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13 days

Culture & Countryside

Look forward to experiencing the soul of Vietnam in the beautiful capital of Hanoi and the unique, iconic nature of Ha Long Bay and Ninh Binh. You conclude with a beach holiday in charming Hoi An.

We support sustainability development. For every tour booked with us, we plant 10 trees. Read more about the sustainability project here.

Culture & Countryside Culture & Countryside
13 days

Culture & Countryside

Look forward to experiencing the soul of Vietnam in the beautiful capital of Hanoi and the unique, iconic nature of Ha Long Bay and Ninh Binh. You conclude with a beach holiday in charming Hoi An.

We support sustainability development. For every tour booked with us, we plant 10 trees. Read more about the sustainability project here.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flight from the UK to Hanoi; return flight from Da Nang
  • Eight nights in good hotels
  • One night in a sleeper carriage from Hanoi to Da Nang
  • One night on the mini-cruise ship Emeraude
  • 9 x breakfast (days 3–7 and 9–12)
  • 5 x lunch (days 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  • 3 x dinner (days 4, 5 and 6)
  • Local English-speaking guide on transfers and excursions
  • Transport by car or minibus with air conditioning
  • All mentioned transfers and excursions take place within international groups of 1 – 14 people and with Asiatours’ own guests only
  • Opportunity to extend the beach holiday in Hoi An
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip

Extensive excursion package:

  • Ho Chi Minh Complex, Temple of Literature, cyclo tour through the old quarter, Vietnamese coffee by Hoan Kiem Lake
  • The Mai Chau valley, with its paddy fields and ethnic villages
  • Sailing tour on the Tam Coc River
  • The Dinh & Le temples at Hoa Lu, Ha Long Bay
  • Admission and fees for the sights and attractions mentioned

The tour in short

A host of experiences, both cultural and natural, await you in North Vietnam. Hanoi, the capital city, is a marvellous mix of ancient history and modern hustle and bustle, delightful colonial buildings and local markets selling exotic fruit and vegetables. In Mai Chau, you have the chance to experience ethnic villages, as well as paddy fields and highlands, giving you a real taste of everyday life in the country. From Tam Coc, you can see verdant mountains rising proudly from flat fields. You can then look forward to a mini cruise between the magical cliffs of Ha Long Bay. The tour winds up with a few relaxing days in Hoi An.

Why choose this tour

  • Unique nature experiences await you amidst the iconic green limestone cliffs on a mini cruise through Ha Long Bay and the Boi River
  • Most people fall head over heels for the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage city Hoi An, with its yellow houses and colourful lanterns
  • In tribal villages in the middle of nowhere, you meet ethnic minorities in the Ninh Binh region and calm your soul at the rippling rice paddies in Mai Chau
  • You conclude with a beach holiday, with time for relaxation, the beach and extra excursions

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations
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Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Flight to Hanoi, Vietnam

Departure day, where you will fly to Hanoi with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival in Hanoi

On arrival in Hanoi, you will be issued with your visa at the airport and can then collect your luggage. You will be met in the arrivals hall by a guide holding an Asiatours sign, who will accompany you to the hotel where you will be spending the next two nights. When you arrive at the hotel, you will have time to rest after your long flight and the remainder of the day is yours to do with as you wish.

Possible upgrades:
Day 3: Sightseeing in Hanoi

Today, you can look forward to a fascinating sightseeing tour that takes in the biggest sights and attractions in Hanoi. The tour also includes a delicious lunch.

To start with, you will visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which was built in honour of Ho Chi Minh, the founding father and first president of Vietnam, who lived and worked in Hanoi for most of his life. The complex comprises Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, Da Binh Square, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh’s pole house and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Please note that Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays, and every day in the period 1 October–30 November.

The sightseeing tour also includes the imperial citadel of Thang Long, which was a political powerhouse for thirteen centuries, and is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
You will also visit The Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, which dates back to 1070. It was here that the country’s powerful civil servants – the mandarins – were trained in accordance with the teachings of Confucius.

