The Allure of Vietnam (14 days)
From: $0
US$ 1320 per person (based on a group of 2 people)
US$ 1012 per person (based on a group of 4 people)
US$ 905 per person (based on a group of 6 people)

Code: E-VCLZZ0104
Tour Style: Classic
Duration: 14 Days
Difficulty Comfort Exclusivity
Home » Vietnam » Classic Tours » The Allure of Vietnam (14 days)

This ideal trip allows you to discover some of Vietnam's most spectacular sites. Discover the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Journey up the Mekong River by boat and explore the vast network of canals. Discover the history of elegant Hue with its Royal Citadel and Forbidden Citadel. Soak up the atmosphere in the picturesque town of Hoi An, wander among historic homes and temples, gaze at exotic foods in the market, and enjoy one of Vietnam’s best cooking classes. Fly to the capital city of Ha Noi, explore the lively Old Quarter and enjoy the unique water puppet show. Catch a train to Sapa where you will have opportunity to enjoy the stunning scenery, and at the same time gain insight into the life of the local ethnic hill tribes; tour the colorful markets on this rustic adventure. This perfect trip would not be complete without a visit to beautiful Halong Bay – a worthy World Heritage site member, where you spend a relaxing day cruising its emerald waters.


  • Brief Itinerary

Day 01: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival.

Day 02: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels.

Day 03: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong delta - Cai Be floating market.

Day 04: Ho Chi Minh City - Hue (by air).

Day 05: Hue – Da Nang - Hoi An Ancient Town.

Day 06: Hoi An Ancient Town - Tra Que cooking class.

Day 07: Hoi An - Ha Noi (by air).

Day 08: Ha Noi City - Lao Cai (by rail).

Day 09: Lao Cai - Sapa.

Day 10: Sapa.

Day 11: Sapa – Ha Noi (by rail).

Day 12: Ha Noi – Ha Long Bay (night cruise).

Day 13: Ha Long Bay – Ha Noi.

Day 14: Ha Noi Departure.


  • Weather:

Undoubtedly, weather is one of the determining factors for your traveling decisions. If you are heading to Vietnam, then, take it easy to make up your mind. Vietnam’s climate is not just steamy hot as what you are frequently exposed to on movies. All year round here, there is always a perfect place where it is pleasant to stay. Basically, the whole country falls into the tropic and subtropics but its stretching length and diverse topography allow it to span several different climate zones. The weather thus, tends to vary considerably from season to season and also from region to region.

Northern Part
The North of Vietnam is generally cooler than other South East Asian regions in the same longitude. It experiences two main distinct seasons. In winter months, the weather gets colder and colder fromNovember to March and considerably warmer in April (a leap into summer). This is also time to observe much cloud and frequent drizzle. The average winter temperature is 17.2°C (62.9°F). Particularly, the mountainous areas (Northwest) are often much colder, temperature may keep below 10°C (50°F) for long period. Ice and snow even cover Hoang Lien Son Mountains and nearby Sapa town for some times with the lowest record of -3°C (26.6°F) in Feb 2008.

In the summer (from May to October), the whole region is quite hot. Temperature may rise to 37°C (98.6 °F) in the peaks of June and July. Hanoi and coastal provinces around the Red River Delta generally enjoy equitable weather with high average humidity (80%) all year round though they may occasionally be subjected to typhoons and heavy rain in late summers (September to November). Vietnamese people even identify four seasons in the Northern provinces (from Hai Van Pass toward the north) with their distinct features: pleasant spring (typically March-April) and autumn (October-December), a chilly winter (December- February) and a hot summer (June – July). Central Part

The Central
Vietnam with two sub-regions, coastal lowlands and central highlands, can be seen as an in-between climatic area of the North and the South. The coastal strip is usually dry and hotter than the rest in the summer, as the Truong Son Mountains do not allow it to enjoy most rainfall of south-western monsoon (from April to October). Unprotected coasts in their turn, however, make it wet and colder than the rest in winter-monsoon season (from November to March). Also, storms and typhoons strike this area more frequently than the northern coasts in summer months (from July to November). The Central Highlands in particular enjoys nearly double the average rainfall of the country. Two biggest towns in this plateau, Dalat and Pleiku, are ideally cool throughout the year. Near-the-south coastal cities, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet, on the contrary, experiences steamy hot weather (21°C-32°C / 70°F-90°F) all year round.

