Vietnam in a Nutshell 14 Day Tour

Embrace the magical atmosphere of Vietnam from north to south on this compact tour starting from the colonial charm of Hanoi to the modern hustle of Ho Chi Minh City. Try Vietnamese coffee with locals and go shopping in the Old Quarter, spend a night on the emerald waters in Halong Bay, travel through ancient cities like Hoi An and Hue.

Learn about the traditional lifestyles and cultures in the Mekong Delta. Visit the important economic and cultural cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This is dynamic journey will be full of impressions and contrasts. Dive head first into this Vietnam trip and experience a country of outstanding food, hospitable locals, breath-taking scenery and impressive cities.

This Vietnam trip packs a real punch in two weeks, showcasing some of the main areas of Vietnam. Cruise in Halong Bay, take a multi-day relaxing journey through the Mekong Delta and Cai Rang Floating Market and learn the ancient crafts of the Vietnamese. It mixes lively cities with jungle-topped islands and charming historically rich towns. This is a great choice for an authentic glimpse of Vietnam and its highlights. If you’re pushed for time, you really cannot do better than this. It really is Vietnam in a nutshell.

This Vietnam trip offers you a chance to discover many wonderful destinations in the north, central and south of Vietnam. Over 14 days and 13 nights you can contemplate the natural beauty of Vietnamese region, eat and explore.


Day 1: Flight to Hanoi

Day 2: Hanoi

After breakfast we depart for a 1.5-hour drive to the ancient village of Duong Lam – currently, the home to 300 houses built almost four centuries ago. You will visit Mong Phu Communal House, the Princess Mia Pagoda built in the 15th century and the Old Catholic Church.

Upon returning to Hanoi, a city full of charm, colonial buildings and scenic lakes, you depart for a tour to visit the serene Museum of Ethnology (closed on Mondays) where you with familiarise yourself with Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups.  From here our driver will take you to the Temple of Literature which was a centre for Confucian philosophy and morality, originally reserved for the sons of mandarins and nobles. Wrap up your Hanoi day tour with an hour of cyclo through the Old Quarter to experience the bustling local life and go on a shopping spree in the markets where you can buy anything from a gravestone to silk pyjamas.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Overnight in Hanoi

Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay

In the morning, your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby and together you will depart for your cruise in Halong Bay. Upon arrival, you will embark in a wooden boat for one night cruise in Halong Bay. In this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will find a wealth of caves and islands to explore. Amongst the clear waters of the Gulf of Tonkin stands the karst pinnacles of Halong Bay and one of the best ways to experience the area is on this Halong Bay Cruise. You will visit splendid caves and have the chance to go swimming. The evening wraps up with a superb seafood dinner.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Overnight in Halong Bay

Day 4: Halong Bay

Today it’s all about enjoying the cruise around Halong Bay, visit grottos and relax on shore.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Overnight in Halong Bay

Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Hoi An

Enjoy a healthy breakfast onboard as your boat sails past stunning scenery and limestone rock formations to Halong City. When you reach port and upon disembarkation in Halong City there will be a driver that meets you and assists with the transfer to Hanoi, to the airport for the flight and drive to Hoi An where you will be transferred to your hotel directly that same evening.

Flight detail: Hanoi to Da Nang with Vietnam Airlines.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Overnight in Hoi An

Day 6: Hoi An Ancient Town & Bamboo Craft

Take a walking tour around Hoi An ancient town – a world heritage site with plenty of sites to visit such as the old merchant’s houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture.  The 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge and the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with breathtakingly beautiful wood carvings. Swing by the colourful local market with stalls brimming with local specialities to shop for, such as silk.

During the afternoon, you will meet with a young and creative artist who create bamboo products at an entirely different level that most are used to. With cleverness, he has created many crafts from bamboo inclusive of a unique bicycle with the frame and handlebars made entirely from bamboo. Under his guidance and storytelling about this traditional craft, you get the opportunity to challenge yourself by making some simple souvenirs from bamboo.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Overnight in Hoi An

Day 7: Hoi An – Hue

After breakfast and check out from the hotel we go for a 3-hour drive from Hue via Hai Van Pass to the ancient town of Hue, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Hue served as an imperial capital to the Nguyen Lords during the 17th to the 19th century. Start from your hotel with a cyclo ride from your hotel to the Imperial Citadel, the UNESCO listed site. Despite being heavily bombed during the war there are incredibly well-preserved sections still intact. In the afternoon the driver will pick you up for a visit to the Thien Mu pagoda. Built during 1601 between a river and a pine forest, the Thien Mu Pagoda (“Heavenly Lady Pagoda”) in Hue is one of the oldest and prettiest buildings as well as Hue’s best-preserved religious monument.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Overnight in Hue

Day 8: Hue Garden Houses & Ancient Crafts

Garden houses are an important part of the heritage of the lives of former aristocrats in Hue. Today you visit a garden house situated 30 minutes out of town which originally was the residence of Emperor Duc Duc’s 18th daughter and learn about ancients crafts.

