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Hanoi to Saigon

A fascinating 16-day Vietnam tour, travelling south from Hanoi to Saigon and the Mekong Delta by way of the World Heritage Sites of Halong Bay, Trang An, Hue and Hoi An

Vietnam tour, north to south

A wonderful introduction to this stunning and still often traditional Southeast Asian country. Our Vietnam tour, Hanoi to Saigon, combines many of the country’s essential sites and some of its hidden places with a wide variety of destinations, landscapes and activities.

Beginning in Vietnam’s elegant capital Hanoi and finishing in bustling, vibrant Ho Chi Minh City (still Saigon to most of its residents) our tour includes the World Heritage Sites of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park with its awe-inspiring karst scenery – including what’s claimed to be the world’s largest cave – the old imperial capital of Hue, charming Hoi An, the dramatic vistas of famous Halong Bay, Ninh Binh Province with its UNESCO, World Heritage, Trang An landscapes and the myriad waterways and islands of the Mekong Delta.

Discover the country’s past and present: ruined temples of the Cham Empire, glorious pagodas and royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty, the more recent, tragic sites of the Vietnam War and the friendly people, exotic cuisine, fantastic landscapes and exciting cities of Hanoi and Saigon.

For those with less time to spare we also offer a shorter, 11-day, version – World Heritage Sites of Vietnam – taking you by road and rail from Hanoi to finish at Danang International Airport.



Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

Day 1 - Hanoi - explore your surroundings

Arrival in Hanoi and check-in to a downtown hotel close to the Old City. Afternoon at leisure to relax or explore the area with an optional trip to see the unique water-puppet show before a local-style welcome dinner introduces you to the country’s sumptuous cuisine.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package.

Overnight: Hanoi Transport: Walk,  Meals: D,

Day 2 - Hanoi - Day tour of some of the City's sights

Tour of some of the sites of this beautiful old City, with its French colonial ambience, including Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the 11th-century University and Temple of Literature, iconic Hoan Kiem Lake, the fascinating Ethnology Museum and a stroll through the picturesque lanes of Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

Overnight: Hanoi Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 3 - Halong Bay - boat cruise of the World Heritage site

Departure for Halong Port where we’ll board the Bai Tho Junk for a 2-day journey through the dramatic limestone scenery of World Heritage Halong Bay. Explore the islands, visit the grottoes and swim on the beaches. (The boat is traditional wooden-style, yet well-appointed with air-con and en-suite cabins).

Overnight: Halong Bay Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 4 - Halong Bay - Bai Tu Long Bay and on to Ninh Binh

Early rise for dawn over Halong Bay before continuing the visit with stops at Man’s Head and Tortoise Islands, plus a tour of one of the picturesque lagoons by local rowing boat. Return to Halong Port via Bai Tu Long Bay and transfer to Ninh Binh Province for our night’s accommodation.

Overnight: Trang An Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 5 - Trang An - boat trip through the grottoes

Scenic drive through the lush paddy fields and jagged limestone escarpments of the ‘Halong of the rice fields’, Travel by rowing boat through the remarkable cave system of the Trang An Grottoes with its labyrinth of caves, tunnels and emerald streams before continuing to Ninh Binh Town to board the night sleeper train.

Overnight: Night sleeper train Transport: Minibus, Train, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 6 - Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park

Early morning arrival in Dong Hoi from where we’ll head into the hills for a day’s exploration of magnificent UNESCO status  Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. Discover the area’s primary forest, karst scenery and spectacular cave systems by foot and boat and stay overnight on a farm.

Overnight: Chay Lap Farmstay Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 7 - DMZ - sites of the DMZ and on to the ancient capital, Hue

Tour of the infamous DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) where we’ll visit some of the key sites of the Vietnam War including the Vietcong tunnels at Vinh Moc, Hien Luong Bridge on the 17th parallel which marked the border between former South and North Vietnam, and infamous Khe Sanh Combat Base – scene of some of the fiercest ground combat of the war. In the afternoon we’ll continue south to our day’s final destination, Hue.

Overnight: Hue Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 8 - Hue - imperial tombs on the Perfume River

Time to check out the spectacular sights of this historic, former imperial capital and now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Morning cruise by ‘dragon boat’ along the Perfume River to visit some of the majestic tombs of the former emperors and afternoon walk around the ancient citadel.

Overnight: Hue Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 9 - Hoi An - scenic drive from Hue to Hoi An

Short, scenic drive to nearby Hoi An Town with a stop on the way at the beautiful and spectacular beach at Lang Co, and an afternoon tour of the old town and waterfront area. Well-preserved and charming Hoi An, was one of Southeast Asia’s most important ports during the 17th to 19th centuries.

Overnight: Hoi An Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 10 - Hoi An - morning tour to ancient My Son

Morning trip to the atmospheric ruined temples of ancient My Son – Vietnam’s most important site of the former Cham Empire. The city was occupied from the 4th to 13th centuries, before succumbing to its powerful Khmer and Vietnamese neighbours. Return to Hoi An and a free afternoon to discover the picturesque old streets at your leisure, visit the bustling silk market or perhaps cycle down to the nearby beach for a dip or massage.

