- Duration14 Nights
- StylePrivate Tour
- When to GoDec - Apr
- Price GuideFrom $4,374 Per Person
At a Glance
- Fast track airport arrival service and private transfer to your hotel
- Private city tour including Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan Market, the Temple of Literature, and food tastings
- Free afternoon to explore the Old Quarter independently
Lan Ha Bay
- Private road transfer to Tuan Chau Marina to board cruise
- Two nights on-board deluxe junk cruise with private balcony cabin
- Excursions on board including cooking demo, squid fishing, kayaking, visiting small islets and caves
- Disembark cruise, private transfer back to Hanoi
- Visit Phu Lang ceramic village en route
- Private transfer to Pu Luong in rural northern Vietnam
- Two nights in deluxe rural lodge with full-board meals
- Immersive hikes and rural tours through minority villages, ricefields, farms, and waterways
- Transfer back to Hanoi and fly down to Hue
- Private tour of Hue including the Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda, and a Perfume River cruise
- Afternoon tour of Tam Giang Lagoon, with sunset fishing and dinner in a local home
- Private road transfer to Hoi An via the dramatic Hai Van Pass
- Private Vietnamese cooking class
- Private cycling tour in the Hoi An countryside
- Fly to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta with private airport transfers
- Overnight sampan cruise on private air-conditioned sampan ricebarge
- Visit rural villages, farms, and local artisans
- Wake up and breakfast cruise to the Cai Rang floating market
Ho Chi Minh City
- Private transfer to Ho Chi Minh City
- Private food & nightlife tour by vintage Vespa
- Early ‘Good Morning Saigon’ city tour focusing on local life and culture
- Final afternoon at leisure to enjoy your hotel or the city’s excellent shopping and dining
- Private departure transfer to Ho Chi Minh City International Airport
Meet Our Expert
I am totally captivated by Asia. Having lived in Singapore, Nepal, South Korea and Hong Kong, travelled extensively across all of our destinations in Asia, and worked in luxury travel for many years, curating exceptional trips comes naturally to me.
- 9 nights in 4-5star boutique city hotels with daily breakfast
- 2 nights on-board deluxe boutique junk cruise with full board meals
- 2 nights in deluxe rural lodge with full board meals and activities
- 1 night on-board simple private sampan with full board meals
- 2x further lunches and 2x further dinners during mentioned tours and activities
- Private arrival and departure airport transfers including fast track airport assistance on arrival
- All mentioned transfers and road transport on a private basis in air-conditioned minivans
- Shared excursions onboard overnight junk cruise
- All other mentioned tours and sightseeing on a private basis with private driver and English-speaking local guides
- Entrance fees for any mentioned sightseeing, permits, local taxes, etc
- All mentioned regional flights in economy class, inclusive minimum 20kg per person checked baggage
- Comprehensive final itinerary and travel app
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
- Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests
What's not Included
- International flights from your country of origin
- Tourist visa for Vietnam. Your consultant will advise on how to obtain this
- Tips or gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel staff
- Any meals, tours, or activities other than those specifically mentioned in itinerary
- Incidental local expenses - souvenirs, laundry, taxis, etc
- Travel insurance - we strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip
Day by Day Itinerary
- Day 1
Hanoi: Fast track arrival service and transfer to your hotel
Your 14-night trip begins with your arrival into Noi Bai International Airport. After landing in Hanoi you will be met off the airbridge and assisted with fast-track arrival service through immigration, baggage, and customs.
You’ll then meet your local English-speaking guide and accompanying private driver and then taken straight to your downtown hotel. This will be a journey of around 45 minutes in typical traffic. Your guide will provide a brief introduction to the city during the transfer and after checking into your accommodation you’ll have the remainder of the day to relax, or to head out and discover plenty of places to drink, dine and shop.
Located northwest of the Red River Delta, Hanoi translates as “the hinterland between the rivers.” It’s also a city of lakes, with 18 found here, the most prominent of which is the picturesque Hoan Kiem lake in the city center, just south of the bustling Old Quarter. A heady mix of Eastern and European styles, Hanoi is a fascinating and fun place to explore independently.
- Day 2
Hanoi: A local's tour of the capital
After breakfast you will meet your guide and head out for a private tour of the city, focusing on its local life and culture. Head first to Hoan Kiem Lake, the spiritual center of the city, which is especially alluring in the morning with locals practicing Tai Chi – join in if you wish! – against the backdrop of the highly photogenic Ngoc Son Temple.
Continue to a small nearby cafe that specializes in ‘Banh Cuon’ – slippery rice noodle parcels, filled with fresh herbs, cucumber, bean sprouts, and invariably pork, chicken, or prawns. Learn how to make this Hanoian specialty, sampling as you go! You’ll then take a gentle rickshaw tour through the atmospheric and energetic Old Quarter, which includes a short stop at Dong Xuan Market, where you’ll stop to sample Hani’s famous ‘egg coffee’.
