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Exploring Vietnam Holidays

The Grand Tour

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Hanoi!

Your private driver and English-speaking guide will give you a warm welcome when you land in Hanoi. They will then drive you through the bustling capital to your central hotel in the Old Quarter. where you can relax and enjoy the evening at your leisure. We adore the Viethouse – it is everything a small boutique hotel should be – quirky and charming! (Deluxe Room, B&B).

Day 2 - Get under the skin of Hanoi

Today you will explore Hanoi like a local; walk down the capital’s winding streets with a private walking, try local street food and have a local whipped coffee in a hidden coffee shop before exploring Hoa Lo Priosn where American and French POWs were once held and the Temple of Literature built in 1076. Finish your day walking down the city’s railway tracks and then stop for a home brewed beer, the renowned Bia Hoi.

Days 3 & 4 - Take a cruise on Halong Bay

Today you will join your cruise companions in an air conditioned mini bus and travel four-hours east to Ha Long Bay, a beautiful emerald green bay pierced by hundreds of towering lush islets as far as the eye can see. Here you will embark on a wonderful two-night cruise. Treasure Junk is a wonderful boat as it takes a different route to the rest of the crowds on the bay. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included each day, as is swimming and kayaking. (Standard Cabin, B,L&D).

Day 5 - Return to Hanoi and head into the mountains

Rise early today to make the most of the short morning on board and visit a floating village in Halong Bay. You will return to Hanoi with your cruise companions and there will be time for dinner in town before catching the night train to Sapa in the north for your rural Vietnam adventure. First class sleeper tickets are included in the cost of this holiday – the train gets in very early and your guide will take you straight onto the activities below.

Day 6 - Get off the beaten track in the rural north

This morning you will be met by your guide and driver at Sapa Station and be driven to your luxury eco lodge for breakfast before beginning a day of trekking off the beaten track. You will walk through through splendid rice paddy terraces and hill sides with valley views – expect to see water buffalos, goats or mountain pigs – as well as tribal villages – on the way. After lunch you will visit Nam Cang village, renowned for some fo the most colourful and diverse costumes in Vietnam before checking into the scenic Topas Eco Lodge (exec bungalow).

Day 7 - Enjoy another day in rural Vietnam

This morning we will take you on a walk through rice paddy terrace sand over a river to the Red Dao village Lech Dao. Here you have your lunch on a hilltop, while enjoying the surrounding breathtaking views. After lunch, you can visit Ban Moi village, which is also inhabited by the Red Dao minority, before following hill trails up to the main road. Tonight you will catch the night train back to Hanoi. (Today includes about 5 hour’s walking but this is flexible based on fitness levels).

Day 8 - Travel to Hue and sample the delicious cuisine

Your train arrives in Hanoi early this morning and you will catch an early flight to Hue. This afternoon you will take a private Hue Street Food Tour. Discovering the city by cyclo, you will cross over the historical bridge Trang Tien to visit Dong Ba market. Here you will be able to see a lot of the ingredients used in the local food before visiting picturesque sites of the city, stopping for plenty of street food stops! Tonight you will check into Eldora Hotel (Deluxe Room, B&B).

Day 9 - Explore the imperial capital

This morning you will explore the ancient capital of Vietnam. The Forbidden Purple City, constructed under the Emperor Gia Long in the early 19th century, suffered during the Vietnam War but remains very significant. Afterwards, board a dragon boat and sail down the Perfume River to visit the striking Thien Mu Pagoda, then visit tombs of the emperors TuDuc and Khai Dinh. If time permits you can enjoy a short cyclo ride to Dong Ba market where you can buy traditional souvenirs.

Day 10 - SCENIC DRIVE TO THE QUAINT TOWN OF HOI AN

Take one of the most scenic journeys down the Vietnam coastline this morning, over a beautiful pass, and along miles of coast as you make your way from Hue to Hoi An by private chauffeur (or motorbike if you prefer!) We’ll make a day of it stopping for fabulous seafood, visit mountain caves and a fresh cool spring, before reaching Hoi An and checking into one of our favourite boutique hotels – Hoi An Chic, which is located in the rice paddies. (Deluxe Room, B&B).

