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14 days

Highlights of Vietnam from North to South

Classic tour from north to south with pretty Hanoi, mini cruise in Ha Long Bay, charming Hoi An, the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City and the lush Mekong Delta. Extend the tour with a beach holiday.

Highlights of Vietnam from North to South
Highlights of Vietnam from North to South
14 days

Highlights of Vietnam from North to South

Classic tour from north to south with pretty Hanoi, mini cruise in Ha Long Bay, charming Hoi An, the metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City and the lush Mekong Delta. Extend the tour with a beach holiday.

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What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flight from the UK to Hanoi; return flight from Ho Chi Minh City
  • Domestic flight in Vietnam, from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City
  • 9 nights at 3 and 4-star hotels
  • 1 night on the 4-star mini cruise ship Mila Cruise
  • 1 night in a 4-bunk sleeping compartment on the train from Hanoi to Da Nang
  • 10 x breakfast (days 3-6 and 8-13)
  • 2 x lunch (days 4 and 12)
  • 1 x dinner (day 4)
  • 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 TourCompass’ own guests only
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Guided city tour in Hanoi including the Temple of Literature and a Cyclo tour of the old quarter and water puppet theatre
  • Ha Long Bay
  • Guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City taking in Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Dong Khoi, Reunification Palace, the War Museum, the Opera House, Jade Emperor Pagoda and Ben Thanh market
  • Full-day excursion to the Mekong delta including a boat ride and visit to small, local cottage industries
  • Admission and fees for the sights and attractions mentioned


Over the course of 14 days, you’ll enjoy the classic sights of Vietnam presented by talented, local English-speaking guides. Along the way, there will also be time to explore on your own.

You start in the calm, quiet north, in the beautiful capital of Hanoi, where you experience the contrasts between the older and more modern parts of the city. You get a real feel for UNESCO’s natural and cultural heritage at Ha Long Bay and in the old streets of Hoi An. In the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, the shiny façades of the skyscrapers stand side by side beautiful colonial buildings, and you will learn about the history of the Vietnam War at the Reunion Palace and the War Museum. You will be in no doubt that this is Vietnam’s economic dynamo. In the Mekong Delta, you will experience Vietnam’s overflowing rice bowl, floating markets at the water’s edge and green rice fields and fruit orchards on the riverside.

You have the option to extend your tour to include a few days’ beach holiday on the beautiful beaches of Mui Ne or on the island of Phu Quoc.

Why choose this tour

  • The classic Vietnam tour with the gorgeous capital of Hanoi, UNECSO World Heritage Sites in Hoi An and Ha Long Bay, as well as Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta
  • You get the sense of all of Vietnam and the contrasts from north to south with beautiful Hanoi, charming Hoi An and vibrant Ho Chi Minh City
  • Mini cruise in Ha Long Bay with world-class nature experiences amidst hundreds of green-clad limestone cliffs
  • Extend your tour to include a beach holiday in the calm Mui Ne or on the exotic island of Phu Quoc.

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Flight from the UK

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

Day 2: Arrival in Hanoi

After arriving in Hanoi, you will pass through immigration before collecting your luggage. You will be met in the arrivals hall by a guide holding a TourCompass sign, who will accompany you to the hotel where you will be spending the next three nights. Having checked in at your hotel, the rest of the day is yours to do with as you wish. For example, you can saunter along the busy streets and alleyways of the exotic old quarter, stopping as you please to admire the sights and sounds of this amazing city. Hoan Kiem Lake is close by; it takes about half an hour to walk all the way around it – a delightful stroll in the shade of the tall trees.

Day 3: Sightseeing in Hanoi

Today, you can look forward to a fascinating half-day sightseeing tour that takes in the biggest sights and attractions in Hanoi. Your itinerary starts at the Temple of Literature, which was built in the 1100s by students of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. With a history stretching back almost 1,000 years, the temple is one of the last remaining examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture.

