A dazzling combination of bustling city centers harmonizing the old and new, immaculate scenic escapes of emerald rice paddies, misty mountains, and limestone pinnacles emerging from turquoise waters, Vietnam is a topographical marvel. Traveling between the north and south, each region of the country offers a unique experience with influences from Asian neighbors, bygone eras, a trying history, and modern embraces.
Beginning in the South, Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), marks the epicenter of modern innovation with an blend of ancient and contemporary traditions found in the city’s art, music, cuisine, and nightlife. Just south is the Mekong Delta, a labyrinth of bustling floating markets and farms that feed the nation. In the central region you will find Hoi An, an enchanting coastal community with a delicate Old Town of wooden homes, grand architecture, and a maze of streets. Also worth a visit is Hue, a city of history whose architecture is a nod to the Nguyen dynasty with a citadel of elaborate palaces and temples. Proceeding north, the mountainous region of Sapa represents many of Vietnam’s diverse ethnicities and serves as a gateway to beautiful hiking trails while Halong Bay offers a beguiling scene of limestone pinnacles piercing through the sea, creating a jungle of stunning silhouettes perfect for serene cruises. In the center of these landscapes is Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, gracefully merging eastern and western traditions in its preservation of ancient temples and French colonial architecture. With so many diverse regions and highlights, the country demands more than a few days to truly inhale its beauty.
What’s To Love in Vietnam
Explore the Sights and Sounds of Hanoi
Explore the cultural influences that characterize this incredibly diverse city with flavors of Southeast Asia, China, France and the U.S., all enshrined in the city’s architecture. With a local guide, tour mausoleums, pagodas, former holds of political prisoners, temples, and take a wild rickshaw ride through the old quarter. Be prepared for traffic jams like no other.
Cruise Halong Bay
Cruise through the dramatic scenery of vegetated limestone pinnacles piercing through turquoise waters aboard a small, luxurious cruise ship. Hike and kayak, explore islands, learn the art of Vietnamese cuisine, enjoy a breathtaking sunset, and, at night, partake in squid fishing.
Step into Big City Life Blending Modern with Old
Arguably the most popular city in the country, Saigon (Officially Ho Chi Minh City) is a convergence of contemporary glamour and ancient preservation – Towering skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and fine dining are interspersed with oriental pagodas, ancient temples, and bustling street food stalls. Contrast theenergetic vibe here to the much more traditional and conservative Hanoi.
Cu Chi Tunnels
Explore the elaborate network of narrow tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, linking bases from Saigon to the Cambodian border, complete with storage rooms, make-shift hospitals and sleeping quarters used to evade enemy bombings.
Find Peace in the Countryside
Explore the peaceful region of Ben Tre province, crisscrossing rivers and canals, where you will find coconut production, quaint local villages, and brick factories. Along the way take a xe loi ride and a river cruise to discover the local way of life for those living off the land of fishing, fruit, and rice paper.
Make Your Way Down the Mekong
Slip into a small vessel that can navigate the labyrinth of canals filled with floating markets, an atmosphere alive with the chatter of trade and teetering boats overflowing with colorful goods gathered from local rice paddies, orchards, and nearby fish farms.
Visit the Quieter Vietnam
Along the central coast sits the quaint yet vibrant town of Hoi an and its UNESCO protected Old Town with winding streets that delicately marry Vietnamese tube houses, French colonial architecture, wooden Chinese teahouses, and a stunning Japanese bridge and pagoda. The car free streets are best explored on foot to enjoy the shops and markets.
Be Stunned by Landscapes
Trek through the hidden valleys, tiered rice paddies, high ridges, and cascading waterfalls of Sapa, a mountainous northern region home to stunning landscapes and the remote villages of welcoming ethnic minorities and their unique lifestyles, cultures and dialects.
While the seasons of each region vary, Vietnam is best enjoyed between October and March when the temperature, humidity, and chances of rain throughout the country are moderate. In each region, you will often find a tossup between hot and dry or balmy and rainy weather, so it is best to narrow down your regions of travel before picking a month.
Typically for the type of Custom Itineraries we build, prices in Vietnam can run from $500 - $800 + USD per person per day, primarily dependent upon destinations, time of year, single or double occupancy, lodging style, and included activities. Quoted Tour prices include accommodations, required regional flights, guides, excursions, entrance fees, ground transfers, breakfast at city hotels, and all meals and beverages including local alcoholic beverages on the cruises..
Tour proposals exclude international flights, travel insurance, and gratuities. Each proposal will detail all inclusions and exclusions for clarity.