Tour Overview

Explore the natural wonders and undiscovered lands of Vietnam as you travel off the beaten track from the bustling capital of Hanoi to the lush Central Highlands and historic Ho Chi Minh City. Cruise overnight on magical Ha Long Bay, explore the Red River Delta in Ninh Binh and unearth the heritage of Hue. Discover the charms of Hoi An and get to know rural life in Kon Tum and Buon Ma Thuot.

Itinerary

icon Day 1: UK/Ireland - Night on board

Location: UK/Ireland - Night on board

Ready to explore the natural wonders and vibrant culture of Vietnam? Head to your departure airport to check-in for an overnight flight to Hanoi. Night on board.

* If your flight arrives in Hanoi in the early hours of the morning, and you wish to have your room available before 2:00 p.m, you can book early check-in in the next step of the booking process.

icon Day 2: Hanoi

Location: Hanoi

Touch down in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital and a city filled with lakes, shaded boulevards, colonial architecture and bustling, moped-filled streets. Meet your local guide at the airport and transfer to the city, enjoying a brief orientation tour along the way. Arrive at the hotel, check-in, and enjoy the remainder of the day exploring or relaxing at your leisure. Overnight stay in Hanoi.

icon Day 3: Hanoi

Location: Hanoi

Set off on an early morning visit to the Flower Market in Tay Ho district, where you can admire the vibrant colours and sweet aromas of hundreds of different kinds of flowers. Continue to Long Bien Wholesale Market to experience the bustling pre-dawn atmosphere as shop owners from across the city pick up their fresh fruit and vegetables to later sell in their shops. As the morning progresses, stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake where you can watch locals going about their morning routines and enjoying exercise, tai chi and dancing. Be sure to take some photos as the morning light illuminates the lake. Afterwards, explore the Old Quarter as the street markets begin to spring to life. Return to the hotel in time for breakfast and enjoy the remainder of the morning at your leisure. In the afternoon, visit the Ethnology Museum to learn about Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups and the richness and diversity of Vietnamese culture. Next, visit the beautiful Temple of Literature, the first university in Vietnam. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. We recommend an optional local home visit with dinner to get to know more about life in Hanoi from an authentic Vietnamese family.* Overnight stay in Hanoi.

* Optional Local Home Visit with Dinner: Get to know a local family personally as you spend an evening enjoying warm Vietnamese hospitality at a family home in Hanoi. Understand more about Vietnamese culture and traditions whilst feasting on tasty traditional homemade food.

icon Day 4: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay/ Lan Ha Bay

Location: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay/ Lan Ha Bay

After breakfast at the hotel, set off by road to Ha Long Bay or Lan Ha Bay (depending on the selected boat) one of Vietnam's most iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here, thousands of spectacular limestone islets and grottoes rise from the clear emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Board your cruise boat and enjoy a welcome drink as you settle in on board. As the boat begins to cruise throughout the stone islets, enjoy lunch as you take in the amazing landscapes and see the floating villages and beaches of Ha Long Bay. Stop at one of the floating fishing villages and take some time to relax on the sundeck. The boat continues to a quiet overnight area as you enjoy dinner and an evening on board at your leisure. Overnight on board in Ha Long Bay.

Please note: the itinerary is subject to change without prior notice due to weather conditions or local administration regulations and is dependent on the selected cruise ship.

icon Day 5: Ha Long Bay/Lan Ha Bay - Ninh Binh

Location: Ha Long Bay/Lan Ha Bay - Ninh Binh

Enjoy brunch on board as the boat sails past the captivating scenery of the bay. Return to the wharf and disembark mid-morning before transferring to Ninh Binh, a journey of approximately 3-hours. Arrive in Ninh Binh and transfer to the hotel. Ninh Binh is one of the most naturally striking regions in Vietnam, situated in the Red River Delta. Enjoy the remainder of the day exploring this small city at your leisure. Overnight stay in Ninh Binh.

icon Day 6: Ninh Binh - Hue

Location: Ninh Binh - Hue

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, set off for the breathtaking landscapes of Cuc Phuong National Park. Stop in the Visitor Centre to learn more about the natural characteristics of this area before visiting the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, where you can observe rare primates such as gibbons, langurs and loris. Continue into the landscapes of Cuc Phuong to enjoy a 7-kilometre trail hike in the great outdoors, taking in natural spectacles such as the Prehistoric Cave and the 1,000-year-old tree along the way. Stop for a simple lunch before continuing to the riverbank to enjoy a rowing-boat trip along the wetlands of Van Long, home to abundant monkeys and birdlife. Enjoy some free time to explore at your leisure before transferring to Ninh Binh Railway Station in the evening to board the overnight train to Hue. Overnight on board.

