Sailing through the karst scenery, challenge your taste buds, and explore the scintillating caves of Vietnam.
On this adventure, you don’t have to compromise. Chow down on the delectable local cuisine, kick back on the white sand beaches, get lost in the vibrant buzzing nightlife, take in the mind-blowing limestone karst scenery, and absorb every last drop of culture that surrounds you. This tour will take you through the best of both worlds, introducing you to bustling townships and the people who call them home, and the unforgettable natural scenery that translates to solid Insta gold. From green rice paddies and floating fishing villages, to rustic Old Towns and numerous temples, this adventure will leave you wanting for nothing.
We spend 16 days exploring Vietnam. We visit Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Mai Châu, Phong Nha - Ke Bang, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Dalat, Ho Chi Minh City.
What Is Included...
Your Busabout crew for Day 3 to 16
English speaking crew for Day 1 to day 3 (this will be a local guide, not a Busabout guide)
14 nights’ accommodation, 1 night overnight train
Air conditioned private transport
14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Hanoi Street Food Tour (included as 1 of the dinners)
Vung Vieng Floating Fishing village visit by a rustic row boat
Swimming and kayaking at Bai Tu Long and Three Peach Beach
Transfers to/from Hanoi hotel and Ha Long Bay
Village cycle trip Mai Chau
Entrance to Vinh Moc Tunnels where an entire village lived under the ground
Entry and gondola ride to the Golden Hand Bridge, Danang
Entrance to Po Nagar Cham Towers, Nha Trang
Entrance to Linh Phuoc Temple
Hoi An Old Town Entrance
- Gazing out on the beautiful limestone karst scenery of Ha Long Bay
- Marvel at Hoi An’s Old Town
- Visit the stunning Golden Hand Bridge
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions in place globally, we will not be running any trips in 2021. Get more information on why this decision was made or see below for similar trips being run by our sister brands, Contiki and CostSaver.
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16 Day Itinerary
Vietnam & Halong Bay Adventure 16 day full itinerary breakdown and route map
- Day 1 Hanoi to Halong Bay
- Day 2 Halong Bay
- Day 3 Halong Bay to Hanoi
- Day 4 Hanoi to Mai Chau
- Day 5 Mai Chau to Phong Nha Ke Bang
- Day 6 Phong Nha Ke Bang
- Day 7 Phong Nha Ke Bang to Hue
- Day 8 Hue to Hoi An
- Day 9 Hoi An
- Day 10 Hoi An to Nha Trang (overnight train)
- Day 11 Nha Trang
- Day 12 Nha Trang to Dalat
- Day 13 Dalat
- Day 14 Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 15 Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 16 Ho Chi Minh City
Hanoi to Halong Bay
Your adventure begins in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi! Get ready for an early pick up, as we make our way east through scenic countryside for our arrival at the breathtaking UNESCO-listed site of Ha Long Bay. Board the vessel and grab a welcome drink - we’re off to a good start! Enjoy a delicious lunch on deck as we set sail to explore the otherworldly scenery of this karst landscape. When we’re all fed and watered, we’ll take a rowboat to the floating fishing village of Vung Vieng to meet the locals and experience their unique lifestyle. This evening we learn how to make crispy spring rolls before devouring them whilst enjoying a few drinks during our on-deck Happy Hour in the thick sea air. - Lunch and dinner included
Join in with an early morning Tai Chi session on deck, before chowing on a delicious breakfast. Then it’s time to set sail for Three Peach Beach. Named after the three mountains looming above, you have the day here to relax and explore to your heart’s content. Stretch out on the sands and soak up the sun, cool off in the clear waters, or take a kayak out for a paddle to see the limestone karsts. If the weather is good, you can kayak through an amazing tunnel carved under a limestone mountain. Work up an appetite, because to tonight we get to enjoy a tasty traditional Vietnamese dinner!
Halong Bay to Hanoi
It’s time to journey onwards to Sung Sot Cave, the most famed cave in Halong Bay. We have an unforgettable expedition into the cave, surrounded by numerous coloured spotlights that paint a kaleidoscopic picture upon the thousands of stalactites and stalagmites that surround us. We emerge back into the light and make our way back to the mainland, with a lovely lunch before our arrival in the late afternoon. It’s time to meet with your fantastic Busabout guide, before we head out on an epic tour of Hanoi’s world-renowned street foods. Get lost in the tastes and smells of the delicious dishes on offer! Once you’ve had your fill of delicacies, we meander to the international corner to experience the refreshing taste of the daily-brewed local draught beer Bia Hoi. The night is yours, so head out with your travel buddies and enjoy a shisha with a drink or two.
Hanoi to Mai Chau
Climb aboard as we head west on our way to the jaw-dropping beauty of Mai Chau. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as we meander through the shimmering green patchwork of rice fields, then get your cameras out for the stop at the stunning viewpoint overlooking the Mai Chau valley. When we arrive at our stilted accommodations, we’re treated to a tasty lunch to help fuel up for what’s to come - a locally-guided bike tour through the idyllic valley! This evening we’ll head to a local bar and enjoy a cold drink and relax from the day’s adventures. When we get hungry, we’ll make our way back to the homestay for a traditional dinner, and a glass or two of the potent local rice wine. Cheers!
