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Exploring Vietnam Holidays

Culture and Coast

This trip takes in the very best that Vietnam has to offer; from the stunning scenery of Halong Bay, the tribal land of the north and the capital of Hanoi to the beautiful coastline, shopping and architecture of Hoi An. It finishes in Saigon and promises to get under the skin of ‘Nam in just two weeks.

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 love The Lapis for a conveniently located and comfortable stay  – its’ an affordable and well placed boutique hideaway with welcoming rooftop pool  (Deluxe room)

Day 2 - Discover a hidden 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.

Day 3 - The majestic 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 overnight 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, as is swimming and kayaking.  (Superior Cabin).

Day 4 - A morning in Halong Bay

Wake up amongst the majestic islets of Halong Bay and take a bamboo boat to visit secluded floating village surrounded by the mountains. Observe the floating houses and small rowing boats of another world before bidding farewell to the majestic Halong Bay at about 11.30am and travel back to Hanoi. Check back into Lapis for the evening before your rural adventure!

Day 5 - Explore rural Vietnam

After breakfast depart Hanoi with your private chauffeur and travel for about three hours southwest to Mai Chau, a picturesque river valley, which is home to colourful hill tribes. Take a stroll to the nearby White Tai hilltribe village where you can enjoy a freshly prepared local lunch before exploring further into the valley to visit more remote villages. At dusk, return to the lodge. We love the Mai Chau Eco Lodge for its superb location set among rice fields and misty mountains. (Deluxe Room)

Day 6 - Off the beaten track

Today take the scenic paved road from Mai Chau to Paco, near the Laos border with North West Vietnam to hike around Pa Co, passing through Blue and Flower H’mong villages, surrounding mountain jungle and apricot and peach orchards. Continue walking to Hang Kia village to visit a traditional home and find out how the locals make their beautiful brocade for their impressive costumes. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, discovering the unique dishes of the area before returning to your lodge in Mai Chau.

Day 7 - From rice paddies to Hoi An

After breakfast, continue exploring the valley and enjoy the rich landscape and picturesque rice terraced fields. The highlight of this walk is experiencing the beauty of Pu Luong Nature Reserve and observing the culture of the white Thai people. Return to the lodge for lunch then take the three-hour drive back to Hanoi in time to catch your evening flight to Hoi An where you will check into your beach hotel – The Victoria (superior garden view room).

Days 8 - 11 - The Beach & UNESCO heritage town of Hoi An

Take four full days to soak up this glorious beach town. 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 for these days so you can explore and sunbathe at your own pace (but do ask us about local excursions here including a fun fishing trip in traditional basket boats with local fishermen!)

Day 12 - Fly to Saigon for a foodie motorbike tour

At lunch time fly to Saigon and take the afternoon to marvel at the city’s marvellous skyline. This evening we will take you on a motorbike street food tour (you will be passengers with expert drivers) and there will be plenty of stops to sample some of the best and unique dishes to the city, finishing with an authentic Saigon streetwise barbecue, one of the most memorable meals of your trip. Stay at the Alagon d’Antique hotel tonight (deluxe window room).


This morning you will be take a speedboat 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. The best bit? Not only to you travel in speedboat to avoid the city traffic but you arrive before all the other tourists! Afternoon is free at lesiure.

Day 14 - Bon Voyage!

This morning we have planned nothing for you so you can relax at leisure until your international flight home when your driver and guide will collect you from the hotel and take you to Saigon Airpot. Safe travels!


This itinerary costs from £2,395 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 £700 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?

  • Prices start from £2,395 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, 7, 8, 9 & 10
  • Dinner on Days 6 & 7
  • Internal flights (two)
  • Local taxes
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
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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
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
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
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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