Vietnam family tour
A 2-week, fully accompanied family itinerary from north to south Vietnam
From Halong Bay all the way to the Mekong Delta
This 2-week Vietnam tour, specially designed for families, provides a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating country taking you from the spectacular landscapes of Halong and Bai Tu Long Bays, via no less than 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites, to the picturesque waterways of the Mekong Delta in the far south.
Beginning in the historic and elegant capital Hanoi we’ll take an overnight cruise through the awe-inspiring scenery of Halong Bay before travelling south to explore the celebrated karst landscapes of Ninh Binh Province – ‘Halong in the paddy-fields’ – and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park plus the historic old port of Hoi An and the former imperial capital Hue.
A flight from Danang Airport takes us to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to discover some of the commercial capital’s markets, pagodas and historic architecture before completing our tour with a boat trip through the lush maze of waterways of the Mekong Delta.
Just a few of the highlights include cruising Halong Bay with a night on board a traditional junk; an exploration by boat and bicycle of UNESCO-listed Trang An, kayaking through the caves at Phong Nha, a visit to Danang’s famous Golden Bridge, and a Vietnamese cookery lesson in Hoi An.
A wide range of activities, the sumptuous local cuisine, friendly people and comfortable hotels combine to provide a fascinating and rewarding tour of this beautiful region.
This is a private family tour and therefore can be organised on dates to suit your family and does not have set dates. The price is based on a family of 4 sharing two twin/double rooms. Flights are extra and vary according to the season. Please ask for our most competitive quote.
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 2 - Hanoi - city tour
A day tour of some of the varied sites of Vietnam’s capital by bicycle and bus includes the famous Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the celebrated Temple of Literature and fascinating Ethnology Museum plus a fun ‘cyclo’ tour of the narrow lanes of the bustling Old Quarter.
Overnight: Hanoi Transport: Minibus, Bike, Meals: B,
Day 3 - Halong Bay - transfer and afternoon cruise
Morning transfer to Halong to board your boat for a cruise through both UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay and, equally scenic but lesser-known, Bai Tu Long Bay with an overnight stay in comfortable on-board cabins.
Overnight: Onboard Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 4 - Halong - morning cruise and return to Hanoi
Morning cruise through the bay and return to port for a transfer to Hanoi. In the afternoon we’ll have a private ‘miniature’ showing of the famous Hanoi water puppets including learning how the puppets are made plus an actual opportunity to operate them yourselves.
Overnight: Hanoi Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B,
Day 5 - Ninh Binh - explore the World Heritage landscape
Head south for a day tour of the celebrated limestone landscapes and caves of Trang An district in Ninh Binh Province – another UNESCO site – which we’ll explore by boat and bicycle. Evening transfer to Ninh Binh Town to catch the night sleeper train to Dong Hoi.
Overnight: Night sleeper train Transport: Minibus, Train, Boat, Bike, Meals: B,
Day 6 - Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
Early arrival in Dong Hoi and a short drive into the hills to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Another World Heritage Site and area of outstanding natural beauty, where we’ll explore the fantastic karst scenery and cave systems on foot, bicycle and by boat.
Overnight: Phong Na Transport: Boat, Bike, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 7 - Phong Nha - kayak through the karst formations
In the morning we’ll head to Paradise Cave for a 1-kilometre underground hike amid the stalactites and stalagmites. The afternoon’s programme includes an optional zip line, kayaking in nearby Dark Cave and a bicycle ride through the paddy-fields before returning to Dong Hoi for a 3-hour train ride to Hue.
Overnight: Hue Transport: Train, Boat, Bike, Meals: B,
Day 8 - Hue - Imperial tombs and local markets
Visit the famous citadel of another UNESCO site, Hue, as well as a guided tour of the large Dong Ba Market. In the afternoon we’ll travel up the Perfume River to explore some of the spectacular ancient tombs of the former Nguyen dynasty emperors, with a return to Hue by boat.
Overnight: Hue Transport: Boat, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 9 - Danang - the Golden Bridge and on to Hoi An
After a spectacular drive down the coast and over the Hai Van Pass, our first stop will be Danang’s celebrated Golden Bridge. From here we continue to nearby Hoi An with time at leisure to wander the streets and waterfront of this quaint and historic town.
