Highlights of Central & Southern Vietnam
Day 1: Arrival in Da Nang/ Hoi An
Day 2: Hoi An – Walking and Food tour
Day 3: Hoi An – Da Nang – Hue
Day 4: Hue – Fullday City tour
Day 5: Hue – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City
Day 6: HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple
Day 7: HCM City – Day trip to Ben Tre (Mekong Delta)
Day 8: HCM City – Departure
On this ‘Highlights of Central and Southern Vietnam’ tour, you will get to visit the most attractive sites of these regions. Walk through the lovely streets of Hoi An, where each house is a unique symbol of culture in the town. Drive to the historic city of Hue, en-route visit Da Nang’s renowned Marble Mountain and My Khe beach. Explore the glorious past of Hue at the Imperial Citadel complex and travel to the famous royal tombs. Tour the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels and learn about the Vietnamese life during wartime. In Ho Chi Minh City, wander around to feel the juxtaposition of the historic buildings and the dominating skyscrapers. Discover the traditional way of life in Mekong Delta with visits to the local villages, small factories, and fruit orchards.
Arrival at Da Nang International Airport, collect your luggage and process through the custom. Your private tour guide and driver from Indochina Pioneer will be waiting for you outside the baggage claim/customs area to transfer you in a private vehicle to the hotel in Hoi An Ancient Town for check-in. Your tour guide will provide additional details regarding your stay, and you will be able to ask any questions you may have.
The rest of the day will be free at your leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An
The whole morning will be free at your leisure. Enjoy late breakfast and the comforts of your hotel.
Your tour guide will pick you up and take you to the Ancient Quarter of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you will embark on a walking tour visiting the major attractions such as Chua Ong Pagoda, Tan Ky Ancient House, Fujian Assembly Hall with the Chinese influence, and the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Continue to visit the Precious Heritage Museum, home to the permanent exhibition of Réhahn’s Precious Heritage Collection. While transporting you to the furthest reaches of Vietnam, the collection will unveil the rich cultural tapestry of the ethnic tribes
The highlight of the day is the visit to the Reaching Out Tea House, a welcome little oasis of calm in the busy, vibrant Old quarter, owned and operated by the mute and deaf people. Here you will be treated with delicious cakes and incredible tea in the Eastern style.
Move on to the house of a lantern craftsman. There, you can observe the lantern craftsman’s technique before hands-on work through each stage of lantern-making under the guidance of the enthusiastic craftsmen: from bending it into the frame, cutting cloth, gluing, to completing lanterns. Before this trip concludes, you will have your own lantern created by your own hands.
Now, it’s time for your Hoi An street food discovery tour. With your guide, you will weave in and out the tiny alleyways, get to chow down with the locals at stalls you’d never discover on your own. Every day at 4 pm, Hoi An’s streets filled with a myriad of street food carts, stalls, and vendors. The street food tour is a great introduction for you to enjoy a few of the Hoi An specialties cooked up by the locals, to introduce you to the faces behind the stock pots and to teach you how the Hoi An locals deal with those condiment trays!
Overnight in Hoi An
After breakfast, you will be collected by your private guide and transferred in a private vehicle (approximately 4 hours) to the Royal City of Hue. Today the drive over the Hai Van Pass will be one of the most scenic ones on your trip. En route, you will stop to visit the Marble Mountain, Cham Museum and the white sandy 20-mile stretch of My Khe Beach which was home to American GIs during the war.
Arrive Hue around midday and check into your hotel in downtown.
Your guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to the wharf for your dragon boat ride on the romantically named Perfume River. During the boat cruise, you will stop to visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda – Hue’s most famous religious site. Explore the pagoda’s landscaped gardens and seven-storey octagonal tower.
The tour comes to an end at Dong Ba Market which runs along the north bank of Huong (Perfume) River. Here you will have a chance to discover a favourite Noddle shop by Anthony Bourdain – the World Famous Chef and TV Producer. Sample the best Bun Bo Hue “Hue Noddle soup”.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Your day will start with a short visit to Thanh Toan Village where you can see the lively morning market. This is where the locals come to buy their daily food. Nearby are the 300-year-old Thanh Toan bridge and a Cultural Museum, meet and talk to the locals.
Move on to the Royal Complex, former home to the Nguyen Dynasty, the last Monarchy of Vietnam from 1802 – 1945. You will explore the ancient and atmospheric walled Citadel which contains the former Imperial Palace and the Forbidden Purple City.
Continue to visit Cat Tuong Quan Zen House, an oasis of peace and tranquility where you can get ready for a little zen and re-connection to yourself. At first, you will be given some explanation about the architecture of the building and the purpose of the lady who started it all. After that, you will start a walking meditation session and attending a Qi-Gong class.
Today you will enjoy an excellent Vegetarian lunch at a local Buddhist Monastery, prepared and served by the nuns.
You will visit the final resting place – called the King tomb of Tu Duc, then head to Vong Canh Hill to watch the beautiful sunset over the Perfume River. On the way back to town, you will stop to visit a local workshop where you can see how incense sticks and traditional conical hats are made.
Overnight in Hue
After breakfast, your private driver will you collect you and take you to Hue Airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon. It is the largest city in Vietnam and is located near the Mekong Delta.
