Tour code:
VN13D-1
Duration
13 days 12 nights
Start in
Hanoi
Finish in
Ho Chi Minh City
Places to visit
Hanoi - Halong Bay - Surprise cave - Titov island - Ninh Binh - Tam Coc - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi - Da Nang - Hoi An - Hue - Saigon - Ben Tre - Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon)
Starts
Ends
Hanoi, Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Highlights

The "Vietnam Hidden Gems Trip 13 Days 12 Nights" is a comprehensive journey through Vietnam, covering its highlights and showcasing its history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage:

  • Enchanting Hanoi: Discover the ancient city's rich history, vibrant culture, and bustling Old Quarter.

  • Majestic Halong Bay: Visit the stunning natural wonder of limestone karsts emerging from emerald waters.

  • Experience a sampan ride in Tam Coc and explore Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest in Southeast Asia.

  • Historic Hue: Explore the ancient capital with its imperial history, majestic Imperial Citadel, and tranquil atmosphere.

  • Charming Hoi An: Visit the well-preserved town known for its architecture, traditional culture, and lantern-lit streets.

  • Vibrant Ho Chi Minh City: Conclude the journey in the bustling metropolis, exploring historical landmarks and savoring diverse culinary delights.

  • Mekong Delta Trip: Immerse yourself in the Mekong River life with a journey to Ben Tre, known as the homeland of coconut.

Itinerary Expand All

Day 1: Hanoi Arrival – First Visit (No Meals)
Car

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be warmly greeted and transferred to your selected hotel, which is about 30 km away and takes approximately 45 minutes.

After checking in, you will have some free time to explore the area around your hotel and familiarize yourself with the surroundings.

Meals will be on your own during this time, so you can choose to dine at any nearby restaurant or enjoy room service at your hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi - City Tour (B; L)
Car

On the second day of your Hanoi trip, you will embark on a city tour to visit some of its most significant landmarks. Your itinerary includes a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh Square, a significant memorial in Hanoi where Ho Chi Minh declared independence on September 2, 1945. Although you will view the mausoleum from the outside, it's a remarkable sight to behold.

Next, you'll visit the stilt house of Ho Chi Minh, also known as "Uncle Ho," who played a vital role in modernizing Vietnam. You will then head to the One Pillar Pagoda, constructed in 1049 by Emperor Lý Thái Tông as a symbol of gratitude. The pagoda is situated in the center of a lotus pond and is similar to the one Emperor Lý Thái Tông saw in his dream, where he met the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who handed him a baby son while seated on a lotus flower.

Your next stop is the Temple of Literature, the first national university in Vietnam where ceremonies, study sessions, and exams of the Dai Viet took place. Built during King Lý Nhân Tông's reign in 1070, the temple is one of several in Vietnam dedicated to Confucius, sages, and scholars. After exploring these historical sites, you will have lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, you will visit the Museum of Ethnology, which highlights the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam. Following that, you'll proceed to Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as "Lake of the Returned Sword." According to legend, Emperor Le Loi was boating on the lake when a turtle snatched his magic sword, Heaven's Will, and quickly disappeared into the depths.

The day's tour will culminate in watching a water puppet show, a traditional Vietnamese art form where puppets are manipulated using long poles hidden beneath the water.

Finally, you'll return to your hotel for the night.

Dinner will be at your own expense.

Day 3: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Surprise Cave (B; L; D)
Car Cruise

We will start your day with an 8am pick-up from your hotel to transfer you to Halong Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular travel destination located in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. In Vietnamese, "Hạ Long" means "descending dragon."

We will arrive at Tuan Chau Port around 11:45am to 12:00pm, where you will board our boat. You will receive a welcome drink and a cruise briefing with safety instructions. A delicious deluxe Vietnamese Set Menu Lunch will also be served. If you wish, you may book a massage service in advance with your Cruise Manager and enjoy it throughout the cruise.

As we cruise through Halong Bay, we will pass by the most beautiful and serene areas, including Incense Burner, Dog Stone Islet, Fighting Cock, and Finger Islet. Our next destination is the breathtaking Surprise Cave (Hang Sửng Sốt), one of the largest and most stunning grottoes in Halong Bay. To reach the mouth of the grotto, we will climb approximately a hundred stone steps.

After exploring the Surprise Cave, we will depart and sail for about 30 minutes to anchor overnight. During this time, guests can attend a Fruit and Vegetable Carving Lesson led by our Head Chef. Our chef will demonstrate fruit and vegetable carving and teach guests how to decorate and make some traditional Vietnamese food.

