Stride climate

Trip Type : N/A
Classic Vietnam tour

Classic Vietnam

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
10 days
From: $ 1,987 $ 199 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Cruise past the colossal limestone rock formations in Halong Bay in a traditional wooden boat.
  • Stroll across the covered Japanese bridge in historic and charming Hoi An on Vietnam's central coast.
  • Get a glimpse of Vietnamese royalty in the city of Hue, home to the 19th-century walled Imperial Citadel.
  • Learn about the devastating effects of the Vietnam War and how the country rebuilt at Saigon's War Remnants Museum.
  • Slurp and savor a steaming bowl of bun cha in Vietnam's capital of Hanoi.

Short Description

Following a tumultuous past, Vietnam has blossomed into a veritable feast for all five senses. From fragrant, delicately spiced bowls of noodle soup in Hanoi to perfectly preserved imperial cities in Hue, Vietnam's wonders are waiting to be explored.

Please note: The Mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Friday and under annual renovation during Fridays and from 15 June to 15 August. In addition, the Museum of Ethnolgy is closed on Mondays and Vietnamese Holidays.

Trip Type N/A
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Airfare included
Start City Saigon
End City Hanoi

Trip Includes

  • Roundtrip economy class airfare into Saigon (SGN), out of Hanoi (HAN)
  • All airport and inter-city transfers
  • 2 nights in Saigon at Le Duy Grand Hotel, or similar
  • Full-day sightseeing tour of Saigon and Cholon (Chinatown)
  • One-way economy class flight from Saigon (SGN) to Da Nang (DAD)
  • 2 nights in Hoi An at Lotus Hoian Boutique Hotel & Spa, or similar
  • Sightseeing tour of Hoi An with a boat trip on the Thu Bon River
  • Sightseeing tour in Danang (en-route from Hoi An to Hue)
  • 2 nights in Hue at the Midtown Hotel, or similar
  • Excursion to Thuy Bien Village
  • Excursion by boat from the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang to Thien Mu Pagoda with lunch
  • Sightseeing tour of Old Imperial City in Hue
  • One-way, economy class flight from Hue (HUI) to Hanoi (HAN)
  • 1 night in Halong at Saigon Halong Hotel Villa, or similar
  • Private, half-day boat tour through Halong Bay with lunch
  • Sightseeing at But Thap Pagoda (en-route from Halong to Hanoi)
  • 2 nights in Hanoi at the May De Ville City Centre Hotel, or similar
  • Full day sightseeing tour of Hanoi with water puppet show*
  • Breakfast daily

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Saigon!

Say hello to Vietnam! Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you will meet with a guide carrying an ICS Travel Group sign with your name. Your guide will present you with a welcome packet including all necessary documentation and vouchers and all contact information of your guide and local offices.

Transfer to your hotel in Saigon and spend the rest of the day at leisure. A vibrant metropolis, Saigon teems with energy, activity and motion. Everywhere you look, you will see the convergence of traditional and modern life.

Transfer to Saigon hotel

Day 2: Saigon

Today you will explore the must-see sites in Saigon on a full-day tour! Begin the day in Saigon's historic center as you pass relics of French rule, then head to Reunification Palace, home to the sobering War Remnants Museum. End the day in Chinatown (Cholon), a feast for your eyes and nose!

Full-day sightseeing tour of Saigon and Cholon (Chinatown)

Begin your Saigon city tour in the historic center on Dong Khoi Street, formerly known as the Rue Catinat, the main shopping thoroughfare and heart of old colonial Saigon. Pass by classic European-style landmarks like the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville) and the old Opera House, then pay a quick visit to the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.

From the old town, dive into modern history with a tour of the Reunification Palace. Formerly the Independence Palace of the South Vietnamese president, this 60s-eras building was famously stormed by tanks on April 30, 1975 signifying the fall of South Vietnam. Unmissable are the original tanks that remain on display near the entrance gates.

Continue to the powerful War Remnants Museum, which comprehensively documents the travails of the 18-year-long Vietnam War. Inside are detailed photographic exhibitions; outside is a collection of tanks, planes and weapons.Then visit the Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of Saigon's most interesting pagodas.