Overnight: Hoi An Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 10 - Hoi An - cookery lesson and at leisure to explore
Learn to prepare a selection of classic Vietnamese dishes with a morning, hands-on cookery class, including a guided tour of the weird and wonderful array of herbs and vegetables in the local market. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the lanes of Hoi An Town or perhaps take a bicycle ride through the surrounding villages and paddy-fields.
Overnight: Hoi An Transport: Bike, Meals: B, L,
Day 11 - Saigon - flight and city tour
Morning flight from Danang to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) with an afternoon tour of some of the City’s sites including the sobering but fascinating War Remnants Museum, Saigon’s very own Notre Dame Cathedral and the bustling Ben Thanh Market.
Overnight: Saigon Transport: Minibus, Plane, Meals: B,
Day 12 - Mekong Delta - day tour
Fascinating day trip into the Mekong Delta where we’ll explore the maze of waterways by boat, and discover the region’s traditional cottage industries and handicrafts, as well as some of the local farming techniques and products. Late afternoon return to Saigon for our farewell dinner.
Overnight: Saigon Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, D,
Day 13 - Saigon - departure
Morning at leisure, end of tour and either departure at your convenience or, time permitting, why not add on a few days’ quality R and R at the beach?
Extra accommodation prior to your tour is available in Hanoi while beach extensions to nearby Mui Ne or a flight to Phu Quoc Island are just 2 of the options available if you have a few more days to spare after your tour.
Note that airport transfers are included for those booking the flights option but can also be arranged if required for the land only version,
Overnight: Departure Transport: Minibus, Meals: B,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
A wide range of sites - including no less than 6 UNESCO listed locations - plus varied and flexible activities, make this fully-escorted, specially designed, 2-week Vietnam tour a great option for families of any age.
- Overnight boat cruise on World Heritage Halong and Bai Tu Long Bays
- Kayak through the amazing karst landscapes of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
- Day tour by boat through the picturesque waterways of the Mekong Delta
- Discover the caves and waterways of stunning Trang An by bicycle, boat and on foot
- Visit the imperial tombs of Hue and quaint Hoi An - 2 more UNESCO-listed sites
- Contrast the French architecture of elegant Hanoi and the brash, modern bustle of Saigon
Air Departures (UK)
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...
Gem Riverside, Hoi An view
- Well-appointed rooms with pool, restaurant, bar and gym
- Excellent location; quiet yet a short walk from the Old Town
- Free bicycles available to explore the area
Pepper House, Phong Nha view
- Hald a dozen rooms set on a farm amid the emerald paddies
- Charming, friendly, family-run - you won't want to leave
- Well-appointed rooms, pool & cafe with homegrown produce
MK Premier Boutique Hotel, Hanoi view
- Located right in the heart of Hanoi's picturesque old town
- Great staff, coffee shop, rooftop bar and cracking breakfast
- Handy for exploring or just relax in their street-side cafe
Victory Star Halong Bay view
- Overnight on a boat in UNESCO Halong Bay
- Excellently appointed and comfortable private cabins
- 1 day, 1 night cruise of this fabulous World Heritage Site
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
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
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Visas: are no longer required for citizens of some countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK for single-entry visits of up to 15 days. For longer visits, and for visitors from some countries, 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, www.vietnam-visa.com or www.vietnam-immigration.org
Tipping: we recommend a kitty system for smaller, daily tips such as hotel/restaurant staff and local drivers but which could also include minor expenses such as group tea/coffee breaks etc. Amounts inevitably vary with group size but would generally be in the region of $2 per day or $30 total per person for the 2-week tour. For your guide/tour-leader tip, who will accompany you for the duration of your tour, we’d recommend approximately $20-$25 per person total though of course, this is always discretionary and performance related.
Meals: breakfasts are generally hotel buffets with lunch and dinners based on local food. Vietnamese food obviously is based around rice and noodles, is generally mild and both vegetarians and vegans are very easily catered for. For any other likes and dislikes please remind your tour-leader at the start of the tour. A number of meals are not included, which allows you to ‘do your own thing’ or take a break if you’re feeling ‘riced out’.
Accommodation: all choices fall into the comfortable 3* range and are en-suite and air-conditioned. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the left-hand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination.
Activities: note that no activities are compulsory and that any offered can be tailored for various fitness levels or alternatives suggested.
Further info: more details and photos check our ‘Hanoi to Saigon‘ category on our All Points East travel blog.
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