Tumbling Rice Paddies and Winding Waterways

18-Day Multi-Centre Vietnam Holiday Itinerary

Prices from £1,795 pp

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View day-by-day

Duration18 days / 17 nights (flexible)


ItineraryHanoi - Bai Tu Long Bay - Mai Hich - Hue - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City

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Delve into rural life and get a real behind-the-scenes glimpse of heart-warming Vietnam. During this 3 week trip, you’ll stay at home with the locals, help out on a working farm, scoot through the traffic in former Saigon and taste traditional street food. It’s a great way to go beyond the well-trudged tourist trail and meet the local community. Starting in the cobbled streets of Old Hanoi, you’ll drift through the islands of peaceful Bai Tu Long Bay, stay with the White Tai people in a traditional stilted house and sail to tiny villages in the Mekong.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast
  • Transport by private car, boat, overnight train
  • Excursions as described with English-speaking guide
  • 1 domestic flight

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Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Xin Chao Hanoi!

Hanoi is a capital city crammed with character. Motorbikes zip through tangled streets, food hawkers serve up steaming bowls of pho and fruit stalls spill onto shady boulevards. You’ll stay near the heart of the atmospheric Old Quarter and we’ll arrange a unique introduction to Hanoi and the Vietnamese language with a local guide who’ll double as your tutor. It’s a great way to get to know the city like a local.

Local Vietnamese women with bike

Drift Between Limestone Peaks

A turquoise bay peppered with tropical outcrops, Bai Tu Long Bay is every bit as beautiful as neighbouring Halong, but with fewer crowds. Rich in stunning views, you’ll drift between emerald karst islets and laze on tiny beaches. You’ll stay aboard a traditional Chinese junk boat, rocked to sleep by the rhythm of the water.

boats in bai tu long bay

At Home with the Hill Tribes

Stay with a tribal family tucked away in the misty hills of rural Vietnam and hike through a plunging green valley. As house guests, you’ll experience genuine hill tribe hospitality and get a feel for authentic mountain ways. The accommodation might be simple, but it’s huge on heart. Nestled in the bright green countryside, Mai Hich is home to the White Tai people, known for their dancing, singing and punchy Can wine.

Local woman carrying farm work

Lend a Hand in Hue

Help with the local harvest, pick your own lunch and amble along the banks of the Perfume River in Hue, where history lingers in the streets. Most travellers whizz through Hue, racing around the citadel, tombs and monuments before moving on. This trip is different. You’ll stay in Hue city and escape on a day trip into the peaceful countryside where you’ll experience helping out a farming family for the day.

Lend a Hand in Hue

Classic Hoi An

Watch lanterns twinkle along the river and meet the local tailors in Hoi An, Vietnam’s most atmospheric town. A jumble of crumbling Chinese shop houses, artist studios and riverside restaurants, it’s crammed with charm. The pace is slow and the food is scrumptious. In recent years, Hoi An has become something of a national treasure with its day dreamy, timeless atmosphere.

Lanterns in Hoi An at night time


During your stay you will be getting crafty making your own souvenirs from bamboo! You’ll be collected from your hotel in Hoi An and transferred the 20 minutes to the Bay Mau Coconut village where you’ll meet your teacher. This local family have been creating household items from bamboo for three generations and once they’ve shown you the ropes, it’s your turn to get creative. You’ll be supported along the way but what you create is up to you!

Bamboo workshop in Hoi An, Vietnam

Scooting through Saigon

Scoot through Saigon on a vintage Vespa, searching for hidden street food hotspots. Zip through the backstreets after dark, sample the best traditional snacks in the city and listen to live music as you sip on Vietnamese coffee. It’s a night tour and foodie adventure rolled into one. After all, Ho Chi Minh is a city that comes alive as night falls. You’ll stay in a comfy hotel near the central market.

People on motorbikes

A Taste of Life on the Mekong

Get a real glimpse of delta life as you leave the big city behind you and twist through the tiny waterways of the Mekong. Spend a night in the home of a local Vietnamese family and cycle along waterside paths. It’s the perfect way to learn how to cook those delicious delta specialities! Spend the night in Can Tho and the next morning rise early to discover the frenetic floating market at Cai Rang.

woman on boat on the mekong

Speak to our Vietnam specialist, Miles

“Vietnam is as chaotic as it is calming, which is precisely why I love it! I’ve been spoiled for choice with its incredible landscapes and phenomenal pho"

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