Hanoi lan ha Bay sapa hue & hoi an Saigon mekong delta

This itinerary is perfect for the first time visitor to Vietnam, incorporating the highlights, as well as one or two off beat Oasis ideas. The trip begins in the north visiting the colonial capital, Hanoi, before heading out to Unesco World Heritage site Halong Bay to spend a night on board a traditional junk. Travelling to the central regions, you spend time exploring both Hue and Hoi An before taking a short flight to historic Saigon where you will spend a few days exploring the city and the canals and backwaters of the Mekong Delta.

Itinerary Highlights

  • All the major big cities and UNESCO Heritage sites
  • Stunning rural mountain hilltribe retreat
  • Boat trips, optional cycling and walking
  • Foodie tours or fun cooking classes
  • Slow paced travel – not rushing or doing too much

What’s included

  • Completely private tours for all activities included
  • Meet & greet airport service
  • Luxury accommodation at your chosen level
  • Expert guides in each destinaton


This is an example itinerary. It is fully flexible; you can add or detract days and include hotels at your chosen budget. It departs daily.



Price Guide

From $6955 + pp

Our quotes are bespoke for your customised trip. The prices displayed are indicative only, read more

Day 1

Fly to hanoi

plan line
Day 2-3

Exploring Hanoi

The next couple of days is spent exploring the city of Hanoi and some of the rural countryside surrounding the city. There are so many great ways to discover the city, ranging from on foot, as a pillion passenger with an expert Vespa driver to cruising around the city in a vintage military Jeep! There are numerous “foodie” tours taking in the very best pf the incredible street food with a local food blogger or chef, join a family for a meal or take a cooking class to learn about the ingredients and how to prepare them. Visit the important historic and cultural sites, learn about the local arts and crafts or take part in a private “tea ceremony”. There are also a few day trips you can do out to Ninh Binh or Lan Ha, though we generally recommend these as overnight trip.

The options are endless just let us know your preferences and interests and let us design the perfect few days using the wonderful city of Hanoi as your base…

Day 4-5

lan ha Bay – halong bay’s quieter option

Leave the chaos and traffic of Hanoi behind and journey to Lan Ha Bay, the much quieter little sister of the now over run Halong Bay. Join your cruise of choice (from simple style junk to some of the most luxurious cruises in Asia!).

Enjoy full board on the boats with great food, impeccable service and large cabins, many with balconies. Activities depend on your budget and level of boat but often include Tai Chi, fishing with the staff, exploring the amazing cave systems, kayaking and swimming (weather permitting).
Day 5 complete the cruise and return to Hanoi for the overnight train journey to Lao Cai in the Tonkinese Alps.

Day 6-7

hilltribes of sapa

Spend the next 2 days with your guide discovering the hilltribes that live up in the mountains near Sapa. The ethnic minority markets of Northern Vietnam are the colourful meeting places for the hill tribes of Vietnam. Minorities come down from the mountains to sell their produce; sometimes it is a long hike for the tribes to come to sell or exchange their goods. Join a half-day or full-day walking/biking excursion, the best way to experience nature and the local cultures of the ethnic minority people. Or for a gentler experience try a gentle 3-hour hike through lush jungle, cinnamon plantations and rice terraces leading to a natural pool and picturesque waterfalls, before tucking into a sumptuous Sapa-inspired BBQ served by Red Dzao women at the Topas Riverside Lodge garden.

Day 8-9

historic hue – former royal capital

Depart the mountains by shared resort luxury transfer back to Hanoi and then transfer to the airport for the short flight to the historic former capital city of Hue (pronounced H’way), where you will be met and taken to your chosen hotel. Day 9 is spent with your guide uncovering the delights of the city. From the Imperial Citadel to the ancient garden homes and military history of the DMZ to the Thien Mu Pagoda. Today can include travel by normal vehicle, cyclo trishaw or vintage Vespa. As well as the historical elements, Hue is also famous for its royal cuisine which you can experience on foodie street food tours or by taking part in a cooking class.

Day 10-14

picturesque Hoi An and Surrounds

Travel by road to the delightful port town of Hoi An on a journey taking you over the Hai Van Pass or through the Hai Van Tunnel (the longest in SE Asia). Hoi An is, in our opinion the best place in Vietnam to spend a few days, relax and really get to know the area. There is much here to keep you busy or spend time in the old town in the cafes and bars just people watching. There are so many options here it is impossible to mention them all, just tell us your intertest and we will match unique day trips to fit, including cycling options, visiting remote farming villages, army jeep tours, exploring the history and culture with a conservation specialist or indulging in epicurean activities like cooking classes or walking street food tours tasting the local delicacies.

Hoi An also has a nice beach, so if you want to add a free day and enjoy the sand between your toes, it is easy to do so.

Day 15-18

Saigon and Mekong Delta

Fly from Danang, near Hoi An, to Ho Chi Minh City, the largest and most modern and contemporary city in Vietnam. Here we suggest the “must sees” are to spend a day exploring the fabulous museums and architecture and the food and arts scene. Although maybe not for everyone a trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels is a fascinating insight to the way people lived during the Vietnam War (or the American War as it is known there). Much of the tunnels are excavated so no need to crawl through the trapdoors and tunnels if you don’t fancy it. To get there you can travel by road, or we suggest a join-in speedboat up the Saigon River – private boat options are also available.

The other definite is a trip to the Mekong Delta, the rice bowl of the country. Do it as a day trip or an overnight experience either in an eco-lodge or beautiful private traditional sampan! Here you will witness the stunning scenery of the river small passages, the floating markets, cottage industries, as well as farms and orchards. It really is a truly remarkable region.

Day 19

Fly to next destination

A note on price

The prices outlined above are a rough guide to give you an idea of costs and enable you to budget for your trip.

Guide prices are generally for private arrangements based on twin share, in well located, good quality accommodation (excluding international flights).

Please note costs are indicative and may vary due to a number of factors such as; travel date, hotel choice, room category, number of people travelling and prevailing exchange rates.

Price Guide from $6995 per person

When to travel

jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec

The best time to visit Vietnam depends on the region and weather preferences. The dry season from November to April is popular for tourists as the northern and central regions experience cooler and drier weather. The wet season from May to October brings higher humidity and rainfall, but it’s still manageable for visiting the southern region.

Add on’s

There are a multitude of add on holiday options to this Vietnam itinerary, for example you could head to one of the magnificent beaches or tropical islands or perhaps take a flight from Saigon to Siem Reap and spend a few days exploring the magnificent temples of Angkor, the opportunities are really endless.

Vietnam is also easily accessed by the main flight hubs of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok making city stopovers or beach extensions on Asia’s fabulous sandy shores easy to arrange. There are also nowadays more direct flights with Vietnam Airlines.

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