THE BEST OF VIETNAM

This classic tour combines the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh with ancient capitals and the Mekong to give you real local experiences and a deeper insight into Vietnam.

TOUR INTRODUCTION

11 Days, 10 Nights     FROM US$ 1383 PER PERSON

Go on insider tours of the two main cities: cultural Hanoi and bustling Ho Chi Minh. Visit ancient capitals and explore the Mekong delta, with a wealth of real local experiences included to immerse you in the culture and give you a deeper, more personal tour of Vietnam. Visit Vietnam’s first university, which operated for an amazing 700 years. Pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh’s, mausoleum and his modest house. Amble around the Old Quarter’s ’36 streets’, taking in the atmosphere. See a performance of the Vietnamese art of water-puppetry. Awake early for a drive to the first capital, Hoa Lu. Board a private sampan and cruise past huge limestone karsts jutting out of green rice fields. Take an overnight boat trip to Halong Bay, watching villagers work in their rice fields. Board a traditional wooden junk (or a classic replica steamship- The Emeraud) for an overnight journey into the bay.

Weigh anchor and enjoy a relaxed dinner on board. Transfer to a 17th century trading port which has changed little over the years. See the former Champa Kingdom and visit the Lion Citadel. Travel to Hue, the former Imperial capital where ancient tombs and mausoleums commemorate the former glory of the city. See the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world and head down to the Pass of Ocean Clouds. Explore the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled 1200 years ago.

Cyclo to an historic relaxation spot of emperors, Walk around the bustling Chinatown district of Ho Chi Minh City. Visit Vietnam’s first museum of traditional medicine and see an incredible display of fresh produce at Ben Thanh market. Take a stroll to the city’s main colonial sites including Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat) and The Continental Hotel. Go to Cai Be, a delta town with lush waterways and vast green rice fields. Cruise a floating market and see the traders hang their produce on poles in front of their boats.

 

Each of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,

THE BACKYARD TRAVEL DIFFERENCE

Take an insider’s tour of Hanoi, seeing a performance of the Vietnamese art of Water Puppetry
Sail in a private sampan, cruising past huge limestone karsts and green rice fields
Board a traditional boat and take an overnight cruise to stunning Halong Bay
Visit the home of the celebrated painter Thanh Chuong



Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Hanoi

    Upon arrival our Backyard Travel guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of your day is free at leisure.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: None

    Cycling Army Personel  Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Day 2: Hanoi

    Vietnam’s first university was established in the grounds of a temple in 1076 and operated for an amazing 700 years. Quoc Tu Giam, as it is known, is well-preserved and a stroll around its halls evokes images of academia in the time of the Mandarins.

    Next see one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples, The One Pillar Pagoda founded in 1049 by King Ly Thai To. Pay a visit to the father of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh’s, mausoleum and his modest nearby house built on stilts.

    Travel to West Lake and the Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda, walking 700m further on to the Taoist temple of Quan Thanh, dedicated to one of the principle deities of Taoism.

    In the afternoon we’ll visit the Ethnology Museum which doubles as a research centre and displays exhibits detailing the variety of ethnic groups in Vietnam.

    Hanoi’s Old Quarter is known as the ’36 streets’; amble around here taking in the atmosphere, through charming Hang Be Market, down bustling narrow streets and alleys and around Hoan Kiem Lake. It’s a wonderful area to explore, with thousands of shopkeepers, small businesses and plenty of photo opportunities.

    End the day with a performance of the uniquely Vietnamese art form of water-puppetry, which enacts episodes from history and scenes from rural life in Vietnam.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Bridge-on-the-Hoan-Kiem-Lake-Hanoi-VietnamYoung Child sitting at a Bamboo shop in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Vietnamhttp://www.dreamstime.com/-image826570
  • Day 3: Hanoi

    Awake early for a two hour drive through rural northern Vietnam to the first capital, Hoa Lu. The ancient Hoa Lu Citadel here once covered three square kilometers. You’ll see the temples dedicated to the Emperors Dinh Tien Hoang and Le Dai Hanh and, if time permits, walk up one of the limestone karsts to get an amazing view of the area.

    Enjoy a Vietnamese lunch at Tam Coc town, stopping on the way to photograph the enchanting villages and picturesque landscape. Next, board your private sampan and cruise past huge limestone karsts jutting out of the green rice fields. Climb up to Bich Dong Pagoda if you’re feeling adventurous. It’s comprised of three pagodas: Ha, Trung and Thuong.

    Trang An Boat Option (in place of Tam Coc)
    Trang An is an ecotourism area similar to Tam Coc but less visited. Pass through a series of caves surrounded by limestone hills as you float along the quiet, clear river.

    Thung Nang Boat Option (in place of Tam Coc)
    Thung Nang is definitely off the tourist trail and though not quite as impressive as Tam Coc, makes for a quieter, more remote alternative.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    vietnamese-water-puppetry-vietnam
  • Day 4: Halong Bay

    Leave Hanoi now for an overnight boat trip to Halong Bay, watching everyday life in Vietnam as you drive to the pier. Villagers work in their rice fields and plough them using buffaloes, while others cycle to market with their wares loaded wherever they can fit them.