The next stop on the tour is at the iconic Long Bien Bridge over the Red River. There then follows a half-hour cyclo tour through the narrow, chaotic streets and alleys of The Old Quarter, and you finish the day with a cup of Vietnamese coffee served in a local café overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake.

Day 4: Hanoi – Mai Chau Lodge

Just a few hours’ drive from Hanoi lies Mai Chau, one of the most beautiful valleys in Vietnam. This is an absolute gem with fantastic paddy fields nestling between limestone mountains, as well as villages that are home to ethnic minorities including H’mong, Thai and Dzao people – and very few tourists. It is the perfect place to experience undisturbed landscapes and villages that preserve the traditional way of life.

After arrival and check-in at Mai Chau Lodge, you will be served a delicious lunch. Later in the afternoon, it is time to head off on a hike to a couple of the nearby villages – Pom Coong and Lac, for example – and to the Mo Luong grotto.

The day winds up with a delightful dinner featuring local delicacies, served while a local troupe of Muong or Thai provides entertainment.

Day 5: Mai Chau – Tam Coc – Hoa Lu

To start the day a tasty, international breakfast will be served in the restaurant, which provides a magnificent view out over the lake, the paddy fields and the swimming pool. From Mai Chau, the tour proceeds via Tam Coc to Hoa Lu, where you will visit the Dinh and Le temples. These are the only two temples that remain from the old citadel in Hoa Lu. The Hoa Lu citadel was an important imperial palace in Vietnam 1,000 years ago. It was here that the Le dynasty took over from the Dinh dynasty.

After lunch, you will head off on a 2-hour sailing tour along the Boi River. The landscape along the river is utterly magical. The water flows gently through the flat landscape, which is broken only by ‘sugar top’ mountains – almost like Ha Long Bay; only on land.

Day 6: Hoa Lu – Ha Long Bay

Today’s tour takes you through the fertile delta of the Red River to Ha Long Bay.

Ha Long Bay is one of the most remarkable nature areas in Vietnam. The bay is dotted with green-clad limestone cliffs rising almost vertically from the water, which changes in tone from deep blue to jade green with the turning of the seasons. Several of the islands also feature large grottoes. The large Cat Ba island is the site of several villages, while a number of smaller islands are home to modest fishing hamlets. For tourists, Ha Long Bay is first and foremost a magnificent area of nature of the finest calibre, but for the Vietnamese people it is also inextricably interwoven with legends of dragons and drama. Ha Long Bay covers approx. 1,500 km² and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1994.

For this mini-cruise around Ha Long Bay, you will be sailing on a small cruise ship. The vessel heads out among the scattered islands in the bay, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of the sea and the magnificent cliffs and islands. You can also experience life in a traditional fishing hamlet. Of course, you could choose simply to relax and enjoy life and the view out over the islands and the floating fishing villages, treating yourself to an occasional swim in the turquoise sea.

NB!! In the event of bad weather (storm conditions), the authorities in Vietnam reserve the right to cancel all sailing trips in Ha Long Bay in the interests of safety. This actually happens a few times every year. If this is the case, the mini-cruise will be replaced by hotel accommodation and an excursion in Hanoi.

Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Da Nang

Start the day with a refreshing dip in the clear, warm waters of Ha Long Bay, or perhaps simply admire the sunrise from the magnificent sun deck – where you can also take part in morning exercises (usually Tai Chi). Breakfast is served while the boat starts to glide peacefully back towards the harbour. On the return trip, there will be time to visit a grotto to admire the impressive stalagmites and stalactites.
Once you return to dry land, it is time to head off to Hanoi by road. You will then have a few hours in the city to do with as you wish before your guide accompanies you to the station to catch your train to Da Nang.

The night train departs from Hanoi at 7 pm and arrives in Da Nang at 11 am the next day.

If you would rather fly from Hanoi to Hoi An and spend an extra night at a hotel in this city, please state your preference when making your booking. Remember to ask for the price when booking.

Day 8: Da Nang – Hoi An, sightseeing in Hoi An

You wake up to a beautiful view as the train makes its way along the coast. Look out over the green mountains and the beautiful blue sea.

