On this incredible journey through a historic country, you’ll uncover the best of Vietnam highlights on a 10-day north-to-south jaunt through the country’s rich culture. Bike through ancient wonders, explore the waterfront shops and cafes, enjoy floats along fabled waterways, and meet locals who will share their stories, food, and history.
Vietnam Highlights with Ker & Downey
Suggested journey at a glance: 10 days/9 nights including Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City.
This suggested itinerary is just one way to see Vietnam, one of our picks for 2020 travel in Asia. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible with Ker & Downey.
Begin in the dynamic capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Following a lakeside Tai Chi lesson on your second day, explore Hanoi’s vibrant street culture on a delicious tour of the city. Guided by the chairman of the Hanoi Gastronomy Club, sample pan-fried dishes from street-side food stalls on your walk, leading up to lunch at a famous restaurant in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Continue to the Temple of Literature where a wise historian will share his experiences of the past century and his homeland’s culture with you. The evening concludes with a nighttime water puppet show, an intriguing traditional Vietnamese art.
Ha Long Bay
Embark to Ha Long City for a full-day cruise of Ha Long Bay. Aboard a traditional wooden luxury junk, sail between the magnificent karsts rising from the emerald waters. Set out on a bamboo boat to explore the beaches and reefs hidden past the watery caves of the limestone escarpments. Start dinner with a cooking class lead on the boat. Before leaving Ha Long Bay, hike to the top of Titov Island for a breathtaking panoramic view. The mythical karst landscape is a UNESCO-celebrated natural wonder and among the very best Vietnam highlights. Take a leisurely drive through the verdant rice paddies and fields on your way back to Hanoi for one night before continuing your journey.
Next, fly to the former imperial capital of Hue in central Vietnam. We like Azerai La Residence Hue, a designer destination on the Perfume River defined by Art Deco styling and lush gardens on the grounds. After checking in, take a short biking tour to the nearby Citadel, the former residence and palace complex of the Nguyen dynasty. This evening, dine like a member of the royal elite on the sweet and spicy flavors of original royal cuisine amid the former imperial residences.
On a morning boat trip on the picturesque Perfume River, visit the Royal Tomb and the Thien Mu pagoda (the tallest pagoda in Vietnam). Depart for Hoi An, the coastal UNESCO World Heritage city that was a prosperous trading port and home to merchants from many foreign shores. Over the next two days, explore the seaside shops and discover the blend of architectural styles from all over the world that make up the narrow streets of the city. Do not miss the chance to purchase expertly-tailored clothing or brightly-colored lanterns made from high-quality silks, both specialties of the area. Retreat to your private villa at Four Seasons Resort Hoi An and luxuriate on a plush king-size bed and in the generous bath.
Ho Chi Minh City
Continue on by air to the final stop on your trip, Ho Chi Minh City, with a stop first at the Cu Chi tunnels nestled in the jungle outside the city. Meet with a Vietnamese war veteran who will take you through the tunnels and a brief history of the combat from the Viet Cong’s perspective. Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling metropolis and home to some of the most famous landmarks in Vietnam. Explore the city sights on a private tour. Your final day is spent on the Mekong Delta. On your day-long boating tour, pass by floating markets, fishing communities, and small villages set in the lush coastal plain. Share lunch with a local family in their home and bike through the countryside, taking in these final vistas of Vietnam.
Custom Trips to Vietnam
Ready to dive deep into the Vietnam highlights of history and culture? Contact a Ker & Downey designer to customize your own journey. Read more about the seasonality and pricing in Southeast Asia at the Ker & Downey Difference.
Every journey you’ll read about on our website is completely customizable. We have hundreds of itineraries designed by Ker & Downey experts, ready to be tailored just for you – get in touch to get started on your own.