PRIVATE TOUR: Ultimate Vietnam! Discovering Hanoi, cruising the Mekong Delta and Halong Bay, taking in the rice paddies of Mai Chau and exploring the Cu Chi tunnels. From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in 16 exhilarating days, visiting Hue and Hoi An en route and ending with three days of relaxation by Mui Ne beach.
Good morning Vietnam! Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport you will be met and transferred to your city centre hotel. Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Hanoi is the charming capital and cultural heart of Vietnam. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Hanoi – Mai Chau. This morning embark on a tour of Vietnam’s capital. First stop is at the Ho Chi Minh Museum, where you will gain an insight into the life of the President Ho Chi Minh. Continue to the Presidential Palace, the president’s iconic house on stilts, and the One Pillar Pagoda. The last port of call is to the Ethnology Museum, here you'll learn about Vietnam’s diverse ethnic groups (please note: the museum is closed on Mondays).
In the afternoon, travel through local villages en route to Mai Chau. Located in the beautiful valleys surrounded by rice terraces, are the small villages of the White Thai and Mai Chai people, known for their stilt houses and stunning scenery. On arrival, there's time to freshen up before dinner.
Overnight: Mai Chau | Breakfast
Wake up to the sounds of the roosters this morning and have breakfast. Then enjoy a leisurely walk (approx. 4km) through beautiful countryside to nearby Lac Village where you can meet the locals and gain an insight into their way of life. Later this morning, travel further into the sub-valley to enjoy lunch at a local family-ran guesthouse on stilts. After lunch, take a stroll around the villages and see their vegetable gardens. Bicycles are also available if you prefer to explore on two wheels. Returning to your hotel, spend rest of day at leisure.
Overnight: Mai Chau | Breakfast, Lunch
Mai Chau - Ninh Binh. This morning drive to the beautiful Ninh Binh region, which is often referred to as an inland Halong Bay. Arrive in a remote corner of the region called Mount Tuong where you have lunch before enjoying a scenic sampan boat ride to Galaxy Cave.
After lunch climb the steps up Ngoa Long Mountain for an incredible panoramic view over Ninh Binh's rice fields, karst mountains and Tam Coc, the most beautiful valley in the region, renowned for its towering limestone peaks. On your way back to Ninh Binh stop to explore Mua Cave which lies at the foot of Mua mountain which has a striking stone dragon carved into its staircase.
Overnight: Ninh Binh | Breakfast, Lunch
Ninh Binh - Halong Bay. After breakfast at hotel, bid farewell to Ninh Binh and drive to spectacular Halong Bay, where karst island peaks dappled with lush vegetation rise from the pristine emerald coloured waters. explore this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site on an overnight junk boat cruise.
Junk boats are based on a traditional design, combining oriental style with modern luxury. On board you can soak up the panoramic views from the sundeck as the boat gently plies its course. This afternoon 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.
Please Note: Cruise itinerary is subject to change depending on weather, tidal conditions
Overnight: Halong Bay - Junk boat | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Halong Bay to Hue
Halong Bay – Hue. Wake up to see a spectacular sunrise over the bay! This morning cruise through the stunning rocky islands emerging from the crystal-clear waters. After brunch disembark and travel back to Hanoi stopping en route in Dong Ho Village, famous for its long-preserved art of making pictures. Visit a studio in the village, where you can watch the procedure of carving and printing these paintings and learn about the local folk tales represented in the paintings. Onward to Hanoi Airport for an evening flight to Hue in central Vietnam, where upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.
Overnight: Hue | Breakfast
Hue was the Vietnamese capital during the Nguyen Dynasty 1802-1945 and ruins of the city’s regal past can still be seen inside the Citadel and the Imperial City. Created in the 19th century, the Imperial City was modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing and holds many palaces and temples inside its giant walls. Many of the buildings were damaged by French aerial bombing and the Tet Offensive in 1968. Now it is slowly being restored thanks to generous funding by UNESCO.
