15 Days of Thorough Vietnam
About this experience
Visiting Vietnam is a truly unforgettable experience. The moment you get off the plane you’ll be hit with vibrant colours, charmed by friendly faces and welcomed into the rich and ancient culture of the Vietnamese. With some of the world’s most stunning geological sites, fascinating blend of ethnic minority cultures, ancient temples and tumultuous history, you might encounter difficulties deciding where to spend your time during your stay. This tour is designed to remove that burden from you by showcasing the best of what Vietnam has to offer and giving you a community-focused experience. Covering 1,616km along the S-shaped country from the capital Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city – “Pearl of the Far East” once it was called, the journey features only unique stops with authentic local culture, culinary delights and scenic landscapes. In the North, you will get to visit endangered primates in the beautiful Trang An. Down to the Central to explore one of the largest caves in the world and feel the breeze kissing your skin in the scenic drive crossing over Hai Van pass. In Central Highlands, wake up the sleeping barista in you while sampling some of the world’s best coffee. Mekong Delta region with its tangled river systems and hectic floating markets will definitely stun you.
- Visit three famous UNESCO world heritages in Vietnam with their poetic landscape and marvelous cave system
- Learn about the Vietnam war through a visit to once fierce battlefield and see the war through insiders’ eyes
- Visit Hue and Hoi An, another two famous UNESCO world heritages for their historical beauty and value
- Amazed by the spectacular nature of Vietnam Central Highlands and its rich culture.
- Feed your hunger of thrill with plenty of sporty activities such as trekking, bicycle race and rafting.
- Complete your explorative souls with cultural discover of Southern Vietnam in Mekong Delta
Your positive contribution
Livelihood Improvement and Responsible Tourism Promotion
This tour connects community-based tourism destinations into one program that partly contributes to improving the quality of life for local residences. The aim is to provide most authentic experiences possible for visitors while on the other hand, local people benefit from it. This is directly achieved through offering of homestay accommodations and other tourism-related services.
DAY 1: HA NOI – HA LONG BAY – NINH BINH (L/D)
After breakfast, you will go to Ha Long Bay, an iconic beauty spot and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will embark a 4-hour cruise on a sailing boat for an exploration of Ha long Bay which is dotted with some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the crystal, emerald waters. Along the way the boat will be anchored for you to enjoy a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. After Ha Long Bay, we will head to Ninh Binh, taking in the beautiful scenery on the way. Arrive in Ninh Binh and check in hotel. Dinner and overnight in Ninh Binh.
DAY 2: NINH BINH – NIGHT TRAIN TO DONG HOI (B/L/D)
About 150 kilometres from the famous Vietnamese bay where hundreds of islands form a natural wonder is another equally as impressive landscape – Trang An, or commonly known as “In-land Ha Long Bay”. After enjoying a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, we will take a boat up the beautiful river fed by natural springs and through caves that cut their way through amazing limestone karst mountains to visit an Ancient 10th Century pagoda and temple.
After your visit to Pagoda and Temple, it a great fun to take a bike for further exploration to Thung Nham Bird Garden. It is a quiet biking route on flat road & dams with a very nice scenery of mountains & local villages. The round trip is only about 10km long, ensuring enough time for dinner and shower in Ninh Binh town before boarding the overnight train to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Overnight on train. Make sure you get up early the next morning. Tracing the sunset from a moving train while enjoying your morning coffee is one of those tranquil moment you don’t wanna miss!
DAY 3: PHONG NHA NATIONAL PARK (B/L)
Phong Nha – Ke Bang is one of the largest National Parks in Vietnam and home to a large amount of wildlife, breathtaking scenery, crystal clear rivers and immense cave systems. After the discovery of Son Doong, the world’s largest cave in early 1990s, the area has drawn an ever-increasing attention from international audience.
Our first stop is Eight Lady Cave, a historical site witnessing the heartbreaking cruelty of the war. Story had it that a team of 8 paramilitary volunteers working on Route 20 highway during this tragic time died from a bomb attack that caused a massive rock to seal off the exit trapping them inside.
