Ultimate Vietnamese Experience
This tour gives an excellent introduction to Vietnam. We cover some classic highlights of Vietnam from Hanoi through Vietnam’s coastline ending at Saigon. You get to experience Vietnam in a myriad of ways; kayaking, cycling, walking and cooking.
Dive into the thick of things in Vietnam where old school meets the new and lush countrysides and pristine beaches go hand in hand with bustling wet markets, charming old towns, and trendy young cities.
Explore Hanoi, temples, pagodas, and imperial citadels, visit fine old merchant houses, or seek out some of the world’s best warm water beaches.
Hanoi | 13:00hrs
Ho Chi Minh City
30km or 18mi
Kayaking in Halong BayKayak through the islands of Halong Bay
|DAY 1||Hanoi||Silk Path Boutique Hotel||D||walking|
|DAY 2||Halong Bay||B,L,D|
|DAY 3||Kayak & Shuttle to Ninh Binh||Tam Coc Rice Fields Resort||B,L,D||kayaking|
|DAY 4||Overnight train to Hue||Train to Hue||B,L,D||30km / 18mi||cycling|
|DAY 5||Hué||The Scarlett||D||25km / 15mi||cycling|
|DAY 6||Hoi An||Hoi An Travel Lodge||B,D||cooking|
|DAY 7||Hoi An||Hoi An Travel Lodge||B,L||30km / 18mi||cycling|
|DAY 8||Ho Chi Minh||Cinnamon Boutique||B,D||walking|
Day 1: Hanoi
Our guide meets you at your hotel at 13:00hrs.
Walk the busy streets of Hanoi visiting some of the cultural and historical highlights of Hanoi. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, which was constructed nearly a millennium ago, and is delicately elevated in a pond. Also visit the Temple of Literature, dating back close to a thousand years, is a wonderfully preserved piece of ancient Vietnamese architecture and stands to honor the scholarly achievements of the country’s academics and philosophers. Continue exploring the area around Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake, old quarter including Ngoc Son Temple, which sits perched on a little island in the lake. In the evening, we convene over dinner.
Day 2: Halong Bay
Today we transfer you to one of the greatest sites in Asia – the spectacular Limestone strewn massif of Halong Bay. Arrive in Ha Long city, and board a traditional wooden junk boat.
Start with an excursion to Tung Sau Pearl Farm, an area in Halong Bay dedicated to growing pearls and practicing a handmade technique based on Vietnamese tradition and Japanese technology. This is also an ideal destination for kayaking.
Later visit the magnificent Sung Sot Cave, where you will be surprised by the breathtaking panoramic view across the Bay once you exit the cave. This is the largest cave in Halong Bay, and the stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years have taken fascinating shapes.
In the evening, enjoy the sunset with evening cocktails and fresh fruit.
Day 3: Kayak & Shuttle to Ninh Binh
After a hearty breakfast, get on board a smaller boat and take a journey to the more remote and secluded parts of the Lan Ha Bay waters and islands. Trade your boat with a kayak and explore the lagoons, the coral reef, beaches, and limestone peaks.
Ferry back to Hai Phong and shuttle to Ninh Binh. If time permits, we may get a chance to bike for a short duration towards Ninh Binh.
Day 4: Overnight train to Hue
A short cycling ride along the river brings us to Trang An, known as Halong Bay on land. The landscape is largely dominated by limestone mountains, rivers, caves, and pagodas. Here we take a boat ride and get to experience the magical scenery dotted with natural and cultural wonders.
We take a break at the ancient city of Hoa Lu for a quick temple tour and then loop back to your hotel.
Later take an overnight train to Hue.
Day 5: Hué
The UNESCO World Heritage town of Hué is your gateway to Vietnam. Our guide meets at the station and then transfers to your hotel for early check-in. Post lunch, take your bicycle out for a leisurely loop around the imperial town of Hué. Ride past the Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, Mausoleums, and the merchant’s houses along the banks of the Perfume River and through quiet lanes with lush gardens.
Day 6: Hoi An
After a hearty breakfast, we take a transfer out of Hue to Hoi An. Appreciate the Lang Co Bay with spectacular views of winding paths, wooden fishing boats, waterfalls, mountains, and forests, and cross over the climb Hai Van pass for views of this splendid bay. This rugged pass is the final section of the Truong Son Range stretching to the sea. From the pass, go downhill to the base and shuttle to Hoi An, a delightful old trading town and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The architectural beauty of Hoi An will captivate you as this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a melange of Vietnamese, European, Chinese, and Japanese monuments in an unhurried, timeless setting.
Today you can plan your own day, and enjoy the enchanting Hoi An town at leisure. A paradise for shoppers, a walk through the town gives a feel of an open-air museum.
In the evening, we again regroup and join over a classic Vietnamese cooking class.
Day 7: Hoi An
Ride along the Thu Bon River through shrimp and coconut farms where the VC lived during American War towards Cua Dai beach. Get on a local ferry for a short ride to Duy Hai Fishing Village (island). A short distance away is the lovely town of Thuan Tinh, set among rice fields and coconut groves. Visit a strawberry garden, sample strawberry tea, and perhaps buy homemade strawberry wine. Also, witness live silkworms in various stages of maturity. Later check out Thanh Ha ceramic village and then take an hour boat journey back to Hoi An for lunch here.
Spend the rest of the day as you wish – beach, shopping, exploring – whatever! or experience more of Hoi An by kayak.
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh
Transfer to Da Nang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh city. Arrive in Saigon and settle into your hotel. Post-lunch, our guide meets you at your hotel for a walking tour to explore some of the most popular sites (Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Opera House, Continental Hotel, The Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Post Office, The War Remnants Museum). This walking tour gives an excellent introduction to the city’s history and provides you with plenty of opportunities to soak up the unique mix of chaos and tranquility that is modern-day Saigon.
Day 9: Departure
Travel further as per your onward travel plans.
Dates and Prices
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Open your date as a join-in tour or customize further as private one.
We offer private departures on almost all our itineraries, and for groups of four or more, they cost the same as our standard trips!
All hotels as mentioned in the tour details (subject to availability). All options are personally reviewed.
Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need and add meaning to your vacation.
Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.
Airport pickup and drop
We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.
Some meals may not be included. Please check your itinerary.
Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.