Dinner, featuring fresh seafood, will be served in the evening, followed by various activities. Board games like cards or Parcheesi will be available, as well as massage services throughout the cruise. Everyone can also try their luck at squid fishing on the boat with the help of the crew.

Overnight on boat.

Day 4: Halong - Ninh Binh - Tam Coc (B; L) (190km – 4h30)
Car Cruise Kayak

Guests may choose to wake up early at 6:30am to enjoy a light breakfast and hot drinks served in the dining room. However, it's not mandatory, and guests who prefer to sleep in can do so.

For those who want to participate, a Tai Chi session lasting around 30 minutes will be held on the sundeck at 6:45am.

Afterward, guests will be taken by tender to Titov Island, where they can spend approximately one hour hiking to the peak for a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Bay. There's also an expansive viewing deck available halfway up the island for guests who don't want to climb. After the climb, guests can unwind on the beach and go for a swim.

Once guests return to the boat, they'll have 30 minutes to freshen up and pack their belongings. We request that guests collect all their belongings from the cabins and leave heavy luggage outside the cabins. Our staff will transfer your luggage directly to the pier.

A full breakfast will be served in the dining room, and guests can settle their bills after breakfast. While we approach the pier, guests can relax on the sundeck or in the dining room, enjoying the beautiful bay scenery.

We're scheduled to arrive at Tuan Chau port at 11:00am. Guests can relax inside the pier building while waiting for transportation back to their hotel.

(Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions, tide levels, and operational conditions. The times provided are approximate and may vary.)

At 12:00 PM, your memorable cruise experience will come to an end, and you will be transferred to Ninh Binh. On your way to Ninh Binh, you will make a stop to savor the mouth-watering green cake, a popular local delicacy.

In the afternoon, you will arrive in Ninh Binh and proceed to check-in at your hotel. Your comfortable and cozy accommodations await, offering you the chance to relax and unwind after a long day of adventure and exploration.

It's dinner on your own.

Overnight in Tam Coc (12km from Ninh Binh city).

Day 5: Tam Coc - Thung Nham - Bai Dinh Pagoda - Hanoi (B; L) (110km – 3h00)
Car Sampan Cruise

Begin your day with a delightful breakfast before embarking on a scenic two-hour cruise through various waterways on a small sampan. Marvel at the picturesque rural landscape of limestone cliffs and rice fields en route to Thung Nham, which is situated just 5 kilometers away from Tam Coc.

Relish a scrumptious lunch at a nearby local eatery, after which you'll proceed to explore the majestic Bai Dinh Pagoda. Not only is it Vietnam's largest pagoda, but it's also Southeast Asia's largest, resting on a hill at the back and overlooking a river at the front. Bai Dinh Pagoda's prime location has made it one of Ninh Binh's most impressive tourist attractions.

Enjoy another delicious meal at a local restaurant before setting off for Hanoi.

Arrive in Hanoi at 5.30 pm.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 6: Hanoi - Da Nang | By Plane - Hoi An (B)
Car Air plane

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your morning flight to Da Nang city. Upon arrival, a driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to Hoi An. En route, you will make a stop at Non Nuoc Marble village, located about 8km southeast of Da Nang City, which is also known as "Mountain and Water" in Vietnamese.

Next, you will continue your journey to the ancient town of Hoi An. This town was once an important trading port during the 17th and 18th centuries, and has been officially listed as a World Heritage site. After arriving, you will check into your hotel and have free time to explore the ancient town.

Meals on your own.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 7: Hoi An Discovery - Ecotour (B; L; D)
Sampan Cruise Bicycle Walking

What a wonderful itinerary! You will have the opportunity to experience some of the most famous and beautiful sights in Hoi An, while also venturing out into the peaceful countryside for a day of cycling and cultural immersion.

The morning walk through the ancient town sounds like a great way to start the day, with visits to some of the most significant historical and cultural sites.

The Quan Cong temple and Phuc Kien pagoda will offer insight into the Chinese influence in Hoi An, while the Japanese Bridge and Tan Ky ancient house will showcase the town's diverse heritage.

Lunch at a local restaurant is a perfect opportunity to refuel before embarking on an afternoon of cycling through the picturesque countryside. It will be refreshing to get away from the busy city and enjoy some peaceful time in nature. The Van Lang fisherman village and Bay Mau water coconut forest sound like stunning destinations, full of history and natural beauty.

