This short tour is a great introduction to Vietnam's highlights and it perfectly complements a beach stay if you're looking for a combination of relaxation and exploration. Discover key cultural and historic sights, soak up the beauty of Halong Bay on an overnight cruise and see local life on the river during a Mekong Delta cruise.

• Hanoi: 2 nights

• Halong Bay: 1 night

• Hoi An: 1 night

• Ho Chi Minh City: 2 nights

8nights Escorted Small Group Tour

This short tour is a great introduction to Vietnam's highlights, and can be easily extended. Discover key cultural and historic sights, soak up the beauty of Halong Bay on an overnight cruise and see local life on the river during a Mekong Delta cruise. Extend afterwards with a Phu Quoc beach stay, or a two-night Mekong Delta cruise on board the smaller and charming Song Xanh Sampan plus a Phu Quoc beach stay.

• Hanoi: 2 nights

• Halong Bay: 1 night

• Hoi An: 1 night

• Ho Chi Minh City: 2 nights

8nights Escorted Small Group Tour
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Hanoi Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi Upon arrival in the city, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. If you’d like to catch up on your sleep before any sightseeing then there’s the option to book a day room. This evening you can look forward to a traditional water puppet show before getting to know your guide and fellow travellers during a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi (or similar). D.

Day 3: Hanoi This morning, visit the monumental marble mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the man who led Vietnam’s campaign for independence from French colonial rule. Stroll around the grounds to discover his former residence, the One Pillar Pagoda, and the 11th-Century Temple of Literature, the original university in Vietnam, which was built in honour of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. This afternoon continue your exploration of the capital with a visit to the iconic Ngoc Son Temple which occupies a tiny island on picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. Admire elegant French Colonial architecture during a cyclo ride through the narrow streets of the evocative Old Quarter which was once a thriving centre for craftsmen. End your day with a visit to the Giang Cafe, a traditional coffee shop founded by Nguyen Giang who famously invented the Vietnamese egg coffee. Enjoy a tasting of this sweet after-dinner drink which is made with egg yolk and condensed milk. Stay: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi (or similar). B.

Day 4: Hanoi to Halong Bay Today is one of the tour’s highlights – a cruise in stunning Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage area of natural beauty known locally as ‘dragon descending to the sea’. Drive to Halong City (approx. 3½-4 hours), passing workers traditionally farming rice in the fields. On arrival, board a junk and enjoy lunch whilst gliding past limestone peaks and islands in the magnificent bay. This afternoon, transfer by tender to the mysterious Tien Ong cave where human bones and artefacts dating to 10,000-8000 BC were discovered. You can also see beautiful stalagmites and stalactites here. Return to the ship to join a cooking and fruit-carving demonstration before admiring the sunset over the bay and anchoring for the night. Dinner is served on board and you’ll have the chance to try squid fishing on the deck. Stay: Bhaya Cruise (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 5: Halong Bay to Hoi An Early risers can join a t’ai chi exercise on the deck (6.30am) as the sun rises over the bay. After a light breakfast, continue cruising the bay and visit Cua Van, a large floating fishing village. Reboard the junk and enjoy brunch as you make your way back to the harbour to disembark. Transfer to Hanoi airport (approx. 1¼ hours) for your flight to Danang (approx. 1 hour 20 minutes) and continue to the charming town of Hoi An. Stay: Almanity Hoi An Resort & Spa (or similar). B.

Day 6: Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City Begin your walking tour of the coastal town of Hoi An which was once a thriving port and is now home to winding streets lined with ramshackle shops, art galleries and colonial houses. This UNESCO-listed Ancient Town has a unique heritage and striking blend of French Colonial and Asian architecture. Visit the 17th-Century Chua Ong Pagoda, a colourful Chinese-inspired structure. Continue to the beautifully ornate Fujian Assembly Hall and the Jinshang Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea and is the protector of sailors. Pass the Old House of Tan Ky, which was the home of an 18th-Century merchant, and cross the iconic and much photographed 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. End your afternoon with a relaxing boat trip along Thu Bon river. This afternoon transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approx. 1¼ hours). Stay: Amena Residences and Suites (or similar). B.

Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City This morning, journey southwest to the charming town of Cai Be in the heart of the Mekong Delta for another incredible highlight – a cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Board your boat for the chance to see life on and around the water and gain real insight into the lives of the local people. Pass floating markets and continue through a maze of narrow canals to visit a local family and watch as they use centuries-old methods to produce rice paper. Enjoy a short ride on a traditional Mekong River sampan boat and soak up the scenery before enjoying late lunch at a local home and learning how to make traditional savoury Vietnamese pancakes during a cooking demonstration. Ride a boat back to Cai Be and return to Ho Chi Minh City by late afternoon. Stay: Amena Residences and Suites (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City Today you’ll have the chance to explore Cu Chi, the remarkable underground network of tunnels and passageways that formed an underground city of sleeping quarters, kitchens and command centres during the Vietnam War (approx. 1½ hours). Cu Chi served as a hideout and home for scores of Vietnamese insurgents and it highlights the resilience and ingenuity of the Vietnamese in times of intense hardship. Watch a short film to learn what life was like for the soldiers who lived there during the war. Return to the city this afternoon. You have the option of booking a day room for the afternoon so that you can relax before transferring to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK, or you may choose to extend your holiday with a beach stay. B.


Stay longer

2019

Beaches of Vietnam (Mui Ne) 3 nights

This laid-back resort stretches along a main coastal road and is home to a beautiful white-sand beach and a string of restaurants and shops.

Siem Reap 3 nights
Siem Reap is the gateway to Cambodia's magnificent Temples of Angkor and three nights in this buzzing city gives you plenty of time to explore the world-famous ruins.


Day 1: Siem Reap
On arrival, transfer to your hotel for an afternoon check-in. You have free time today to explore at your own pace. Approx. journey time: 25 minutes, 6 miles. Stay: Tara Angkor Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 2: Siem Reap
Travel to the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the most beautiful entrance of the five gates into the former capital of the Khmer empire. Later, visit of one of Cambodia’s most famous sights – Angkor Wat. Stay: Tara Angkor Hotel (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Siem Reap
View the spellbinding temples of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samré. On your return to Siem Reap, stop at a local village and learn about the traditional agricultural practices of growing rice and collecting sugar (dependent on season). Later, visit Preah Khan and Neak Pean temples as well as Ta Prohm. Dinner tonight will be accompanied by an Apsara Dance Show. Stay: Tara Angkor Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Siem Reap
Today you’ll have the option to receive a blessing from a Buddhist monk, visit Theam’s House, and Les Senteurs d’Angkor, an artisanal craft shop where you can buy fragrant souvenirs. Depart for Siem Reap airport for your onward return flight to the UK. B.

2020

Mekong Delta Cruise & Phu Quoc 6 nights

Enjoy two nights cruising the Mekong Delta on board the charming Song Xanh Sampan before a beach break in Phu Quoc.

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Today you'll have a day at leisure. Stay: Caravelle Saigon Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 2: Cai Be & Sa Dec (Mekong Delta Cruise)

This morning you'll transfer from your hotel to Cai Be by road, and arrive at Phu An Jetty where you'll head out on a bicycle tour. You'll end up at Le Longanier Restaurant, an exquisite colonial-style riverside villa in tropical gardens, where you'll have lunch. After lunch, board the Song Xanh Sampan back at the jetty for a leisurely cruise along the Mekong Delta, with stops on the way to visit local cottage industries which make products from native ingredients such as rice and coconut, and at a traditional brick factory where everything is made by hand. Once you've reached Sa Dec you'll stroll to the outdoor market and visit the historic home of Mr. Hyun Thuy Le, who inspired Marguerite Duras’s novel, L’Amant (The Lover), where you can enjoy a candlelit dinner. Stay: Song Xanh Sampan (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 3: Sa Dec, Long Xuyen & Rach Gia (Mekong Delta Cruise)

Make your journey towards Long Xuyen along narrows canals, past rustic bridges and through scenic countryside. After lunch you'll arrive in Long Xuyen and visit Tiger Island, the birthplace of Vietnam's second president. Return to the sampan for dinner and continue towards Rach Gia. Stay: Song Xanh Sampan (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Rach Gia to Phu Quoc

After an early breakfast on board and arrival in Rach Gia at around 7am, you’ll disembark and transfer to the pier, take the speed boat to Phu Quoc and transfer to your hotel (approx. 3 hours) for a day at leisure. Stay: La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, MGallery by Sofitel (or similar). B.

