Travel between two of Vietnam's most charming destinations from the fading colonial chic of Hanoi to the attractive riverside merchant town of Hoi An with a night spent cruising the jade waters of Halong Bay and time spent exploring the royal citadel of imperial Hue, all in just 8 days.
Welcome to Hanoi
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, one of the region's most charming cities where French colonial elegance meets Asian spirit with attractive lakes, colorful pagodas and atmospheric streets. On arrival you will be met by our local representative and transferred to our joining hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure for you to relax or head out and explore.
For those able to arrive very early today or the day prior, why not get off the beaten track and explore Hanoi with us on our optional Back Streets of Hanoi add-on, which explores the quaint districts of Cho Buoi, Hoang Hoa Tham and Vinh Phuc, and also includes an exhilarating local experience - riding pillion, on taxi-motorbikes through a maze of tiny streets and along the shore of beautiful Ho Tay Lake.
UNESCO-listed Halong Bay
Hanoi – Halong Bay. After breakfast this morning we leave Hanoi and transfer to the jewel in Vietnam's scenic crown - the incredibly beautiful Halong Bay. Board a comfortable junk boat to explore the emerald waters of the bay, dotted with green islets, and enjoy lunch with a view onboard.
This afternoon we visit Trinh Nu Cave, one of the finest caves in Halong Bay, covering an area of 2,000m² with a stunning array of stalactites and stalagmites. There's also the opportunity to go kayaking and enjoy a refreshing swim. Later this evening back on board, watch a Vietnamese cooking demonstration held on the sundeck before settling down for a sumptuous seafood dinner.
Overnight: Deluxe Junk Boat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Caves & Hanoi cyclo ride
Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue. Early birds can enjoy a beautiful sunrise and test their Tai Chi skills on the sundeck or enjoy a traditional massage - the perfect way to start the day. Before heading back to port this morning we explore the beautiful Sung Sot cave (Surprise Grotto), which is 10,000m² and consists of two major chambers. These spectacular chambers are spacious enough to hold thousands of people.
On arrival back into Hanoi mid-afternoon we’ll explore the maze of streets in the French Quarter by cyclo (rickshaw), taking in highlights such as the Opera house and Ly Thai To Park. We then swap our wheels for a leisurely walk through ‘36 streets of the old quarter’, named after the numerous guilds that once set up shop on a particular street, from silk tailors to traditional medicine shops.
Later this evening there's a chance to freshen up before boarding the overnight train (4 berth sleeper cabin, basic standard) on the ‘Reunification Express’ railway line to Hue. An option to fly from Hanoi to Hue is also available.
Overnight: Sleeper train | Breakfast
Imperial citadel of Hue
Arriving into imperial Hue this morning, we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the 19th-century capital. Visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda with its 21-meter-tall tower, and explore the walled fortress of the Imperial Purple Palace, ringed by a moat with elaborate arches and impressive ramparts, some of which lie in ruin.
Later we travel into the countryside to visit the ancient mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc, one of the wonderfully ornamental Royal Tombs of the Nguyen kings. This evening there is an optional sunset cruise on the Perfume River. Travelling by longboat, it's the perfect way to enjoy the city skyline.
Overnight: Hue | Breakfast, Lunch
Charming Hoi An
Hue - Road of the Ocean Clouds - Hoi An. Bidding farewell to Hue we take a scenic drive along the coast via the Hai Van Pass (Road of the Ocean Clouds) to Hoi An. We stop en route for a stroll along My Khe beach, nicknamed 'China Beach' by the Americans during the war. The beach is famous for being in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’.
We arrive into the charming, old-world trading port of Hoi An later this afternoon. A short walking tour will introduce you to the highlights of this enchanting and historical town with highlights including the Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house, former merchants’ homes and the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge.
During your stay in Hoi An, we offer a unique optional Hoi An Street Eats add-on, which explores the city’s most popular local haunts. Cruise the city the way the locals do, by vintage Vespa and enjoy lots of tasty Vietnamese Cuisine. Book early with your reservation consultant, as numbers are limited.
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast
Rural Life in Vietnam
Today will be spent out in the countryside learning all about the rural way of life in Vietnam. We'll reach Tra Que village by bicycle, a leisurely ride on flat roads that take us through ride paddies and farm land. The option of a taxi is available locally for those not keen on bike riding (payable locally). Once at the village we'll get our hands dirty learning about age-old farming practices and putting our knowledge to use by tending the fields and gardens. Lunch is a home-cooked affair with everyone mucking in. Later this afternoon return back to Hoi An on your bikes.
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast, Lunch
Hoi An - at leisure
Today is completely free for you to enjoy Hoi An as you wish. Lose yourself in the cobbled streets lined with boutique restaurants, hip cafes, delightful craft shops and some of Asia’s best bespoke tailors (whose services come at a nominal price). If you prefer some R&R, lounge by the hotel pool or head to the beach. Alternatively you can opt for an excursion to the UNESCO-listed My Son sanctuary or enjoy a day trip to the popular Ba Na Hills mountain resort, where you will ride the second longest cable car in the world and walk along the striking Golden Bridge (book and pay locally).
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast
Saturday. Today marks the end of your time in Vietnam. A departure transfer will be provided to take you to Danang airport in time for your onward flight.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates marked with a 'G' are operating. All departure dates from 1 Apr 2023 are guaranteed to operate when there are 2 persons booked on the tour. Prior to this date a departure is guaranteed with 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
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.