It is then time to visit the Ngoc Son Temple, which is located on a small island in the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake. Access to the temple is across Huc Bridge, whose name literally means ‘the placed touched by the rays of the morning sun’. Here, you will hear the legend of the Emperor, the magical sword and the giant turtle after which the lake is named. The next treat is a ride on a traditional ‘cyclo’ – a bicycle taxi – along some of the 36 streets that make up the charming old quarter. The local citizens flock to the area to buy everything from noodles to Buddha figurines. The 36 streets in this part of the city were named after the goods traded there, and ‘Bamboo Street’ and ‘Tin Street’ still live up to their names. Your sightseeing tour concludes with a traditional performance at the water puppet theatre.

Day 4: Hanoi

The day is yours to explore Hanoi on your own or choose one of our extra excursions.

There is plenty to do in the bustling capital. While away many an hour in the charming Old Quarter by Hoan Kiem Lake, where you will find old colonial buildings as well as a large selection of shops, restaurants, cafés and art galleries.

Day 5: Hanoi – Mini-cruise in Ha Long Bay

From Hanoi, you head through the lush 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.

You’re going on a mini-cruise in Ha Long Bay. The boat sets off for the secluded islands out in the bay, letting you take in the beautiful scenery of the sea and beautiful islands. Now you can just sit back and relax and enjoy life, the view of the islands and the floating fishing villages, perhaps sneaking in a swim in the turquoise water. A stop will be made at one of the bay’s largest and most beautiful caves, Sung Sot. In the evening, you have the opportunity to watch and/or participate in a demonstration of Vietnamese cooking, or you can fish for fresh squid. You round off the day on the sun deck, enjoying the many colours of the sunset.

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.

Possible upgrades:
Day 6: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Train ride to Da Nang

Start the day with a refreshing dip in the clear, warm waters of Ha Long Bay. Or perhaps simply enjoy the sunrise from the magnificent sun deck of the boat. You can also participate in the morning’s keep-fit session (usually tai chi) on the sun deck of the junk. Breakfast is served as the boat calmly begins to head back to port. Along the way, depending on the season, you will either visit either the island of Ti Top (in the summer), where you can swim or hike, or a pearl farm (in the winter). Once back on land, you are driven back to Hanoi, where you will spend a few hours on your own before being accompanied to the train which will take you to Da Nang.

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

For a surcharge, you can fly from Hanoi to Da Nang instead of taking the night train. This option will include an extra night in Hoi An.

Day 7: Da Nang – 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 three nights at this wonderful gem of a place, giving you plenty of time to enjoy and explore different parts of the city.

Days 8-9: Hoi An

These days are yours to do with as you wish. You can choose to spend them enjoying the beach and the water, or exploring the charming city and the old harbour area.

For an extra fee, you can take one or more excursions.

Day 10: Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City with guided tour

Today, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport in Da Nang, before flying to Vietnam’s biggest city, Ho Chi Minh City.

It might be something of a shock to come from the peaceful Hoi An to this hectic metropolis inhabited by some 10 million people and where there are just as many scooters and motorcycles. Fortunately, you will be rewarded with an incredibly exciting and modern city. This is seen in the city’s buildings, which are a good mix of old and new – modern high-rise buildings in glass and well-preserved colonial buildings.

On your arrival at Ho Chi Minh City Airport, you will be met by a guide who will drive you into the city in time for lunch.  The tour then starts, and the first stop is the Central Post Office, designed by the world famous French architect Gustav Eiffel.

Opposite the post office is the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1863 and 1880. As you stand facing the church, you have a grey building behind you. Some may recognise it as the “Pittmann Apartments” building at 22 Gia Long Street from the photo taken on 29 April 1974 by Dutch photographer Hubert van Es in connection with the fall of Saigon. Many people thought it was the American Embassy, but it actually housed the United States Agency for International Development and the CIA officer Conrad LaGueux. The photo shows a helicopter landing on the roof of the building to evacuate US government employees when the North Vietnamese forces penetrated Saigon.