Meeting Mr. Han and his family will be an incredible opportunity to learn about the local culture and traditional way of life. The basket boat tour and foot bath with medicinal herbs are unique experiences that will surely be remembered for years to come. And of course, dinner with a local family is an excellent way to sample traditional Vietnamese cuisine and connect with the local community.

Overall, this itinerary offers a great balance of history, culture, nature, and food, making it an unforgettable experience for anyone visiting Hoi An.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 8: Hoi An - Hue (B; L) (100km - 2h30 By Car)
Car Sampan Cruise

After enjoying breakfast, you will be driven to Danang to visit the Cham Museum, a fascinating museum that showcases the art and artifacts of the Cham civilization. Afterward, you will continue your journey to Hue, which was the capital of Đàng Trong (meaning South region of Vietnam) from 1738 to 1775 and the capital of Vietnam during the Nguyễn dynasty from 1802 to 1945.

Upon arrival, you will check into your hotel and have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will take a boat cruise on the serene Huong River, passing by the bustling Dong Ba market and visiting the Thien Mu pagoda on the riverbank. You will also explore Emperor Minh Mang's tomb, which is reminiscent of the Ming tombs in China with its pavilions, ponds, and gardens, and is known for its perfect harmony between architecture and its natural environment. The tomb was built during his reign (1820-1841) and completed in 1843, two years after his death by his successor Thieu Tri.

You will have dinner on your own tonight.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 9: Hue City Tour (B; L)
Car

After breakfast, you will visit the Imperial Citadel, which was the seat of power for the Nguyen Dynasty from 1804-1945. You will have the opportunity to visit some of the most highly revered sites in this World Heritage area, including the Flag Tower, South Door, Edict Pavilion, Supreme Harmony Palace, and the Forbidden Purple City.

Next, you will discover Emperor Khai Dinh's mausoleum, which is unique among the royal tombs in Hue. While other royal tombs are expansive and invite respectful reflection, Khai Dinh built his final resting place to be monumental in style and bombastic in execution.

You will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting Dong Ba market, a vibrant market that offers a wide range of goods, from fresh produce to souvenirs. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Diem Phung Thi exhibition of sculptures. Diem Phung Thi was a renowned artist who began studying sculpture in 1959. Her work became famous and in 1991, her name was listed in the Larousse Dictionary: The Arts of the Twentieth Century; Dictionary of Statues and Paintings. She became an Academician of the European Academy of Sciences, Literature, and Arts in 1992. In 1992, she returned to Vietnam and opened an exhibition room at the Vietnamese-French Culture Exchange Institute in HCMC.

You will have dinner on your own tonight.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 10: Hue - Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) (B; L)
Car Air plane

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to Hue Airport for your morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as Saigon, it served as the capital of the French colony of Cochin-china and later the independent republic of South Vietnam from 1955-75. On 2 July 1976, Saigon was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City, after the Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister (1945-1955) and president (1945-1969) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).

Upon arrival, you will discover the bustling city of Saigon. You will visit the Opera House, which was built in 1900 and inspired by the architecture of the Opera Garnier in Paris. The facade of the opera is a replica of the Petit Palais in Paris. You will also visit Notre-Dame Cathedral, a famous central Saigon Cathedral built in 1877 with materials imported from France, and the Post Office signed by Gustave Eiffel.

After lunch at a restaurant, you will explore the Chinese quarter "Cho Lon" and its impressive Binh Tay market. You will end the day with a visit to a lacquer ware factory, where you will have the opportunity to witness the creation of traditional Vietnamese lacquer ware.

At the end of the day, you will return to your hotel for some leisure time.

Dinner on your own.

Overnight in Saigon.

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City - Ben Tre (Mekong) (B; L; D) (110 Km – 2h30)
Car Sampan Cruise Tuk-Tuk -Xe Loi

Begin your immersive experience of traditional Vietnamese life with a pick-up from your hotel in Ben Tre, a charming town situated in the Mekong Delta renowned for its scenic natural landscapes and distinct local culture.

At 10:30 am, you'll arrive at Hàm Luông pier in Ben Tre town, where you'll board a boat for a picturesque cruise on the Ben Tre River, one of the Mekong Delta's tributaries. During the journey, you'll observe the vibrant activities taking place along the river, such as fishing and water transfer, which form an essential part of the daily routine of the local people.

