Vietnam - Best Tours & Trips 2019
Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
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Top Vietnam Experiences
- A sailing cruise in Ha Long Bay, also known as “Bay of Descending Dragons.”
- Explore the underground Cu Chi Tunnels cave which was once used as a hiding spot by Viet Cong Guerillas.
- Seeing the rich rice fields of Mekong Delta.
- If you are into kite and windsurfing activities then you do not want to miss Mui Ne; and a short distance from it leads to its famous sand dunes.
- Relaxing in one of the largest island in Vietnam, Phu Quoc.
- Walking down the winding lanes of beautiful old town Hoi An, sometimes also knows as the “Venice of Vietnam.”
- Visit to the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, Thien Mu Pagoda, built during 1601. The pagoda also overlooks the Perfume River.
- Experiencing a water puppet performance at the Thang Long puppet theatre in Hanoi
Vietnam Trip Reviews
1,303 Vietnam Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend
Vietnam Tours and Travel Guide
Vietnam Attractions & Landmarks Guide
For those whose impressions of Vietnam were formed in the wartime 1960's, a visit to this beautiful Southeast Asian country may yield some real surprises. With the vast majority of Vietnamese born after the war, it's largely ancient history here, and visitors (certainly including Americans) are warmly welcomed. There's much to explore, too, from stately Hanoi to bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), gorgeous Halong Bay, the Mekong River (best seen by river boat), deep green rice paddies, golden sandy beaches, and some of Asia's best cuisine. Once you come to Vietnam, your impressions of it will never be the same.
From South to North (or opposite)
Perhaps the best way to tour Vietnam is to start at either the southern hub of Ho Chi Minh, aka Saigon, or the northern capital city of Hanoi. If starting in HCMC, the first thing you might notice is the buzz of motorbikes all around you. To cross the street, just be brave and go against everything you were ever taught - slowly but purposefully, walk out into the street and maintain a steady pace. Amazingly, the motor bikes will swerve around you until you find yourself, harried but unscathed, on the other side of the street. Once you’ve mastered that, be sure to check out Ben Thanh market. At first, what looks like a glorified flea market opens up to reveal all sorts of Vietnamese culinary stalwarts like Pho. Go in the morning to escape the crowds (and the heat!).
Other highlights in HCMC include the War Remnants Museum, the exhibits of which might be offputting to many American travelers, Cu Chi tunnel system, and the various historic hotels in the city center.
Heading north, visit Nha Trang, which is a typical beach destination for tourists and locals alike. Enjoy a day-cruise where snorkeling and scuba diving are among the options for activities. Fresh seafood is the specialty in this city by the sea.
Next stop, Hoi An, and its labyrinth of ancient buildings and pathways. Historically rich, the city was influenced by the French, Japanese, and Chinese, which is apparent in the architecture and cuisine. Go in search of the famous Hoi An noodles, Cao Lau, which can only be authentically enjoyed in this town. Many different galleries and craft shops offer everything from custom-made shoes to vibrant oil paintings.
A short drive brings you to Hue, or the ‘imperial city’ as it was here that the Nguyen dynasty ruled from before ceding power to the French in 1945. Explore the old, walled citadel and also book a tour to visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ) for a bit of war history.
Last stop is the capital of Hanoi. With its beautiful urban lakes and government seat, Hanoi is calmer relative to HCMC, but still quite the urban center in its own right. For history buffs, a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a must, where one can see the body of the former Vietnamese ruler lying in state. Also of interest is the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda.
If culinary travel is your thing, then Vietnam should be high on your list! From pho, to Cao Lau, to french baguettes that rival Parisian boulangeries, Vietnam has a plethora of spicy samples to tempt the foodie traveler. Street food is quite good and cheap, and can be found in night markets throughout the country. Or, just pull up a (short) stool at almost any roadside restaurant for an authentic taste of Vietnam. Specialities include Banh xeo, a crunchy shell containing bean sprouts, soy bean, prawns and pork, Banh bo - sweet rice cakes usually found in white, red and green, and of course, pho. For the more daring, sit down at a corner ‘bar’ to sample bia hoi, the local brew of choice. This unpasteurized but fresh beer is served on the street for basically a few cents per glass. You’ve been warned!
Trips Farther Afield
Other guided tour options in Vietnam include Phu Quoc island, an idyllic spit of land off the coast of southern Vietnam. Also consider the mountainous Sapa region in the northeast or a River boat cruise along the Mekong River.
All Vietnam tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Vietnam trips.