Days 11 & 12 - Enjoy Hoi An at leisure

We have left these two days completely free for you to soak up this glorious beach town at your own pace. Hoi An has it all; delicious cuisine, fabulous tailors and shopping and a beautiful beach just 4km away. We haven’t organised anything for you so you can explore and sunbathe as you please. If you would like to spend longer here on the beach just let us know and we can revise the itinerary.

Day 13 - Explore Ho Chi Minh City in the south

This morning you will fly to the modern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon). Here you will enjoy a city tour with a difference. With an expert guide, take a tour on a Vespa motorbike to see the highlights including French Colonial architecture, a colourful flower market, China town and the historic Opera House among other sights. Enjoy your evening at leisure – we love the kitsch decor at the historic Majestic Hotel, which has one of the best rooftop bars in the city. (Pool View Room, B&B).

Day 14 - Diving deep into the war history

This morning you will be driven to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, More than 200 km of tunnels were built here by the Vietnamese guerrillas, where they lived and fought during the American War. You can explore the bedrooms, meeting rooms, air-raid shelters, smokeless kitchens, and experience a unique underground world. In the afternoon, visit the War Remnant Museum and the Reunification Palace in Saigon before enjoying the evening at leisure.

Day 15 - Head into the magical Mekong Delta

This morning, after an early breakfast, you will be driven to Cai Be in the Mekong Delta, where you will get on our charming shuttle boat to reach Mekong Lodge – your home for the night. After a slap-up lunch you will take a cycling tour to Tan Phong Island and visit the orchards. Tonight you can take part in a Vietnamese cooking class and learn how to cook the lodge’s signature dish before enjoying dinner at the lodge. (Lunch and dinner included).

Day 16 - Experience the waterways of the Mekong Delta

This morning you will be rowed in a sampan to visit Cai Be floating market, before visiting handicraft villages and a market on land, to learn more about local life here. Later you will check out of the Lodge and be driven two hours further into the heart of the Mekong Delta to Can Tho, which is considered to be the capital of this region. You will check into the Victoria Can Tho Hotel where you can enjoy the night at leisure. (Superior Room, B&B)

Day 17 - Finish your holiday on a tropical island

This morning you will be driven to Can Tho Airport to take the short flight to the tropical island of Phu Quoc, in the gulf of Thailand (which belongs to Vietnam). We adore this little island, and challenge you to find calmer waters! Tonight you can check into Cassia Cottages, a sweet little selection of bungalows that are tucked in jungle-like gardens with direct beach access (modern premium room, B&B).

Days 18 - 20 - RELAX ON THE PARADISE-LIKE ISLAND OF PHU QUOC

Take three full days to relax on this beautiful sun-kissed island. It is super chilled and in the evenings the restaurants string up lanterns and put candles on the tables that are dug into the sand, where you can laze away the hours eating incredible seafood and enjoying a cocktail or two. We don’t sy away from admitting this is probably our favourite beach destination in Vietnam.

Day 21 - Bon voyage!

This morning you will be driven to the island airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), where you can catch your flight home. Bon voyage and safe travels!

DETAILS: -

This itinerary costs from £3,125 per person B&B based on 2 sharing and including all private transfers but not international flights.

You can get flights from as little as £500 per person return and do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

INCLUDED:
  • Prices start from £3,125 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Cruise has breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Private transfers (air-conditioned vehicle)
  • All entrance fees with service of English speaking guide for excursions
  • Lunch on Days 2, 6, 9, 10, 14 & 15
  • Internal flights (four)
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
Make a booking

This is the ultimate private tour of Vietnam – perfect for those who have three weeks to spare and want to really get under the skin of the country. It travels from North to South and there is not much you won’t see – from the capital of Hanoi, mountainous Sapa and Halong Bay in the north – to Hue and Hoi An in the centre; it shows you the country in depth. The trip then finishes with an adventure in the south that includes Saigon, the Mekong Delta and the tropical island of Phu Quoc.

