Landscapes of Vietnam

Guided Holidays
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation

Combining vast verdant landscapes with vibrant metropolises, this narrow strip of land has heaps to offer travellers. Spanning 14 days, Landscapes of Vietnam is an opportunity to delve deep into Vietnam’s history, culture, cuisine and natural world with visits to its top sights and hidden gems. Internal flights, sleeper trains and scenic drives mean you’ll cover plenty of ground with stops in the north, south and central regions of the country. You’ll be able to observe the distinct cultures and landscapes that make up this beautiful country and interact with its different ethnic groups through market trips, farm visits and more. The vibrant cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are packed full of historical and cultural sights while Halong Bay and Sapa are the perfect places to enjoy the majesty of nature. Villages in the northern highlands, such as Lao Chai and Ta Van, act as perfect jumping off points to discover life in rural Vietnam, whilst Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and the tunnel complex of Cu Chi will provide a deep insight into Vietnam’s rich history.

£1599

from / per person

Excludes international flights

  • Hanoi + Sapa + Halong Bay + Hue + Hoi An + Da Nang + Ho Chi Minh City + Mekong Delta
  • 13 nights
  • Rates vary. Price based on 2 people sharing over 10 nights on 25/02/19. Includes accommodation, transfers, representation services and UK airport taxes. Excludes international flights.

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Day 1 - Hanoi

Your Vietnamese adventure begins! Your driver and guide will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in downtown Hanoi. Later in the afternoon you’ll explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter by cyclo (Vietnamese rickshaw), and finish of the evening with a welcome dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.

Uncover Hanoi

Situated in the North, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and is the second largest city in the country. More than a thousand years old, Hanoi’s rich history can still be observed to this day in the ancient architecture of its Old Quarter, as well as in the remnants of French and Chinese-style buildings across the city. This bustling metropolis is home to fascinating museums, turn-of-the-century temples and important historical sites.

Day 2 - Hanoi - Lao Cai

Explore Hanoi’s rich culture and history with a morning tour of the city’s most important sites and museums: Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum (comprising the late Vietnamese leader’s tomb, Presidential Palace, and house, within an extensive complex of beautiful gardens), the One Pillar Pagoda (just a few meters from the Mausoleum, this is a small and curious Pagoda designed in the shape of a Lotus flower), Ho Chi Minh’s private residence, the Tran Quoc Royal Pagoda (a stunning Pagoda situated between city’s two lakes, offering stunning views of Hanoi) and the Temple of Literature (erected in honour of Confucious, this is a peaceful haven in the bustling city of Hanoi and was the first University of Vietnam). Later in the afternoon you’ll continue your tour with a visit to the Museum of Ethnology and Ngoc Son Temple, a mesmerising sacred structure situated in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. You’ll then have the opportunity to go shopping on Silk Street (famous for its tailor-made silk stores), before heading to the famous Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre to witness the mesmerizing ancient tradition of water puppeteering. After dinner, you’ll board an overnight train at 21.00 for an exciting trip to Lao Cai.

Day 3 - Lao Cai - Sapa

Upon arrival in Lao Cai, you will be transferred to a colourful Sunday market, Bac Ha, frequented by the region’s many different ethnic groups. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy the exploding colours of hand-made textiles and the rich aromas of local street food. After your market visit, you’ll journey to Sapa - Vietnam’s famous alpine town, where you can admire breathtaking views of the region’s rice terraces. After a picnic lunch in Sapa, you’ll visit the Lao Chai village of the Black Hmong minority and the Ta Van village of the Giay minority, including a visit to a Catholic church. These unspoilt villages will give you a deep insight into Vietnamese culture, as you venture off the beaten track.

Discover the Beautiful Landscapes of Sapa

Situated 1650m above sea level, this misty and beautiful mountain range forms part of the final mountains in the Himalayan chain. The environment here is vastly different to the rest of Vietnam, dropping at times to cool temperatures. Sapa is renowned for its impressive landscapes – in particular, the stepped hills of local rice terraces.

Day 4 - Lao Cai - Hanoi

After breakfast, you’ll trek up to Ham Rong Mountain to observe a unique dance performance by the region’s ethnic minorities. After the performance, you’ll depart for the 100-m Silver Waterfall, hidden amongst the verdant pine forest. On the way, you’ll be able to stop and chat with locals about life in the highlands. After a picnic lunch, you’ll be escorted back to Sapa. Later in the afternoon, you’ll visit Ta Phin village to enjoy the rich culture of the Dao, one of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities. After trying some local dishes over dinner, you’ll transfer back to Lao Cai to take an overnight train to Hanoi.

