Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights
FROM: USD $2,695

Best of Vietnam - 13 Days

Kicking off in Vietnam's capital, embark on a breath taking journey through imperial cities, rural villages and the mighty Mekong. Finish up in vibrant Saigon and the fascinating tunnels of Cu-Chi!

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Reviews

Trip Highlights

Hanoi - Hoan Kiem Lake and the Ancient Quarter
Hue - ancient citadel, Imperial Purple City, Royal Tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda and monastery
Saigon - ‘Pearl of the Orient!. Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office, Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum
Cai Be waterways, cottage industries, mansion home and Dong Hoa Hiep Island
Halong Bay - UNESCO Listed region with thousands of beautiful limestone peaks and islets
Hoi An - UNESCO Listed ancient town, famed for its beautifully preserved old city, tailors, handicrafts markets and nearby beaches
Mekong Delta - a maze of waterways, fertile farm land and floating villages
Can Tho - lively market town in the Mekong Delta and nearby Cai Rang floating market

Included

12 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 1 dinner
Economy class flight Danang - Saigon
Bicycle ride to Tra Que village and cooking demonstration
Airport arrival transfer day 1 and departure transfer day 10
Escorted by an English speaking Vietnamese tour guide.
Visa approval letter (excl. stamping fee required upon arrival)
10 nights 4 star and special class hotels, 1 night deluxe junk boat and 1 overnight sleeper train (Junk boat: private cabin, Sleeper train: basic, 4 berth cabin)
Halong Bay Junk boat cruise - opt to swim, kayak and explore caves
Sampan boat trips in the Mekong Delta
Guided sightseeing - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Mekong Delta, Cu Chi Tunnels and Saigon
All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles

Not Included

International flights and visa. Vietnam visa letter included - stamping fee required upon arrival
Entrance Fees: USD$50 -60, paid in USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 6 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$35 -45, paid in USD

Itinerary

Day 1

Hanoi

Friday. Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Airport to hotel arrival transfer. The remains of the day offers free time for you to explore the wide tree lined avenues, beautiful lakes, ancient pagoda’s and thriving, historic old city, all easily navigated on foot.
Overnight: Hanoi

Day 2

Hanoi City Tour

After breakfast we embark on an exciting city tour of Vietnam's capital. Kicking off with a visit to Uncle Ho himself (if open, closed Oct-Nov) before heading across the road to the beautiful Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh's iconic House on Stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda. Later on we continue to the Ethnology Museum where we learn about Vietnam's many diverse ethnic groups.

This afternoon we visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first 11th century university. Next we head to the oldest pagoda in Vietnam, Tran Quoc Pagoda before driving to the centre of Hanoi. We finish the day with a stroll across the red bridge over Sword Lake to the beautiful Ngoc Son Temple. This evening we host a welcome meeting at 17:00 where you will have the opportunity to meet other tour group members that have arrived today.
Overnight: Hanoi  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Junk boat cruising, Halong Bay

Hanoi – Halong Bay. Take a moment to picture in your mind some two thousand rugged karst islands dappled with lush vegetation seeming to float on top of pristine emerald coloured waters and you have the natural wonder that is Halong Bay. This morning a scenic drive will take us to this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site where we will enjoy a junk boat cruise.

Based on traditional designs, these wonderful vessels combine oriental style with modern luxury. Soak up the panoramic views from the sundeck as the boat gently plies its course, this afternoon we will visit the spectacular Tien Ong Cave which was recently opened to the public in 2010, with its stunning stalagmites and stalactites.

Later this evening back on board, watch a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before settling down for a sumptuous seafood dinner.
Overnight: Halong Bay, Deluxe Junk Boat  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Floating villages and cyclo rides

Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Early birds can start the day with a relaxing Tai Chi class on the sundeck or a traditional massage - the perfect way to start the day. Before heading back to port we'll explore by kayak the Floating Village of Cua Van, which is home to generations of fishing families. Here we’ll see the traditional and colourful floating wooden houses and the locals going about their daily lives.

