Get a snapshot of north and south Vietnam in just eight days.

Discover the spirit of Vietnam on a trip from south to north, taking in all the attractions in between. Explore Vietnam's fast-paced Ho Chi Minh City, wander the ancient Vietnamese streets of Hoi An, experience the history-soaked monuments of Hue and bask in the undeniable charm of Hanoi. Experience Vietnam's beautiful landscapes, delicious cuisine and the renowned friendliness of the Vietnamese people. Top it all off with an overnight cruise on mystical Halong Bay and you won't ever want to leave.


Start
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Country
Vietnam
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
TVKB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Spend just over week in Vietnam discovering the highlights and traditions of this colourful country. This quick trip takes you to all the famous destinations plus a few treasures off the beaten track

  • Halong Bay is a strange paradise of green waters and rocky islands. Enjoy a cruise through the beautiful landscape and indulge in the bay's fresh seafood

  • Go back in time at the ancient trading port of Hoi An. Experience the blend of influences from Europe and Asia, the nearby beaches and markets

  • Watching the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is some of the best entertainment in the country. Sit back, relax with a cold beer, and enjoy the show

Is this trip right for you?

  • This itinerary is faster paced, covering the main highlights of Vietnam in just over a week. There is some driving involved, however we mostly fly to maximise your time in each destination. Be sure to book extra time in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi if you want more time to explore these cities.

  • Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels is an incredible experience of life for the Vietnamese during the war. Going inside the tunnels is optional, and can be a little claustrophobic for those who don’t like small spaces.

  • There is some walking involved on this trip, with walking tours in the downtown areas of each city, as well as walking in the caves in Halong Bay.

  • In Vietnam, the temperature varies greatly between north and south. While there is no best time of year, it's best to check the seasonal patterns on our country information page to see what the weather will be like when you go. This way you can prepare well for your trip

Itinerary

Xin chao! Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader.

If you arrive early the day is yours to explore Ho Chi Minh City. Perhaps head to Pham Ngu Lao Street to see the local open-aired market or take an Urban Adventure to explore the Mekong Delta with an expert local guide.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Discovery Urban Adventure - VND59
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An arrival transfer is included. In order to book this service please provide your booking agent with your flight details at least 2 weeks prior to your departure.
If you're expecting to be late for your welcome meeting, please inform the hotel reception or your booking agent in advance. You may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the group meeting and have time to explore Ho Chi Minh City. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Start your tour of Ho Chi Minh City with a visit to the Reunification Palace. Formerly known as the Presidential Palace, it was the site of South Vietnam's surrender at the end of the war. Next, head over to the War Remnants Museum where you’ll see old military equipment including an F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter. Finally, you’ll tour the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. This former Viet Cong stronghold provides an insight into the resourcefulness and tenacity of the Vietnamese people, as well as underground life during the Vietnam War.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say goodbye to Ho Chi Minh City and fly to Danang. From here you’ll make your way to My Khe Beach a beautiful spot which lies against a backdrop of the Marble Mountains. This location was significant for both the Americans and the Vietnamese during the war. After a visit to the Marble Mountains, continue to Hoi An where you’ll stay for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Danang - Marble Mountain
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your leader will take you on a walk around Hoi An’s Old Town. The city was a major trading port from the 17th century onwards, and has various architectural influences from Europe, China and Vietnam. Today the city is being restored and looks exactly like it did over a century ago. The tour will take you to a historic house, the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. The rest of the day is free for you to do some optional activities or soak up the ambience of the place. You may like to wander Dong Ba Market and the street stalls selling paintings, woodwork, ceramics, lanterns and much more. Hoi An is also famous for its talented tailors who can make beautiful items to order within a few hours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD28
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike Urban Adventure - USD51
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Vietnam’s charming capital of Hanoi. You’ll be taken on a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting major sites such as the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. The tour will also include lunch at the KOTO cafe, an amazing project which provides vocational training for underprivileged young people. You’ll have some free time this afternoon. Hanoi is a strangely quiet city compared to its southern counterpart. Escape from the noise by visiting the various parks and lakes, or hire a bike and cycle around town for the best view of the city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Koto Restaurant lunch
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's stilt house
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive for four and a half hours to the famous Halong Bay, one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders. We recommend leaving your luggage at the hotel in Hanoi and packing a small overnight bag for the trip to Halong Bay. Once you arrive at the bay, you’ll take a long and luxurious cruise through the area, exploring the beautiful green waters and amazing limestone caves. You may also have the opportunity to go swimming from Ti Top Island beach. You’ll spend the night on the boat. The traditional junk-style boat has twin-share cabins with air-conditioning and private facilities. There's also a dining room and bar where you’ll enjoy all of your meals, including a lavish seafood buffet for lunch.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
It is recommended to pack a smaller overnight bag to take to Halong Bay for ease of boarding and disembarking. You can store your main luggage in Hanoi for tonight.

All kayaking, as well as swimming in the bay from the boats is banned by the local authority.

There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight, sometimes resulting in a shortage. To ensure all Intrepid travellers can enjoy the experience of a night on the water, occasionally you will stay on a larger boat (with approximately 12 cabins) and share your boat with another group. Or your group may be split across different vessels, in which case an Intrepid group leader will be present on each boat, and the route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same.
Take a three-and-a-half bus ride back to Hanoi. This afternoon take in a unique water-puppet performance. This evening is free for you to explore this delightful city. Why not relax at a cafe or stop for a bia hoi (freshly brewed draught beer) at one of the microbars in the Old Quarter?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the ‘Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private Bus, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Overnight boat (1 night)

Included activities

  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
  • Danang - Marble Mountain
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • Hanoi - Koto Restaurant lunch
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's stilt house
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Please provide passport details and full name as per passport (including middle name) at time of booking. These details are required for the internal flight tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure.
2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
3. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip and excludes nights 8 (Overnight Boat) where you will be in shared accommodation.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Treasures of Vietnam trips score an average of 4.88 out of 5 based on 74 reviews in the last year.

Treasures of Vietnam, May 2017

Christine Peacock

Treasures of Vietnam, April 2017

Sharon Dempsey