Upon arrival, we will be met by your private guide and driver and taken to the hotel for check-in.
With your guide you will spend the rest of the day visiting some of Ho Chi Minh City’s key highlights. We’ll tailor your tour to suit you, but we particularly recommend visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Rex Hotel, the City Hall, the Opera House, the General Post Office, renowned for its architecture, and Ben Thanh Market.
Later stop at the Reunification Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum to learn more of Vietnam’s turbulent past.
Proceed to the atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda before finishing in fine style with a sundowner at the top of the Bitexco Tower, the tallest building in Vietnam.
Overnight in HCM City
After breakfast, your guide and driver will transfer you to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh Province.
On arrival, set out to explore the sacred temple and learn more about the fascinating Cao Dai religion, which borrows elements from Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism. You will then take part in the midday mass, admiring the monks in their colorful robes and listening to the mesmerizing chants.
After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant you will be transferred to Cu Chi, a small community located northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, known for its network of deep tunnels that provided shelter and an effective source of infiltration for the Vietcong during the later years of the Vietnam War.
Upon arrival, you will see original film footage from the period, followed by a walk through the reserve. You will have the chance to go underground into Cu Chi’s hidden network of Viet Cong tunnels which reached hundreds of miles in total length, housed storage rooms, command bunkers, makeshift hospitals and sleeping quarters…etc. This trip offers a unique insight into the ingenuity behind the fighters, and a glimpse of underground life during the war.
Try some of the main food of the Viet Cong Soldiers with a cassava tasting served with a tangy tea and then drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Your evening is at leisure, giving you time to enjoy a Vietnamese coffee or a stroll through the night market.
Overnight in HCM City
After breakfast, your private guide and driver will take you out of HCM City in a private vehicle and onto some beautiful country roads to Ben Tre Town, the heart of the Mekong Delta, popularly known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam. This picturesque little town is famous for its vast rice fields, numerous waterways, and beautiful landscapes.
After approx 2 hours driving through the lush farming land, you will arrive at Ben Tre town where you will embark on a motorized boat trip around the scenic Ben Tre River, viewing various local industries along the way. During the boat ride, you will stop to visit the small local factories where bricks and sleeping mats are made.
Take a leisurely walk along the village lanes, visiting the local homes to sample tropical fruits, taste honey tea while enjoying a local Tai Tu music show. Continue to visit a coconut mill workshop where the local delicacy of coconut candy is produced and a range of coconut husk and fiber products are skillfully handcrafted.
Next, take a small sampan through palm-fringed back canals, gliding peacefully along the hidden waterways surrounded by an immense variety of tropical plants. The quiet, rural setting is a welcome and restorative retreat to the frenetic buzz of HCM City which seems far, far away.
Enjoy sitting in the back of a Motorised Cart (xe lôi) passing endless rice fields and lush orchard farms while meeting with the local people.
Finish your sightseeing tour and then your guide will take you to a riverside restaurant for lunch, after which you will be driven back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight in HCM City
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Ho Chi Minh International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suit your requirements.
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- Domestic flight
- Airport Taxes and Fuel charges
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flight to and from Vietnam
- Vietnam entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
Free service. No credit card required
Reviews on Our Service
The purpose of our trip to Vietnam was to see the areas where husband/father was during the Vietnam War.
Booking our Vietnam trip through Asia Pioneer Travel was such an easy process. Chloe worked with me to make sure our trip was what our family wanted. Everything was catered to our preferences and scheduled with such detail. Chloe was so easy to work with and was always available for questions despite the time difference. She handled everything for us; all we had to do was book our international flights. We were met at the airport and driven to our hotels at every location. Our tour guides picked us up every morning and our itinerary was planned out so that we were able to visit north, central and south Vietnam. Pretty incredible for a ten -day trip. Our tour guides were knowledgeable and friendly. Thank you again Chloe, Eric, Tony and Yen and our drivers.
Unforgettable last minute trip in North Vietnam and Cambodia and amazing agent (Ms Cherry)! 100% recommended!
I had a wonderful time in Vietnam and Cambodia! It was easily one of the favorite trips I have ever had. Every sight and experience was worth it, people everywhere were nice, I loved the food and I always felt extremely safe everywhere and anytime.
I decided to leave very last minute and wasn’t sure I would be able to plan everything in time. I reached out to a few agencies, but Asia Pioneer Travel was the only one who really made the effort to help me book the trip I was looking for! Ms Cherry was an amazing agent! She was able to plan everything in very a short notice and was also able to make adjustments to the itinerary to accommodate my wishes! She was also checking on me via WhatsApp during the trip and met me in Hanoi, making sure everything was going well.
I have already recommended Asian Pioneer Travel to friends who are thinking about a trip there and I will most definitely reach back to them for my next trip to Asia!
Great family trip
Excellent service from Chloe helped us design a great 3 week trip for our family. Highly recommend using this company to custom design a trip
Incredible tour experience
Chloe is an amazing travel planner! My husband and I had a fantastic vacation in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City. She was extremely responsive in making adjustments to our itinerary through the planning phases. She booked beautiful hotels, reliable drivers, and knowledgable and friendly tour guides. I would recommend APT to anyone traveling to Vietnam!