Later you’ll take in the Temple of Literature, the first university in the country, built in 1070 instructing the teachings of Confucius, and then return to the Old Quarter to visit a small family home. By this time you should have worked up quite an appetite, so the morning finishes with the heartiest of Hanoi lunches: a soothing bowl of pho at Pho Thin, thought to serve the best in the city. The afternoon is then yours to relax back at the hotel or continue exploring independently.
- Day 3
Lan Ha Bay: Transfer to Lan Ha Bay for two-night cruise
After an early breakfast you’ll be transferred out to the mouth of the Red River delta, making for Tuan Chau Marina, from where you’ll begin your two-night cruise in Lan Ha Bay. Lan Ha is the less-visited but equally stunning neighbor to Halong Bay (which has sadly begun to suffer with over tourism), made up of 100s of dramatic karst outcrops and islets. Your overnight cruise will pass through some truly breathtaking scenery, and will include excursions such as visits to small and sparsely populated islands, kayaking or swimming, and cooking demonstrations. Accommodation is in an extremely comfortable private cabin, with dining and service on board second-to-none. Please note that your local guide is not permitted to join you onboard; all excursions will be led by cruise guides and shared with other passengers.
- Day 4
Lan Ha Bay: On-board cruise
It’s worth rising early this morning to catch the sunrise from your balcony, or up on the top deck where staff will lead an energizing Tai Chi lesson. Breakfast is served before you transfer to a comfortable day boat for the day’s excursions, again taking in the dramatic scenery and local lifestyles. Back onboard you will have time for sunbathing on deck, a spa treatment, swimming off-deck, or perhaps joining the staff for some squid-fishing. Another excellent dinner is served onboard.
- Day 5
Hanoi: Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi for the night
You have the option of another early start for Tai Chi before the cruise begins its sail back the mainland. A good breakfast and a further excursion on board will be included before you disembark back in Tuan Chua. You’ll be met by your private guide and driver once more and then transferred back into downtown Hanoi. Spend the night resting up, or perhaps indulging in some final shopping or sightseeing, before your journey out to Pu Luong tomorrow.
- Day 6
Pu Luong: Road transfer to rural Pu Luong
After breakfast your guide and driver will transfer you out to Pu Luong, a journey of approximately 4 hours. Pu Luong is protected nature reserve in rural Thanh Hoa province. The scenery here is emerald rice paddies, crisscrossed by small streams, set against a backdrop of tropical green hills. The area is home to a wide array of hill tribes, each with a distinctive clothing style and culture, and is a base for trekking, rafting, and immersive cultural tours. Accommodation will be in a comfortable rural lodge which, while not being at the same level as experienced in Hanoi and Lan Ha, is of an excellent standard given the remote location.
On arrival you will have time to freshen up and enjoy lunch (full-board meals are included at the lodge) before heading out to explore the countryside. You have a choice of two activities this afternoon: either a pleasant village-to-village warm-up hike taking in a series of streams and waterwheels, or a short bamboo rafting trip along a particularly alluring stretch of nearby river.
- Day 7
Pu Luong: Trekking in the hill tribe villages
Today you will be joined by a local guide for a walk through the varied villages of the Pu Luong Valley. Today’s walk will be is approximately 6-7 hours, including a stop for a lunch, covering around 18km at an easy pace. You will pass through villages of the Doc, Lung Cao, Lan, Uoi, and Lac minorities, with your guide providing insights on culture and lifestyle as you go, and providing language assistance shop you wish to stop and chat. The landscape between villages is mostly on the flat, but the backdrop is spectacular with scenery of terraced fields, waterfalls, and forested hills. A picnic lunch is included en route. You’ll return to the lodge in the afternoon and have the rest of the day to relax (or arrange further activities if keen).
- Day 8
Hue: Transfer back to Hanoi and fly down to Hue
You have a few free hours this morning to enjoy a lie in or laze around the pool, or arrange a final hike locally. Mid-morning you will be picked up and transferred back to Hanoi, heading straight for the airport for an onward flight down to Hue.
On arrival in Hue you’ll be met by a new guide and driver team and then transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is then yours to explore this former imperial capital, set on the banks of the Perfume River, and former home of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. Although Hue suffered heavy bombing during the ‘American War’, most of its cultural treasures thankfully still stand, and it remains a pleasant, laidback city with an easy-to-explore center and enticing riverside night market.
- Day 9
Hue: Morning tour of Hue city; afternoon lagoon fishing & dinner
After breakfast your guide will take you for a leisurely walk around Dong Ba Market, where one can find anything from fabric to jewelry, fresh flowers to street food. Continue on to Imperial Citadel, once the capital of Vietnam, a sprawling complex covering an area of 520 hectares comprising three circles; the Hue Capital Citadel, the Royal Citadel and the Forbidden Citadel.
