Enjoy a first-class escape to Vietnam for two weeks of adventure without sacrificing comfort. It starts with a highlights tour of Ho Chi Minh City followed by cycling and farm tours around the famous Mekong Delta. After visiting the awe-inspiring Imperial City in Hue, you'll continue north to live the high life in Hanoi before wrapping up the trip at the otherworldly dreamscapes of Ninh Binh and Ha Long Bay.


  • See the highlights of Ho Chi Minh City on a Vespa
  • Visit organic farms on the Mekong Delta
  • Tour Hue's iconic citadel, the Imperial City
  • Ride a sampan raft down rivers in Ninh Binh
  • Cruise in luxury at the famous Ha Long Bay

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Optional Activities Ho Chi Minh City
Day 2 Ho Chi Minh City Vespa Highlights Tour Ho Chi Minh City
Day 3 Cu Chi Tunnels Tour & Saigon Opera House Ho Chi Minh City
Day 4 Transfer to Can Tho & the Mekong Delta Can Tho
Day 5 Cycle to an Organic Farm Can Tho
Day 6 Visit Cai Rang Floating Market, Fly to Da Nang, Transfer to Hue Hue
Day 7 Imperial City Tour, Celebrity Chef Private Dinner Hue
Day 8 Tam Giang Lagoon Sunset Tour Hue
Day 9 Fly to Hanoi, Optional Activities Hanoi
Day 10 Explore Hanoi Like a Local Hanoi
Day 11 Transfer to Ninh Binh, Visit Trang An & Hoa Lu Ninh Binh
Day 12 Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Luxury Cruise Ha Long Bay
Day 13 Morning Cruise, Transfer to Hanoi, Dinner at Ly Club Hanoi
Day 14 Depart Hanoi  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Optional Activities

The waterfront and business district of Ho Chi Minh City at dawn

Welcome to Vietnam! This first-class adventure kicks off in style in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest metropolis. Formerly named Saigon, this city has seen much history since its founding as a humble fishing village in the late 17th century. In the intervening years, it has seen French conquest, a communist revolution, and a devastating war. Throughout, HCMC has expanded and evolved, retaining its culture and history in the face of ever-encroaching modernity.

Upon arrival at the airport, your personal driver will meet you at the terminal for the 40-minute ride into the city and your hotel, the Park Hyatt. This gleaming white five-star hotel occupies an elegant French-colonial building in the city center, and its spacious rooms meld traditional Vietnamese decor and modern luxury. There's no shortage of amenities here, and after checking in, you may want to hit the Xuan Spa to take the edge off the flight with a massage. If you like, order a smart cocktail from the hotel bar, Park Lounge, and enjoy it at the outdoor pool surrounded by tropical gardens.

If you want to stretch your legs, feel free to head out and explore HCMC on your own. You can browse the offerings at Ben Thanh Market, a popular spot for street food and shopping. Later, perhaps grab a beer at the 861-foot (262 m) Bitexco Tower and enjoy panoramic views across this sprawling city.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City Vespa Highlights Tour

Explore the Highlights of Ho Chi Minh By Vintage Vespa
Explore the highlights of Ho Chi Minh City on a Vespa

This morning you'll embark on a private, half-day tour to experience Ho Chi Minh City like a true local—on a vintage-style Vespa. After a safety briefing, you'll hop on the back and hang on as your professional guide leads you around the city. During the tour, your guide will lead you to many historic buildings that represent the broad mix of Vietnamese, Chinese, and French influences that define the city.

Highlight landmarks you'll pass during the tour include the Reunification Palace (once the headquarters of the Saigon government), the People's Committee Building, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, and the Saigon Opera House. You'll also visit Chinatown, stop at the 18th-century Ong Bon Pagoda, and visit a tailor's market and traditional medicine shops.

You'll also get a glimpse into Vietnam's culture and religious history by visiting flower markets and a funeral home to witness Vietnamese mourning customs. One somber yet inspirational highlight is a stop at the Thich Quang Duc Monument, which is dedicated to the Buddhist monk and martyr who famously self-immolated in 1963 in protest of religious persecution. At the end of the tour, you'll return to your hotel and will have the rest of the day free.

Day 3: Cu Chi Tunnels Tour & Saigon Opera House

Enjoy an unforgettable evening of entertainment at the Saigon Opera House

After indulging in the Park Hyatt's abundant breakfast buffet, your guide/driver will pick you up at the hotel for a private, half-day tour to learn about Vietnam's wartime history. This immersive (literally) experience takes place about an hour north of Ho Chi Minh City at the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Dating to 1948, this immense 155-mile (250 km) underground tunnel network was built to defend against the French, then used during the Vietnam War (known locally as the American War) as a base of operations for the Viet Cong guerrillas, complete with supply routes, hospitals, and living spaces. Inside the tunnels, you'll get an idea of the harsh conditions faced by over 16,000 Viet Cong who lived here and see innovative booby traps that they left for unlucky enemy soldiers. You can also crawl through a section to experience the tunnels' narrow dimensions. 

