11-Day Tour: Best of North, South, and Central Vietnam

Private Tour

Experienced Guides

Must-See Locations

The perfect way to see the best of Vietnam in relaxed comfort and style! Witness incredible must-see locations and hidden gems with the assistance and exceptional care of experienced, English-speaking guides. Journey with us across South, Central, and North Vietnam for an authentic experience of this majestic corner of the earth.

Highlights

Experience Iconic Ho Chi Minh City

Visit Ancient Hoi An (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Learn About History at the Hue Citadel

Cruise Around Tranquil Ha Long Bay (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

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Tour Details
Price

4-star accommodation:

  • 1 person $3,030
  • 2-3 people $1,811 per person
  • 4-5 people $1,550 per person
  • 6-7 people $1,450 per person
  • 8-9 people $1,399 per person
  • 10+ people $1,359 per person

Season

We operate all year round, except for Vietnamese New Year, which runs from February 11th-14th, 2021


Trip specifications

This tour only operates as a private tour meaning it is fully customisable. All group sizes and ages can be accommodated.


Pick-up & drop-off

Pick up from Ho Chi Minh City Airport and drop off at Hanoi Airport


Included
  • All Entrance Fees
  • Internal Flights
  • All Transport
  • All Taxes
  • English-Speaking Guide
  • Bottled Water
  • 1 Overnight Boat Stay
  • All Breakfasts
  • 1 Brunch
  • 6 Lunches
  • 1 Evening Meal
  • 9 Hotel Nights*
Click here to find out more about hotel options.

The price you see includes 4-star accommodation along the way. We would be more than happy to plan the trip with 5-star options if you would prefer, please get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Remember: This tour is 100% customisable so if you have something else in mind just let us know.


Not included
  • Gratuities for Your Guides & Drivers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Additional Meals

What to bring
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Insect Repellent
  • Light Jacket
  • Raincoat or Poncho
  • More packing ideas can be provided on request

What to wear

Please be sensitive to the local customs and ensure you dress respectfully

Click here for more information.

Loose, free-flowing clothing is preferred given we will be visiting local communities. Knees and shoulders should be covered at all times.

Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival to Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City

busy street of motorbikes at sunset

Today's Highlights

Welcome Dinner & Reception

Local Markets

Xin Chao! Welcome to Vietnam!

Today you will be met by your private Maika Tours guide who will be ready and waiting for you at Tan Son Nhat airport with a welcome sign. We’ll help you with your bags and show you to your private, air-conditioned transport, and whisk you off to your accommodation.

Today is all about resting and recovering after your flight so relax and get settled in. Alternatively, if you can’t wait to start exploring, we can show you around the local markets and the surrounding area.

Join us in the evening for a delicious welcome dinner and enjoy local specialities.

Overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh.

Today You’ll Travel By: Private Car/Van and Some Walking if Desired

Today’s Inclusions: 1 Night’s Accommodation with Breakfast, Private Transport, Bottled Water, Dinner, Tour Guide

Day 2: Cu Chi Tunnels and Ho Chi Minh City Tour

woman climbing out of underground tunnel

Today's Highlights

Cu Chi Tunnels

War Remnants Museum

French Colonial Architecture

Local Home Visit

Reunification Palace

Rex Hotel

Explore Vietnam’s Recent History

Today we will take you to experience one of Vietnam’s most famous attractions, the Cu Chi Tunnels! Our day starts with a hotel pickup after breakfast, then we’ll hit the road early to beat the crowds.

After a pleasant drive, we’ll arrive at the tunnels where you’ll learn all about their important role in the Viet Cong resistance and how they were used as hiding spots, communication avenues, and supply routes as well as hospitals and living quarters. You’ll have the chance to go underground and experience the tunnels for yourself! This tour offers a fascinating and informative insight into the lives of the Viet Cong, with plenty to see and learn.

