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The Essentials of Vietnam


Vietnam is a country of diverse culture and landscapes, ranging from rice fields, to rivers, to white sand beaches, to colonial cities. This Vietnam holiday offers an essential insight into everything that Vietnam has to offer, exploring some of the most beautiful landmarks in Asia. Begin your Vietnam tour in north Vietnam exploring the bustling city of Hanoi, travelling southwards via the iconic Ha Long Bay and onwards to central Vietnam, covering the colonial cities of Hue, Hoi An and Da Nang. Continue South to Ho Chi Minh City, discovering markets and historical landmarks. This journey through Vietnam is an immersive one with authentic experiences ranging from traditional boat cruises to Vietnamese cooking classes, guaranteeing a spectacular holiday to Vietnam.

13 days
Based on your travel dates & customizable
per person
excluding international flights
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The Shanti Travel touch
  • A preloaded local SIM card
  • Your Hanoi based Travel Expert
  • The Shanti Travel touch
Résumé Jour par jour
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A perfect holiday for...

Vietnam Travel Expert

From the limestone islands of Ha Long Bay, to the cosmopolitan city of Saigon, this trip across Vietnam is one of my favorites, allowing guests to explore and experience Vietnam in all it’s authenticity. On this journey from North to South to Vietnam I found myself enamored by the people and the unique Vietnamese culture, and I can guarantee you will to. Enquire today to begin planning your trip to Vietnam.

Your tailor-made trip - Vietnam

Day 1

Welcome to Vietnam

You will be greeted at Noi Ba International airport in Hanoi by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. Hanoi is one of a kind and the bustling city can appear maze-like upon arrival so be sure to take in your surroundings and absorb the beautiful culture and sights. Depending on the arrival time of your flight, you will be able to spend the afternoon exploring Hanoi at your own leisure or alternatively settle in to your room for the night at your beautiful hotel.

Day 2

Good Morning Vietnam!

After breakfast your day begins with a guided tour of Hanoi via North Vietnam’s most famous landmarks: the Presidential Palace, The Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. You will have dinner at KOTO, a restaurant that keeps children off the streets across Vietnam by training the individuals in high-end hospitality. The traditional menu is created and cooked by the students themselves offering authentic Vietnamese meals at a high standard. Your driver will take you from KOTO to your hotel after dinner.

Day 3

Cyclo Rides and Puppet Shows

In the morning will be taken to the Museum of Ethnology which is dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups and minorities. The museum grounds are impressive and a perfect oasis from the bustling city. In the afternoon you will tour the Old Quarter of Hanoi via cyclo, a traditional Vietnamese rickshaw. Later you will go to a Water Puppet Show, which is a unique Vietnamese traditional art that originates from rural festivals in Vietnam. Your driver will take you back to your hotel after the show.

Hanoi – Ha Long Bay
Day 4
Hanoi – Ha Long Bay

Green Rock & Island Cruising

After breakfast you will be transferred to Ha Long Bay. Once in Ha Long Bay you will board the V’Spirit Classic Cruise to eat a Vietnamese lunch surrounded by limestone islands. After lunch the junk boat will cruise around the UNESCO World Heritage Site sailing past these green islands and on to Sung Sot Cave as well as the Drum Cave area where you will be able to kayak the blue waters. Soak in the sunset on the deck of the boat before being served dinner on board. At night you can go squid fishing, board games, or you can opt instead to take rest. Overnight on cruise.

Ha Long Bay – Hue
Day 5
Ha Long Bay – Hue

Venturing to hue

Join an early morning Tai Chi class on the boat, or if you prefer you can continue to explore Ha Long Bay by kayak. After your early breakfast you will go to Titov Island where you can go swimming and or climb to the top of the island to have a panoramic view of Ha Long Bay. You will return to harbor via Ba Hang fishing village and Dog Islet whilst lunch is being served on board. You driver will meet you at the harbor and take you to Hanoi to catch an evening flight to Hue. Once in Hue your driver will transfer you to your hotel for the night.

Day 6

Exploring hue’s heritage

After breakfast you will board the Dragon Boat on The Perfume River and visit Thien Mu Pagoda and the Imperial Citadel. This city feels a world away from Hanoi with quieter streets and colonial buildings, which you will discover on a cyclo ride to Hope Centre. At Hope Centre explore the beautiful grounds and colonial buildings as well as meet the founders of the charity for disabled people. The former Princess Ngoc Son’s house and grounds are nearby which offer an insight to royal Vietnam. Your driver is at your disposal for the evening and will take you back to your hotel.

Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An
Day 7
Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An

The Eminent Red Beach and Traditional Markets

An early morning start to get to Da Nang via the Hai Van Pass. On the way to Da Nang you will stop at Dong Ba, a traditional Vietnamese market and also visit Red Beach, the famous beach were American soldiers docked during the Vietnam War. Whilst in Da Nang you can visit the Cham Museum. Your driver will meet you after lunch to continue the drive to Hoi An where you will attend a traditional Vietnamese cooking class. After the class and dinner your driver can return you to your hotel for the night or you spend the evening exploring at your own leisure.

Hoi An
Day 8
Hoi An

Charming hoi An!

Hoi An combines colonial architecture, small streets and beachfront restaurants, evoking charm and culture. In the morning you will be guided on a walking tour of Hoi An visiting the ancient Japanese bridge and merchant houses. Hoi An is famous for its tailors so stop by and have clothes tailored especially for you! During your tour you will be taken to Faifo port, Tan Ky House and the National Museum. The evening is for you to explore the lantern lit city at your own leisure, after which your driver will take you back to your hotel.

Hoi An
Day 9
Hoi An

Rest and Recuperation in hoi An

After all the exploring in the last week today is for resting, recuperating and enjoying Vietnam’s sunshine. Spend the day by the hotel pool or on the beach taking the beautiful surroundings. Hoi An is a delightful city that has something to offer no matter what you are looking for. For the adventure seekers we can organize river rafting or snorkeling at the iconic Vietnamese beaches, as well as kite surfing weather depending. It is also possible to spend the day at a luxurious 5 start spa relaxing. Spend your last night in Hoi An at your colonial hotel.

Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City
Day 10
Hoi An – Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon’s history and Markets

After breakfast your driver will take you to Dan Nang for a flight to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel and then taken to a French restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal. After lunch you will begin a guided walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City during which you will visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office and the Opera House. Your tour take you to the War Remnants Museum, followed by a visit to the bustling Ben Thanh market. Your driver will take you back to your hotel after dinner.

Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Ben Tre
Day 11
Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Ben Tre

Meeting Village Farmers in My Tho

After breakfast your driver will take you to My Tho for a Mekong River cruise downstream towards Dragon Island. Your cruise boat will take you through Xep Canal to a local village where you can meet the local farmers and learn about their work and trade. Then via horse carriage along a small village path you will be taken to a small port where you will board a traditional rowing boat to be taken to lunch. You will then cruise upstream via My Tho to meet a former soldier who fought the Khmer Rouge. After your visit you will return to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City for the night.

Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 12
Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels

A Maze of Tunnels

In the morning your driver will take you to the Cu Chi Tunnels which are iconic to Vietnam. At the tunnels you will learn about the war propaganda methods and the success story behind these unique, ingenious tunnels. Your guide will take you through the tunnels and show you the various mantraps and remains of American tanks. Return to Ho Chi Minh City via Binh Tay market when you must bargain! Your driver will take you to the Saigon River to a docked cruise boat for dinner. After dinner you will return to your hotel for the night.

Ho Chi Minh City – Departure
Day 13
Ho Chi Minh City – Departure

Farewell Vietnam

Enjoy your last breakfast with Shanti Travel in Vietnam. If you have a morning flight, your driver will be at your hotel ready to take you to the airport for your departure. If your flight is in the afternoon or evening, the driver is at your disposal for any last minute explorations or shopping you may wish to do. We say see you next time as we look forward to travelling with you again across one of our many destinations in Asia with our tailor made holidays.

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Travel terms and conditions

Price includes

  • All transfers and transport in a private, air conditioned vehicle, with an English speaking driver.
  • Domestic flights and train travel as stated in the itinerary.
  • Hotels: double rooms in Standard hotels.
  • Your meals: Half board plus additional meals as stated in the itinerary.
  • Visits and activities as stated in the itinerary.

Price does not include

  • International flights.
  • International airport taxes.
  • Breakfast on Day 1, Lunch on Days 1,2,3,8,9,13, and Dinner on Day 1,2,5,6,8,9,11,12,13.
  • Vietnamese Tourist Visa.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Drinks and personal expenses.
  • Tips.
  • Everything that is not written in ‘The Price Includes’.
  • All quotations are subject change depending on availability and prices can be adjusted according to fluctuations in exchange rates and increased government taxes. This can affect the total price. All rates are based on the best available price to date and are subject to change at the time of booking.


  • Starting from 1 per person based on 2 travellers
  • Quotation is subject to change according to availability, exchange rates and government tax rise. All the rates mentioned are based on current best available rate and can be modified at the moment of the booking.

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