Explore Vietnam in-depth. Discover hidden places and gain real experiences as you travel the cities, hill tribe villages, islands, markets and ancient capitals of the country


20 Days, 19 Nights     FROM US$ 2,666 PER PERSON

Go on a Vietnamese odyssey and discover the wonders of Vietnam. Take insider tours of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi and get under the surface of the cities. See ancient temples and uncover a history spanning 13 centuries. Meet hill tribes in their villages and learn about their culture which dates back over 500 years.

Look around the vibrant shops and markets of Ho Chi Minh’s Chinatown and see over 3000 Vietnamese medicine exhibits on show at the FITO Museum, including ancient books and documents. Then explore Ho Chi Minh’s main colonial sites on foot. Go underground at the Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible network of tunnels which include schools and hospitals.

Pass lush green rice paddies as you drive to an unseen floating market at Cai Be. Cruise to islands at the beach lover’s paradise of Nha Trang. Hop on a plane for Hanoi and take an insider’s walking tour of the capital, ending the day with a performance of the uniquely Vietnamese art of water puppetry.


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,


Visit the Cu Chi tunnels, a remarkable network of tunnels built during the French occupation.
Take a boat cruise to Nha Trang’s islands where you see the lives of island dwellers, swim or snorkel and enjoy fresh seafood lunch.
Take a class with a Vietnamese cook who will take you to a market to hand pick ingredients.
Walk the hills and valleys of hill tribe country and witness the culture of the people.

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

    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 Ho Chi Minh

    Meals included on this day: None

  • Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City

    We’ll start at Cholon, the city’s Chinatown district, looking around the vibrant markets and shops before paying a visit to Thien Hau Pagoda, dedicated to the goddess of the sea.

    The FITO museum is Vietnam’s first museum of traditional medicine, 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. Next, browse an 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 we’ll stroll to the Presidential Palace and 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

    Life in old town, Vietnamdreamstimelarge_13177112Typical Street Scene Vietnam1000x600colonial architecture indochina saigon vietnam town hall people’
  • Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City-Tay Ninh-Cu Chi Tunnels-Ho Chi Minh City

    Leave Ho Chi Minh City early for the drive to Tay Ninh, passing typical scenes of rice paddies, buffaloes plowing fields and villagers drying noodles by the road. Next is the Cao Dai Great Temple, a design where all the religious faiths of the world converge into one unique, fantastic structure.

    We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant and then head for the Cu Chi tunnels; an incredible network of tunnels built during the French occupation and extended during the US’s. They paint a vivid picture of life during the wars and include schools and hospitals, all built underground. Start with the Ben Duoc or Ben Dinh sections of the tunnel.

    Return to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon, where the rest of your day is free.

    Overnight Ho Chi Minh City

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    Water buffalos in paddy field, Mai Chau,Hoa Binh, Vietnam1000x600VN Cu Chi American Tank1000x600dreamstimelarge_15938036
  • Day 4: 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 traditional life of the riverbank villages. We’ll cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep Island and sample some local Mekong specialties for lunch, before heading back to Ho Chi Minh in the afternoon.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    through-the-jungle-vietnamSONY DSCHoi An street sellers
  • Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City-Dalat

    Transfer to the domestic airport for a short-hop flight to Dalat, 300km from Ho Chi Minh City.

    Dalat’s cozy chalets and deep green pine forests give it an almost alpine feel. Start your exploration at the beautifully preserved Summer Palace of Bao Dai, the last Emperor of Vietnam.

    Continue to an old railway station (train ride optional) then to Xuan Huong Lake and Lam Ty Ni Pagoda, home of the ‘mad monk’ Vien Thuc; an eccentric character who writes poetry and has painted over 100,000 abstract pictures.

    That’s roughly eight per day! End the tour at Dalat’s buzzing central market; famous for its range of fresh fruit and vegetables.

    Overnight in Dalat

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    dreamstimelarge_11751040Laughing Buddha statue Dalat, Vietnamdreamstimelarge_19740742
  • Day 6: Dalat – Nha Trang

    Leave Dalat after breakfast, taking a scenic journey down the mountain pass and on to the coastal plains of Central Vietnam. As the road descends into a drier climate, the tea and coffee fields are replaced by fields filled with grapes and tobacco. Further along, drive past green rice paddies and salt ponds as you follow the coastline to Nha Trang.

    An island lover’s paradise, Nha Trang has a host of different, distinctive islands with a wealth of marine life, golden sand and clear waters. A variety of activities can be done here including snorkeling and scuba-diving.

    In the afternoon, take a city tour to visit the Po Nagar Cham Tower and the Long Son Pagoda with its white Buddha Statue. You’ll also see the ‘XQ’ workshop which displays exquisite embroidered items. Your walk ends at the colorful Dam Market.

    Overnight in Nha Trang

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Nha Trang Beach at Dawn, Vietnam
  • Day 7: Nha Trang

    Take a boat cruise to nearby islands, visiting homes and villages on the way and seeing the lives of island dwellers. Take a swim or snorkel, or simply relax on deck as your boat glides through the emerald waters.

    Enjoy a fresh seafood lunch on quiet Bamoo Island before heading back to Nha Trang City, where your afternoon is free to relax.

    Overnight in Nha Trang

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

  • Day 8: Nha Trang-Hoi An

    Transfer to the domestic airport for a 50 minute flight to Danang before going on to Hoi An, a 17th century trading port which has changed little over the years and retains its original architecture and relaxed feel.

