Floating markets, karst islets and the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh. From lively Saigon to sophisticated Hanoi, this Vietnam tour enthralls.


9 Days, 8 Nights     FROM US$ 1,163 PER PERSON

The fascinating history, colorful cultures and flavorful cuisines along the South China Sea are worthy of years of exploration. But if you can’t dedicate your life to exploring the intricacies of Vietnamese culture, this sprawling, Saigon-to-Hanoi tour comes as close to an epic crash-course as one can hope for.

On a full-day city tour of Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) you’ll get a good dose of history and culture at produce markets, Taoist pagodas, history museums and a leisurely stroll past some of the city’s most iconic colonial buildings. Then, discover the floating markets of the Mekong Delta at Cai Be, a riverine town surrounded by lush rice paddies.

In Hoi An and Hue, beautifully preserved architecture and monumental ruins of ancient dynasties will transport you to centuries past when Hue was an imperial seat and Hoi An was a vibrant merchant stop on the South China Sea trade route. From there, you’ll indulge in an overnight cruise in Halong Bay, where 2,000 limestone islets jut out from turquoise waters in an oceanic dreamscape.

Finally, in Hanoi, you’ll live the life of a sophisticate, touring the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake and window shopping down the narrow alleys of the “Old Quarter.” Stops for delicious Vietnamese coffee are of course always on the agenda. Before your scheduled transfer to Noi Bai Airport, you’ll have visited all the highlights of Vietnam.



“Vietnam is a fascinating country, and the best way to explore all the hot spots is to travel from Saigon to Hanoi.”

Vi Tuong Diep, Backyard Travel Vietnam Specialist


Get a privately guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City, including a stroll through Ben Thanh Market
Take an overnight cruise among karst formations on the azure waters of Halong Bay
Explore the imperial citadel in Hue, one of Vietnam’s most remarkable ruins
Visit Cai Be’s colorful floating market aboard a local boat

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival

    Welcome to your Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) to Hanoi tour! You’re in for an unforgettable and epic journey that explores the colors, cultures and cuisines of Vietnam. Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll be met at the airport by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    No meals included on this day.

    colonial architecture indochina saigon vietnam town hall people’
  • Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City

    Today after breakfast, you’ll embark on a full-day, privately guided Ho Chi Minh City tour. Your first stop is the Chinatown district of Cholon, where you’ll explore the area’s shop houses and markets. You’ll also visit the Cantonese Thien Hau Pagoda, which is dedicated to the goddess of the sea. Head next to the FITO Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of 3,000 herbs, artifacts, ancient books and implements used in traditional Vietnamese medicine.

    Back in the city center you’ll take an eye-opening stroll through Ben Thanh Market, which offers an incredible array of fresh, regional produce.

    In the afternoon, you can opt to visit either the War Remnants Museum or the Museum of Vietnamese History. (Please note: The history museum is closed on Monday.) Afterwards, we’ll visit the former Presidential Palace, and we can drive or walk to all the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City (your private car will be with you at all times). Enjoy viewing the magnificent buildings and sites of the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (Rue Catinat), the Opera House, the Continental Hotel and City Hall.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Vietnamese saleswoman at the market sale vegetablesPeoples Committee Buildinghochiminh-city-hanging-spiral-incense-sticks-in-a-temple
  • Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta

    Today, your Saigon to Hanoi tour will venture out to the vast emerald rice fields, lush waterways and colorful floating market of Cai Be. This morning after breakfast, depart from bustling Ho Chi Minh for the 2-hour drive to Cai Be on the Mekong Delta.

    Upon arrival, you’ll climb aboard a boat for a delta cruise. You’ll pass Cai Be’s floating market, which once bustled with trade but is more serene nowadays. Then, continue to a small factory where local snacks of “pop rice,” coconut candies and rice paper are made. You’ll then cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep Island, admiring the scenery and observing the daily local life along the way. For lunch, you’ll be served Mekong-style regional specialties. After your cruise, drive back to Ho Chi Minh City where you can enjoy the evening at your leisure.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and lunch

  • Day 4: Ho Chi Minh City – Danang – Hoi An

    Today you’ll head to central Vietnam to discover the charms of Hoi An, a historical port city. After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Tan Son Nhat Airport for a short flight to Danang. From here, it’s just an hour drive to Hoi An, which was a major trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries. The lovely architecture and laid-back lifestyle here has not changed greatly over the years.
    Enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the historical town center. You’ll visit numerous former merchants’ homes, the Japanese Covered Bridge that dates back 400 years, and the colorful Hoi An Market. (Please note: Our rote can be changed according to your interests.)
    After your tour, you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy at your leisure.

    Overnight in Hoi An

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    View of surrounding Vietnam countryside from the Marble Mountains near Danangboat-hoi-An-overlooking-the-japanese-bridge-vietnam1000x600
  • Day 5: Hoi An - Hue

    Today your Saigon to Hanoi tour brings you to Hue, which was once the imperial capital of Vietnam. The tombs and mausoleums of Vietnam’s last emperors that you’ll find here reveal intriguing insights into the lives of the royal court.

