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World Heritage Sites of Vietnam

An enthralling 11-day tour travelling from the capital Hanoi, via Halong Bay to Danang, taking in no less than 7 of Vietnam's natural and cultural World Heritage Sites

UNESCO sites of northern and central Vietnam

Our fascinating 11-day Vietnam tour, World Heritage Sites of Vietnam, explores parts of northern and central Vietnam. Known as Tonkin and Annam during the French administration of Indochine, they are today, particularly rich in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The itinerary takes in no less than 7 of Vietnam’s 8 listed sites including the bustling street life of Hanoi’s Old Quarter; an overnight stay on-board a boat amid the dramatic scenery of Halong and lesser-known Bai Tu Long Bays; a visit to the imperial tombs of the former emperors of Hue; a walking tour of the charming medieval port of Hoi An and an exploration of the ancient ruined Cham city of My Son.

In addition to these sites, we’ll also explore some of the equally impressive, but lesser-known, natural highlights such as the spectacular limestone landscapes and cave systems of Phong Nha–Ke Bang National Park and the picturesque grottoes and lakes of Trang An. The itinerary ends in Danang, although a flight to either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, depending on your onward connections, is included.

For those with a few more days to spare we offer an extended, 16-day, version of our World Heritage Sites of Vietnam tour – Hanoi to Saigon – continuing to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and on to the Mekong Delta with an additional option of travelling up the Mekong River by boat to Cambodia’s vibrant capital Phnom Penh. A pre-tour add-on also on offer is our 5-day, 4-night Sapa mini-tour to discover the awe-inspiring mountain scenery and traditional hill-tribe minorities of the far north.

Alternatively, a few days quality beach time are available at either Mui Ne (a short drive from Saigon) or Phu Quoc Island in the far south, by way of a local flight from Saigon Airport.

Note that further info, relevant articles and plenty more photos can be found on the Vietnam Heritage Tour page of our travel blog.

Includes: Flights: Danang-Saigon or Hanoi. Meals: B x 10, L x 7, D x 6

Vietnam

Itinerary

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

Vietnam, Hanoi old town

Day 1 - Hanoi - arrival and time to explore

Morning check-in to a downtown hotel in Hanoi’s Old Quarter with a leisurely afternoon, introductory walking tour to explore the area – or perhaps take in an optional viewing of the unique water-puppet show – before a local-style welcome dinner.

Overnight: Hanoi Transport: Walk,  Meals: D, 

Vietnam, the Hanoi to Saigon express

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

Day tour of some of the sights of the beautiful old city including the famous Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the 11th-century University and Temple of Literature, iconic ‘Train Street’, Hoan Kiem Lake, the excellent Museum of Ethnology and a stroll through the fascinating lanes of the bustling Old Quarter.

Precise itinerary may vary according to opening days/times.

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

Vietnam, Halong Bay cruise

Day 3 - Halong - afternoon cruise and overnight in the Bay

Departure for Halong Port where we’ll board our boat for an afternoon cruise through the awe-inspiring limestone scenery of UNESCO-listed, World Heritage. Explore the islands and grottoes before dinner and overnight on board. (A well-appointed craft with air-con, en-suite cabins).

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

Vietnam, local transport, Bao Tu Long Bay

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

Early rise for dawn over Halong Bay before continuing through the myriad limestone islands and lagoons of the lesser-known, but equally, picturesque Bai Tu Long Bay. Midday return to Halong Port and an overland transfer south to the small town of Tam Coc in Ninh Binh Province.

Overnight: Tam Coc Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, L, 

Vietnam, Tam Coc

Day 5 - Trang An - boat trip through the grottoes

A leisurely cycle through the lush paddy fields and jagged limestone escarpments of what is sometimes called the ‘Halong of the Rice Fields’. Afternoon rowing boat tour through Trang An’s delightful labyrinth of caves, tunnels and emerald lagoons. Evening drive to nearby Ninh Binh to board the night sleeper train south.

Overnight: Sleeper Train Transport: Train, Boat, Bike,  Meals: B, L, D, 

Vietnam, Phong Nha river trip

Day 6 - Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park

Morning arrival in Dong Hoi and a drive into the hills for a day’s exploration of Phong Nha – Ke Bang, Vietnam’s largest, and now World Heritage-listed national park. We’ll discover the area’s spectacular limestone features and cave systems with an overnight stay in a charming, family-run eco-resort.

Overnight: Pepper House Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

Vietnam, Hue street scene

Day 7 - Hue - across the former DMZ and on to the ancient capital

South by road through the infamous DMZ (former Demilitarized Zone) with a stop to visit the incredible Vietcong tunnels at Vinh Moc and famous Hien Luong Bridge on the 17th parallel – which marked the old pre-1975 border between South and North Vietnam. Afternoon arrival and time at leisure to stroll around fun and friendly Hue Town.

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

Vietnam, Hue, World Heritage Sites of Vietnam

Day 8 - Hue - imperial tombs on the Perfume River

Check out some of the numerous sites of the UNESCO-listed historic city and former imperial capital, Hue. Morning trip by ‘dragon boat’ up the Perfume River to visit the magnificent Thien Mu Pagoda followed by the spectacular pagodas, tomb and hunting park of Emperor Tu Duc. The afternoon’s itinerary includes a stroll around Hue’s main market and the famous ancient citadel.