You arrive in Da Nang mid-morning, where you are met by a guide who drives you to your hotel in Hoi An. Having checked in, the rest of the day is at your leisure. You can explore the city on your own or purchase one of our extra excursions.

Hoi An is a wonderful experience and you cannot help but fall in love with the city. It is especially well-known for its charming architecture, impressive silk production, great tailors and its Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Flowing through the heart of the Old Town is the Thu Bon River, which is a glorious example of an international port dating back to the heyday of European and East Asian trading companies from the 16th to the 18th century.

Away from the river, you will find yourself in a maze of cosy, charming streets. Wherever you turn, you will see how the former colonial powers have each made their mark on the district. Colourful lanterns, Japanese houses, Chinese temples and French yellow merchants’ houses fill the cityscape. Shops, street kitchens, cafés and restaurants line the streets, where you can while away several hours connected to the city’s free Wi-Fi.

The fact that Hoi An’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site naturally makes it a major draw for tourists. The streets might be busy, but there is still a lovely calm to the area, and the district has managed to retain its authenticity and charm. It also helps that cars, scooters and motorcycles are denied access.

You spend four nights at this wonderful gem of a place, giving you plenty of time to enjoy and explore different parts of the city.

Days 9-11: Hoi An
Day 12: Hoi An – Da Nang – Departure

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven out to the airport to catch your flight from Da Nang to the UK. There will be connecting flights along the way.

Day 13: Arrival in the UK

Arrive back in the UK after a wonderful holiday.

Combine with
Choose from the options below
Beach holiday extension on the island of Phu Quoc, 3 nights

Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island and is located at Vietnam’s west coast, in Siambugtens warm water. The island has beautiful, palm-covered golden sandy beaches and dense green forests central to the island. The water surrounding the island is crystal clear and provides great opportunities for lovely a lovely swim in calm waters. Around the An Thoi islands there are excellent opportunities for diving and snorkelling to enjoy the beautiful reefs. The best time to visit the island is from November to April.

The extension includes a 3-night beach holiday at a hotel with breakfast, flight to Phu Quoc and transfers between the airport and the hotel at Phu Quoc.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), 3 nights

Experience the vibrant metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), where you will encounter an exciting mix of modern and old, with beautiful colonial buildings flanked by the shining façades of the skyscrapers, beautiful temples and exotic markets. Look forward to highlights such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Central Post Office designed by the famous French architect Gustav Eiffel, Reunification Palace and the city’s China Town. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s economic dynamo, which is clearly reflected in the large number of smart shops, cafés and restaurants. Finally, this city is where you seriously feel the history from the Vietnam War.

The city is also a great base for day trips to Vietnam’s lush Mekong Delta or the famous Cu Chi tunnels.

The extension includes a 3-night stay at the hotel with breakfast, flight from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City and transfer to and from the airport.

Imperial City of Hué, 3 nights

Just a 3-hour drive north of Hoi An, you can experience Vietnam’s last imperial capital, Hué, which was the home of the Nguyen imperial dynasty from 1802 to 1945. Despite many of the city’s buildings having been damaged by bombings during the Vietnam War, you can easily take in the atmosphere of the glories of its past. The remaining buildings have been restored and the entire city is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The truly incredible attractions are the gorgeous citadel and the impressive imperial tombs. The citadel was built in the 1800s with the Forbidden City in Beijing as a model, and is located on the northern end of the Huong Suong River, also known as the Perfume River. The river was named for the perfume-like scent that emerges in the fall, when orchids drop into the water and drift with the stream through the city. On the several-kilometre long stretch along the river, the imperial tombs jut out with different magnificent monuments – one for each deceased emperor.

Look forward to tasting the local, traditional cuisine of Hué, which the Vietnamese consider to be the best in the country. A particular emphasis is placed on the aesthetic and harmonious presentation of the food through decorations and colours, creating a gastronomic artwork.

The extension includes a 3-night stay at the hotel with breakfast, transfer between Hoi An and Hué, as well as a transfer to the airport in Hué or Da Nang.

Single room supplement £360
Special offers for groups of 6 or more. Request a quote today for more info.
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