A two week evenly-paced Vietnam holiday with plenty of time at each destination to take part in activities, enjoy new experiences and spend time together as a family. All finished off with a few days on the beach in Hoi An. Pedestrianised and lantern lit at night with galleries, shops, restaurants and cafes, it’s a firm favourite with those looking for somewhere that’s more than purely a beach.
Day 1: Depart on your choice of overnight flights to Hanoi
Day 2: Arrive Hanoi for 2 nights. Private transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day to settle in
Day 3: Morning cooking course with underprivileged children or cycle tour. Afternoon city tour incl. cycle rickshaw, water puppets and Hanoi ice cream
Day 4: Transfer to Yen Duc Village for 1 night. Immerse yourself in rural / farming life
Day 5: Drive to Halong Bay - 1 night cruise exploring UNESCO World Heritage site
Day 6: Cruise through bay. Fly to Saigon and check-in to your choice of hotel for 3 nights
Day 7: Cu Chi Tunnels tour by speed boat
Day 8: Mekong Delta day tour with boat ride
Day 9: Flight north to Hoi An for 5 nights on the beach
Day 10: Cycling, Fishing & Lantern Tour
Days 11-13: Free days to enjoy the beach, explore UNESCO Old Town and surrounding countryside
Day 14: Overnight flight home
Day 15: Arrive home
Day 1: UK Airport / Hanoi
Depart on a choice of overnight flights to Hanoi.
Day 2: Arrive Hanoi
On arrival you’ll be met by your private guide and transferred to the city centre where you check in to your choice of hotel for 2 nights.
Hanoi offers the chance to enjoy authentic old school Far East. The hotel is in the centre and we’d recommend that you take a walk through the Old Quarter. Don’t be put off by the thousands of motor scooters, just dive in.
Day 3: Hanoi - City Tour (B / L)
This morning you’ll join a cooking class at a hospitality school for underprivileged children. Many of them were living on the streets of Hanoi and other cities, and their training will eventually help them work in some of Vietnam’s best hotels and restaurants. This is an informal fun morning and lunch will be the fruit of your labours! Alternatively if you'd prefer a more physically active weekend we can organise a morning exploring Hanoi and the surrounding countryside by bike.
This afternoon head into Hanoi’s Old Quarter for an hour’s exploration aboard a cyclo (Vietnamese cycle rickshaw).Also known as the 36 streets, this bustling warren of narrow streets is home to thousands of small businesses, including galleries, craft shops and restaurants. The afternoon continues with a walk around the picturesque Hoam Kiem Lake that acts as the social focal point for Hanoians and is the perfect place to enjoy a Vietnamese ice cream or coffee before finishing the day watching a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show.
Day 4: Hanoi to Yen Duc Village (B / L / D)
This morning you’ll be collected for the shuttle bus transfer to Yen Duc Village out of the city where you’ll spend 1 night on full board. The rest of the morning is free for you to explore this authentic rural village and farming community either on foot or by bike. Lunch will be in the main restaurant.
This afternoon you’ll be taken around the village to learn more about Vietnamese family traditions and experience farming works such as milling and pounding rice, picking vegetables, gardening, and fishing. This is an authentic working community so throughout the day you will have the chance to interact and exchange with the local people. Dinner is served at the restaurant and then if still have enough energy learn how to make traditional Troi (floating rice) cakes with the host.
Day 5: Yen Duc Village - Halong Bay (B / L / D)
If you rise early you can join in Tai Chi before breakfast. There’s also the chance to further explore the village and local market that operates each morning. You are also invited to visit a local house and learn about traditional handicraft work. At 10.30am you’ll be transferred to Halong Bay. On arrival meet the crew and board your choice of traditional wooden junk then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads toward the secluded islands. Visit ancient limestone caves and go sea kayaking and swimming (weather permitting). Return to the junk to relax on deck with a drink watching the sunset and enjoy a seafood dinner under the stars.
Day 6: Halong Bay (B / L) - Fly to Saigon
Enjoy breakfast as you continue to cruise through Halong Bay and visit the floating fishing village of Vong Vieng to learn about daily life living on the water. From here cruise back to the dock over a light lunch and the return transfer to Hanoi in time for the flight south to Saigon. On arrival met and transferred to the city centre for 3 nights in your choice of hotel.
Day 7: Saigon - Cu Chi Tunnels Tour by Speed Boat (B / L)
Depart from Ho Chi Minh City pier and begin your speedboat journey on the Saigon River. As the city fades into the background, observe life along the river and the many new ‘weekend’ homes being built by the Saigonese.
The Cu Chi Tunnels were instrumental in forcing the American withdrawal. On arrival watch a short introductory video on their construction and the next hour is spent exploring the maze of tunnels, accompanied by another guide. Also on display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500-pound bombs from B52 bombers.