Hanoi
This vibrant capital of Vietnam has a fascinating display of street life, food and architecture in its charming Old Quarter – let us take you on a walking tour down its winding alleyways, weaving through hundreds of motorbikes and fruit sellers. It's our favourite city and we've found a selection of fabulous boutique hotels. More
Mai Chau & Pu Bin
This glorious rural corner of the country offers a mountainous landscape full of rice paddies, greenery and tribal groups. We love it because it's a bit more off the beaten track than the more popular Sapa area and have even established our very wooden stilt homestay in a local community. This is the place to head for hiking, cycling and just observing a more simple life. More
Sapa
The ultimate mountain retreat in Vietnam - Sapa is a night train away from the capital, Hanoi. Those who venture here are rewarded with the image of colourful tribal groups set against a backdrop of green mountains and terraced rice paddies. Some of the most beautiful scenery of Vietnam is on offer - although the tourist traffic can be high in peak season. More
Halong Bay
The must-see attraction of Vietnam: Hundreds of islets pierce through the waters of an emerald green bay. We have a fabulous selection of one and two-night cruises on offer, which are without a doubt the best way to see this area of outstanding beauty. More
Ninh Binh
A lovely slice of rural life is on offer here. We especially love Ninh Binh during the summer butterfly and rice harvest seasons. Expect gorgeous caves, wooden boat rides and pretty cycle rides. We especially love the Emeralda Resort here. More
Hue
The old imperial capital - this is the place to head for an insight in the ancient kings and dynasties of Vietnam. Set on the banks of the idyllic Perfume River, you can explore magnificent royal tombs of Kings gone by and the old Imperial Palace (that despite suffering in the American war is still well worth a visit). And we have discovered a fabulous selection of hideaway resorts. More
Hoi An
This is the place that has it all; arguably the best architecture, cuisine, shopping (tailors aplenty) and beaches of all of Vietnam. Most who make it here never want to leave - this Unesco World Heritage town is full of fabulous old Japanese merchants homes, French colonial homes and classic Vietnamese styles. Pick up a bike and explore on two wheels. More
Nha Trang
Home to some of our favourite beach resorts in all of Vietnam, Nha Trang offers a little piece of Paradise on the coast of Vietnam. The town itself lacks a little inspiration but if you're looking for sand, sun and luxury then look no further. More
Mui Ne
Sun, surf and sand, oh my! This lovely little fishing-cum-beach town has a plethora of fabulous resorts and boutique hotels. World renowned for kite surfing and waterspouts, Mui Ne is a great beach destination. More
Dalat
A popular weekend getaway for the Vietnamese, Dalat offers a cooler climate in the mountains. Lovely walks along with more adrenalin-fuelled activities like canyoning and mountain biking are on offer here. More
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
The mad, modern metropolis of Vietnam is alive with the sound of a thousand motorbikes. Officially named Ho Chi Minh City but affectionately know as Saigon by the locals, this city is fun and fast paced. It's the ideal base from which to explore the infamous tunnels of the Vietnam War where guerrillas and there families lived for many years. More
Mekong Delta
This enormous waterway of canals, streams and rivers is a lifeline for the locals - and people watching is perhaps the best activity of all on the Mekong Delta. Get up early for the floating markets or perhaps watch it lazily with a beer in hand from the sun deck on one of our cruises. More
Phu Quoc Island
Attention all beach lovers! This is the penultimate beach destination in all of Vietnam. Whether you are taken by its serenely calm waters, long sandy beach or cute cottage-like accommodation, Phu Quoc is stealing hearts across the world. We especially love it after sunset when lanterns and candles are lit on tables along the beach. In fact, we can't think of a more perfect setting for a seafood feast, while digging your toes into the sand. More
Con Dao Islands
If the budget can stretch to it, the Con Dao islands offer one of the most luxurious and beautiful beach experiences in Vietnam. Leave the rest of the world behind you when you enter Six Senses Con Dao, which feels like an ultimate private-island getaway. More

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