On our arrival back into Hanoi mid-afternoon we'll explore the maze of streets known as the ‘36 streets of the old quarter’, named after the numerous guilds that once set up shop on a particular street from silk tailors to silversmiths. Travelling by cyclo (rickshaw), the quintessential mode of transport in Hanoi, we'll see traditional narrow-front tube houses with the chance to sample some of the local delicacies sold on street stalls from ripe fruits to steaming noodle dishes.

Later this evening there's a chance to freshen up before boarding the train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue. .
Overnight: Sleeper train  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Imperial Hue

Upon arrival to Hue we embark on a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century Nguyen empire capital. We visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city, whose 21m high tower has become something of a symbol for Hue and the citadel. Within the citadel is the Imperial Purple Palace, an exact copy of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its impressive ramparts, formal moats and imperial palaces, some of which lay in ruin.

In the countryside lies the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings, here we’ll view the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. As the sun sets opt for a cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River, beautifully illuminated at night.
Overnight: Hue  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Delightful Hoi An

Hue - Road of the Ocean Clouds - Hoi An. Today we take the scenic Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds), which offers magnificent views of beaches to one side and lush hills to the other. En route we stop for a walk along China beach. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey south to Hoi An.

The charming, old-world trading port of Hoi An with it cobbled streets, traditional homes and tiny shop houses is a perfect place to lose yourself in a by gone era. Boutique restaurants, hip cafes along the waterfront, delightful craft shops and artisans including some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors (whose services come at a nominal price), all can be found here.

On a short walking tour of the enchanting historical town, we’ll visit the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Village Life

A bicycle ride into the countryside, leads us to Tra Que village. Here, we discover age old farming practices and learn about traditional medicine. It’s a hands on experience today where we’ll assist with tending the fields and gardens and cooking lunch.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Hoi An - at leisure

A free day for you relax or further sightsee. You may wish to take a relaxing rowboat journey along the river or spend the day lazing by the beach or hotel pool. It’s also possible to take an optional excursion to the most holiest and evocative of Vietnam’s Cham sites, My Son or to Quang Ngai, the site of the My Lai massacre memorial. The massacre was a significant turning point in the Vietnam War and the story is told through photo presentation on a walk through the village.
Overnight: Hoi An  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Cruising the Mekong

Hoi An - Saigon. Early morning flight to Saigon. Drive to the Mekong Delta. Often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the fertile Mekong Delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits, flowers and rice, as well as it fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Vinh Long we’ll cruise downstream from Cai Be through the maze of waterways watching the hubbub of daily life on the river. Passing colourful trading boats, house boats and children swimming we stop to visit some of the local cottage industries that produce popcorn, coco candies and paper along the way. Lunch is served today in a traditional wooden home on Dong Hoa Hiep Island.
Overnight: Can Tho  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10

Mekong & Saigon

Can Tho - Saigon. Early today we visit the ever lively Cai Rang floating market and drive to Saigon. Once called the Pearl of the Orient, modern Saigon is a thriving metropolis on the move. Sleek sky scrapers, gourmet restaurants, designer malls and swanky bars and spas are scattered between ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and lively street markets. Our walking tour of Saigon includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Saigon  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Cu Chi Tunnels

Saigon – Cu Chi. This morning we visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels used by the Viet-Cong in their struggle to keep control of the region during the 1960’s. After a short video presentation we take an exciting walk around the many bush trails and see trapdoors, booby traps, living areas, weapon factories and kitchens that were used and lived in during the war. We can also safely crawl through sections of the tunnels, that have been widened for the tourists and stand in the middle of bomb craters that are still just as defined as the day they were created. At the end of the visit you can opt to fire weapons of the era (including the M16 ‘s and AK47) on the firing range.
Overnight: Saigon  |  Breakfast

Day 12

Saigon City Tour

Today we head out to explore sizzling Saigon. Starting off with the Reunification Palace - former residence of the President of South Vietnam until the fall of Saigon on April 30th 1975. The building is now a museum and a popular wedding venue. We’ll take a look in the famous ‘War Room’ where the North Vietnamese army took control in 1975. Next we explore Giac Lam Pagoda, Saigon’s oldest and one of its most beautiful temples.

