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Highlights of Vietnam - 10 days/9 nights

Hanoi – Halong Bay – Hue – Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Discover the highlights of Vietnam with city tours in Saigon, Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An, a traditional Water Puppet Show, an overnight cruise on legendary Halong Bay, and much more. Interact with a local family in Hue and explore the ancient ruins of the forgotten Champa Kingdom in the UNESCO Heritage Site of My Son. Private, local guides with a passion for the history of their country make this an unforgettable trip.

Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, drop offs, and daily excursions. 
Choose Your Own Dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.
Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.
Click here to read what our clients have told us after they return.

Trip Highlights

  • Kayaking in UNESCO World Heritage Site Halong Bay
  • A traditional water puppet show in Hanoi
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hue, Hoi An and My Son
  • A visit to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels


Day 1: Arrive Hanoi
Upon arrival at Hanoi International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi
Hanoi, a city of lakes, shaded boulevards, and public parks, is the capital of Vietnam. It is an exotic city filled with charming French-colonial style buildings and vibrant local streets showcasing century old traditions. This morning visit the French Quarter and discover why this city is called the “Paris of the East”. After, proceed to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and visit the “Father of Nation” of Vietnam. Then stroll over to the Presidential Palace, Presidential Garden, his House on Stilts, and One Pillar Pagoda, followed by the famed Temple of Literature. Afternoon, visit the Museum of Ethnology to learn more about the ethnic groups of Vietnam. Then take a walking tour around the back alleys of the Old Quarter, famous for its original street layout and architecture of old Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi. (Breakfast)

Day 3: Hanoi to Halong Bay
After breakfast, drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay through the Red River Delta and scenery of rice fields. Upon arrival in Halong, board a junk to begin your cruise towards the beautiful Bai Tu Long bay. Enjoy lunch on board while admiring the fascinating rock formations in the bay. In the afternoon you will visit the secluded cave of Thien Canh Son then take a short cruise to Hon Co Island where you can relax on a white sandy beach or go swimming. Return to the Junk, relax and get ready for dinner. Overnight on the Junk. (All meals)

Day 4: Halong Bay to Hanoi to Hue
Enjoy the bay’s early morning sunrise with a cup of tea or coffee before having breakfast. After, visit Vung Vieng fishing village in a rustic rowing-boat and meet the local people and pass through a floating school and fish farms. Then back to the junk for more leisure time or swimming in the middle of the bay. The junk will commence cruising back to the port while lunch is served. Along the drive back to Hanoi, stop a local village known as the birthplace of water puppetry in the Red River Delta. This is a very unique traditional art that originates from Northern Vietnam. You will watch an authentic outdoor water puppet performance while sampling some local delicacies. You’ll get to bring home a wooden puppet as a souvenir. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before transferring to the airport of your evening flight to Hue. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Hue. (All meals)

Day 5: Hue
This morning, take a cyclo ride from your hotel over the famous Trang Tien Bridge and past the Dong Ba Market. The cyclo will take you around the ancient citadel of Hue, through local streets and shops for an overview of daily life. Stop at the Noon Gate of the Imperial Citadel for the walking tour to the inner area of the citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945, including the Flag Tower, Noon Gate, Nine Dynastic Urns, Nine Holy Cannons, Thai Hoa Palace, and the Forbidden Purple City. In the afternoon, visit the poetic mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc.  Later, stop by Tha Om Garden House to discover the friendliness and hospitality of the host family and taste traditional Hue confectionaries. Proceed to the Thien Mu Pagoda to witness a daily Buddhist prayer before enjoying a short cruise on the river back to town. Overnight in Hue. (Breakfast)

Day 6: Hue to Hoi An
In the morning depart for Hoi An via Danang on a scenic 3-hour drive over the Hai Van Pass for breath taking views over the coastline and surrounding mountains. Then drive along the famous My Khe Beach where American marines take their vacation during the Vietnam War. Afternoon you will do a walking tour to explore the old town of Hoi An, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights include an ancient merchant house, the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the vibrant riverside market. Visit one of Hoi An’s famous lantern workshops and learn how make a lantern. Then enjoy some free time for discovering the town on your own or shopping. Hoi An is known for its tailor shops where you can get clothes tailored quickly for very reasonable prices. Overnight in Hoi An. (Breakfast)

Day 7: Hoi An
After breakfast, drive about an hour to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of My Son. Known as the "Valley of Kings", My Son was formerly the capital and religious center of the Cham Kingdom. There are more than 20 well-preserved monuments from the 7th to 13th century. Afternoon, visit Tra Que Herb Village with stops along the way to visit old Japanese tombs. See the large variety of local herbs grown here and enjoy a delicious home cooked lunch before taking a relaxing herbal foot bath. Overnight in Hoi An. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 8: Hoi An to Danang to Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast, drive about 30 minutes to Danang Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Reunification Palace - the former Presidential Palace of the Southern Vietnamese Government before 1975. Proceed for photo opportunities at some of the most iconic buildings in the city, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, City Hall and Opera House. Head up to the observation deck at the new Bitexco Financial building for a bird's eye view of Saigon at 627 feet high. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast)

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City
In the morning drive about 1.5hours towards the Mekong Delta region and explore the quiet waterways of Ben Tre province. Upon arrival, begin your exploration with a motorized rickshaw ride on deserted country roads. You will then take a boat along the river to visit a brick yard before continuing with a sampan (small row boat) to visit a local house to enjoy seasonal fresh fruit and see rice noodle production. Switch to a bicycle to visit other local houses making rice paper and sampan boats. You might be able to visit a former Vietcong soldier who survived two years fighting the Khmer Rouge. Enjoy lunch at a riverside restaurant before visiting a neighbor who is a famous for producing sticky rice. Then return to your boat and cruise back to the dock where you will be transferred to your hotel in Saigon. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (Breakfast)

Inclusions and Exclusions

Our Package Rates Include

  • Private airport transfers
  • Daily accommodation with breakfast
  • Private vehicle transportation for all excursions per itinerary
  • Meals as listed in above itinerary
  • Services of a local, English-speaking guide for all visits and excursions
  • All tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fees
  • Internal flights from Hanoi to Hue and Danang to Ho Chi Minh City

Rates Do Not Include

  • International airfare
  • Vietnam visa application fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Expenses of a personal nature

To Book This Tour

Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you are interested in this tour. To prepare a proposal, we'll ask questions about how many people are traveling, your preferred travel dates, standard and types of accommodation, and any special interests that we may be able to accommodate.

Once we have finalized a customized price quote for you, your agent will inform you a per-person non-refundable deposit to initiate reservations (typically 20% of tour cost). Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.

If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.

Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 2 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
Please review our complete terms and conditions:
Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellation/Refund Policies

- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.

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