In the evening, you'll get dressed up for a night out at the Saigon Opera House, a stately French-colonial theater venue dating to 1898. The production you'll enjoy tonight is a "bamboo circus"—a one-hour spectacular inspired by Vietnamese folk culture. It consists of live music, dancers, acrobatics, visual arts, and songs, with the performers utilizing traditional bamboo props/items like baskets, blinds, and poles, to reveal the rich culture of rural Vietnam. After the show, you'll return to the Park Hyatt.

Day 4: Transfer to Can Tho & the Mekong Delta

Spend time traveling down the rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta region

Today, you'll swap city life for lush rice paddies and farms. In the morning, depart Ho Chi Minh City on a 1.5-hour private transfer to the river city of Ben Tre, located in the famous Mekong Delta region. There, jump in a motorboat and visit the floating market of Cai Be, where boats are piled high with fresh produce and other foods. Then board a paddle boat and head deeper into the Mekong along smaller canals to An Bình Island. You'll continue to Ut Trinh, a traditional homestay where you'll enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch.

In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk around a fruit orchard, sipping tea while listening to traditional music. Then visit a local workshop to see how popular sweets like rice paper, coconut candy, and pop-rice are made—plus enjoy some samples. A bicycle tour can also be arranged and is a fun way to glean extra insight into local life. During the ride, you'll pass the local school, church, pagoda, and traditional houses. Also, a trip to brick kilns will show you how locals create beautiful clay pottery.

The excursion ends in the region of Vinh Long, and from there, you'll transfer south by vehicle to the river city of Can Tho. There, you'll check into your hotel, the five-star Azerai Can Tho Resort, which occupies its own river island. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing on the terrace of your riverfront bungalow, dining at one of the hotel's fine restaurants, and/or relaxing by the pool.

Day 5: Cycle to an Organic Farm

Visit an organic farm and see the process of turning cacao into delicious chocolate

Get ready for an unforgettable ecotour by bike. This half-day excursion begins in the morning when you hop on a bicycle and head off from the hotel, following your private guide around Can Tho's serene countryside and riverine landscapes. You'll ride through peaceful villages along tranquil canals and stop at traditional noodle houses for a snack.

The tour's highlight is a visit to an organic cacao (cocoa) farm owned by Mr. Muoi Cuong. Here, you'll see firsthand the multistep process of turning fruit from a cacao tree into common and popular products like butter, powder, and decadent chocolate. After the ride, you'll return to Azerai Can Tho and spend the rest of the day relaxing. Perhaps treat yourself to a hot-stone massage at the resort's on-site spa.

Day 6: Visit Cai Rang Floating Market, Fly to Da Nang, Transfer to Hue

The Cai Rang Floating Market is one of the highlights of the region

After a leisurely breakfast at Azerai Can (Vietnamese and Western options available), check out of the resort and hop on a boat for a scenic ride on the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong.

Eventually, you'll arrive at Cai Rang Floating Market, one of the largest and liveliest floating markets in the region. During a stop, your guide will lead you through the throng of tiny wooden boats piled high with flowers, coconuts, and fresh produce. Learn how to barter with traders as you mingle with locals and experience the infectious energy of market life. Following the floating market, you'll explore the village of Cai Rang, crossing bamboo bridges and strolling through fruit orchards.

After a break for lunch, you'll transfer by vehicle to the airport in Can Tho, where you'll board a connecting flight north to Da Nang. A personal driver will be waiting at the terminal to whisk you off on a 2.5-hour scenic drive north, passing unspoiled coast and green mountains as you cross the gorgeous Hai Van Pass on your way to Hue. Just before the city, you'll arrive at the five-star Banyan Tree Lang Co Vietnam. This resort sits on an unspoiled section of mountainous coast, and its private villas feature stunning sea views and infinity pools. 

Day 7: Imperial City Tour, Celebrity Chef Private Dinner

Imperial City Tour of Hue Half-Day Exploration
The Imperial City is an ancient walled citadel in Hue

You're in for a treat, as this morning, you'll head out on a half-day tour of the Imperial City, a massive walled citadel that was the capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945. On a private guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you'll see ancient pagodas, vast gardens, and royal mausoleums dating to the 19th century, like the Tu Duc Royal Tomb and Khai Dinh Royal Tomb. Throughout the walking tour, your guide will keep you entertained with stories and lore regarding the intrigue of the former royal court.

After the tour, you'll have the rest of the afternoon free in Hue. In the evening, you'll enjoy quite the pampering as you visit the home of Ms. Nhu Huy, a star of the Vietnamese culinary scene. She is the author of several cookbooks, the head of cooking departments at various universities, and a television star in Vietnam and London. During a two-hour private dinner, the chef will prepare a tantalizing mix of dishes ranging from new takes on humble street food to sumptuous gourmet dishes—served with a side of fascinating tales from the culinary world. 

