversity of 54 ethnic groups across Vietnam.

Afternoon:
After lunch, we’ll hop aboard a cyclo and meander through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, 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. Afterwards, the day is yours to explore!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi

Day 3: Ninh Binh – Tam Coc

Day 3: Ninh Binh – Tam Coc

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. Afterwards, we’ll return to Hanoi.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi

Day 4: Ha Long Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Day 4: Ha Long Bay - Luxury cruise trip

Morning:
Let’s swap city bustle for serene seas today as we’re off on an exciting journey to Ha Long 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:
As the cruise approaches the heart of Ha Long, a variety of thrilling activities are waiting for you. You can go kayaking for a closer look at the majestic limestone formations, or simply jump into the emerald waters for a refreshing swim. When the sun sets, you’ll 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. 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!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Ha Long Bay

Day 5: Ha Long Bay - Surprise Cave

Day 5: Ha Long Bay - Surprise Cave

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 later. Then, you’ll be gently transferred to Sung Sot Cave, or Surprise Cave, one of Ha Long Bay’s largest caverns adorned with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. After the cave exploration, save this time to soak in the panoramic bay views as we cruise back to the shore.

Afternoon:
Now, it’s time for some free-spirited exploration! You can spend your afternoon visiting any sights you didn’t get a chance to previously, like the Temple of Literature or Hoa Lo Prison. We also recommend checking out the water puppet shows – a delight for both young and old. And after a full day of activities, don’t forget to indulge in the street food paradise around Dong Xuan Market, where you can fill your stomach with the soul of Hanoi cuisine.

Day 6: Hue - Imperial Citadel

Day 6: Hue - Imperial Citadel

Morning:
After breakfast, we’ll head to the airport for a short flight to Hue, the formal imperial capital of Vietnam. Your journey begins with a romantic boat journey along the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda, the seven-storey historic symbol of Hue. We’ll stop at a local restaurant where you can treat yourself to a delicious traditional Hue lunch.

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 Vietnam’s last dynasty, the Nguyen. 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 Dong Ba Market. This hundred-year-old market is full of Hue’s finest crafts and culinary delights, promising to satisfy both your shopping desires and your appetite.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hue

Day 7: Da Nang - City tour

Day 7: Da Nang - City tour

Morning:
After breakfast, we’ll hit the road along the scenic Hai Van Pass, with jaw-dropping vistas of the boundless ocean, to reach Da Nang. Our first stop will be the Museum of Cham Sculpture which contains the world’s largest collection of Cham ethnic artifacts dating back from the 5th to 15th centuries. Continue to Son Tra Peninsula where you’ll be treated to an incredible panoramic view of charming fishing villages and stunning beaches stretching into the distance. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

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. Continue our journey to Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village, a place with over 300 years of history. You’ll be mesmerized by the stone masterpieces crafted by skilled artisans who pour their hearts and souls into their work day and night. Afterwards, we’ll spend some time leisuring at My Khe Beach before going to Hoi An.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 8: Hoi An - Ancient town

Day 8: Hoi An - Ancient town

Morning:
Lace up your shoes tightly because today, we’re off on a walking tour to explore the Ancient Town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Did you know Hoi An was once a bustling trading port in the 15th century, connecting Vietnam with the world? That’s why as we wander through its streets, we’ll see a beautiful blend of local and international cultures in 1,107 well-preserved wooden buildings. Our guide will lead us to some iconic spots in town like the Japanese Covered Bridge, Chinese Assembly Hall, and Tan Ky Ancient House.

Afternoon:
You’ll have some free time to explore the riverside shopping paradise. Take a leisurely walk along the riverbank, experience the sights and sounds of the local vendors, and pick up some souvenirs to bring back home. For dinner, we’ll join a small cooking class where your family can gather and learn how to make some of Hoi An’s famous dishes. After savoring your meal, you can freely enjoy the beauty of Hoi An by night, with thousands of glowing lanterns lighting up the sky.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in Hanoi

Day 9: Hoi An - Free & Easy

Day 9: Hoi An - Free & Easy

Explore Hoi An at your own rhythm. Do you need some inspiration? These suggestions might be helpful for you:
– Let’s try some local cuisine in Hoi An, it’s 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.
– 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.
– Have you ever heard about the traditional lantern crafting in Hoi An? It’s been going strong for over 400 years now! With over 30 workshops, you can easily find a place to make your own lantern and be a part of this rich tradition.
– Grabbing a bicycle or motorbike and exploring the peaceful paths of Hoi An are must-try activities. You’ll pass by local markets, villages, and vast rice fields, experiencing the tranquil side of life in Hoi An.
– And don’t miss out on An Bang Beach and Cua Dai Beach for some sun-soaked fun. With white sand and crystal clear water, it’s the perfect spot to relax for any beach lovers. (Make sure to only swim at areas with lifeguards!)

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in Hoi An

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City - City tour

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City - City tour

Morning:
It’s time to say goodbye to Hoi An for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), previously known as Saigon. Just one generation ago, HCMC was a war zone. But now, the city has transformed to become a dynamic commercial hub with modern skyscrapers and lively streets. Upon arrival, our friendly guide and driver will warmly welcome you and take you to your hotel in the city center.

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!

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in HCMC

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels

Day 11: 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. Later, your lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

Afternoon:
Let’s head back to the city center, and our guide will take you to the ChinaTown of HCMC, District 5. You’ll first explore Thien Hau Temple, well-known for its intricate architecture and grand coils of incense hanging overhead. Next, wander through Hao Si Phuong Alley, lined with old but colorful apartment buildings. You can also buy some souvenirs in the lively atmosphere of Binh Tay Market nearby. Our trip for today will end at Cha Tam Church, a religious symbol of HCMC, with a blend of Gothic and Chinese architecture.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in HCMC

Day 12: Mekong Delta - Ben Tre

Day 12: 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.

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 to Can Tho, the heart of Southern Vietnam.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Can Tho

Day 13: Mekong Delta - Floating market

Day 13: Mekong Delta - Floating market

Morning:
Time to wake up bright and early to catch the vibrant Cai Rang Floating Market before the sun fully rises. You’ll board a sampan boat and cruise through the lively trading scene of Cai Rang where vendors crowd together with their goods piled high on boats. As the sun rises, you can easily see sellers showcasing their offerings on long poles to attract customers. Why not savor a bowl of hu tieu right onboard, just like Masterchef Gordon Ramsey did and absolutely adored? After the floating market, continue on the river to a noodle oven, where friendly locals will teach you the art of making fresh rice noodles. Our final stop is the Binh Thuy Ancestral House, offering a glimpse into the lives of Mekong’s wealthy merchant families in the 19th century. Say goodbye to the tranquil lifestyle of Mekong Delta as we head to the port of Rach Gia in Kien Giang province.

Afternoon:
After lunch, we’ll have a 2-hour speed boat 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.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Phu Quoc

Day 14: Phu Quoc - Free & Easy

Day 14: 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.

Meals included: Breakfast
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.

Meals included: Breakfast
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.

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in Phu Quoc

Day 17: Ho Chi Minh City - Free & Easy

Day 17: Ho Chi Minh City - Free & Easy

It’s time to say goodbye to the sun and sand of Phu Quoc for the flight back to HCMC. You can spend the rest of your day visiting any sights you didn’t get a chance to previously, like the Ben Thanh Market or Bui Vien Walking Street. And why not make the most of your last evening in Vietnam by indulging in some local delicacies? 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).

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight in HCMC

Day 18: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure

Day 18: 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!

Meals included: Breakfast

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