Discover cities, rivers, countryside, and beaches on this luxurious two-week jaunt around Vietnam. Immerse yourself in local culture in Hanoi, then venture deep into the Red River Delta on the waterways of fairy-tale Ninh Binh. Weave through the karst islands of Ha Long Bay, visit hidden villages near Hoi An, and enjoy dinner cruises in Ho Chi Minh City before ending up on the white-sand beaches of Phu Quoc. Along the way, bespoke excursions, private tours, and 5-star hotels ensure you travel in style.


  • See Hanoi like a local and enjoy fine dining experiences
  • Cycle the countryside and take river tours in Ninh Binh
  • Enjoy a luxury overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay
  • Take a cooking class in Hoi An and visit local villages
  • Go scuba diving in Phu Quoc and enjoy a sunset cruise

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi, Fine Dining at Red Bean Ma May Hanoi
Day 2 Explore Hanoi Like a Local Hanoi
Day 3 Transfer to Ninh Binh, Tour Tho Ha Village & Cycling Ninh Binh
Day 4 Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Luxury Cruise Ha Long Bay
Day 5 Morning Cruise, Fly to Da Nang, Transfer to Hoi An Hoi An
Day 6 Cycling Excursion to Triem Tay Hoi An
Day 7 Vietnamese Cooking Class in Hoi An Hoi An
Day 8 Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Highlights Tour Ho Chi Minh City
Day 9 Cu Chi Tunnels by Speedboat, Sunset Dinner Cruise Ho Chi Minh City
Day 10 Day Trip to the Mekong Delta Ho Chi Minh City
Day 11 Fly to Phu Quoc, Dinner Cruise & Squid Fishing Phu Quoc
Day 12 Phu Quoc Scuba Diving Tour Phu Quoc
Day 13 Free Day in Phu Quoc Phu Quoc
Day 14 Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi, Fine Dining at Red Bean Ma May

A local woman takes a stroll near the Huc Bridge at Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

Welcome to Vietnam! Your arrival at the airport in Hanoi kicks off a grand two-week tour during which you'll travel to the country's highlights in style. There's no better place to begin a highlights tour than Hanoi, as this ancient city (founded in 257 BCE) is a beguiling mix of traditional culture and historic neighborhoods and landmarks, all with a modern edge.

Upon arrival at the airport, your personal driver will meet you at the terminal for the 45-minute ride to the city and the Sofitel Legend Metropole. Located in the heart of Vietnam's Old Quarter near historic Hoan Kiem Lake, the Metropole is set in a luxurious French colonial estate dating to 1901. It's the perfect place to relax and unwind after the flight—perhaps enjoy a cocktail on the patio next to the heated pool.

Later, throw on your best evening wear for a bit of fine dining. Your driver will take you to Red Bean Ma May, an oasis of calm in the heart of the Old Quarter. This restaurant is known for its impeccable service and refined elegance, exemplified by its traditional Vietnamese decor with modern touches. As for the food, Red Bean features a comprehensive menu featuring traditional dishes—from pho to spring rolls to regional specialties—celebrating the creativity, bright colors, and dynamic flavors of Vietnamese cuisine.

Day 2: Explore Hanoi Like a Local

Tour famous Hanoi landmarks like Ba Dinh Square, the site of independence in Vietnam

Leave the hotel early on a full-day private tour to see Hanoi's historic landmarks and experience the city like a local. It starts with a ride to historic Ba Dinh Square, where President Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independence of Vietnam in 1945. Then head over to Lenin Garden, a park presided over by a bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin. This is an excellent place to people watch, as the area is a popular local hangout. 

From there, your guide will lead you down Hanoi's alleyways, lined with family-owned shops that have been around for generations. Continue to the 11th-century Temple of Literature, an impressive architectural landmark that was Vietnam's first-ever national university. To this day, students still pray at its altars for academic success. Next is the Museum of Ethnology, which preserves the cultural heritage of the 54 different ethnic groups in Vietnam. Afterward, stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

Now that you've refueled, continue to Hanoi's charming Old Quarter to explore its warren of backstreets. This will lead to Nha Chung Street, an area with food stalls and vendors. Here, you'll visit a historic French colonial home for afternoon tea. Your host has lived in the neighborhood all his life and has many stories about this remarkable city and its past. End the day with one of Vietnam's more unique theatrical performances: a water puppet show. This cultural expression dates back over 1,000 years, originating in the Red River Delta rice fields. Afterward, return to your hotel.

