Highlight of Vietnam 11 Days 10 Nights

11 Days

Mekong Delta, Hanoi, Halong Bay & Red River Delta , Central Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City & surrounds

Overview

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting landscapes and rich cultural tapestry of Vietnam with our Highlights of Vietnam Tour, spanning 11 days and 10 nights. This immersive adventure promises to unveil the diverse facets of this captivating country, from bustling cities to serene countryside, ancient traditions to modern marvels.

Discover the vibrant streets of Hanoi, where centuries-old pagodas stand juxtaposed against modern skyscrapers, and the pulse of the city beats with energy. Cruise through the breathtaking limestone karsts of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, aboard a traditional junk boat, immersing yourself in the timeless beauty of this natural wonder.

Delve into the historic charm of Hue, the former imperial capital, where ancient citadels and majestic palaces offer a glimpse into Vietnam’s royal past. Traverse the picturesque countryside of Hoi An, renowned for its lantern-lit streets, bustling markets, and centuries-old architecture frozen in time.

Experience the dynamic rhythm of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, where the modern hustle and bustle blend seamlessly with reminders of its turbulent history. Journey to the lush Mekong Delta, where verdant rice paddies and winding waterways reveal the agricultural heartland of Vietnam.

Throughout your 11-day odyssey, savor the flavors of authentic Vietnamese cuisine, from fragrant street food stalls to elegant fine dining experiences. Immerse yourself in the warmth and hospitality of the Vietnamese people, whose resilience and spirit infuse every corner of this captivating land.

With expert guides leading the way and meticulously crafted itineraries ensuring an enriching and seamless travel experience, our Highlights of Vietnam Tour promises to leave you with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for this remarkable destination.

Highlights

  • Hanoi
  • Ninh Binh
  • Halong bay
  • Hoi An
  • Hue
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Mekong delta

Itinerary

Hanoi, a city of contrasts, defies easy categorization. It's both modern and traditional, chaotic and serene, and always full of surprises. But one thing is for sure: it's a place that’s captivating, to all the senses.
Upon arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, your private guide and driver will assist on arrival for the transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi.

Today’s full day discovery of Hanoi starts at 08:30. Begin with a visit to the sixth-century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda, on the shores of serene West Lake.
Next, take a short drive to visit the famed Temple of Literature. In 1076 Quoc Tu Giam - Vietnam's first university, also referred to as Van Mieu, was established within a temple to educate Vietnam's royalty, mandarins and members of the elite, for an incredible 800-years.
Following, chose a museum option (to be discussed on the actual day of the tour):
Option 1: Vietnam Women’s Museum. Highly acclaimed, the museum displays highlights of Vietnam’s vast cultural diversity and the significant role women play in Vietnamese society.
Option 2: The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (closed Mondays) is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the rich cultural diversity of Vietnam. The museum houses a vast collection of interactive exhibits that showcase the 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Following the visit of the museum, rest over a well deserved lunch.
Once sated, visit Hanoi’s iconic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex. The site is fascinating yet expect long walking distances (Note the Mausoleum is closed Monday and Fridays, each afternoon as well as annually from June 12th to Aug 14th).
Continuing on foot past the Mausoleum (viewed from outside) to learn about the life and legacy of the nation’s founder. Continue to the ‘house on stilts’ where ‘Bac Ho’ resided from 1958 to 1969 (closed on Monday and Friday). Stroll around the tranquil grounds before completing the circuit at the One Pillar pagoda; built in 1049, the symbol of Hanoi is a unique representation of the city.
Mid-late afternoon, continue the exploration with a stroll through Hanoi’s Old Quarter. A maze of alleyways and hidden treasures, learn about local life in the ‘36-guilds’ as you weave through the frenetic streets on foot.
To conclude the day, step back in time to the 11th century and experience the ancient art of water puppetry at the famed Thang Long Water Puppet Theater.
Following the introduction to Hanoi’s highlights transfer back to your hotel or your next destination.
Overnight in Hanoi.

