Hue Minh Mang Tomb Ha Noi Dong Xuan market
Vietnam

Vietnam cultural tour: 10-day memorable trip

Duration
10D9N
Tour Code
VIV.14
Tour Style
Cruises, Culinary, Culture, Private

Overview

location_on Hanoi – Halong bay – Hue - Da Nang – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi - Mekong Delta

Vietnam will surprise you with its natural landscape, customs, and culture that change from the North to the South. Our Vietnam Culture Tour is the perfect choice for you to explore our country’s picturesque scenery. This is a great opportunity to discover all the highlights of Vietnam as well as experience culture, art, history, customs, religion, and communication with honest locals to understand their lives.

Our tours cover the country from the North to the South or vice versa, and are great opportunities to explore the elegance of Hanoi – our dream capital, Halong Bay – one of the new 7 wonders of The World, historic Imperial Hue Citadel, the charming ancient town of Hoi An, the Mekong Delta region- one of the most fertile plains in Southeast Asia, and finally the Ho Chi Minh dynamic city.

Pack your bags and hit the road with Viland Travel, your cultural journey in Vietnam needs to start right now!

Trip highlights

  • Wander around Hanoi’s Old Quarters.
  • Cruise through Ha Long Bay.
  • Be enchanted by Hoi An ancient town.
  • Discover Hue Imperial City.
  • Visit 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!

Hanoi is relatively small and runs at quite an unhurried pace for a capital city. Resting in the Red River delta region, the center is a mix of tree-lined avenues, and maze-like back streets with lively merchant stores, temples, lakes, and many fine colonial buildings.

A warm greeting awaits you at Noi Bai International airport; process the immigration procedure (visa on arrival is available or obtained in advance via Vietnam E-visa ), your private guide and driver will meet you in the arrival lounge and transfer you to your hotel in Hanoi. While every effort is made to have your room available upon arrival, check-in time is at 02:00pm; your room may or may not be ready before this time.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: none.


Ha Noi Hoan Kiem lake

At 8.30 am, our guide will meet you in the foyer of the hotel to discuss the day’s itinerary.  Your tour will be tailored to meet your interests and energy levels. Beginning at the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum (outsides only) to pay respects to Uncle Ho and learn about his incredible life.  The tour then continues to the nearby Presidential Gardens and One Pillar Pagoda.

You can then choose two places from the following; Temple of Literature, Fine Arts Museum, Hoa Lo prison, Military Museum and the Ethnology Museum. This is a full-day tour, so the day is yours to fill as you please. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant (set menu).

After lunch, you will pay a visit to a local coffee shop called Hidden Gem Coffee Shop to learn how to recycle things from unused or second-hand items. Located on a small valley off Hang Tre – Hanoi Old Quarter, 95 percent of the items here have been recycled. Discarded wheels, wheel parts, and plastic items have been turned into interior decorations. The aim of this activity is to protect the environment. A cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee, especially coffee with eggs, is highly recommended there.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Hanoi egg coffee

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

After breakfast, you are transferred through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay. It takes you 3 hours, including a 20-minute stop on the way.

Arrive at the jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After a welcome onboard, lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board.

Towards the end of the day, the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.

Overnight in Halong Bay.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.


Ha Long Bay landscape view in sunset

The sun rises on Halong in the morning. Enjoy some activities on board (depending on each boat’s itinerary). Breakfast is served (also brunch on some boats) while the vessel cruises slowly back towards port. Disembark and transfer back to your hotel in Hanoi.

A day use room is available for you to freshen up and relax (from 15:00 to 18:00)

Tonight at around 18:00, our guide and driver will transfer you to Hanoi Railway Station for a local experience – overnight train from Hanoi to Hue. The suggested train is the SE3 Train, departing from Hanoi at 19:25 and arriving at Hue Station at around 08:55 (the train schedule can be changeable).

On the train, your luggage can be stored underneath your bottom bunk. During the journey, please make sure you keep your valuables locked up and not lying around on the bedside table. Train journeys are part of a great local experience.

However, they can be challenging. The trains are not new, so they rattle and can be a little dirty. Cabins are shared with other local passengers (unless a private cabin is requested and all berths are reserved and paid for). Restrooms at either end of the carriages complete the local experience and may be smelly. Make sure you bring your own toilet paper. (Train timetables are subject to change.).

Overnight on a train.

Meals: Breakfast, Brunch.


Ha Noi the main train station

Upon arrival at Hue station, our guide and driver will transfer you to your hotel in Hue. Breakfast is included at your hotel, but early check-in can be offered if the rooms are available. Normal check-in time: 14:00. You may leave your luggage at the hotel & we will start our Hue city tour after breakfast.

Our guide will meet you at your hotel and we will start a day tour in Hue. During the tour, you visit a king’s tomb, a pagoda and local handicrafts. During your journey, you will visit Hue’s Citadel and the forbidden Purple City and learn about Vietnam’s emperors and their intriguing histories. Lunch is a delicious traditional Buddhist banquet served at a pagoda. This is a truly action-packed day of scenery, history, culture, and cuisine.

You have the option of joining this tour by motorbike.

