The ultimate south to north adventure tour of Vietnam

Experience quintessential Vietnam on this comprehensive trip from south to north. Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and experience dynamic cities, tranquil backwaters, imperial ruins, faded colonial elegance and picture-perfect landscapes dotted with reminders of the past. This was our first trip to Vietnam and many say it remains our best.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
394kg pp per trip


  • Explore the tombs of imperial Hue
  • Go bargain-hunting in Hoi An
  • Enjoy a water puppet show in Hanoi
  • Enjoy a homestay on the Mekong
  • Discover old and new in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Go underground in the Cu Chi Tunnels
  • See beautiful Halong Bay on a boat tour
  • Wiggle toes in sandy Nha Trang beaches


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Discover the dynamic Vietnamese capital on a city cyclo tour and visit the chilling War Remnants Museum. In free time, hunt for a bargain at the Ben Thanh and Russian markets or simply explore the streets on foot.
Wind through the intricate waterways of the mighty Mekong Delta. Stay overnight in a simple village sustained by the Mekong river and wake early to watch it come alive with floating markets.
Unearth a world of underground mystery at the Cu Chi Tunnels before returning to Ho Chi Minh City to further explore this dynamic city.
Dalat is like spring all year round with its cool climate, charming French villas and vibrant market. Visit Bao Dai's Summer Palace and discover a host of colourful sights around town.
Enjoy breathtaking views around every corner on the Ngoan Muc Pass, and stop at the striking Po Klong Garai Cham Towers. Reach Nha Trang where white beaches, sultry waters and swaying palms await. Soak it all up while enjoying a leisurely boat trip around nearby islets.
Relish more dramatic scenery en route to Quy Nhon, where there's a chance to spend time teaching English to local kids at the Nguyen Nga Training Centre.
Enjoy another free day in the town of Hoi An. You’ll have time to see the beautiful Chinese shophouses, enjoy the busy market, visit Cua Dai Beach, cycle to the rice fields or browse the array of art galleries.
Get on a bus this morning on your way to the Vinh Moc Tunnels. These were used during the Vietnam War as shelter for the villagers who were escaping intense bombing. The locals lived in the underground system that went over three levels. You’ll be able to enter the tunnels which remain in their original form. Continue on to Dong Hoi, a seaside town and your base for the next couple of days.
Arrive in Hanoi early in the morning and transfer to your hotel. Vietnam’s capital is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, public parks and Frenchy Old Quarter. As an emerging city in Southeast Asian, Hanoi has an attractive contrast of modern office buildings, old Buddhist temples and a labyrinth of ancient streets. Later in the day, you’ll visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, including the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. In the evening, enjoy a performance of water puppetry, a unique and traditional Vietnamese art form.
Make your way to the peaceful town of Mai Chau which is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by verdant mountains and emerald rice paddies. You’ll go for a two or three-hour walk through the minority villages and meet the friendly Hill Tribe people. You’ll spend the night in a local stilt-house homestay in the village of Poom Coong. Your amiable hosts will cook you a fabulous home-style meal and maybe even serve up some of the regional wine. Tonight you’ll enjoy a traditional dance performed by the local villagers.
Spend another morning exploring and enjoying the country air of Mai Chau, then return to Hanoi. As it’s often a favourite with those who’ve done the trip, you’ll get some more free time in Hanoi. See more of the colonial and Vietnamese architecture, and make the most of the delicious food.
Drive to Bai Chay Harbour towards the famous world heritage site of Halong Bay. The drive will take around four hours and take you to a secluded harbour and blue-green bay studded with limestone outcrops. The area is full of beaches and natural grottos. You’ll take a boat through the limestone peaks and caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites, and have the chance to go for a swim. Spend the night on board the boat beneath a sky alive with starlight. The boat has twin-share cabins with air-conditioning and private facilities. There’s also a dining room and bar where you can enjoy the day’s meals.
With a vibrant Old Quarter to explore, delicious food to discover and a city where ancient meets modern with ease, no wonder Hanoi is a favourite with travellers.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


18 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
Boat, Bus, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Private minibus, Private vehicle, Taxi
Homestay (2 nights), Hotel (15 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included activities
  • Bao Dai's Summer Palace
  • Cham Tower
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Hang Nga Crazy House
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum
  • Hanoi - Water puppet show
  • HCMC - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Hoi An - Ancient town
  • Hue - Imperial citadel
  • Hue - Motorbike trip including lunch
  • Hue - Perfume river cruise and Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue - Royal tomb
  • Mai Chau villages
  • Mekong Delta - boat cruise and homestay
  • Music performance Mai Chau
  • My Lai Memorial (Quy Nhon)
  • Nguyen Nga Training Centre visit
  • Nha Trang - Basket boats
  • Nha Trang - Boat trip including lunch


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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide 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.

View trip notes


Our Best of Vietnam trips score an average of 4.83 out of 5 based on 106 reviews in the last year.

Best of Vietnam , October 2015

Best of Vietnam , October 2015