• Sail pass floating villages on a luxury cruise of Halong Bay
  • Hop on a Vespa to immerse yourself in Vietnamese living
  • Join a cooking class to see first-hand why the country's cuisine is renowned
  • Explore the waterways, farmlands and floating markets of the Mekong Delta

Vietnam is a country that compels and wows in equal measure. Begin in historic, lively Hanoi, before making for the bewitching Halong Bay that only seems real once you’ve been there. As you head down the coast, you’ll experience the coastal towns of Hoi An and Danang, where fishermen ply their gentle trade while peaceful rivers are filled with lanterns for evenings that exude tranquillity. Refreshed, compare and contrast the pulsating cities and fascinating histories of Hue and Ho Chi Minh City against the unhurried pace of life on the Mekong Delta. All the while, you’ll learn how to make lanterns, receive cooking lessons, tour rural Vietnam on a Vespa, ride a speedboat, enjoy a cyclo tour and cruise past floating villages on a traditional junk ship.

Day 1

Begin your journey in style

You’ll be picked up from your home by a chauffeur and driven to the airport, where premium lounge access will serve as a perfect way to relax ahead of your overnight flight. You’ll arrive in Hanoi and begin your luxury holiday on day two.

Chauffeur Service

Chauffeur service

VIP airport lounge

VIP airport lounge

Days 2 – 3

Good morning, Vietnam

Arriving into Hanoi, a private transfer will bring you to the colonial splendour of your French Quarter hotel. The city's endearing bustle will give you an early feel for life in the capital, while a deeper discernment will come from your private tour of the city. Absorb the history of the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ where the French imprisoned Vietnamese, before being used to imprison American POWs. Your experience of Hanoi will cross-cross a thousand-year period as you explore the Temple of Confucius, Ho Chi Minh’s stilted house and splendid Beaux-Arts architecture. To complete the Hanoi immersion, hop on a cyclo and take a thrilling ride through the Old Quarter to become a part of Vietnam’s beating heart itself.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

Ho Chi Minh Mauseoleum, Hanoi, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Fruit sellers in Hanoi, Vietnam

Fruit sellers in Hanoi

Day 4

Serenity and beauty at Halong Bay

Departing Hanoi, a private transfer will take you on a journey past rural villages and a patchwork of paddy fields to the coast, where a spellbinding pleasure awaits. Some 2,000 islets rise from the water, while locals live an unperturbed life, gently plucking at the waters in delicate fishing boats. Sails unfurled, your cruise will whisk you to the age of junk ships. Sip Vietnamese coffee as the unique landscape slips by, enjoy the Jacuzzi, and head into the mesmerising grottos, before a fiery sunset gives way to a star-filled night.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay

Bedroom, Halong Violet in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Bedroom, Halong Violet

Days 5 – 7

Laid-back living in Hoi An

Halong Bay is at it most delicate in the morning. As the sun replaces mist, you’ll have it all to enjoy before returning by private car to Hanoi for a short flight to Danang and a further private transfer on to your hotel in nearby Hoi An. The afternoon is best spent in this charming riverside town, where relaxation seems to pervade all aspects of daily life. Exquisitely preserved and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city's peaceful aura is best shown by the Japanese bridge in the centre. We’ve included an illuminating private walking tour that involves a visit to a silk lantern workshop, where the history and significance will be revealed before you can try your hand at making your own to lay into the river come nightfall.

Breakfast & Lunch included

Japanese Bridge, Hoi An, Vietnam

Japanese Bridge, Hoi An

Anantara Hoi An

Anantara Hoi An

Lanterns, Hoi An, Vietnam

Lanterns, Hoi An

Day 8

Vietnamese cookery and sweeping landscapes

Vietnamese food has become an established part of the restaurant scene in the UK in recent years and for a very good reason. Fragrant, tender and healthy, the cuisine is influenced by French, Chinese, Angkor and Champa cooking philosophies, and there’s no better way to understand than to take a cookery class. Afterwards, an ideal reward comes in the form of the arresting coastal scenery on your private transfer to Hue.

Breakfast & Lunch included

Vietnamese Cookery Class

Vietnamese Cookery Class

Hai Van Pass, Vietnam

Hai Van Pass: Hoi An to Hue

Day 9

Imperial architecture and Buddhist roots

A private transfer brings you the short distance to Hue, whose former status as imperial capital of Vietnam has left behind a majestic moat-ringed palace and fortress complex. Exploring this imposing site on a private tour is a pleasure, as is the even-older Thien Mu Pagoda: one of the key icons of Vietnam and a beautiful example of the country’s Buddhist heritage. Then, a short flight and a private transfer will see you to your luxury hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, more commonly known by its former name, Saigon.

Stay: Caravelle Hotel

Breakfast included

La Residence Hotel & Spa, Hue

La Residence Hotel & Spa, Hue

Hue, Vietnam

Hue, Vietnam

Day 10

A close look at Ho Chi Minh City

You won’t be able to help contrast Hanoi with its southern brother, reunited in 1975. Walk through the gates that tanks once crashed through to signify this historic moment as you visit the Reunification Palace, before visiting the War Remnants Museum for a poignant, edifying display of world-class photojournalism and the effects of the Vietnam War. We highly recommend a trip down Dong Khoi street, where chic independent shops vie for your attention with international brands and high-class restaurants, all based in gorgeous, restored French colonial-era architecture.

Stay: Caravelle Hotel

Breakfast included

Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City

Reunification Palace

Day 11

Mekong cruising, countryside cycling & the Cu Chi Tunnels

Meet the mighty Mekong on a private day tour. If cities are the heartbeat of Vietnam, the Mekong is the lifeblood on which it depends. Life along the river is gentle-paced, and we’ve included a cruise on board a traditional sampan for a unique insight into the culture along its banks. You’ll then travel by speedboat transfer to the Cu Chi Tunnels, used to devastating effect by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, before returning to Ho Chi Minh City. 

Stay: Caravelle Hotel

Breakfast & Lunch included

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Day 12

A fitting end to the holiday

On your last day in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll be picked up by private transfer and taken to the airport for your flight home. Arriving the next day, you'll be met by one of our chauffeurs for the drive home.

Breakfast included

"With cruises on Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta along with luxury stays in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, this is the perfect introduction for the first-time visitor. I paced this itinerary so there's enough time in each place to get a real feel for it, but also with some hands-on experiences. Making a silk lantern in a traditional Hoi An workshop to float in the river at nightfall is both informative and rewarding – as is the cooking class in charming Hoi An!"

Esther Ward

Destination Specialist

Guide price from £3,095 pp incl. flights