    After breakfast, you’ll drive north past Danang to the Cham Museum, which houses a collection of the finest Cham sculptures in the world. Then, a wonderfully scenic drive over the poetically named “Pass of Ocean Clouds” will bring you down into the charming fishing village of Lang Co.

    Just past Lang Co, you’ll arrive in Hue. You’ll visit the ancient imperial citadel, which served as the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. After exploring these monumental ruins, you’ll head to Thien Mu, also known as the Celestial Lady Pagoda, which overlooks the Perfume River. Built in 1601, the 21-meter-tall tower serving as the pagoda’s focal point symbolizes the seven reincarnations of Buddha. On the pagoda grounds, you’ll also see the storied Austin car that a monk drove to Saigon in 1963 in protest against the South Vietnamese government. The photo of his self-immolation is one of the most famous images from the Vietnam War.

    Overnight in Hue

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Kingdom of Champa, Hoi An-Myson-Vietnam (2)red yellow doorway gateway citadel forbidden purple city hue vietnam
  • Day 6: Hue - Hanoi

    After breakfast at your hotel, start your day with a visit to Hue’s vibrant Dong Ba Market. After exploring the market and its maze of stalls, you’ll embark on a scenic cyclo ride through the Old City. At Tinh Tam Lake, where ancient emperors used to pass their free time, take a stroll along the lakeshore, where many local coffee shops emit enticing aromas. This is a favorite haunt of local university students.

    Continue to the tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, which is located in a peaceful garden setting. Next, continue to the tomb of Khai Dinh. This design of this monument is unique for its fusion of traditional Vietnamese style and European aesthetics, setting it apart from the other sites in Hue.

    After your tour of Hue, you’ll be driven to Hue Airport where you’ll board a 1-hour flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of your evening at your leisure.
  • Day 7: Hanoi – Halong Bay

    After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll embark on a 3.5-hour drive to stunning Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its 2,000 limestone islands. You’ll arrive at the Halong City jetty around noon and check-in for your bay cruise.

    After being welcomed aboard, you’ll sit down to lunch while cruising into the bay. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy various tours and activities among the karst formations, depending on your boat’s itinerary. In the evening, your boat will set anchor in the turquoise waters, and you’ll be served dinner on board.

    Overnight on Halong Bay
    Meals included on this day: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

    Boating-Halong Bay mountain in Vietnam1000x600
  • Day 8: Halong Bay – Hanoi

    This morning, you’ll wake in the middle of Halong Bay to sea breezes and fresh air. You’ll be served breakfast or brunch, depending on your boat’s itinerary, and you’ll have the chance to gaze out upon the limestone outcrops as you eat. After breakfast, your vessel will cruise back to Halong City at a leisurely pace. Upon arrival at Halong City, you’ll be driven back to Hanoi, arriving in Vietnam’s capital around mid-afternoon.
    After checking in to your hotel, take the opportunity to visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also commonly called the “36 Streets.” Enjoy a guided walking tour through lively Hang Be Market and around the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake. The narrow streets and alleys here are home to thousands of small businesses and shop houses. It’s a labyrinth of culture with ample subjects for interesting photos.

    If there’s time, you can opt to end the day with a Water Puppet performance. This art form is unique to north Vietnam and depicts fascinating scenes of regional, rural life. (Please note: The itinerary of your Hanoi city tour is flexible. If your flight time allows, we can schedule some sites visits to the next day.)

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Best time to visit Vietnam: winter - Halong Bay landscape
  • Day 9: Hanoi

    On the last day of your Saigon to Hanoi tour, you’ll enjoy breakfast at your hotel and set off on a final exploration of Vietnam’s bustling capital.

    First, we’ll visit the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, founded in 1076. Known locally as Quoc Tu Giam, this place of learning was established inside a temple to educate Vietnam’s nobles, scholars and society’s elites. The university functioned for an astounding 700 years. Its well-preserved architecture and tranquil gardens offer intriguing glimpses into Vietnam’s past.

    Next, continue to the One Pillar Pagoda, founded in 1049 by King Ly Thai To. Today this pagoda is widely recognized as one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Head to the nearby mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, then to the former president’s house where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 to 1969. His former home reveals the humble lifestyle of the Vietnamese revolutionary leader. (Please note: The house can only be viewed from outside; closed Monday and Friday and from October to November.)

    If you have time, we can continue to West Lake and the 6th-century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. The Taoist temple of Quan Thanh is just 700 meters away. The temple is dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the main deities of Taoism. Spend the rest of your day at your leisure until your scheduled transfer to Noi Bai Airport for your return flight or onward journey.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast


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.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

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.




Subscribe for New Tours & Insider Travel Insights
Our regular Newsletters and quarterly web magazine 'Inside Asia', contain the fruits of our explorations around Asia, researching and creating new insider tours in intriguing and spectacular new destinations.
We never share your details
Hi there. We have a team of local experts eager and waiting to inspire you about the destinations they call home. Just drop us a line and we'll talk you through where to go and what to do.
Thank You. We will get back to you shortly.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.