Highlights of Vietnam

Highlights of Vietnam

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10 Days
From

$2098

$1969

Highlights of Vietnam

10 Days Starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon

Visiting: Hanoi, Hạ Long Bay, Đồng Hới, Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, Vinh Moc Tunnels, Thua Thien Hue, Hội An, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong River Delta

Tour operator:

Exodus

Tour code:

ALD

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Leisurely / Moderate

Age range:

16 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

From:
$2098
$1969 (USD) Operator discount: $73 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $56
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Tour Overview

This trip encapsulates the magic of Vietnam: the conservative north, the rich heritage of the imperial cities, coastal scenery, rural rolling countryside with soaring mountains and the vibrant life of Saigon and the Mekong Delta. We come face to face with an outgoing culture, where so much goes on in the streets; eating, washing, socialising, buying and selling or impromptu games. This intoxicating parade of Vietnamese daily life may leave us with our strongest memories, as much as the superb landscapes and amazing cuisine.

Highlights

  • In Hue visit the Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda

  • Boat trip around stunning Halong Bay

  • The historic trading town of Hoi An

  • Underground rivers and caves of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

  • Visit the Vinh Moc Vietnam war tunnels 

  • Experience mouth-watering cuisine

  • Explore the Mekong Delta by boat

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Start Hanoi
Location: Hanoi
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: May De Ville City Centre Hotel or similar
Meals Included: Dinner

Depending on your arrival time you might like to start exploring this
fascinating city by strolling amongst broad tree-lined avenues dating from
the French period. There is a faded colonial charm where baguettes and good
coffee are sold from doorways of grand buildings of a past era. There will be
a welcome briefing this evening with your leader followed by a welcome dinner
at KOTO, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to
provide a step up in life. The delicious food provides a fitting welcome to
Vietnam and chance to meet your fellow travellers.

Day 2 : To Halong Bay; Cruise Among Limestone Formations; Overnight On Boat
Location: Hạ Long Bay
Accommodation: Overnight Boat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We make an early start for the approximate 4-hour journey to Halong Bay. This
is one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in South East Asia with
roughly 3,000 limestone peaks rising directly from the clear emerald sea. We
cruise amongst this amazing karst scenery and enjoy a seafood lunch on board.
We overnight on board in twin share cabins with en suite facilities.

Day 3 : Transfer Back To Hanoi; Overnight Train To Dong Hoi
Location: Hanoi, Đồng Hới
Accommodation: Overnight Train
Meals Included: Breakfast

We continue to cruise around Halong Bay this morning before returning to
port. We then drive back to Hanoi where we have a bit of free time to explore
this fascinating city. You might like to join the locals by pulling up a
plastic stool and sampling one of the many street food offerings; the bun cha
(barbecued pork with rice noodles and fresh herbs) is not to be missed! Late
afternoon we transfer to the train station to board our overnight train to
Dong Hoi, 500km south of Hanoi. 

Day 4 : Journey To Underground Rivers, Karst Mountains And Verdant Jungle Of Unesco Site Phong Nha N.P
Location: Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Chay Lap Farm or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast

Arriving into Dong Hoi at sunrise we journey to the Phong Nha Ke Bang
National Park and have breakfast at the farm-stay that will be our overnight
spot later on. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003, the National
Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia. Riddled with hundreds of
cave systems and spectacular underground rivers, this is an area very new to
tourism but sure to impress with its scale. We will first explore Thien Duong
cave, known locally as Paradise Cave. This was only discovered in 2005 by
scientists from the British Cave Research Association with the help of a
local man who had heard the mountains ‘whistling’ while farming.

After lunch we will visit Phong Nha cave by boat before returning to the
farm-stay. There will be time to relax and enjoy the peace of the countryside
or for those who wish there is the option to cycle around the local
villages. 

Day 5 : To Hue Via Vinh Moc Tunnels; A Key Resource During The Vietnam War
Location: Vinh Moc Tunnels, Thua Thien Hue
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Park View Hotel or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast

We start our journey to Hue today stopping en-route at the Vinh Moc war
tunnels. Less well-known than the Cu Chi tunnels in the south, these tunnels
were predominantly used as bomb shelters during the Vietnam War. During times
of bombing, village life carried on underground; children went to school,
hospitals were established and films were even played with a generator.

We next stop at the Hien Luong bridge which crosses the Ben Hai River. This
formed part of the border between North and South Vietnam from 1954 until
reunification in 1975. We will arrive in Hue mid-afternoon and will have some
free time before an optional group dinner. 

