This fantastic introductory tour covers the main attractions of Vietnam – a historical and once turbulent land. Discover captivating cities, intriguing cultures and stunning natural beauty while enjoying views from the seat of a traditional cyclo (three-wheeled bicycle), an overnight cruise in beautiful Halong Bay, a Mekong Delta river cruise, and more usual methods of transport.

• Hanoi: 2 nights

• Halong Bay: 1 night

• Hué: 2 nights

• Hoi An: 2 nights

• Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): 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 (Saigon): 2 nights

11nights 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 in the city, transfer to your hotel. If you can’t wait to explore then you can head out and lose yourself in the alleys of the nearby Old Quarter or enjoy an optional cyclo tour around Hoan Kiem Lake, through the maze of streets that make up Hanoi’s quaint Old Quarter. Or if you’d rather catch up on your sleep before sightseeing then there’s the option to book a day room. This evening you can look forward to a traditional water puppet show before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant. Cha cha is a 200-year old northern speciality made with white fish, green vegetables, rice, noodles and saffron-infused oils. Stay: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi (or similar). D.

Day 3: Hanoi This morning visit the One Pillar Pagoda, the monumental marble mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and the Temple of Literature. This afternoon you’ll get to explore the Old Quarter in a fun and interactive way. A local guide will brief you about the area before equipping you with a map, some basic Vietnamese phrases and some local currency and sending you on your way. You’ll set off in a small group on a scavenger hunt-style quest to find certain objects, source souvenirs and bargain with local vendors before meeting up with the rest of the group for local refreshments. Stay: Mövenpick Hotel Hanoi (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Hanoi to Halong Bay Today is one of the tour’s highlights – a cruise in beautiful Halong Bay. Drive to Halong City (approx. 3½-4 hours) to board a junk and enjoy lunch onboard whilst gliding past limestone peaks and islands. This afternoon, explore Sung Sot Cave, also known as Surprise Cave, and go swimming or hiking on Titov Island. Return to the ship to join a cooking demo and fruit-carving demo as you cruise to Ho Dong Tien. Enjoy happy hour and a cooking demo before dinner. This evening there is an opportunity to try squid fishing on the deck. 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 breakfast, continue cruising the bay and visit Dark and Light Cave by traditional bamboo boat or kayak (subject to availability). Reboard the ship and enjoy brunch as you make your way back to the harbour to disembark and transfer to Hanoi airport (approx. 3½-4 hours) for your evening flight to the Imperial City of Hué. Stay: Pilgrimage Village (or similar). B, L.

Day 6: Hué Enjoy a full day of cultural exploration, beginning with a short cycling tour to a nearby village. Visit local handicraft workshops before being welcomed by a friendly family in one of the city’s ancient garden houses – traditional timber houses set in tranquil landscaped gardens. Learn about their lifestyle and traditions and join them in preparing an authentic home-cooked meal, using fresh ingredients from the garden.

Enjoy a relaxing herbal footbath before taking a cruise along the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda and the magnificent UNESCO-listed Imperial City, a walled fortress and palace that was the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. Seek out some bargains at the historic Dong Ba Market. Stay: Pilgrimage Village (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 7: Hué to Hoi An Journey south to the charming town of Hoi An. The drive is incredibly picturesque, taking you past beautiful Lang Co beach and over the winding Hai Van Pass, otherwise known as the ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds’. Weather permitting, the views of the coast, mountains and local villages are truly spectacular.

Hoi An boasts a unique heritage and striking blend of French-colonial and Asian architecture. Begin your tour of this UNESCO-listed Ancient Town which was once a thriving port.

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. Pass the Old House of Tan Ky, which was 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: Victoria Hoi An (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: Hoi An Today you can choose to spend the whole day at leisure or take part in an optional experience. Join a popular cookery class at the renowned Red Bridge Cooking School in the morning which includes a visit to the market to choose your ingredients, and lunch. If you’ve chosen to have some time to yourself then you could relax on a white-sand beach, explore local art galleries or just wander along the river bank. Stay: Victoria Hoi An (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. 1¼ hours). Learn about Vietnam’s history during a visit to the thought-provoking War Remnants Museum. See touches of colonial architecture in the buildings and watch the streets throng with a million mopeds as you continue to the Reunification Palace and the Central Post Office. Look for some hidden gems at a local market selling antiques and wartime memorabilia before enjoying an evening at leisure. Stay: Windsor Plaza Hotel (or similar). B, L.

