Itinerary in brief:
- 2 nights Hanoi
- 1 night overnight train
- 2 nights Hoi An
- 1 night overnight train
- 2 nights Ho Chi Minh City
Day 1: Arrive Hanoi
On arrival in Hanoi you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel, where you’ll check in for three nights.
Day 2: Hanoi
After breakfast you’ll enjoy a half day tour of the city, beginning with a visit to the famous Temple of Literature. Wandering around this 1,000 year old compound, you’ll get a glimpse into the past when it served as a university and temple. After this you’ll embark on a walking tour through the Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are alive with traditional Vietnamese life. Continue through Hang Be Market and around Hoan Kiem Lake, snapping photos and chatting with locals as you go.
The afternoon is at your leisure, so why not visit the Opera House before heading out for dinner to enjoy a steaming bowl of pho.
Day 3: Hanoi to Hoi An
Spend today exploring Hanoi at your own pace, wandering around the temples or shopping at the market. We’ve included a late check out at your hotel, so you can return to your room until 6pm, when you’ll be driven to the train station to board the overnight train to Danang, where you enjoy a private 4 berth cabin, sharing with another couple.
Day 4: Hoi An
Around lunchtime you’ll arrive in Danang and be driven the short distance to Hoi An where you’ll check into your hotel for two nights. After you’ve settled in you’ll head out for a guided walking tour of the city, which you’ll soon discover has changed very little in the past 200 years, despite decades of war and weather. You’ll walk past wooden fronted houses, cross the Japanese-covered bridge and explore the wonderful market that sells silk, handicrafts and antiques.
Day 5: Hoi An
Today is a free day for you to enjoy the pretty town of Hoi An. Why not stroll past the colourful lantern stalls or rent a bike and cycle into the countryside, where you can see rural life in action? However, you spend the day you’ll want to finish with a dish of cao dao - fat noodles, soft pork, crispy crackling and a handful of fresh herbs like lemon basil and coriander – delicious!
Day 6: Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast, the morning is yours to relax. Just before lunch you’ll be picked up and driven back to Danang Station to take the overnight train to Ho Chi Minh City, again in a private 4 berth cabin.
Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City
You’ll arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at 5am - but don’t worry - we’ve included early check in at your hotel! You can settle in straight away and have a morning nap before exploring the city today at your own pace.
Day 8: Ho Chi Minh City
Today’s tour starts 8am when you set off to the Cu Chi tunnels to skip the crowds. Driving away from the city you’ll notice that the buildings give way to rice paddies, villages and typical Vietnamese life. Spend a couple of hours looking around Cu Chi’s rugged grounds, learning how residents constructed an intricate, underground network of tunnels during the French and American wars. After learning about the impact of the war on the local community, you’ll head back to the city to visit the War Remnants Museum for a sombre look at Vietnam’s military history and visit the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City – the old Post Office, the Opera House and City Hall.
Day 9: Depart Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast you can take a final stroll through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City before being driven to the airport in time to catch your onwards flight.