Depart the hotel this morning at 08:00 for a 2-hour drive through rural northern Vietnam to Ninh Binh Province — one of the most stunning areas of Vietnam with its dramatic scenery and historical temples. The rice fields here are beautiful (seasonal) and the area has earned the nickname of ‘Dry Halong Bay’, a moniker borne out by the limestone karsts which dominate the landscape.
Upon arrival, boarding a sampan for a 1.5 hour boat trip cruising on a small canal among the paddy fields for 1km, then stroll along the winding rocky paths to reach the Galaxy Cave gate. Once inside the cave, admire the spectacular stalactites hanging from the cave ceiling. Continue onwards to discover But Hien cave, which boasts many natural sparkling stalactites. Once you’ve had your fill of cave explorations return back to the village along the same route.
Rowing onward to explore the fascinating But Cave, spanning nearly 500 meters with its peculiar-shaped stalactites. Conclude the cave exploration by rowing back to the village.
After a sumptuous local lunch, take a scenic bike ride around the village, alongside rice fields nestled amidst limestone mountains. A visit to Bich Dong Pagoda awaits, where an ascent of 200 steps leads to Ngu Nhac Mountain. This path unveils three cave pagodas dating back to 1428, revealing captivating views over the countryside.
Drive back to Hanoi in the late afternoon.

The perfect way to see the UNESCO World Heritage areas of Halong and Lan Ha Bay is to spend a night aboard a charming boat. The mystical scenery, where thousands of limestone islands jut out of the emerald sea, sculpted into wonderous shapes covered in lush fauna is truly breathtaking.
Following breakfast leave Hanoi at 09:00 for the 2.5hours drive to Halong City. Arrive at the pier around noon and proceed with check-in formalities.
After the welcome onboard and checking into the cabin, lunch will be served whilst cruising. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits or activities (depending on the boat’s set itinerary). Towards the end of the afternoon the boat will anchor for the night surrounded by karst formations.
Enjoy a sunset cocktail on the deck followed by dinner, then retiring for the evening.
Please note: Subject to change depending on weather conditions.
Overnight on Halong / Lan Ha Bay.

Wake up to the fresh morning amidst the islands of the bay for breakfast (brunch on some boats) while enjoying the serene setting of the spectacular rock formations.
Mid morning, proceed to checkout as the cruise cruises towards port. Disembark and transfer 2.5hours to Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport for the 1.5 hour flight south to Danang City. On arrival at Danang airport, the gateway to Hoi An, your private guide and driver will assist with the transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Hoi An, one of Vietnam’s most picturesque towns and UNESCO-heritage listed, once a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries now draws international visitors to its streets, for both the history and the surrounding scenes.
Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 6 :
Hoi An (B)

Be enchanted by the historic wonders of UNESCO-listed Hoi An. Departure at 08:30, for a half day discovery with a local guide, exploring the ancient town. Explore former merchant homes, colourful communal halls, narrow lanes lined, traditional houses and the iconic Japanese Bridge*. Also visit charming backstreets and tiny alleys to discover lesser known gems.
Meander down a small alley to a traditional style house where the art of healing through martial arts has been practiced by a local family for generations. This healing method is the master’s invention, combined between Qigong, Tai Chi, and traditional Vietnamese martial arts called Vo. Have a chance to learn some basic steps under the guidance of the master.
To conclude the cultural exploration, visit a cozy local home to taste a typical dessert before heading back to the hotel or next destination.

*The Japanese Bridge is currently under renovation until Q1 2024 (est) . Visitors are able to walk alongside the bridge (as of June 2023) on a purposely built metal platform however the actual structure is mostly covered in metal sheeting, therefore limiting photo op’s of the town’s most famous monument.
Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An.

Enjoy this morning at leisure before the departure from Hoi An to Hue City, the former royal capital of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Just over an hour from Hoi An, drive over the Hai Van mountain pass, one of the world’s greatest coastal stretches. Jungle-topped mountains slope down into the sea, shaping uninhabited bays, forging gushing waterfalls, and even influencing the weather. The whole pass is 20 km in length — so time to enjoy the view.
Cruise down the pass north, with sweeping views, over a railway track then along the beautiful Lang Co Lagoon before continuing north to Hue City to the hotel for check in.
Remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure.
Overnight in Hue.