In the early afternoon your guide and driver will transfer you out to Tam Giang Lagoon, a large and extremely picturesque body of water around 40 minutes outside Hue. On arrival you’ll be taken on a short walk around a pristine lakeside village, calling in at a local fisherman’s house for a demonstration of Vietnamese fishing equipment and techniques. You’ll then set off together on a private sampan boat across the beautiful, still lagoon. Admire the striking scenery: observing fishermen and aquaculture farmers at work, and sit back while the sun fades and the colors across the water begin to change dramatically.
The tour culminates with a visit to a small vegetable farm where you’ll be treated to a delicious ‘farm to table’ dinner. Return to your hotel in Hue around 8pm.
- Day 10
Hoi An: Transfer to Hoi An via the Hai Van Pass
After breakfast you will depart Hue and be driven south to Hoi An. Avoid the direct route and instead take the spectacular Hai Van Pass, passing up through the clouds and following a snaking path between the Marble Mountains and the South China Sea. You’ll then descend and pass through the port city of Danang, then the famous Da Nang Beach which was a R&R centre for American GIs, before arriving in Hoi An.
Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port. It was most active between the 15th and 19th centuries, with much of the infrastructure dating back to the time still standing. The whole town is now listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site. On arrival your private guide will take you for a walking tour of the Old Town, with its narrow (and pedestrianized) streets full of historic shophouses. Take in the Phuc Kien Pagoda, the Japanese wooden bridge, and the lively central market. You will also find a great many tailoring outlets; Hoi An is famous for its tailors and is a great place to pick up well-priced bespoke clothing. Please speak to your guide for a recommendation.
- Day 11
Hoi An: Cooking class & cycling tour
This morning you’ll indulge in an exclusive cooking class during which you’ll discover the best of Vietnamese ingredients and cooking techniques. Visit the thriving local market then travel on to a small restaurant within the old town where you’ll find a private cooking station set up. With the help of your engaging chef hosts, you’ll create a series of delicious dishes that are then enjoyed for lunch.
After the class your guide will take you cycling out into the scenically and culturally rich countryside which surround Hoi An. Passing through paddy fields, coconut forests, farmland, and picturesque villages, you will cycle along quiet and flat tracks for approximately 6km, although this can be extended or shortened dependent on your interests.
- Day 12
Mekong Delta: Fly to Can Tho; overnight private sampan cruise
After breakfast you will be transferred to nearby Danang Airport, from where you will take a short domestic flight down to Can Tho, in the heart of Vietnam’s southern Mekong Delta. You will be met on arrival and taken to a nearby restaurant for lunch, before you then board your overnight sampan cruise. The Song Xahn Sampan is a private 1-cabin boat which will be chartered for your exclusive use; the boat is fully staffed; all meals and drinks are included, with a private guide to accompanying you for any excursions.
Stops will be made to visit rural enclaves, markets, and craftspeople, with time in between spent gliding through the narrow canals and wider rivers of the Delta, observing mangroves, coconut farms, and stilted villages along the banks. At sunset you will draw into a docking point on the larger Hau river; dinner and drinks will be served before you settle in for the night.
Victoria Song Xahn SampanRead More
- Day 13
Ho Chi Minh City: Road transfer to HCMC; Evening food tour
Rise early this morning as the sampan takes you into the famous Cai Rang floating market, which is at its peak just after sunrise. You will find a kaleidoscope of barges and longtail boats communing mid-river to trade wholesale fruit and vegetables. After ample time to take in the scenes your sampan will journey back to Can Tho, where you will disembark.
Your guide and driver will meet you at the jetty and you will then set off by road into Ho Chi Minh City, a journey of approximately three hours. On arrival you will be taken straight to your hotel and then have some time to relax.
In the evening you will be picked up for a part-nocturnal excursion, part street food adventure – a tour of the city and it’s nightlife on the back of vintage Vespa scooters. Taking you through Chinatown and central Districts 1 and 4, the tour includes stops at several bars and cafes, with all food and drink included.
- Day 14
Ho Chi Minh City: Guided city tour
Make an early start this morning (pick-up at 6.30am) to see Saigon come to life. Your guide will take you first to Tao Dan Park, where you can observe locals engaging in early morning exercise and Tai Chi, and see the curious local practice of songbirds and their owners having a morning meet-up. Continue to a nearby wet market, especially busy at this time of day, and then on to Thein Hau temple, with its meticulous artworks and rising incense smoke from early morning offerings.
Continue to a simple local cafe where you’ll enjoy a typical Saigonese breakfast of noodle soup (or be taken to a Western-friendly restaurant if you prefer) washed down by strong Vietnamese coffee. By this point the city is really springing into life, and you’ll embark on a quick tour of the main sightseeing spots: the Reunification Palace (formerly the Presidential Palace), and then into the colonial center of the city to visit Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, and the Opera House. The tour will be finished by late morning, after which you can return to the hotel to relax or carry on exploring independently.
- Day 15
Ho Chi Minh City: Departure day
Sadly your time in Vietnam has come to an end. At the appropriate time you will meet your driver and guide for private transfer back to Ho Chi Minh Airport to check in for your onward flight. Please speak to our consultants for ideas on how to tailor or extend this tour.
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