In the afternoon, head out to Cholon (Chinatown). Explore the highlights of this fascinating area, beginning with a walking tour from Tran Hung Dao Street through Nguyen Trai and Soai Kinh Lam market (cloth wholesale market), visit Cha Tam Church. Continue to Thien Hau Pagoda, built by the Cantonese congregation and dedicated to the heavenly goddess. End the tour at the central Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts guaranteed to awaken your senses.

Day 3: Saigon - Hoi An

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Danang. Once you arrive, transfer to your hotel in Hoi An and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Transfer to Saigon Airport

Fly to Da Nang Airport (DAD)

Transfer to Hoi An hotel

Day 4: Hoi An

Today you will tour Hoi An, an exquisitely preserved merchant town that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Wander its charming cobblestone streets as you admire its colorful houses and temples. In the afternoon, enjoy a boat ride down the Thu Bon River.

Sightseeing Tour of Hoi An with Thu Bon River Boat Trip

Tour the merchant town of Hoi An with its colorful shop houses and temples dating back to the 16th and 17th century when it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders. Today it is a thriving center of traditional crafts and is best explored on foot. Wander through the cobbled streets as you pass low tile-roofed buildings, the bustling central market, and the small harbor where colorful boats are docked.

The walking tour includes a visit to a private house where members of the same family have lived continuously for centuries in a traditional setting. See one of the family chapels built by prominent merchants and official families as centers for ancestor worship. Continue to Sa Huynh Museum, located near the Japanese Covered Bridge, containing exhibitions from the earliest period of Hoi An's history. Visit a handicraft workshop where local products are being made by the industry itself.

Finally, continue to the famous Japanese Covered Bridge, first constructed in 1593 by the Japanese community of Hoi An to link the town with the Chinese quarters across the river. In the afternoon, cruise down the Thu Bon River by boat, enjoying the unspoiled countryside and stopping to visit a pottery and woodcarving village before returning to Hoi An harbor.

Day 5: Hoi An - Hue

Today you will travel from Hoi An to Hue, stopping in the city of Danang along the way. As Vietnam's third largest city, Danang is quickly becoming a popular destination for its beaches, mountains, and resorts.

Transfer to Hue

Sightseeing tour in Danang

From Hoi An, drive north stopping just outside Danang to visit the Marble Mountains. The five stone mountains are said to represent each of the five elements of the universe: fire, metal, wood, earth, and water.

Continue to the city of Danang, briefly passing Non Nuoc Beach, a famous surf spot for American soldiers during the Vietnam War. Tour the Cham Museum, an elegant colonial building housing the finest collection of Cham sculpture in the world. Then travel north past Lang Co, a lovely stretch of beach curving outwards between a clear blue lagoon and the East Vietnam Sea, before arriving in Danang.

Drive along steep mountainous roads with spectacular views of the coastline as you cross the dramatic Hai Van Pass, the high dividing line between the climate zones of north and South Vietnam.

Day 6: Hue

Begin the day with a boat cruise on the Perfume River to Thuy Bieu Village, where you will enjoy a walking or bike tour in the village. Later in the day, take another boat to Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue's most recognizable monument.

Excursion to Thuy Bieu Village

Embark on a boat at Toa Kham wharf and cruise along on Perfume River. Make a stop at the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, then continue on to Thuy Bieu Village where you will walk or bike around the village. Visit a garden house, an ancient ancestral temple, and chat with local people. Visit families making incense or joss paper and learn more about the traditions of the village folk. Bathe your feet in medicinal herb water, a traditional therapeutic given by blind people.

Excursion by boat from the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang to Thien Mu Pagoda with lunch

Enjoy a leisurely boat ride down the Perfume River from the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang to the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, an elegant seven-tiered octagonal tower which has become Hue's most recognizable monument. After sightseeing around the pagoda, return to your hotel in Hue.

Day 7: Hue - Hanoi - Halong

Before departing Hue, visit the Imperial Citadel, providing a fascinating look into court life during the Nguyen dynasty. Transfer to Hue airport for your flight to Hanoi where you will then transfer by vehicle to Halong.

