Start in cultural Hanoi, exploring the city’s architecture and Chinese and French colonial influences. Hanoi’s Old Quarter is the perfect place to watch locals shop, eat and drink coffee. From here, travel to Halong Bay and take an overnight cruise around the Bay’s 2,000 islets, stopping to explore Hang Sung Sot Cave or the greenery of Cat Ba Island. Get a feel for ancient Vietnam in Hue, once capital of the Nguyen dynasty and the perfect place to explore museums, tombs and mausoleums, before dining in the markets along the Perfume River. Next, visit the preserved city of Hoi An for Japanese influenced buildings. Hoi An escaped bombardment during the Vietnam War and is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful cities. Return to modernity in Ho Chi Minh City, where 21st-century skyscrapers mix with ancient pagodas, before travelling down to the waterways of the Mekong Delta. Here, you can experience rural Vietnamese life, watching rice paddies and floating markets as you cruise by on your boat. This is also a great time to try a Vietnamese homestay, before you travel back to Ho Chi Minh City and your flight home.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hoi An, Halong Bay, Mekong Delta, Hue
Activity Activity Cruise & Sailing, Nature & Wildlife, Culture
Physical Level Physical Level Easy

Suggested itinerary

Street food, coffee and culture in Hanoi

Street food, coffee and culture in Hanoi

Day 1–2 in Hanoi

Vietnam’s capital is a riot of blaring horns, stunning architecture and delicious street food. Head to the original streets of the Old Quarter, where market traders have been selling their wares for more than 1,000 years, before exploring the city’s historical heritage, influenced by Chinese and French occupations and the scars of the American War.

Make sure to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, dedicated to the man who fought for a unified Vietnam, before lapping up the city’s coffee culture and street food stalls.

Don't miss

Sample authentic street food in Hanoi

Sample authentic street food in Hanoi

Weave your way through the Vespas of Vietnam’s capital to Hanoi’s Old Quarter; a hub of history and culture and the perfect place to enjoy Southeast Asian cuisine at its most authentic with a dish of pho and glass of refreshing Bia Hoi beer.

Motorbike the Northwest Loop

Motorbike the Northwest Loop

This one-week journey winds through mountains cut by deep valleys, past isolated ethnic villages, rice paddies and jaw dropping vistas. Aside from Sapa, be prepared for no English speakers, Western food or high-end lodgings on this motorbike adventure.

Explore Hanoi’s coffee culture

Explore Hanoi’s coffee culture

Vietnam is renowned for its excellent coffee and nowhere brews it better than Hanoi. Try hot filter coffee sweetened with condensed milk for a true taste of Vietnam.

Cruise Halong Bay

Cruise Halong Bay

Day 3–4 in Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a World Heritage Site and Vietnam’s most popular tourist destination. Take an overnight cruise around the Bay’s 2,000 beautiful islets, stopping to see the shimmering lights in Hang Sung Sot Cave, go diving in the clear water or simply enjoy the scenery.

For a slightly less crowded experience, head to Cat Ba Island to cycle around its peaceful countryside or travel on to the equally beautiful Lan Ha Bay.

Don't miss

Vietnam’s lesser-known bays

Vietnam’s lesser-known bays

While crowds flock to the famous Halong Bay, the nearby limestone karst islands of Lan Ha and Bai Tu Long are formed by the same geological feature that runs 100km up the Vietnam coastline and are just as beautiful, yet with a more isolated appeal.

Explore Imperial Vietnam in Hue

Explore Imperial Vietnam in Hue

Day 5–6 in Hue

Charming Hue was once the capital of the Nguyen dynasty and is a great place to explore the history of Imperial Vietnam. Look out for its rambling architecture and fascinating museums, such as the tombs of the Ancient Emperors and the Tu Hieu Pagoda, or take a peaceful cruise along the Perfume River.

