Vietnam Highlights South To North 18 Days

Code: VN18S2N
Routes: HCM City - Cu Chi - Mekong - Nha Trang - Hoian - Hue - Halong - Puluong - Hanoi
Duration: 18 Days / 17 Nights
Features: A compact program to see the highlights of Vietnam in 18 days from the South to the North. It is a short tour for the amount of time we spend but you can customize it and make it more relaxing or challenging if you wish.

Trip Itinerary

Chao Ban! Welcome to HCM City, we meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. Today is free at your leisure to rest or explore, discovering your own first impressions of Vietnam (depending on what time you arrive). Overnight in HCM City.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, hotel.

Depart at 8:00 AM, you have the opportunity to experience what life was like for the Vietcong guerrillas who live and fought underground during the war with the Americans and the South Vietnamese. You are able to crawl through 50 m (150 ft.) out of the some 200 km of tunnels which run under the CuChi area’s underground complex. We also visit a rice paper workshop where handmade paper is made. En route, you enjoy spectacular scenic vistas, including eye-popping views of our rice paddy fields which stretch off from the road as far as the eye can see.


Continuing on to the town of Tay Ninh, we visit the Cao Dai Great Temple. This homegrown religion combines aspects of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism and Christianity. We experience the spectacular noon mass at the temple (around an hour in length) and follow this with a chance to explore the temple’s iconography and religious statuary. We return to Saigon (HCMC) in the afternoon at 5:00 PM. Overnight at your hotel.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, water, hotel.

Depart HCM City at 8:00 AM from your hotel. Head south to Cai Be. Upon arrival at around 10:30 AM, board a boat for a journey through the Mekong's floating markets. See how river life goes on here, watch the trading between merchant ships and local farmers. Alive and exciting! Cruise through the secluded canals and stop at some local factories to see locals making pop rice cake and pedal down narrow natural  waterways. Stop at local home to try seasonal fruits. Lunch at local house before boating to Vinh Long. Back on the car for our trip to Can Tho to overnight.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, water, local boat, hotel.

An early start at 6:30 AM for a boat trip to Cai Rang floating market. Of course now this market is not crowded and busy as it was before,  but still interesting experience. We take a long cruise to Phong Dien, followed by a walk on a quiet country road getting a little bit closer  local life here.


Our van pick us up and transfer to Vinh Long. We visit Phu Ly pagoda - one of the ancient Khmer pagodas in Vinh Long province. The pagoda was built in 1672, great combination of Indian, Thai and Cambodia architecture. Then, we keep on driving through the rice fields in Ben Luc to return to HCM at around 6:00 PM.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, local boat, breakfast, water, hotel


Breakfast at the hotel then 8:00 AM we leave hotel for our half of day tour to visit the bustling HCM City city. Visit War Remnants Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Central Post Office and Ben Thanh market if time permits. Back to hotel for check out at noon then drive to the airport for noon - flight to Nha Trang. Upon arrival, airport pick up then transfer to your hotel. Free to chill out on the beautiful white sand beach.


InclusionTransfer, guide, entrance fees, domestic flight ticket, breakfast, hotel.

Morning pick up at around 8:00 AM from hotel and transfer to the boat station (about 15’). Hop on the private boat and begin a day on the water. The first stop is Tri Nguyen Aquarium. Then we cruise to Mot Island. This is one of the best places for snorkeling in Nha Trang. Hold your breath for as long as you can and dive deep into this colorful world of fish and coral. Next stop, Coral Island for sun bathing and relaxing on the off shore beach. Lunch is served with a selection of fresh seafood.


After lunch, cruise to Tranh Island for more swimming and relaxing then boat back to Nha Trang city for around 5:00 PM. Free time in the evening and overnight at your hotel.


Inclusion:  Transfer, guide, entrance fees, breakfast, lunch, local boat, hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel and free at your own leisure to relax until we pick you up for flight to Da Nang. Airport pick up upon arrival then transfer to Hoian (about 30’). Check in hotel and spend the night here.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, domestic flight ticket, breakfast, hotel.

At 8:00 AM, we meet you at your hotel for a very short transfer to the boat docks. Today, we go to a fishing village where you see and experience the life of the fisherman. You do some fishing-related activities such as preparing the fishing tools. Afterwards, we have a short basket boat ride along the village full of lush water coconut trees before having lunch.


We then cycle on the country road through the rice paddy and corn fields as well as alongside numerous coconut trees and then head towards the main town of Hoian.   


Our afternoon is continued with some sightseeing to famous cultural sites around the charming Hoian, where we discover a preserved pagoda, an assembly hall and the Japanese Covered Bridge. Afterwards, we bring you back to your hotel. The tours ends at 5:00 PM!

Trail Difficulty: 2/5


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, local bike & helmet, local boat & fishing tools, breakfast, lunch, water, hotel.

After breakfast at your hotel around 8:30 AM we leave Hoian to Hue city (about 4 hour drive). There is fabulous sightseeing en route and  we may make stops at: Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass, Cham Museum, and the Marble Mountains depending on time. Lunch at your own account but our guide suggests the proper restaurant.


