World Heritage Sites of Vietnam
An 11-day tour travelling from Hanoi, via Halong Bay to Danang and taking in no less than 7 of Vietnam's World Heritage Sites
UNESCO sites of northern and central Vietnam
Our fascinating 11-day Vietnam tour, ‘World Heritage Sites of Vietnam’, explores northern and central Vietnam – regions particularly rich in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The itinerary takes in no less than 7 of Vietnam’s 8 listed sites including the bustling Hanoi street-life of the Old Quarter; an overnight stay on a traditional style junk amid the dramatic scenery of Halong, and lesser-known Bai Tu Long Bays; a boat trip up the Perfume River to visit 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 picturesque, but not so famous, highlights such as the spectacular jungle and limestone landscapes of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park and the picturesque grottoes of Trang An. The itinerary ends in Danang although an afternoon 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 this tour, ‘Hanoi to Saigon‘, continuing to Saigon 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 on either the secluded, unspoilt Whale Island (near Nha Trang), Mui Ne (a short drive from Saigon) or by way of a local flight to Phu Quoc Island in the far south.
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 1 - Hanoi - arrival and time to explore
Morning check-in to a downtown Hanoi hotel close to the City’s Old Quarter with the afternoon free to relax, 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,
Day 2 - Hanoi - Day tour of some of the City's sights
Day tour of some of this beautiful old city, with its French colonial ambience. Sites include the famous Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, 11th-century University and Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, the excellent Museum of Ethnology and a stroll through the fascinating lanes of the bustling Old Quarter.
Overnight: Hanoi Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L,
Day 3 - Halong Bay - day cruise of the Bay
Departure for Halong where we’ll board our junk for a cruise through the spectacular limestone scenery of UNESCO World Heritage Halong Bay. Explore the islands and grottoes and swim on the beaches, before dinner and overnight on board. (A traditional, but well-appointed, craft with air-con and en-suite cabins).
Overnight: Halong Bay Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 4 - Halong - Bai Tu Long Bay and on to Trang An
Early rise for dawn over Halong Bay before continuing through the myriad limestone islands and lagoons to the lesser-known, but equally, scenic Bai Tu Long Bay. Afternoon return to Halong Port for a transfer south to Ninh Binh Province.
Overnight: Trang An Transport: Minibus, Boat, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 5 - Trang An - boat trip through the grottoes
Scenic tour through the lush paddy fields and jagged limestone escarpments of this region, sometimes known as the ‘Halong of the rice fields’, to the remarkable cave system of the Trang An Grottoes. Travel by rowing boat through the delightful 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, Boat, Meals: B, L,
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 pristine rainforest and area’s spectacular limestone features and cave systems with an overnight stay in chalets on a local farm.
Overnight: Farm stay Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 7 - DMZ - DMZ tour and on to the ancient capital, Hue
South by road to discover the country’s more recent history with a day trip to the infamous former DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and some of the key sites of the Vietnam War. Sites include the Vietcong tunnels at Vinh Moc, Hien Luong Bridge on the 17th parallel which marked the border between South and North Vietnam and Khe Sanh Combat Base – scene of some of the most intense fighting of the war.
Overnight: Hue Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 8 - Hue - imperial tombs on the Perfume River
Time to check out the numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the historic city and former imperial capital, Hue. Morning cruise by ‘dragon boat’ along the Perfume River to visit some of the majestic tombs of the former Nguyen emperors and afternoon walk around the ancient citadel.
Overnight: Hue Transport: Boat, Walk, Meals: B, L,
Day 9 - Hoi An - scenic drive south from Hue
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 walking tour of the old town and waterfront area. Well-preserved and charming, Hoi An (now UNESCO World Heritage Site) 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 - My Son - The World Heritage ancient Cham capital
Morning visit to the atmospheric ruined temples of ancient My Son, capital 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 picturesque old streets, 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 - China Beach, Marble Mt and departure
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 transfer to Danang Airport* and a flight to either Hanoi or Saigon airports.
*Danang also offers daily flights to Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Singapore as well as Hanoi or Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) Airports should you wish to change your final destination.
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.
Transport: Minibus, Meals: B, L,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
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 - this Vietnam itinerary includes no less than 7 fabulous World Heritage Sites.
- Take in no less than 7 of Vietnam's fabulous UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Discover the OLd Quarter, colonial architecture, lakeside cafes, pagodas and museums of Vietnam's charming capital Hanoi
- Discover the dramatic limestone scenery and caves of Trang An at Ninh Binh - 'Halong in the Rice Fields'
- Visit the sumptuous ancient tombs of the emperors by boat along Hue's Perfume River
- Visit My Son, the ancient ruined city and former capital of the Cham empire that once rivalled Angkor
- Sample the region's awesome and highly varied cuisine with the emphasis as usual on the authentic and local food
Air Departures (UK)
- 14 July 19 2,000 GBP
- 3 August 19 2,150 GBP
- 22 August 19 2,000 GBP
- 29 September 19 2,000 GBP
- 23 October 19 2,000 GBP
- 14 November 19 2,000 GBP
- 15 December 19 2,200 GBP
- 9 January 20 2,000 GBP
- 5 February 20 2,000 GBP
- 4 March 20 2,000 GBP
- 1 April 20 2,000 GBP
- 15 July 19 1,150 GBP
- 4 August 19 1,150 GBP
- 23 August 19 1,150 GBP
- 30 September 19 1,150 GBP
- 24 October 19 1,150 GBP
- 15 November 19 1,150 GBP
- 16 December 19 1,150 GBP
- 10 January 20 1,150 GBP
- 6 February 20 1,150 GBP
- 5 March 20 1,150 GBP
- 2 April 20 1,150 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 view
- 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
Whale Island Resort, Nha Trang view
- Unwind by the South China Sea before your return home?
- The charming Whale Island Resort near Nha Trang
- Beachside chalets on a pristine island
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Visas: 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 $20-$25 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.
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 lefthand 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 of ‘Hanoi to Saigon‘
Holidays should never end, stay a little longer. These extensions go well with this tour...
Here is what out guest have to say about their experience on this tour...
Greg and Caroline
" Back in cold UK and wanted to just send a quick “BIG THANKS” for an amazing holiday in Vietnam. The food was wonderful and I have gain half a stone in weight!!! Our tour guide was amazing and such a sweetheart. He really looked after us and genuinely wanted to make sure every day was a perfect day. I will be back again for sure….. Thank you once again.
" I thought the tour and the contents were better than expected. It was a great mix of history, scenery and culture.
The hotels were all really good and the cruise boat was especially nice. The transport and the drivers were very good and drove very responsibly considering the swarm of constant mopeds everywhere. "