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

Vietnam, Hanoi to Saigon, Hoi An bridge

Day 9 - Hoi An - scenic drive south from Hue

Short, scenic drive over the spectacular Hai Van Pass to Danang and a visit to the picturesque cave temples of Marble Mountain. After lunch, we’ll continue to Hoi An for an afternoon walking tour of the old town and waterfront. Well-preserved and charming, UNESCO-listed Hoi An was one of Southeast Asia’s most important ports during the 16th to 19th centuries.

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

Vietnam, My Son

Day 10 - My Son - The World Heritage ancient Cham capital

Early morning visit to the atmospheric ruined temples of ancient My Son, ceremonial centre of the Cham Empire. The site is thought to have been occupied from the 4th up to the 13th centuries. Return to Hoi An with an afternoon at leisure to explore the quaint old streets, visit the bustling market or perhaps cycle down to the nearby beach for a dip or massage.

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

World Heritage Sites of Vietnam

Day 11 - Hoi An - transfer to Danang and departure

Morning at leisure in Hoi An before a transfer to Danang Airport with a stop at the fascinating and nearby Cham Museum. A choice of flights to either Hanoi or Saigon is included while Danang International Airport also serves numerous other regional destinations including Singapore, KL, Phnom Penh and Bangkok.

*Please note, private accommodation is not available on the sleeper train and therefore accommodation will be on a shared basis.

Extra accommodation in Hanoi or Saigon before or after your tour is available if required.

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

Overnight: Departure Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary

Details

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

Vietnam, World Heritage Sites, Trang An

Just a few of the many highlights

Halong Bay, Trang An landscapes, Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, the ruins of My Son and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Our Vietnam itinerary includes no less than 7 fabulous World Heritage Sites in 11 days!

  • An overnight cruise through the magical landscapes of Halong and Bai Tu Long Bays
  • Hanoi; explore the Old Quarter, colonial architecture, lakeside cafes and pagodas of Vietnam's charming capital
  • Discover the dramatic limestone scenery and caves of Trang An at Ninh Binh - 'Halong in the Rice Fields'
  • Visit the sumptuous ancient imperial tombs, pagodas and ancient citadel of the former capital Hue
  • My Son, the ancient ruined city and former capital of the Cham empire that once rivaled Angkor
  • Sample the region's superb cuisine with the emphasis, as usual, on the authentic, local food

Air Departures (UK) *From

  • 24 May 24 2,205 GBP
  • 22 June 24 2,205 GBP
  • 19 July 24 2,255 GBP
  • 17 August 24 2,255 GBP
  • 14 September 24 2,205 GBP
  • 12 October 24 2,205 GBP
  • 9 November 24 2,255 GBP
  • 7 December 24 2,255 GBP
  • 4 January 25 2,305 GBP
  • 1 February 25 2,305 GBP

Land Departures

  • 25 May 24 1,325 GBP
  • 23 June 24 1,325 GBP
  • 20 July 24 1,325 GBP
  • 18 August 24 1,325 GBP
  • 15 September 24 1,325 GBP
  • 13 October 24 1,325 GBP
  • 10 November 24 1,375 GBP
  • 8 December 24 1,375 GBP
  • 5 January 25 1,425 GBP
  • 2 February 25 1,425 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...

Vietnam, MK Boutique Hotel

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
Vietnam, Bai Tho Junk, Halong Bay

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
Vietnam, sleeper trains

Vietnamese sleeper train

  • We use 4-person, air-con sleeping berths
  • Berths equipped with reading lights & elecric sockets
  • Upgardes to private cabins available if desired
Greenfield Eco-stay

Greenfield Eco-stay view

  • Friendly, low-key, family-run eco resort
  • Garden setting with goods-ized pool and great views
  • Comfortable rooms with a/c, balconies and en-suite bathrooms
Vietnam, Rosaleen Hotel, Hue

Rosaleen Hotel Hue view

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

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
Vietnam, Mango Bay Resort

Mango Bay Phu Quoc view

  • A charming, low-key eco-resort with beachfront location
  • Rustic-style decor yet comfortable and well-appointed
  • Snorkelling, diving and a wide range of activities on offer

*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 certain, (mainly Western European), countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Scandinavian nations and the UK for single-entry visits of up to 45 days. (As of 15th August 2023.)

Note that there are some notable omissions from the list – Belgium and the Netherlands for example – as well as Canada, Australia, NZ and the US. For passport holders of countries not covered under the waiver scheme, a visa, or visa on arrival certificate, must be obtained before arrival in Vietnam and we strongly advise checking the latest requirements at your nearest Vietnamese consulate.

Visas are available from your nearest Vietnamese consulate or embassy at a cost of about £40 (c. $60). (Costs do vary from country to country.) Further information, as well as e-visas on arrival, are also available online at the following link; Vietnam e-visa. (You may find numerous, additional agents’ sites advertising Vietnam e-visas although bear in mind a commission will be charged.)

Standard entry point for this tour is Noi Bai Int Airport (Hanoi) and exit points are either Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat Int Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) or Da Nang International Airport.

Passports:
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Cambodia. You may be refused entry if your passport is damaged, in poor condition or does not have at least 2 blank pages remaining.

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 $3 per day or $30-$35 total per person for the 11-day tour. For your guide/tour-leader tip, who will accompany you for the duration of your tour, we’d recommend approximately $15-$20 per person total though of course, this is always discretionary and performance-related as well as depending upon the group size.

Meals: Breakfasts are generally hotel buffets with an emphasis on local food for lunch and dinners. 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 3-4* 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. Finally, note that accommodation on night sleepr trains in generally in 4 person cabins with a supllement if private cabins are required.

Activities: Note that no activities are compulsory and that any offered can be tailored for various fitness levels or alternatives suggested.

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