Mai Chau to Phong Nha Ke Bang
Make yourself comfortable today as we journey towards the famous Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Along the way we’ll stop in the middle of the beautiful Vietnamese countryside for some tasty pho. Then climb back aboard and watch the the landscape change from flat coastal plains to gorgeous forest-covered limestone karst scenery. We’ll make our arrival at the UNESCO-listed park this evening, and grab some dinner at a local restaurant. Save some energy though, as tonight we’ll visit Easy Tiger Bar to enjoy some live music and soak up the incredible atmosphere.
Phong Nha Ke Bang
Our day is dedicated to visiting the spectacular caves and grottoes of Phong Nha Ke Bang! Start off by exploring the longest dry cave in Asia, Paradise Cave. It looks like a landscape painting! Then we venture on to the Dark Cave. Prepare for a tonne of fun activities, starting with a zip line to the cave, before venturing deep inside. Play in the mud caverns, and rinse off afterwards in the river and enjoy a swim! Tonight we have and optional dinner at a local restaurant that claims to have the “world’s best BBQ Pork, probably” - we’ll judge it and see if they’re right! Then it’s time for another night of dancing and good times at the Easy Tiger Bar.
Phong Nha Ke Bang to Hue
Our first stop for the day is at the Vinh Moc Tunnels, where we’ll have a local guide teach us about the entire village that resided here during the war. Then we’ll have a tasty lunch in Hue before checking into our hotel. Next up is an optional excursion to see the highlights of Vietnam’s ancient capital! We’ll begin with a locally-guided tour of the awe inspiring Imperial Citadel, before heading to the towering Pagoda of the Celestial Lady and Khai Dinh Royal Tomb. This evening we’ll head out together to experience the vibrant nightlife on offer.
Hue to Hoi An
This morning we continue our journey to Hoi An, stopping at the breathtaking Golden Hand Bridge which offers spectacular views over the countryside and ocean. We’ll make our arrival in Hoi An at lunch time, when you can join your guide for an optional lunch, followed by a trip to a tailor’s store! The city is well known for its bespoke clothing, and you can pick up a few items here if you wish. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore as you wish! Check out the renowned Old Town, a mesmerizing maze of narrow winding lanes and old Chinese-style shop houses. Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, this charming little town is truly a unique destination. Join us for an optional dinner tonight before we head out to kick off the night.
Get out and explore this historic city! You won’t want to miss the optional Eco Tour and cooking class this afternoon, hosted by your knowledgeable guide, Mr Chu. Hop on a bike and cycle around the countryside and learn the local history and customs before learning to fish and crab from a basket boat. Explore the narrow channels as you make your way to the Chu family home for a lesson in traditional Vietnamese cuisine where you’ll learn how to cook your very own delicious meal! Spring rolls, anyone? Tonight, get lost in the nightlife of this coastal gem.
Hoi An to Nha Trang (overnight train)
Make the most of your last chance to explore Hoi An! Why not take a trip to the beaches and enjoy a day soaking up the sun? Take in your surroundings and sip on a fresh coconut. Later on this evening it’s time to say goodbye to this slice of paradise, as we transfer to our overnight train. The time has come to travel south along the coast, aiming for our morning arrival at the capital of Khanh Hoa Province, Nha Trang.
This morning we arrive into the beautiful seaside city of Nha Trang. Spend the rest of the day exploring Nha Trang’s numerous spectacular sights and tourist attractions. Later on we’ll head out to experience the renowned nightlife in this shimmering Vietnamese metropolis!
Nha Trang to Dalat
It’s time to say goodbye to the coast and head inland towards the capital of Lam Dong Province, with a stop along the way at the Po Nagar Cham Towers. We have included entry into this ancient temple, so you’re free to take it all in! We arrive in Dalat this afternoon and have a short orientation walk to get your bearings. After our walk, you have free time to spend as you please - but be sure to check out the otherworldly “Crazy House” and its odd, organic architecture. Tonight we have an optional dinner at a restaurant, where you can cook your own food over mini BBQs and hot lava rocks!
Get up early and explore the city today, or for a truly authentic experience join Mr Rot for his optional Secret Tour. Visit numerous attractions including cricket farms, a local market, silkworm farms, coffee plantations, the thundering Elephant falls, local villages, and beautiful scenery. Mr Rot prides himself on providing an authentic Vietnamese experience, so everything you see will be off the beaten track. After grabbing some dinner tonight, we’ll head out for a surreal drinking experience in the 100 Roofs Cafe - this place has to be seen to be believed!
Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City
Ready for another adventure-packed day? We start off by making our way to the former capital of South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City! We have two stops en route, beginning with the stunning Linh Phuoc Pagoda. Check out temple’s fascinating decorations made of reclaimed glass and ceramic, and see the giant glass dragon sculpture! When our stomachs are growling, we’ll have our second stop is for lunch on the banks of an scenic local river. We arrive in Old Saigon in the afternoon and have an orientation walk to marvel at the sights of this historic city. After dinner, we’ll get the party going at a nearby club.
Ho Chi Minh City
On our final full day, you have the opportunity to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels on an optional excursion. Located a few hours northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, the tunnel complex was an important store and hideout for the Viet Cong during the war. In the afternoon we visit the War Remnants Museum, formerly the American War Crimes Museum, to gain vivid insight into the conflict from a local perspective. Tonight, get ready to go out in style! We’ll visit a local skybar for panoramic views of the city before enjoying a Vietnamese meal one last time. Them it’s time to make our way to the backpacker triangle to toast the tour and kick off the night.
Ho Chi Minh City
The tour ends after breakfast.