Day 6 : Hue City Tour; Transfer To Hoi An
Location: Thua Thien Hue, Hội An
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hoi An River Green Boutique or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast

It is claimed that Hue is the cultural and historical centre of Vietnam, and
there is plenty to see. The most outstanding sight is the Imperial Citadel
with walls six miles in length; inside are the palaces and halls of the
Mandarins, and the remains of the Forbidden Purple City, where only the
emperor, his eunuchs and concubines were allowed. The Forbidden Purple City
was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the
foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric and the gaping holes left by
bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the
war. This morning we visit the Imperial Citadel and the famous Thien Mu
Pagoda. The pagoda was a centre for anti-government protest in the early
1960's and it houses the Austin car that transported a monk, Thich Quang Duc,
to Saigon in 1963 where he burned himself in protest against the President.
The photograph of his self-immolation was printed in newspapers all around
the world.

After lunch we leave for Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass; 19kms of
road winds up and over the fortress of mountains providing breath-taking
views of the coast. 

Day 7 : Walking Tour Of Hoi An; Free Time For Market Exploration
Location: Hội An
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hoi An River Green Boutique or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning will include a walking tour of Hoi An, the original European
trading port in Vietnam dating back to the mid-16th century. It is now a
living museum, with attractive wooden merchant's houses and pagoda-style
temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European architectural
influences. It is also a marvellous place to wander around and enjoy the
thriving riverside market and great silk, clothes shopping. 

This afternoon is free, one popular option is to jump on a bike for a ride
through the countryside past local markets, schools and villages before
continuing on to Cua Dai beach (5 km).

Day 8 : Fly To Saigon; Visit Main Sites
Location: Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Huong Sen Hotel or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast

We drive to Da Nang and then fly to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), an exciting
and absorbing city where scooters pack the streets and temples stand
defiantly alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, it is
now a bustling free market city where anything goes. Here, we include a visit
to the Ben Thanh Market, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and War
Remnants Museum. The Museum has an interesting photographic record of the
Vietnam/American War. Please be aware that some images at the museum are very
graphic.


Day Trip To Mekong Delta; Return To Saigon For Final Evening
Location: Mekong River Delta
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Huong Sen Hotel or similar
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Journeying out of the city we head to the lush countryside that is the Mekong
Delta for a day tour. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, this region
produces most of Vietnam’s fruit, sugar cane and coconuts. We take a boat
trip along the many tributaries and stop to see some small cottage industries
along the way. We will journey by sampan, a traditional wooden low-riding
boat still used by the locals as the main form of transport. After sampling
some of the local produce we head back to Saigon where your leader will
organise an optional group farewell dinner.

Day 10 : End Saigon
Location: Ho Chi Minh City
Meals Included: Breakfast

For land only clients, the tour ends this morning in Saigon after breakfast.

What's Included

  • Arrival & departure transfers

  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners

  • All transport and listed activities

  • All accommodation

  • Tour leader throughout

What's Not Included

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Travel insurance

Food

All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners included. Thanks to the tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range of mountains, Vietnam is blessed with numerous varieties of culinary offerings and consequently maintains its reputation as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world that still packs a punch with delicious, fresh and fiery flavours. Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a whole myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime all play an important role in the cuisine. The Chinese and French influence is felt throughout the country where you are just as likely to be offered a Banh Mi (stuffed baguette) as you are a hot steaming bowl of Pho (noodle soup). Each dish is prepared with the Asian principle of Wu Xing in mind (the five elements); meaning that the perfect combination of spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet is the ultimate aim. Be sure to also seek out the national beverages; Vietnamese coffee is served iced and sweet with condensed milk, a real sugar and caffeine hit, and beer hoi (local beer, brewed daily) is served on most street corners in the North out of large plastic jugs that are perfect for sharing. Food is cheap in Vietnam and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere. Vegetarian food is widely available, however the offering will be fairly similar in most places. Please advise at time of booking if you have any dietary requirements.

Accommodation

We spend seven nights in comfortable hotels and one night aboard a boat in twin-share cabins. All hotels have either fans or air conditioning.

There is also a night on a sleeper train, where we are accommodated in soft-bed berths (usually four passengers per berth). Vietnamese trains are safe but we recommend you keep valuables with you at all times. Snacks are often offered on board (at an additional cost). While most trains have Western-style facilities, some trains are also equipped with squat toilets.