We arrive in Hue in the afternoon. Check in hotel if it is subject to available then we begin our half day tour in Hue by exploring the Royal  Tombs. Choosing only to visit the best ones, as we have lots to do. Visit the Minh Mang Royal Tomb then Khai Dinh Tomb - the 12th King to experience of modern Western architecture.


Later, we drive to see some handicraft villages where making conical hat, incense and bronze- casting and transfer back to your hotel in  Hue at around 5:30 PM.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fees, breakfast, water, hotel.

Breakfast at your hotel then 8:30 AM, we embark on a morning cruise on the Perfume River to Thien Mu pagoda and learn more about Buddhism in Vietnam. Then you start for a relaxing 1 hour Vietnam cyclo ride around for more enjoyment and stop to visit the former Imperial Citadel. Have lunch at the restaurant in the centre of Hue city.


After lunch, you go on visiting Dong Ba market to experience the local life of the local here. At 3:00 PM, be already for our afternoon train  to Hanoi.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, breakfast, lunch, water, entrance fees, Vietnam cyclo, local boat, train ticket.

Early arrival, our guide with your name welcome sign picks you up at the gate of station at around 6:30 AM then transfer to your hotel for early check in. Free time then to relax and explore Hanoi by your own taste. Stay the night here.


 Inclusion: Transfer, station pick up – guide, breakfast, hotel.

We pick you up at 8:30 AM for a short transfer outside of Hanoi to learn about Hanoi villages’ life, its traditions, customs.


We walk and cycle along the villages, visit local markets, some old houses, their worshipping temples and communal houses. Then, we have a small food demonstration before our lunch at one of the local family’s houses here.


In the afternoon, we catch your van for a short drive to Lien Mac, a beautiful area of immaculately tended vegetables and flowers. Here you  hop on the bike again and get a close- up look at the colourful fields and have the chance to chat with some of the local people out  caring for their crops.  Stop by a “tofu family” to explore how they make tofu and you can try their fresh products. Bid your farewells, and  catch the van back to your hotel in Hanoi at around 4:30 PM.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fees, breakfast, lunch, water, local bike, community development fund.

Depart from your Hanoi hotel at 8:00 AM transferring to Mai Chau on our spectacular 4 hour drive. Upon arrival at Poom Coom village in Mai Chau, we take a short walk to visit the ethnic Thai people then lunch is served.


At 1:00 PM, take a short car ride in about 1 hour before we set off for our hiking through the beauty of Pu Luong nature reserve, the trek is intermediate level and requires some walking up hills but it’s worth your hike as we see many spectacular views of villages and terraces.


Arrival at the Thai stilt homestay in the late afternoon. Free time to rest and shower, then a traditional dinner with our host family.Overnight here.

Driving Distance: about 230 km

Trekking Distance: about 9 km (3 hours)

Trail Difficulty: 3/5


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, lunch, dinner, water, homestay with permit.

Wake up early today is recommended as your chance to witness more local activities in the morning. After having our breakfast, we say good-bye to our host by around 8.00 AM for our good hike ahead.


More trek today through hidden gems of Pu Luong including beautiful view of valleys, nice terraces and peaceful villages.


We stop for our picnic lunch then continue our trek through more villages to reach to Hieu village in the afternoon.


Take rest as you wish then you are free to stroll around the village to interact with the locals and visit the beautiful waterfall nearby. Back to  the homestay for dinner and overnight at homestay. Contact us if you wish to stay at an Eco lodge at Hieu village, instead of homestay.


Trekking Distance: about 12 km (5 - 6 hours)

Trail Difficulty: 3/5

Inclusion: Guide, entrance fee, water, all meals, homestay with permit.

Wake last day here at this beautiful nature reserve and friendly villagers so take the chance to explore around on your own or with our  guide around the village.


We then take an easy walk in about 1,5 hours to the town-let of this nature reserve where you van is waiting for us.


Lunch at one of the local restaurants before having a scenic drive back to Hanoi

Driving Distance: about 235 km

Trekking Distance: 8 km

Trail Difficulty: 2/5


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, water, breakfast, lunch, hotel.

Departure for Ha Long Bay is around 8:00 AM in a shared van. Arrive at the port around 12:30 PM. Welcomed on board, you are taken to your cabin before the trip briefing while you cruise to Bai Tu Long Bay and admire the fascinating formations. Visit Thien Canh Son cave.  Then relax at our secluded island-beach or explore by kayak. Later you return back to the boat just in time to watch the beautiful sunset from  the top deck before enjoying the bay’s freshest seafood dinner.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide on boat, morning shower, entrance fee, kayak, boat / junk, all meals, permits.

Early risers can enjoy the sunrise and the quiet breath-taking beauty of Bay’s landscape with towering limestone. You have breakfast at around 8:00 AM before our short rowboat by the locals of the bay.


Lunch on the boat as we slowly cruise back to boat pier. Hit the road before arriving back to Hanoi around 5:30 PM.


Inclusion: Transfer, guide, entrance fee, boat/junk, row boat, breakfast, lunch, hotel.

Breakfast at hotel. Depending on your flight you may have some time for shopping. Then we transfer you to the airport for your flight home.


Inclusion: Transfer, breakfast.