- Culture & Heritage
Day 1 - - 2 Hanoi 4 hours
- Hanoi Arrival – Private Transfer to the hotel
- Hanoi City tour: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, B52 Lake, Temple of Literature, Hoa Lo Prison, Museum of Ethnology & Hanoi Old Quarter…etc.
Day 3 - - 5 Halong Bay & Hoi An 1 hour
- Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Board the traditional junk boat. Explore caves & Islets.
- Tai Chi class on the cruise sundeck. Kayaking around the floating villages. Return to Hanoi & Fly to Da Nang/ Hoi An. Explore Hoi An Ancient town. Cycle to Tra Que Vegetable villages. Explore My Son Holly Land.
Day 6 - - 10 Hue, Fly to Ho Chi Minh City & Mekong Delta
- Explore Hue’s Imperial Citadel & Cruise along the Perfume River. Enjoy a home-hosted dinner at a restored royal home
- Saigon City Tour: War Remnant Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, and Ben Thanh Market…etc
- Take a day trip to Mekong Delta. Discover the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels
Gain insight into the life in these Vietnam destinations, each of which is renowned for its unique and rich culture. Start the adventure from Hanoi with more than 1,000 years of history as the capital of Vietnam, then enjoy Halong Bay with an astonishing view of karsts (small islands) rising from the ocean. Learn about a different side of Vietnam in Hue, the former capital and home to some of the most important historic sites in the country. Next, venture to the south, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) will wow you with its dynamic vibe. A boat trip in Ben Tre (the Mekong Delta) will let you explore the complex canal network and meet with local people to learn about their life spent on the water.
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the Old Quarter.
We have left this afternoon free for you to relax, unwind and become accustomed to your new surroundings. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.
Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.
Overnight in Hanoi
Today with the help of your private guide and driver, you will get to explore the city’s top attractions, sample Hanoi’s authentic local dishes away from the tourist trails, hunkering down with the locals on the street at a variety of atmospheric food stalls.
Begin with a tour of Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex where the Vietnamese people honour the country’s ‘Great Father’. Here you’ll visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh and his House on Stilts to observe how he lived and how his life unfolded to become one of modern history’s greatest names. Nearside his house is the miniature 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple of historical and cultural significance.
From HCM Complex, you will take a leisurely walk through the small laneways toward Huu Tiep Lake. Explore the grounds of a 400-year-old temple, followed by a stroll through traditional local market streets to see the B52 crash site at the lake. This US bomber was shot down during the 1972 bombing raids of Ha Noi, a poignant reminder of Vietnam’s recent history.
Take a short drive to the outskirt of Hanoi to visit the fascinating Museum of Ethnology which is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the 54 recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam. Some of them you will meet during your trip to Sapa.
Today you will have Pho for lunch, a Vietnamese Noodle shop. Some of the local people call this world-famous Noodle soup “Mac-Noodles” since it is as popular here as MacDonalds is in other parts of the world! At the restaurant, your tour guide will explain the routine during Vietnamese meal times, and also tell you which special ingredients are needed for you.
After lunch, continue to visit the millennia-old Temple of Literature and explore its role in the country’s past, as both a university and a Confucius temple. Next is Hoa Lo (so-called Hanoi Hilton), a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War.
Embark on a fun cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi) ride through the French colonial architecture of the precinct known as the French Quater, past the French-style villas, the Vietnam History Museum, the heritage Metropole Legend Hotel and the Opera House, name to a few.
Enjoy a cup of unmissable Egg coffee at Pho Co Café with stunning views of Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, and the surroundings.
Now it’s time to embark on a walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter (in contrast to the French Quarter) to discover the street food scene in Hanoi where it feels like you are never further than a few metres from a street food stall. Your guide will talk you through the ingredients and the different herbs of each dish, while you are crouching on tiny plastic stools in a back alley. Sample delicious dishes like Nom Du Du (green papaya salad), Banh Mi Pa Te (a sandwich that reflects Vietnam’s culinary heritage), and the famous Hanoi dish Bun Cha (grilled pork and noodles). Finish your day walking down the city’s railway tracks and then stop for a home-brewed beer, the renowned Bia Hoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay where you will board a traditional-style Vietnamese Junk Boat that is your home for the evening. The limestone karsts and tropical islets rising up from the emerald waters of the bay provide an ethereal backdrop for your leisurely cruise.