Later on we take a journey through Vietnam’s medical history at the FITO Museum. This is Vietnam’s first traditional medicine museum with an amazing collection of over 3000 items. Our last stop of the day is Ben Thanh Market, where you can shop till you drop and master the art of haggling for just about anything!
Overnight: Saigon  |  Breakfast

Day 13

Saigon

Wednesday. Today marks the end of our tour and after breakfast we will transfer you to the airport for your onward departure flight.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

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2017
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
USD $2,995
USD $1,410
USD $2,995
USD $1,410
2018
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $2,795
USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
USD $2,695
USD $1,410
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
USD $2,995
USD $1,410
USD $2,995
USD $1,410
2019
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $2,795
USD $1,410
USD $2,795
USD $1,410
USD $2,795
USD $1,410
USD $2,795
USD $1,410
USD $2,795
USD $1,410
USD $2,795
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USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
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USD $1,410
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USD $2,695
USD $1,410
USD $2,695
USD $1,410
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
USD $2,895
USD $1,410
USD $2,995
USD $1,410
USD $2,995
USD $1,410

Extra Prices

Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
Private Tour Supplement
USD $1770
-  
Pre Tour Accommodation Hanoi
USD $90
USD $80
Post Tour Accommodation Saigon
USD $75
USD $60

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Sunway Hotel, Hanoi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This ambient, boutique hotel combines traditional appeal with modern pleasures. Rooms are furnished in a contemporary fashion with an array of amenities for added comfort. Its restaurant provides a great variety of Vietnamese cuisine and you are welcome to enjoy cocktails and live music in the Jazz Bar or relax in the hotel's health spa.

The Ann Hotel, Hanoi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

In the centre of Hanoi sits the contemporary and sophisticated The Ann hotel. Guest rooms are spacious and well appointed with delightful en suite facilities including bath and shower. The hotel boasts both a bar and restaurant. The swanky A lounge offers a wonderful selection of beverages and diners can enjoy the Onyx house for delicious local and international dishes on A la carte or buffet style. Our top tip is to head to the roof top pool for a refreshing dip and wonderful views across the city.

Bhaya Classic Junk Boat, Halong Bay

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Deluxe House Boat

This premier cruise boat offers 18 well appointed cabins with en suite amenities. Cabins are contemporary in design, whilst the finer touches have a distinct oriental influence. All cabins feature large windows creating a bright and airy atmosphere as well as scenic views. Facilities and services onboard include a dining room and bar, a sunbathing area on-deck, masseur and small library. This boat departs from the port of Halong City and plies its route through the karst peaks of Halong Bay during their journey and overnight stay on the water.

Syrena Junk Boat, Halong Bay

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: Mid Range Junk

A tradition hand crafted boat, the Syrena Junk Boat offers superb en suite air conditioned cabins with comfortable interiors and balconies. The on board Lotus Restaurant serves up a delicious array of Vietnamese and International cuisine. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the public areas. Swimming, kayaking and tai chi are all offered on board and movie nights are also very popular.

Mondial Hotel, Hue

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Just a 5 minute walk from the Ho Chi Minh museum, the Mondial Hotel is a contemporary hotel with excellent amenities. Guest rooms benefit from spacious interiors, comfortable beds and lots of mod-cons. There is complimentary Wi-Fi for guests, an outdoor pool and onsite spa - perfect for a re laxing massage. As well as the delicious Huong Xuan Restaurant there is also the Lobby Lounge - great for cocktails before dinner!

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort offers luxury and gracious hospitality in a traditional Vietnamese environment right on the banks of the Thu Bon river with top notch facilities.

