12 days Best of Vietnam

Day 1: Pick up upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh airport

Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City Airport, we will be transferred to our hotel in the centre. During our free time, we plan to wander around the city. The night is spent in the hotel.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Cao Dai Temples - Cu Chi Tunnels

This morning, we will visit the War Museum and the Renification Palace. This is followed by a drive to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh. Cao Dai Temples often feature ornate and colorful architectural designs. The exteriors are adorned with intricate details, including multi-colored dragons, Buddhist symbols, and the all-seeing holy eye, which is the symbol of the Cao Dai sect.

The temples are equally captivating. They typically house statues of revered figures from various religions, such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Confucius, and Laozi. In Cao Dai you may have the opportunity to observe religious ceremonies and rituals, including colorful processions, prayers, and meditative practices.
After Cao Dai Temples we continue our journey to the Cu Chi Tunnels.

At its peak, the tunnel system extended over 250 km from Saigon to the Cambodian border and spanned three levels deep. The network comprised numerous trap doors, specially constructed living quarters, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers, and kitchens. Upon arrival in Cu Chi we experience the underground life during the Vietnam War. As the day draws to a close we return to Ho Chi Minh City for the night in the same hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Fly to Da Nang - Hoi An

Departing from Ho Chi Minh City between 7:15 am and 7:30 am, we will head southward to Ben Tre. Along the way, we will make a brief stop at the Vinh Trang Pagoda to admire its beauty. Continuing on to Ben Tre, we will arrive and board a boat to explore the intricate waterways of the Mekong Delta. As we navigat we will pass by mango groves and lush fruit orchards, immersing ourselves in the natural beauty of the region.

Renowned as the rice bowl of Vietnam, the fertile delta is a hub for cultivating rice, tropical fruits, and flowers that supply the entire country. As we journey along the canal, we will be treated to breathtaking scenic views. Along the way, we will make occasional stops to sample the succulent crops of the delta, engage with the local people, and observe the various industries thriving along the riverbanks.

Additionally, we will enjoy a leisurely bicycle ride along the banks of the Mekong River. Here, coconut palms, rice fields, orchards, and charming stilted houses adorn the riverbanks, while the waterway bustles with boats of all shapes and sizes. Our journey continues to Ho Chi Minh City airport for boarding a flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival we are picked up and transferred to Golden Pearl Hotel for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 4: Hoi An - My Son Temples

After breakfast we can experience a blend of historical, cultural, and architectural treasures. Here are some highlights of what we can see: Ancient Houses: Explore well-preserved ancient houses, each showcasing unique architectural styles influenced by Chinese, Japanese, and European cultures, Japanese Covered Bridge: Admire the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, a symbol of Hoi An. This 18th-century bridge features intricate carvings and offers picturesque views of the Thu Bon River. Assembly Halls: Visit the Assembly Halls, which served as meeting places for Chinese ethnic groups.

We also wander through the narrow, winding streets lined with preserved colonial buildings, colorful lanterns, and traditional shop-houses selling handicrafts, souvenirs, and local cuisine. These halls are adorned with elaborate decorations, statues, and altars dedicated to various deities. Temples and Pagodas: Discover temples and pagodas scattered throughout the town, such as the Fujian Assembly Hall and Quan Cong Temple, known for their ornate architecture and religious significance.

In the afternoon, we head to My Son Temples, situated in a lush valley. My Son was once a capital and religious center of the Cham people and is now adorned with red brick towers and sanctuaries. Regarded as being in the same league as some of Southeast Asia’s greatest archaeological sites, including Angkor in Cambodia, Bagan in Myanmar, Ayutthaya in Thailand, and Borobudur in Indonesia, these towers and sanctuaries were constructed between the 7th and 13th centuries. Following our visit to My Son Temples, we will return to Hoi An and spend the night at the same hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 5: Hoi An - Hue

Departing from Hoi An, our journey takes us to Da Nang, where we will explore the Marble Mountains, followed by a visit to My Khe Beach and the Hai Van Pass. The Marble Mountains, located near Da Nang in Vietnam, are a cluster of five limestone and marble hills. These mountains are known for their natural beauty, sacred caves, and historic pagodas. We can discover the caves and pagodas and discover the intricate marble sculptures and statues crafted by local artisans.

