For a naturally beautiful country like Vietnam with its stunning scenery and attractions, planning a Vietnam customized tour that introduces its major highlights can be quite difficult. Whether you wish to wander through the ancient streets of Hoi An, enjoy an overnight cruise around the majestic limestone islands of Halong Bay, or simply sample the street food scene in Hanoi, a ten-day trip to Vietnam will fly by.
To give some help on where to visit on the Vietnam holiday, why not take a look at our tour itinerary that takes in the most interesting places across the country in ten-days.
Start the 10 days in Vietnam in Hanoi which is one of the most exotic, atmospheric and graceful capital cities in Asia. This city is easily navigated on foot with its thriving historic old city, ancient pagodas, beautiful lakes and wide tree-lined avenues.
The old quarter is a must-visit part of Hanoi to explore. A cyclo tour is a quintessential Vietnamese experience that explores the narrow lanes with most of the streets are named after the particular goods sold. For instance, there is Paper Street, Comb Street, Silk Street, Silver Street and more. Plus, there are plenty of street vendors that give a wonderful opportunity to sample delightful sticky snacks, sizzling noodle dishes and exotic fruits.
A four-hour scenic drive leads to the incredibly striking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. A great day out is experienced on a traditional junk boat cruise that explores the emerald waters with its thousands of limestone islands. A cruise can stop for other activities like kayaking, swimming, or visiting the lofty caves or grottoes hidden beneath towering cliffs. An overnight stay on the junk boat makes it possible to sleep while floating on the calm bay.
A visit to Imperial Hue includes a guided tour of this ancient city with its 19th century Nguyen empire capital. A popular attraction is the Thien Mu Pagoda which is the earliest monastery in the region and stands with a 21 metre high tower, which has become a symbol for the citadel and Hue.
The Imperial Purple Palace is well worth a tour and an almost identical copy of Beijing’s Forbidden City with its imperial palaces and formal moats with certain parts in ruins.
A trip into the local countryside makes it possible to visit the elaborate mausoleums of Emperors Khai Dinh and Tu Duc. A great night-time excursion is a gentle cruise along the Perfume River with wonderful views that are illuminated at night.
Hoi An is an old-world and charming town that makes a delightful destination on the tour to Vietnam. Its tiny shop houses, traditional homes and cobbled streets give a perfect opportunity to experience a bygone era. Other features of this ancient town include the delightful craft shops, hip cafes along the waterfront, boutique restaurants, and some of the country’s finest bespoke tailors.
The historical town of Hoi An is easily explored by foot with a walking tour giving access to the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, former merchants’ homes, the 200-year-old Tam Ky house, Chinese Assembly Hall and Chua Ong Pagoda.
A short bicycle ride takes the traveller to the Tra Que village where is it possible to learn about traditional medicine and witness old farming practices. There is the option to assist locals and have a hands-on experience by helping to cook lunch or tend the gardens or fields.
Other attractions in the local area include the My Lai massacre memorial in Quang Ngai or the partially ruined Hindu temples dating to the 4th century at My Son.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is a thriving metropolis that combines its lively street markets, colonial era landmarks, and ancient pagodas with swanky bars, designer malls, gourmet restaurants and sleek skyscrapers. A great tourist trail includes visits to the sobering War Remnants Museum, the Old Post office, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Other attraction to consider on the guided tour consists of the grand Independence Palace, shopping for gifts or souvenirs at the Ben Thanh Market, or getting a relaxing massage.
A day-trip outside the city includes visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels. This is a fascinating historical trip that gives access to the huge network of hideouts and tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. A guided tour of the area can include walking the local bush trails to discover the hidden underwater entrances, the ingenious, yet gruesome booby traps, and grass covered trapdoors. It is also possible to fire an AK 47 or other weapons of the era on the firing range.
The fertile Mekong Delta is often referred to as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam and has plentiful harvests of rice, flowers and tropical fruits. A boat trip on a traditional sampan along the canals gives fantastic views. A trip starting at Vinh Long is a wonderful tour while cruising through the maze of waterways and stopping at local floating markets such as Cai Be and Cai Rang. Also, trips including passing colourful houseboats and trading boats, while also stopping to learn more about local industries like producing paper, coco candies and popcorn.
Visiting the lively floating markets is one of the most popular things to do while in the Mekong Delta region on the Indochina travel. The local sampans are filled with a wide range of products from sacks of rice, fresh greens, tropical fruits and children's toys.
Whether it is a city sightseeing tour or a cruise along the Delta, there are plenty of things to see and do in Vietnam that can benefit all types of travellers, while also learning more about the traditional Vietnamese way of life along the way.