Southern Part

The South of Vietnam, merely 8 degrees north of the Equator, is typical of humid tropical climate which is excellent for growing rice. The region’s temperatures experience little variations in a year (around 27-32°C/80-90°F). There are two main seasons: the rainy and the dry. During the rainy/monsoon season (from May to November), downpours are expected to happen nearly every afternoon, resulting in occasional street flooding in and around Saigon. In the dry season, it is hot from late February to April then slightly cooler when first downpours come. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) enjoys rather equitable tropical climate with high humidity all year round. December to March is said to be the most pleasant time to hit this region’s center.

Note: In all, Vietnam climate is so diverse that there is almost no definition of an average temperature for the whole country. Thanks to these regional variations in weather, generally, you can drop in Vietnam at any time of year. Commonly, based on the duration of your stay, you should plan to catch the good weather and places by either dropping in Saigon in February or March then following the coast to north or hitting Hanoi in October-November then tracing southward.


Day 01: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival.

You are welcomed by our guide and driver at Tan Son Nhat airport and then transferred to the center of Ho Chi Minh City, (formerly known as Saigon) to check in at your hotel. Free time at your leisure.


Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: None


Day 02: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi tunnels.

After breakfast at the hotel we drive to the Cu Chi district, some 50 km to the northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. The incredible underground network in Cu Chi stretched over 200 kilometers and became legendary during the American war. The extensive tunnels have been specially constructed with living areas, storage facilities, weapon factories, field hospitals, command centres, plus accommodation.

On arrival at the Cu Chi tunnels, we watch a short introductory video showing how they were constructed, then spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels; you will even have a chance to crawl through some of the tunnels. Also on display are various mantraps, the remains of an American tank and numerous bomb craters made by 500-pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers. Later we recommend lunch (cost not included) at the Vietnam House Restaurant.


The following program is a tour of most of the major sights in Ho Chi Minh City. Our first stop is at Notre Dame Catholic cathedral followed by a short visit to the nearby French-built Post Office, after which we will visit the War Remnants Museum, which primarily contains exhibits relating to the American phase of the Vietnam war. We continue with a visit to the Reunification Palace. Here we discover the history and fascinating street life of Ho Chi Minh City on a walking tour along Dong Khoi Street, known as Rue Catinat in French-colonial times.

Tonight we transfer to Binh Quoi village, where you are welcomed by friendly locals, dressed in typically northern traditional clothes; you can appreciate the rich, traditional southern Vietnamese cuisine and enjoy a traditional Vietnamese wedding ceremony. The show will tell you the story of a Southern Vietnamese traditional wedding with folk music and classic melodies, along with the rituals which expressing Vietnamese culture. After this you have free time to explore or discover the Ho Chi Minh City nightlife.


Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner



Day 03: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong delta - Cai Be floating market.

After breakfast at the hotel we take a scenic early morning drive to Vinh Long (140 km), stopping for photos at Tan An town over the flat rice fields.  The program will start with a visit to the colourful Cai Be floating market cruising among local barges full of fruit and vegetables.

Then, an optional stop can be made at local workshops where you can see how rice paste, coconut candy, pop-rice and popcorn are made. It’s also interesting to visit the handicraft village where you can see how they make various products: making rice paper for spring-rolls, fish sauce & soya sauce, cooking salt, and sewing coconut leaves for house roofing.

A Mekong Delta lunch will be se

rved (cost not included) under the shade of local orchards on An Binh Island with a chance to try the famous dish “Fried Mekong Elephant Ear Fish” (cost not included).

After lunch, a rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside along the smaller canals. It’s fascinating to see traditional houses made of wood and palm tree leaves and see some activities of the local farmers with a chance to interact with them and see how they catch fish or harvest fruit using methods handed down by their ancestors.


One more stop can be made at the nursery garden where you can learn how to grow high quality fruit trees. There are some real characters amongst the farmers including Mr. Tiger and his son who are very successful in Vietnamese agriculture. We will enjoy many different fruits from his garden and try a homemade rice wine while listening to the traditional music. 

We can include cycling on this tour. It is very pleasant to cycle along the small village paths to see the local farms, houses, real life and the old farming and harvesting methods. We drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Free time at your leisure.



Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast.



Day 04: Ho Chi Minh City - Fly to Hue Imperial City.

After breakfast at the hotel you are picked up and transferred to the airport for a short domestic flight to Hue (1 hour). You are welcomed at Phu Bai airport then transferred to your hotel for check in.

We will visit the Hue Citadel Complex including the Royal Citadel and the Forbidden Citadel – both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, set up in the Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945. This is one of the most famous relics to be found in the ancient capital of Hue.

