18-Day History and Nature from North to South

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This is a private tour offering you the chance to get to the heart of life in Vietnam.

Your Vietnam itinerary goes from north to south, you'll get acquainted with the long history of the country whilst falling in love with nature and the activities that Vietnam has to offer, such as like trekking, kayaking, biking and cooking.

Starting in Hanoi, you'll see the iconic Halong Bay while also having the chance to go to the not so well-known Pu Luong for your first chance to immerse yourself in Vietnam raw natural habitat.

Gradually, you'll make your way south, stopping off in the glorious Ninh Binh and Hue, for an in-depth history lesson before making your way to the touristic, yet still rural Hoi An, where you'll journey by boat to the remote villages that surround it.

You'll eventually find yourself in Ho Chi Minh City, far from the quiet nature you have just embraced, however, the Mekong provides a completely different side to Vietnam's natural landscape. Once you've engaged in the history of the South, you'll discover what life along the mighty Mekong river is like!

This tour allows you to learn about Vietnam while embracing the natural landscape that it is so famous for - over 18 days, you'll be able to embrace all aspects of Vietnam in an itinerary from north to south.
Outdoors & Nature
Culture & Arts
Food & Drink
Hiking & Trekking


Map data ©2024 Google, TMap Mobility
Map data ©2024 Google, TMap Mobility




Hanoi, Vietnam


Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam


Day 1

Arrive in Hanoi

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Arrive in Hanoi

Your guide and driver will welcome you at the airport then transfer you to the hotel to check in. Once settled in the hotel you'll have time to explore the city at your own pace or relax and rejuvenate in your hotel after a long flight.

Day 2

Hanoi City Tour

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Hanoi City Tour

Today, you'll start with the Ho Chi Minh Complex, containing the mausoleum of the nation's founder, Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace and Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts. This place has a deep significance to the secular and spiritual nature of many Vietnamese who come in large groups to honour and respect the father of their independent nation. The complex also comprises the One Pillar Pagoda and the water puppet show venue.

Day 3

Drive to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc

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Drive to Hoa Lu and Tam Coc

You'll drive to Hoa Lu, the Ancient Capital of Viet Nam, and visit the temples of two dynasties, Dinh and Le with very unique old-time architecture. After lunch, board the sampan boats (2 people share a boat) in Tam Coc and drift down the river among the villages, mountains and lush rice fields. You'll pass through 3 caves: Hang Ca, Hang Hai, Hang Ba. These early caves will leave you feeling a little strange.

Day 4

Ninh Binh to Pu Luong

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Ninh Binh to Pu Luong

After breakfast drive to Pu Luong Nature Reserve, on the way, you can stop to visit local people. Once you arrive, you'll settle in the Retreat where you'll be staying for the next few days and meet your hosts. After lunch, you'll venture out into the village to learn about farm life and the irrigation systems used here.

Day 5

Pu Luong Retreat Activities

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Pu Luong Retreat Activities

Trek to villages and visit local people to get to know what daily life is like in Pu Luong. You'll be in awe at the magnificent mountain ranges, stunning rice terrace fields, scenic rivers and waterfalls that surround the small villages, and have plenty opportunities to photograph them.

Day 6

Drive Back to Hanoi

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Drive Back to Hanoi

You'll have breakfast at the retreat and have time to relax in the morning before you transfer back to Hanoi city. Once checked back into Angel Palace, you'll have time to explore parts of the city you missed previously.

Day 7

Drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay

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Drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay

You'll rise early to hop onto the shuttle bus at your hotel and be transferred to the pier on Halong Bay. Board your cruise and get ready for your 24-hour journey through the iconic limestone karsts. Lunch will be served while cruising to Surprise Cave. You'll have time to explore the cave before having an evening to relax on the cruise.

Day 8

Halong Bay to Hanoi

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Halong Bay to Hanoi

Start the day with Tai Chi as the sun rises over the bay. After breakfast, enjoy kayaking to Titop Island and have a swim in the warm waters on a beach that Ho Chi Minh once visited. You'll have a quick photo stop and then return to the boat for your return journey. You'll return to the pier by midday for your journey back to Hanoi.

Day 9

Flight to Hue

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Flight to Hue

After breakfast, transfer to Hanoi airport for a flight to Hue. Located in Central Vietnam, Hue was the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty and the national capital from 1802 to 1945. A major attraction is its vast, 19th-century Đại Nội Citadel, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls. It encompasses the Imperial City, with palaces and shrines; the Forbidden Purple City (Tử cấm thành), once the emperor’s home; and a replica of the Royal Theatre.

