Pack more into your time in Vietnam by taking an overnight flight from the UK to Hanoi.
After a quick transfer to your hotel, you can either spend the afternoon relaxing or warm up those legs with a stroll along the lively backstreets of the capital. If you venture out, try a steaming bowl of pho, the noodle soup that's practically a national institution.
Ease yourself into life in the saddle with a half-day tour of Hanoi today. Pause on the shore of West Lake to watch the crowds arriving at the Tay Ho Pagoda and stop to admire the Golden Lotus Temple. Join the hoards of people peddling through Hanoi's historic Old Quarter before settling in to watch the dragons and fireworks of a traditional water puppet show.
Watch artisans creating unique folk art in the village of Dong Ho, a little east of Hanoi. You’ll then saddle up for the ride along the dike of the Duong River to the 17th-century Buddhist temple of But Thap. Explore its superb carved wood sculptures and four-tiered tower before savouring a home-cooked lunch. Next you’ll drive to Halong Bay to explore its turquoise waters and admire its karst outcrops.
Sail among the craggy islands and tree-clad outcrops of Halong Bay on a five-hour cruise. On the way, you’ll stop to explore some of the many caves that riddle the limestone cliffs. Refuel with a delicious seafood lunch before returning to dry land. Next, it’s off for a taste of 21st-century Vietnam in the lively city of Ninh Binh.
Today you’ll visit the 10th-century capital of Hoa Lu. Now little more than ruins, it’s set in a succession of limestone outcrops that rise dramatically from the flat rice fields. Enjoy a home-cooked lunch before discovering the art of rice-grinding. You’ll then board a traditional bamboo sampan for a cruise along Van Long reservoir. In the evening, return to Hanoi for your flight to Hue.
Explore the treasures of Hue’s World Heritage site. Cycle to the Ho Quyen arena, the imperial mausoleum of Tu Duc and Vong Canh Hill, the perfect place to take in views of the Perfume River. You’ll visit the Tu Hieu Pagoda and the tomb of Minh Mang, the second emperor of the Nguyen dynasty. Later, cruise down the Perfume River or wander the walled precincts of the old Imperial Citadel.
Cool off in the South China Sea at Lang Co Beach before boarding a bus to the top of the scenic Hai Van Pass. After the exhilarating downhill ride to Thuan Phuoc Bridge in Danang you’ll continue to Hoi An. Spend the afternoon exploring the restored merchants' houses and beautiful Japanese covered bridge in the Old Town or relax with a massage at your hotel.
Explore the idyllic countryside that surrounds Hoi An on a ride through the local rice paddies. You’ll visit Tra Que, a 200-year-old village known for its high quality vegetables, where you’ll be able to talk with the farmers and enjoy a delicious lunch and a much-needed foot massage. You’ll then return to Hoi An to explore the town’s charming cobbled streets.
Take a morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City where you'll explore the key sights of downtown Saigon on foot. Discover the fascinating blend of French colonial architecture, ornate pagodas and modern construction that’s a big part of the city’s charm. Visit the National Assembly, the gingerbread-house Hotel de Ville, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, an impressive building designed by Gustav Eiffel.
Learn about Vietnam's recent history with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels today. An underground labyrinth north of Saigon, it was built by the Viet Minh in the 1940s. During the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong were based in the tunnels and many thousands lived in the huge subterranean network. Get a glimpse of underground life by squeezing into the Ben Duoc or Ben Binh tunnel with your expert guide.
Travel west from Ho Chi Minh City into the rural heart of the Mekong Delta. You’ll set out from Cay Lai to cycle through timeless villages towards the trading post of Cai Be. Pedal through fruit orchards, stopping to chat with villagers and getting a river-level perspective from the deck of a local ferry.
Today you’ll visit the floating market at Cai Be. Bob between the stalls to learn about local specialities including coconut candy, rice popcorn, rice wine and handicrafts. You’ll then be driven to Ho Chi Minh City for a final night in Vietnam.
your flight back to the UK.