After the excitement of the tunnels, we’ll visit a local farm, where the owner will happily tell us about her traditional home, garden, and livestock. She’ll even show us how to make Vietnam’s famous rice paper and the interesting process of rubber tapping. A scenic drive back to HCMC allows us to enjoy a delicious lunch of traditional southern Vietnamese cuisine in a local restaurant.

After lunch and a recharge, we’ll be ready to kick off the afternoon with a visit to the War Remnants Museum where we’ll learn about Vietnam’s past struggles and resistance through two historic wars. The next stop will be the historical Reunification Palace: a beautiful, important, and perfectly preserved building. Viewing the Reunification Palace is like going back in time and experiencing first-hand the important role it played during the Vietnamese War.

Heading back to the city centre, we’ll see the beautiful architecture remaining from French colonial times, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera House, and City Hall. To end the day on a high note, we’ll ascend to the famous Rex Hotel rooftop bar and drink in the views, as well as some cocktails!

Overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh.

Today You’ll Travel By: Private Car/Van and Walking

Today’s Inclusions: 1 Night’s Accommodation with Breakfast, Private Transport, Bottled Water, Tour Guide, Entrance Fees, Lunch

Day 3: Day Trip to Cai Be and Tan Phong Island

woman rowing boat of produce

Today's Highlights

Cai Be

Mekong Delta

Tan Phong Island Cycle Tour

Local Families

Cao Dai Temple

Traditional Markets

Get out of the City and into the Delta!

After breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel, get you comfortably seated in our private transport, then set off for today’s adventure to Cai Be! The drive will take about three hours and follows alongside the wonderful Mekong Delta so we can learn all about the course of the river and how it travels from its headwaters in the snowy mountains of Tibet. Gaze out at the spectacular scenery as we drive through this wonderfully fertile region and capture glimpses of local life.

Once we arrive at Cai Be, we’ll board our private sampan (a traditional, motorised boat) to begin our unforgettable cruise along the Mekong River. First, we’ll experience a small floating market. This is a great chance to experience traditional trading away from the tourist-focused markets of the city. Expect to be dazzled by an array of colours, smells, and sounds. Keep your camera at hand to snap some beautiful shots!

After the floating market, we’ll change to rowboats and venture into smaller, more secluded canals of the delta to observe the daily lives of the locals. Our dryland destination will be Tan Phong Island, where a group of local singers will greet us with a performance of traditional music from Southwest Vietnam. Then we’ll hop on our bikes and enjoy a cycle tour of the island, visiting local families along the way to learn more about their way of life and their unbelievable resourcefulness. We’ll also have the opportunity to sample some of their Mekong delicacies for lunch including freshly made spring rolls, fried pumpkin flower, and beautifully braised pork soaked in coconut juice.

After our special Mekong lunch, we’ll transfer back to our boat to see the handicraft of local merchants preparing coconut candy and pop-rice. Our last stop before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City is the stunning Cao Dai temple where we will learn about the peaceful Cao Dai religion and admire this temple’s ornate design and bold use of colour.

Overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City.

Today You’ll Travel By: Private Car/Van • Machine Boat • Rowing Sampan • Bicycle • Walking

Today’s Inclusions: 1 Night’s Accommodation with Breakfast, Private Transport, Tour Guide, Entrance Fees, Lunch

Day 4: Flight to Da Nang & Hoi An Walking Tour

pink temple

Today's Highlights

Hoi An Old Town & Markets

Old Merchant’s House

Japanese Covered Bridge

Tan Ky Assembly

Exploring Hoi An’s Charms

A short domestic flight will take you from HCMC to Da Nang where a local guide will be waiting for you upon arrival. Private transport will take you to the ancient city of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It will only take about 40 minutes to get to Hoi An from the airport. From there, we’ll drop you off at your hotel and leave you to get settled in.