Please note: The train schedule is as follows: depart Ninh Binh at 10:20 p.m. and arrive in Hue at 9:20 a.m. the following morning. Vietnam's railways are quite old and therefore the journey can be somewhat noisy and bumpy. The cabins are air-conditioned and consist of 4 bunk-beds to accommodate 4 travellers sharing. Unless you are travelling in a party of 4, you may be required to share the cabin with other travellers. Each carriage has two toilets but there are no showers on board.

icon Day 7: Hue

Location: Hue

Simple breakfast box on board. Pull into Hue station this morning and meet your local guide at the station. Make a quick stop at the hotel to drop off your luggage (check-in is after 2:00 p.m.) before setting off on a visit to Thanh Toan Village, home to an ancient tile-roofed bridge and a historic pagoda. Enjoy the views from the peaceful pagoda and meet a real-life Vietnamese monk and Zen-master. Relish the opportunity to join in Buddhist chanting and prayers before tucking into a traditional vegetarian lunch with the monks of Hue as you gain a unique insight into the practices of Buddhism. Transfer to the hotel and settle in before enjoying a city tour of Hue where you'll see the amazing Imperial Palace, Ngo Mon Gate, Thai Hoa Palace and the Forbidden Purple City, among other sights. Continue to the Mausoleum of Emperor Khai Dinh, just outside of the city, before ending the day with a transfer back to the hotel. The remainder of the evening is free to rest or explore at your leisure. Overnight stay in Hue.

icon Day 8: Hue - Hoi An

Location: Hue - Hoi An

Breakfast at the hotel. Set off this morning for charming Hoi An, a major trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries and one of Vietnam's most iconic destinations. Pass by scenic villages and the beaches of Lang Co along the journey before travelling across the amazing Pass of Ocean Clouds, for fantastic views of the coastline. Stop for lunch at a restaurant and continue to Hoi An. On arrival get to know the atmospheric streets of Hoi An with a city tour. Explore the architectural gems of the city such as the Fujian Temple, the famous Japanese Covered Bridge and the charming houses of Tran Phu Street as well as the bustling fish and vegetable market. Afterwards, transfer to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure, exploring Hoi An's lantern-lit streets at your own pace. Overnight stay in Hoi An.

icon Day 9: Hoi An

Location: Hoi An

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a leisurely free day in beautiful Hoi An. Why not indulge in a Vietnamese massage at a local spa or go shopping for silks, after all, Hoi An is world-renowned for its high-quality tailoring. We recommend an optional excursion to a local village and a trip to the famous Golden Bridge.* Overnight stay in Hoi An.

* Optional Local Fishing Village Cycling Excursion: This morning excursion will give you a closer look at life in rural Vietnam. Begin with an easy bike ride to the outskirts of Hoi An, through villages, rice fields and coconut gardens before meeting the local villagers. Go rowing on a traditional basket boat on the Coconut River, join a local fisherman on a fishing trip and end the morning at Tra Que organic village with a mini cooking class and a tasty lunch. Return to Hoi An by bicycle.

* Optional Golden Bridge & Ba Na Hill Excursion: Visit the amazing Golden Bridge, a major tourist attraction in Da Nang. Set off in the afternoon to Ba Na Hill Cable Car Station to catch a cable car to the bridge, enjoying beautiful scenic views during the 20-minute journey, before exploring the bridge at your leisure.

icon Day 10: Hoi An - Quang Ngai - Kon Tum

Location: Hoi An - Quang Ngai - Kon Tum

Breakfast at the hotel. Hit the road this morning, headed for the central highlands of Kon Tum province, a journey of approximately 7-hours through diverse and scenic landscapes. Along the way, stop in My Lai, the site of a tragic massacre during the Vietnam-America War, to visit the My Lai Memorial and explore the coastal town of Quang Ngai where you can enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue the journey, stopping in Mang Den, home to one of Vietnam's minority ethnic communities, where you can learn about the local culture and see the unique architectural style of the local houses, set within an idyllic rural landscape. As the day comes to a close, arrive in Kon Tum on the banks of the Dak Bla River. Check-in at the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure. Overnight stay in Kon Tum.

icon Day 11: Kon Tum

Location: Kon Tum

Breakfast at the hotel. Today is dedicated to a full-day tour of Kon Tum. Begin in the centre of town at the Wooden Catholic Church, dating back to the days of French colonialism, and explore the Kon Tum Museum. Afterwards, visit the ethnic villages of Pleitonghia, Konrobang and Konhgokotu, home to the Bahnar people. If you visit on a weekday you may be able to visit a local school and kindergarten. In the afternoon enjoy a traditional lunch with a Bahnar familiy and watch an authentic Musical Gong Show, accompanied by local 'jar wine' for a taste of Vietnamese hill tribe culture. Return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day discovering the idyllic landscapes and quaint streets of Kon Tum at your leisure. Overnight stay in Kon Tum.