Overnight: Hoi An Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D,

Day 11 - Danang - Chian Beach, Marble Mt and on to Saigon

Time to explore some of the sites of the Danang region with a visit to the famous China Beach, Marble Mountain and the fascinating Cham Museum before an evening departure with a short flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

Overnight: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Transport: Minibus, Plane,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 12 - Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) - day tour of the sights

Day tour of some of the City’s fascinating sites and bustling street life including the bustling Ben Thanh Market, the War Museum, Jade Emperor Pagoda and Saigon’s own, French period Notre Dame Cathedral.

Overnight: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 13 - Saigon - the Cu Chi Tunnels and on to the Delta

Departure from Saigon for a visit to the fascinating Vietcong tunnel system at Cu Chi before continuing south to the scenic Delta town of Cai Be with some free time to explore the area. Overnight in a converted colonial-period villa on one of the region’s myriad islands.

Overnight: Cai Be Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 14 - Mekong Delta - Cai Be to Can Tho

Morning visit to Cai Be’s traditional floating market from where we’ll continue by boat through the Delta’s picturesque waterways with opportunities to visit some of the region’s cottage industries and orchards. Arrival in Vinh Long and a canoe tour of the former Vietcong jungle base at Xe Quit. After lunch we’ll head for Can Tho with the afternoon at leisure to explore this friendly riverside town or check-out the interesting Mekong Delta Museum.

Overnight: Can Tho Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, L,

Day 15 - Can Tho - floating market and afternoon return to Saigon

Early morning boat ride to the nearby floating market, one of the busiest and most photogenic in the Delta, before an afternoon return drive to Saigon, (Ho Chi Minh City) and our farewell dinner.

Overnight: Saigon Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 16 - Saigon - morning at leisure

Morning at leisure and end of tour.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the ‘with flights’ package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

Extra nights in Hanoi or Saigon or an extension to superb Phu Quoc Island after your tour are available on request.

Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary


The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Vietnam, Saigon pancake

Just a few of the many highlights

An impressive list of 7 World Heritage Sites; Hanoi old citadel, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Trang An, Phong Nha and My Son plus Saigon and the Mekong Delta and of course loads of friendly locals and superb local cuisine!

  • Take in the Old Quarter, colonial architecture, lakeside cafes, pagodas and museums of Vietnam's charming capital Hanoi
  • Visit My Son, the ancient ruined city and former capital of the Cham empire that once rivalled Angkor
  • Explore the picturesque Mekong Delta region: a labyrinth of waterways, islands and traditional villages
  • Discover the dramatic limestone scenery and caves of Trang An in Ninh Binh Province - 'Halong on Land'
  • Go underground at the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, the vast subterranean former Vietcong base
  • Sample the region's awesome and highly varied cuisine with the emphasis as usual on the authentic and local food

Air Departures (UK)

  • 12 December 18 2,925 GBP
  • 6 January 19 2,725 GBP
  • 10 February 19 2,725 GBP
  • 1 March 19 2,725 GBP
  • 28 March 19 2,725 GBP
  • 24 April 19 2,725 GBP
  • 21 May 19 2,725 GBP
  • 17 June 19 2,725 GBP
  • 14 July 19 2,725 GBP
  • 10 August 19 2,825 GBP
  • 6 September 19 2,725 GBP
  • 29 September 19 2,725 GBP
  • 22 October 19 2,725 GBP
  • 14 November 19 2,725 GBP
  • 12 December 19 2,925 GBP

Land Departures

  • 13 December 18 1,875 GBP
  • 7 January 19 1,875 GBP
  • 11 February 19 1,875 GBP
  • 2 March 19 1,875 GBP
  • 29 March 19 1,875 GBP
  • 25 April 19 1,875 GBP
  • 22 May 19 1,875 GBP
  • 18 June 19 1,875 GBP
  • 15 July 19 1,875 GBP
  • 11 August 19 1,875 GBP
  • 7 September 19 1,875 GBP
  • 30 September 19 1,875 GBP
  • 23 October 19 1,875 GBP
  • 15 November 19 1,875 GBP
  • 13 December 19 1,875 GBP

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Hanoi

*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

MK Premier Boutique Hotel, Hanoi

  • Not sure about the name but the hotel's great
  • Located in the heart of Hanoi's picturesque old town
  • Handy for exploring or just relax in their street-side cafe

Bai Tho Junk, Halong Bay view

  • Overnight on a junk in UNESCO Halong Bay
  • Excellently appointed and comfortable private cabins
  • 2 day, 1 night cruise of this World Heritage Site

Rosaleen Hotel, Hue

  • In the heart of Hue, a short walk from the waterfront
  • Friendly staff, pool and great rooftop
  • Excellent in-house bar and restaurant

Vinh Hung (Library) Hotel, Hoi An view

  • Funky decor at the Vinh Lung or Library, Hotel
  • Covenient central location in UNESCO Hoi An
  • Great cafe/bar area and spectacular roof-top pool

Sonnet Hotel, Saigon, (Ho Chi Minh City) view

  • Smart, new and comfortable the friendly Sonnet Hotel
  • Great location in the heart of Saigon City
  • Convenient for our city tour as well as leisure time

Ba Duc Ancient House, Cai Be view

  • Our night's accommodation on a Mekong Delta island
  • A delightful old, converted French period villa
  • Comfortable rooms and superb local cuisine

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Vietnam: A visa must be obtained before arrival in Vietnam. They are available from your nearest Vietnamese embassy at a cost of about £40 (c. $60). Further information, as well as e-visas on arrival, are available on the internet, for example, or

Further info: more details and photos of ‘Hanoi to Saigon

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