    Take a stroll around the old town center to its colorful market, past the houses which were originally home to merchants of this port town. See Hoi An’s unique 400 year old Japanese Covered Bridge, an excellent place for taking photographs.

    Overnight in Hoi An

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Traditional  Vietnamese boats on the Thu Bon River, Hoi An,Vietnamboat-hoi-An-overlooking-the-japanese-bridge-vietnam1000x600Streets of Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Day 9: Hoi An-My Son-Tra Kieu-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 the streets a while, where the old tiny shop house owners 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

    Kingdom of Champa, Hoi An-Myson-Vietnam (2)silk-lantern-night-bazaar-display-hoi-an-vietnam
  • Day 10: Hoi An - Danang - Hue

    We head now for 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.

    KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAhoian-boatman-vietnam
  • Day 11: Hue

    Explore the ruins of the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled 1200 years ago. 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 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 and 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

    red yellow doorway gateway citadel forbidden purple city hue vietnamto mieu temple red doors
  • Day 12: Hue-Hanoi

    Transfer to Hue Airport for the short flight to Hanoi, where you’ll take a full escorted day tour.

    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 as a sign of gratitude for receiving a son. 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, which is dedicated to one of the principle deities of Taoism.

    In the afternoon, 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 and small businesses and plenty of photo opportunities.

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

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Bridge-on-the-Hoan-Kiem-Lake-Hanoi-Vietnamhanoi-joseph-s-cathedral-hanoi-vietnamYoung Child sitting at a Bamboo shop in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Vietnamvietnamese-water-puppetry-vietnam
  • Day 13: Hanoi-Hoa Lu-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, (and if you’re feeling energetic) 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 a 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 and was built in 1428.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 alternative.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    fishermen-and-net-vietnamPeople dry rush (sedge) in sector shape, Vietnam
  • Day 14: Hanoi-Duong Lam

    Today visit the agricultural village of Duong Lam in the Northern River Delta - one of the few remaining ancient villages in Vietnam.

    Discover the area’s 1200 year old history, immersing yourself in the village culture. See 400 year old houses and meet to talk with locals as you wander through narrow village alleyways and past tiny temples.

    We’ll visit the hamlet of Mong Phu, whose original village entrance is the only one in the country to remain intact; and continue through alleys to see the old houses of the village made from laterite.

    Enjoy a local lunch in one of these 100 year old homesteads. After lunch go to Mia Pagoda with its interesting array of 287 different statues, including a statue of the Buddha and the ‘Eight Vajra Deities’. Next are two temples dedicated to the national heroes Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAwelcoming asian woman
  • Day 15: Hanoi Cooking Class – Lao Cai - Sapa

    Today is your day for a special cooking class. Meet your chef and let them take you to the local market to select fresh ingredients for the meal. They will then give you a demonstration class in Vietnamese cooking which you can participate in. Along the way learn tips, tricks and all about the ingredients of Vietnamese cuisine.

    For lunch you get to try out the results of your efforts. The rest of your afternoon is free until you transfer to the train station for the overnight train to Sapa.

    Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    food1000x600Local Wet Market Vietnamdreamstimelarge_15408909Bicycle and old house in Hoi an
  • Day 16: Sapa

    From the train, transfer to the former hill station of Sapa; home to a number of different hill tribe groups, who you are likely to see going about their day dressed in colorful hand-stitched clothes. Take a walk amongst the green hills and valleys of the area to the local market where different hill tribes meet to buy and sell their wares.

    You’ll see Red Dao, Tay and Black Hmong tribe people here selling handicrafts, silverware and many other things. After the market take a light trek to a variety of hill tribe villages with the stunning Hong Lien Son Mountain Range as your backdrop. After the trek and meeting with hill tribes, the rest of your day is free to relax.

    Overnight in Sapa

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    Rice field at Sapa, Vietnam1000x600sapa-suspension-bridgeHmong woman in traditional dress, Sapa Vietnam
  • Day 17: Sapa-Hanoi

    Take a morning drive to a local market (the market changes according to the day). At these markets Flower Hmong, Black Dao, Phu La, Tay and Nung hill tribe groups all gather to trade with each other.

    A short walk takes us to a hill tribe village where you’ll experience further the traditions and lifestyles of these people. In the afternoon we return to Lao Cai for your train back to Hanoi.

    Overnight on the train in a soft sleeper compartment

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    11A Flower HMong tribeswoman, Bac Ha, Northern Vietnam
  • Day 18: Hanoi-Halong Bay

    Arrive early in Hanoi and freshen up at a hotel before your overnight boat trip to Halong Bay. Witness everyday life in Vietnam on your 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.

    Arrive at Halong City in the late morning and board a traditional wooden junk (or a classic replica steamship - The Emeraude) for an overnight journey into the bay.

    You’ll sail past a variety of rock formations, many named after their resemblance to things (Sail, Dog, and Incense Pot), and weigh 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.

    Two cyclists on a rural street in the Mekong Delta,princessjunkhalongbay
  • Day 19: Halong Bay-Hanoi

    Have a healthy brunch on board as your boat sails past stunning scenery and limestone rock formations to Halong City. Upon disembarkation your driver will meet you for the flight to Hanoi.

    Overnight in Hanoi

    Meals included on this day: Brunch

    Princess JunkBoat in Halong Bay
  • Day 20: Hanoi

    Today is your last day. Take some time to relax or buy gifts before the transfer to Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport for your onward flight.

    Meals included on this day: None

    Vietnamese woman sell flower in Ha Noi, Vietnam

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)

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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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.
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.