Upon arrival you’ll be welcomed aboard your Stylish Junk boat, each with its own individual route, to begin your cruise around the bay’s thousands of limestone islets and caves.
After a delicious lunch on board, you will spend time to sunbathe on the sundeck and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the bay.
Later you will visit Sung Sot Cave “Grotte des Surprises” a hidden gem of mother nature. Float peacefully through magnificent limestone formations containing thousands of stalagmites and stalactites.
Continue to cruise. As you weave your way through the islands, you’ll come across secluded bays, white sandy beaches, and floating villages.
There is plenty of leisure time to enjoy activities both onboard and around the fantastical scenery of the Bay. Pamper yourself at the cruise spa or swim in the emerald waters.
Toward the end of the day, you will sail to the overnight mooring area. During this time – the magical “blue hour” – Halong Bay reveals its true, magnificent beauty. You have a chance to attend the chef’s cooking demonstration or enjoy a mesmerising sunset on the top deck before a scrumptious dinner.
The rest of the evening will be at leisure. You can watch a movie or join the crew for squid fishing before retiring to your room for a restful sleep.
Note: If your time permits, we would highly recommend an additional night on board which gives you a lot more time to relax and take in the amazing landscape. You’ll get to cruise deeper into the Bay where it’s more beautiful and less crowded.
Overnight on board in Halong Bay
The graceful practice of Tai Chi eases you into your day as is the local custom. Join a ‘Local Specialist’ on the deck of the Junk boat for a morning class in exquisite natural surrounds. You’ll have time for an early morning swim at one of Halong Bay’s quiet beaches and, if you’re feeling energetic, hop on a kayak and paddle through the Dark and Bright Caves admiring the glittering stone walls.
Back to the Junk boat. Check out of the cabin and then enjoy a full brunch buffet as you cruise back to port. Disembark around midday for your return drive to Hanoi.
From Hanoi, you will be transferred to the airport to catch the flight to Da Nang, in the central of Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Da Nang airport, you will be picked up by your private guide & driver and taken to your hotel in Hoi An, the UNESCO heritage town. Hoi An has a pick of two beaches just 5kms (3 miles) away with so many beautiful beach resorts so please advise us if you prefer to stay on the beach.
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, where you will embark on a walking tour visiting the major attractions such as Chua Ong Pagoda, Tan Ky Ancient House, Fujian Assembly Hall, 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
The morning will be free for strolling in the town, lazing on the beach, or whatever takes your fancy.
In the afternoon, you will depart from Hoi An for a 4-hour journey to Hue. Today you will enjoy one of the most scenic drives on our trip as we climb over the stunning Hai Van Pass (Ocean Clouds Pass), enjoying the spectacular scenery and views of the coastline below. Your journey to Da Nang will keep us entertained as you pass mile after mile of undeveloped beaches, travel past villages, and at times drive alongside the tracks of the famous Reunification Railway.
Arrive in Hue in the late afternoon and check into your hotel.
In the evening you will enjoy a home-hosted dinner at a restored royal home of Vinh Tu (Tha Om) with a chance to learn about the ancient architecture of a traditional Hue house, with open Q&A to our host, Mr. Vinh who specializes in Hue ancient wooden architecture, about his living experience. During the meal with typical Hue dishes, you will be facilitated with a light performance of Hue traditional music.
Overnight in Hue
Today you will have a full day exploring the historical highlights of Hue with your expert guide.
Start with the colorful Dong Ba market located along the northern bank of Perfume River. Roaming around the market and chatting with the locals, you can learn about local life and traditional Vietnamese food ingredients.
Your adventure will continue with the exploration of the ancient and atmospheric walled Citadel which contains the former Imperial Palace and the Forbidden Purple City.
Leaving the city center you will drive to the outskirt heading to a local nunnery for lunch. Experience a fantastic traditional meal at this peaceful retreat and have the chance to interact with the nuns to learn more about Buddhism and gain a unique insight into their daily lives.