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City 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. Along the way, stop to visit a local Cao Dai temple which is home to a blend of religions including Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity. Board your boat for the chance to witness life on and around the water. 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.

Continue with a cycling tour around the village, stopping to visit families that use coconut leaves to thatch roofs, weave hyacinth products, and make net 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 demo. Ride a boat back to Cai Be and return to Ho Chi Minh City. Stay: Windsor Plaza 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). 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. B.


Stay longer

Beaches of Vietnam (Mũi Né) 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 bustling 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, L, D.

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.


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.

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. If you’d like to catch up on your sleep before any sightseeing then you can book a day room. 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. 3½-4 hours) and board a junk. Enjoy lunch whilst gliding past limestone peaks and islands in the bay. This afternoon, transfer by tender to the Tien Ong cave where human bones and artifacts 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 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. 3½-4 hours) for your evening flight to the Imperial City of Hué. 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, D.

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’. 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 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. 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 Resort & Spa (or similar). B.

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. 1¼ 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: Amena Residence & Suites (or similar). B.

Day 9: Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Transfer to Danang (approx. 1 hour) for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approx. 1¼ 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: Amena Residence & Suites (or similar). B.

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) 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. Continue through a maze of narrow canals to visit a local family and watch 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: Amena Residence & Suites (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) 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. 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

Beaches of Vietnam (Mũi Né) 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 bustling 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, L, D.

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.


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.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Perfect for first-time visitors keen to discover iconic sights and natural wonders such as Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta but at a leisurely pace with some free time and a full day at leisure in charming Hoi An.

Good to know

• All departures are guaranteed
• 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 late arrivals at your hotel
• Exploration on foot and by cyclo, bike, cruise boat and sampan boat
• Time at leisure to relax or explore
• Insect repellent and waterproofs are essential for the Mekong Delta cruise on Day 10 if you are travelling during the wet season (May-October)
• The itinerary may be subject to change due to weather conditions and the season.

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected comfortable hotels that are centrally located for sightseeing or offer a peacfeul escape from the cities. Pilgrimage Village is a tranquil countryside retreat just outside of Hué. The charming rooms each feature a private balcony and facilities include a pool, spa and free yoga and t’ai chi classes. The Windsor Plaza is located outside of the centre of Ho Chi Minh City for a more relaxing experience but there is a free shuttle to the city and the hotel has a rooftop restaurant and bar offering 360-degree views of the city, and a rooftop pool.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £658

Is this for you?

Great for those 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)
• 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 late arrivals at your hotel
• Exploration on foot and by cyclo, bike, cruise boat and sampan boat
• Time at leisure to relax or explore
• Insect repellent and waterproofs are essential for the Mekong Delta cruise on Day 10 if you are travelling during the wet season (May-October)
• The itinerary may is subject to change due to weather conditions and the season.

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.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £629

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2018
Aug 14; Oct 02; Nov 06; Dec 04

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 £385 per person

Excursions

Day 2: Hanoi Cyclo Tour from £18 per person
Day 8: Cooking Class from £59 per person

Day-use room Pre-book a day-room on arrival or before your return flight from £77 per person.

Tour dates

2019 Jan 08; Feb 12, 26; Mar 05, 12; Apr 16, 30; Jun 11; Oct 08; Nov 05,12

2020 Jan 07; Feb 04; Mar 03; Apr 14; Jun 09; Jul 07; Sep 08; Oct 06; Nov 10

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 £565 per person

Excursions

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

Special offer
From
£2539
 
WINTER ESCAPE
Price per person for 11 nights
Discover captivating cities, and enchanting natural
beauty, including an overnight cruise in Halong Bay
Small group tour departs 26 Feb 2019
 
Fly with Qatar Airways from London Gatwick

Highlights of Vietnam

Kuoni highlights

On this tour you’ll get to see all of the highlights as well as experience a flavour of the Mekong Delta during a day trip before returning to your comfy and contemporary hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Soak up the local culture with culinary experiences, an interactive city tour, short cycling tours in small villages and by spending time with local families. There’s also a full day at leisure in Hoi An with an optional cooking class.

Kuoni highlights

On this tour you’ll get to see all of the 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 with village visits, time spent with local families, and experiences including a Hanoi Street Eats tour to sample some legendary Vietnamese cuisine.

Request a brochure

Escorted Touring 2018/19