Hue Perfume River A basket boat tour in Cam Thanh Village on the Ideal Vietnam vacation tour

Ideal Vietnam Vacation – 15 days southbound

Tour Code
Tour Style
Beaches, Cruises, Culinary, Culture, Honeymoon, Private


location_on Hanoi – Mai Chau – Ninh Binh, Halong bay – Da Nang – Hoi An – Hue – Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi – Ben Tre - Floating markets

On this ideal Vietnam vacation, you will have the opportunity to visit the most popular attractions, beginning with the bustling streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarters; Mai Chau—the villages of ethnic minority communities in the northern region; Ninh Binh—the most beautiful karst complex in Southeast Asia; taking a peaceful cruise through World Heritage Site Halong Bay; admiring the beauty of Hoi An; marveling at the ancient history of Hue and metropolitan Saigon, and finishing with a deep dive into the Mekong Delta.

The natural & cultural beauties of Vietnam are astonishingly diverse. Besides lush paddy fields painted in every shade of green and craggy peaks visible from twisting mountain trails, Vietnam’s vibrant history and multicultural population make traveling here an experience rich in tradition.

Book with us right now. All you need to do then is packing your bags and hit the road with Viland travel.

Trip highlights

  • Wander around Hanoi’s Old Quarters
  • Explore the villages of ethnic minority people in Mai Chau.
  • Enjoy the beautiful Karst landscape of Ninh Binh.
  • Cruise through Ha Long Bay.
  • Be enchanted by Hoi An ancient town.
  • Discover Hue Imperial City.
  • Visit the historic and cultural Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Be immersed in rural life in the Mekong Delta.

Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

Xin chào Việt Nam! Hello Vietnam!

You are landing at Noi Bai International Airport. Welcome to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, a must-see destination for any traveler interested in experiencing the rich history and culture of Southeast Asia. After collecting your luggage, please move to the arrival lounge where Viland Travel’s representative is waiting for you with a welcome signboard. After greeting, you are transferred 45 minutes to Hanoi downtown. Check in to the room and spend the rest of the day to relax.

Note: Hotel check-in time is at 2:00 pm; your room may or may not be ready before this time.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: none.

Hanoi Foods Table - A Special Detail in Hanoi

Kickstart your new day with tasty foods for better stamina and more energy. A daily hot breakfast is prepared and served at the hotel’s restaurant.

At 8:30, meet up with your tour guide in the hotel’s lobby for a full-day city tour of Hanoi. On this tour, you will explore many ancient architectures, delectable cuisine, and picturesque natural landscapes. The first attraction is Ba Dinh Square, where Uncle Ho read the Declaration of Independence, declaring the birth of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. To learn more about Vietnam’s history, you will visit some of the architecture in this area, such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Uncle Ho’s stilt house, and the one-pillar pagoda.

Next, you take a short drive to the outskirts of Hanoi to visit the fascinating Museum of Ethnology. From the outside, you will be attracted by the presentation and layout, from the form to the displayed content, which is very scientific and logical. It involves grasping the cultural colors of each ethnic group.

It’s lunchtime! You will enjoy Chả Cá Lã Vọng, Hanoi’s specialty since 1871. Chả Cá is a perfect combination of fresh noodles, grilled fish, sweet and sour sauce, and fresh vegetables. For vegetarian travelers, you have Bún Đậu (Fresh Noodles, tofu, soy sauce and fresh vegetables) instead. Following Lunch, you visit Hidden Gem Coffee Shop, 95% of the items in the shop are recycled to protect the environment. A cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee, especially coffee with eggs, is highly recommended there.

Continue to visit the Temple of Literature, known as the first university in Vietnam, famous for its beautiful architecture and provide a lot of information about the Vietnamese education system.

Another exciting activity awaits you! Our guide and driver will take you to Long Bien Bridge to admire the panorama river view. While walking on the 120-year-old bridge, your tour guide will tell you some stories about history, Red River Delta culture, and local daily life; the walking tour also includes a discovery of Banana Island right at the foot of the bridge.