Next, it’s a short drive through the countryside to visit a cricket farm. Some Vietnamese consider crickets a delicacy, and local lore says that hungry soldiers ate them to beef up their nutrient-poor diets. At the farm you’ll see crickets in various stages of growth. You’ll also have a chance to sample crickets wrapped up in tasty spring rolls. Make sure you snap a photograph so that your friends will believe your unusual tale! Stop for a traditional Vietnamese lunch - it won’t include cricket - en route to Saigon, arriving mid-afternoon.
Day 8: Saigon (B) - Mekong Delta Tour with Boat Ride
This morning you’ll be collected from the hotel lobby and driven south (with others) to the Mekong Delta where you board a boat to explore a less-visited area of the Mekong, home to luxuriant vegetation and lush coconut islands, as well as orchards and rice paddies. Visit a local coconut processing enterprise where this vital fruit is treated in the age-old way to separate oil, flesh and husk to be used in oil, matting and candy.
After the boat ride you will be taken on a short walk to a small village to see mat weavers at work, before jumping on the delta’s version of a tuk tuk to travel down the country roads to the pier. Here you board Le Jarai, a beautiful teak boat and continue your cruise along the river. Whilst on board join in a demonstration of Vietnamese cooking before sitting down to a sumptuous three-course lunch of Mekong specialities. After lunch relax on the top deck and watch river life pass you by. Cruise back to Ben Tre where you’re transferred back to Saigon by early evening.
Day 9: Saigon (B) - Fly to Hoi An
This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport for the short flight north to Hoi An. On arrival met and transferred to your choice of beach hotel for 5 nights.
Day 10: Hoi An - Cycling, Fishing & Lantern Tour (B / L)
Hoi An is surrounded by beautiful countryside and this exciting private guided tour takes you out to see a more rural side of the country. Set off from central Hoi An for a leisurely pedal out of town, weaving through rice paddy fields and along dusty country lanes bound for Cam Thanh Village, a charming community that still boasts a timeless charm. Spend time at the home of a local family and learn about their day-to-day lives in rural Vietnam.
From here leave your bicycle behind and board a bamboo basket boat that local crab fishermen still use to haul in their daily catch. Learn the tricks behind the trade from friendly local fishermen and get a hands-on look at the livelihoods that keep this community thriving. Lunch will be with a local family, then back on the bikes to Ha Linh lantern workshop. As one of the most iconic traditional crafts in Hoi An - so iconic that a monthly festival in the sleepy town revolves around lanterns and the full moon - learn how these delicate creations are made. Roll up your sleeves and make your own in a master class before heading back toward central Hoi An by bike.
Days 11-13: Hoi An (B) - Free days - Beach, Old Town & Countryside
Hoi An is a great place to spend a few days by the beach, but don’t ignore the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Beautifully preserved and car free at night, visitors can leisurely explore the historic streets, spending time watching local artisans at work with silk, ceramics, paint and wood. Hoi An is famous for its tailoring heritage and is a popular place to have a little something run up. The town is lantern lit by night and its cobbled streets house some beautifully atmospheric restaurants & cafes.
Day 14: Fly Hoi An (B) / UK Airport
Morning free then airport transfer and fly home usually via Saigon, Hanoi, Singapore or Hong Kong. Arrive back in UK the following morning.
Each featured itinerary is really a starting point from which to create your ideal holiday.
We can include as much or as little as you like, mix and match hotels, excursions and experiences, add extra nights and change the destinations you'd like to visit.
The common thread is that each is a privately guided holiday, allowing you to travel where and when you want, with your own private transport and dedicated guide.
- Return scheduled international flights (optional if you would like to arrange your own)
- English speaking, local guide & driver
- Choice of hotel accommodation
- Transport in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Domestic flights detailed in itinerary
- Admission fees to all attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals as detailed (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Entry visas (if applicable)
- Optional Tours / Excursions
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Tips for Guides / Drivers (discretionary)
- Travel insurance
- Any camera or video fees charged at sites
The hotels below are there as examples, designed to act as a starting point from which to create your holiday. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from and when we quote we will include other suggestions so we get to understand your likes and dislikes. Quite often clients mix and match hotel categories throughout their holiday.
Hotels in Hanoi
The bustling but elegant city of Hanoi understandably provides a wealth of hotel choice.
Halong Bay Cruise Boats
An overnight cruise on Halong Bay is often seen as an essential part of a Vietnam holiday
Hotels in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
A mix of grand colonial buildings and modern luxuries make Saigon a fantastic place to stay
Hotels in Hoi An
Hoi An is a stunningly atmospheric UNESCO town, and we know all the great places to stay