- Explore the villages and tea plantations outside Hanoi
- Cruise the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay
- Go cycling and ride basket boats near Hoi An
- Tour Hoi An’s colorful Ancient Town
|Day 1||Arrive in Hanoi, Optional Activities||Hanoi|
|Day 2||Day Trip to Ba Vi Countryside & Cooking Class||Hanoi|
|Day 3||Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Cruise Ha Long Bay||Ha Long Bay|
|Day 4||Morning Cruise, Transfer to Hoi An||Hoi An|
|Day 5||Day Trip to Cam Thanh Village||Hoi An|
|Day 6||Hoi An City & Food Tour||Hoi An|
|Day 7||Hoi An Free Day||Hoi An|
|Day 8||Transfer to Da Nang & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi, Optional Activities
Welcome to Vietnam! The nation's capital of Hanoi has a long and storied history, as this area has been a regional capital since around the third century BCE. Since then, it has seen the rise of everything from empires to communist revolutions. Upon arrival at the airport, a personal driver will take you to your hotel in the city center.
Once you've settled in, feel free to head out on a self-guided tour. Spend the afternoon exploring the labyrinthine streets of the Old Quarter by foot or on a traditional three-wheeled cyclo, as you pass temples, French-colonial buildings, and Vietnamese "tube houses." These space-saving buildings can be as narrow as 6 feet (2 m) wide and 12 stories high. Later, perhaps head to the Pan Pacific Hotel's rooftop bar and sip cocktails amid spectacular sunset views over Tay Ho ("West Lake").
Day 2: Day Trip to Ba Vi Countryside & Cooking Class
In the morning, you'll head west out of Hanoi on a full-day guided eco-tour of the beautiful Ba Vi countryside. Your first stop is Ri village, where you'll enjoy welcome drinks and snacks with Mr. Duoc, a Vietnam War veteran and tea plantation owner. Listen to Mr. Duoc's stories about life during the war and visit his workshop and tea plantation, where you'll learn how to pick the best leaves.
Next, take a short drive to Moc village, where Mrs. Chin will teach you how to cook Vietnamese dishes that you'll enjoy for lunch in her tropical garden. Join Mrs. Chin for a walk around the village to visit families and learn how to make tofu, conical hats, and other regional products. Finish with an easy cycle through Vietnam's iconic rice paddies, followed by a Muong herbal foot bath, before returning to Hanoi.
Day 3: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Cruise Ha Long Bay
Your driver will pick you up today for the three-hour drive to the coast and Ha Long Bay. Located on the Gulf of Tonkin, over 1,500 karst islets rise above jade waters and resemble the spine of some mythological creature ("ha long" actually translates to "descending dragon"). The unique beauty of this region is unlike anywhere else and thus has been bestowed with UNESCO World Heritage status.
Upon arrival at the marina, you'll board a multi-level cruise ship for an overnight tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. After settling into your cabin, head up to the deck, where a delicious seafood lunch awaits. Then you can spend hours relaxing on the sun deck as the ship sails across glassy emerald waters to the most secluded corners of the bay. Later that afternoon, you'll stop at a secret cove for a swim and a kayak trip to explore hidden beaches and grottoes.
Return to the ship just in time to participate in a cooking masterclass offered by the onboard expert chef. During the workshop, you'll learn to make traditional specialties like nem (Vietnamese fried spring rolls) and enjoy them for dinner. Spend the remainder of the evening relaxing, or head out on a small boat for a bit of night fishing with the locals.
Day 4: Morning Cruise, Transfer to Hoi An
Wake up early and head to the deck for a sunrise tai chi session. Then sit down and enjoy breakfast in the open air as you cruise around towering karst islets. There will be a stop to explore another magnificent limestone sea cave before returning to port around 5 pm.
From there, transfer back to Hanoi and catch a 1.5-hour flight to the central coast and Hoi An. Sitting on the Thu Bon River, this historic city was a major trading port with the West from the 15th through the 19th centuries, attracting merchants from around the globe. Its international legacy is represented in the assortment of architectural styles in Hoi An's Ancient Town. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel and will have the rest of the night free.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Day Trip to Cam Thanh VillageAround 9 am, your guide will meet you at your hotel, and the two of you will embark on a bicycle ride to the country and along the riverbanks outside Hoi An. During this half-day excursion, you'll meander around farms and villages, stopping to chat with locals along the way.
Continue the bike ride to the waterfront region of Cam Thanh where you'll hop in a Vietnamese circular basket boat (called a thung chai) for a ride along the nipa palm forests of the Thu Bon River. You'll even get to try your hand at traditional net fishing. Afterward, have lunch on the waterfront before returning to your hotel in Hoi An.
Day 6: Hoi An City & Food TourToday you get to enjoy a half-day guided city tour that combines Hoi An's historic highlights with its delectable cuisine. It's a foodie's dream, as the tour kicks off with breakfast from a local street-food vendor followed by a leisurely stroll around Hoi An's Ancient Town. Here, you'll see some of the most impressive architectural landmarks in the city, including the arched Japanese Covered Bridge and the 19th-century Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation.
Day 7: Hoi An Free Day
Today is yours to enjoy Hoi An however you like. Take a leisurely walk or rent a bicycle for a ride along the quiet streets (motorized vehicles are banned in the city). Later, perhaps get measured for a custom-made outfit (Hoi An is famous for its expert tailors), or head to one of the city's nearby white-sand beaches. For dinner, try local dishes such as com hen (sauteed clams), nem lui (ground pork), and cao lau (pork and greens).