Day 5 - Hanoi - Halong

After breakfast, your guide will take you to the spectacular Halong Bay. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta, admiring the landscapes of rice fields, water buffalos and interspersed Vietnamese villages. Once in Halong Bay, you’ll cruise through the poetic landscape on a traditional Junk (sailing ship). Throughout the day you’ll explore the array of naturally formed islets and caves scattered across the seascape. You’ll even be able to visit Luon cave by paddle boat! In the evening, you’ll enjoy a fresh seafood dinner on the moonlit bay, with the option of either sleeping onboard overnight or staying at a hotel.

Sail through the deep blue waters of Halong Bay

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is scattered with more than 2000 floating islands of karstic rock. Legend has it that these floating islands were created by a family of dragons who were invoked by the Emperor to protect Vietnam against Chinese invaders. The dragons flew across the bay, spitting out jewels and jade, which magically turned into scattered islands. Together, these islands linked to create a protective barrier, which can still be admired to this day.

Day 6 - Halong – Hanoi – Hue

Wake up early to view the sunrise over the bay whilst sipping on a cup of “Trung Nguyen” – Vietnam’s signature espresso. You’ll sail to the recently-discovered Surprise Grotto, as well as the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Cruise along to Bai Tu Long bay, weaving through rock formations reminiscent of shapes such as fighting cocks, dragons and even General de Gaulle’s nose! After another wonderful fresh seafood lunch, you’ll transfer back to Hanoi by road. Once in Hanoi, you’ll fly to Hue from Noi Bai International Airport.

Day 8 - Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An

After breakfast, you’ll embark on a picturesque journey to Hoi An. Venturing across the Hai Van mountain pass, one of the most beautiful roads in all of Asia, you’ll traverse through verdant mountains flanked by the South China Sea and stop for a glimpse of the panoramic view over Lang Co beach. The highest point of the pass sits at 1,627 ft. and is perpetually shrouded in clouds. Continuing your journey south, you’ll stop at the fascinating Cham museum in Da Nang, where you’ll be able to explore the Buddhist Shrines of the Marble Mountain Caves before arriving at your hotel in Hoi An.

Days 9 & 10 - Hoi An

Over your two days in Hoi An, you’ll be able to get to the heart of this beautiful riverside town. Take a stroll through its ancient streets, admiring the complex of 844 houses and temples, including Old House of Tan Ky, an 18th-century merchant’s residence carved with Chinese poems. Visit the city’s colourful market and delve into the rich aromas of Quang Nam cuisine – there are plenty of street food options on offer! Hoi An’s shopping scene abounds with affordable, yet high-quality tailor services, as well as a plethora of fair-trade shops that are worth visiting for some light retail therapy during your stay.

Immerse yourself in the ancient town of Hoi An

A picturesque riverside town, Hoi An was formally the port of the Cham Kingdom. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town’s architecture – with narrow streets, roof-tiled houses, carved pillars and lacquered panels - lays testament to the heavy Chinese influence in the area during the height of Hoi An’s trading years in the 16th century.

Day 11: Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Da Nang Airport, where you will take a one-hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon). After settling in at your hotel, you’ll take a morning city tour, including stops at some of the country’s finest examples of French colonial architecture, such as the19th-century Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Saigon Post Office. In the afternoon, you’ll have the chance to explore the History Museum, Reunification Palace, Criminal Museum, Big Market (Cho Lon) and Ben Thanh Market.

Experience the vibrancy of Ho Chi Minh City

Formerly known as Saigon, the capital of Southern Vietnam was baptised Ho Chi Minh City after the Vietnam war. This rapidly-developing metropolis is buzzing with restaurants, bars and shopping centres. At night, the city transforms into a Tokyo-esque light-fest, with coloured lights beaming from high-rise buildings. Vibrant and fast-paced, Ho Chi Minh even has the greatest number of motorcycles in the world! Modernity is met by tradition, however, as the city is also renowned for its French colonial buildings, internationally-acclaimed museums and historic landmarks.