The Marble Mountains are also significant for their spiritual and religious significance, with several Buddhist sanctuaries and shrines scattered throughout the area. After exploring the Marble Mountains, we will unwind and relax on the pristine shores of My Khe Beach. With its soft white sands, crystal-clear waters, and gentle waves, My Khe Beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the coastline.

Next, we will embark on a scenic drive along the Hai Van Pass. This iconic mountain pass offers breathtaking views of the coastline and surrounding landscapes. As we wind our way along the steep cliffs and lush green hills, we will have the opportunity to stop at various lookout points to admire the panoramic vistas and capture memorable photographs. The Hai Van Pass is not only a stunning natural attraction but also holds historical significance as a strategic military route. As we traverse this picturesque route, we will experience the beauty and majesty of Vietnam's coastal scenery.

Finally, our journey leads us to the historic city of Hue. As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue is steeped in rich history, cultural heritage, and architectural wonders. Here, we will have the opportunity to explore ancient citadels, royal tombs, and ornate pagodas that reflect the city's royal past. With its tranquil Perfume River, vibrant markets, and delicious cuisine, Hue offers an impressive blend of old-world charm and modern vitality. Our arrival in Hue marks the beginning of our discovery of this fascinating city's treasures. Tonight we settle in with a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 6: Hue sightseeing - Fly to Hanoi

Hue is home to Vietnam’s royal treasures, boasting hundreds of monuments and ruins that transport us back in time. Our excursion begins with a leisurely stroll to the Imperial Citadel, a fortress housing both the Imperial City and the Forbidden Purple City within its walls. In the afternoon, we will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, an enduring symbol of Hue dating back to 1601 and still an active Buddhist monastery.

During our free time, a visit to Dong Ba Market offers a glimpse into local life, with its array of locally made goods, fresh produce, and enticing street food. Next, we will journey to the royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, nestled amidst a tranquil landscape of lakes, frangipani bushes, and pine trees. As the day winds down, we will head to Hue Airport to catch a flight to Hanoi. Upon our arrival at Hanoi Airport, our driver will be waiting to greet us and escort us to the hotel for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 7: Hanoi sightseeing

Our day of sightseeing in Hanoi begins with a visit to the solemn Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, a revered monument honoring the country's beloved leader. As we pay our respects, we also explore the nearby Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh's living quarters, gaining insight into his life and legacy. Our journey continues with a visit to the iconic One Pillar Pagoda, a symbol of Vietnamese spirituality and architectural splendor.

Our exploration of Hanoi continues with a visit to the serene Temple of Literature, a revered symbol of Vietnam's rich cultural and educational heritage. As we step through its ancient gates, we're transported back in time to a place of profound significance. Founded in 1076 as the country's first university, the Temple of Literature served as a center of learning and scholarship for generations of scholars and intellectuals. Today, it stands as a testament to Vietnam's enduring commitment to education and enlightenment.

Continuing our journey, we venture to the Museum of Ethnology, a vibrant showcase of Vietnam's diverse ethnic minority groups. Through its colorful exhibits, both indoors and outdoors, we gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural mosaic that defines the nation. Continuing our exploration, we take a stroll through the enchanting alleyways of Hanoi's Old Quarter, where guilded streets lead us to the bustling Dong Xuan Market. Here, we witness the vibrant hustle and bustle of daily life, immersing ourselves in the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Old Quarter.

As the afternoon draws to a close, we take in the architectural splendor of Hanoi's French-colonial buildings and unwind with a leisurely stroll along the picturesque shores of Hoan Kiem Lake. Surrounded by lush greenery and ancient temples, the lake offers a tranquil oasis in the heart of the bustling city. In the evening, we attend water puppet show, a tradition that dates back centuries. Accompanied by traditional Vietnamese music, the enchanting performance brings to life scenes from rural Vietnam with its charm and artistry. After the show, we return to our hotel for the night. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 8: Hanoi - Ninh Binh

Departing Hanoi from your hotel between 7:30 am to 7:45 am we journey into the countryside to Ninh Binh then onto Van Long Nature Reserve. Van Long Nature Reserve is renowned for its largest nature reserve in Vietnam. Immerse yourself in the picturesque scenery as you enjoy a rowing boat ride along the nature reserve, amidst towering limestone peaks and serene backwaters.

