Vietnam North to South
13 Days / 12 Nights
Visit Hanoi, then experience remote northern villages, pagodas, tea plantations and rice fields. Explore the countryside by bike, then spend a night cruising Halong Bay. Continue to Hue, where you will visit the local market in a nearby village, cook your own lunch, and explore the countryside. Explore ancient Hoi An, the busy Ho Chi Minh City, before heading to the Mekong Delta. An amazing tour. Not to be missed.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Vietnam with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Hanoi (-/L/-)
At the airport welcome by your English speaking guide and transfer to your hotel. Freshen up and continue with a short sightseeing in the afternoon around Ba Dinh square. Have lunch in a local restaurant. Visit the temple of Literature, constructed in 1070, a symbol of the feudal education in Vietnam, a perfect image of the Vietnamese traditional architecture. This temple has been the spiritual and intellectual center of the country since it's early days. At first only the royal family and the higher court had access to this school but after some time the whole country was eligible to attend even though passing the exam was known to be extremely difficult. Drive past the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, a Stalinist style mausoleum constructed between 1973 and 1975 still holding the remains of the Vietnamese leader.
Visit the one pillar Pagoda famous for its original construction entirely in teak emerging from a pond.
The rest of the evening is free to discover the old quarter at your leisure. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2. Hanoi - Duong Lam - Xom Ai - Mai Chau (B/L/D)
Transfer to Duong Lam, an ancient village nearby Hanoi.
After arrival discover the village and the peaceful countryside scenery by bike. Visit the Mung Phu communal house built during the 18th century, the red soiled alleyways, the Mia Pagoda built in 1632 and hosting around 300 buddha statues.
Homestay lunch in the village.
Departure to Mai Chau through fascinating landscapes: cassava fields, tea plantations, rice fields...
On the way, stop in a village populated by the Thai ethnic minority, warm meeting with the locals and quick stroll in the village. Back on the road towards Mai Chau and check-in at an ecolodge surrounded by amazing natural scenery.
Dinner at the ecolodge. Overnight at the ecolodge.
Day 3. Mai Chau - Ninh Binh (B/L/D)
Departure for Ninh Binh through various landscapes with many typical villages.
On the way, visit the ancient capital of Vietnam, Hoa Lu: the temples of the Dinh and Le Kings.
Lunch of regional delicacies in a local restaurant followed by a boat trip along the Ngo Dong River. The cruise will last about 2 hours and you will visit 3 fabulous caves.
Later explore the countryside by bicycle. You will explore quiet and beautiful landscapes with trees on the roadsides, ducks swimming in rivers, buffalos in rice fields… Dinner in a local restaurant.
Overnight in Ninh Binh.
Day 4. Ninh Binh - Halong Bay (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards Ha Long and its world-famous bay. Board the junk to start your cruise.
Seafood lunch while the junk sails between islands and islets. Explore the Thien Canh Son cave, one of the most beautiful caves in the bay. Relax on a sandy beach in the afternoon then continue your cruise.
View the sunset from the deck, then have a delicious seafood dinner on board.
If you wish you can try yourself at squid fishing directly from the rear of the junk. Overnight on board.
Day 5. Halong Bay - Hanoi - Overnight Train - Hue (B/L/-)
The sunrise is the best time to photograph Halong Bay and to practice Tai Chi on the deck in a natural environment.
Breakfast on board. Board small boat to discover the fishermen's floating villages. You will see small schools, houses, health posts... Brunch on board while sailing back to the pier throughout the magnificent karst stones.
Transfer back to Hanoi, and if time permits, stop along the way in Dong Trieu village known for its ceramics.
Arrival in Hanoi and dinner at leisure. Transfer to the train station to board your overnight train towards Hue.
Overnight on the train, tourist class (4 bunks per cabin).
Day 6. Hue (B/L/-)
Early arrival in Hue, transfer to a small hotel for a shower and breakfast.
Visit the Citadel: constructed in Vauban style with local materials during the last Vietnamese dynasty. It is surrounded by a 10km long wall, 10 doors and 24 bastions. You will continue to explore the Imperial city, located in the heart of the Citadel, by walking through the magnificent door of noon and the golden bridge constructed over a gold watered pond which is filled with red fishes and water hyacinths. Finally, you will end the discovery of the Imperial City by the visit of the Palace of Supreme Harmony. Lunch of Hue’s specialties in a family restaurant on the banks of the Perfume River. Boat ride on the Perfume River and discovery of local life on the river bank. Visit of the Thien Mu pagoda then transfer to the hotel, check-in and rest of the day at leisure.
Dinner at leisure. Night at the hotel.
Day 7. Hue - Cooking Experience - Hoi An (B/L/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning at leisure until 10am, transfer to a village nearby Hue where you will be greeted by a family. Head to the local market with the cook of the family to choose fresh ingredients for your upcoming lunch. Back to the house where you will be taught how to prepare traditional dishes from central Vietnam.
Enjoy the dishes for lunch you just prepared.
After lunch explore the surroundings by bike. Rice fields, cattle, flower fields, in a typical countryside scenery among locals. Stop in a local house where you will be taught how to make paper flowers, a product well appreciated by the Vietnamese. Continue by car towards Sinh village where you will meet a local celebrity, Mr. Ky Huu Phuoc. He is a master in the art of drawing on rice paper and he will show you this art.
