Let our Simply Vietnam holiday carry you away on a compact but immersive journey, revealing the essence of this diverse country in just over a week... without making you feel rushed. Smoothly combine grand sights and local details in your individually tailored itinerary for an intimate, bespoke portrait of Vietnam’s key destinations.
At a glance
- Contrast ancient temples with a modern metropolis in vibrant Ho Chi Minh City
- Gorge on fresh seafood along Hoi An’s atmospheric waterside
- Follow your foodie senses through Hanoi’s night markets on the back of a Vespa
- Try your hand at cooking Vietnamese cuisine
Ho Chi Minh City - 3 nights
Plunge yourself straight into the rich landscape of Vietnam’s largest city. Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is a place where the faded grandeur of French colonial architecture mingles with the high rises of fast finance; a city where the energy of modern Vietnamese culture is enriched by the country’s varied traditions and history. Wander through Presidential palaces and secret resistance storerooms, frozen in their separate moments from Vietnam’s past, and contrast glass skyscraper skyline views with the immediacy of a meander through the narrow alleyways and residential districts of the everyday city. Your first day here will be at leisure.
Day 1 - Arrive Ho Chi Minh City
On arrival in Vietnam, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel.
Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.
Day 2 - 'Old & New City Tour'
Visit your choice of Ho Chi Minh City’s highlights on a personalised tour with your guide, taking in everything from grand palaces, to French neoclassical architecture, to bustling side streets. We recommend you incorporate the impressive Reunification Palace, and the beautiful Saigon Central Post Office (designed by Gustave Eiffel), after an early morning meander through the alleys and markets of District 1 - a densely populated, and architecturally stunning area, full of aromatic markets and small businesses, that few visitors know exists, let alone see for themselves. Bear witness to the violence of the country’s recent past with a visit to a secret weapon store used by the resistance during the Vietnam war, immerse yourself in the micro-culture of Cho Lon, HCMC’s Chinatown, and end with a visit to the top of the Bitexco Tower for a sundowner with the city’s best views.
Day 3 - Delve into the Cu Chi Tunnels
Depart early from HCMC (to avoid the traffic and the crowds) to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels - an incredible underground network over 150 miles in length, constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters. The remaining tunnels have been opened to visitors, offering a unique insight into the ingenuity behind them, and a glimpse of underground life during the Vietnam war. Your afternoon is at leisure, giving you time to enjoy a Vietnamese coffee or a stroll through the city.
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Hanoi - 3 nights
Hanoi, Vietnam’s first and current capital, ranks among the most visually stunning cities in the world. Streets full of greenery wind between grand buildings, spacious parks, museums, temples, markets and shops, unifying the town’s many different elements; elegant pagodas rise above the infamously chaotic traffic below, exemplifying two extremes of Hanoi’s character. Join the throng for an exhilarating night-time tour by Vespa and, as contrast, swap the throttle for pedal power to cycle around the city’s peaceful lakeside and sip something cool in the shade of an ancient temple.
Day 4 - Fly to Hanoi, evening Vespa Tour
Enjoy time at leisure until the evening when you’ll start a street food tour with a difference. Riding pillion on a Vespa, you’ll discover delicious Vietnamese specialities and hang out where the locals do. Sip a cool beer at a rooftop cafe, sample some of the city’s best Pho Cuon spring rolls on the shores of West Lake, drive along one of the most romantic and picturesque streets in the city, and fill up on Cha Ca, Hanoi’s signature grilled fish noodles. After eating, head to Ba Dinh square to watch the ceremonial changing of the guard at Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, before finishing the evening on a lighter note with a drink and some live music at a trendy bar.
Day 5 - 'Old & New' City Tour
Start the day away from the city centre bustle with a cycle around the perimeter of West Lake. Spend time in the shade of Tran Quoc pagoda’s elegant tower, or watch the world go by from a lakeside cafe. As the sun rises to its highest, continue your journey into Hanoi’s past with a visit to the atmospheric halls of the Temple of Literature on the site of Vietnam’s first university. Tuck into some fast food, Vietnam style, with lunch on the famous Trang Tien Street, enjoying anything from pho to sweet treats, seated on a tiny plastic stool among the locals, with the grand Opera House just around the corner. Explore Hanoi’s contemporary culture with a Vietnamese coffee at Manzi Art Cafe, before heading back in time with a stroll past the workshops and pagodas in the narrow streets of the Old Quarter. Enjoy a beer and keep exploring, or head back to your hotel for a little downtime.
Day 6 - Try your hand at Vietnamese cooking
Spend your morning learning how to prepare and cook traditional Vietnamese cuisine under the expert guidance of the team from Hanoi's Highway 4 Restaurant. The menu changes depending on the season and during the class you can be sure of picking up some useful culinary tips. The proof always being in the pudding, lunch will be an opportunity class to sample your morning’s efforts.
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Hoi An - 3 nights
Hoi An, one of Asia’s most significant ports during the 1500s, has retained much of its original ambience despite the intervening centuries of weather, war and modern development, and is undoubtedly a highlight of any visit to Vietnam. Sample the city’s street food, find your favourite spot for Vietnamese coffee, and dine in style at the many restaurants exemplifying the town’s famous cuisine. Wander across the ancient Japanese Covered Bridge, explore former merchants’ homes, and buy silks, handicrafts, antiques, and immaculate tailored suits (with an astonishing 24 hr turnaround) at the colourful shops and markets.
