Let our Vietnam customized tour beguile you. Glide on a sampan through the Mekong and visit stunning temples dedicated to past emperors

11 Days, 10 Nights     FROM US$ 1,290 PER PERSON

Your 11-day Vietnam private tour journeys from Hanoi to the Mekong Delta, visiting sites throughout the country imbued with pathos, beauty and history. From temples dedicated to ancient emperors to the mausoleum of 20th-century revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, you’re in for an exploration rich in history and culture. Vietnam’s stunning natural gems are sure to enchant you, as you glide on a sampan along the peaceful rivers near Hoa Lu and cruise through Halong Bay’s beautiful limestone archipelago.

To kick off your customized tour of Vietnam, explore the iconic sites of the nation’s cosmopolitan capital, Hanoi. Visit the Temple of Literature and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, exploring the 36 streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter along the way. Next, you’ll journey through the picturesque countryside to the site of Vietnam’s first capital city on an exploration of temples dedicated to past emperors. Then, take an overnight cruise through Halong Bay, a World Heritage Site, and glide on a sampan through the rice fields of “Halong Bay on land.”

In Hoi An, Vietnam’s ancient port town, you’ll get glimpses into a proud, centuries-old trading heritage. Then, journey over the Pass of the Ocean Clouds to Lang Co, and spend time wandering around Hoi Chi Minh City’s most historic sites. Admire the colorful landscape and scenes of village life in the Mekong Delta before journeying home with a mind full of beautiful memories.

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“This is Vietnam at its best. From Halong Bay and the streets of Hanoi to Hoi An and the Mekong Delta, you won’t forget the memories you’ll make on this classic tour!”

Nguyen Thi Tam, Backyard Travel Vietnam Specialist


Journey on a cyclo through Hue’s old city to Tinh Tam Lake where former emperors came to relax
Wander around the atmospheric Hindu temple ruins of southern Vietnam
Visit a local cottage industry and sample traditional treats on the Mekong Delta
Take a short hike and enjoy a spectacular view over Hoa La, Vietnam’s ancient capital

Daily Itinerary


  • Daily Itinerary
  • Day 1: Hanoi Arrival

    Ready to experience the best of Vietnam on a private tour? You’ll be welcomed by your guide on arrival at Hanoi International Airport and transferred to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure in Vietnam’s lively capital.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    No meals included on this day

    Cycling Army Personel  Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Day 2: Hanoi

    Your Vietnam private tour begins! Indulge in breakfast at your hotel before venturing out for a day tour of the city’s most iconic sites.

    You’ll take a short journey to the site of Vietnam’s first university, the Temple of Literature. Established in the early 11th century, it was set up to educate Vietnam’s elite in the principles of Confucianism, literature and poetry. Soak up the atmosphere and admire the well-preserved traditional architecture of one of Vietnam’s most historic institutions. Next you’ll stop off at the One Pillar Pagoda. This beautiful wooden structure was built in the 11th century to resemble a lotus blossom.

    Continue through beautiful tree-lined boulevards to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Marvel at the majestic marble edifice where the revered revolutionary leader lies embalmed. Next stop on your day tour is Ho Chi Minh’s former home—a modest wooden house on stilts surrounded by a well-kept garden.

    A special feature of central Hanoi is its freshwater lakes. You’ll visit the picturesque West Lake and admire two lakeside temples, both with distinctive styles and histories. First is the 6th century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi. Continue walking along the lakeside, or take a short drive, to Quanh Thanh, a classic Taoist temple.

    An afternoon at the museum awaits! Take your pick between two of Hanoi’s highly acclaimed museums. The Ethnology Museum (closed on Mondays) offers a fascinating insight into the customs and history of the country’s ethnic diversity. There are over 50 ethnic groups living in Vietnam, all with distinct cultures and traditions. Alternatively, head to the Vietnam Women’s Museum. This museum showcases the prominent role that women play in Vietnamese society, both historically and in modern day.

    As the sun sets over the city, join a walking tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Also known as the “36 streets,” the winding lanes have been named after specific goods historically sold on those streets. Snap photos of streetscapes bustling with living history, explore a local market and take a well-earned rest by Hoan Kiem Lake.

    Finish your day with a traditional Water Puppet performance that tells stories of Vietnam’s ancient and modern traditions. (Please note: The itinerary is flexible depending on your particular interests.)

