Classic Vietnam

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A classic panoramic journey through the heart of Vietnam from the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City through the Mekong Delta, to ancient Hoi An & Hue before relaxing aboard a traditonal cruise on the magical Halong Bay


Duration: 11 Days
Starts in: Vietnam
Group Size: 4-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.


Join Ho Chi Minh

Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh, you are welcomed by your guide and driven to the hotel for check-in. Please look out for the World Expeditions welcome board as leave the arrivals hall. The guide will provide trip briefing before heading out into the city for a welcome dinner. Dinner will be served at a social enterprise restaurant which provides vocational training in the hospitality industry to disadvantaged youths. We return to hotel after dinner, evening at leisure. Overnight: Muong Thanh Sai Gon or similar

City Tour & Cu Chi Tunnels

This morning we'll gather in the lobby at 08.00 and head straight to the Ho Thi Ky flower market. We take the time to walk past the colorful stalls and discover a very wide array of flowers and scents. Next we will visit the museum of traditional medicine FITO. Wander around the 5 floors of the building, and explore this impressive collection of information and objects that explains history and philosophy of the traditional medicine. We end our morning meeting some coffee experts, young guys passionate about this beverage from its western form to the purest Vietnamese way it can be served. They will introduce us to the different blends and aromas of coffee before getting into a practical workshop. Lunch is at your leisure in the city. In the afternoon, we take venture out to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. These tunnels were of significant importance to the Viet Cong forces during the Vietnam/ American war. Visiting the tunnels we learn about the history of the site and also have the opportunity to explore some of the expansive underground system ourselves.You can choose to spend the rest of the day at leisure or follow the guide on an optional evening for foodies. Overnight: Muong Thanh Sai Gon or similar

Explore the Mekong Delta, flight to Da Nang

Today, we are going to discover the Mekong delta as very few others do. We start with a 2-hour drive to the doorstep of this amazing region and first unveil some villages from the back of local motorised tricycles. We then hop on our private boat to start our exploration of the mighty river and the life it generates. The day is filled with visits of local workshops and also includes venturing on narrow arroyos on board traditional rowed sampan. Lunch is served at a restaurant on the riverside. We return to Ho Chi Minh in the mid-afternoon to catch our flight to Da Nang. You are greeted in Da Nang and driven to the hotel in Hoi An ancient town. The evening is at your leisure. Overnight: Silk Luxury Hotel & Spa or similar

Explore Ancient Hoi An

Today you have a full day at leisure to enjoy some shopping in Hoi An town or to go to the beach. We recommend An Bang beach, located about 4 kilometers North of Hoi An. If you want to try some more typical food, here comes a handful of little hints: for street food lovers, we highly recommend you to get a Banh Mi sandwich at Madam Khanh’s stall (115 Tran Cao Van street), a legendary Cao Lau soup or a plate of crispy Hoanh Thanh. If you crave seafood, look for the little Huyen Tran Cong Chua street that goes along the River to the East of the old quarter; grab a seat at Song Thu restaurant but ask them to hand you a menu with prices on it. Overnight: Silk Luxury Hotel & Spa or similar

Hoi An to Lang Co then on to Hue

Enjoy a leisurely morning before we hit the road to the north. We drive through Da Nang and up and over the stunning Hai Van Pass. The downhill section of the pass offers spectacular views over Lang Co Bay. We arrive about lunch time in Lang Co and have lunch on a floating restaurant on the bay. In the afternoon, we complete our drive to Hue. Before heading to the hotel, we will visit the tomb of emperor Tu Duc and may have the chance to enjoy the lights of sunset from the top of a nearby pine tree hill overlooking the Perfume River. In the late afternoon, check-in and make yourself comfortable. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight: Romance Hotel or similar

Explore Hue, afternoon flight to Hanoi

After breakfast, we go visit the citadel, symbol of Hue’s heritage. The visit enables us to dive into the feudal time of Vietnam, and to understand more about the life during the latest imperial period. We then transfer to the village of the Mandarins, where we hop on bicycles for a leisure ride around ancient garden houses built by the Mandarins of the Emperors. We will meet their descendants, exchanges stories, taste some local exotic fruits and be hosted by a family for lunch. In the afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival we are met by our driver and transferred to the hotel in the city center. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Overnight: Skylark Hotel or similar