The sightseeing continues with a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market; it’s fantastic to wander along the boulevards, through the verdant parks and ochre buildings that retain an old-world charm. It sells all manner of items and is a lively place to spend a couple of hours; Dong Ba is also famous for making the best conical hats in Vietnam.


Tonight you will have a chance to enjoy a “Royal Dinner“. Enjoy some great food while listening to melodic music and feel like you are the King and Queen. Everyone wears traditional royal clothes and all of the food served is ‘royal’, including some intricate carved vegetables in the shape of dragons, phoenix, or peacock.



Overnight in Hue.

Meals: Breakfast ad dinner



Day 05: Hue – Da Nang - Hoi An Ancient Town.

After breakfast at the hotel we take a morning boat trip along the romantic Perfume River carrying us through a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes, where Hue’s best-known religious sites are located. We will visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the oldest ancient architectural structures for religious worship in Hue. We include a half-day cruise on the Perfume River, which also gives us a taste of the scenic countryside and a memorable visit to the Mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes. This impressive landmark reflects the beautiful architecture, intricate decor and mysterious statues. Afterwards we take a short drive though the rolling hills to see the elaborate Royal Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc - One of the most beautifully designed complexes of all of the tombs of the Nguyen dynasty. Embedded in a lush pine forest, this tomb is the final resting place of Emperor Tu Duc (1848-83) who had the longest reign of all emperors of the Nguyen dynasty. We recommend lunch (cost not included) at the Tinh Gia Vien Restaurant.

We continue our trip to Da Nang (110 km) via Lang Co Beach and the Hai Van Pass; you’ll have a brief look at the remarkable Hindu statues in the Cham Museum, one of the largest collections of Cham sculpture and artwork in the world. The museum is officially known as the Museum of Champa Sculpture. We continue to visit a nearby stone-cutting craft village before leaving for Hoi An ancient town (35km) - an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Hoi An has 1,068 ancient houses, 19 pagodas, 43 temples, 23 communal houses, 38 family temples, 5 assembly halls, 11 old wells, one bridge and 44 ancient tombs. In the Old Quarter, there are more than 1000 relic sites. You have free time to explore Hoi An by night.



Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast.



Day 06: Hoi An Ancient Town - Tra Que cooking class.

After breakfast at our hotel we go for a walk around the historic town, soaking up the atmosphere. We explore the many Chinese assembly halls and fascinating ancestral homes, some of which have been occupied by the same family for fifteen generations. One of the most spectacular Assembly Halls is the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, built in 1690. The pagoda inside contains intricate statues and artwork, in part dedicated to Thien Hau Than Mau, the Goddess of the Sea and protector of fishermen.

The walking tour of the ancient town centre takes us to the sites of former merchants’ homes and the 400-year old Japanese Covered bridge - The symbol of Hoian. The Japanese Covered bridge was the first bridge in Hoi An and was constructed in 1593. It was built by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link them with the Chinese quarters across the stream. We recommend lunch (cost not included) at the Morning Glory Restaurant.


The town is also famous for its shops in particular it’s large number of tailors. If you wanted, you could have a whole new wardrobe made for you here. You can enjoy browsing and shopping in one of the most colorful local marketplaces in all of Southeast Asia. You have free time to relax or discover the hidden charm of Hoi An town.


Overnight in Hoi An.

Meals: Breakfast.



Day 07: Hoi An - Fly to Ha Noi.

You will have some free time to relax or discover the hidden charms of Hoi An town until our guide and driver pick you up and transfer you to the airport for a domestic flight to the capital, Ha Noi (1 hour). You are welcomed at the airport and transferred to the hotel for check-in.

In the evening we enjoy the famous water puppet theatre. This is a fantastic art form originated in northern Vietnam, and Ha Noi is the best place to see it. Water puppetry is performed in a chest-deep pool of water, with the water’s surface as a stage.



Overnight in Ha Noi.

Meals: Breakfast



Day 08: Ha Noi City - Train to Lao Cai.

After breakfast at the hotel we set off on a full-day city tour, starting with the Ho Chi Minh Complex (Closed on Monday and Friday mornings and the whole of September and October for annual repairs). We visit the One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049. This structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Our next stop will be the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university constructed in 1070. The temple is dedicated to one of the world’s most famous scholars, Confucius. Inside the temple grounds huge stone stele rest on the backs of even larger stone turtles (in Vietnamese culture the turtle represents longevity).

We recommend (cost not included) lunch at Cha Ca Street where we try some “Cha Ca La Vong”, a favorite local dish which is listed in ‘1000 places to visit before you die’. We continue with a visit to the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. This museum has successfully recreated the daily life together with the religious rituals and the symbolic festivals of each ethnic group in Vietnam. Visitors have the opportunity to admire costumes, embroidery as well as outside stilt houses and habitats from the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.