Enamel (Phap lam) was regularly used for imperial structures and the royal families during the

Nguyen Dynasty. You will meet with a famous expert and learn about his quest to restore this way of art. Take the opportunity to view the process of making Phap Lam products and also attempt to create your own or purchase one as a decorative souvenir gift.

Truc Chi is the art of creating drawings on bamboo paper; a technique created by a young artist and his colleagues after years of research, study and practice. The tour finishes with a visit to one of these workshops where you can admire their procedures and attempt at creating your own Truc Chi drawing and take it home as a souvenir.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Overnight in Hue

Day 9: Hue – Ho Chi Minh City

In the morning, you get picked up from your hotel for a transfer to the airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Spend the day visiting historic landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, designed by the French architect, Gustave Eiffel, the former Presidential Palace, the headquarters of the Saigon Government during the American war.

After the city tour we take you for a visit to the War Remnants Museum which will give you a vivid insight of the American war through the eyes of local Vietnamese. (Please note that some of the photos are very graphic).

Finish your afternoon by grabbing a seat at a street coffee stall to enjoy Vietnamese coffee in a local way (at your own expense), chat with your guide about the coffee culture of the Saigonese and observe the hustle and bustle around you. 

Flight detail: Hue to Saigon with Vietnam Airlines.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 10: Cu Chi Tunnels & Saigon Opera House

Today we depart from your hotel at around 07:30, transfer from your hotel to the Binh Thanh district for our transport to Cu Chi Tunnels. You embark on a 1.5-hour speedboat tour to Cu Chi tunnels along Saigon River giving you the opportunity to see the outskirt of the city and the riverbank scenery. The tunnel complex was initially started in 1948 to protect the Viet Cong guerrillas from the French air and ground sweeps. When you return to Ho Chi Minh City you enjoy a lunch at a traditional Vietnamese restaurant.

Later in the afternoon you visit the Saigon Opera House to see the cultural show “A O Show”.- a combination of arts highlighting the peaceful country life and poetic scenery of Southern Vietnam, containing episodes of Vietnamese traditional folk games, dances and circus acts performed against the background of traditional and modern music combined with artistic lighting.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

DAY 11:Ho Chi Minh – Mekong Delta

After breakfast, you drive south to the Ben Tre province, situated in the Mekong Delta. Ben Tre is famous for its tropical fruit gardens and traditional handicrafts made of coconuts. Today we visit an old brick kiln, a coconut workshop, a small family-run mat workshop and generally chat around with the local population to learn the traditional techniques they have been using for hundred years.

After this jump on a tuk-tuk (or hop on a local bicycle and ride 3 km) and travel along the narrow shady village roads to admire the tranquillity of the Mekong villages. Stop at a farmer’s house to savour tropical fruits grown in his garden and then move onto to a local restaurant for lunch.  Post lunch the tour takes a short break before getting on sampan for rowing through the idyllic water palm creek. The day ends with a ride in a motorized boat back to the pier where your driver meets you for the transfers to Can Tho.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Overnight in Can Tho

Day 12: Cai Rang Floating Market & Tra Su Nature Reserve

We set off early this morning on a motorboat trip to visit the biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta – Cai Rang – where you’ll see the locals trading from boats filled with fruit, vegetables and fish. The tradition is that sellers advertise their wares by crying out across the river what they have or tying goods to a tall pole attached to their boat so that buyers can see from a distance what is being sold on each respective boat.

After the visit to the Floating market, you return to the hotel for breakfast before driving to Binh Thuy, an ancient house featuring French colonial architecture and serene garden which is very popular for film & photo shoots. The house was chosen as one of shooting sites for the romantic film “Lover” by producer J. Annaud.

Around 3:00 pm there is a 45minutes drive to The Tra Su Nature Reserve; an ecological heaven (recommended months to visit are from July to Feb. The dry season is March – June when you are still able to visit, however less active plants etc). You can explore the area by motorboat and rowing sampan. On the way to Tra Su you will stop by a Khmer village to familiarize yourself with the local technique of palm sugar producing.

In the early evening, the driver takes you back to your hotel in Chau Doc and you can dine at your leisure.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Overnight in Chau Doc

Day 13: Chau Doc – Ho Chi Minh

After breakfast at the hotel in Chai Doc you set out to discover the Chau Doc river life and visit floating fish farms and local houses. Your boat journey continues to a Cham village; despite being modernised these days you can still observe the traditional Cham stilt houses as well as a traditional mosque.