Day 3: Transfer to Ninh Binh, Tour Tho Ha Village & Cycling

Board a sampan (traditional raft) for a ride along the waterways of Ninh Binh

Your driver will pick you up in the morning for the two-hour drive south of Hanoi to Tho Ha village. It's located in the Ninh Binh province of Vietnam's Red River Valley, which is famous for its riverine landscapes and karst mountains rising dramatically out of vast rice paddies. 

Upon arrival, hop on a bike for a cycling trip around the village. Depending on the schedule, you'll ride 3-10 miles (5-16 km), passing sleepy villages and picturesque rural landscapes. Eventually, you'll arrive in the hamlet of Dong Tam and join the locals for regional activities like fishing, crabbing, and gardening. After an hour of fun masquerading as work, you'll return to town. There, a local family will welcome you into their home and teach you to cook regional cuisine like grilled fish and sweet potato cakes.

After lunch with the family, you'll board a traditional rowboat at the Nha Le Pier for a trip into the Galaxy Grotto, a 2,953-foot (900 m) deep water cavern. This is a uniquely beautiful cave due to its massive stalactites that gleam in different colors, so much so that Galaxy Grotto is known as the "Milky Way of the Mountain." When you leave the cave, you'll hop in a car and transfer to the four-star Tam Coc Garden Resort, an oasis nested between lumbering limestone peaks and verdant rice paddies. 

Day 4: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Luxury Cruise

Beautiful Morning in Halong Bay  (Stellar of the Seas)
Enjoy a morning cruise around Ha Long Bay before returning to Hanoi

Today you'll transfer by private car about 3.5 hours north to the coast and Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a natural wonder of the world. In this sweet spot on the Gulf of Tonkin, over 1,000 karst islets rise above emerald waters, resembling the spine of a giant reptile—hence the name Ha Long (Descending Dragon). Here, you'll board the Stellar of the Seas ship for a two-day luxury cruise.

Once aboard, you'll sit down for a gourmet lunch and then get underway. The ship will pass several islets before arriving at a secluded lagoon in Lan Ha Bay, part of the Cat Ba World Biosphere Reserve archipelago. Here, the boat will drop anchor, and you'll take a kayak tour. During the excursion, you'll pass through narrow waterways around the karst mountains and visit the famous floating villages. Continue through a natural tunnel to a lagoon where you can swim and relax on a secluded beach.

In the late afternoon, you'll return to the boat, and everyone will gather on the top deck to witness the golden sunset over the water. Then, join a cooking class on board the ship, during which the expert chef will teach your group how to prepare traditional Vietnamese dishes. Later, you can opt for activities like games and movies, enjoy a massage, or go squid fishing.

Day 5: Morning Cruise, Fly to Da Nang, Transfer to Hoi An

Take a stroll around the lantern-strung Ancient Town of Hoi An

Wake up early and start the day strong with a tai chi session on the sundeck. After a light breakfast, the ship will cruise to the Dark and Light Cave. You'll then board a traditional bamboo boat and enter this system of two sea caverns. The "dark" cave stretches over 328 feet (100 m), and you'll explore the interior with a flashlight. The "light" cave is shorter and is filled with natural light, illuminating the white limestone karst walls and emerald waters of the grotto. Its cathedral-like interior is a great place to snap photos.

Afterward, you'll return to the ship and cruise to the Ha Long Bay pier, enjoying a late brunch as you go. Then hop in a vehicle for the 3.5-hour ride back to Hanoi, arriving around 3 pm. Once back in the city, you'll transfer to the airport by private vehicle and catch a 1.5-hour flight south to Da Nang, located on Vietnam's central coast. There, another driver will pick you up for the one-hour ride south to the colorful and romantic river city of Hoi An. Upon arrival, you'll check into your 5-star hotel, Anantara Hoi An, a sprawling resort in a stately French colonial building overlooking the river. 

Plan your trip to Vietnam
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: Cycling Excursion to Triem Tay

Biking In The Hidden Village Of Triem Tay
Cycle down the pathways and back roads of the Triem Tay bamboo village

Get ready for some fun exercise as you leave the hotel in the morning on a guided bicycle tour. This private half-day excursion will take you outside the hustle of downtown Hoi An to the tranquil countryside blanketed with rice paddies. Your destination is Triem Tay, a peaceful, bamboo-shrouded village far off the tourist trail. This humble town on the Thu Bon River is steeped in ancient customs, seen in its traditional ferryboats, old houses, and ancient temples maintained by the locals.

Once here, you'll trade the bicycle for a boat and take a leisurely ride down the river. Afterward, wander the town's backstreets and meet friendly locals for a bit of conversation aided by your local guide. During some of these meetings, you'll witness local families plying their trade, be it mat-weaving, sculpting cement statues, or producing handmade noodles.