After lunch, we will visit the stunning Dark Cave by zipline or for the slightly less adventurous, kayaks. With only a head torch for light, we navigate our way in the darkness to the mud baths. Afterwards take a refreshing dip in the lake and wash all the mud away. An overnight stay in a local homestay will help you regain energy for the next days.
DAY 4: PHONG NHA NATIONAL PARK (B/L)
After an activity-packed day, today is free for you to cycle around & explore the town, check out the local life by the river or just chill out. You will be taken on a short but bumpy ride through the villages to homestay.
DAY 5: VINH MOC TUNNEL – THIEN MU PAGODA (B/L)
Vinh Moc is a tunnel complex in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The tunnels were built to shelter families from the intense bombings of the area during the American war. Over 600 people lived and 17 babies were born in these tunnels between 1965 and 1972. After lunch at a local restaurant we will visit the Mine Action Visitors Centre in Dong Ha. This centre looks at the effects of the war that still happens today, even after hostilities ended in 1975. After this you will arrive in Hue to discover Thien Mu pagoda. Standing seven storeys high, Thien Mu is the tallest pagoda in Vietnam. Built in 1601, this pagoda is rich in history and is a very important Buddhist site. Pat the stone turtle on his head for good luck. Overnight in Hue Serene Palace hotel.
DAY 6: HUE CITY TOUR AND BEACHES (B/L)
After breakfast, a visit to the Imperial Citadel awaits you. The majestic architecture, built by Gia Long, has faced destruction over the years during the fierce conflicts which took place here. The silent scars on these buildings tell the stories of the battles fought here.
Continue your trip into past as you visit Minh Mang Tomb, the final resting place of the 2nd emperor of Vietnam. This tomb is special in the way its architecture blends in seamlessly with its surroundings and landscape (King Minh Mang was a staunch believer in Confucianism). Hop back on the bus to head to the local beach to enjoy some lunch and some cocktails as you are swimming and enjoying the sunset. This spot is a real hidden gem! After dinner, you will spend another night in Hue.
DAY 7: HAI VAN PASS – HOI AN (L/D)
We depart Hue in the morning on a motorbike ride all the way to Hoi An. With many stops along the way, you will get to talk in beautiful beaches, coastline and the sparkling Elephant Springs. Make sure you have packed your swimming gear as this is a great place to relax, swim and enjoy lunch for a couple of hours. The journey then heads South to take in some breathtaking views as we ascend the famous Hai Van Pass where we will stop at the top to visit some French and American bunkers, the remnants of war times past. This road with all the drifts and curves overlooking the crystal blue ocean is not to be missed. When reaching Hoi An, you will get to freely explore this ancient town at night. Overnight in a hotel.
DAY 8: HOI AN OLD QUARTER (B/L)
After breakfast, you will take a leisurely bicycle ride through the picturesque bamboo groves to tranquil Tra Que village. Take a short stroll around the vegetable garden and listen to the history of the village. The countryside road also leads you to the river where you would have a ride on a coracle – the traditional basket boat that has become an integral part of fisherman life in Vietnam. After seeing the fun crab fishing, we will finish up with a fresh coconut by river bank. Wrap up the trip with either strolling through hundreds of tailor shops, art galleries and riverside market in the Old Town (which you didn’t have chance to see the previous day) or simply kicking back on the beach.
DAY 9: HOI AN – BUON ME THUOT (B/L)
For transportation on this day, you can choose whichever option you prefer:
Option 1: Take a night bus from Da Nang to Buon Me Thuot in day 8.
Option 2: Take a flight from Da Nang to Buon Me Thuot on the early morning (self-cost).
A big local Vietnamese breakfast is needed before exploring Buon Ma Thuot, the coffee capital of the world’s second biggest exporter of coffee. You will be heading to the famous Trung Nguyen coffee village where you can taste the coffee that brings fame to the land! After lunch, you will visit the famous waterfalls of D’ray Nur on the Krong Ana River, which is particularly impressive and photogenic during the rainy season. Visit an Ede ethic minority village near the falls to explore the Ede’s Matriarchal Society. Overnight in local homestay.