Day 10

Hue City Tour

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Hue City Tour

Today you will visit the Imperial Citadel: The home of Vietnam’s last royal dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty. The royal Antiques Museum, Minh Mang tomb; the conical hat village where see and learn how the locals this iconic hat and to an incense stick making village.

Day 11

Drive to Hoi An

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Drive to Hoi An

After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Hoi An. On the way, stop at Lăng Cô, a small stunning village, the Hải Vân Pass, made famous by the TV show, Top Gear and Marble Mountain where you'll have spectacular views of Da Nang from ancient caves and temples. When you arrive in Hoi An you can relax for the remainder of the day.

Day 12

Cooking Class and Hoi An City Tour

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Cooking Class and Hoi An City Tour

Today you will join a cooking class. The first stop is the market, where you'll shop for all your ingredients and then start cooking. Once you have finished you can then enjoy your own creation. In the afternoon, you'll go to Hoi An Ancient Town and visit the Temple Kwan, Phuc Kien Temple, Tan Ky Ancient House, Phung Hung house, the Japanese covered bridge.

Day 13

Visit Tra Nhieu Fishing Village

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Visit Tra Nhieu Fishing Village

Tra Nhieu, a village of Duy Vinh commune, is located on Thu Bon river bank. This is a peaceful, romantic area where you still find typical traditional Vietnamese houses that are home to families to are professionals in their craft, be it making boats, mats or hats.

Day 14

Vietnam Itinerary Goes North to South

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Vietnam Itinerary Goes North to South

Today, your Vietnam itinerary goes north to south - or central to south! You'll have breakfast at the hotel before you are driven to Danang for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. You'll arrive early afternoon, check into the hotel and then have free time to explore at your own pace.

Day 15

Cu Chi Tunnel and Ho Chi Minh City Tour

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Cu Chi Tunnel and Ho Chi Minh City Tour

In the morning visit the Cu Chi Tunnels. After lunch, visit the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace (the former Presidential Palace), then to Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Saigon Post Office and finish on Dong Khoi Street. One of the oldest parts of the city that is home to the stunning Opera House.

Day 16

Can Tho

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Can Tho

Leave Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy the scenic journey along the national highway bordered by green rice fields. When you arrive in Can Tho, you'll visit Vinh Trang pagoda and then take a leisurely boat ride along the river to see everyday activities along the Mekong as well as the stilt houses that people live in.

Day 17

Cai Rang Floating Market and Ho Chi Minh City

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Cai Rang Floating Market and Ho Chi Minh City

Early morning, making your way Cai Rang Floating Market, you'll be impressed by the bustle of more than 300 small and big boats with locals buying and selling their wares. Early afternoon, drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. You'll have the rest of the day free to explore the city at your own pace.

Day 18


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Transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

Included in Price

  • 17 nights accommodation
  • 33 activities
  • 17 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Airport transfer
  • Domestic flights
  • Entrance fees
  • Ground transportation
  • Licensed English speaking guides

Not Included in Price

  • Alcohol beverages
  • Entry visas / airport departure tax
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Laundry
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Trekking permits
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Local Designer Reviews

Overall Rating

4.9 out of 5

Melanie G.

Jan 31, 2024

Best time!

Just wanted to thank you for organising our Vietnam trip for us. We had the best time, thank you! Xuyen was very organised too and everything flowed beautifully.

Thank you again! I'll let you know when we've saved for our next trip :wink:

(From Kate and the family of 4 from Australia to Vietnam)

Tracy-ann O.

Nov 14, 2023

Richard and Jill loved every bit of the trip.

Hi Xuyen,
I just wanted you to know that Richard and Jill had an amazing trip. They loved every bit and the guides and drivers amazing. Thank you.
I also had a message from Sharon Gillette saying how much she is loving her trip and especially the hotel in Hoi An. Great work!

Sumitha T.

Oct 3, 2023

We did not have to worry about any of the details before or during our 15 day trip to Vietnam. Xuyen took care of all the details. Nothing was too hard for her and the responses came back within minutes.
Xuyen provided a contact number whilst we were traveling and it was so helpful to ask for anything. I will highly recommend to personally ask for Xuyen to help with your travel arrangements
Thank you for making our holiday memorable

Brian H.

Oct 1, 2023

Xuyen provided us with an itinerary that we were very happy with and always listened to our comments and requests. She then delivered every part of it successfully.
The Guides she provided were excellent. They provided us with very good information on each tour plus suggested additional information regarding restaurants & additional places to visit.
The accommodation that Xuyen provided was first class and the transport was of a high standard.
She was always contactable by us and responded almost immediately which was very reassuring.
We would mark Xuyen 10 out of 10.

Italktravel & Cruise B.