Then, we journey to Cuc Phuong National Park, situated in Ninh Binh Province. Spanning over 200 square kilometers, Cuc Phuong is renowned as Vietnam's most celebrated national park, boasting a rich tapestry of biodiversity. As we venture into the park's verdant expanse, following scenic hiking trails we see diverse flora and fauna. Admire ancient and towering trees, vibrant flowers, and lush foliage or listen to the calls of exotic birds.

Continuing our exploration of Cuc Phuong National Park, we visit the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre and the Turtle Conservation Centre. These vital facilities provide invaluable insight into the ongoing conservation efforts dedicated to safeguarding endangered primate species and freshwater turtles.

At the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre, we have the opportunity to observe and learn about the various primate species native to Vietnam, many of which are critically endangered. Through educational programs and guided tours, we gain a deeper understanding of the challenges these primates face and the conservation initiatives aimed at their protection and rehabilitation.

Similarly, at the Turtle Conservation Centre, we witness firsthand the dedicated efforts to conserve and protect Vietnam's vulnerable freshwater turtle populations. Through educational exhibits, informative presentations, and interactive experiences, we gain insight into the threats facing these endangered creatures and the measures being taken to ensure their survival.

After our visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre and the Turtle Conservation Centre, we transition into a delightful culinary experience by joining a local family for a cooking lesson. Our culinary journey begins with a visit to a vibrant local market for fresh ingredients.

Additionally, we gather vegetables from our host's lush garden before mastering the art of making traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, zesty dipping sauces, and sticky rice. We share in the warmth of the family's hospitality as we eat a delicious dinner together. The night is spent in a cosy lodge owned by a local family. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 9: Ninh Binh Discovery

We depart our lodge for our journey to the pagoda of Bich Dong. Located in Ninh Binh, the Bich Dong Pagoda is a scenic site with its serene beauty and historical significance. Perched amidst stunning natural surroundings, this ancient pagoda complex comprises three levels: Lower, Middle, and Upper.

As we ascend the stone steps leading to the pagoda, they are greeted by lush greenery and scenic views of the surrounding landscape. The Lower Pagoda, nestled at the base of a limestone cliff, features intricately carved statues and altars dedicated to Buddha and other deities.

Continuing upward, visitors reach the Middle Pagoda, which offers panoramic views of the picturesque countryside below. Here, they can admire ancient Buddhist sculptures and architectural details dating back centuries. Finally, at the Upper Pagoda, visitors are rewarded with breathtaking views of the entire area, including nearby karst formations and winding rivers. The tranquil atmosphere and spiritual ambiance make it a perfect place for hikers.

Leaving Bich Dong behind we embark on a serene rowing boat ride along the Nang River, surrounded by lush greenery and towering limestone cliffs. The two-hour boat excursion weaves along this enchanting river and through the Thung Nang cave system, featuring several caverns adorned with stalactites.

For the adventurous and energetic, there's an opportunity to climb up Mua Mountain and enjoy a panoramic view of the stunning surroundings, while witnessing the sunset cast its warm glow over the mystical limestone mountain range.

We also devote time to a scenic bicycle ride in Trang An. Trang An is renowned for its intricate network of rivers and caves, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rugged limestone cliffs and emerald waters. The surrounding areas are dotted with tiny villages, picturesque paddy fields, temples, and hiking trails, adding to the charm of this UNESCO World Centre.

During our bicycling excursion we weave between towering limestone mountains, serene waterways, peaceful villages, verdant rice paddies, and enchanting historical sites. This presents a wonderful opportunity to immerse ourselves in the rhythms of everyday rural life.