La Casa Hotel, Hanoi
Set in the tranquil French Quarter of Hanoi, La Casa Hotel offers a comfortable stay in Vietnam’s bustling capital. Each guestroom features free high-speed WiFi and individually controlled air conditioning, alongside the other amenities you’d expect of a modern hotel. Guests can enjoy Asian cuisine in the on-site restaurant as well as a range of beverages in the bar. The gym boasts fantastic views over the city, however, if you’re looking to unwind, you can take a dip in the fountain swimming pool or head to the hotel's spa center.
Sleeper train - 4 berth cabin, Hanoi
Cabins on board are comfortable though not comparable to European standards. Aboard each wagon are 9 compartments that comprise of 4 bunks per compartment shared by mixed sexes. A western-style toilet (with a varying degree of cleanliness) is located at either end of the wagon. Air-conditioning (not always operational in the summer) and lighting are controlled from inside the cabin, which is also lockable. Luggage can be stored in a compartment under the bottom bunk. Linen and a pillow are provided.
Bhaya Classic I Junk Boat, Halong Bay
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.
Syrena Junk Boat, Halong Bay
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
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!
ÊMM Hotel, Hue
Situated in the heart of the former imperial capital, ÊMM Hotel is the perfect base from which to explore Hue’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed sights. Completely renovated in 2016, the guestrooms are generously-sized and complete with modern amenities. The imperial jade and royal purple colour scheme was inspired by ancient Hue itself and guests can take advantage of the mini-gym, pool-side bar and a spacious reading area. Enjoy delicious Vietnamese and international cuisine in the contemporary restaurant after a day of exploring.
Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An
Situated right on the banks of the Thu Bon River, this upscale hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the ancient town of Hoi An. Combining Vietnamese tradition with modern facilities, its guestrooms are set in coconut tree-shaded gardens beside the water. They’re well-equipped, with free WiFi and air conditioning, as well as private balconies. The hotel also offers a riverside restaurant, serving local specialties and western dishes on the outdoor terrace. This hotel’s highlight, however, is its pool and fabulous swim up bar, which is the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail.
ÊMM Hotel, Hoi An
Ideally located less than 200 metres from Hoi An's Old Quarter, this beautiful hotel features a mix of French colonial and traditional Vietnamese architecture. There's an outdoor swimming pool and a serene private garden to unwind in. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast and other meals in the onsite restaurant and drinks at the bar. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Room are colourfully and tastefully decorated, with minibars, fridges, TV and ensuite bathrooms.
Very professional but approachable organization. Actual tour well run, flexible and personal”
Amazing and exhilarating.
Hotel accommodation beyond my expectations. Fantastic itinerary. Great tour group and my Roommate and I clicked immediately. Tour guide fantastic. Wish I had know about your co. couple of years ago. Will definitely see you again. Thank you so much for an incredible experience.”
Fabulous trip. Extremely well organized and planned. Hung (Our guide) really made the trip a gem. His knowledge, humor, and organization was superb. Would recommend him heartily ”
Hung was an amazing person and became also a good friend. Very kind and knowledgeable. He kept us informed ALL the time. You knew exactly where you were going and the short term plan ahead. This was great for a bunch of people with all different levels of energies. He has such a great sense of humour and was the glue to a great team. I would choose him anytime and will recommend this tour to all my friends - just because of him.
He is truly the best and may he be handsomely rewarded as he totally deserves it.
Tour was great, nice mix of things to do and see, but our Guide really went above and beyond to make our tour special.
Hung met us at the hotel and assisted us with recommendations, help out when one of our tour party last their passports, gave us regular updates on the plans and had fantastic knowledge of the country, history and culture. Hung was always professional, he managed the team really well and is an asset to your company.
The tour gets 5 stars out of 5 but the guide deserves 7 stars out of 5.”
Tuan was full of information, friendliness, good humour, and fun. He provided wonderful insight and appreciation for the places we visited and Vietnam as a whole. I especially loved our cruise in Halong Bay, including kayaking through the fishing village. The other highlight for me was cycling to Tra Que Village for gardening and cooking. Felt like honest contact with place and people. Thanks for everything! PS. I would love to see Tuan win credit as Guide of Year.”
Great mix of activity & culture, though I would have extended to Ho Chi Min if I had realised this was an option at the time of booking.
A few concerns I am picking up with OTG, but not enough to spoil an awesome holiday, shared with a fabulous bunch of new friends. Really pleased with the way OTG managed with some health issues for one of the group, this would reassure me for any future trips.”
We enjoyed the small group of 14, which enabled us to get to know one another. The pace and variety of activities on the tour, made it very interesting. However, the overnight spot in Halong Bay with a view of the city lights in the distance and the MANY other boats at the same site, was a let-down, when compared to the same On the Go tour two years ago. The tour guide, Tuan, was a treasure trove of information and went out of his way to make everybody comfortable and contented. He was always friendly and ready to answer all questions in a comprehensive manner. The bus drivers were also to be commended for their professionalism. Thanks for another (our fifth) memorable On the Go tour.”
Excellent Tour and Hung Do was just amazing, he went above and beyond as our Tour Guide, we will definitely be using On The Go tours for future travel”
The tour was a great snippet view of what Vietnam has to offer. I would have loved more time in Halong Bay and even wandering around the imperial palace in Hue - but as the tour name suggests it does give a flavour of what’s available and enough temptation to come back Thank you! ”
At a Glance
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Very professional but approachable organization. Actual tour well run, flexible and personal”