Off-The-Beaten-Track Vietnam 15 Days

This captivating fifteen-day adventure delves into the hidden gems of Vietnam. Prepare to be enchanted by the untouched beauty of Pu Luong, a mesmerizing landscape adorned with limestone hills, meandering rivers, dense forests, and vibrant ethnic minority villages. Here, footpaths replace roads, inviting you to immerse yourself in the heart of the remote ‘hill-tribe’ culture.

As you traverse through the Central Highlands, each step unveils a tapestry of communities with rich traditions and warm hospitality. Wander through quaint villages where time seems to stand still, engaging with locals whose lives are intricately woven with the land they call home. From the tranquil rhythms of daily life to the lively gatherings celebrating age-old customs, every encounter offers a glimpse into the soul of Vietnam’s diverse ethnic mosaic.

Marvel at the architectural marvels of the towering ‘rong’ houses, each a testament to indigenous ingenuity and communal spirit, reaching towards the heavens amidst lush greenery.

Escape the tourist throngs and surrender to the allure of nature’s splendor, where encounters with wildlife and moments of serenity amidst breathtaking landscapes leave an indelible mark on your soul.

But that’s not all – our bespoke approach ensures that your journey is tailor-made to suit your desires. Fancy some time to explore the bustling streets of Hanoi or the vibrant energy of Ho Chi Minh City? Consider it done. Flexible flight dates? Absolutely. Your adventure, your rules. Just name it, and we’ll make it happen, ensuring your journey through Vietnam is as unique as you are.


Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi (D, GP)

Upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, you will be warmly greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel in the heart of Hanoi. After settling in, take the opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate from your travels. In the evening, you could venture out and explore the nightlife in the city or simply prepare for the adventure ahead.

Day 2: Hanoi to Mai Chau to Pu Luong (B, L, D, G)

Start your day with a hearty breakfast before embarking on a scenic drive to Mai Chau. This journey through the mountainous landscape reveals breathtaking views and brings you closer to the serene beauty of rural Vietnam. Arriving in Mai Chau, enjoy a traditional lunch in a stilt house in Lac Village, home to the Thai ethnic minority. Post-lunch, explore the village’s vibrant community, famous for their brocade weaving—a skill they eagerly share with visitors.

Continue your journey with a 15km drive to the Ma River, where you board a sampan to meander through tranquil waters, visiting remote ethnic minority villages along the way. Disembark and trek to Hang Village, where you will experience authentic local hospitality overnight in a stilt house. The evening is highlighted by a folk song and dance performance, offering a glimpse into the cultural heritage of the local communities, enhanced by the communal joy of rice wine.

Day 3: Trekking in Pu Luong (B, L, D, G)

After breakfast among the villagers of Hang, explore their daily life further with a stroll around the village. Today’s hike introduces you to the breathtaking landscapes of Pu Luong. Trek to the remote Eo Ken Village, perched high on a mountain slope, offering panoramic views and a sense of seclusion from the wider world. Lunch in Eo Ken is a rustic affair prepared by a local family, providing sustenance for your continued journey through the lush landscapes.

The afternoon’s trek concludes in Kho Muong Village, another culturally rich locale where you will spend the night. This trek is not only a physical journey but also an intimate insight into the lives of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities, supported by community-based tourism initiatives that promote sustainable and responsible travel.

Day 4: More Hiking in Pu Luong (B, L, D, G)

The day begins with an exploration of a large limestone cave near Kho Muong, offering an adventurous start. Proceed through diverse forest paths and villages, witnessing the daily rhythms of local life. Enjoy a picnic lunch amidst nature, and conclude your day’s hike with another homely stay in a stilt house, where dinner awaits and offers another evening of cultural immersion.

Day 5: Pu Luong to Thanh Hoa to Hanoi (B, L, G)

Journey back towards civilization today after breakfast, with a drive through several villages to a local market—a vibrant tableau of regional life. Lunch in a small town introduces you to more local flavors before you visit the historical water wheels of the Muong people. A highlight is the visit to Cam Thuy’s ‘Sacred Fish Stream’—a serene location where you can interact with the friendly local fish. The day ends with a return drive to Hanoi, arriving by late afternoon.