Our journey continues as we make our way to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam, holds a special place in the country's history and heritage. Situated in the picturesque Ninh Binh province, Hoa Lu was the political and economic center of the country during the Dinh and early Le dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries.

We explore the remnants of this once-thriving capital, including the remains of royal palaces, temples, and citadels. One of the most notable sites is the Dinh Tien Hoang Temple, dedicated to the first emperor of the Dinh Dynasty. The temple's architecture and ornate decorations offer insight into the grandeur of the era.

Nearby, the Le Dai Hanh Temple honors the founder of the early Le Dynasty and provides a glimpse into the cultural and religious practices of the time. Aside from its historical significance, Hoa Lu is also renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, with limestone karsts and lush greenery surrounding the ancient ruins. Following a leisurely stroll through nearby villages and along the banks of the tranquil Sao Khe River we make our way back to our lodge for the night. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 10: Ninh Binh - Bai Tu Long Bay

Departing from our lodge between 7:30 am to 8:00 am, we reach Bai Chay, the gateway to Bai Tu Long Bay. Upon arrival, we embark on a boating adventure, gliding through the serene waters of Bai Tu Long Bay. Discover hidden coves and towering karst formations as we explore this pristine marine landscape. Our journey continues to Cap La, where we have the opportunity to embark on a kayaking excursion. Paddle through crystal-clear waters, marveling at the beauty of the surrounding limestone cliffs.

As the sun begins to set, we make our way to Cong Do, where we will spend the night aboard our comfortable boat. Relax on the deck and soak in the tranquil atmosphere as you enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by our onboard chef. Fall asleep to the gentle lapping of the waves, surrounded by the beauty of Bai Tu Long Bay. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included)

Day 11: Bai Tu Long Bay - Halong Bay - Hanoi

After a serene night spent on the boat in Cong Do, we wake up to the stunning vistas of Bai Tu Long Bay. Our journey continues as we make our way to Vung Vieng floating village, a captivating community built on the waters of the bay. Explore the village and learn about their traditional way of life. Next, we head to Halong Bay before our boat returns to Bai Chay, where our adventure in Bai Tu Long Bay comes to an end. From there, we embark on our journey to Hanoi, arriving there by 4 p.m. The night is spent in a hotel. (Breakfast and lunch are included)

Day 12: Departure

Enjoy some free time for relaxation or to explore the city before your departure flight. Our driver will transfer you to Hanoi International Airport for your flight to the next destination. (Breakfast is included)

The facts…

Physical activities: Easy cycling and kayaking with:

  • A 1-2 km stroll on Day 2 and Day 3
  • A 4-6 km bicycle ride on Day 4
  • A 4-6 km hike on Day 5 and Day 6
  • A 2-3 km stroll on Day 7
  • A 4-6 km hike on Day 8
  • A 2-4 km hike and 6-8 km bicycle ride on Day 9
  • A 1-2 hour kayak ride on Day 10
  • A 1-hour bamboo boat ride on Day 11


  • Air-conditioned vehicle (Car or Bus)
  • Boat
  • Plane
  • Kayak
  • Bicycle

Tour Guide: Our experienced, friendly and professional tour guide speaks good English. He is knowledgeable about local cultures, history and the environment.


  • 11 breakfasts
  • 11 lunches
  • 3 dinners

We choose local ingredients, typical of the way people eat in the area, at local restaurants, markets or homes. We also cater for Vegetarians but please request this at time of booking.


  • Hotel (8 nights)
  • Overnight stay boat (1 night)
  • Lodge (2 nights)

The trip cost:

  • $1198USD per person for a group of 2 to 12 people
  • $996USD per person for a group of 13 to 16 people

The cost of the trip includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Tour guide
  • Meals listed on the itinerary
  • Purified drinking water
  • Entrance fees
  • VAT and other taxes

The cost of the trip does not include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks (soft drinks, alcohol)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities

What to Bring:

Pack essentials, including light comfortable clothes suitable for outdoor activities, comfortable walking shoes. Take a small day pack for cycling. We also recommend packing: swimsuit, personal articles, insect repellent, sun cream, raincoat and sun hat...

Have a great journey!!!