DAY 10: YOK DON NATIONAL PARK – DA LAT (B/L)
You will spend early morning to join the National Parks Elephant Conservation project team and meet the elephant caretakers to track the roaming elephants through the jungle. You will then walk them back to the park’s headquarter where they take you to the river for a swim before taking them to eat and get their health checked. After that, we head back to Buon Ma Thuot to enjoy a local specialty lunch before boarding our mini-bus to Da Lat, arriving in time for dinner of your choice.
DAY 11: ADVENTURE IN DA LAT (B/L)
Again, you can choose the option you like to explore Da Lat:
Option 1: One of the best ways to explore all Da Lat’s beauties, canyoning is the combination of sightseeing and plenty outdoor activities. This option gives you the chance to discover charming scenery pictured with waterfalls, hills, pine forest and other attraction. You will be fully equipped with best quality tools to overcome challenges of wilderness. At the end of day, you will get the achievement of excitement, courage and strength.
Option 2: Strap in for some adventure with the professional white water rafting crew and head to the river for the safety briefing before the tour guide take you for a thrilling adventure through the Da Lat countryside. After re-fueling at a village restaurant, you will be taken to a coffee farm where we can enjoy your moreish coffee sip in front of panoramic views of the coffee fields. Your time in Da Lat will be completed with a hunt for the best local dish for dinner and enjoying the town. Overnight stay in a hotel.
* White water rafting is seasonal depending on water levels. Please double check when booking.
DAY 12: DA LAT – MUI NE (B/L)
Free exploration this morning in Da Lat city before going to Mui Ne (lunch on the way). Da Lat sits at an altitude of 1,500 metres, while Mui Ne is at sea level. This provides plenty of opportunities to coast downhill through jungles and rice fields.
Upon arrival in Mui Ne, you will visit the white sand dunes which located by a lake. You can walk up the hill to feel the cool air or go up by a 4 wheels adventurous car. After visiting a fishing village and taking beautiful pictures, you will be brought to the hotel where you spend your night at.
DAY 13: MUI NE – HO CHI MINH CITY (B/L)
A lazy morning with breakfast around the pool is welcomed before we head out to Ho Chi Minh City. Lunch is served on the way. In Ho Chi Minh city, visit Ben Thanh market which is a large wholesale market in the centre of hustling District 1. The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and an important symbol of Ho Chi Minh City, popular with tourists seeking local handicrafts, textiles, áo dài and souvenirs, as well as local cuisine. Then, you can walk along Nguyen Hue Avenue in to enjoy the atmosphere of the most lively and vibrant city of Vietnam. Overnight stay in GK Central hotel.
DAY 14: MEKONG DELTA (B/L)
After the breakfast at the hotel, we head for the Mekong Delta, aptly known as Vietnam’s food bowl. This day will be a paradise if you’re a foodies: checking out local fish farms and fish markets by boat; meeting a local fruit farmer at his house where we can relax and enjoy some of the local fare; check out the coconut farms and watch them make the famous local coconut candy (seriously addictive!). After lunch you will take rowboats through narrow palm-shrouded channels before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for one last night in the city.
DAY 15: HO CHI MINH DEPARTURE (B)
After breakfast, there are no activities planned for the final day so you’re able to continue the rest of your journey at any time. If you’re still not ready to leave, why not extend a few more nights and discover more of what the city has to offer!
✓ Transportation as indicated in itinerary (A/C van, boat, train, bike)
✓ Accommodation (Homestay, hotel, night train)
✓ Experienced English speaking guide.
✓ 14 breakfasts & 14 lunches (indicated in the itinerary: B – Breakfast,
L – Lunch & D – Dinner)
✓ All activities (trekking, sightseeing, etc.)
✓ No extra charge after confirmation
✓ 24/7 hotline support guaranteed
✘ Personal expenses, tips and gratuities
✘ Travel insurance
✘ Other services not mentioned above
- Starting time: 7:30 a.m
- Meeting point: Your hotel in central Hanoi, please provide us the name and the address
- What to bring:
- Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable walking shoes.
- Take a small day pack for hiking and trekking.
- It is essential to bring your passport on this trip.
- We also recommend packing: insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat
- Bring warm clothes for winter season bookings
What's the weather like?
- From July to September, the climate is usually humid and hot.
- From October to June brings cooler and more pleasant weather.
Where does the tour start?