Explore Hoi An and central Vietnam

Explore Hoi An and central Vietnam

Day 7–8 in Hoi An

Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most attractive cities, due in part to the preservation of historic buildings in its Old Town (Hoi An avoided being bombed in the Vietnam War). Look out for Chinese temples, Japanese merchant houses and evocative tea warehouses, or head to the enticing market on the Thu Bon river. Hoi An is also an excellent base for exploring the villages and countryside of central Vietnam.

Don't miss

Two-wheel the Hai Van Pass

Two-wheel the Hai Van Pass

Located between Hue and Hoi An, a ride over the Hai Van Pass is the scenic way to connect these two popular tourist destinations. The 19km roadway winds over the mountain and delivers stunning coastal views best enjoyed by motorbike or bicycle.

Take a cooking class in Hoi An

Take a cooking class in Hoi An

Explore the vegetable and herb gardens at Tra Que in Hoi An, before learning how to cook traditional Vietnamese food with fresh ingredients.

Get historical in Ho Chi Minh City

Get historical in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 9 in Ho Chi Minh City

Previously known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City changed its name after Vietnam unified following the Vietnam War. This is the place to learn more about Vietnam’s recent past, with many museums, monument and sites like the Cu Chi Tunnels, where North Vietnamese soldiers hid during the War.

Beyond history, Ho Chi Minh City is now one of Vietnam’s most innovative cities and a centre of commerce. This is the place to see the Vietnam of the past and the future, with ancient temples mingling with 21st-century skyscrapers.

Don't miss

Go with the flow in Ho Chi Minh City

Go with the flow in Ho Chi Minh City

In a city of nine million people, get a local perspective by hopping on the back of a motorbike. These tours offer a whirlwind sample of Ho Chi Minh City’s historic sites, tasty street food and some of its 24 unique districts.

Experience the war at Cu Chi tunnels

Experience the war at Cu Chi tunnels

The remarkable, if not slightly claustrophobic, network of tunnels at Cu Chi serves as a reminder of the brave and innovative resistance made by the Viet Cong. Fancy firing an AK-47? You can do that here too at the site’s accompanying firing ranges.

Floating markets and rice paddies in the Mekong Delta

Floating markets and rice paddies in the Mekong Delta

Day 10–11 in Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s breadbasket, with 70% of the country’s fruit and 50% of its rice grown here. This maze of rivers, rice paddies and floating markets offers visitors the chance to see rural Vietnam and experience farm life, whether onboard a floating boat or through a homestay with local families. The many villages are also a good place to try some of Vietnam’s varied cuisine.

Don't miss

Breakfast on a boat in Can Tho

Breakfast on a boat in Can Tho

At the largest floating market of the Mekong Delta, float between wooden ships laden with fruits and vegetables as tiny sampans putter around selling everything from iced coffee and fresh coconuts to banh mi sandwiches and bowls of noodle soup.

Return to Ho Chi Minh City and depart

Return to Ho Chi Minh City and depart

Day 12 in Ho Chi Minh City

Return to Ho Chi Minh City for your onward flight.

Where to stay

Classic

The Scarlett Boutique Hotel

Located in the heart of Hue, just over a mile from Trang Tien Bridge, The Scarlett Boutique Hotel offers stylish rooms, a business centre, currency exchange and restaurant.

Superior

Anja Beach Resort & Spa

Located in Duong To on Phu Quoc Island, Anja Beach Resort & Spa offers comfortable accommodation surrounded by gardens and a private beach area. Guests can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool, free bike hire, free airport transfers, bar and restaurant.

Deluxe

Salinda Resort

Located just a few steps from Long Beach in Phu Quoc, Salinda Resort offers luxury island accommodation, with a private beach, outdoor swimming pool, free bike hire, fitness centre, evening entertainment, bar and restaurant.

Book this itinerary

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators would cost from $1,714pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

Learn more

Contact us now and we'll connect you with a specialist tour operator with more information on how to tailor and book this itinerary.

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