Day 8: Tam Giang Lagoon Sunset Tour

Tam Giang Lagoon Sunset Tour
Tour the mangrove forests and lagoons outside of Hue
Plan your trip to Vietnam
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Spend the morning relaxing at your hotel and enjoying the sea views. In the early afternoon, your private guide/driver will pick you up for a tour of the Tam Giang Lagoon. Located just north of Hue, Tam Giang covers 20 square miles (52 sq km), making it the most extensive lagoon system in Southeast Asia.

It's a fun drive to the lagoon, and you'll make some stops along the way. The first is at An Dinh Palace, a European-style architectural marvel dating to the early 1900s. Then, you'll visit the Ru Cha mangrove forest, which acts as a natural barrier against the sea. At Tam Giang, you'll board a private boat and set off on the water accompanied by a guide, passing floating houses and marveling at the wetland scenery. This tour is timed perfectly to coincide with sunset, so you should be able to snap great pics of the last light of the day gilding the glassy surface of the lagoon.

There will also be opportunities for activities like swimming, kayaking, and even casting some nets with local fishermen. Afterward, head to a local's house or waterfront restaurant to enjoy fresh seafood before returning to the resort. You'll have the rest of the evening free.

Day 9: Fly to Hanoi, Optional Activities

Hanoi's streets are alive with activity and energy

In the morning, you'll check out of the resort and transfer by vehicle back to Da Nang and the airport. There, you'll catch a 1.5-hour flight north to Hanoi. The nation's capital was founded back in 257 BCE and has been a political center ever since. With a beguiling mix of traditional culture and modern commerce, this metropolis is one of the best places to see Vietnam's thousands of years of history brushing up against the modern world.

At the airport, a personal driver will be waiting at the terminal to transfer you to your hotel in the city, the Sofitel Legend Metropole. Located in the heart of Hanoi'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. Soothe your muscles with a relaxing massage at Le Spa, or perhaps enjoy a cocktail on the patio next to the heated pool.

After settling in, you can explore Hanoi on a self-guided tour. A great place to start is the Old Quarter, where you can wander its charming narrow streets on foot or ride around on a cyclo (three-wheeled bicycle taxi). Besides its numerous textile shops and cafés, the Old Quarter is a great place to indulge in Hanoi's famous street food. Try staple dishes like bun cha (grilled pork with rice noodles) or pho (noodle soup). Then treat yourself to an egg coffee and visit the long-standing ice-cream shop Trang Tien, which serves up delicious and unusual flavors like rice and taro. 

Day 10: Explore Hanoi Like a Local

Entrance to the Temple of Literature, Vietnam's first university

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 11: Transfer to Ninh Binh, Visit Trang An & Hoa Lu

Discover ancient history and natural wonders in Vietnam's Red River Delta

Get an early start and meet your personal driver in the lobby of the Metropole. Then embark on the three-hour ride south to Ninh Binh. This gorgeous valley is part of the Red River Delta and is famous for its towering karst rock formations, ancient pagodas, lush rice paddies, and snaking rivers.

Your destination is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trang An. This scenic area is part of a tributary of the Red River and, besides its stunning forests and limestone mountains, is also home to otherworldly river caves inhabited by humans for thousands of years. Dense rainforest also covers the landscape, even clinging to the cliffs, blending with rice paddies and creating a mesmerizing patchwork of colors. Upon arrival, you'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Later in the afternoon, you'll tour Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam from 968 to 1009 CE, just after the country gained independence from China. Though the old citadel is mostly in ruins, the temples of the Dinh and Le dynasties remain. Afterward, you'll transfer to your hotel, the four-star Tam Coc Garden Resort, an oasis nested between lumbering limestone peaks and glistening rice paddies. 

Day 12: Transfer to Ha Long Bay, Luxury Cruise

Discovery Halong Bay – Lan Ha Bay (Stellar Of The Seas)
All aboard the Stellar of the Seas for a first-class cruise around Ha Long Bay

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 13: Morning Cruise, Transfer to Hanoi, Dinner at Ly Club

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

Wake up early and get your blood pumping 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. Then hop in a vehicle for the 3.5-hour ride back to Hanoi, arriving around 3 pm. You'll transfer to your hotel and can relax for the rest of the afternoon.

Later, head over to Ly Club Restaurant for a memorable culinary experience. Located in an ornate French villa built in the early 20th century, Ly Club offers opulent dining rooms to enjoy a fusion menu of Vietnam-meets-Western cuisine against a backdrop of Indochinese decor. Here, you can savor everything from traditional pho (noodle soup) to Hanoi spring rolls and tiger prawn salad. Afterward, transfer back to your hotel.

Day 14: Depart Hanoi

Sun setting over the otherworldly rock formations at Ha Long Bay
You've experienced the major highlights of Vietnam, and you've done so in style. At the appropriate time, your driver will pick you up for the ride to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Vietnam Luxury Getaway - 14 Days
Map of Vietnam Luxury Getaway - 14 Days