After lunch, you will explore the impressive Emperor Tomb of Minh Mang. Embark on a relaxing boat ride down the 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, the seven-storey octagonal tower and watch the monks chanting.
End your day with a visit to Truc Chi Garden, the crafting bamboo paper art workshop. You will have a chance to meet one of the students there and be treated to hands-on experience to learn how to use the etching technique with bamboo pulp to create artworks
Overnight in Hue
After breakfast, you will be picked up and driven to Hue Airport for a short flight heading south to Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals. It is the largest city in Vietnam and is located near the Mekong Delta.
Upon arrival, you will be met by a new private driver and English-speaking guide who will drive you to the hotel in the city centre for check-in.
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 ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House, the historic Rex Hotel, the Central Post Office, renowned for its architecture, and Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Later stop at the Reunification Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum to for an insightful, yet sombre, look into Vietnam’s military history and turbulent past.
Proceed to the atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda before finishing the day 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 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 in the Mekong Delta, famous for its vast rice fields, numerous waterways, and beautiful landscapes. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, this region produces most of Vietnam’s fruit, rice, sugar cane, and coconuts.
After the two-hour drive through the lush farming land, you will arrive in Ben Tre where you will set out on a motorized boat trip on narrow channels winding through the coconut forest. During the boat ride, you will stop at the local cottage industries to see how the local people make bricks and weave sleeping mats by hand. Learn about their craft handed down through generations.
Take a leisure walk along the village lanes, visiting the local homes to try fresh fruits, taste delicious honey tea while enjoying a local Tai Tu music show. Continue to visit another workshop where the local delicacy of coconut candy is produced and a wide 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 a Motor Cart (xe lôi) passing local hamlets, rice fields, coconut groves, and lush orchard farms while meeting with local people.
After finishing your sightseeing tour your guide will take you to a riverside restaurant for lunch with local specialties then return to the pier and drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
This evening you will be free to visit the night market to discover the authentic local cuisine. Or simply enjoy a glass of cocktail on the rooftop bar of the historic Rex Hotel.
Overnight in HCM City
After breakfast, you will be picked up and 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 watch a short introductory video from the period before exploring the tunnels, the most famous battlegrounds in the world. The hidden network of Viet Cong tunnels is believed to stretch to “hundreds of miles,” in total length, housed living quarters, storage rooms, makeshift hospitals, and kitchens…etc. Although originally very narrow, some parts have been widened for the tourists and you have the opportunity to explore parts of the system.
Please note that these tunnels will be hot and can get claustrophobic, so there is an option if you’d like to view from above ground.
Try some of the main food of the Viet Cong Soldiers with a cassava tasting served with tangy tea. After experiencing the Cu Chi Tunnels, return to HCM City and then transfer to the airport for your departure flight home.
Peridot Grand Luxury Boutique Hotel
Peridot Grand Hotel & Spa in Hanoi is a luxurious 5-star hotel with a range of amenities, including two on-site restaurants, three bars, an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and spa. Guests can enjoy a continental or buffet breakfast and access free WiFi throughout the hotel. The accommodations offer 24-hour front desk service, room service, and currency exchange. Additionally, guests can relax at the shared lounge and take advantage of the concierge service. The hotel also features a sun terrace for guests to enjoy. Activities like cycling are available in and around Hanoi.
Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago offers 5-star beachfront accommodations in Ha Long. The cruise features free bikes, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. Rooms are air-conditioned with free WiFi and private bathrooms. Guests can enjoy sea views from the terrace, dine at the restaurant, or relax at the bar. The cruise also provides a continental, American, or Asian breakfast. Additionally, guests can indulge in a hot tub experience and enjoy fishing and canoeing in the popular area. Car rental service is available.
Orchid Trendy Cruise
Experience the ultimate cruise with Orchid Trendy Cruise, exploring the untouched areas of Lan Ha Bay and Ha Long Bay. Enjoy classic architecture and modern amenities, including flat-screen satellite TV, mini-bar, and electric kettle. Relax in comfort with private bathrooms, bathrobes, and slippers. Indulge in the spa center and savor delicious meals at the restaurant or bar onboard.
La Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa
Welcome to Hoi An La Siesta Resort & Spa, boasting a 1312 ft² saltwater pool, a 200m2 infinity pool, a kid’s pool, and a 328 ft² fresh water pool. Our resort is spread over 2 wings in Hoi An. The Classic wing offers 70 fashionably traditional rooms, and the Club wing accommodates 67 classic suites with the old town’s characteristics.
Guests can enjoy pampering massages at the spa or relax in the garden. Free WiFi and bicycles are available for all guests.
All air-conditioned rooms feature a private balcony or window with views of the swimming pool, lush green garden, or rice fields. Each room includes a flat-screen TV, laptop, and a private bathroom with standing shower or bath. Complimentary bathrobes, slippers, and toiletries are provided.
Indulge in Asian dishes at Red Bean Restaurant or savor European cuisine at The Temple Restaurant. Room service is available upon request.
Little Riverside Hoi An
Little Riverside Hoi An- A Little Boutique Lux Hotel & Spa, located in Hoi An, offers accommodations with a private beach area. The property features an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and free use of bicycles. Rooms come with a kettle, private bathroom, and some offer a river view. Enjoy a continental breakfast and dine in the in-house restaurant offering international, Asian, and Vietnamese cuisine, including gluten-free options.
Azerai La Residence-Hue
Azerai La Residence, Hue is a colonial villa on Perfume River, offering free WiFi, a tennis court, spa, and a fitness center. Rooms feature Art Deco furniture, terraces, city or river views, TV, mini-bar, and private bathrooms. Close to attractions, 0.9 mi from Hue Imperial Citadel. Enjoy spa massages, the library, and complimentary bicycles for exploring. Day trips and car rentals available at the tour desk.
Silk Path Grand Hue Hotel
Silk Path Grand Hue Hotel, located in Hue, offers comfortable accommodations with an outdoor pool, free private parking, a fitness center, and a garden. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast, play pool, and rent bikes at this 5-star hotel. The property also features a restaurant, kids’ club, shared lounge, and free WiFi. Nearby attractions include Hue Railway Station, Ho Chi Minh Museum, and Bao Quoc Pagoda. The hotel offers a paid airport shuttle service to Phu Bai International Airport, situated 8.7 miles away.
The Myst Dong Khoi
Discover The Myst Dong Khoi – a sophisticated oasis in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1. Enjoy classic contemporary interiors and stunning city views from the rooftop pool. Our well-appointed, air-conditioned rooms offer comfort and style with flat-screen TVs, neutral palettes, and classic furnishings. Stay connected with free WiFi and take advantage of our spa, fitness center, and tour desk. Join us for complimentary afternoon tea at our restaurant. Your perfect retreat awaits!
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- Walk through the little alley streets of Hanoi Old Quarter. Enjoy the local food discovery tour
- Take the overnight cruise trip. Admire Halong Bay’s majestic beauty
- Stroll through streets of Hoi An Ancient town and taste the delicious local food
- Explore the magnificent Imperial Citadel and cruise along the Perfume River. Enjoy a home-hosted dinner at a restored royal home
- Visit Ho Chi Minh City landmarks: War Remnant Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace, and Ben Thanh Market…etc
- Enjoy a discovery day in lush green Ben Tre town – Home of coconut in Mekong Delta
- Discover the immense network of the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels.
- 9 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 5 dinners and 5 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- 2 street food tours
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, domestic flights, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Vietnam, the entry visa to Vietnam, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
Free service. No credit card required
Reviews on Our Service
Incredible Vietnam experience with Tony
Great company, great service
Amazing People and Great Service
We travelled for 7 weeks so the tour that we structured gave us a great mix of guided and free time. We were able to see the normal tourist sites, as well as spend some in-depth time in the villages and communities. This gave us a much greater insight into life in Vietnam and Cambodia. All I can say is that they are amazing and incredible people!
Our guides were great. Our drivers were safe and looked after us very well. I would not recommend anyone try driving on thier own if you are coming from a country where people obey the traffic laws. We learned over time that is is actully very organized chaos!
If you are looking for a great agency, we can assure you that Asia Pioneer cares about you and will look after you with every detail!
Thank you to Mr. Lam and the entire staff.
Maria & Tom – BC, Canada