Overnight in Hue.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Hue incense village

At 8.30am you will depart Hue to begin your 160km journey to Hoi An travelling through coastal rice paddies to the fishing village of Lang Co, before taking the scenic mountainous route over the spectacular Hai Van Pass. You will climb to 496 m (1,627 ft) on a road quoted in the Top Gear Program as “a deserted ribbon of perfection—one of the best coast roads in the world.”

Visit Marble Mountains – a cluster of five marble and limestone hills located in Ngu Hanh Son Dist, south of Da Nang city. The five karsts (called Ngu Hanh Son in Vietnamese) are named after the five elements: Kim (metal), Thuỷ (water), Mộc (wood), Hoả (fire) and Thổ (earth). Over centuries, the Marble Mountains have held special significance for the people of Central Vietnam. The ancient Cham revered the karsts as a spiritual site, and Vietnamese emperors from Hue and legendary generals passing through paid visits to the peaks, adding to their store of legends.

Arrive in Hoi An at around noon, check in & relax at your hotel.

Hoi An ancient town was an international trading port in Vietnam from the 16th century. It was also a place on the silk road. Hoi An has beautiful lanterns, ancient town but also well known as the paradise of excellent street food. Foods in Hoi An are the perfect blend of all the specialties in different parts of Vietnam and other countries.

In the afternoon, meet our guide for the Hoi An orientation walking tour. Known as Faifo to early Western traders, Hoi An was one of the major trading centres in Southeast Asia between the 16th & 17th centuries. A charming 16th century merchant town, with strong Japanese and Chinese influences, Hoi An is best explored on foot. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved architecture and is a thriving centre for traditional handicrafts.

Wander through the cobbled streets, past low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central market and the small harbour where colourfully painted boats are moored.

Your walking tour will include visits to a private house where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting and to one of the family chapels built by prominent merchant or official families as centers for ancestor worship. Continue to the Sa Huynh Museum, which contains exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An’s history.

Finally, continue to the famous Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the stream.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast.


Hoi An ancient town

Free time at your leisure!

Optional activity: Hoi An cycling tour & fun cooking class:

At 8am, the tour starts by cycling along level ground to the Thu Bon River to visit a local fishing village.

Ride along country lanes at a peaceful pace, viewing local life, and pause to see farmers toiling in their rice fields using centuries of farming practices. Peddle your way through palm forests, across bridges, across fields of water buffalo….

Take a short break in a local family at Cam Thanh Village before enjoying a 1.5-hour ride on a traditional wooden boat in the Water Coconut Palm Forest. Learn how to sail the basket boat and spend your time catching fish and “purple crabs” in the canal.

Continue to ride our bike to Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village, where a large variety of vegetables are produced for the local community. At the village, you will be shown the environmentally sustainable practices that the local villagers have used for centuries and are still used extensively today.

Enjoy a cooking class for traditional food of Hoi An then sit down for a delicious lunch. After lunch, we cycle back to the hotel, afternoon is free at your leisure.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast.


Hoi An Tra Que vegetable village

Breakfast at the hotel then our driver transfers you to Da Nang airport for your short morning flight to Ho Chi Minh city.

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a frenetic Asia city of markets, streets clogged with scooters, street-side food stalls, as well as foreign restaurants office blocks, and shopping malls. It is Vietnam’s economic powerhouse and the rate of progress over the last few years has been remarkable. Saigon is an exciting and exotic city where the pace of life never dims and which is now looking forward with great optimism after its tumultuous 20th century.

Upon arrival, you are welcomed by your private tour guide and driver. They will take you to a hotel in the center. Your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by the Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. This vast network of tunnels played a huge part in the Viet Cong’s victory over the Americans, allowing them to control a large rural area surrounding HCM City.

At the Cu Chi Tunnels, you will watch a brief introductory video, followed by a walk through the reserve. If you are feeling brave, you can crawl inside the Cu Chi Tunnels to experience how difficult life must have been and discover the 3 underground levels. There will also be a chilling exhibition of the traps and weapons used against the American GI’s. Arrive back in HCM City in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast.


Ho Chi Minh Cu Chi Tunnel

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!

08:00 Pick up at the hotel, 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, Sight-seeing lively activities along the river such as fishing, water transferring, Stop at brickwork to see how to make bricks in the traditional style by printing and baking.

Visit one of plenty of coconut processing workshops located along the canal. Turn on 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 (or xe loi) on shady paths, pass by green rice fields and vegetable plains to be able to touch on real life and find out about tropical culture from peasants.

Lunch at a local restaurant In the afternoon, take a rowing-boat along water palm creek and boat back to Hung Vuong Pier. Disembark and return to Ho Chi Minh City.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday as this marks the end of your 10-day Vietnam Culture Tour. 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

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 48 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 private air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits.
  • Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Drinking water while touring.
  • All domestic flights within Vietnam.
  • Tax & service charge.

Our Service exclude:

  • Other non-mentioned meals.
  • Other non-mentioned services.
  • International Flights to Hanoi/ from Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and expenditure of a personal nature.
  • Tips, Travel insurance.

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