Embark on a fun cyclo to end up the full-day tour. The riding is a chance to explore 36 streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. While sitting swaying on a Cyclo, you can enjoy the cool air, admire the Old French-style villas, observe people’s activities, listen to the sounds of vehicles… all create a unique experience in the journey to discover Vietnam.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Ha Noi Bun Cha street food

The Mai Chau valley, which is surrounded by hills and situated in a picturesque area, is a world away from the bustle of Hanoi. Mai Chau town has a unique attraction, it is surrounded by a patchwork of rice fields and smaller Thai villages where guests can spend the night in traditional stilt homes and awake to the sounds of trickling irrigation streams and birdsong. You can also observe how nearby farmers work in the rice fields.

You will meet your tour guide after breakfast at the hotel, and go straight up to Mai Chau. Visit the Muong tribe along the route, and then stop at Thung Khe Pass for a breathtaking vista of Mai Chau Valley. Have a traditional lunch with a White Thai Tribe family and use your free time to get to know the other villagers.

Afternoon, ride a bike to the remote villages, discovering the natural beauty of the valley and the culture of the ethnic minority Thai people on our visits to the Pom Coong and Na Phon villages. Return to your stay for relaxation. Have dinner and then enjoy a traditional dance and music performance by the villagers (if any).

Overnight at a homestay in Mai Chau.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Get up early, listen to the rhythm of nature, breathe fresh air from the mountains, and enjoy a delicious breakfast with a cup of coffee. By saying goodbye to the house owner, you are on your way to Ninh Binh, the best Karst scenery in Vietnam.

Upon arrival, you spend two hours enjoying a boat trip on the Ngo Dong River to discover Tam Coc, the main attraction in the area, where the river flows through three caves, with deep gorges between them.

Ashore, you continue your exciting journey with a relaxing bike ride. The small & flat road is suitable for both seniors and children. A 30-minute bike ride is an opportunity for you to take a closer look at the rice fields, the scene of farmers working with their buffalo in the fields, and the peaceful scenery of the Northern countryside.

The biking leads you to Hang Mua Mountain. To conquer the top of Hang Mua, you need a bit of effort, and the reward is a 360-degree panorama of the karst landscape. It is also considered Ha Long Bay on land, with mountains reaching the clouds, rich green fields, and a sparkling river gently flowing through the karst ranges. Sunset hunting is a must-try!

You check in at the Hang Mua Ecolodge at the foot of Hang Mua Mountain. Spend the rest of the day relaxing.

Overnight in Ninh Binh.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

The scenery of Halong Bay, where thousands of limestone islands jut out of the emerald sea in bizarre shapes, is truly an iconic image of Vietnam. An overnight boat trip is the best way to enjoy this Vietnamese must-see. 

After saying goodbye to Ninh Binh, you drive through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Ha Long Bay. It takes you 3 hours, including a 20-minute stop. Arrive at the jetty in Halong City toward noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After a welcome onboard, enjoy a tasty lunch while cruising to the mythical bay. Around mid-afternoon, you participate in some activities to discover every corner of the bay. Each cruise operates a different itinerary, and caving, kayaking, rowing boats, and swimming are the most popular ones. Towards the end of the day, the cruise sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is on board.

Overnight in Halong Bay.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Ha Long Bay landscape view in sunset

Get up early and don’t miss the chance to watch the sunrise at one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Participating in a tai chi class on the sundeck is a way to welcome a new day full of energy. At the end of the gentle training session, you move to the restaurant and enjoy a hot breakfast with a cup of fragrant coffee. Some gentle activities on the bay will be arranged and announced by the cruise’s staff. If you don’t want to participate, you can choose to relax on board: watching movies, reading books, or sightseeing are also attractive options.

After all, a buffet brunch is served while sailing slowly back toward the port. Disembark and transfer back to Noi Bai airport for a flight to Danang. Upon arrival, you are welcomed by our local tour guide, who will take you 40 minutes to Hoi An.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Brunch.