Day 12 - Ho Chi Minh City – The Mekong Delta

Embark on an excursion to the Mekong Delta, a breathtaking maze of canals, swamps and islands. You’ll visit Cai Be, a floating market where you can try exotic fruits. After an atmospheric lunch in a bonsai garden, you’ll be taken back to Ho Chi Minh City for a leisurely afternoon.

Travel through the Mekong Delta

This vast expanse of land is home to more than 20 million people and is renowned for its picturesque panoramas of rice paddy fields, floating villages, and jungle-like rivers. An agricultural centre, the Mekong Delta is teeming with coconut palms, sugarcane groves and fruit orchards. The region truly gives an authentic insight into rural Vietnam, with its friendly locals and laidback atmosphere.

Day 13 - Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi – Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, you’ll travel to Cu Chi, the heart of revolutionary guerrilla warfare during the Vietnam War. This is a vast network of underground tunnels reaching almost 200 km, encompassing kitchens, weapon caches, a hospital, and even a former US air base. You’ll be invited to crawl in safe areas of the tunnels followed by a visit to a shooting range where you can try out a number of assault rifles – including an M16 rifle, an AK-47, and an M60 (light machine gun). You’ll then return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon for some free leisure time.

Day 14 - Ho Chi Minh City - Departure

Enjoy your free time at your hotel or some last-minute souvenir shopping on the last day of your trip. Your guide will meet you later to transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

Hanoi Golden Holiday Hotel

Located in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the family-run Hanoi Golden Holiday Hotel is just a 10-minute walk from a number of important sites in the city. With its French-style architecture and superb service, Hanoi Golden Holiday is glamorous and luxurious, whilst maintaining an atmosphere of intimacy and homeliness. The hotel’s facilities include a café, dining room and restaurant, with exquisite Vietnamese cuisine on offer.

Sapa Dragon Hotel

Situated in the remote highlands of Sapa this charming boutique chalet is a convenient two-minute walk from the famous Holy Rosary church (built by the French in the early 20th century), as well as the foot of Ham Rong Mountain. The rooms in Sapa Dragon Hotel are modern and comfortable, equipped with a flat-screen TV, an ensuite bathroom, a minibar and free Wi-Fi. Complete with a beautiful terrace, a garden and a stone-hearth fireplace, Sapa Dragon Hotel promises a memorable stay in the Sapa region. 

Annam Junk

The Annam Junk is a traditional Vietnamese ship, inspired by 14th-century wooden junks. Staying overnight aboard this exquisitely decorated vessel, you’ll be able to enjoy some spectacular views of Halong Bay as the sun rises and sets over its glistening waters. The ship houses a restaurant and bar serving fresh seafood dishes 18 hours a day. It also offers a beautiful terrace and 28 guestrooms. The Annam Junk’s deluxe cabins are each 10m2, fitted with panoramic windows, heated wooden wall panels, air-conditioning and a hot-water walk-in shower. A night aboard promises a truly unforgettable experience in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay.

Serene Palace Hotel

Stylish and sleek, the brand-new Serene Palace Hotel is centrally located in Hue – just a 5-minute walk from the Perfume River and a number of important attractions. The Hue Serene Palace promises lavish comforts and excellent service, with free WiFi, laundry services, room service, and money exchange. Serving breakfast daily at the Serene Palace Restaurant, guests can also request for their breakfast be delivered to their room. Rooms are spacious, elegantly decorated, and beautifully-lit. Each room features air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a personal computer, a safe, and an ensuite bathroom.

Green River Boutique Hotel

Just a short walk from the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Green River Boutique Hotel sits on the Hoai River in the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boasting an outdoor swimming pool, a spectacular spa, and a luxury bar and restaurant, the Green River Boutique is a truly exquisite hotel. Offering a choice between city or river views, the Deluxe Rooms come equipped with a private balcony, as well as an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower and bathtub. The interior design beautifully blends traditional and contemporary styles.

Sonnet Hotel

Just a stone’s through away from the Reunification Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, Ben Tanh Market and the War Remnants Museum, Sonnet Hotel has the ideal location for those looking to get to the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. A modern hotel, each room offers panoramic windows and a balcony with views of the city, as well as an ensuite bathroom and a flat-screen TV. Equipped with a restaurant, a café and free WiFi, Sonnet Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay in Vietnam’s most cosmopolitan metropolis. Conveniently, the hotel is just a 20-minute drive from Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

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