Jul 18, 2023

A fantastic mix of cultural experiences, shopping, dining, and relaxing.
The trip was fantastic, we all had such a good experience in Vietnam. All of the day tours were great, they ran smoothly and the lunches were delicious. The guide we had for the Ho Chi Minh city section of the trip was to be commended, he looked after us from the minute we landed. He knew a lot of background history and his personality suited the job. He was especially good at making us feel comfortable in the city. If you are able to pass this on to your contacts at the travel centre in Vietnam, that would be appreciated.
Both hotels were great, especially the Sala in Da Nang. The Icon Hotel in HCMC was situated perfectly, where you could walk to plenty of attractions and places to eat.

The holiday was a great mix of cultural experiences, shopping, dining and relaxing. We couldn't fault it at all.

Italktravel & Cruise B.

Mar 23, 2023

Hi Xuyen,

Please see below feedback from my clients amazing trip to Vietnam.

Can you please look into the Halong Bay cruise and why they changed boats? I am going away for a week so no rush.

Clients Feedback from Adele and Eugene Alessio:

Thank you Kimberley for your email, yes we did have a wonderful time, and loved HoAnn especially.
All the accommodation was great, couldn’t ask for better!.
The guide that picked us up at HoChiMin was a lovely young man, very friendly, a little hard to understand his English and only spoke about the places that were on the itinerary, we had to ask what things were, (buildings, arrears, towns etc) sometimes he didn’t know or he would Google. Not a huge thing, but when you’re in a foreign country it’s good to know about things while you are traveling!
The guide that picked us up in Darnan. And took us to HoAnn, Well his English was much better, but he messed up times, for our cooking class. But was on time for everything else.
The guide we had in Hanoi was fantastic, her English was perfect easy to understand, very friendly and knowledgeable would highly recommend,
All the drivers were fantastic, I really don’t know how they navigate the traffic and especially the bikes!
The Hotel in Hanoi was the best the staff amazing , nothing was too much trouble, even the day we returned from the cruise, they made us feel very welcome, and the rooms beautiful.
The cruise on Hanlong Bay was lovely, staff very good, rooms lovely food very good as too were the facility’s on board. The only thing I would say, was day 2 of the cruise, they moved us to another boat, no where near as comfortable, or nice, no cushions on the wooden seats or deck chairs, the lunch was very good though, but we felt like we were just palmed off, while they took the other passengers that were doing a one night cruise back and picked up new ones.
The guide on the boat was very good though, easy to understand friendly and knowledgeable about the area. We did voice out opinion to him on the day about the change of boat. But overall Eugene And I throughly enjoyed our trip. Loved the food and the people.
Thank you for arranging everything so perfectly.

Feedback from Gary and Kerry Amor:

I would like to add the Ha Long bay cruise was soured by being shunted onto another small less comfortable boat for a day while the main boat dropped back 1night passengers & picked up a new 1 night group of passengers, we did visit two of the places on the itinerary during that day approx. 2hrs total & it just seemed we were cruising around in circles waiting for our ship to arrive & as Adele stated the boat was not comfortable.
We did expect the two night cruise would visit more remote areas further out?
OK that aside Kimberly thanks so much for a wonderfully organised holiday & all your help with our pre-trip questions

Thanks Xuyen for arranging a great trip.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding the Halong Bay cruise.

Thanks Kimberley

David C.

Mar 21, 2023

The trip organisation was excellent, and Xuyen was very helpful, knowledgeable and responsive to my enquiries and requests as we went through the booking process. The trip itself was also excellent and all elements ran smoothly.

One area that might be improved would be the selection of guide based on our type of trip, which was a walking/hiking itinerary. Kai, our local in country guide was excellent in looking after us. However, I don't think walking was really his thing and he wasn't really equipped for this purpose (e.g., basic items such as daypack or appropriate clothing) which probably made it more uncomfortable for him more than anything.

As I say, not a reflection on him at all as a guide, but as it was essentially a walking holiday, if possible, it would probably be good to identify guides who have experience and equipment for these type of activities. Happy to provide more information if you like.

Will definitely use you again!


Divya G.

Nov 27, 2022

Prior to the trip, Xuyen customised the trip multiple times to incorporate our every requests, be it small or big. During the trip, Xuyen kept in touch with us through whatsapp. We didn't have to wait at any place as all transfers were planned to the dot. Thank you Xuyen for making this trip tension free.

Barry L.

Apr 26, 2022

Clear plans, excellent advice on excursions, dietary requirements were excellent. First class service

Kerin M.

Apr 26, 2022

Xuyen organised everything very well....we had no issues at all. However our guide was Tui. I never actually met Xuyen.
View All Reviews

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