Witness the traditional brick-making process by visiting the masonry and observing how bricks are printed and fired. Then, explore a coconut processing workshop located along the canal and visit a workshop where mats are made and tea and fruit are enjoyed.

Experience the tropical culture of the peasants by taking a motor cart (xe lôi) or a bicycle through the green plains or green rice fields.

Enjoy lunch at the Hai Hồ family and then take a rowing boat to reach the pier, where you'll continue your journey by car to the house where you'll be spending the night. Check-in with the locals and take some time to rest or explore the village to learn more about the daily life of the locals.

Savor the flavors of traditional Vietnamese cuisine at the homestay dinner, prepared using fresh, local ingredients.

After dinner, unwind with a foot bath program that includes precious medicinal herbs from the garden and Sa Huynh salt, which is made using coconut shells for an authentic relaxation and healing experience.

Overnight homestay in Ben Tre.

Day 12: Ben Tre - HCM City (B; L) (110 Km – 2h30)
Car Bicycle

Commence your day with a revitalizing bike ride to explore a coconut garden after your morning meal. Savor the taste of freshly picked coconuts while listening to the tale of the abode with two wings and three compartments.

Following that, you will have the opportunity to taste delectable cocoa and learn about the methods of cultivating and producing cocoa in the vicinity. This unparalleled experience will enable you to discover the conventional techniques of cocoa collection.

Cycle through a beautiful region that showcases typical southern landscapes, and appreciate the extensive rice fields, orchards, gardens, and canals that stretch out for miles.

After a busy morning, take a breather and enjoy the local cuisine. Collect your belongings and embark on the journey to Ho Chi Minh City.

Your full-day adventure and exploration of Vietnamese rural life will conclude when you arrive in Ho Chi Minh City around 5:00 p.m.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure (B)
Car

Following your breakfast, you will have some leisure time before your scheduled airport transfer for your flight back home. Please note that meals during this time will be at your own discretion.

End of Trip (13 day tour in Vietnam)

  • What’s Inclusion

    • Accommodation in a double or twin room with daily breakfast
    • Overnight cruise on board a shared good-quality boat in Halong Bay (private boat upon request).
    • Private air-conditioned vehicle during all tours and transfers.
    • English-speaking guide during all tours.
    • Entrance fees for all visits as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Water puppet show in Hanoi.
    • Lunch or dinner as specified in the itinerary
    • Local private sampan cruise in Tam Coc (Thung Nham), Hue, Hoi An, Mekong Delta.
    • Bicycle in Hoi An & Mekong Delta.
    • Water & cool towels
    • Government taxes & service charge.
  • What’s Excluded

    • International airfare and departure taxes
    • Drinks and meals not mentioned
    • Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, drinks, tips… etc.
    • Personal travel insurance.
    • Vietnam Visa (If you are not exempt from the visa).
  • Notes

    • Domestic flights: We quote separately and can book for you without fees.
    • Surcharged for Gala dinner on 24th and 31st December if any
    • Surcharged for Public holidays (30/4-1/5, Lunar New Year)
    • The timing of check-in and check-out at the hotels: Check-in at 14:00, check-out at 12:00. (Early check-in/
    • late check-out is upon your request).
    • A single supplement is required if you are traveling alone.
    • The triple room is possible upon your request.

Customer Reviews

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable

5.0

Excellent

1 reviews

* Your rating is here:
  • Samuel

    Samuel

    Jul 12, 2023
    5.0 Excellent

    Protect the environment of Halong Bay

    The issue of trash floating in Halong Bay is indeed disheartening and takes away from the natural beauty of the area. Witnessing such a majestic place marred by piles of trash can be truly heartbreaking. It is crucial for authorities and stakeholders to address this problem and take measures to preserve and protect the environment of Halong Bay, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its magic.
CUSTOMIZABLE BY LOCAL EXPERTS

CUSTOMIZABLE BY LOCAL EXPERTS

Personalized trip at the original price!

REFUND GUARANTEE

REFUND GUARANTEE

We believe in our work and promise to give you money back.

GOOD PRICE / QUALITY

GOOD PRICE / QUALITY

95% satisfied more than expected!

24/7 LOCAL SUPPORT

24/7 LOCAL SUPPORT

We are always available online to provide assistance at any time.

Reviews from Customers

Please take a look at the following reviews from our customers!

Quick Tour Inquiry