Days 5-6: Phu Quoc

Enjoy a couple of days at leisure enjoying Phu Quoc's beautiful beaches. Stay: La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, MGallery by Sofitel (or similar). B.

Day 7: Phu Quoc to UK

Transfer from your hotel to Phu Quoc airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Day 1: UK to Hanoi Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi Upon arrival in the city, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. This evening you can look forward to a traditional water puppet show before getting to know your guide and fellow travellers during a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi (or similar). D.

Day 3: Hanoi This morning, visit the monumental marble mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the man who led Vietnam’s campaign for independence from French colonial rule. Stroll around the grounds to discover his former residence, the One Pillar Pagoda, and the 11th-Century Temple of Literature, the original university in Vietnam, which was built in honour of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. This afternoon continue your exploration of the capital with a visit to the iconic Ngoc Son Temple which occupies a tiny island on picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake. Admire elegant French Colonial architecture during a cyclo ride through the narrow streets of the evocative Old Quarter which was once a thriving centre for craftsmen. End your day with a visit to the Giang Cafe, a traditional coffee shop founded by Nguyen Giang who famously invented the Vietnamese egg coffee. Enjoy a tasting of this sweet drink which is made with egg yolk and condensed milk. Stay: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi (or similar). B.

Day 4: Hanoi to Halong Bay Today is one of the tour’s highlights – a cruise in stunning Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage area of natural beauty known locally as ‘dragon descending to the sea’. Drive to Halong City (approx. 3 hours, 105 miles), passing workers traditionally farming rice in the fields. On arrival, board a junk and enjoy lunch while gliding past limestone peaks and islands in the magnificent bay. This afternoon, transfer by tender to the mysterious Tien Ong cave where human bones and artefacts dating to 10,000-8000 BC were discovered. You can also see beautiful stalagmites and stalactites here. Return to the ship to join a cooking and fruit-carving demonstration before admiring the sunset over the bay and anchoring for the night. Dinner is served on board and you’ll have the chance to try squid fishing on the deck. Stay: Bhaya Cruise (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 5: Halong Bay to Hoi An Early risers can join a t’ai chi exercise on the deck (6.30am) as the sun rises over the bay. After a light breakfast, continue cruising the bay and visit Cua Van, a large floating fishing village. Re-board the junk and enjoy brunch as you make your way back to the harbour to disembark. Transfer to Hanoi airport (approx. 3 hours) for your flight to Danang (approx. 1 hour 20 minutes) and continue to the charming town of Hoi An. Stay: Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort (or similar). B.

Day 6: Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City Begin your walking tour of the coastal town of Hoi An which was once a thriving port and is now home to winding streets lined with ramshackle shops, art galleries and colonial houses. This UNESCO-listed Ancient Town has a unique heritage and striking blend of French Colonial and Asian architecture. Visit the beautifully ornate Fujian Assembly Hall and the Jinshang Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea and is the protector of sailors. Pass the Old House of Tan Ky, which was the home of an 18th-Century merchant, and cross the iconic and much photographed 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. End your afternoon with a relaxing boat trip along Thu Bon river. This afternoon transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approx. 1¼ hours). Stay: Caravelle Saigon Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City This morning, journey southwest to the charming town of Cai Be in the heart of the Mekong Delta for another incredible highlight – a cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Board your boat for the chance to see life on and around the water and gain real insight into the lives of the local people. Pass through a maze of narrow canals to visit a local family and watch as they use centuries-old methods to produce rice paper. Enjoy a short ride on a traditional Mekong River sampan boat and soak up the scenery before enjoying late lunch at a local home. Ride a boat back to Cai Be and return to Ho Chi Minh City by late afternoon. Stay: Caravelle Saigon Hotel (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City Today you’ll have the chance to explore Cu Chi, the remarkable underground network of tunnels and passageways that formed an underground city of sleeping quarters, kitchens and command centres during the Vietnam War (approx. 1½ hours). Cu Chi served as a hideout and home for scores of Vietnamese insurgents and it highlights the resilience and ingenuity of the Vietnamese in times of intense hardship. Watch a short film to learn what life was like for the soldiers who lived there during the war. Return to the city this afternoon. Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the UK, or you may choose to extend your holiday with a beach stay. B.