Later, explore the community garden to learn about the diversity of local plants and herbs as you chat with the farmers. Continue to a 19th-century house that's a marvel of French/Vietnamese architectural influences. The tour ends with a relaxing bamboo raft ride followed by a traditional lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, you'll transfer back to your hotel. Feel free to spend the rest of the day relaxing by the hotel's riverfront infinity pool and/or treat yourself to a green tea and salt scrub or Vietnamese herbal bath at the hotel spa.

Day 7: Vietnamese Cooking Class in Hoi An

Learn how to prepare staples of Vietnamese cuisine, like fresh spring rolls

Vietnam is renowned the world over for its delectable food. Today, you'll learn the art of this nation's famous gastronomy in a private cooking class. Hoi An is a particularly apt location to participate in such a class, as its historic port has drawn settlers for centuries, resulting in a fusion of international street food that you'll get to cook.

This tasty half-day workshop begins with a boat trip up the river to Hoi An's bustling Central Market. There, you'll browse traditional Vietnamese ingredients and meet the vendors. Next, head over to Ms. Vy's Market Restaurant, a hybrid street market/restaurant where cooks prepare meals in food stalls situated around a central courtyard.

During the two-hour cooking portion of the activity, you'll learn to prepare some of the same dishes as the cooks, which include fresh cao lau (Hoi An noodles), spring rolls, soups, and rice crackers. When finished, sit down and enjoy your creations for lunch. At the end of the experience, you'll get printed recipes and a Vietnamese cooking gift to take home.

Day 8: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Highlights Tour

Enjoy stunning views of Ho Chi Minh City's skyline from your hotel rooftop

In the morning, your driver will pick you up at the Anantara Hoi An for the ride back to the airport in Da Nang. There, you'll board a 1.5-hour flight south to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as Saigon, Vietnam's largest metropolis has preserved its cultural roots and traditions in the face of a communist revolution, a devastating war, and ever-encroaching modernity.

Upon arrival, a driver will transfer you to the Hotel des Arts Saigon. This 5-star hotel delivers on luxury, boasting spacious rooms and suites, multiple fine-dining restaurants, and an artistic decor that reflects the cultural heritage of Saigon. Make a beeline for the rooftop, where you can relax poolside with a drink in hand and enjoy some of the best panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City's skyline.

Later, you'll embark on a highlights tour of the city. Led by an expert guide, you'll visit historic buildings like Reunification Palace (once the headquarters of the Saigon government), the People's Committee Building, and the 19th-century Notre Dame Cathedral. From there, visit the Central Post Office, completed in 1891, followed by the War Remnants Museum, which offers a vivid and sometimes graphic perspective of the Vietnam War (known locally as the American War) through the eyes of the Vietnamese. Afterward, experience Saigon's renowned street coffee culture before returning to your hotel.

Day 9: Cu Chi Tunnels by Speedboat, Sunset Dinner Cruise

Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels, once a base for Viet Cong soldiers 

In the morning, indulge in the abundance of sweet and savory dishes (along with the endless baked goods) on offer from the Hotel des Arts' breakfast buffet. Afterward, you'll meet your guide, transfer to a jetty on the Saigon River, and board a private boat to the Cu Chi Tunnels. This infamous underground tunnel system located northwest of the city stretches 155 miles (250 km) and was a strategic base for Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Today the tunnels are preserved as a memorial/museum for the role they played in the resistance to US forces, and they're open to the public.

The 1.5-hour boat ride up the river passes glittering skyscrapers and busy commercial centers lining the banks. After a while, these give way to the green fields and stilt houses of rural Vietnam. Eventually, you'll arrive at the tunnels. Constructed in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from French attacks, they also served as living quarters, communications hubs, supply routes, storage areas, and even hospitals. During the visit, you can crawl through a section of the tunnels to experience their narrow dimensions. Afterward, return to Ho Chi Minh City by private speedboat.

Later in the afternoon, you'll hit the water again, this time on a three-hour cruise. It's a romantic ride down the Saigon River that coincides with sunset, so you'll get to witness the last rays of light glimmering against the towering high-rises of Ho Chi Minh City's skyline. Following this is a set dinner right on the boat, during which you'll enjoy gourmet dishes prepared by top chefs. Afterward, you'll return to the hotel.