We’ll set a time for the walking tour of the peaceful Old Town, which is pedestrianized and an absolute joy to walk around. It’s impossible to take more than a few steps without seeing ancient buildings and temples full of character from Hoi An’s colourful past. A former port city with a melting pot of influences from China, Japan, and France, Hoi An is truly a beautiful and unique place, perfectly preserved and yet full of new life! You’ll see many highlights on this walking tour including the Japanese covered bridge, the old merchant’s house, and the famous lanterned streets and markets. For lunch, we’ll be free to either sample local delicacies at a restaurant or try tasty street food as we wander through these ancient streets.

Come sunset, thousands of lamps and colourful lanterns will be lit all along Hoi An’s picturesque streets, buildings, and trees- even the river is filled with floating lanterns. It truly is a sight to behold and makes for a magical experience and an unforgettable evening.

Overnight stay in Hoi An.

Today You’ll Travel By: Aeroplane • Private Car/Van • Walking

Today’s Inclusions: 1 Night’s Accommodation With Breakfast, Private Transport, Bottled Water, Lunch, Tour Guide

Day 5: Cycle Tour to Tra Que Village

woman riding through field

Today's Highlights

Tra Que Vegetable Village

Local Homes

Cam Chau Countryside

Hoi An Streets

Experience Local Life At Herbal Village

After a hearty breakfast, your guide will arrive at your hotel with first-rate bikes for today’s tour. We’ll get comfortable on our bikes and then set off through the streets for Tra Que Herbal Village, located about 3km from the Old Quarter. The route is easy to navigate and follows a nice flat path so you can take advantage of all the sights you’ll see along the way.

The herbal village is famous for its fertile lowland soils, which produce the fragrant herbs used in Vietnamese cooking including sweet basil, peppermint, and cilantro- all lovingly cultivated by hand. We’ll meet with locals and have the opportunity to get involved in the daily tasks essential to keeping this special place flourishing. Here you can take a selfie with a water buffalo and even try your hand at the art of lantern-making. Phew!

Next up will be a welcome coffee and lunch break. Cao Lau is on today’s menu- a dish exclusive to Hoi An consisting of pork, noodles, and plenty of fresh herbs and greens from the very fields you’ll be standing in. After some rest and digestion, it’s time to get back in the saddle and head back towards the city. The tour will cover about 17 km over 4 hours, but of course, we are flexible to meet the needs of your group.

Overnight stay in Hoi An.

Today You’ll Travel By: Bicycle • Walking

Today’s Inclusions: 1 Night’s Accommodation with Breakfast, Private Transport, Bottled Water, Bicycle Tour with Guide, Lunch

Day 6: Road Trip from Hoi An to Hue & Citadel Tour

temple

Today's Highlights

Da Nang Beach

Hue Citadel

Hai Van Pass

Cyclo Tour

Ancient History & Beauty Await

After breakfast we’ll set off in our private transport for Hue; the former seat of the Nguyen Dynasty Emperors and up until 1945, Vietnam’s capital city. Our route will take us through Hai Van Pass, meaning ‘sea clouds’ so-called because of the majestic views of the sea and white sand beaches. There are some fantastic photo opportunities along the way, so we’ll include plenty of photo-stops to make sure you capture these stunning views. If we get peckish during the drive, we can stop for an optional lunch, views included of course!

Once we arrive in Hue and get checked-in, it’s time to hit the road, cyclo-style! We’ll head straight to the Citadel; a UNESCO World Heritage Site guarded by an ancient moat and thick stone walls. The vast Citadel encompasses the Imperial City, Forbidden Purple City, and the Royal Theatre, so stretch those legs and get ready for an afternoon full of culture, history, amazing architecture, and countless photo opportunities.

Afterwards, we’ll take you back to your hotel for a well-deserved rest and happily share some top recommendations for dinner in the city.

Overnight stay in Hue.