Day 7 - Fly to Hoi An, Twilight Bites jeep tour
Having flown to Danang and driven the short distance to Hoi An, enjoy time at leisure until the evening when you’ll join your guide for a food tour with a difference. Tonight’s experience will give you a unique insight into Hoi An’s renowned foodie scene whilst travelling in your very own US military jeep. Over the course of the evening you’ll make a number of stops to sample the region’s specialities, as well as ‘bia tuoi’ (fresh beer), in local establishments off the tourist radar.
Day 8 - Old Town walking tour
This morning, take a stroll with your guide through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An. Along with touring the old market, you'll visit popular sites such as the 16th Century Japanese Bridge and some of the town's important temples. You will also learn about some of the dishes that make Hoi An's cuisine so famous throughout Vietnam. Your afternoon is at leisure to relax or continue exploring independently.
Day 9 - Hoi An at leisure
Enjoy a day at leisure in the city. Discover more of Hoi An’s varied temples, spend more time at your favourite sights from yesterday, or simply try as many different variations of the city’s signature cao lau noodles as you can find.
Day 10 - Depart Hoi An
Transfer to Danang airport for your onward flight.
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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.
Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.
|Hotel class||Price per person (based on total # travelling)|
|2 persons||3 - 4||5 - 6|
Northern Hotel SaigonA convenient location is top priority when choosing a city hotel, and the Northern Hotel Saigon ticks this box... See more
Essence HotelA firm favourite with the Selective Asia team (and past clients), The Essence Hotel enjoys a superb location in the centre of Hanoi's old quarter, just 10 minutes from serene Hoan Kiem Lake... See more
Ancient House ResortWhile the Ancient House Resort, located on the outskirts of Hoi An's UNESCO protected old town, does not offer the same level of facilities as, say, the Four Seasons, it nonetheless has a charm and personality that our guests just keep falling in love with.... See more
Liberty Central Saigon RiversideSister to the Liberty Central at Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh's latest riverside hotel, the Liberty Central Riverside doesn't disappoint... See more
La Siesta Classic Ma May
La Siesta Classic Ma May is a welcoming boutique property just a short stroll from Hoan Kiem Lake, within very easy reach of the many temptations of Old Quarter, and offers great facilities for a central Hanoi hotel...See more
Hoi An Chic Green RetreatA lovely and personal boutique hotel in a rural but convenient province beyond the town, the Hoi An Chic marries a sweet contemporary style with an eco-friendly ethos... See more
Liberty Central Saigon CitypointWhen researching a city hotel it’s all about a central location and the new Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint certainly ticks that box... See more
Movenpick HanoiPreviously known as the Gouman Hotel, the Movenpick Hanoi is not only the seriously new-and-improved version - it has undergone the most outstanding transformation... See more
La Siesta Resort & Spa
A great location beside rice fields near the Thu Bon River, yet just a short walk from Hoi An Old Town, is not the only thing going for La Siesta Resort & Spa – it’s also a beautiful boutique retreat, surrounded by tropical gardens…See more
Hotel des ArtsNew hotels are opening up in Ho Chi Minh City on a frequent basis and existing properties are investing in makeovers to compete, so it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. Step in Hotel des Arts... See more
Sofitel Legend Metropole HanoiOpened in 1901 and once host to a roll-call of iconic 20th century guests, the Metropole Hanoi exudes historic charm like no other property in the city... See more
Anantara Hoi AnFormerly known as the the Life Heritage Resort, the Anantara Hoi An is set on the banks of the De Vong River in the French Colonial quarter on the outskirts of Hoi An old town... See more
Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.
These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).
- Just an hour's drive from Hoi An is the temple site of My Son, considered to be one of the best-preserved Cham sites in Vietnam. Set in a lush valley surrounded by towering mountains, the 4th century site of My Son was continually inhabited for over 900 years. In 2000 My Son was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Spend a morning at the famous Red Bridge Cooking School. Start your morning with a guided visit to a local market before taking a boat along the Hoi An River to Red Bridge. Learn to create some of Vietnam's famous dishes before enjoying your creations for lunch. Please note, there wil be other gusets joining you at the cooking school.
- Halong Bay is certainly one of the highlights of a trip to Vietnam. To get there though entails a 3 1/2 hour drive from Hanoi and, as picturesque as the scenery is, you may, understandably, prefer not to include the drive in both directions. Instead you can enjoy a scenic seaplane flight, a journey of just 30 minutes. Be sure to keep your camera on-hand as the aerial views over the countryside and Halong Bay itself are unforgettable. For a small supplement, there’s the option of extending your flight by 15 minutes to circle over Halong Bay.
- Simply Vietnam combines well with Cambodia. There are daily flights to both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, near the Angkor Temples, and you can also travel through the Mekong Delta by boat.
Whilst many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.
The important stuffPlease note: During high season periods (such as Christmas and New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.
- English speaking, local guide
- All accommodation listed
- Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
- Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
- All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals listed
- International flight reconfirmation.
- Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
- Entry visas
- International airport departure taxes
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Drinks, other than water on activity days
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
- Travel insurance
- All other services not listed in 'inclusive'
Please noteAll prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.
FlightsWe will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.
VisaYou may require a visa to enter Vietnam. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.
PassportPlease ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.
InsuranceYou will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.
Vaccinations and Malaria PreventionYou will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.
Booking ProcedureOnly once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.
Travelling ResponsiblyWe care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.
Our tailor-made service costs you no extra
This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...
Your own private guides & drivers
You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.