Explore the best bits of Vietnam - Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An and Saigon, on a flexible itinerary that gives you the choice to discover each destination independently or choose between a series of wonderful cultural experiences. This tour is Vietnam, your way.
Our Vietnam Explorer tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Cruise into the still, green waters of Vietnam's most famous bay
Wander charming Hoi An
Discover Mekong on a river cruise
Enjoy freedom and choose optional, cultural experiences
This tour is ideal for those with a reasonable period of time who are looking for a comprehensive visit to the most famous and iconic cities and sights of Vietnam and visit some more off the beaten track destinations. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights and cities of Vietnam.
Fly overnight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s colonially influenced, atmospheric capital. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening.
Start the day exploring the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Stilt House and the Temple of Literature. Next, take a thrilling cyclo ride through the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, with a stop for local delicacy 'ca phe trung' (egg coffee) en route. This evening, enjoy a performance of a traditional water puppets show.
Travel to Halong Bay. Board your vessel for a serene and unforgettable cruise on the glassy, limestone-studded waters. You'll pass by quaint fishing towns, taste freshly caught seafood and admire the ever-changing vistas of the bay. There are many activities to take part in while you're onboard - take a swim in the cool waters of the bay, explore stalagmite and stalactite-filled caves, and even squid fishing (in season).
Rise early to catch the sunrise over the karst peaks of the bay and practice Tai Chi on deck. After brunch onboard, return to the dock and travel back to Hanoi. On arrival, enjoy free time or choose from two optional activities. 1) The Quintessence of Tonkin show followed by dinner, a spectacular open-air performance celebrating the rich history of northern Vietnam. Or 2) discover the varied and delicious flavours of Vietnamese street food on a tour of Hanoi's very best street eats.
Fly to Hue, Vietnam's old imperial capital and a city considered the country's hub of culture. This afternoon, visit Minh Mang Tomb, set on peaceful spot outside the city, before exploring the decaying grandeur of Hue's Imperial Citadel. Admire the old Thien Mu Pagoda before taking a cruise along the picturesque Perfume River. Later, you may choose an optional royal dining experience, where you will dine on authentic food and be entertained, all in the imperial style. Otherwise, the evening is free for your own explorations.
Today is a day at leisure for your own explorations, or you can choose between the following experiences. 1) Take a half day cycling tour of Hue and its beautiful rural surroundings, stopping for lunch with the nuns of a nearby pagoda, or 2) learn 'truc chi', creating art with bamboo paper, on a half day visit to a workshop.
Journey by road to the charming town of Hoi An, crossing over the scenic Hai Van Pass. This afternoon, wander the old cobbled streets and soak up the delights of Hoi An, with visits to a pagoda, an old Chinese meeting house and the Reaching Out arts and crafts workshop.
Today is a day at leisure for your own explorations, or you can choose between the following experiences. 1) A cooking class, with a visit to the produce market to select fresh, local ingredients, where you'll learn the tricks and techniques of Vietnamese cuisine or 2) A full day farmer and fisherman experience, where you can try your hand at traditional farming techniques in the rural village of Tra Que, before learning to paddle round bamboo boats and cast fishing nets.
Fly to Saigon and spend the afternoon at leisure.
Transfer to Ben Tre, in the heart of the Mekong Delta, where you'll visit local cottage industries and taste the delicious produce of the region, before lunching on typically Mekong fare. This afternoon, take a boat trip through the palm-lined canals and waterways to visit small islands, a floating village and pagoda. Return to Saigon.
This morning, discover the Cu Chi Tunnels, an amazing underground network used by the Viet Cong during the war. Return to Saigon and tour the city, visiting the Central Post Office as well as delving into Vietnam's recent history at the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner and a performance of the A O Show, a music, dance and acrobatic spectacular at the Saigon Opera House.
This morning is at leisure for your own explorations, or you can take an optional cyclo tour around Saigon's Chinatown. Later, transfer to the airport and fly to the UK, arriving home the following day.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
A replica paddle steamer that oozes a nostalgic charm of bygone Indochina, the Emeraude brings a timeless elegance to the waters of Halong Bay. With classical brass fixtures and warm, characterful cabins, the ship serves up fusion cuisine in its restaurant, a range of drinks at the bar and offers relaxation on the sun deck. There is also a spa, Tai Chi and cooking classes and Wi-Fi. Whilst some cabins have a private balcony, all have air-conditioning and an en suite bathroom with shower.
Muong Thanh Saigon Centre Hotel is situated in District 1. Rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV and have a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower. For your comfort, you will find bath robes, slippers and a hairdryer. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar, indoor swimming pool and free WiFi.
In the atmospheric area around Hoan Kiem Lake, the Muong Thanh offers stylish and comfortable accommodation in a great location. Surrounded by shops, restaurants and street food, the hotel has free Wi-Fi, a spa, bar and restaurant serving local dishes. Bright and spacious rooms come with city views, an en suite bathroom with bath or shower, plus air-conditioning, safe, television, minibar and tea and coffee making facilities.
This light, bright and stylish hotel, perfectly located for all of Hoi An’s attractions, perfectly combines French colonial and Vietnamese architectural elements. 92 innovatively-designed guest rooms are spacious and have views over the pool, gardens or street – little pops of colour make each room bright and airy. The ensuite bathroom has a shower, and there are little extra touches such as bathrobes to enjoy. The hotel’s facilities include a contemporary bar and restaurant, while there is a large swimming pool and lush, tropical gardens to explore.
The best time to visit Vietnam as a whole is the spring (March and April) and autumn (September to December).
Places Visited: UK - Saigon (4N) - Dalat (2N) - Nha Trang (2N) - Hoi An (2N) - Hue (1N) - Hanoi (2N) - Halong Bay (1N) - UK
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
For more choice of departures and destinations explore our full range of Vietnam holidays
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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