From here you walk towards the Saigon River along the Dong Khoi shopping street, which held a central role in Graham Greene’s novel “The Quiet American”. You later pass the beautiful Saigon Opera House, which was built in 1901. The tour continues to the Reunification Palace where the Vietnam War – or the American War as the Vietnamese call it – ended on 30 April 1975 when a Vietnamese tank drove through the gate to end the war, which left 58,000 Americans and 3 million Vietnamese dead. You will then visit the War Museum, which is spread over several floors. Here, you have time to wander around on your own and see the harsh photos of the war – a truly moving experience!

The tour continues with a visit to one of the peaceful oases in the bustling metropolis: The atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda with its small pond full of small tortoises. The locals flock here to pray and light small candles and incense sticks. The tour rounds off at the covered Ben Thanh Market, the city’s largest and most authentic market, where you can find everything from fruit and vegetables to clothing, electronics, souvenirs and food stalls. You will be driven to the hotel to check in, and the rest of the day is yours to do whatever you please. The hotel is situated in District 1, which is still known as Saigon and is considered to be the inner city, while District 2–11 is called Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 11: Full-day outing to the Mekong Delta

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven towards the Mekong Delta, south of Ho Chi Minh City. The Mekong River itself runs 4,500 km through 6 countries from its source to the delta south of Ho Chi Minh City. The delta is known as Vietnam’s pantry and is, as the nickname suggests, an extremely fertile place. The delta covers an area of almost 40,000 km², but the area covered by water depends on the amount of rainfall and the season.

You won’t get far from Ho Chi Minh City before you start seeing beautiful green rice fields. The climate here allows farmers to plant and harvest three crops a year.

Arriving in the small charming town of Cai Be, you board a boat that takes you around the lush Mekong Delta. Here, you can experience the locals with their boats filled with watermelons, coconuts, and pineapples, or patiently waiting for another fish to bite. The area was formerly known for its floating markets, but today, goods are sold on land.

Then, you visit a family that produces and sells various products made from water hyacinths. The tour also passes by a small home factory that produces “pop rice,” a local specialty in the Mekong Delta.

You now board a sampan, a traditional boat, and sail through the labyrinth of narrow channels in the charming delta before enjoying a late lunch in a beautiful old local house. Here, you will also be shown how to make the traditional Vietnamese pancakes, banh xeo.

Afterward, you are sailed back to Cai Be and from there, driven back to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City

The day is yours to explore the city on your own, check out the various markets or eat your way through the delectable street kitchens.

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure from Vietnam

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven out to the airport to catch your flight from Ho Chi Minh City back to the UK. There will connecting flights along the way. If you have chosen to extend your trip with a beach holiday or a visit to Cambodia, you will continue on to the relevant destination.

Day 14: 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.

Beach holiday extension in Mui Ne
3 nights

Originally a small fishing village, Mui Ne has developed into a lovely, cosy beach holiday destination. The beach has fine, golden sand, and the sea is wonderfully warm. Along the beach, you’ll find small, local eateries serving delicious Vietnamese dishes.

Mui Ne is also famous for its huge red and white sand dunes. Discover how the wind constantly blowing in from the sea shapes the red and pale yellow sand into beautiful Sahara formations.

In southern Mui Ne, on the road to Phan Thiet, are the Po Shanu Cham towers, which were built by the Cham people in the 9th century. Neighbouring the towers is a fine Chinese temple. Both the towers and the temple are located on a hilltop with a nice view of the bay.

In the evening, you can stroll along the beach road, which is approx. 10 km long. Along it lie cosy coffee bars, restaurants and shops.

You can also head into Phan Thiet itself, where you can buy the town’s famous fish sauce, known throughout Vietnam.

The extension includes a 3-night beach holiday at a hotel with breakfast and transfers between Ho Chi Minh City and Mui Ne.

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Laura Arundell Trelborg

Laura loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

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