icon Day 12: Kon Tum - Pleiku - Buon Ma Thuot

Location: Kon Tum - Pleiku - Buon Ma Thuot

After breakfast at the hotel, set off for Pleiku to visit Minh Thanh Pagoda and Pleiop Village, home to the Jrai people, who live in amazing stilted houses with high-peaked roofs. Head to T'Nung Lake to enjoy the beautiful scenery of tea plantations and stop for lunch at a restaurant in Pleiku. Continue to Buon Ma Thuot, the provincial capital of Dac Lac Province in the central highlands, an amazing, off-the-beaten-track destination. See the rubber tree and pepper farms and visit Draysap Waterfall before checking-in to the hotel in Buon Ma Thuot. The remainder of the day is free to explore this so-called 'coffee capital' at your leisure. Overnight stay in Buon Ma Thuot.

icon Day 13: Buon Ma Thuot - Ho Chi Minh City

Location: Buon Ma Thuot - Ho Chi Minh City

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, head for Lak Lake, stopping at Elephant Rock to enjoy the views. Visit a local M'nong Village to learn about their cultural traditions before taking an exciting dug-out canoe trip on the lake. Stop for lunch at Lak Lake Restaurant and sample a number of local delicacies before enjoying a photo-stop at Bao Dai House. Return to Bueno Ma Thuot and transfer to the airport for a short evening flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

icon Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City

Location: Ho Chi Minh City

Breakfast at the hotel. Spend the morning at your leisure, getting to know Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon and a city of immense historical significance. We recommend an optional excursion to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels.* In the afternoon, embark on a half-day tour to soak up the rich tapestry of history and culture in Ho Chi Minh City. Visit the moving War Remnants Museum, which presents a riveting view of the Vietnam-America War, and the Reunification Palace and appreciate the eclectic architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral and the impressive Central Post Office, designed by the architect Gustav Eiffel. Conclude the tour at the bustling Ben Thanh Market. Return to the hotel and enjoy the evening at your leisure. Overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

* Optional Cu Chi Tunnels Excursion: Spend the morning exploring the impressive tunnel complex of Cu Chi, dug in 1948 for guerrillas to escape the bombardment of French forces. Explore the underground villages and understand the history of these incredible tunnels. On leaving the tunnels, visit a local cricket farm to learn about the insect-eating traditions of Vietnam.

icon Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City

Location: Ho Chi Minh City

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a free day in this exciting city, sampling the diverse array of street food and sightseeing at your leisure. We recommend an optional excursion to discover the magical Mekong Delta.* Overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

* Optional Full-Day Mekong Delta Excursion with lunch: Depart to Ben Tre province crossing Rach Mieu bridge. On arrival in Hung Vuong Pier, hop on a motorized boat on the Ben Tre River, one of the tributaries of Mekong River, whilst witnessing local life on the riverbanks along the way. Stop at a brick kiln and visit one of the many coconut processing workshops located along the canal. Visit a local village to witness traditional crafts such as mat weaving and enjoy sample fresh local fruits. Afterwards, take a motorized tuk-tuk or bicycle along the shady paths and pass by rice fields and vegetable plains before stopping for lunch at a riverside restaurant.

icon Day 16: Ho Chi Minh City - Night on board

Location: Ho Chi Minh City - Night on board

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy your final moments in Vietnam, doing some last-minute souvenir shopping or revisiting your favourite Vietnamese dishes before it's time to head home. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport for a flight back to the UK/Ireland. Night on board.

* If either your outbound or inbound flights depart in the early hours (before 4:00 a.m.) you must arrive at the airport the night before the indicated departure day.

** Depending on the return flight schedule and the hotel breakfast service, you may not be able to enjoy the included breakfast on the last day.

icon Day 17: UK/Ireland

Location: UK/Ireland

Arrive in the UK/Ireland and end your trip.

What's Included

  • icon
    Meals

    12 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 8 lunches and 1 dinner. *****

  • Departures from main UK/Ireland departure airports.
  • International flights: UK/Ireland - Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City - UK/Ireland. *
  • Internal flights: Buon Ma Thuot - Ho Chi Minh City.**
  • One-way overnight train from Ninh Binh to Hue in a 4-bunk compartment for 4 people sharing with A/C.***
  • 14 nights: 12 nights accommodation in Charm category hotels, 1 night on Ha Long Bay cruise and 1 night on an overnight train.****
  • 12 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 8 lunches and 1 dinner. *****
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicle with bottled mineral water during the tour.
  • Visits with an English-speaking tour guide and entrance fees according to the itinerary.******
  • All flight taxes and fuel surcharges.
  • Dug-out canoe trip in Buon Ma Thuot.
  • Ha Long Bay Cruise.*******
  • Rowing Boat Trip in Ninh Binh City.
  • Welcome drink on the Ha Long Bay Cruise.
  • ATOL Protection. ********

Your Peace of Mind Options

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exoticca requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Dates & Availability