Discovery North Center South Vietnam in 12 days

Trip description

From Ha Long Bay to the Mekong Delta, via Hue and Hoi An, this trip invites you to discover the many facets of Vietnam from north to south. Lively alleys, street vendors, small sidewalk restaurants and an incredibly rich gastronomy... from the first moments of the trip, the change of scenery is complete! In Mai Chau, you walk between the rice terraces and the villages of the Thai minorities.

Then you explore the unmissable Ha Long Bay land and sea. In a magical atmosphere, you navigate among hundreds of karst peaks that emerge from the China Sea. You enjoy this exceptional setting of Lan Ha Bay, a secret and not very touristy part of Ha Long Bay. We then discover the imperial city of Hue and Hoi An, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.

Finally, take off for the south in the meanders of the Mekong delta, which you discover by boat and by bike. Far from the northern mountains, you are here in an aquatic world where boats, houses, and even businesses float on countless water networks that feed the Mekong. One trip, one destination, but several different atmospheres, that is the promise of this trip!

Discover the agency :
Altaï Vietnam

12 days

From : €1,066*

Day 1: Hanoi - Arrival

Day 2: Hanoi - Trek - Mai Chau

Day 3: Trek - Mai Chau ecolodge

Day 4: Halong Bay on land - by bicycle

Day 5: Lan Ha bay navigation, kayaking, swimming

Day 6: Halong - Hanoi - Night of train to Hue

Day 7: Hue -Visit

Day 8: Hue- Hoi An

Day 9: Hoi An - Bicycle Cam Thanh village - Cooking classe Tra Que village- Saigon

Day 10: Saigon - Cai Be - Vinh Long - Can Tho

Day 11: Can Tho - Cai Rang floatting market - Saigon

Day 12: Sai Gon Visit- Departure flight

Day 1 : Hanoi - Arrival

Baie d'Ha long. ©Connors Bros. -

Arrived and greeated at Noi Bai airport by your English-speaking guide then transfer to your hotel located in the heart of Hanoi's old town, just a few steps from Hoan Kiem Lake. Chekc in at your accommodation. Then you start your visits: West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Quan Thanh Temple, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, as well as Hoan Kiem Lake and Jade Mountain Temple .

Accommodation: hotel

Transportation :1h

Day 2 : Hanoi - Trek - Mai Chau

Les rizières au Viêt Nam. ©Worachat Sodsri -

This morning you take the road to the Mai Chau valley. Surrounded by the first reliefs of the Annamite Cordillera, this place is called by its magnificent rice terraces. This afternoon, you will take an easy walk between the rice fields and the villages of the Thai minorities. Most of the inhabitants here live in houses on stilts. You go to meet the Thai people and try to understand their way of life. Night at homestay. Dinner with the family.

Accommodation: homestay

Meals included: breakfast -lunch - dinner

Transportation :3h

2 hours of walk

Day 3 : Trek - Mai Chau ecolodge

Randonnée à Fransipan. ©Hoang Quoc Phuong -

Breakfast at the local familiy, then walk between the villages of Poom Coong and Sam Khoe. Throughout the walk you will enjoy beautiful views of the rice fields and the karst mountains of the region. At the end of the afternoon, you descend the mountains to arrive at a hotel where you can have a rest after these days of trekking.

Accommodation: hotel

Meals included: breakfast-lunch and dinner

3 hours of walk

Day 4 : Halong Bay on land - by bicycle

Les rizières au Viêt Nam. ©Worachat Sodsri -

After your breakfast, you will take the road to Ha Long Bay on land, which you can discover this area by boat and by bicycle. In Hoa Lu, you visit the temples dedicated to the Dinh kings then aboard on a small rowing boat where you sail through the magical landscape of Trang An, listed as a world natural heritage site. Along the Sao Khe River, you pass between karstic peaks, rice fields, and caves, some of which bear witness to human activity dating back approximately 30,000 years. After the excursion, transfer to your accommodation in Tam Coc.

Accommodation: hotel

Meals included: breakfast 2 hours of walking 

Transportation :3h

1 hour of cycling

Day 5 : Lan Ha bay navigation, kayaking, swimming

Femmes vietnamiennes portant un chapeau traditionnel. ©hadynyah -

You take the road to Hai Phong from where you reach the island of Cat Ba. This is a start of your unforgettable cruise in Lan Ha Bay, an unspoilt and less touristy part of Ha Long Bay. Boarding on a traditional junk, you will navigate in the middle of innumerable sugar loaves and karstic islets covered with vegetation. Enjoy this unique landscape and the peace and beauty moment! On the program: visiting a cave, swimming, and kayaking. Meals on board.

Accommodation: Junk

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Transportation :4h

Day 6 : Halong - Hanoi - Night of train to Hue

Mai Chau district of Hoa Binh province in northwest Vietnam ©VietNamVui

You leave Halong Bay in the morning to reach the south of the Red River Delta. The region is dotted with karst sugar loaves, which is why it has been dubbed the "Terrestrial Ha Long Bay". The watercourses meander through the rice fields, hug the hills and shelter caves which are converted into pagodas. You sail by boat through the karstic peaks, rice fields and caves... This is one of Vietnam's unmissable natural sites. At the end of the afternoon, you go to Hanoi to take the night train to Hue.