Day 6: From Hanoi to Pleiku to Kon Tum (B, D, G)

Enjoy some leisure time in Hanoi before a flight to Pleiku. Upon arrival, transfer to Kon Tum where your adventure continues. If time allows, visit local ethnic villages or a seminary to understand the region’s cultural and spiritual nuances. Dinner in Kon Tum precedes a unique overnight stay in a traditional Rong house in Konkotu Village, offering a deep dive into the indigenous culture and communal living.

Day 7: Exploring Kontum (B, L, G)

Embark on a gentle hike along the DakBla River, soaking in the serene landscapes and traditional lifestyles of the river communities. Experience the thrill of river rafting, followed by a picnic lunch by the riverside. The adventure continues downriver, returning to Konkotu for pickup and an overnight stay in a modern hotel in Kon Tum, blending traditional experiences with contemporary comforts.

Day 8: Kontum City Tour (B, G)

Your day is leisurely until the afternoon when you explore Kontum’s historical sites, including a unique wooden church and nearby ethnic villages by motorbike. This experience not only showcases the region’s architectural charm but also its vibrant cultural tapestry, especially through the interactions with local communities.

Day 9: From Kontum to Buon Ma Thuot (B, L, G)

Travel to Buon Ma Thuot, the heart of Vietnam’s coffee country. Explore local attractions like the Gia Long waterfall and the surrounding primeval forest, offering opportunities for bathing in the ‘Fairy Pool’. The evening is spent in Buon Ma Thuot, providing a restful end to a day filled with natural explorations.

Day 10: Discovering Buon Ma Thuot (B, L, G)

A culturally enriching day awaits with visits to the Ethnology Museum and A Co Thon village, showcasing the rich heritage of the Ede people. The afternoon’s highlight is a visit to Don Village in Yokdon National Park, known for its traditional M’Nong houses and elephant experiences. Engage with local wildlife and learn about conservation efforts in the region, rounding off with an authentic cultural immersion.

Each day of your journey is meticulously planned to offer a blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation, ensuring a comprehensive experience of Vietnam’s stunning landscapes and rich cultural tapestry.

Day 11: Buon Ma Thuot to Ho Chi Minh City (B, DP)

Enjoy a relaxed morning in Buon Ma Thuot, soaking up the last moments of tranquility before your transfer to the airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you’ll be whisked away to your hotel in the bustling city center. Spend the afternoon at leisure, perhaps exploring District 1’s vibrant streets, filled with shops, cafes, and historical landmarks. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City, where the dynamic energy of urban Vietnam is palpable.

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao (B, DP in Ho Chi Minh City, GP in Con Dao)

Catch an early flight to Con Dao, a group of islands known for their stunning natural beauty and haunting history. Once you arrive and check into your hotel, take a motorbike ride to the Con Dao National Park headquarters. From there, embark on a half-hour hike through the lush rainforest to Ong Dung Bay, where you can enjoy a picnic lunch, relax, sunbathe, or snorkel in the clear waters. Return to the town for dinner and an overnight stay, experiencing the serene ambiance of the island.

Day 13: Exploring Con Dao (B, L, G)

Rise early for a motorbike trip to Sharp Cape, hoping to catch a magnificent sunrise. After breakfast, dive into the underwater world around the cape, exploring vibrant coral reefs. Enjoy a fresh seafood lunch at a local restaurant, then tour the island on motorbike. Visit the historical prison complex, including the notorious French-built Tiger Cages, to learn about the island’s past as a penal colony. Overnight again in Con Dao, reflecting on the poignant history and natural beauty of the islands.

Day 14: Leisure and Discovery in Con Dao (B, L, G)

Spend another day in the tranquil surroundings of Con Dao. Depending on your interests, you might opt for additional snorkeling or diving, explore more of the island’s lush trails, or simply relax on its pristine beaches. Enjoy lunch in town and continue exploring or relaxing at your own pace. Dinner on your own to explore local eateries. Overnight in Con Dao, savoring the peaceful night sounds and fresh sea air.

