This fantastic introductory tour covers the main highlights of north, central and south Vietnam. Discover the incredible scenery at Halong Bay on an overnight cruise; head to the Mekong Delta – ‘the rice bowl of Vietnam’ – to soak up local life during a river cruise; and enjoy immersive local experiences in each city along the way.

• Hanoi: 2 nights
• Halong Bay: 1 night
• Hué: 2 nights
• Hoi An: 2 nights
• Ho Chi Minh City: 2 nights

11nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

This fantastic introductory tour covers the main highlights of north, central and south Vietnam – a historical and once turbulent land. Experience the stunning beauty of Halong Bay on an overnight cruise, soak up local life on the Mekong Delta, ‘the rice bowl of Vietnam’, during a river cruise, and enjoy immersive local experiences while discovering intriguing cultures.

• Hanoi: 2 nights
• Halong Bay: 1 night
• Hué: 2 nights
• Hoi An: 2 nights
• Ho Chi Minh City: 3 nights

12nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

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

Day 2: Hanoi Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. This evening, enjoy a traditional water puppet show before 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, his former residence – the One Pillar Pagoda – and the 11th-Century Temple of Literature. This afternoon, visit the iconic Ngoc Son Temple which occupies a tiny island on 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. Visit a traditional coffee shop to enjoy a taste of Vietnamese egg coffee, a sweet drink made with egg yolk and condensed milk, before embarking on a Street Eats tour. Begin at Bia Hoi corner where you can pull up a stool and enjoy a local beer. Continue through the Old Quarter, sampling street food while learning about traditions and mingling with locals. Enjoy a flame-grilled barbecue of beef, chicken, tofu and vegetables on skewers followed by a sweet treat from the city’s best-known ice-cream parlour. Stay: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Hanoi to Halong Bay Today is one of the tour’s highlights – a cruise in beautiful Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drive to Halong City (approx. 3 hours, 105 miles) and board a junk. Enjoy lunch while gliding past limestone peaks and islands in the bay. This afternoon, transfer by tender to the 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 demo before admiring the sunset over the bay. Dinner is served on board and you’ll have the chance to try squid fishing. Stay: Bhaya Cruise (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 5: Halong Bay to Hué 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 enjoy brunch as you make your way back to the harbour to disembark. Transfer to Hanoi airport (approx. 3 hours) for your evening flight to the Imperial City of Hué (approx. 1¼ hours). Stay: Pilgrimage Village (or similar). B.

Day 6: Hué A full day of cultural exploration begins with a cruise along the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the UNESCO-listed Imperial City, a walled fortress and palace that was the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. During a short cycling tour of the ancient village of Thuy Bieu you can enjoy a glimpse into local life. Join a local family in one of the city’s ancient garden houses – traditional timber houses set in landscaped gardens. Learn about their lifestyle and join them in preparing an authentic home-cooked meal, using fresh ingredients from the garden. Have a relaxing herbal footbath before heading back to the city and shopping for bargains at the historic Dong Ba Market. Stay: Pilgrimage Village (or similar). B, L.

Day 7: Hué to Hoi An Journey south to the charming town of Hoi An. The drive is incredibly picturesque, taking you past Lang Co Beach and over the winding Hai Van Pass, otherwise known as the ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds’ (approx. 3 hours, 75 miles). Weather permitting, the views of the coast, mountains and local villages are spectacular. Hoi An has a unique heritage and striking blend of French Colonial and Asian architecture. Begin your walking tour of this UNESCO-listed Ancient Town which was once a thriving port. Visit the beautifully ornate Fujian Assembly Hall and the Jinshang Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea. Pass the Old House of Tan Ky, the home of an 18th-Century merchant, and cross the iconic 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. End your afternoon with a relaxing boat trip along Thu Bon river. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort (or similar). B.

Day 8: Hoi An Enjoy a whole free day – relax on a white-sand beach, explore local art galleries or soak up the vibrant atmosphere during a stroll along the river bank. You can also enjoy an optional excursion to Ba Na Hills adventure park and the Golden Bridge. Hop on the cable car which connects the Suoi Mo and Ba Na stations, for picturesque views over rainforest and waterfalls. At the top of the hills you'll find a garden, restaurant, wine cellar, hiking train and castle, as well as a 37-metre-high Buddha statue. The Golden Bridge is the highlight though – curving and supported by a pair of huge stone hands, it has wonderful views over the surrounding hills and is a great spot for photos. Return to Toc Tien station via cable car then transfer back to your hotel in the afternoon. Stay: Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort (or similar). B.