Accommodation: Night of train

Meals included: breakfast, lunch

Transportation :4h

Day 7 : Hue -Visit

Vietnam ©DR

Arrival in the morning in Hue and welcome by the guide and the driver at the station. You then go to discover the Imperial City, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This large complex is made up of temples, pavilions, moats, ancient gates, not to mention museums and galleries illustrating art and costumes from different periods of Vietnamese history. It shows also a remarkable example of an oriental feudal capital. Then you visit the pagoda of Thien Mu (the Heavenly Lady), one of the most revered sites in the city and where overlooks the Perfume River. Then you will arrive the eco-tourist village of Thuy Bieu, to explore the rural world of Hue by bike and to discover trades in danger of extinction: manufacture of incense, traditional painting, votive papers, etc. Dinner served at the lodge

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals included: breakfast,dinner

Transportation :2h

Day 8 : Hue- Hoi An

Vietnam ©THANATASDcom

In the morning, visit the mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc, the fourth emperor of the Nguyên dynasty in the 19th century. Its construction between 1864 and 1867 mobilized no less than three thousand soldiers and workers! This funerary complex has about fifty buildings, surrounded by a stone and brick wall with 1500 meters long, over an area of 12 ha. Then you take the Mandarin Road via Cloud Pass, a magnificent view of the South China Sea, Danang and its surroundings. You will visit the essential Cham sculpture museum in Danang, before arriving in Hoi An. The authentic architecture of the city with its various influences continues to defy time. You then visit the old jackfruit wooden houses, the famous Japanese covered bridge, the picturesque market and the port.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals included: breakfast,lunch

Transportation : 3h

Day 9 : Hoi An - Bicycle Cam Thanh village - Cooking classe Tra Que village- Saigon

Vietnamienne mangeant du Pho. ©hadynyah -

This morning, you will go to discover the countryside around the old town of Hoi An. You pick up your bike at the hotel. Heading to the very lively market and sneaking between the colorful fruit and vegetable stalls and the fishmongers' stands. It's a beautiful moment with a guaranteed change of scenery! You then continue your way through vegetable crops, coconut palms and rice fields to Tra Que, a village of ecological market gardeners. You then will arrive in Cam Thanh, where you are welcomed by a family for lunch. Before you sit down to eat, you can take a short trip in a traditional round boat to discover the local fishing technique. Then return to the family. If necessary, you can lend a hand in the kitchen and then have lunch together to discover the culinary specialties of the region. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport and flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the economic capital. Arrived and welcomed at the airport by your driver then transfer to the hotel. Dinner free.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals included: breakfast,lunch

Transportation : 2h

Day 10 : Saigon - Cai Be - Vinh Long - Can Tho

Vietnam ©no_limit_pictures

Departure for the Mekong Delta, the "rice bowl" of Vietnam. The land is very fertile and the water is omnipresent. This morning you will discover Ben Tre, the country of coconuts, and board on a small boat. Aboard on a private sympan, you sail on the small canals that help to "feed" the Mekong. Stop to visit a village of craftsmen. Lunch in the local family. In the afternoon, you will do a cycling trip in the fruit gardens in Vinh Long, then continue to Can Tho located on the banks of the Mekong. Check in at the hotel. Enjoy your evening and dinner freely at the downtown.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals included: breakfast,lunch

Transportation : 4h

Day 11 : Can Tho - Cai Rang floatting market - Saigon

Hanoi, Vietnam ©Nicola Ferrari

This morning you go for a boat trip to observe the lake lifestyle of the Mekong Delta. In this aquatic world, boats, houses, and even businesses float on countless water networks that "feed" the Mekong. You visit the floating market of Cai Rang where every day a myriad of boats come to unload fruits and vegetables... Every morning the traders and the inhabitants meet there to buy or sell the goods. It's an unique moment! You then continue your navigation in the canals. Several sightseeing stops are planned throughout this trip on the water: visit of the orchards to taste exotic fruits, discovery of the Khmer Munirensay pagoda which was built by the Khmer community of Can Tho, etc. After this morning on the water, you take the road back to Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy your evening and dinner freely.

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals included: breakfast,lunch

Transportation : 4h

Day 12 : Sai Gon Visit- Departure flight

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam ©Jui-Chi Chan

Day of free visit of the city. Ho Chi Minh City is a quite new city with short history, because of the exception of a reunion of pre-existing villages of Viet settlers or Khmer populations or Chinese immigrants, Ho Chi Minh City was mainly built by the French at the end of the 19th century. You can walk through the first district to find the old colonial buildings which have now become, for the most important, administrative buildings. Then you can also visit the Chinese district of Cho Lon and the big market of Binh Tay. According to your return flight information, transfer to the airport. End of trip.

Meals included: breakfast

Transportation : 2h

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