Ha Long Bay Tai Chi Class

You start a new day with an orientation walk in Hoi An town. The walking tour will offer you a chance to visit: a private house where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting; the Sa Huynh Museum, which contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history; and the famous Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, the iconic symbol of Hoi An nowadays.

The second part of this morning is learning how to make a colorful lantern. After getting the guide from your instructor, you will select from a wealth of different silks, craft a bamboo frame, and create your lantern, which will fold neatly into your luggage and be brought back home as a souvenir. Enjoy lunch before walking back to the hotel and spending the rest of the day by the swimming pool or beach.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Hoi An Ancient House

Good morning! Start a day full of energy and joy with hot dishes and a cup of strong coffee. Your guide will be waiting at your hotel lobby at 8:00 am. He will give you a brief of this morning’s activities, help you check your bike’s conditions, put you on a helmet and start the cycling tour right after.

After 10 minutes of pedaling, you will exit the ancient town area and immerse yourself in the poetic scenery of the countryside. While cycling, you can observe the daily activities of locals. Before your eyes is a lush countryside scene with red brick houses, rivers winding around the villages, coconut trees reflecting on the lake, shrimp ponds, green vegetable fields, farmers working in their fields, and buffaloes grazing. You stop at the gate of Cam Thanh village. Take a short break before enjoying a one-hour ride on a traditional wooden boat to explore the water coconut palm forest.

Saying goodbye to Cam Thanh villagers, you get on the bike and pedal to Tra Que – the organic vegetable village. There, you enjoy the rustic village scene and get numerous authentic experiences with farming activities. Visit Kum Quat restaurant and join a cooking class with Thành & his wife. With enthusiastic guidance from the chef, you will cook some traditional Vietnamese dishes. Then, you set the table and enjoy lunch together.

In the early afternoon, you cycle back to the hotel and relax by the swimming pool or at the beach.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Hoi An Cam Thanh Village

It is a free day, allows you to unwind and slowly absorb the charms of Hoi An.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast.

Today, you transfer to the charming riverside town of Hue. See your guide and driver in the hotel lobby. You will take a journey to Da Nang, with the first stop being a Non-Nuoc stone carving village lying at the foot of Marble Mountain. The distance from Da Nang to Hue is approximately 95 km, takes 2.5 hours, and brings you through the most beautiful part of Vietnam’s coastline. You stop at Hai Van Pass (about 500 meters above sea level), climb to the viewpoint, and enjoy the panoramic views. Do not forget to charge your camera fully for great photos there. Arrive in Hue after midday and relax.

Hue is a peaceful central city with a fascinating history, beginning with its ancient Cham origins, becoming the capital of Vietnam until 1945, and being the site of one of the bloodiest and longest battles of the Vietnam War in 1968. Today, Hue is regarded as the cultural and spiritual capital of the country and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site.

Overnight in Hue.

Meals: Breakfast.

Da Nang Hai Van Pass

At 8.30 am, our guide will meet you at your hotel and introduce you to our highly skilled and qualified drivers, who are sensitive to tentative pillion passengers and will travel at a gentle pace of 40 km or less. After a safety briefing, your adventure begins. The tour includes visiting the king’s tomb, a pagoda, and local handicrafts, as well as riding through narrow roads, across canals, and through local marketplaces. Lunch is a delicious traditional Buddhist banquet served at a pagoda. This is a truly action-packed day of scenery, history, culture, and cuisine. Your tour will finish by mid-afternoon. You have the option of joining this tour by private air-conditioned vehicle.

After the tour, you are transferred to Phu Bai airport for one-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

Upon your arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport, look for our driver and guide, who will be waiting for you with a sign bearing your name. The journey from the airport to your hotel will take approximately half an hour and is an entertaining experience full of chaotic traffic and millions of motorbikes. Dinner is your arrangement.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Hue Conical Hat village

After breakfast, your private tour guide and driver will take you to the wartime legacy of the Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by the Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. The Viet Cong’s success over the Americans was significantly assisted by taking control of a large rural area surrounding HCM City thanks to their vast network of tunnels.