Day 9: Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City Transfer to Danang (approx. 1 hour) for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approx. 1½ hours). A half-day city tour takes in the Central Post Office, which was designed by renowned French architect, Gustave Eiffel, and the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. Admire grand colonial buildings as you stroll along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) which featured in Graham Greene’s novel, The Quiet American. Stop at the Reunification Palace and discover the country’s turbulent past at the poignant War Remnants Museum. Stay: Caravelle Saigon Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City Journey southwest to the town of Cai Be in the heart of the Mekong Delta for another highlight – a cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Navigate a maze of narrow canals and visit a local family, watching as they use centuries-old methods to produce rice paper. Return to Ho Chi Minh City late afternoon and enjoy a farewell dinner on the Bonsai Cruise as it glides along the Saigon River. Stay: Caravelle Saigon Hotel (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City Today you’ll have the chance to explore the remarkable underground network of tunnels at Cu Chi which served as a hideout and home for scores of Vietnamese insurgents during the war (approx. 1½ hours). 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. B.


Stay longer

2021

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.

Cambodia & Laos Explorer 9 nights
Discover the best of neighbouring Cambodia and Laos on this captivating tour.

Cambodia & Laos Explorer and Thailand Explorer 18 nights
Combine Vietnam with two tours for an extensive adventure through South-East Asia's most popular regions.

Cambodia & Laos Explorer, Thailand Explorer, and Burma Encounter 28 nights
A 'trip of a lifetime' combining five of South-East Asia's most fascinating countries.

Siem Reap 3 nights
Siem Reap is the gateway to Cambodia’s magnificent Temples of Angkor. Enjoy a three-night tour of this buzzing city, with 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).

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.

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.

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.

Beaches of Vietnam (Phu Quoc) 3 nights
Enjoy a three-night stay at La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, MGallery by Sofitel and make the most of the superb sandy beaches on Vietnam's largest island.

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

Day 2: Hanoi
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. This evening, enjoy a traditional water puppet show before 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, his former residence – the One Pillar Pagoda – and the 11th-Century Temple of Literature. This afternoon, visit the iconic Ngoc Son Temple which occupies a tiny island on 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. Visit a traditional coffee shop to enjoy a taste of Vietnamese egg coffee, a sweet drink made with egg yolk and condensed milk, before embarking on a Street Eats tour. Begin at Bia Hoi corner where you can pull up a stool and enjoy a local beer. Continue through the Old Quarter, sampling street food while learning about traditions and mingling with locals. Enjoy a flame-grilled barbecue of beef, chicken, tofu and vegetables on skewers followed by a sweet treat from the city’s best-known ice-cream parlour. Stay: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Hanoi to Halong Bay
Today is one of the tour’s highlights – a cruise in beautiful Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Drive to Halong City (approx. 3 hours, 105 miles) and board a junk. Enjoy lunch while gliding past limestone peaks and islands in the bay. This afternoon, transfer by tender to the 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. A viist to Trinh Nu Cave offers a chance for sunbathing or swimming on a stunning private beach. Return to the ship to join a cooking demo before admiring the sunset over the bay. Dinner is served on board. Stay: Bhaya Cruise (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 5: Halong Bay to Hué
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 enjoy brunch as you make your way back to the harbour to disembark. Transfer to Hanoi airport (approx. 3 hours) for your evening flight to the Imperial City of Hué (approx. 1¼ hours). Stay: Pilgrimage Village (or similar). B.

Day 6: Hué
A full day of cultural exploration begins with a cruise along the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the UNESCO-listed Imperial City, a walled fortress and palace that was the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. During a short cycling tour of the ancient village of Thuy Bieu you can enjoy a glimpse into local life. Join a local family in one of the city’s ancient garden houses – traditional timber houses set in landscaped gardens. Learn about their lifestyle and join them in preparing an authentic home-cooked meal, using fresh ingredients from the garden. Have a relaxing herbal footbath before heading back to the city and shopping for bargains at the historic Dong Ba Market. Stay: Pilgrimage Village (or similar). B, L.

Day 7: Hué to Hoi An
Journey south to the charming town of Hoi An. The drive is incredibly picturesque, taking you past Lang Co Beach and over the winding Hai Van Pass, otherwise known as the ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds’ (approx. 3 hours, 75 miles). Weather permitting, the views of the coast, mountains and local villages are spectacular. Hoi An has a unique heritage and striking blend of French Colonial and Asian architecture. Begin your walking tour of this UNESCO-listed Ancient Town which was once a thriving port. Visit the beautifully ornate Fujian Assembly Hall and the Jinshang Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea. Pass the Old House of Tan Ky, the home of an 18th-Century merchant, and cross the iconic 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge. End your afternoon with a relaxing boat trip along Thu Bon river. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: Hoi An
Enjoy a whole free day. You may prefer to relax on a white-sand beach, explore local art galleries or soak up the vibrant atmosphere during a stroll along the river bank. Stay: Almanity Hoi An Resort & Spa (or similar). B.

