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Best of Vietnam

See the best of Vietnam in 10 days on a north-to-south tour between the Red River and Mekong Delta.

Itinerary & Prices

10 Day / 9 Night - Best of Vietnam
itinerary map

Welcome to Hanoi!

Welcome to Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, often referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’, with its yellow ochre colonial buildings, tree-lined boulevards, and scenic lakes.

As soon as you deplane, the designated Immigration Officer and a guide will meet you at the end of the jet bridge or the entrance of the terminal. The officer will assist you with immigration procedures to make sure that the process is as quick as possible.

From the airport, you will be driven to your hotel in the city center. Enjoy the ride through the busy streets. After check-in at your hotel, take the rest of the day to relax, sleep in, and prepare for your exciting adventure in Vietnam.

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Hanoi City Tour

Your private guide will pick you up from the hotel right after breakfast.

Start by visiting Ho Chi Minh’s House, a simple wooden structure in a tranquil setting where famous country leader lived and worked.

Continue to the 6th century Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Hanoi, on a small island in West Lake.

Tour the 11th century Taoist Quan Thanh Temple highlighted by a large yard with giant banyan tree and a shrine of the principal deities in Taoism.

In the afternoon, visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first national university built in the late 11th century.

Back to central Hanoi for a 1hr cyclo tour through the famed Old Quarter known for its ‘36 streets of 36 wares’ named after the original 36 artisan guilds that date as far back as the 13th century. Explore the fascinating maze of back streets, fronted by narrow houses, a wonderfully eclectic glimpse into Hanoi street life.

Conclude the day by watching an entertaining water puppet performance, a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form said to have originated in the flooded rice fields of the Red River Delta. The show uses colorful wooden puppets to depict scenes of rural life and episodes of national history set to music. Back to the hotel in the late afternoon.

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Villages of Red River Delta

Travel to the photogenic Red River Delta village of Tho Ha via a 45min drive from Hanoi and a short ferry across the Cau River.

The Red River Delta is an agriculturally rich area producing 20% of Vietnam’s rice crop. Despite the increasing industrialization of the area, the village of Tho Ha has remained mostly unaffected by modern development.

Walk through the village’s narrow terracotta-tiled alleyways, a reminder of its history as one of Vietnam’s three oldest ceramic centers. Notice the many bamboo racks filled with drying rice paper, speaking to the current occupation of many of its inhabitants after the pottery industry faded. A visit here presents an authentic portrait of a typical Vietnamese village with some of the homes dating back more than a century.

Visit the 17th century Tho Ha Pagoda with its triple gate, belfry, and forecourt carved with dragons, clouds, and flowers. Enjoy a conversation with one of the residents to gain insights into life in the village before returning to Hanoi.

Hanoi to Red River Delta
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UNESCO Heritage Site and Natural Treasure

Early morning, your driver will bring you to the Jasmine meeting point, from where you will transfer by road to Halong Bay. Embark Jasmine before noon and get acquainted with the facilities on board as the ship sets sail for your Halong Bay experience.

We arrive at Cua Van, one of the last remaining floating fishing villages in Halong Bay, and which some fishermen still use as a base for their fishing and aquacultural activities. With a small bamboo boat rowed by locals, we have a look at the floating structures in this calm and secluded area to gain some insight into village life (optionally, kayak through the village).

Transfer to the nearby Tien Ong cave with the evidence of human civilization dating back to 10,000 – 8,000 BC.

Back on board and before dinner, join a cooking class by jasmine’s chef. After dinner, watch an intriguing presentation about the bay’s unique insights. Enjoy the quiet night in the middle of the world-famous bay.

Hanoi to Halong Bay
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Beautiful Hoi An and Beach Resort

For early risers, tea, coffee, and pastries are available in the dining room. A Tai Chi class is offered on the sun deck to awaken your mind and muscles. In the morning, Jasmine will set sail to the small Ti Top Island. Here, you can go for a refreshing morning swim on a sandy beach beneath towering rock formations or climb 400 stone steps to the island’s top and be rewarded with stunning, panoramic views over the bay.

Jasmine heads back to the harbor while breakfast is served. Return to Hanoi and transfer with a private driver to the airport, for your connection to Da Nang, where a local driver will escort you to the charming town of Hoi An. Settle in your beach resort and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Halong Bay to Hoi An
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Ancient Town Discoveries

Enjoy a leisurely morning on the beach and meet your guide after lunch for a walking tour around the charming town of Hoi An.

Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An known then as ‘Faifo’, was a prosperous trading port, attracting Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish ships amongst others. Today, this World Heritage ancient town is recognized for its well-preserved architecture, pedestrian-only streets, and distinctive local cuisine, allowing visitors a glimpse of its illustrious past.

Hoi An’s narrow lanes are ideal for a guided walking tour of its many atmospheric sights including the old merchant houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture; the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge; the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its intricate woodcarvings; and the colorful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk, which can be turned into fashionable garments within a day or two.

Make sure to stay in the old town for dinner and enjoy the beauty of the colorful lanterns decorating all Hoi An streets.

Hoi An
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Royal Hue and Its Citadel

In the morning, depart Hoi An for a 3.5hr drive to Hue over scenic Hai Van Pass crossing over a spur of the Truong Son mountain range jutting into the sea.

Once the imperial capital of the Nguyen emperors from the 17th to the 19th centuries, Hue is home to splendid emperors’ tombs, ancient pagodas, and the remains of the Citadel which contribute to its undeniable royal charm.

Explore the Imperial Citadel at the center of the Complex of Hue Monuments inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

In the afternoon, drive to the Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue’s best-preserved religious monument. Built in 1601, the seven-story pagoda is situated on a hilltop overlooking the Perfume River and is one of Vietnam’s most recognizable icons.

Conclude your day of exploration at the Royal Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh with a remarkable blackened concrete exterior and colorful mosaic interior. Drive back to Hoi An via the Hai Van Tunnel in the late afternoon.

Hoi An to Hue
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Flight to Saigon and Evening Vespa Food Adventure

Meet your driver after breakfast for a ride back to Da Nang and your flight to bustling Saigon.

Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver for a transfer to the hotel in the city center. Settle in and let yourself explore the neighborhood a bit before we see you in the early evening for the Vespa food adventure.

The darker the night gets, the more vivid Saigon becomes! Discover the life of the city after sunset, and listen to the stories of Saigon from its golden days of the 1960s to its modern days.

Stop at some of the street food stalls, restaurants, and bars. Uniquely customized for curious minds who love to get their footprints off the beaten track, the flexible menu introduces you to different courses including the most popular local delicacies, coffee, and signature cocktails tasting.

Let us know your special interest and we can customize a unique route to fulfill your appetite.

Hoi An to Saigon
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Visit Cu Chi Tunnels

Your guide will meet you right after breakfast for a 2hr drive to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps.

The tunnels also served as living quarters, communication and supply routes, and housed hospitals, food, and weapons caches.

Touring the underground compounds will provide a better understanding of the history of the tunnels, the hardship of life in the tunnels, and the Vietnamese resilience during combat.

Return to Saigon in time for late lunch. We recommend exploring Saigon’s downtown and discovering its

Saigon to Cu Chi Tunnels
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At the right time,  the driver will meet you for the last time, for your 30-min drive to the Saigon International Airport. Farewell!

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