Stay longer

2019

Beaches of Vietnam (Mui Ne) 3 nights

This laid-back resort stretches along a main coastal road and is home to a beautiful white-sand beach and a string of restaurants and shops.

Siem Reap 3 nights
Siem Reap is the gateway to Cambodia's magnificent Temples of Angkor and three nights in this buzzing city gives you plenty of time to explore the world-famous ruins.


Day 1: Siem Reap
On arrival, transfer to your hotel for an afternoon check-in. You have free time today to explore at your own pace. Approx. journey time: 25 minutes, 6 miles. Stay: Tara Angkor Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 2: Siem Reap
Travel to the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the most beautiful entrance of the five gates into the former capital of the Khmer empire. Later, visit of one of Cambodia’s most famous sights – Angkor Wat. Stay: Tara Angkor Hotel (or similar). B, L.

Day 3: Siem Reap
View the spellbinding temples of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samré. On your return to Siem Reap, stop at a local village and learn about the traditional agricultural practices of growing rice and collecting sugar (dependent on season). Later, visit Preah Khan and Neak Pean temples as well as Ta Prohm. Dinner tonight will be accompanied by an Apsara Dance Show. Stay: Tara Angkor Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Siem Reap
Today you’ll have the option to receive a blessing from a Buddhist monk, visit Theam’s House, and Les Senteurs d’Angkor, an artisanal craft shop where you can buy fragrant souvenirs. Depart for Siem Reap airport for your onward return flight to the UK. B.

2020

Mekong Delta Cruise & Phu Quoc 6 nights

Enjoy two nights cruising the Mekong Delta on board the charming Song Xanh Sampan before a beach break in Phu Quoc.

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Today you'll have a day at leisure. Stay: Caravelle Saigon Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 2: Cai Be & Sa Dec (Mekong Delta Cruise)

This morning you'll transfer from your hotel to Cai Be by road, and arrive at Phu An Jetty where you'll head out on a bicycle tour. You'll end up at Le Longanier Restaurant, an exquisite colonial-style riverside villa in tropical gardens, where you'll have lunch. After lunch, board the Song Xanh Sampan back at the jetty for a leisurely cruise along the Mekong Delta, with stops on the way to visit local cottage industries which make products from native ingredients such as rice and coconut, and at a traditional brick factory where everything is made by hand. Once you've reached Sa Dec you'll stroll to the outdoor market and visit the historic home of Mr. Hyun Thuy Le, who inspired Marguerite Duras’s novel, L’Amant (The Lover), where you can enjoy a candlelit dinner. Stay: Song Xanh Sampan (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 3: Sa Dec, Long Xuyen & Rach Gia (Mekong Delta Cruise)

Make your journey towards Long Xuyen along narrows canals, past rustic bridges and through scenic countryside. After lunch you'll arrive in Long Xuyen and visit Tiger Island, the birthplace of Vietnam's second president. Return to the sampan for dinner and continue towards Rach Gia. Stay: Song Xanh Sampan (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Rach Gia to Phu Quoc

After an early breakfast on board and arrival in Rach Gia at around 7am, you’ll disembark and transfer to the pier, take the speed boat to Phu Quoc and transfer to your hotel (approx. 3 hours) for a day at leisure. Stay: La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, MGallery by Sofitel (or similar). B.

