The Best of Vietnam

On this incredible journey through a historic country, you’ll uncover the best of Vietnam highlights on a 10-day 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.

Begin in the dynamic capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Following a lakeside Tai Chi lesson, 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 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.

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. The property is defined by Art Deco styling and lush gardens throughout the grounds. After checking in, take a short biking tour to the nearby Citadel, the former residence and palace complex of the Nguyen dynasty. In the evening, dine like a member of the royal elite on the sweet and spicy flavors of original royal cuisine amid the former imperial residences.

Take a morning boat trip on the picturesque Perfume River. Along the way, you will visit the Royal Tomb and the Thien Mu Pagoda, the tallest pagoda in Vietnam. Depart for Hoi An, the coastal UNESCO World Heritage city. It was once a prosperous trading port and home to foreign merchants. Over the next two days, explore the seaside shops. Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase expertly tailored clothing or brightly colored lanterns made from quality silks — both are specialties of the area. 

Continue on by air to the final destination of your trip, Ho Chi Minh City.  Your first stop will be to visit Cu Chi tunnels. Meet with a Vietnamese war veteran who will guide you through the tunnels nestled amongst the jungle. Your guide will provide you a brief history of the combat from the Viet Cong’s perspective. Next, you will continue on to Ho Chi Minh City, home to some of the most famous landmarks in Vietnam. Explore this bustling metropolis on a private tour. Your final day is spent on the Mekong Delta on a daylong boating tour. You will pass by floating markets, fishing communities, and small villages set in the lush coastal plain. Share lunch with a local family in their home. Then, take a bike through the countryside while soaking 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.

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.