Your tour begins after breakfast with the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. Spend the morning wandering through the enclosure before travelling into the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place of the Emperors at one of the most impressive Royal Tombs. Spend the afternoon and evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hue | Breakfast, Lunch
Hue - Hoi An. This morning, continue south to the riverside town of Hoi An. The five hour trip hugs the coastline along the South China Sea with breathtaking views particularly as the road winds its way up Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the Clouds”). From the 16th to 18th centuries, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants. Today, Hoi An is a quaint riverside town, renowned for its silk and popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailors shops and numerous cafes. Some of the buildings in the narrow streets have remained unchanged for more than a century and much of the town is now heritage-listed.
In the afternoon, enjoy a guided walking tour through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter visiting Chua Ong Pagoda, Assembly Hall, 200-year-old Tam Ky house and the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast
Spend a day at leisure on the beach or having clothes made by one of the expert, inexpensive tailors that Hoi An is famous for. In the evening, you might want to stroll Hoi An's romantic, silk latern lit streets and dine in one of its fantastic riverside restaurants.
Overnight: Hoi An | Breakfast
Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City. In the morning transfer to Danang airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remains of the day at leisure in this lively and cosmopolitan metropolis with its gleaming sky scrapers, expensive restaurants, bars and designer shops, which stand in stark contrast to the ancient pagodas, colonial era landmarks and ramshackle markets.
On day 11 take a morning excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, north west of the city. This immense network of connecting underground tunnels, were used by the Viet Cong and one of the famous battle grounds in the Vietnam War. Watch a short introductory video on the construction of the tunnels before exploring the maze of tunnels, accompanied by the guide. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500-pound bombs from B52 bombers.
Returning to Ho Chi Minh City at around 2pm, stop for lunch before visiting some of the city's major attractions including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral (from the outside as renovations are taking place) and the War Remnants Museum.
Overnight: Ho Chi Minh City | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
Enjoy a cruise on the Mekong Delta today! Ben Tre is famous for its coconut production and quiet, peaceful waterways. Here we enjoy a traditional sampan boat that will take us to visit a brick making shop, a fruit garden and a local family where rice paper made. This afternoon we return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight: Ho Chi Minh City | Breakfast, Lunch
Mui Ne Beach R&R
Ho Chi Minh City - Mui Ne. On day 13 you will be transferred to Mui Ne (approx 5-6 hours) for three nights of rest and relaxation. Mui Ne is a pretty beach resort with a lovely white sand beach, built around a charming fishing village. Spend your days at leisure here.
With a reputation as the adrenaline capital of southern Vietnam, Mui Ne is a popular surf destination between August and December when the waves arrive, while the strong winds from October to April attract the wind and kite surfers. The famous red and white sand dunes are a perfect photo opportunity and for the more adventurous sand-sledding is possible. You can also enjoy a scenic walk to Fairy Spring or visit the 9th century Cham tower for sweeping views of Mui Ne town.
Overnight: Mui Ne | Breakfast x 3
Mui Ne - Phan Thiet. After breakfast and hotel check out, included transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City airport for your onward flight.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single Room' price is applicable when a single room is required, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults.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.
The Q Hotel, Hanoi
One of the best boutique hotels in Hanoi, The Q Hotel is housed in a cosy French building in the heart of the city. The hotel restaurant is open 24/7 and offers a fine array of local and international cuisine. Rooms are modern, with wood flooring and king-sized beds, as well as ensuite bathrooms and balconies in some rooms. Amenities include air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TV, kettle, minibar and safe. There is a bar and fitness centre for guests to use and attractions including the Imperial Citadel and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum are within a 30-minute walk.
Sol Bungalows, Mai Chau
Surrounded by emerald mountains and bamboo gardens, Sol Bungalows is set in the very heart of the Mai Chau valley. Its guestrooms are elegantly decorated and equipped with modern amenities including complimentary WiFi access. This secluded resort is the perfect spot to relax and soak up the dramatic scenery, with fantastic views over the surrounding lush rice paddies. An onsite restaurant offers delicious regional fare and guests can enjoy a host of other activities including a weaving class, traditional dance class, massage treatments, mountain biking and much more.