Days 5-6: Phu Quoc

Enjoy a couple of days at leisure enjoying Phu Quoc's beautiful beaches. Stay: La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, MGallery by Sofitel (or similar). B.

Day 7: Phu Quoc to UK

Transfer from your hotel to Phu Quoc airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Ideal if you're planning a beach break but also want to visit some of Vietnam's key sights and experience the culture and history of this intriguing country.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 18 guests.

What to expect

• Some days involve a lot of travelling time on the road and some domestic flights
• Exploration on foot and by cyclo, bike, cruise boat and sampan boat
• Insect repellent and waterproofs are essential for the Mekong Delta cruise on Day 7 if you are travelling during the wet season (May-October).

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected comfortable hotels that are either centrally located for easy exploration of the main sights, or offer a quiet escape from the cities. The elegant Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi is located in the capital's evocative French Quarter, just a short stroll from Hoan Kiem Lake. During your overnight cruise in beautiful Halong Bay you can look forward to a comfortable and authentic stay on board the Bhaya Classic, a traditional-style wooden junk.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £405

Is this for you?

This tour is ideal for visiting some of Vietnam's key sights and experiencing the culture and history, particularly if you're short on time or want to extend.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 12)

• Average group size of 10 guests

• A maximum of 18 guests

• Journey times do not take into account stops or local traffic conditions

• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag

• A good level of fitness is required.

What to expect

• Busy days with lots of walking, so a pair of comfortable walking shoes is recommended

• Exploration on foot, cyclo bike, cruise and sampan boat

• A considerable amount of travelling with some early starts

• Insect repellent and waterproofs are essential for the Mekong Delta day cruise if travelling in the rainy season (Apr- Oct)

• Knees and shoulders need to be covered during temple visits.

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected comfortable hotels that are either centrally located for easy exploration of the main sights, or offer a quiet escape from the cities. The elegant Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi is located in the capital's evocative French Quarter, just a short stroll from Hoan Kiem Lake. During your overnight cruise in beautiful Halong Bay you can look forward to a comfortable and authentic stay on board the Bhaya Classic, a traditional-style wooden junk.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £405

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Feb 19; Mar 19; Apr 09; Jun 04; Oct 01; Nov 05

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders

• Hand-picked itineraries

• Flexible arrival times

• Small groups and a relaxed approach

• Porterage and guide tips

• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently

• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £469 per person

Excursions

Day-use room Pre-book a day-room on arrival or before your return flight

Tour dates

2020 Jan 14; Feb 18; Mar 17; Apr 07; May 05; Jun 02, 30; Aug 04; Oct 06; Nov 03

2021 Jan 12; Feb 15; Mar 16; Apr 06; May 04; Jun 01, 29; Aug 03; Oct 05; Nov 02

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders

• Hand-picked itineraries

• Flexible arrival times

• Small groups

• Porterage and guide tips

• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £469 per person

Excursions

Day-use room Pre-book a day-room on arrival or before your return flight

Special offer
From
£1879
 
SAVE UP TO £940 PER COUPLE
Price per person for 8 nights
This short group tour is perfect
for a first time visit to Vietnam
Small group tour departs 1 Oct 2019
 
Fly with Emirates from London Gatwick

Essential Vietnam

Kuoni highlights

This tour takes in the main cultural, historic and scenic highlights of Vietnam. Learn about the country's intriguing history while exploring cities, admire the natural beauty of Halong Bay during an overnight cruise, experience a flavour of the Mekong Delta during a day trip, and soak up the culture by meeting locals during a village visit. This tour has been designed to be combined with a relaxing stay in the popular beach resort of Mui Ne.

Kuoni highlights

This tour takes in the main cultural, historic and scenic highlights of Vietnam. Head out on a cyclo tour through the streets of Hanoi; take part in a sunrise t'ai chi session during your cruise through Halong Bay; and enjoy a cooking demonstration after a cruise along the Mekong River. This tour has been designed to be combined with a Phu Quoc beach extension or a sampan cruise plus Phu Quoc beach extension.