This exciting journey through Vietnam captures many of the country’s most exciting and unique experiences. Explore Hanoi’s enthralling Old Quarter, sampling local delicacies as you go. Cruise spectacular Halong Bay with its thousands of limestone islets. Walk historic Hoi An streets and the rich farming practices of its outlying villages. And experience bustling Saigon, its vibrant markets and the verdant rice bowl of the Mekong Delta.

Note: This journey can also be done in reverse direction, south to north

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Why We Love It

Cruising Halong and Lan Ha Bays with their towering limestone islands.

Visit Animals Asia’s bear sanctuary at Tam Dao, seeing the incredible rescue and rehabilitation work they do with these beautiful animals.

Enjoy a wide selection of Vietnam’s diverse cuisine, from iconic street snacks to family-cooked meals and popular restaurants.

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Day by day Itinerary

Authentic Vietnam

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Day 1

Arrive Hanoi

On arrival you will be met and transferred to downtown Hanoi and your hotel. The rest of the day or evening is at leisure.

Day 2

Animals Asia bear sanctuary

This morning depart Hanoi early for a special experience. Our guide and driver will take us into the countryside north of Hanoi, to Animals Asia Vietnam Bear Sanctuary. Adventure World proudly supports Animal Asia’s efforts to rescue and rehabilitate bears from the suffering of the bear bile industry. The 11 hectare sanctuary provides housing and care for dozens of Asiatic Black and Sun Bears rescued from poachers and captivity across Vietnam.

After a safety and tour briefing, one of Animals Asia’s dedicated team will escort us around the sanctuary, where we will learn about the organisation’s work, hear the life stories of some of the bears, observe them at rest and play, and assist in behind the scenes work where practical. After lunch, we will return to Hanoi by mid-afternoon.

This evening you will be met by your guide for a fascinating walking tour of Hanoi’s vibrant Old Quarter. In addition to taking in the sights and sounds of this remarkable trading district, our focus will be on some of the city’s signature cuisine. Dishes you may wish to try include famous Hanoi noodle preparations like pho ga (chicken noodle soup), banh cuon (pork and mushroom filled rice noodles), nem cua (crab spring rolls) and perhaps a glass of Hanoi’s famous fresh beer.

Note: Animals Asia hosts Adventure World travellers on Wednesdays only, each week. (B)(L)(D)

Day 3

Hanoi - Halong Bay

This morning you will be picked up from your hotel for the 3 hour drive to Halong Bay. After check-in and a short boat transfer, you will be taken to your cabin, home for the next 2 nights as you cruise the spectacular waterways of Ha Long and Lan Ha Bays. Lunch will be served as you commence cruising, enjoying superb vistas of the thousands of limestone islands.

This afternoon’s touring usually includes a visit to Trung Trang Cave on Cat Ba Island, and later on there may be a chance to swim in one of the secluded coves of the Bay.

Enjoy a delicious dinner on board, with views of the Bay from the deck beforehand. (B)(L)(D)

Day 4

Lan Ha Bay

Start your day with sunrise views or a tai chi class on deck, or rise later for breakfast on board. Then  transfer to your day boat for an excursion to Cat Ba Island, where we cycle (or bus) through tropical hills to Viet Hai village.

Relax at the village and learn about local life here before returning to the boat. 

This afternoon you may wish to take a swim or kayak at Ba Trai Dao, before relaxing back on board before a cooking demonstration and dinner. (B)(L)(D)

Day 5

Lan Ha Bay - Hanoi

Take tai chi on deck, or just a leisurely breakfast admiring the views. Afterwards there is another chance to kayak on the bay, before beginning the return cruise to port. Transfer back to Hanoi, arriving by mid-afternoon. The remainder of the day is free to explore or relax.

In the evening, you will be picked up and transferred to KOTO. This not-for-profit social enterprise provides hospitality training to youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, with over 1200 young people graduating since founder Jimmy Pham launched the enterprise in 1999. (B)(D)

Day 6

Hanoi - Hue

This morning, transfer to Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport for your short flight to Hue. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Start your afternoon at the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The ancient citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern (the Royal Citadel was badly damaged in the latter stages of the war) but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today. 

Continue to Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River, constructed in 1601.
Leaving the city centre, travel through Hue’s beautiful countryside. Arrive at Tu Duc’s tomb for a stroll. Resting place of one of the Nguyen Dynasty’s emperors, the complex blends traditional and European elements.
Take a short ride to Vong Canh Hill with its panoramic viewpoint over the Perfume River and the Royal Valley, home to the Nguyen Dynasty emperors’ tombs.