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Bridge-on-the-Hoan-Kiem-Lake-Hanoi-VietnamYoung Child sitting at a Bamboo shop in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Vietnam
  • Day 3: Hanoi – Hoa Lu – Hanoi

    Today, your Vietnam customized tour ventures to Hoa Lu, the site of Vietnam’s first capital city. You’ll make your way 2 hours south through picturesque countryside to reach the ancient capital. Hoa Lu functioned as a capital during the Le and Dinh Dynasties (968–1009). Visit the temples dedicated to emperors of both dynasties, and continue on to the crumbling ruins of the Hoa Lu citadel. Time permitting, take a short hike to a nearby limestone karst hill and enjoy spectacular views of the area, envisaging what life may have been like all those years ago.

    Travel through spectacular landscapes to Tam Coc Town, where you’ll step aboard your private sampan for the rest of the day. (There are alternative options for this journey. Please see below.) Known as “Halong Bay on land,” this area is a photographer’s paradise. Glide along peaceful rivers flowing through lush rice paddies amidst a backdrop of dramatic karst mountain formations. Observe local fisher folk going about their daily life. If you feel like stretching your legs, step off the sampan and take the short climb to Bich Dong Pagoda on Ngu Nhac Mountain. The pagoda is made of an intriguing cluster of cave temples dating back to the 15th century. Return along the river to Tam Coc Town and transit back to Hanoi for the night.

    *Option 1: Trang An Boat Option (to replace Tam Coc):
    Another option for today is to visit Trang An Nature Reserve. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and eco-tourism area, the area is less visited than Tam Coc. Paddle past limestone hills and along a crystal-clear river through a series of caves. (One cave is so large that it takes 15 minutes to pass through!)

    *Option 2: Thung Nang Boat Option (to replace Tam Coc):
    Another alternative is to visit Thung Nang, or “Sunshine Valley.” Explore a cave, journey along beautiful fields of lotus flowers (in summer), and visit a quaint temple.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

  • Day 4: Hanoi – Halong Bay

    Today, is bound to be a highlight of your Vietnam private tour. You’ll be picked up after breakfast at your hotel and journey 3.5 hours through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta. Arrive at Halong Bay by late morning and be welcomed by the captain of your private junk (a traditional Vietnamese ship) at the pier. Enjoy a refreshing welcome drink before embarking on your adventure through Vietnam’s beautiful and vast limestone archipelago. Admire the dramatic karst formations as you enjoy a fresh seafood lunch and cruise the waterways of Halong Bay.

    Enjoy dinner onboard your private boat as your captain sets the anchor for the night amidst the spectacular seascape.

    Overnight on Halong Bay

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

  • Day 5: Halong Bay – Danang – Hoi An

    This morning, watch the sun rise over Halong Bay and indulge in breakfast onboard (or brunch on some tours) as you drift through the bay. Continue your short cruise back to the port, where you’ll disembark and be transferred back to Hanoi.
    En route to Hanoi, we’ll take you to Thanh Chuong Palace, the home and studio of one of the most celebrated painters in Vietnam. The space houses Thanh Chuong’s vast personal collection of spiritual and folk art, alongside his modern paintings. The large complex is a quirky myriad of architectural elements showcasing thousands of cultural and historical artifacts, including a theater for traditional Vietnamese water puppetry!
    Your Vietnam private tour continues to the historic city of Hoi An. Transit to Noi Bai Airport for the short flight to Danang and travel by car for 40 minutes to the historic port city of Hoi An. Hoi An, your base for the next day, boasts grand architecture and a laid-back lifestyle that has changed little over the years.
    Overnight in Hoi An

    Meals included: Breakfast

  • Day 6: Hoi An – My Son – Hoi An

    Enjoy breakfast and continue your custom tour to some of Vietnam’s most architecturally classic sites. Set among a lush green valley, My Son is the site of the most extensive remains of the Champa Kingdom (2nd to 19th century). Wander around the atmospheric red brick Hindu temple ruins of the former intellectual and religious center of southern Vietnam.

    En route back to Hoi An, you’ll stop off at Tra Kieu, the site of the first capital of the Champa Kingdom.

    On arrival in Hoi An, take a walking tour of the ancient port town through its charming narrow alleyways. You’ll visit former merchant houses, a historic Chinese communal hall and a vibrant local market. The walking tour will also meander to Hoi An’s emblematic Japanese Covered Bridge. Constructed in the late 16th century, this beautiful architectural feat was built by the local Japanese to link them to the Chinese quarter of the city. Walk through old streets that have remained largely untouched despite the ravages of war, and wander along the pristine beach front past modern resorts to your hotel.