Transfer to Hue Airport

Fly to Hanoi (HAN)

Transfer to Halong hotel

Sightseeing Tour of the Old Imperial City in Hue

Located in the heart of Hue is the Imperial City, a vast walled complex built in the early 19th-century and modeled after the Forbidden City of Peking. The original walls stretched over a mile and were surrounded by a wide moat. While most of the buildings were destroyed during the Vietnam War, the remaining monuments provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approach the city past the striking Flag Tower, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, to the imposing Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure.

Enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and visit Dien Tho Residence (Dien Tho palace) where the Queen mother lived. Visit Thai Hoa Palace, the Halls of the Mandarins, the original Nine Dynastic Urns, the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum, and more.

Day 8: Halong - Hanoi

Board a wooden boat (also called a junk) for a private, half-day tour along the stunning Halong Bay. Gaze upwards at the massive limestone rock formations jutting out of the sea!

Later you will transfer to Hanoi, stopping en route to But Thrap Pagoda.

Transfer to Hanoi

Half-Day Boat Tour Through Halong Bay With Lunch

Board a traditional wooden junk and begin cruising through the beautiful Halong Bay. Enjoy lunch while passing interesting rock formations including Stone Dog, Incense Burner (Dinh Huong) and Fighting Cock (Ga Choi). Visit one of the caves in the centre of the islands such as Thien Cung (Heavenly Residence Grotto). Cruise back to Halong Pier and disembark.

Sightseeing at But Thap Pagoda

From Halong to Hanoi, stop en route at But Thap Pagoda (Ninh Phuc Pagoda), one of the most famous pagodas in Vietnam. Famous for its four-story stone stupa dedicated to the monk Chuyet Chuyet, the pagoda was rebuilt in the 17th-and 18th-centuries and remains a classic symbol of Buddhist architecture.

Day 9: Hanoi

Spend a day sightseeing in Hanoi, Vietnam's modern-day capital. Tour the Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Stilt House, the Museum of Ethnology, and the city's old quarter. End the day with a water puppet show.

Hanoi Sightseeing Tour (full-day)

Explore the modern-day capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, a picturesque city nicknamed the "Paris of the East." Tree-lined boulevards and colonial architecture give the city an air of elegance while narrow lanes and traditional shop houses make it distinctly Vietnam.

Begin by visiting The Temple of Literature, founded in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius. Also the site of Vietnam's first university, the grounds have a peaceful series of walled courtyards and graceful gateways that are perfect examples of traditional Vietnamese architecture. In one courtyard, giant stone tortoises bear stele on their backs, listing the accomplishments of graduating scholars.

Then stroll through the park to the Ho Chi Minh Stilt House where Ho Chi Minh lived from 1958 to his death 1969. The bare bones two-room home has been preserved in the same condition as during his life, and can be viewed through the windows. Continue to the miniature 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda, rebuilt after being destroyed by the French army in 1954.

Next, go on a sightseeing tour of Hanoi city center by electric car followed by a walk through the old quarter. Enjoy a 35-minute ride through the city, a blend of long established traditions and modern imprints of Western colonization. See Quan Su Pagoda, Silk Road, Hanoi Railway Station, Hoa Lo Prison, and Hanoi Opera House as you zip through tree-lined boulevards and narrow lanes brimming with daily life. Get off the electric car and take a 25-minute walk in Hanoi's Old Quarter also known as Hoan Kiem District.

End your Hanoi tour with a traditional water puppet show, an incredible art form originating in Northern Vietnam and dating back as far as the 11th-century.

Day 10: Depart Vietnam

It's departure day! Transfer to Hanoi airport for your flight home.

Transfer to Hanoi airport (HAN)

Fly home!

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Price Per Day: $ 199 per day
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6,665 Great Value Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

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4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,962
Great 1,549
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Disappointing 255
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Value
4.3
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4.3
Activities
4.3
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4.3
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4.3
Meals
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Classic Vietnam

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The customer service was excellent

5.0
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When I booked with Great Value I was nervous because it seemed too good to be true. Nope, just a really great deal. I was able to take my dream trip to Ireland and Scotland and it was within my budget. Everything was covered, my lodging, flights, and rental car. There was no hidden fees, or fine print that would nickel and dime me later on, as "good deals" usually have. I also had to change the date of my trip and the customer service was excellent and this change was simple. Thank you Great Value, I'll be using you every time I travel from now on
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Everything on the trip was excellent.