Day 9: Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City
Transfer to Danang (approx. 1 hour) for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approx. 1½ hours). A half-day city tour takes in the Central Post Office, which was designed by renowned French architect, Gustave Eiffel, and the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral. Admire grand colonial buildings as you stroll along Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) which featured in Graham Greene’s novel, The Quiet American. Continue heading towards the Saigon River to see the elegant Saigon Opera House which sheltered French citizens fleeing North Vietnam in 1954. Stop at the Reunification Palace and discover the country’s turbulent past at the poignant War Remnants Museum. Stay: New World Saigon Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City
Journey southwest to the town of Cai Be in the heart of the Mekong Delta for another highlight – a cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Board your boat and witness life on and around the water as you pass floating markets. Navigate a maze of narrow canals and visit a local family, watching as they use centuries-old methods to produce rice paper. Stay: New World Saigon Hotel (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City
Today you’ll have the chance to explore the remarkable underground network of tunnels at Cu Chi which served as a hideout and home for scores of Vietnamese insurgents during the war (approx. 1½ hours). Return to the city this afternoon for time at leisure. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner on the Bonsai Cruise as it glides along the Saigon River. Stay: New World Saigon Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast, you have the day at leisure. You have the option of booking a day room 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. B.


Stay longer

2021

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.

Cambodia & Laos Explorer 9 nights
Discover the best of neighbouring Cambodia and Laos on this captivating tour.

Cambodia & Laos Explorer and Thailand Explorer 18 nights
Combine Vietnam with two tours for an extensive adventure through South-East Asia's most popular regions.

Cambodia & Laos Explorer, Thailand Explorer, and Burma Encounter 28 nights
A 'trip of a lifetime' combining five of South-East Asia's most fascinating countries.

Siem Reap 3 nights
Siem Reap is the gateway to Cambodia’s magnificent Temples of Angkor. Enjoy a three-night tour of this buzzing city, with 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).

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.

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.

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.

Beaches of Vietnam (Phu Quoc) 3 nights
Enjoy a three-night stay at La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc, MGallery by Sofitel and make the most of the superb sandy beaches on Vietnam's largest island.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Great if you're looking for an introductory tour which visits iconic sights and natural wonders such as Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta. It can easily be combined with a beach stay or exploration of Siem Reap in neighbouring Cambodia.

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
• This tour includes lots of walking and we recommend packing comfortable footwear

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
• Authentic local experiences
• 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 centrally located for sightseeing or offer a peaceful escape from the cities. Pilgrimage Village is a countryside retreat just outside of Hué. The charming rooms feature private balconies and facilities include a pool, spa and free yoga and t’ai chi classes. During your overnight Halong Bay cruise you can enjoy an authentic stay on board the Bhaya Classic, a traditional-style wooden junk.

Solo travellers

Single room supplement from £629

Is this for you?

This tour is great if you're looking for an overview of Vietnam which visits iconic sights and natural wonders such as Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta, along side the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. It can easily be combined with a beach stay or exploration of Siem Reap in neighbouring Cambodia.

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

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected comfortable hotels that are centrally located for sightseeing or offer a peaceful escape from the cities. Pilgrimage Village is a countryside retreat just outside of Hué. The charming rooms feature private balconies and facilities include a pool, spa and free yoga and t’ai chi classes. During your overnight Halong Bay cruise you can enjoy an authentic stay on board the Bhaya Classic, a traditional-style wooden junk. In Ho Chi Minh City, the New World Saigon Hotel, recently refurbished, is just steps from the famed Ben Thanh market.

Solo travellers

Single room supplement from £629

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2020 Jul 07; Oct 06; Nov 03

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 £565 per person

Excursions

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

Tour dates

2021 Jan 11; Feb 01, 22; Mar 08; Apr 12; Oct 04, 25; Nov 15\

2022 Jan 10, 31; Feb 14, 28; Mar 14; Apr 11; Oct 24; Nov 14\

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 £565 per person

Excursions

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

Special offer

SAVE UP TO £250 PER PERSON
  • Departs 12 Apr 2021

  • 12 nights

  • London Heathrow

  • Guaranteed departure

  • Maximum 18 guests

Insightful local tour leader, porterage & guide tips included. Also available as a private tour.

Fly with Thai Airways from London Heathrow

from £2299

per person

Kuoni highlights

On this tour you’ll get to see all of Vietnam’s main highlights, with an overnight cruise in enchanting Halong Bay and a full-day cruise on the iconic Mekong Delta, as well as city tours. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to soak up the local culture by visiting villages, spending time with local families and exploring the capital, Hanoi with a leisurely cyclo tour.

Kuoni highlights

On this tour you’ll get to see all of Vietnam’s main highlights, with an overnight cruise in enchanting Halong Bay and a full-day cruise on the iconic Mekong Delta, as well as city tours. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to soak up the local culture by visiting villages, time spent with local families, and experiences including a Hanoi Street Eats tour to sample some legendary Vietnamese cuisine.