    Overnight in Hoi An

    Meals included: Breakfast

    Hue to Hoi An Tour: details of champa ethnic minority stone carving vietnamTraditional Vietnamese Masks
  • Day 7: Hoi An – Hue

    After breakfast, spend some time at your leisure before the 3-hour drive along the stunning coast of Vietnam to Hue. We’ll stop in Danang for a visit to the Cham Museum, which displays the finest collection of sculptures from the Champa Kingdom. Continue north through the Pass of Ocean Clouds, a thousand-meter-high mountain pass by the ocean. This impressive geographic feature historically served as a natural border between kingdoms. Descend down to Lang Co, a photogenic coastal fishing village and popular destination for Vietnamese tourists.

    Continue on to Hue where you’ll spend the next day.

    Overnight in Hue

    Meals included: Breakfast

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

    Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and get ready to explore the former imperial capital of Vietnam on a privately guided tour.

    You’ll begin the day at the Imperial Citadel, a walled palace from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled from 1802 and 1945. From here, you’ll take a cyclo (traditional three-wheeled bicycle taxi) through the old city to Tinh Tam Lake. Sit down by the beautiful lake where former emperors came to relax.

    Continue on to Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda. The tallest religious structure in Vietnam, it has many stories to tell. During the Vietnam War, the area was a hotbed of anti-government protest and the 17th-century pagoda houses the famous Austin car that the monk Thich Quang Duc drove to Saigon in 1963. His self-immolation is one of the most enduring images of the American/Vietnam War.

    Continue on to two of Hue’s seven imperial tombs. Your first stop is the tomb of Minh Mang, an impressive Chinese-influenced structure set among a tranquil garden setting. Next, journey to Khai Dinh Tomb, a majestic Vietnamese-style monument with European influences.

    On the way back to your hotel, we’ll take you to historic Dong Ba Market. Wander through the aisles of Hue’s largest market and be a part of the bustling activity.

    Overnight in Hue

    Meals included: Breakfast

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

    Enjoy a relaxed hotel breakfast in Hue before transiting to the airport and venturing on to Ho Chi Minh City. In the dynamic city still known as “Saigon” by many locals, you’ll embark on a full-day city tour. Begin in Cholon, the Chinatown district, and explore the area’s busy markets set among classical Chinese architecture. Visit the distinctive Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda, which is dedicated to the Chinese goddess of the sea.

    We’ll continue to the FITO Museum, the Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine. The private museum exhibits an almost overwhelming collection of 3,000 items, including implements used to prepare indigenous herbs, medicines found in traditional pharmacies, and ancient texts.

    Return to the city center and wander through the narrow alleyways of Ben Thanh Market where vendors proudly display an incredible range of fresh produce.

    In the afternoon, take a tour of Ho Chi Minh City’s most classic historic sites. Choose between visiting the sobering War Remnant Museum or the illuminating History Museum, and take a stroll through the Presidential Palace (your vehicle will be available at all times and you can customize your tour). Continue on to explore the sites of French colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), the Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall. As the sun sets you’ll head back to your hotel. (Please note: The History Museum is closed on Mondays.)

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

    Meals included: Breakfast

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

    Today your Vietnam customized tour leaves the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City for a 2-hour journey to the Mekong Delta. Arrive in the town of Cai Be, which spans over both land and water, and step aboard a riverboat to begin your Mekong Delta cruise. Start your journey by cruising among traditional riverboat traders laden with fruit and vegetables. Continue on to a local cottage industry producing popular food-items, such as rice paper and coconut candies. Sample some treats and embark on the next part of the journey to Dong Hoa Hiep Island. Admire the colorful landscape and daily village life along the river, and indulge in local Mekong specialties for lunch together with fellow passengers. We’ll travel back to Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

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

    Today your Vietnam private tour comes to an end. Sit down for a relaxed breakfast and spend the day at your leisure. You’ll be transferred to Tan Son Nhat Airport in time for your onward flight.

    Meals included: 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. 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)

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.




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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What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.
Start Planning your Trip!



Start Planning your Trip!
What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.
Start Planning your Trip!
What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.
Start Planning your Trip!
What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.
Start Planning your Trip!
What's your ideal vacation? Let us know and a Travel Specialist will be in touch within 12 working hours to start planning a tailor-made trip just for you.