Continue to Hoi An, via the famous mandarin road from the old imperial capital to Danang, via the famous Hai Van Pass, a climate barrier, which offers magnificent views of the sea on the eastern side of Danang and the Lang Co peninsula of Hue. Arrival, check-in at your hotel. Dinner at leisure.
Ovenight in a hotel in Hoi An.
Day 8. Hoi An (B/L/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards Tra Que village, well-known for its organic agriculture and its aromatic herbs.
Walk among the fields where you will be introduced to the farming technics of the locals, they still work in the traditional way. You will then step in the shoes of a local farmer and try out those technics you just learned.
Continue to a local home for a homestay lunch.
Walking tour around Hoi An old town:
The covered market that goes down to the river, offers all types of fresh or dried goods.
The Fujian sanctuary devoted to the Thien Hau goddess, protector goddess of fishermen and sailors, sheltered goddess statues and her two assistants. The Phuc Thanh pagoda, oldest pagoda of Hoi An (1454), founded by a Chinese monk, contains a Buddha statue and beautiful ritual objects.
The Japanese covered bridge built in 1593 has become the symbol of the city.
The Chinese Phuoc Kien Communal House built in 1792 is dedicated to Thien Hau, the protector goddess of fishermen and sailors. This sanctuary has beautiful statues of the goddess and her two assistants. The Traditional Tan Ky house whose architecture and decoration reflects the prosperity of the merchants of Hoi An enjoyed hundreds of years ago.
Dinner at leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 9. Hoi An - Danang - Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/D)
Transfer to Danang airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam Airlines. Arrival to Ho Chi Minh. Transfer to downtown. Lunch according to the flight schedule. Discover the colonial districts and the main historic sites of the city:
The central post office: constructed between 1886 and 1891, this building is a real footprint of the French. It was designed
by Gustave Eiffel’s workshop and is inspired by Parisian buildings. The Notre Dame Cathedral: This red bricked cathedral is one of the landmarks of the city. It was constructed by the French between 1877 and 1880.
Photo stop in front of the Reunification Palace. Walking tour in the lively Dong Khoi Street to the Municipal Theatre, the historic Continental Hotel, on the banks of the Saigon River, City Hall, Ben Thanh Market …
Check-in to your hotel.
In the evening continue your tour in the Chinese district also known as Cholon. The atmosphere in this district is very hectic as it is full of small businesses. Visit of the local market, the Binh Tay, where you can find everything from food to textile. Walk in the narrow streets filled with shops selling traditional medicine products and then visit of the impressive Thien Hau Pagoda. Dinner in Saigon, choice between a dinner cruise or barbecue depending on weather.
Overnight at the hotel in downtown: convenient for night walks.
Day 10. Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Cho Lach (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to the Mekong Delta.
Board your boat and visit a traditional brick factory followed by a factory where objects are made from coconut fibers.
Continue your tour by bike, get in touch with the local way of life passing through schools, rice fields, orchards…
Lunch in a garden where you will discover the Mekong Delta’s specialty; “elephant ears” fish.
Continue to Cho Lach. Visit Mr. Nam Hien’s countryside cottage, a typical one along the Mekong Delta. Watch the
preparation of traditional dishes, which will be served for dinner.
Apéritif with the host family. Dinner with duck cooked in coconut milk, a house specialty.
Overnight in the cottage, private room.
Day 11. Cho Lach - Can Tho (B/L/-)
Breakfast at the cottage. Bike ride to Cho Lach’s local market, to observe the local life and discover the delta’s variety of fruits and vegetables. Cycle through little streets, fruit gardens, countryside to learn about traditional life in the region.
Lunch at the cottage, typical meal with agricultural products from the region.
Continue towards Can Tho, the capital of the delta.
On the way visit of the ancient house of Binh Thuy, typical architecture of the colonial era. Arrive in Can Tho and check-in to your hotel. Dinner at leisure. Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 12. Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City (B/L/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Early departure for a small cruise on the river towards Cai Rang floating market, the most hectic of the Delta, full of fresh products such as bananas, rice, mangos, meat or fish. There are around 10,000 rowboats each day.
Taste fresh pineapples and different fruits in an exotic atmosphere.
Lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon transfer to Ho Chi Minh City.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Dinner at leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Optional evening tour: “Saigon by night” on a Vespa
To start off this Saigon night tour, enjoy drinks at our Vespa-themed café, Café Zoom, to watch “the world go by”. Throughout the night, try a variety of food and drinks at 2 local restaurants and sample Saigon’s best authentic local food. Zoom past the famous must-see sights of Ho Chi Minh City while in the bustling traffic. We’ll also go to
a Vietnamese-style coffee shop with special live music, and then wrap up the evening at an exciting music bar where the new generation of Vietnamese unwind and flaunt their unique styles.
Day 13. Ho Chi Minh City - Departure (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS FROM £ request a quote...
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Accommodation on a twin-sharing basis
Transfers and tours with local English-speaking driver guide in private air-conditioned vehicle
All entrance fees as mentioned in the program
Meals as mentioned in the program without drinks (B/L/D) = (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Vietnam. Domestic flights. Request a quote from us.
Anything not specifically mentioned above.
Optional tours, camera fees.
Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
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