Ideal Vietnam Vacation



Tour code



Hanoi – Mai Chau – Ninh Binh - Halong bay – Da Nang – Hoi An – Hue – Ho Chi Minh City, – Mekong Delta.

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—Halong Bay on land; 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 beauty and cultural variety 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.

Trip highlights:
  • Wander around Hanoi’s Old Quarters
  • Explore the villages of ethnic minority people in Mai Chau.
  • Enjoy the beautiful 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!

A warm greeting awaits at Noi Bai International Airport; your private guide and driver will meet you in the arrival lounge and transfer you to your hotel in Hanoi. Hanoi is a window into a world from long ago that has been dragged into the present. Motorbikes whizz around, ladies haggle over the price of bread sold from a bicycle, and business deals are struck over a cup of green tea while sitting on little plastic stools by the side of the road. Prepare to be amazed by this frantic, yet incredibly charming slice of real Asia.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Note: While every effort is made to have your room available upon arrival, check-in time is at 2:00 pm; your room may or may not be ready before this time.

Meet your guide in the lobby for a full-day tour with many exciting outdoor activities. Visit the amazing Museum of Ethnology on the outskirts of Hanoi by taking a quick trip there. 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. After two hours of learning about Vietnamese culture, you will move to Hoa Lo Prison (so-called Hanoi Hilton), which tells you about Vietnamese history & wars.

Today you will have Bún Chả for lunch. The Bún Chả will have vermicelli, grilled meat, and side dishes, including pickled vegetables, lettuce, and some herbs. A feature of Bún Chả is served with a bowl of fish sauce seasoned to taste, adding a little spice from pureed chili. Bún Chả will be a wonderful dining experience in the "Asian food paradise" - Vietnam for sure!

To start the afternoon's activities, we will visit Hidden Gem, a Vietnamese Coffee Shop. The coffee shop is impressive because the furniture is created by taking advantage of discarded products such as plastic bottles, tires, paint containers, and some parts of motorbikes and tractors. This activity aims to protect the environment. A cup of Vietnamese egg coffee is a must-try there.

Another exciting activity is waiting for you! Our guide and driver will take you to Long Bien Bridge, the first steel bridge in Hanoi and one of the first bridges built by the French in Vietnam. After a short walk on the more than one-hundred-year-old bridge, admire the panoramic river view and listen to your tour guide telling stories about history, Red River Delta culture, and local daily life; you will discover the banana island right at the foot of the bridge. The walking banana island activity is a chance to observe the infinite fruit plantation and a one-of-a-kind memory for photographers or nature lovers.

Finish the day with a fun cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi). You will ride through the French colonial architecture of the precinct known as the French Quarter, past the French-style villas, the Vietnam History Museum, the heritage Metropole Legend Hotel, and the Opera House. Of course, you will not miss Hanoi Old Quarter before returning to your hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

Enjoy a beautiful morning in Hoi An by cycling along the Thu Bon River to visit a local finishing village. You ride leisurely along the country lanes, viewing local life with the scenery of farmers working with their water buffalo in the fields. Peddle your way through palm forests, bridges, and pons; you will arrive in Cam Thanh Village. Take a short break with a local family before enjoying a 1-hour ride on a traditional wooden boat to explore the water coconut palm forest. While learning how to sail the basket boat, you also get a chance to relax by catching fish and purple crabs in the canal.

After saying goodbye to the Cam Thanh Villagers, you continue biking to another village. You stop at the organic vegetable village of Tra Que, where a large variety of vegetables are for the local community. There, you will see the environmentally sustainable practices, that the local villagers have used for centuries and are still using extensively today. Visit Kum Quat restaurant and join a cooking class with Thành & his wife. Today, you will cook some traditional Hoi An foods, then sit down for a delicious lunch by yourself. Cycle back to the hotel and relax by the swimming pool or at the beach.

Overnight in Hoi An.

A free day in paradise! Hoi An was a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries, and its architecture and relaxed lifestyle have changed little over the years. Also, Hoi An is a charming World Heritage village that is being beautifully restored and preserved and will captivate you immediately. Whether it's golf, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, abseiling, massages, history, architecture, photography, or simply lazing around, you can also find it here. Hoi An has become famous for its tailoring, where there is a huge variety of fabrics to choose from.

Overnight in Hoi An.

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.

Overnight in Hue.

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.

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 a short 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

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. 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.

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. 

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.

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

Tour info

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 (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • 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:
  • Other non-mentioned meals
  • Other non-mentioned services
  • International flights to Hanoi /from Ho Chi Minh City
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and personal expenditures
  • Tips and Travel Insurance
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