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Everything on the trip was excellent. The only concern with any services from GVV was initial communications ahead of the trip regarding when and how we'd receive all our travel vouchers, as some were available online, and some were to be picked up in country upon arrival. It took no less than 5 phone calls to learn some vouchers would be picked up in country. The trip was outstanding, exhausting, but gloriously beautiful. It was exhausting from the perspective of moving around the country and only a few places were 2 nights. But, we knew that going in, and we wanted to see ALL of Switzerland and this certainly checked those boxes. We saw majestic mountains, we saw countless waterfalls and glaciers. The trains in Switzerland were all clean and we felt safe. The hotels were good with delicious breakfasts each morning. Overall, I would recommend GVV to a friend or family member and I would personally book another vacation with GVV.
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Our trip was amazing!

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This was my first time planning a trip out of the country. I read previous reviews who had a good experience with Great Value Vacation. Our trip was amazing! The booking and reservations were easy to use with the vouchers provided. The staff was helpful. The only downside was I upgraded to have an automatic vehicle and they gave me a stick shift. It took a while to get sorted out but other than that I loved my trip! I will definitely use great value vacations again when I book my next trip. I opted for the additional wine tasting package and I did not regret it! I recommend adding those additional tours to get a more complete experience.
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Great customer service

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My wife and I recently booked our vacation through Great Value Vacations. We were a bit nervous to travel to Europe for the first time, but we are glad we did. Great Value Vacations took care of us. Great customer service. Seamless transactions. They booked the hotels and flights for us. All we had to worry about were the daily activities! I would highly recommended them. The hotels offered through the package were as advertised: nice and in great locations. The flights times were also convenient. The best part was the price. I am thankful for the experiences Great Value Vacation was able to provide for us!
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Really enjoyed both of my trips

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Really enjoyed both of my trips through Great Value Vacations. I went on one family trip to Ireland (Adare villa, rental car with trips out to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and more) . The villa was very comfortable with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and proximity to the local shops /restaurants. We were able to upgrade to an automatic car and had fun navigating to each location on our itinerary. The trip as planned by the agency still leaves time for exploring on your own and since we picked a trip with our own transportation, we had flexibility on which tours we wanted to do and when.

My second trip was a solo trip to Scotland. I like to go on vacation by myself sometimes, but it can be hard to find ones where you aren’t penalized for being on your own. This train trip to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow worked out really well for me. The hotels were all near the train stations and in safe areas (good lighting, plenty of people, etc.). I got a good mix of options for sightseeing in each city. The hop-on, hop-off bus circuit was especially useful for getting around Edinburgh. I also added an extra tour on in Glasgow to see nearby castles and a distillery and was very glad to have done so as the views of the countryside were amazing!

Summary: Have enjoyed my previous experiences and would definitely use again
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Above and beyond our expectations

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Just got back from our trip to Italy booked through Great Value Vacations & was our dream come true! We could not have gone if it were not for their unbelievable rates. Each 4 Star Villa we stayed at was above and beyond our expectations...I cried after leaving each part of our journey. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking with them. Besides the Villas being beautiful, great locations, clean, and great staff; each place we arrived at actually said, "They said to give you a very nice room." (with a rate of just under $1,900 a piece for 9 nights not counting travel days at 4 stars Villas in Rome, Tuscany, & Venice including airfare and rent a car... a few friends told us to expect the worst rooms at the places we were staying ~ NOT the case! Our rooms had the best views...I could go on and on. Every step of the way was smooth with no worries whatsoever. Thanks again GVV! LOVED IT!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Airfare included

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Accomodations

  • Le Duy Grand Hotel
  • Lotus Hoi An Boutique Hotel & Spa
  • Midtown Hotel Hue
  • Saigon Halong Hotel
  • May De Ville City Center Hotel

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-CV-SGN

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