Today You’ll Travel By: Private Car/Van • Cyclo • Walking

Today’s Inclusions: 1 Night’s Accommodation with Breakfast, Private Car/Van, Bottled Water, Cyclo and Driver, Tour Guide

Day 7: Hue and Perfume River Cruise

river with mountains in background

Today's Highlights

Thanh Toan Bridge

Bunker Hill

Thien Mu Pagoda

King Tu Duc Tomb

Tiger Arena

Perfume River

Tombs, Pagodas & Dragon Boats!

Today will be a full-day tour so we can see all the best Hue has to offer, starting with Thanh Toan Bridge. This hidden gem, located off the tourist track in a small village, is characterized by a rare squared timber arch, ancient ceramics, and calligraphy inscriptions. It may have been built centuries ago, but its unique beauty remains apparent. We’ll also visit some locals including the inspiring Ms Thuy who specializes in making Vietnam’s world-famous conical hats.

Next up is the tomb of King Tu Duc, the most popular and impressive of all the royal mausoleums. It houses courtyards, pavilions, temples, and chambers. Your tour guide will tell you all about its fascinating history and the king’s life of imperial luxury, from his 104 wives to the unfortunate ending for his 200 burial servants!

Just before lunch, we’ll visit Bunker Hill which overlooks the Perfume River and boasts amazing panoramic views. The area served as a great military vantage point by providing secret observation posts for the surrounding territory, many bunkers still remain so you’ll have the chance to get up close and investigate them.

We’ll have lunch and recharge our batteries at a serene nunnery pagoda and then head off for our next destination, Tiger Arena. This ancient colosseum was where tigers and elephants would fight to the death in the name of royal entertainment.

The final leg of our tour today takes us to the iconic seven-storey Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue city. From here we’ll board a classic dragon boat and cruise down the Perfume River back towards the city where you’ll be picked up and transferred back to your hotel.

Overnight stay in Hue.

Today You’ll Travel By: Private Car/Van • Dragon Boat on Perfume River

Today’s Inclusions: 1 Night’s Accommodation with Breakfast, All Transport, Bottled Water, Tour Guide, Lunch

Day 8: Flight to Hanoi with Cyclo Tour of Old Quarter & Evening Water Puppets Show

yellow and orange umbrellas hanging in front of gate

Today's Highlights

Hoan Kiem Lake

Water Puppets Show

Old Quarter Streets

Cycle Tour

Travel Back in Time in Hanoi

After a tasty breakfast and hotel checkout, we’ll head to Phu Bai airport for a short, 60-minute flight to Hanoi. As you touch down in the capital city, the northern team will be ready and waiting to greet you. You’ll be privately transported to your accommodation to get settled in and we’ll leave you with some fantastic lunch suggestions.

In the afternoon, we’ll kick things off with a cyclo tour of the Old Quarter. You’ll meander through narrow, winding streets where merchants and artists once gathered to sell goods in times gone by. There are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities here as well as the chance to experience this unique, glimpse of Hanoi’s past.

We’ll also see Hoan Kiem Lake, which acts as a peaceful central point for locals who come here to practice tai chi, exercise, meditate, and even dance – wherever you look people are enjoying the space, moving their bodies, and socialising. The lake also holds an ancient legend about an emperor, a magic sword, and a golden turtle! Your guide can share the whole story with you while you explore this must-see location and take in its peaceful, yet active vibe.

We’ll crown the evening with a trip to Thang Long theatre to see the famous water puppets show. This delightful art form dates back to the 11th century and is accompanied by live music and traditional singing.

Overnight stay in Hanoi.

Today You’ll Travel By: Aeroplane • Private Car/Van • Walking • Cyclo

Today’s Inclusions: 1 Night’s Accommodation With Breakfast, Flight, Private Pick-up and Drop-off, Tour Guides, Cyclo Tour

Day 9: Road Trip to Halong Bay & Overnight Cruise

turquoise water with boats and mountains

Today's Highlights

Halong Bay

Squid Fishing

Tien Ong Cave

Overnight Cruise

Cruise Through Stunning Halong Bay

The wonderful and experienced team from Bhaya Classic Cruises will take excellent care of you today. Starting with a morning pick up, you’ll embark on a comfortable, scenic drive through the Red River Delta to Halong Bay which takes about 3.5 hours. Of course, we’ll make a refreshment stop along the way in a traditional little town called Sao Do.