We take a short walk to visit the oldest bridge of Hanoi “Long Bien Bridge” to take photos and see the local life of Hanoi people before enjoying a cyclo ride through Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as “36 streets.” This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It’s a great place to explore with plenty of photo opportunities all around you. We will travel around the famous Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword.) in the heart of Hanoi. We recommend dinner (cost not included) at the Au Lac House Restaurant.

You have some free time until 20:30 Hrs when we take the night train to Lao Cai. Overnight on train (soft sleeper in a 4-berth shared cabin).


Overnight on train.

Meals: Breakfast.



Day 09:  Lao Cai - Sapa.

We arrive at Lao Cai Station around 6:30 a.m. when our driver will pick you up and transfer you to Sapa Town (35 km). Enjoy the stunning scenery along the way to Sapa, a mountainous area of incredible natural beauty and diverse ethnic minorities. You will be taken to a local restaurant for a morning shower & breakfast.

We transfer to Lao Chai, a Black H’mong ethnic minority village after which we walk to Ta Van village where the Giay ethnic minority hill tribe lives. Here we will be able to rest and enjoy our lunch at a local house. After lunch our walk continues on a hilly trail through a bamboo forest to Giang Ta Chai, a Red Dao ethnic minority village. On the way, we make a stop at a waterfall for a rest and to take in the beautiful surroundings and then descend to a suspension bridge before reaching the main road where our vehicle is awaiting for our drive back to Sapa. Free time at your leisure in Sapa (does not include an early check in).



Overnight in Sapa

Meals: Breakfast and lunch



 Time permitting; you can enjoy one of interesting local markets (any optional tours will incur an additional charge).


Bac Ha market (Sundays only) - The largest and most colorful market in the area.

Muong Hum market (Sundays only) - This hidden Sunday market has many local minorities.

Coc Ly market (Tuesdays only) - Coc Ly market is a small market.

Can Cau market (Saturdays only) - a very colorful market.

Xin Cheng market (Wednesday only) - With many local minorities.

Muong Khuong market (Sundays only) - 50 km Northeast of Lao Cai.



Day 10:  Sapa.

After breakfast at the hotel we leave Sapa behind and take a short transfer to the small village of Sin Chai, inhabited by Black H’mong people. Sin Chai is located at the foot of Fansipan Mountain in an area covered by rain forest and under the protection of Hoang Lien National Park. On arrival at the village, we experience the daily life of the villagers who still maintain their ancestor’s way of life. Leaving the village, we take in the spectacular scenery as we follow a dirt trail running through rice paddies and along a narrow river where we also visit a local house of the few Black H’mong families living here. We stop for lunch at a local restaurant (cost not included) before driving back to Sapa where you will have some free time to explore or relax


Overnight in Sapa.

Meals: Breakfast.



Day 11: Sapa – Ha Noi.

After breakfast at the hotel we will visit Ham Rong Mountain with a stop at a garden of orchids. Here you can observe more than 300 species of orchids in full bloom. We follow the path leading to the mountain, covered with plum, peach and apricot trees. We have a look at the European Garden with its many varieties of beautiful flowers. Carrying on through the imposing scenery of Ham Rong Mountain, we visit the Four Season Flower Garden, a cultural village of ethnic minorities in Sapa. Heaven Gate, and Cloud Yard on the top of Ham Rong Mountain is an ideal stop for a great view of a mist-covered Sapa. We recommend lunch (cost not included) at the Cha Pa Garden Restaurant.

Free time at your leisure until our driver takes you for a visit to Lao Cai and a short visit to the Ha Khau border crossing between Vietnam and China on the banks of the Red River which serves here as a natural border line. Afterwards we transfer to the train station to catch the night train back to Ha Noi. Overnight on the train (soft sleeper in a 4-berth shared cabin).



Overnight on train

Meals: Breakfast.



Day 12: Ha Noi – Ha Long Bay - a night cruise on Ha Long Bay.

On arrival at Ha Noi train station at 05:30 Hrs, our guide will pick us up. After breakfast at a local restaurant we depart for Ha Long City (170 km), approximately three hours away to visit Ha Long bay (a World Natural Heritage site and a New World’s Wonder). Ha Long Bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes with 1969 islets. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves, other support floating villages of fishermen. You also have a chance to see the stunning Vietnamese countryside, dominated by enormous lush rice fields.