Thanh Binh Riverside hotel , Hoi An

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Boasting a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, the Thanh Binh Riverside offers excellent accommodation in a great loacation. Guest rooms benefit from garden or river views and all come full air-conditioned, with stunning hardwood floors and all mod-cons. The onsite restaurant offers a great selection of Vietnamese and International dishes and the town centre is just a mere 200m walk away. Why not grab a cocktail and relax by the pool in the afternoon - a great way to refresh yourself from the Vietnam heat.

Victoria Hotel Can Tho, Can Tho

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This attractive, colonial-style resort is tastefully decorated with well-appointed rooms and a wide range of facilities including a spa, tennis courts, open-air bar, restaurant and a gym. The hotel also offers sunrise and sunset cruises to the floating markets aboard the Lady Hau junk.

Iris Hotel, Can Tho

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

This elegant hotel is housed within a modern building in the city of Can Tho. Each guest room comes equipped with plush furnishings to ensure a good night's sleep and is decorated with a neutral palate and calming tones. Rooms look over the city and boast a range of modern amenities such as air conditioning and stylish ensuite facilities. Magnificent views of the city can be had from the hotel's skybar while a range of gourmet local and international dishes can be sampled at the onsite restaurant. The accommodation is just a few kilometres from the Cai Rang floating market.

Northern Hotel, Saigon

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Located in Saigon's central business district, the Northern Hotel offers comfortable and stylish accommodation. Guest rooms are contemporary in style and are decorated with warming tones and excellent en suite facilities. The onsite restaurant offers a variety of European and Asian dishes set on the mezzanine floor. The hotel also offers complimentary use of computers in the lobby and a fully equipped gym for those who wish keep fit whilst staying in the city.

Reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 5 out of 5 based on 6 recent reviews

Absolutely brilliant guide the best ever. Made the tour so much fun. Really knows his country well. Would love to come back and do another tour with Tuan. He made the tour very special.

• Submitted 15 Feb 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Awesome tour guide! So knowledgeable about Vietnam & willing to share his culture & experiences.

• Submitted 15 Feb 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Excellent tour and guide, exceeded all expectations.

• Submitted 12 Feb 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

TOUR: Excellent tour!! So varied and full of interesting activities cycling, kayaking, museums and supporting local industries. Loved the pace of the tour and authentic Vietnamese experiences.

GUIDE :Where on earth did you find him ? He's pure gold dust !! . Kien was consistently on time , efficient , engaging, well informed , cheerful , respectful and fun ! He taught us so much about Vietnam and its people and adapted to our needs and interests. From Day 1 his straight forward and authentic manner allowed us to feel safe and supported.The tour was brilliant and your guide Kien made it total magic !

The guide who took us on our Hanoi city Day tour (Cheung?) was also excellent.

• Submitted 07 Feb 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

Amazing! His attention to detail was outstanding, he would make sure we were already checked in and air con's were on in our rooms on arrival. He would adjust the itinerary to give us time to refresh as it was so hot some days. He even walked me to a chemist in Hanoi when we had free time as I was feeling unwell.

• Submitted 27 Apr 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

The tour was excellent - well organised and a fantastic group of people. John, our tour guide was brilliant - he was very knowledge about Vietnam, and incredibly helpful and quick to respond in calling out a Dr when I was ill during the trip. We were lucky that we had a private tour of Hanoi with John on arrival as no one else in the group was doing our tour - it was a fun and informative day, and the trip overall was very enjoyable. The only observation we would make is that we were expecting 4* star hotels throughout our stay, but the final hotel (Ho Chi Minh City) was only a 3*.

• Submitted 22 Jun 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

Our guide, Anh was fantastic and the transport and excursion were excellent. The people who travelled with us were all great. Thank you!

Mary Ann Camilleri • Submitted 25 Jan 2014

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Hanoi
Ends
Saigon
Departs
Fridays
Hotel Rating
4 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 12, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 1
Visiting
Countries
Updated
1st March 2017

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

USD $160 / half day
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USD $885 / 3 days
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Absolutely brilliant guide the best ever. Made the tour so much fun. Really knows his country well. Would love to come back and do another tour with Tuan. He made the tour very special.

Julie Gray