We’ll arrive at the passenger port at about midday and, once aboard, you will be given a safety and itinerary briefing. Then, with a welcome drink in hand, wave goodbye to the shore for the next 24 hours as we set sail for Halong Bay; a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature!

Lunch will be served on deck as we cruise towards the southwest of the bay, allowing you to gaze up in awe at the mysterious and ancient limestone islands jutting out from the emerald green water surrounding you.

Our afternoon will include a visit to the fascinating Tien Ong Cave where we’ll descend into a mysterious underground world full of stalactites, caverns, grottos, and vast limestone formations – all delicately lit with safe walkways to make sure you get the best views while protecting this unique environment. As we make our way back up towards the daylight, what better activity than a dip in the emerald green waters of Halong Bay!

When you’re finished swimming, freshen up for the evening and join us for Sunset Happy Hour at the bar where you can enjoy drinks, mix and mingle with other guests, and even win some fun prizes in the ‘Masterchef Competition’!

As our boat anchors for the night, a delicious set menu dinner will be served, carefully chosen, and prepared to cater for all tastes. Relax and enjoy your meal as you unwind after a busy day of exploring and adventuring.

In the evening, feel free to either retire to your cabin and catch some z’s…or join us on deck to catch some squid! A fun night fishing activity.

Overnight stay in Halong Bay.

Today You’ll Travel By: Comfortable Shuttle Bus • Bhaya Classic Cruise Boat • Walking

Today’s Inclusions: Overnight Stay on Cruise Boat, Lunch & Dinner, Entrance Fees

Day 10: Halong Bay Cruise & Return to Hanoi

traditional ceramic pots and vase

Today's Highlights

Cua Van Floating Village

Dong Trieu Ceramics Villages

Kayaking or Rowboat Excursion

Hanoi

Experience The Magic of Cua Van

Ease yourself into the day with a sunrise tai chi lesson that comes with complimentary tea and coffee — a fantastic way to rejuvenate body and mind while greeting golden dawn in the Bay. Afterwards, a light breakfast will be served while we weigh anchor and set sail for Cua Van Floating Village – proudly featured in the Huffington Post’s11 Insanely Beautiful Small Towns Around the World’. From here, we can either kayak or take a traditional rowing boat and head out to discover local life on the water.

You’ll probably have built up quite an appetite after all that rowing so we’ll also be serving a tasty brunch and a chance to rest before we check out and head back to dry land, where we disembark at Tuan Chau International Passenger Port.

The final leg of today’s adventure takes us back to Hanoi in a comfortable shuttle bus. Don’t worry, we’ll make a refreshment stop at Dong Trieu Ceramics Village before dropping you off at your next accommodation!

Overnight stay in Hanoi.

Today You’ll Travel By: Comfortable Shuttle Bus • Bhaya Classic Cruise Boat

Today’s Inclusions: Kayaking or Row Boat Excursion, Breakfast & Brunch, Transport Back to Hanoi, Hotel Drop-off

Day 11: Departure Day from Hanoi

5 people smiling with raised thumbs

Departure Day

Tạm biệt! Goodbye! Sadly, today is the departure day. After checking out of your hotel, your trusty guide will be there to help you with your bags and make sure you arrive at a good time to the airport. Whether you’re heading home or onto the next leg of your adventure, we’ll wish you the best of luck and have no doubt that you’ll be leaving with great memories thanks to your fantastic Maika Tours!

Today You’ll Travel By: Private Car/Van

Trip Inclusions: Private Guide, Private Airport Transfers

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