On arrival at Ha Long we check in between 11:30 - 12:00 at the boat port and enjoy a refreshing welcome cocktail on the sun deck. We enjoy lunch as the vessel sails to Ha Long Bay passing the Fighting Cocks islet, Elephant Leg islet, the Castle islet and Soi Sim Island. Next is Surprise Grotto, one of the most famous grottos in the entire Ha Long complex, and here we visit the cave on a small tender. After taking a lot of photos and admiring the beauty of the cave we visit the fishing village by a local rowing boat (1 hour) with the opportunity to interact with fishermen who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. We then return to the vessel for some free time. You can swim in the clear emerald waters, soak up the sun over a cool beer on the top deck sun lounge or try your hand at some kayaking (at an additional cost) amongst the huge limestone outcrops that surround us. We retire to the junk and relax on the top deck and enjoy a refreshing drink from the bar. We enjoy a fun Vietnamese cooking demonstration on the sundeck and your delicious seafood dinner will be served at the restaurant. Stay overnight onboard for an unforgettable experience.



Overnight onboard ship

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner



(The itinerary above may be changed depending on the cruise we choose and may also be weather permitting).


Day 13: Ha Long Bay – Ha Noi.

We can start the day with morning Tai Chi exercises and an opportunity to view the sunrise over the bay. Sitting on the upper deck we enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the crystal-clear water of the bay. We can hear the birds singing, cicadas chirping ashore and the gentle lapping of the waves against our boat, the perfect soundtrack to accompany the fresh air and gentle breeze.

An international buffet brunch is served in the restaurant. Check out on board and disembark back at Ha Long city.

Our tour guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to Hanoi. On the way we will visit the But Thap pagoda and Bat Trang ceramic village, popular for being an ancient pottery handicrafts village. Most of the pottery kilns in the village still produce goods in the traditional way, similar to the ancient methods dating back 700 years. Later you have free time to walk, relax or shop at the Old Quarter.



Overnight in Ha Noi.

Meals: Brunch



Day 14: Ha Noi Departure.

After breakfast at the hotel you will have some free time to relax or visit the exciting Dong Xuan covered market, the oldest and largest market in Hanoi. Here you can buy anything from ‘ghost money’ (usually fake $100 bills!) to replica bags. Later, our guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.



Meals: Breakfast

This tour is private and can be tailor-made to suit your travel needs. As a result the price is quoted in US dollars and shown on a per-person basis. The 'Price From' quoted above is for parties of 2, 4 and 6 people and for accommodation in 3 star hotels. The final price will be privately quoted, based on the number in your party, your preferred time of travel, grade of hotel and any additional services requested. Please click on the BOOK NOW button and fill in the booking form, after which one of our travel consultants will customize the best value holiday for you.




We are aware that a good tour must have good hotels. In Indochina particularly, hotel price makes up most of the cost of your Cambodia cycling, Vietnam cycling, Laos cycling, Myanmar cycling or Thailand cycling. All of our prices are calculated on a twin-shared basis. As a guide, Travel Loops defines hotel grades as follows:

>>Superior Level (3 star hotels in good locations): > 40 USD/room/night
>>Deluxe Level (4 star hotels): > 80 USD/room/night
>>Luxury Level (5 star hotels): > 180 USD/room/night

Price based on twin shared accommodation.
Tour price is indicative only, please enquire for a detailed quotation.
More people means more discount. Please enquire for more details

If, after reviewing the details of this tour, you would like to receive a "Special Offer" tour price, just click on the "INQUIRY" button below. If you wish to “Tailor Make" your trip, simply click on the "CUSTOMIZE TRIP" and enter your contact details.



  • Experienced English speaking guide
  • Private transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Accommodation in double/twin sharing rooms with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bottled drinking water for sightseeing
  • All sightseeing entrance fee where required in the itinerary.



  • International/domestic airfares & tax
  • Visa fees 
  • Travel Insurance. (We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance from home)
  • Personal expenditure (telephone, laundry, shopping and so on…)
  • Tips for guide, driver, porters and project cost
  • Beverage and alcoholic drinks
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned on itinerary and trip inclusive portion

The hotels listed below are just our suggestions offering the best value for this trip according to the hotel category chosen, but Travel Loops also offers more options to cater for different grades, personal taste, and budget. Please let us know if you have any specific choice of hotels, or personal preferences/requirements.

Our choices for each level of accommodation have been highlighted in orange. As mentioned above our selection criteria are based on: prior client reviews, hotel management and staff training, facilities maintenance, location, business relationship and advantages given exclusively to our clients on price and service.


The Allure of Vietnam (14 days)
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