Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s mesmerizing culture and momentous history on a journey from the emerald mountains of the north to the sun-drenched beaches of the south. Discover a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the imperial city of Hue and mystical Ha Long Bay. Glimpse rural life on a hike through idyllic Mai Chau Valley; enjoy a cyclo ride through the heart of bustling Hanoi; and descend into the famed Cu Chi tunnels, where Viet Cong guerillas lived during the Vietnam War.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
HANOI/MAI CHAU VALLEY
Travel to the verdant Mai Chau Valley, a patchwork of rice paddies, emerald hills, and charming traditional villages. Opt to take a kayak out on the scenic Hoa Binh reservoir, the largest reservoir in Vietnam, or pedal through the countryside on a bike, enjoying the lush scenery and getting a glimpse of local life.
MAI CHAU VALLEY
Spend the day exploring the picturesque valley. Set out on a walk through the peaceful countryside, learning about the local tribes and customs, and visit a rural market for a fruit tasting. Choose to enjoy an authentic country lunch at a village home.
MAI CHAU VALLEY/HANOI
Return to Hanoi and discover the bustling Vietnamese capital on a guided tour. Visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, one of Vietnam’s most influential political leaders, and learn more about his life at the Presidential Palace, a French colonial-style building that was designed to be his official residence. Gain insights into the Vietnam War at the Hoa Lo Prison, known by American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton; then jump on a cyclo, a three-wheel bicycle taxi, for a fun-filled ride through Hanoi’s colourful Old Quarter.
HANOI/HA LONG BAY
Begin the day with breakfast at Hoa Sua, a non-profit training restaurant for underprivileged Hanoi youth. Afterward, transfer to Ha Long Bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from serene, turquoise waters. Settle into your cabin on a traditional-style wooden junk boat, where we’ll spend the night, and embark on a cruise of Bai Tu Long Bay, a more secluded section of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Glide around the bay’s stunning karst formations, and explore the fascinating Me Cung cave with our local guide.
HA LONG BAY/HUE
Enjoy an early lunch on board before returning to land and heading back to Hanoi to catch a short flight to Hue. A former imperial capital of Vietnam, this World Heritage-listed city boasts many architectural treasures; it was also the site of one of the Vietnam War’s most dramatic battles.
Set out on a guided tour of Hue’s imposing walled citadel, discovering lavish palaces, gardens, and courtyards. Visit the Forbidden Purple City, which served as the private quarters of the imperial family; then venture into the countryside to the magnificent tombs of Vietnam’s emperors, located along the banks of the Perfume River. Visit a Buddhist nunnery and enjoy a leisurely lunch following the traditions of vegetarian cuisine. Later, opt to explore Hue on the back of a motorbike—the way the locals get around.
Drive to Hoi An this morning, a remarkably well-preserved river port and UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll the narrow, winding streets of the atmospheric old town, lined with quaint merchants’ homes and decorated with colourful silk lanterns. Then try your hand at crafting a lantern of your own—a symbol of luck, wealth, and happiness—and leave with a beautiful souvenir. This afternoon, opt to visit a local tailor and be fitted for a custom-made shirt.
Delve into a local market this morning with guides from Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures–supported program that trains local youth in the culinary arts. Taste dozens of varieties of noodles and pick out fresh ingredients at the market; then take your groceries to the Oodles of Noodles training kitchen, where you’ll learn to prepare mouthwatering noodle dishes and enjoy your creations for lunch.
The day is yours to explore enchanting Hoi An and its environs. Choose to take a day trip to World Heritage-listed My Son, a cluster of moss-covered Hindu temples dating between the 4th and 13th centuries. Alternatively, head to the nearby Cua Dai beach, or relax at your hotel by the pool.
Hoi An/Ho Chi Minh City
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Immerse yourself in this vibrant metropolis—Vietnam’s economic hub—on a variety of optional activities. Discover the city on a cyclo tour, taking in iconic sites like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the ornate Central Post Office and City Hall. Visit the War Remnants Museum, a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed during the Vietnam War; or take a tour of the Reunification Palace, the site which marked the end of the war.
Ho Chi Minh City
Venture to the legendary Cu Chi tunnels, a network of underground passageways that provided a base for Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Visit subterranean hospitals and ammunition stores, and learn about the vital role that the tunnels played in the eventual victory of the North.
Ho Chi Minh City
Depart at any time.