Depart at 08:30 for the UNESCO-heritage listed Imperial Citadel. Roam the expansive grounds, hearing stories of the majestic buildings, many of which have been superbly renovated by the local conservation department in recent years.
Continue by cyclo to a tranquil lake, where king’s once rested during the hot summer months, before arriving at a private museum featuring a magnificent collection of royal possessions.
Continue to Thien Mu Pagoda, perhaps Hue’s most iconic landmark located along the beautifully named Perfume River. Apart from the spiritual aspect and sweeping view, the vintage vehicle on display offers an interesting story.
Rest those feet over a local Hue inspired lunch, before choosing an option for the afternoon visit (depending on location of hotel or interest (to be discussed on the actual day of the tour):

Option 1: Leave the city behind and travel through Hue’s outskirts to the tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, a Nguyen Dynasty ruler known for his opposition to French occupation and his decadent lifestyle. Explore his remarkable tomb, admiring the imposing architecture and gorgeous forest setting while learning more on this historic figure. Continue to Emperor Khai Dinh’s tomb, which is equally impressive, yet a completely different complex. See the blend of traditional Vietnamese design with European influence, making it unique from other royal tombs in Hue.
Option 2: Leave the city centre to visit the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, the longest-reigning emperor in Vietnamese history. His tomb is one of the largest and most ‘romantic’ imperial tombs. Continue to An Dinh Palace, the former private residence of Emperors Khai Dinh and Bao Dai. Built in 1917 and decorated with both Roman-style motifs and traditional Vietnamese motifs, the former palace offers a reminder of the power and wealth of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors, as well as the turbulent history of Vietnam in the 20th century.

At the end of the afternoon return to the hotel or next destination.
Overnight in Hue

Following breakfast, transfer to Hue Airport for the short flight to Vietnam’s commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals.
In the afternoon, meet with a local guide and start with a walking tour (depending on the season, this order might be changed) through the historic city center and CBD. See the architecturally splendid City Hall, historic Dong Khoi Street, the Continental Hotel and the Saigon Opera House.
Then step off the main road into a historic building revolutionized by the city’s youth. Here, locally owned retail stores, coffee shops and art spaces offer a glimpse into the city’s creative generation. If time allows, sit for a coffee at one of the building’s cafe’s.
Continue on foot to the Central Post Office. Here, you can also glimpse the former CIA building, where one of the last helicopter evacuations took place in 1975.
Stroll through lovely 30 April Park to perhaps the city’s most famous landmark - the Reunification Palace. Now preserved in a time warp, the ‘war rooms’ in the basement plus the opulent display’s are fascinating.
Finish up the day at another historic site, the Ben Thanh Market. Still functioning as a local neighborhood market, the central location also welcomes travelers with a variety of stalls.
Having gained greater understanding of Saigon's culture and history, return to the hotel.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Today’s tour starts at 08:00 with a pick up from the hotel in the city centre. Leave the busy streets and modern buildings of Ho Chi Minh City behind on this Ben Tre day trip. Drive 2-hours south of the city to Ben Tre, known as the land of coconut in the Mekong Delta.
On arrival in Ben Tre Province, board a local boat for a first glimpse of Delta scenery. Sip a freshly picked coconut as the boat winds through the maze of canals.
Stop at a brick kiln where locals still use centuries-old traditional methods . Following, visit a coconut workshop to see the processing and learn how every part of the nut is used.
Continue to get to know the region’s family-run cottage industries such as coconut candy making. See many local women spending their days boiling cauldrons of sticky coconut paste before rolling it out and slicing sections into squares.
Enjoy lush tropical fruits and honey tea in a garden before exploring the riverside promenade and narrow lanes that are ideal for a bicycle ride or choose to hop on a motor-tricycle which was once the iconic vehicle and main means of transportation in southern Vietnam in the 1960s (Please note: motor-tricycle to be requested in advance).
After lunch at a riverside restaurant with Mekong Delta specialties, get a closer look at delta life with a sampan boat trip, rowing through a hidden maze of small, waterpalm draped canals; this is the quintessential Mekong delta.
Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City mid afternoon.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Departure day. At leisure until transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for onward flight.

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Highlight of Vietnam 11 Days 10 Nights