Day 10: Day Trip to the Mekong Delta

Spend a day traveling down the rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta region

Set off early today on a full-day private tour of the famous Mekong Delta. Known as Vietnam's rice bowl, this region is full of coconut groves, sugar cane plantations, and green rice paddies. First, you'll arrive in the waterfront province of Ben Tre, then hop in a boat for a ride down a tributary of the Mekong River. As you pass the thick coconut forests, you'll see the morning hustle of fishing boats and cargo ships plying the waterways.

A stop at a traditional brickworks reveals how local workers still make bricks the old-fashioned way: by hand. After that, You'll stop at a honeybee garden for a snack of fresh fruit and honey tea accompanied by local music. Then visit a coconut candy mill to enjoy some sweets, followed by a visit to the country home of an artisan who makes traditional sleeping mats.

Experience more of the stunning countryside when you embark on a bike ride (or motorized scooter trip) through the coconut groves and vegetable gardens around the river. Then take a sampan rowboat along a tranquil canal shaded by palm fronds to a riverside restaurant where you'll stop for lunch. After eating, return to the pier by motorboat and transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City by car.

Day 11: Fly to Phu Quoc, Dinner Cruise & Squid Fishing

Phu Quoc Sunset Dinner Cruise & Night Squid Fishing (D)
Take a boat ride along Phu Quoc's stunning coastline at sunset

After one last luxurious breakfast at the Hotel des Arts, your driver will pick you up for the ride to the airport, where you'll board a one-hour flight south to Phu Quoc. This island, located off the southernmost tip of Vietnam (it's actually located in the Gulf of Thailand), is one of the most popular tropical locales in the country. Palm-lined, white-sand beaches ring Phu Quoc, while large swathes of rainforest cover the interior, making it a paradise for nature lovers and holidaymakers. 

Upon arrival, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel, the Phu Quoc Fusion Resort. Located on the island's stunning west side, this luxurious beachfront resort is famous for its unique all-inclusive spa concept, where guests can enjoy two daily spa treatments as part of their stay. After checking in, you can avail yourself of these spa services and then relax at your private villa, which includes a private pool.

Around 5 pm, a driver will pick you up at the hotel for the ride down the coast to the harbor at Duong Dong Town. There, you'll board a ship for a leisurely cruise, relaxing on the deck with tropical drinks as the setting sun gilds the ocean's surface. Then enjoy a delicious dinner served onboard, followed by time to participate in night squid fishing. Afterward, you'll go to the harbor and transfer back to the resort.

Day 12: Phu Quoc Scuba Diving & Island Tour

Spot exotic marine life on a scuba tour around islands off Phu Quoc

One of the most popular activities in the tropical paradise of Phu Quoc is scuba diving, and that's exactly what you'll do today. Around 8:30 am, a driver will pick you up at the resort for the ride to the harbor, where you'll hop on a private boat bound for three small islets off Phu Quoc.

The first is Gam Ghi, where you'll suit up and dive alongside an instructor. As you explore the coral reefs, you'll see exotic marine life like butterflyfish, damselfish, giant clams, and clownfish. Next up is Buom, another beautiful area with soft and hard corals, where you can spot even more colorful reef fish.

After a break for lunch onboard the ship, you'll cruise to May Rut Trong. Known for its crystalline lagoon and white-sand beach, it's regarded as one of the most beautiful locales in Vietnam. Here, you can ditch the tanks and enjoy some swimming and sunbathing. Later, you'll return to the harbor at Phu Quoc, arriving about 5:30 pm.

Day 13: Free Day in Phu Quoc 

Visit the Ho Quoc pagoda and enjoy incredible panoramic views of Phu Quoc

Today is yours to enjoy Phu Quoc however you like. Perhaps head to the southeast side for kayaking on the clear waters off Sao Beach. Farther south, you can ride a cable car across to the island of Hon Thom, which has even more idyllic beaches and a popular water park. For great views, head to the southeast side and climb the steps to Ho Quoc, an elegant Buddhist temple on a hill. And be sure to try some of southern Vietnam's best street food at the Bach Dang Night Market in Duong Dong.

Day 14: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City & Depart 

A colorful sunset over Phu Quoc
Alas, your grand tour of Vietnam has come to an end. Enjoy one last bit of luxury with a decadent breakfast at the resort before transferring to the airport for the flight back to Ho Chi Minh City. There, you'll make your connecting flight home. Until next time!

More Great Vietnam Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Vietnam? Check out these other Vietnam itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in Vietnam, and discover the best time to visit Vietnam.


A note on diacritical markings: In order to support the best technical experience and search functions, diacritical markings have been omitted from this article.


Map of Best of Vietnam Luxury Tour - 14 Days
Map of Best of Vietnam Luxury Tour - 14 Days
Written by Ha Dinh, updated Aug 29, 2023