Please note, accommodation listed on the itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

Single supplements are available (on request) for seven nights of the trip (hotel nights). Please advise your sales representatives at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    Standard hotels

  • What is the maximum group size?

    16

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Arrival & departure transfers

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    16+ age people can go on this tour.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Excellent Adventure

Wonderful trip, It was well planned and well executed, We were with a great group and we all got on so well immediately, The Group leader was so knowledgeable.

Fantastic!

Having recently returned from a 15-day adventure to Vietnam I cannot praise Exodus enough for their meticulous organisation, jam-packed itinerary and knowledgeable and friendly guides. Everything went smoothly thanks to the organisation of the staff at the UK HQ and also the guides who met us at each location we visited. The guides took their time to show us the "real Vietnam" and teach us about Vietnamese culture and life. We took a private tour, travelling from North to South and were met at each destination by our Exodus guides; we did not need to worry about anything as everything was covered and as a result we saw and did so much more than would have been possible if we had organised the trip ourselves.

Fun, Fast, Exhilarating, Exhausting and wouldn't change a thing

The most jam packed 10 days of my life. But also the most enjoyable. Every day brought something new. It's fast and furious so be prepared for moving to somewhere new virtually everyday day. Having said that it's a truly enthralling trip. Every destination is different providing you with a ton of different unforgettable experiences.

Great trip leaving you wanting more..

It’s a hectic schedule with so much to cover but the trip was well organised and it offers a great taste into what Vietnam has to offer.

Amazing 10 days

This is a busy trip but gives you the highlights of this beautiful country. We went to the cities and the countryside. We enjoyed some fabulous food and the people were really friendly.

Highlights of Vietnam

An excellent all round fantastic experience. Great value for money, excellent group leader, and a perfectly balanced programme.

Awesome

A very busy trip that gave us a taste of so many parts of Vietnam and an opportunity to understand about the culture and food in the north and south. A good mixture of history, sightseeing and a variety of travel modes. Hotels were of a high standard and the customer service from people who served us in all of the accommodation, on buses and in restaurants was first class. As tourists we were welcomed with open arms. We enjoyed the energy and optimism of Vietnam and the sense of humour and pride in the country

Brilliant holiday... let by a brilliant tour leader/guide

This was my first holiday ever to the East, beyond Europe. Vietnam is a truly amazing country and having been back two weeks now, I still can't believe I was there. From start to finish of the tour, it was an amazing holiday and experience and one I will never forget, as one as hopefully one day I would like to repeat. The tour is full-on... early starts, long days and always lots to see and do (north to south in 10 days with sights). There was not a lot of free time to yourself and only when we were in Hoi An or on the last day in Ho Chi Minh City before the night flight home, did we manage to get any real chance to do any shopping, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. A perfect holiday left by a perfect guide.

A Lot to See in a Short Amount of Time

I felt that we really did see Vietnam top to bottom. There was a lot to cover in 10 days and the trip could really be extended. It was helpful to get to Hanoi a couple of days earlier and I previously went to Ho Chi Min City. The caves are the best part of the trip. You really can't go wrong with it, if your goal is to see Vietnam.

A whistlestop tour of Vietnam

This is a busy tour taking in the main sights of Vietnam. Be prepared for planes, trains and automobiles (and boats!).

Read all 13 reviews

Dates & Availability

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Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Mar 10, 2024 - Mar 19, 2024
$2400 $2334 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Jul 21, 2024 - Jul 30, 2024
$2098 $1969 (USD)

Operator discount: $73 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $56 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Oct 06, 2024 - Oct 15, 2024
$2100 $2042 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $58 (USD)

RCGS: Highlights of Vietnam with Lynn Moorman

Sunday - Tuesday

Nov 17, 2024 - Nov 26, 2024
$2170 $2110 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $60 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Dec 22, 2024 - Dec 31, 2024
$2100 $2042 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $58 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Jan 12, 2025 - Jan 21, 2025
$2400 $2334 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Feb 09, 2025 - Feb 18, 2025
$2250 $2188 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $62 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Mar 09, 2025 - Mar 18, 2025
$2400 $2334 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $66 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Apr 13, 2025 - Apr 22, 2025
$2250 $2188 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $62 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Jul 20, 2025 - Jul 29, 2025
$2250 $2188 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $62 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Oct 05, 2025 - Oct 14, 2025
$2250 $2188 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $62 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Nov 16, 2025 - Nov 25, 2025
$2250 $2188 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $62 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Tuesday

Dec 14, 2025 - Dec 23, 2025
$2250 $2188 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $62 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 42 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 20 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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