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The juxtaposition between north and south Vietnam is clear and makes for many fascinating experiences in this wondrous country. Our advice is to go with an open mind and you will not be disappointed.

Vietnam has an incredibly varied and beautiful landscape. Its climate varies from the relative cold of Hanoi in the north to the tropical climate of Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) and Phnom Penh in the southern reaches of the peninsula. The great link between the countries in Indochina is the huge snaking Mekong river which provides some awe inspiring river cruising options, particularly on Halong Bay and along the Mekong Delta River.

Beautiful tree-lined boulevards and grandiose lakes overlooked by faded French villas conjure up images of Hanoi’s colonial past. Halong Bay is absolutely stunning: allow your eyes to swim through the azure waters of this magical place, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the water like gigantic dragon’s teeth.

Prior to the arrival of the French, Hoi An was Vietnam’s ‘window on the world’. Tucked away amongst the back streets are the houses of merchants from Asia and Europe, lured from afar by the prospect of high-grade silk and porcelain.

Once you have fully absorbed the culture and sights, a stunning array of beaches on Phu Quoc await.

Best time to visit: spring and autumn are great times (February to April, August to October) as temperatures are moderate and rainfall is lighter. As our tour encompasses the length of the country, you’ll need to be prepared for different weather and temperatures as you move from a cooler climate to a warmer and more humid one. You may well experience showers during the autumn period but these tend to be in the form of brief afternoon downpours.

 

 

Tour Details

  • 13 days
  • From £2,700pp

Highlights

  • Hanoi city tour
  • Halong Bay cruise and overnight stay
  • Hoi An’s vibrant markets and food stalls
  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Mekong River day cruise
  • Island of Phu Quoc

Itinerary in brief

  • Hanoi x 3 nights (Vietnam)
  • Halong Bay cruise x 1 nights (Vietnam)
  • Hoi An x 2 nights (Vietnam)
  • Ho Chi Minh City x 2 nights (Vietnam)
  • Phu Quoc island x 3 nights (Vietnam)

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart UK

Depart UK and fly to Hanoi international airport.

Day 2 – Arrive Hanoi and explore the city (Vietnam)

Transfer to your hotel then explore the city at your own pace.

Day 3 – Escorted tour of Hanoi (Vietnam)

Start the day with a visit to the complex dedicated to Ho Chi Minh, the nation’s founder, containing the mausoleum, and then the house on stilts, One Pillar Pagoda. Next visit Tran Quoc Pagoda – Hanoi’s oldest pagoda on the bank of West Lake. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, which was constructed in the 11th century. Later take a cyclo tour around the old streets followed by a Water Puppet Show.

Day 4 – At leisure in Hanoi (Vietnam)

Day at leisure. We recommend a visit to the Museum of Ethnology, located in the Cau Giay district of Hanoi, about 8km away from the centre of the city and well worth a visit.

Day 5 – Overnight on Halong Bay (Vietnam)

Leave the city this morning and head out to the wonder that is Halong Bay on a three-hour drive which takes you through dramatic paddy field scenery interspersed with newer industrial areas built to power the modern Vietnamese society.

You may choose to stop at the Hong Ngoc Humanities Centre which supports disadvantaged and disabled adults and children from the local area through vocational training in the manufacturing and marketing of handicrafts. Join the boat and sail though Halong Bay. Pass through picturesque areas like the Mat Quy and Am islets. A buffet lunch is served shortly after boarding.

The voyage continues with the arrival at the Cua Van fishing village, the biggest and oldest fishing village in Halong Bay, via a pleasant boat ride. In the afternoon sharpen your culinary skills with an onboard cooking class conducted by the boat’s chef.

Dinner is served onboard in the evening and then the night is yours to relax onboard. The mooring location is a fantastic overnight spot with glittering lights from the other boats and a calm sea.

Day 6 – Cruise then transfer to Hoi An (Vietnam)

Brunch will be served as you cruise around the beautiful bay before returning to the port in the afternoon. Transfer to Hanoi then fly to Danang and transfer to Hoi An where you check in for a four-night stay.

Day 7 – At leisure in Hoi An (Vietnam)

At leisure in Hoi An. You could rent bicycles and set off to explore the surrounding countryside or take a boat trip on the Tu Bon River.

Day 8 – At leisure in Hoi An (Vietnam)

At leisure in Hoi An. We suggest taking a walking tour of the Old Town where you can visit an ancient house, Chinese Assembly Hall, the Japanese Covered Bridge and a museum.

Day 9 – Sightseeing in Hoi An (Vietnam)

At leisure in Hoi An. We suggest visiting the fish market and sampling fresh produce. Or take a trip to visit the UNESCO ruins at My Son.

Day 10 – Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Leave Hoi An this morning and transfer to Danang for a morning flight south to Ho Chi Ming city. Arrive and transfer into the heart of the central district, stopping enroute at the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Dug during the French-Indochina wars, they were expanded during later conflicts and proved to be a constant thorn in the side of the Saigon regime.

Next begin a tour of Ho Chi Minh city by visiting the Reunification Palace (formerly South Vietnam’s Presidential Palace), War Remnants Museum, the French-built Notre Dame Cathedral and the Gustav Eiffel-designed Central Post Office. The remainder of your day is free to explore.

Day 11 – Mekong Delta (Vietnam)

Venture out of the city today and board a traditional boat which takes you along the busy waterways of the Mekong Delta region, where you will see floating markets selling boatloads of exotic fruit and goods. Take the chance to stop at local villages and experience how local life in this rural region is non-stop. Spend time at a traditional rice paper factory and visit a catfish farm. Return to Ho Chi Minh city this evening.

Day 12 – Phu Quoc island (Vietnam)

Depart Ho Chi Minh city and fly to Phu Quoc island. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy three nights relaxing on this beautiful island. Phu Quoc island floats in the warm turquoise waters in the Gulf of Thailand, 50km from the Vietnamese mainland and a 50 minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City.

Phu Quoc is becoming well known for stunning beaches, an untouched natural environment, the easy going and relaxed atmosphere, friendly locals, and fantastic scuba diving and snorkelling. The majority of Phu Quoc island is dedicated to National Park and is a protected marine environment with plenty of exciting activities and places to visit to keep you entertained during your stay.

Day 13 – Phu Quoc island (Vietnam)

At leisure on Phu Quoc island.

Day 14 – Phu Quoc island (Vietnam)

At leisure on Phu Quoc island.

Day 15 – Ho Chi Minh city (Vietnam)

Leave Phu Quoc island after breakfast and fly back to Ho Chi Minh city. Spend the day relaxing in the city before transferring to HCMC airport for your return flight to the UK.

Download our Vietnam: An Adventure itinerary here

Map and travel information

Flight information

Direct flights from the UK to Ho Chi Minh City in approximately 14 hours

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01491 575 987

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Saturday: 10am – 4:30pm

1 Market Place Mews,
Henley-on-Thames, OXON RG9 2AH