Upon arrival, You will watch a brief introductory video at the Cu Chi Tunnels, followed by a walk through the reserve. Crawl inside the Cu Chi Tunnels to see how awful life must have been and explore the three below-ground levels. There will also be a chilling exhibition of the traps and weapons used against the American GIs. After the visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, head back to the city center for lunch.

In the afternoon, you start the city tour to explore the great architecture in one of our largest cities in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City’s architecture is a beautiful fusion of French colonial mansions and contemporary steel and glass monuments, reflecting Vietnam’s historical background. The most popular tourist attractions were built when Saigon, the “Pearl of Indochina,” served as the nation’s capital. Since then, more artifacts have been added to the cultural heritage, and the future of modern architecture seems promising. Our guide would be more than happy to bring you to the Central Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Reunification Palace. If time permits, you also visit the Saigon Opera House, Saigon’s city hall.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

The rice bowl of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta, is essential to Vietnamese agriculture. As the mighty Mekong River approaches the coast at the end of its journey from China, it begins to spread out into a myriad of tributaries that bring life to the whole region. Explore these tributaries, both big and small, and witness a life lived almost entirely on water!

Pick up at the hotel at 8 a.m., leave the busiest city, and start the trip to Ben Tre. On arrival at Ham Luong Pier (Ben Tre town), take a boat on the Ben Tre River – one of the tributaries of the Mekong River, and observe the lively activities along the river, such as fishing and water transfers.

Stop at brickwork to see how to make bricks in handy, traditional style by printing and baking. Visit one of the many coconut processing workshops located along the canal. Turn on the natural scissors creeks where they look smaller and smaller to go to the village. Take a walk to the family workshop to make sleep mats and enjoy some fruits and tea. Take a biking trip on shady paths, pass by green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch real life, and find out about tropical culture from peasants.

Lunch at a local restaurant. Afternoon, take a row boat along Water Palm Creek and cruise back to Hung Vuong Pier. Disembark and drive through endless rice fields to reach Can Tho.

Overnight in Can Tho. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

Ben Tre boat trip in palm trees village

In the early morning at 6:00 AM, you will take a boat to Phong Dien floating market, the local market where they pick the tropical fruits from their garden to sell there, and you will have an opportunity to talk to the sellers on their boats. If time permits, you continue to cruise through beautiful small canals to reach the Cai Rang floating market – The biggest wholesale of tropical fruits on the floating market.

After experiencing the floating market(s), you will visit a local family who has made noodles (“hủ tiếu”) by hand for three generations, and you can try to learn how to make noodles with them. A light breakfast is served in a local restaurant beside beautiful and quiet canals. Then, you are back at your hotel at 10:00 to pack your luggage and check out around noon. Enjoy the way back to Ho Chi Minh City.

In the evening, you can venture to the popular Com Nieu Sai Gon Restaurant, which provides an experience that goes beyond the flavors and edges of cultural exploration.  Taste the clay pot-backed rice that is dressed with scallions and a savory sauce.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Mekong Delta Phong Dien floating market

After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday as this marks the end of your 13-day trip to Vietnam. Your private driver will pick you up and take you back to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for your departure flight home.

Meals: Breakfast.

Ho Chi Minh city landscape view

Useful Information

This sample itinerary was created by our travel experts as inspiration for your next trip. Ready for your customization. You pick to suit your budget, desires, and cultural experiences. The price of this trip will vary, depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on Inquire Now (above) and give us the necessary information to enable us to send you a FREE personalized quote within 24 hours if not sooner!

Our Service Include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room.
  • Meals as mentioned
  • English or French speaking guide (for other languages and a national guide, supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers, as mentioned by the private air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Entrance fees for the mentioned visits
  • Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Drinking water while touring
  • All domestic flights in Vietnam
  • Tax & service charge

Our Service exclude:

  • Vietnam Visa
  • Other non-mentioned meals
  • Other non-mentioned services
  • International Flights to Hanoi – from Ho Chi Minh City
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and personal expenditures
  • Tips, Travel insurance

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