Local markets & cooking class, afternoon city tour

In the morning, we transfer to a restaurant, where today's culinary adventure will start. Taking a leisure cyclo ride along the streets of the old quarter, we head to a local market to gain an insight about different ingredients of the Vietnamese cuisine and the social aspect of locals daily visit to the market. We then transfer to a nice restaurant where we will participate in a cooking class in a “masterchef” competition mode. We are divided in teams and compete about the classic dishes of the Northern ethnic cuisines. After enjoying lunch on the food we have prepared we head to the Temple of Literature, a gem of architecture and an immense piece of heritage. From there we walk along the Hung Vuong Avenue and its preserved colonial villas to the Ho Chi Minh complex. We visit the gardens of the Presidential Palace with its giant mango trees, the house on stilts of Ho Chi Minh and the One-pillar Pagoda. On our way back to the hotel, we squeeze through a very narrow gangway to enter a hidden café. We walk to its top floor and have an egg coffee or a fruit juice with a very nice view over the Hoan Kiem Lake. Overnight: Skylark Hotel or similar

Explore Ninh Binh

This morning we depart early and drive to the aptly named, "Ha Long Bay of the land". After around 2hrs we reach the ancient imperial capital of Hoa Lu where we stop to visit the only remaining temples dedicated to the Lê and Dinh dynasties. From here we switch transport for two wheels, hopping on a bicycle to travel at a relaxed pace on the backroads of this stunning region. Winding our way between rice fields down the valley with the famous limestone karsts towering up either side of us, cycling is definitely the best way to experience the natural beauty of this place. The ride is about 10km on mostly flat terrain before we reach Tam Coc where we'll pause for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the Bich Dong Pagoda, a charming collection of cave temples. The Lower Pagoda is situated at the base, with a 100 steps which lead to the Middle Pagoda, from which there is a shorter but steep climb to the Upper Pagoda. Inside each cave temple, looming statues peer from the haze of burning incense. The views to the outside provide incredible views over the surrounding landscape. Overnight: Legend Ninh Binh or similar

Ha Long Bay cruise

We depart early this morning for Halong. We drive across the Red River delta and reach the coast little before noon. We embark on a beautifully crafted wooden junk for an overnight cruise in the legendary seascape of Halong. Once on board, we are served a delicious seafood-based buffet lunch, while the limestone rocks are setting up the décor. In the afternoon, we reach a less traveled area and will devote ourselves to relaxation, sunbathing, and visiting a cave. The program is not fixed and depends on the time of the year and weather. We end the day on the sundeck while the sun sets. It is time for an aperitif or to attend a cooking demonstration before dinner. Overnight in a comfortable private cabin with attached bathroom. Overnight: Garden Bay Cruise

Ha Long Bay cruise, afternoon return to Hanoi

At dawn, an early Tai Chi session is proposed, coffee and tea are served early as well for the early birds wishing to see the beautiful lights of sunrise. Check out the cabin and we then hop on rowed sampan to visit a secluded floating village, one of the last remaining communities living on the bay. We return to the boat and brunch is served as we are cruising back to the dock. We disembark and drive to the hotel in Hanoi. End of the day at leisure. Please note: Cruise itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, tide levels and operating conditions. Swimming or kayaking excursions may be cancelled due to poor weather. Overnight: Skylark Hotel or similar

In Hanoi, trip concludes

Our journey concludes today in Hanoi. The day is at leisure after breakfast, until we pick you up to transfer to the airport.

Additional Information

If you are short on time then this journey takes in the 'must see' gems of fascinating Vietnam. Beginning in Ho Chi Minh City, discover the Mekong delta as very few others do on a river cruise and visit local workshops. Enjoy time to explore the world heritage town of Hoi An, where we discover the serenity and beauty of this must see port town. Our journey winds its way across the spectacular Hai Van Pass to the ancient capital of Hue, where we discover the Citadel on the banks of the Perfume River, and village of the Mandarins. From here we fly to Hanoi where our culinary adventures continue with a cooking class and local market visit. We immerse ourselves in Hanoi's sights including the Temple of Literature, the gardens of the Presidential Palace and One-pillar Pagoda. From here we escape to the ancient imperial capital of Hoa Lu and cycle the backroads of the region to Tam Coc valley. Experience the tranquil islands and limestone peaks of stunning Halong Bay with an overnight cruise on a beautifully crafted wooden junk before our adventure concludes in the bustling city of Hanoi.


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