North to south Vietnam trip: Reunification Express

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 9

From: Hanoi

To: Ho Chi Minh City



Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Explore Vietnam from top to bottom by rail on this week-long trip! Often called the Reunification Express, the trains that traverse Vietnam from north to south are a reminder of the country’s once divided past, made whole again after the war. Starting in Hanoi you’ll explore the cultural capital of Vietnam before heading south to Hoi An aboard the clackety overnight train. After a day or two of eating delicious food, discovering the night markets and cycling through the pretty streets you’ll once again ride the rails south. You'll finish your Vietnam trip by exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels and museums of Ho Chi Minh City.                 

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.


  • Explore the Temple of Literature in Hanoi
  • Ride the Reunification Express south through Vietnam
  • Stroll across Hoi An’s Japanese covered bridge
  • Discover Vietnam’s history at the Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Wander through the museums of Ho Chi Minh City



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.  



The climate in Vietnam varies dramatically depending on the region you are visiting and it’s incredibly diverse with weather ranging from snow and frost in the northern hills to tropical conditions in the south. There are two monsoons in Vietnam. The winter monsoon arrives between October and March, bringing cold and wet winters to the north and dry and warm conditions in the south. From April to October the summer monsoon brings humid weather to the whole country, apart from those regions sheltered by mountains. For the best balance, we recommend visiting in April, May or October.

This Vietnam trip itinerary is purely a suggestion, and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you

What's included: 

  • Accommodation for 8 nights     
  • Transfers as mentioned in itinerary
  • Two overnight trains between Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City
  • Touring as mentioned in itinerary          
  • 7 breakfasts      
  • English speaking guide

Not included: 

  • Meals not mentioned above     
  • Drinks  
  • Personal expenses and tips       


8 nights in 3* standard accommodation.

Hotels in this category include:

  • Santa Barbara Hotel

  • Aurora Riverside Hotel

  • Sonnet Saigon Hotel


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