“From bold and beautiful to delicate and serene, see all sides of Vietnam on this 10-day adventure!”
Vietnam is a country of luscious forest, dramatic karst landscapes of hills and valleys, giving rise to caves of twisting and surreal natural architecture. This ten-day tour will give you some time to explore the highlights of the breathtaking country. Begin your travels in the bustling city of Hanoi to experience some cultural vibrancy and make the countryside seem even more tranquil. Move out of the city to visit Cuc Phuong National Park to discover the intriguing wildlife and see the invaluable work conservationists are carrying out to protect the primate population.
Enjoy boat trips gliding through the glassy water of the bays, between towering limestone islands specked with trees. Contrast this with intriguing boat journeys through dense mangrove and learn about local wildlife and aquaculture.
Top off your travels exploring the majestic imperial city in Hue and a stay in a humble yet beautiful stilt house, traditional to the hill tribes.
Your tour guides take sustainability very seriously. You will see this in the way they collect trash wherever possible to create a cleaner and more beautiful environment and to set a good example. Your group size will be limited to 10 so that they can effectively guide you on how best to treat the environment and your hosts. Small numbers also allow for your food to be provided locally and sustainably. Your hosts will cook for you, giving you a taste of traditional Vietnamese fare. Your money will go to local people to support a livelihood in tourism rather than more destructive industries. In return for learning about the delicious local food and the beautiful culture, the guides will encourage conversations with locals about maintaining clean, healthy environments.
You will stay with locals in homestays and guest houses run by local people. Learn about Vietnam as locals see it and feel the warmth and hospitality of the culture. Homestays work in rotation through the villages since this shares the wealth and experience throughout the whole village.
Welcome to Hanoi! Meet your guide at the airport and go to check in at your hotel. Settle in and rest. Today is a free day where you can explore and get some impressions of Vietnam. In the evening, there are chances to attend cultural shows such as Ca Tru, Tuong, Cheo, and the unique water puppet show. If you arrive at the weekend, you can explore the vibrancy of the night market. Overnight in Hanoi.
Wake up early for a pick up from the hotel at 7.00 am. Drive about 3.5 hours to Ninh Binh and into Cuc Phuong National Park. Here, you will visit the primate rescue centre to learn about the invaluable work that is being done to protect the beautiful creatures of Vietnam. After this, fuel up on delicious lunch. Check in to your room early.
In the afternoon, you will trek through the sublime landscape of the park. Along the way, your guide will point out the incredible insects and reptiles of the area. Head back to the park centre for a shower and some dinner. You will overnight in a simple guest house here in the park.
Wake up to a delicious breakfast at 8.00 am then enjoy the morning. You have some free time to relax or stroll through the park. Later in the morning, you will head to the Botanical Gardens and the oldest forest in Vietnam. Later still, transfer on to Trang An, a world heritage site. Here, you will glide across the water, amongst towering stone peaks, and into limestone caves. Have lunch at a local restaurant then take a transfer to Nam Dinh. You will arrive at the homestay in the early evening to settle in and relax.
Begin the day with breakfast with your local host family. When you’re ready, you will head out on the boat trip through Xuan Thuy National Park along the Ramsar forest, through the mangrove forest. Here, you will have the opportunity to see a plethora of birds including Black-faced Spoonbill, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Spotted (Nordmann’s) Greenshank, Saunder’s Gull, and Asian Dowitcher.
Off the boat, you will lunch at a local farmhouse and learn about the aquaculture here. In the afternoon, you will walk around Giao Xuan village. The village has worked to become a place for sustainable ecotourism by focusing on protecting its wildlife and building homestays which provide an alternative to the large, polluting hotels which are popping up around the country. In the village, you will explore the culture, traditions, and current society. Have dinner with the family and stay the night in the same homestay.
Depart for Ha Long Bay around 8 am. Arrive at the port around noon, and here...welcome on board! You will be shown to your cabin and have a pre-trip briefing. Enjoy a fresh, local seafood lunch while cruising the bay. Enjoy the magic of this incredible area. You will stop for a swim and visit the mysterious cave. Take time on a secluded island-beach or explore more of the bay by kayak. Later, you will return to the boat in time to watch the sunset from the top deck. Have more fresh, local seafood for dinner.
Early risers can enjoy a stunning sunrise and the utter peace of the Bay’s landscape. Have breakfast around 8 am before you head out on a short rowboat ride.
Lunch on the boat as you cruise slowly back to the pier. Hit the road back to Hanoi around 5.30 pm. At around 6.30 you will catch the night train to Hue. You will share an AC soft sleeper cabin.
Begin today with a visit to the Imperial City in Hue to learn about the historical royal kingdom here. The complex and resplendent citadel is truly a monument to the country’s past. See the intricate interiors and beautiful gardens.
From the citadel, make your way to your boat ride along the Perfume River and stop at Thien Mu Pagoda. Otherwise known as the Pagoda of the Celestial Lady, this is a historic temple. Continue your boat journey downstream, watching the beautiful scenery glide by. Enjoy lunch aboard the boat.
The afternoon will start with a bike ride to the village of Tien Non. Along the way, you will be surrounded by a suffusion of heady flowers. A little further on, find yourselves in Thanh Tien, a paper-flower-making village. Try your hand at making one for yourself! You will also see some traditional folk painting before riding on through the countryside of Hue. Head back to your hotel for the early evening and relax and settle down for the night.
After breakfast at the hotel, head out on a cycle ride. This is an amazing way to explore, feel a breeze on your skin, and get a feel for the area. You will visit Dong Ba Market, then explore the Royal Tombs, prioritising Ming Mang and Khai Dinh for the sublime architecture. You have lots to do today so you will not see all of the tombs but you will certainly find the highlights take your breath away. Head back to the hotel for a shower, chill, and check-out. Then enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, leave Hue city for A Luoi town. Along the way, you will see the bustle of life of the Katu and Ta Oi hill tribes. Arriving at A Luoi, you will head to an A Shau village. This was a violent battlefield during the war and was also severely hit with dioxin poison. Head on then to A Roang village, along the Ho Chi Minh trail, taking a rest on the way at a hot spring. Arriving is the Aka Chi village, you will meet local hosts and learn about the Ta Oi people. Enjoy a memorable dinner in a traditional stilt house and watch a cultural show, then slope, tired but exhilarated, off to bed at the communal stilt house homestay.
Wake up early to breath the fresh mountain air and enjoy the serenity. Breakfast will be served at the homestay. Check-out and take a relaxed hike through the jungle to learn about the flora and fauna of the area. Your guide will teach you about the complex ecosystem of the area.
After the walk, get back on the road back to Hue, stopping for a restaurant lunch on the way. Spend the night back in Hue.
On your final day, you can enjoy a relaxed breakfast and check out of your hotel for midday. Depending on the time of your flight, you may have time to shop and explore the city a little before you are transferred to the airport. Say a fond farewell to your guides and head home or off on more adventures!
- The price shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' to speak to the operator directly about this tour's availability, departure dates, and costs
- Price is based on double occupancy. A single supplement applies
- 80% refund available until 30 days prior to check-in; 50% refund available 15 days prior to check-in; 25% refund available 6 days prior to check-in; within 5 days of check-in there will be no refund
- Airport transfer
- Entrance fees and activity fees
- Some meals
- Bike and helmet
- Some meals
- International Airfare
- Drinks and snacks outside of the included meals
- Personal expenses