    We’ll arrive at Halong City in the late morning and board a traditional wooden junk (or a classic replica steamship- The Emeraud) for our overnight journey into the bay. Sail past a variety of rock formations, many named after their resemblance to things (Sail, Dog, and Incense Pot), before weighing anchor as the sun begins to set over the bay.

    Enjoy a relaxed dinner before settling down for the night.

    Overnight in Halong Bay

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

    halong-bay-cruise-vietnamIMG_2593
  • Day 5: Halong Bay – Danang – Hoi An

    Have a healthy brunch on board as your boat sails past gorgeous scenery and limestone rock formations to Halong City. Upon disembarkation your driver will meet you and we’ll drive to Thanh Chuong Palace. This is the home of the celebrated painter Thanh Chuong; and it showcases Vietnamese art, history and archeology all in the setting of its unique living-space.

    Transfer next to to Noi Bai Airport for a short hop flight to the port city of Danang. From here we head to Hoi An, a 17th century trading port which has changed little over the years and retains its original architecture and relaxed feel. Walk around the old town center to its colorful market, past the houses which were originally home to merchants of this port town; and see its unique 400 year old Japanese Covered Bridge.

    Overnight in Hoi An

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    princessjunkhalongbaysilk-lantern-night-bazaar-display-hoi-an-vietnamboat-hoi-An-overlooking-the-japanese-bridge-vietnam1000x600
  • Day 6: Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An

    40km southwest of Hoi An is the capital and religious centre of the former Champa Kingdom, My Son. In its lush valleys are many towers and sanctuaries dating from the seventh to the thirteenth century. Visit the majestic Lion Citadel, which was the Champa capital from the fourth to the eighth century BC. Return to Hoi An in the afternoon and stroll around a while, where the old tiny shop houses sell a range of craft and handmade goods, including clothes at some of Asia’s best-value tailors.

    Overnight in Hoi An

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    details-of-champa-ethnic-minority-stone-carving-vietnamTraditional Vietnamese Masks
  • Day 7: Hue

    Travel now to Hue, the former Imperial capital; where ancient tombs and mausoleums commemorate the former glory of the city. The Royal citadel here retains a sense of majesty and provides a window on how the dynastic rulers lived. See the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world at the Cham Museum before heading down to the scenic fishing village of Lang Co via the Pass of Ocean Clouds.

    Overnight in Hue

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    red yellow doorway gateway citadel forbidden purple city hue vietnamhue-the-purple-palace-of-hue-in-vietnamKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Day 8: Hue

    Explore the ruins of the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled 1200 years ago. Next, cyclo through the ‘Old City’ to the historic relaxation spot of emperors, Tinh Tam Lake; filled with flowers in the summer and a popular place for students to study.

    Drive on to Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda; who’s centerpiece, a 21 meter high tower, represents the seven reincarnations of Buddha. The pagoda grounds also contain the Austin car in which the monk Thic Quang Duc drove to the busy Saigon intersection where he set himself alight in protest at the Southern regime. The photo of this became one of the most enduring images of the war.

    Continue to the tranquil gardens and ponds at the Emperor Minh Mang’s tomb, then on to the unique, European influenced tomb of Khai Dinh.
    If time permits we’ll also visit vibrant Dong Ba Market on our way back

    Overnight in Hue

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    to mieu temple red doorshue-vietnamese-architecture-vietnamhue-the-purple-palace-of-hue-in-vietnam
  • Day 9: Hue - Ho Chi Minh City

    Transfer to Hue Airport for the short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, after which we’ll take a look around this bustling city. We’ll start at Cholon, the city’s Chinatown district, looking around the vibrant markets and shops before visiting Thien Hau Pagoda, which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea.

    The FITO museum is Vietnam’s first museum of traditional medicine and we go here next to see over 3000 exhibits all dedicated to the traditional medicine of Vietnam; including ancient books, documents and implements for mixing indigenous herbs. Nearby, you can browse the incredible display of fresh produce at the city centre market of Ben Thanh.

    For your afternoon you can choose to visit whichever interests you the most: the War Remnants Museum or the History Museum. Afterwards take a stroll to the Presidential Palace, then on to the main colonial sites of Ho Chi Minh City: The City Hall, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), The Continental Hotel, Opera House and the Post Office.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    colonial architecture indochina saigon vietnam town hall people’People at sidewalk coffee, Vietnam
  • Day 10: Mekong Delta

    Leave Ho Chi Minh for a two-hour drive to Cai Be, the delta town with lush waterways and vast green rice fields. Cruise Cai Be floating market and see the traders hang their produce on poles in front of the boats to attract customers. Many of these trading families have lived on this river for generations.

    Continue to a cottage factory where coconut candies, rice paper and ‘pop-rice’ are produced. Get back in the boat and admire the scenery as you witness the life of the riverbank villages. Cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep Island and sample some local Mekong specialties for lunch; afterwards heading back to Ho Chi Minh.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    hanoi-harvesting-rice-vietnamMekong-1000×600Vietnamese woman rowing a boat in Mekong River in Vietnam
  • Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City

    You’re free at leisure until your guide arrives to transfer you to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your onward flight.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Vietnamese Vegatable Seller

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room in luxury accommodation. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?


Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Talk to us about Your Holiday

Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.


 

 

 

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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.