Capture the spirit of magical Vietnam on this compact tour from the colonial charm of Hanoi to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, on this new adventure, designed for solo travellers only. Sip coffee with locals in Hanoi and shop up a storm in the Old Quarter, cruise along emerald waters on a Halong Bay boat trip, travel through old-world Hue and Hoi An and get lost in the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City. This is an adventure full of beauty and contrast that introduces Vietnam as a country of incredible food, lively locals, stunning scenery and cosmopolitan cities.
Hotels 8N, Overnight Cruise 1N, Train 1N
Private Vehicle, Boat, Train, Flight
See the very best that Vietnam has to offer in just 11 days as you traverse the country from top to bottom with a small group new friends.
Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced Lead Traveller to help you get the best out of your time in Vietnam.
Travel by boat, train, plane, private bus, taxi and even on the back of a motorbike!
Visit some of the must-see sights with your group such as a walking tour in Hoi An and the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as enjoy lots free time to make your own discoveries.
Halong Bay – Overnight boat cruise
Halong Bay – Overnight boat cruise
Hanoi – Temple of Literature
Hanoi – Ethnology Museum
Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum
Hue – Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda
Hue – Imperial Citadel
Hue – Royal tomb
Hue – Motorbike trip including lunch
Hoi An – Old Town walking tour
Ho Chi Minh City – War Remnants Museum
Mekong Delta day trip including Coconut Candy Factory and Village Tuk Tuk tour
Ho Chi Minh City – City tour
Cherry-picked hotels and homestays – all tried and trusted
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
Optional Experiences and lots of free time
An expert Lead Traveller and local Guides
Daily breakfast and a few meals included, rest of the time you have the option try your own local meals
Airport transfers on the first and last day of your trip
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Hanoi is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and its thriving Old Quarter. The latter is a veritable architectural museum piece, with blocks of ochre buildings retaining the air of a 1930s provincial French town. You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel, and your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm.
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, discover the rich history of Hanoi. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s complex with his Stilt House, Mausoleum, the unique One Pillar Pagoda. Then heading to the first university of Vietnam, so-called “Temple of literature”.
Your lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
After lunch, you will head to Ethnology Museum, learn more about the different ethnics living in Vietnam and its culture.
Travel by private minibus to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin (approximately 4 hours). The bay is dotted with sandy coves, grottos and 1,600 limestone islands, which have been formed over millennia by wind and water erosion. Board a private boat and cruise the bay, exploring island caves and perhaps even enjoying a swim from Ti Top Island Beach during the warmer months. To end the day, spend a peaceful night aboard the boat beneath the night sky.
Your wooden junk-style boat has twin share cabins with air-conditioning and private facilities. There’s also a dining room and bar to enjoy lunch, dinner and breakfast.
Return by boat to Ha Long, and at approximately midday travel by bus back to Hanoi. Arrive late this afternoon, and use free time to shop, explore the sights or just relax. Later tonight on board an overnight train to Hue.
There are shared day use hotel rooms available this afternoon in Hanoi if you would like to freshen up before the overnight train. There is one room provided between up to 6 members of the group. Single supplements do not apply to ‘day’ rooms.
Arrive into Hue at approximately 11 am and transfer to the hotel.
Once the imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of the country’s royal past. You’ll have free time in the morning to rest or explore. The bustling Dong Ba Market is a great place to sample some of the foods that once graced the Nguyen emperors’ tables, such as Banh khoai (royal rice cake). Reunite with the group to visit the war-damaged ruins of the Hue Imperial Citadel complex, which once contained temples, state houses and the emperor’s palace.
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, tour the sights of Hue on the back of a motorbike driven by a local guide. Explore the ruins of the Forbidden Purple City, once reserved for the personal use of the Emperor and his concubines, but almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam/American War. Visit the 17th-century active Buddhist monastery of Thien Mu Pagoda. During the visit, you’ll see the car of a former monk who drove to Saigon in 1963 to set himself alight to protest the poor treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime.
Enjoy a short boat cruise down the Perfume River before eating lunch inside a nunnery. Finally, visit the lakeside royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc before heading back to Hue.
This motorbike activity has been assessed for safety and is closely monitored. To participate please ensure your travel insurance covers riding pillion on a motorbike up to 150cc. If you prefer not to participate, please let your leader know and they will arrange car transportation (cost included).
Boats for the Perfume River trip may not be available if you’re travelling during festival periods. During these times you’ll travel by land to reach the activities instead.
This morning travel by bus through coastal rice paddies and the spectacular Hai Van Pass. Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An was a major international trading port during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of the beautifully preserved town retain the feel of centuries past. It’s also a shopping mecca, famous for its plethora of tailors. On arrival, your leader will take you on a walk through the Old Town and visit a handful of the city’s major attractions. You’ll also be given a sightseeing pass so you can further explore select attractions at your leisure.
Today is a free day to explore Hoi An. Browse the town’s cobbled streets and art galleries, or hire a bike and cycle through rice paddies out to Cua Dai Beach. Shop for paintings, ceramics and colourful cloth lanterns in the town’s markets and preserved Chinese shop houses. Perhaps visit one of the hundreds of tailors in the city to get something special made. Hoi An is also known for its delicious regional food, so be sure to enjoy a meal at a riverside restaurant or perhaps partake in a cooking class.
Today take a short early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has a fascinating history and is arguably Vietnam’s capital of commerce and culture. After landing, take a sightseeing bus tour around the city. Pass the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House, stopping in at the War Remnants Museum to discover some of the sobering stories of the Vietnam/American War.
This morning head out on a day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. Board a boat to Ben Tre to visit the coconut gardens, stopping at a local home to sample tropical fruits & coconut jams. Afterwards, paddle in sampans (small rowing boats) past water coconut trees along the Mekong. Take a tuk-tuk tour around the villages, learning about local rural life and how they make their living making coconuts products like brooms and coconut fibre mats. Eat lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the delta, sampling regional specialities such as the famous Elephant Ear fish. Then it’s back to the private boat to cruise the Delta’s major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier. After the cruise return via bus to Ho Chi Minh City.
Your trip ends after breakfast today. There are no activities included and you’re free to depart your accommodation at any time. For those who are staying on and want to explore Ho Chi Minh City further, speak to your leader for information on day trips.
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