From charming Hanoi with its fading colonial architecture and national monuments, to the spellbinding scenery of Halong Bay and bustling Ho Chi Minh City on the edge of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is as colourful as it is diverse. See the very best of vibrant Vietnam in 10 captivating days.
Saturday. Welcome to Hanoi, perhaps the most graceful, atmospheric and exotic capital city in Asia. Airport to hotel arrival transfer. The remainder of the day offers free time for you to explore the wide tree-lined avenues, beautiful lakes, ancient pagodas and the thriving historic old city, all easily navigated on foot.
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.
Hanoi – Halong Bay. After breakfast this morning we leave Hanoi and transfer to the crown in Vietnam's scenic crown - the incredibly beautiful Halong Bay. We'll explore the jade waters studded with karst islands aboard a traditional wooden junk boat and after embarkation there's time for lunch soaking up the views.
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
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 arrival back into Hanoi mid-afternoon we’ll explore the maze of streets in the French Quarter on our very only cyclo (rickshaws), 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 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
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 and here we’ll view the elaborate mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc. As the sun sets there is an optional cruise in a long boat along the gentle Perfume River, beautifully illuminated at night.
Overnight: Hue | Breakfast, Lunch
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 My Khe beach, a beautiful stretch of coastline which was nicknamed 'China Beach' by the Americans during the war and famously featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s movie ‘Apocalypse Now’. Perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the sea before continuing our journey south along the coast to Hoi An.
The charming, old-world trading port of Hoi An with its cobbled streets, traditional homes and tiny shop houses is a perfect place to lose yourself in a bygone 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.
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
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
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 holiest and most 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
Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City. Early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. 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 its fantastic views while boating along the canals. Taking our sampan from Cai Be we'll cruise 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
Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City. Early today we visit the ever lively Cai Rang floating market. Watch as melons, pineapples, fresh greens, sacks of rice and children's toys get tossed from one sampan to another at great heights and speed before driving back to Ho Chi Minh City. Once called the Pearl of the Orient, modern Ho Chi Minh City 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 Ho Chi Minh City includes visits to the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post office and the sombering War Remnants Museum. Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Ho Chi Minh City | Breakfast
Monday. Today is free for you to enjoy Ho Chi Minh City before your departure transfer to the airport. Opt for a relaxing foot massage, shop for souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market or visit the grand Independence Palace, with its secret bunker and military command centre beneath.
You could also extend your stay and join us on a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels Here you can go underground to explore the vast network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters, see booby traps, trap doors or test your skill with an AK 47 at the firing range.
Cu Chi Tunnels - go underground!
Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels - a vast underground network of tunnels and hideouts used by Viet Cong guerrilla fighters during the 1960’s. Often lead by a relative of a Viet Cong fighter in green fatigues you’ll walk the bush trails discovering grass covered trapdoors, ingenious, yet gruesome booby traps and hidden underwater entrances in rivers. There is also an opportunity to go underground and pop off a few rounds at the firing range. Our Cu Chi Tunnels bolt-on includes return transportation to and from Cu Chi, guided tour and 1 night accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City.
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.Read More
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.
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
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
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.
Iris Hotel, Can Tho
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.
Victoria Hotel Can Tho, Can Tho
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.
Muong Thanh Centre, Ho Chi Minh City
Centrally located, yet on a peaceful, tree-lined street, you will find the Muong Thanh Centre. Only a ten-minute walk from top attractions such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera House and Ben Thanh Market, this hotel is a great base for exploring the famous sights of the city. Its world-class rooms boast sophisticated designs and panoramic views. Warm and friendly, the Muong Thanh Centre also features a spa and swimming pool for you to relax and unwind after a long day of sight-seeing.
Northern Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City
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.
Sunway Hotel, Hanoi
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.
I would like to email you a thorough feedback once i have had time to settle in at work.
This was my first group tour ever so I had nothing to compare it to. I experienced it as fast paced with little free time to explore and discover.
The group was fantastic. I had the worst room mate so I will most definitely recommend single supplement to all my single traveler clients and will gladly pay it myself in future. Luckily the other 18 awesome individuals on the trip made up for the 1 unpleasant person.
Our Guide was phenomenal. He has a genuine passion for his country and it is contagious! He made recommendations for dining everywhere we went and his choices were perfect!
What I loved most about On the Go Tour was that we visit places that give back to the community. Local villages; restaurants; shops etc that all employ locals and share in the profit. Not touristy places; it felt like special gems and I wanted to support those places and individuals.
Job well done guys! Excited to promote and sell my next On the Go Tour!”
The tour was amazing! Hands down one of the best I've done. It helped that we had such an amazing guide. "Win" took us to all the trip itinerary places and not only that his recommendations were spot on for outside tour activities for our free time. The two restaurants he told us would be good were two of the best meals I have ever had. Considering food is my life because I am a chef i was more than impressed. It wasn't just about his recommendations tho. Nguyen was not only just a great guide you can tell he is a great person. Very modest and caring. I wasn't feeling very good throughout the tour and more than a few times he went out of his way to make sure I would be ok and get me ginger teas to settle my stomach. It felt like he was our protector and really cared for our well being. He made learning about the culture very intriguing by informing us of history events with his knowledge as well as stories. He made us feel good about what we were doing when we were giving back to the community and you could see it in his face that he was proud to be apart of it. There are few people in this world with a passionate mind and heart like his and I couldn't imagine anyone more deserving of an award for best guide. If I knew more tours that he was going to be involved in my partner and I as well as anyone else in our group would be jumping at the chance to learn more from him. On the go sure did win when they hired "win". Thank you for a truly amazing experience!”
Nguyen was an amazing guide! Very knowledgable and made me feel very comfortable with the country. He really cares about his groups and wants to ensure they have the best experiences. ”
Son was unreal!
We fell nothing short of in love with the country, On The Go, and Son!
Great work! Looking forward to Safari Safari in March!”
Nguyen needs an award. If there were better tour guides I would be VERY suprised. His knowledge, excitement & helpfulness made our tour EXCELLENT. Nguyen is an asset to your company and because of him I will totally recommend this tour to anyone that is heading over there.
As for the tour - Everything was really good EXCEPT the early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh from Danang. Those times could be jigged around by not having a night in Hue as the hotel there was no where near as good as the others. Do not miss the Citadel out though.”
A very enjoyable trip, John our guide was very informative and friendly. He was happy to answer any questions and gave information about what could be done in free time. ”
We have had a wonderful time. Nguyen was a wonderful guide. He was very well organised, always happy, very informative about everything we asked.”
Nguyen was great and I was really touched that he got me a cake and flowers on my birthday.”
Excellent trip overall. Hotels exceeded expectations and Anh went out of his way for celebrating Chris birthday which was very enjoyable. Thank you!”
The quality of food & hotel was excellent. I was very surprised. Anh organised bookings at other restaurants for us in addition so that we didn’t have to wander about it if we didn’t want to. Everybody took up the offer. If we asked to do something, he arranged it for us.”
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My husband and I have just returned from our Vietnam tour and we cannot praise Hung highly enough. He was super organised, informative, knowledgeable and most of all fun to tour with. The tour itself covered all the highlights of Vietnam and everything was just so easy. It allowed time for sightseeing and relaxing which is important for the 'mature age' traveller. The hotels were of a high standard and the food was delicious.
Thanks for a great tour.”