Mai Chau Villas (Deluxe Bungalow), Mai Chau
A collection of comfortable villas located in the spectacular countryside of Mai Chau, with a backdrop of forest and mountains. The property offers free Wi-Fi, a gym, and a swimming pool, as well as a restaurant, coffee shop, and bar. Deluxe bungalows are cozy, boasting mountain views and a balcony or terrace, from which to enjoy the view. They also feature ensuite bathrooms, TV, air-conditioning and blackout curtains. There is a minibar and refrigerator, and complimentary water is provided. Optional activities such as fishing can also be booked at the front desk.
Hidden Charm Hotel , Ninh Binh
Surrounded by idyllic rice fields and towering limestone karsts, Hidden Charm Hotel does indeed ooze hidden charm, located in an area nicknamed "Halong Bay on land". Housed in an elegant white building, rooms at the hotel include king-sized (or twin) beds, large windows, TV, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, minibar and ensuite bathrooms. There are two restaurants, a snack bar and a garden bar nestled in the lush hotel gardens. There is also an outdoor pool and comprehensive spa offering an array of treatments, sauna, a jacuzzi and more. The area is best explored on foot or by bicycle, and bikes can be hired from the hotel for guests wanting to head out and explore.
Lalita Boutique Hotel , Ninh Binh
Lalita Boutique Hotel is a great base for exploring the rural countryside setting of Ninh Binh, home to rolling rice fields and karst limestone formations protruding from the earth. Built using contemporary architecture in harmony with nature, this boutique hotel has a spa, fitness, centre, garden, and rooftop swimming pool, with free Wi-Fi access available throughout the property. A buffet breakfast is served in the onsite restaurant and bikes and mopeds are able to be hired from the front desk. Rooms are modern and tasteful, with large windows and ensuite bathrooms. Balconies are available with many rooms.
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.
Pelican Cruise Junk Boat, Halong Bay
Launched in 2014, this impressive junk boat blends traditional with modern and is a great vessel for exploring the UNESCO-listed Halong Bay. Two covered decks are home to the boat's 22 cabins, all featuring large windows, private balconies and tasteful furnishings. Cabins also come equipped with air-conditioning, a minibar, and private bathrooms. The third deck offers sun loungers, a spa, and a restaurant serving Vietnamese and Western cuisine, as well as space for activities such as sunrise tai chi.
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. Guestrooms are spacious and complete with modern amenities. The hotel's imperial jade and royal purple colour scheme was inspired by ancient Hue itself. Guests can take advantage of the mini-gym, pool-side bar and reading area. Enjoy delicious Vietnamese and international cuisine in the onsite contemporary restaurant.
Romance Hotel, Hue
This 11-storey hotel is just a moment's walk from the Perfume River and offers easy access to the UNESCO-listed Imperial Citadel, one of Hue's main attractions. Boasting a rooftop swimming pool, two onsite restaurants (buffet breakfast is served), and three bars, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking. Other amenities include the Romance Spa and a fitness centre. Rooms feature large windows allowing for views over the city and ample light, plus cable TV, minibar, and ensuite bathrooms. Rooms also include air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
Silkotel Hoi An , Hoi An
The Silkotel gets its name from the vibrant 15th-century trading hub which this part of Hoi An once was. Today it's the heart of this popular traveller destination, and the hotel is within walking distance of such attractions as the Japanese Bridge and the Hoi An Museum. Each room includes some silk furnishings in a nod to the area's past, and rooms also include king-sized (or twin) beds, ensuite bathrooms, 40" LCD TV, minibar, air-conditioning, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The main Chiffon restaurant is open all day and serves a buffet breakfast as well as a good mix of Vietnamese and Western cuisine. And there are two bars, including an outdoor pool bar by the hotel swimming pool.
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 guest 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 sightseeing.