This evening will feature a visit to the Doan family for a hosted dinner. They take pride in preserving their traditional customs that have been passed down from generation to generation. Join your hosts in preparing your own delicious local Hue food specialties, with stories of the city’s rich culture and history, before sitting down to a delicious meal. (B)(D)

Day 7

Hue - Hoi An

Leave Hue by road for Hoi An, a drive of approx 3 hours. The scenic route passes through the fishing village of Lang Co before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds. Drive through the modern city of Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of the former Cham kingdom’s sculptures and other arts. Transfer the short distance on to Hoi An.

A prosperous trading port from the 16th to 19th centuries, merchants from China, Japan, India, Indonesia and Europe who came to buy silk, spices and porcelain. There is plenty to see and do in Hoi An, with its busy markets and trading streets, galleries and cafes, and the many tailors and restaurants. Outside the town are traditional villages, quiet waterways, and a beach stretching all the way to Danang.

This afternoon is free to explore this charming little town, and perhaps sample one of its many great value restaurants by the Tu Bon River in the evening. (B)

Day 8

Hoi An

Today’s tour will begin after breakfast. Travel from Hoi An’s bustling town centre (cycling option available) to a local farm in Tra Que herb village for an insightful morning in the countryside. Learn about the local produce grown and the area’s history from the farmers themselves.

Assist the farmers as they work in the garden. Depending on the time of year, this may include tilling the land, fertilising the garden with seaweed, or picking vegetables. This is a unique insight into Vietnamese rural life.

Return to the village and enjoy a herbal foot massage. As midday approaches join the family to prepare lunch. Learn the secrets behind some of Hoi An’s most famous traditional dishes. Using vegetables and herbs straight from the garden, cook tam huu, prawns and pork mixed with lots of herbs, and banh xeo, a savoury pancake served inside thin sheets of rice paper. Then sit down and enjoy this delicious home-cooked meal, before returning to Hoi An. (B)(L)

Day 9

Hoi An

Today is free for you to explore Hoi An at your own pace. Try more of the town’s delicious cuisine, walk across the Japanese Covered Bridge, browse the many shops. You may wish to head out of town, take a boat trip on the river or head out to the beach for a swim.  (B)

Day 10

Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

This morning you will transfer to Danang Airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. You will be met and transferred to your hotel.

The remainder of the afternoon is free until you are met for your evening street food tour.

Led by a passionate food guide, you will be taken to hidden local businesses specializing in a variety of Saigon specialities – banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes), a local soup, and rice with pork ribs may be amongst the dishes savoured. End the evening at a local café for a drink or sweets. (B)(D)

Day 11

Ho Chi Minh City & Cu Chi Tunnels

After breakfast depart the city centre towards Cu Chi district, eventually entering the lush countryside of southern Vietnam.

Arrive at the entrance of the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) during both the French and American wars. Hear the tales of how these tunnels were built while walking through the forest. Visit two sections of the tunnel where it is possible to venture underground. There are informative displays and war relics around the area to explore.

Return to the city centre in time for lunch. Then take a closer look at the city itself, starting at Reunification Hall. This fascinating building, once known as the Presidential Palace, is filled with history. Hear the story of how, on 30 April 1975, North Vietnamese tanks seized the building as Saigon fell. Continue to the Old Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral, two colonial-era monuments.

The final stop of the day is Ben Thanh market. Located in the heart of the city, this market is one of the liveliest in the area. The food and dried goods sections of the market are particularly interesting, as are the adjoining streets. (B)(L)

Day 12

Mekong Delta

After breakfast depart Ho Chi Minh City on the 2 hour drive  south of the city to the Mekong Delta.

On arrival in Ben Tre Province, board a local boat for a first glimpse of life inside the Mekong Delta’s maze of waterways, fertile green terrain and its family-run cottage industries such as coconut candy making. You can see many local women spending their days boiling cauldrons of the sticky coconut goo before rolling it out and slicing sections into squares. Take a hand-rowed sampan journey under the shadow of water coconut trees.

After lunch at a riverside restaurant featuring delicious Mekong Delta specialties, cruise back toward the pier then drive back to Ho Chi Minh. (B)(L)

Day 13

Depart Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, your tour ends with a transfer to the airport. (B)

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