Back onboard the tour returns to your hotel for check-out and then depart for a long journey back to Saigon. On the way, we have lunch at a local restaurant en route. Tonight, you enjoy free time in Ho Chi Minh City for dinner.

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
  • Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City

DAY 14 – Ho Chi Minh City – Departure

Today you can enjoy at your own leisure before checking out and departing for the airport.

Clients are advised to arrange their own international flight tickets, we can provide our suggestions or assist with flight bookings upon requests.

  • Meals included: Breakfast

What's Included

  • Hotel and cruise stay based on double sharing room
  • Transfer by private air-conditioned car for all private tours and airport transfers as above program
  • Private English-speaking guide and private tours
  • Meals as per program indicated above (excluding the compulsory gala dinner charge on 24/12 and 31/12 by the hotel)
  • Entrance fees of all excursions as well as any boat trips as mentioned in program
  • Bottled drinking waters during the day tours (except on cruises)

What's Not Included

  • Compulsory gala dinner price varies by the selected hotel
  • Single supplement charge (not applicable in group of 2); higher room category request or early check-in / late check-out
  • International or domestic air fares
  • Beverage during meal time at local restaurant
  • Tip for local guide and drivers (Recommended to be $3-5 per person per day tour payable directly to the guides/drivers)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees if required

Any other personal expenses

Additional Information

Validity: As mentioned above for each hotel accordingly.
Prices are subject to change after the sold out of our allocation . Not valid during exhibition or fair periods.

Vietnam in a Nutshell 14 Day Tour

Starting From
£3148 per person
14 Days/13 Nights Vietnam in a nutshell land only tour (4 star hotels option a)
Valid for travel between May 2002 to September 2020.
Based on 2 passengers sharing a room.
Price starting from £3148 including domestic flights.
International flights are not included but you can contact our team to get a quote departing from many UK airports.
Upgrades available and supplements may apply for different room categories or optional extras.

Flights are available from most UK airports. Our travel consultants can also arrange free airport assistance for you should you require it. We will advise airports and airlines in advance of any special requirements you may have, as well as any equipment you may wish to take abroad.

hanoi-street-food-Sensory Traveller Holidays

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. At its heart is the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade. There are many little temples, including Bach Ma, honoring a legendary horse, plus Đồng Xuân Market, selling household goods and street food.

Duong-Lam-ancient-villages Sensory Traveller Holidays

Duong Lam is a beautiful, peaceful, clean, quiet village, with enough alleyways and detours that you can still find yourself the only tourist around

Halong Bay Sensory Traveller Holidays

Hạ Long Bay, in northeast Vietnam, is known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. Junk boat tours and sea kayak expeditions take visitors past islands named for their shapes, including Stone Dog and Teapot islets. The region is popular for scuba diving, rock climbing and hiking, particularly in mountainous Cát Bà National Park.

hoi Sensory Traveller Holidays

Hội An is a city on Vietnam’s central coast known for its well-preserved Ancient Town, cut through with canals. The former port city’s melting-pot history is reflected in its architecture, a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colourful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda.

hochiminh city Sensory Traveller Holidays

Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon) is a city in southern Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. It’s also known for its French colonial landmarks, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, made entirely of materials imported from France, and the 19th-century Central Post Office. Food stalls line the city’s streets, especially around bustling Bến Thành Market

Hue 3 Sensory Traveller Holidays

Huế is a city in central Vietnam that was the seat of Nguyen Dynasty emperors and the national capital from 1802 to 1945. A major attraction is its vast, 19th-century Đại Nội Citadel, surrounded by a moat and thick stone walls. It encompasses the Imperial City, with palaces and shrines; the Forbidden Purple City (Tử cấm thành), once the emperor’s home; and a replica of the Royal Theatre.

Cu Chi Tunnels Sensory Traveller Holidays

The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting tunnels located in the Củ Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country.

Ben Tre Sensory Traveller Holidays

Bến Tre is a coastal province in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam, connected by a bridge to the busy market town of Mỹ Tho. Vàm Hồ Bird Sanctuary, with its waterways and native flora and fauna, is to the east. The capital, Bến Tre town, houses the colonial Bến Tre Museum, with artifacts and photos exploring Vietnam’s revolutionary history. Nearby, the Viện Minh Pagoda is distinguished by its Buddhist statues.

The Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam is a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies. Boats are the main means of transportation, and tours of the region often start in nearby Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) or Can Tho, a bustling town in the heart of the delta.

Chau Doc Sensory Traveller Holidays

Châu Đốc is a city in An Giang Province, bordering Cambodia, in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. As of 2013, the city had a population of 157,298, and cover an area of 105.29 square kilometres. The city is located by the Hâu River and Vinh Te canal. Châu Đốc is situated 250 kilometres west of Ho Chi Minh City.


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Sensory Traveller Holidays

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