Classic Vietnam Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
Sail through limestone karsts aboard a traditional junk boat and walk the streets of imperial capitals. From vibrant Hanoi, the natural beauty of Halong Bay, the atmospheric imperial capital of Hue and the charms of Hoi An to the modern day life of Saigon, experience the energy of Vietnam in 10 jam-packed days. An experienced CEO will lead you to must-see highlights but allow plenty of time for you to do your own thing.
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
Day 1 Hanoi
Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities today until an evening welcome meeting. After the meeting, opt for dinner out with the group.
Tonight, the adventure begins. Feel free to explore — but make sure you're back in time to meet your group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your trip.
Day 2 Hanoi (1B, 1L, 1D)
Enjoy a Ha Long Bay cruise on a junk boat with visits to a cave and an island lookout. Savour a seafood lunch and dinner.
Drive to Bai Chay harbour, the jumping off point for Ha Long Bay. Thousands of islands with intricate cave systems rise dramatically from the waters. Sail past limestone karst mountains in the junk boat and stop to visit some of the islands and caves. In the evening, devour a seafood dinner, then opt to enjoy a drink on deck under the stars.
Halong Bay Overnight Cruise
Board a traditional junk boat at Ha Long Bay harbour and cruise out onto serene waters. Marvel at massive limestone karst mountains jutting out of the water, creating unforgettable spectacular scenery. Swim, kayak or go cave exploring on one of the islands, if conditions are right. Indulge in fresh seafood meals with a variety of dishes to sample. Drift to sleep in a cozy cabin on board.
Day 3 Ha Long (1B)
Cruise back to the port and take a private van to Hanoi. Enjoy some time in the city before an overnight train to Hue.
Enjoy breakfast on board before a morning sail back to the port. Drive back to Hanoi for a little more time to enjoy the city before boarding an overnight train.
Free Time Hanoi Afternoon
Spend a few hours exploring this beautiful capital city. Visit some shops, have a bia hoi on a street corner or grab a coffee in a lakeside café.
Drive about 15 mins to the station and then board the southbound train for the overnight journey.
Day 4 Huế
Guided tour of the Imperial Citadel, Royal Tomb and Tien Mu Pagoda. Optional countryside motorbike tour.
Arrive early to Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam. Start the day with a visit to the Tien Mu Pagoda followed by a visit to the tomb of one of Vietnam’s former emperors. After, opt for a vegetarian lunch at a local nunnery. With free time, take a motorbike tour of the area. While in the city, try some local Hue specialties such as banh khoai (Hue savoury pancakes), and banh bot loc boc tom thit (thin rice paper filled with meat and shrimp). Wash it all down with a Hue beer.
Visit Tien Mu, one of the tallest and, perhaps, most elegant pagodas in Vietnam, at seven storeys high. Take a step back in time touring this historic temple - built more than 400 years ago along the north shore of the Perfume River, it has been the site of many political protests.
Tour this one-time capital city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the walled fortress and former palace, which has many palaces, gateways, courtyards and gardens to explore. The Forbidden Purple City (modelled on China's Forbidden City) inside the citadel was once home to the imperial family and was significantly damaged during the Vietnam War.
Visit the Royal Tombs along the Perfume River in Hue. Embracing the concept of Feng Shui, these tombs are extremely ornate and provide fantastic insight into the lives of the former rulers.
Day 5 Huế (1B)
Drive the Hai Van pass. Take advantage of Hoi An's many options over the 2.5 days in town. Opt for a cooking class, riverboat trip, bike ride, beach time, tailor visit or My Son ruins.
Start the day touring the wonderful ruins of the Imperial Citadel before heading towards Hoi An in the late morning. Cross the Hai Van Pass (weather permitting), with fantastic views in all directions, before arriving to Hoi An in the afternoon. With three nights here, there's plenty of time to explore all this charming town has to offer.
Free Time Hoi An Afternoon
Use free time in this quaint town to explore any way you like.
Day 6 Hoi An (1B, 1L)
Spend two full days exploring all Hoi An has to offer. Dive into the culture, hang out on the beach or get clothes tailor-made in one of the many shops around town. Enjoy a noodle making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, a Planeterra-supported project.
Try some of the oodles of noodles (more than 26 types!) available in the city in this tasty cooking class. Run by Planeterra Foundation partners, STREETS International, the class was developed exclusively for G Adventures. Former street youth that are part of this hospitality training program, will help you prepare and cook a number of different types of noodles. This program helps these youth practice their English, increasing their skill-set and opportunities available to them in the tourism industry. Enjoy your yummy creations while learning more about the local cuisine and this initiative which empowers street youth through skills and employment training.
Free Time Hoi An Half Day
Explore this charming city.
Day 7 Hoi An (1B)
Spend a free day exploring all Hoi An has to offer.
Free Time Hoi An Full Day
Enjoy free time in this charming town.
Day 8 Hoi An (1B)
Fly from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City with free time to explore this hectic city.
Drive to Da Nang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, once the capital of South Vietnam and the country’s commercial centre. Start exploring the small alleys and busy streets keeping an eye out for laquerware shops and delicious local food stalls.
Day 9 Ho Chi Minh City (1B)
Enjoy a guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels and learn more about the Vietnam War. Use free time in the afternoon to explore sprawling Ho Chi Minh City.
With some free time in the city, opt to visit the Thien Hau and Giac Vien pagodas and stroll through the immense Ben Thanh Market. Also well worth a visit are the Reunification Palace (the residence of South Vietnam presidents before 1975), the city's Chinese quarter of Cholon, and the War Remnants Museum.
Take a guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex network of tunnels (200km or 125 mi) that the Viet Cong lived in to protect themselves from opposing forces during the Vietnam War. Try crawling through some of the tunnels (if you’re not claustrophobic) – these tunnels stored ammunition, had underground hospitals, and served as a hidden base for attacking allied forces.
Free Time Ho Chi Minh City Afternoon
Get out and explore this frenetic city.
Day 10 Ho Chi Minh City (1B)
Depart at any time.