Day 15: Con Dao to Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B, DP)

After breakfast, enjoy a few last moments of tranquility in Con Dao before your transfer to the airport for your flight back to Ho Chi Minh City. Connect seamlessly with your international departure, carrying with you memories of a diverse adventure through Vietnam’s spectacular landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

Throughout your journey from the northern mountains to the southern islands, you’ve experienced a diverse tapestry of Vietnamese environments and communities, each with unique traditions and stories. This detailed itinerary ensures a comprehensive exploration of Vietnam’s heritage, both natural and cultural, culminating in a deep understanding and appreciation of this vibrant country.


B = Breakfast

L = Lunch

D = Dinner

G = Guide

GP = Guide pick-up

DP = Driver pick-up

Guide Price

The prices for this private tour are per person in US dollars

These prices are valid until November 30,2024.

Please note: bank transfer fees are not included.

Hotel Standard 2 3 – 4 5 – 7 8 – 10 *Supplement for single occupancy

(three stars)

3,013 2,711 2,458 2,377 490

(four stars)

3,175 2,873 2,609 2,539 659

*‘Single room occupancy’ refers to the accommodation element of the programme only, and applies to someone who is travelling with others but requires an additional room for him or herself. Single traveller prices are available on request.

*Note: No Single Supplement in Pu Luong homestay and Rong House


  • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
  • Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above (Please note: pick-ups will be by a guide and driver or, where a guide is not necessary, a driver only. All unaccompanied drivers will be briefed in advance, and will carry a mobile phone to ensure smooth transfer arrangements)
  • Domestic flight tickets (economy class): Hanoi – Pleiku, Buon Ma Thuot – Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City – Con Dao, Con Dao – Ho Chi Minh City, including domestic airport taxes.
  • Boat cruises as specified in the programme.
  • Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
  • The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination). Free days or part days will not include the services of a guide unless requested and included in the final itinerary.
  • Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
  • Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, or picnics where no suitable restaurant is available.
  • VAT and other taxes


  • International flight tickets and airport tax.
  • Visas
  • Dinners, except as specified above.
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Camera fees (if any)
  • Insurance
  • Alternatives in blue

Hotel List

Hotel list for Mid-range standard:

  • Hanoi: Bendecir hotel (*** boutique hotel in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, a short walk from Hoan Kiem Lake, stylish furnishings and decoration art – Premier room)
  • Pu Luong: homestay in a local family
  • Kontum: Indochine Hotel (*** centrally location, overlooking the Dakbla river – Deluxe River view) and in a ‘Rong house’
  • Buon Ma Thuot: Saigon Ban Me (**** well located in the city centre – Superior room)
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Sanouva hotel (*** central location, a few minute walk to Ben Thanh market – Superior room )
  • Con Dao: Con Dao Resort (*** beach front resort in good location of Con Dao – Deluxe Corner room)

Hotel list for Superior standard:

  • Hanoi: Tirant hotel (**** conveniently located in Hanoi’s ‘Old Quarter’, about a ten-minute walk from Hoan Kiem Lake – Executive room)
  • Pu Luong: homestay in a local family
  • Kontum: Indochine Hotel (*** centrally location, overlooking the Dakbla river – Suite River view) and in a ‘Rong house’
  • Buon Ma Thuot: Saigon Ban Me (**** well located in the city centre – Deluxe room)
  • Ho Chi Minh City: Eden Star Saigon (**** medium rise building in the city centre – Premier Deluxe room)
  • Con Dao: Poulo Condo Con Dao Resort & Spa (****, boutique style resort, well located on an secluded location of Con Dao –  Junior Suite)
Please note that Vietnam hotels do not recognise provisional reservations, so specific hotels cannot be guaranteed until you have booked your chosen tour. As many of the better hotels are often full during the October to April peak season, early booking is advisable.

Tour FAQ's

1. What should I pack for this tour?

  • Comfortable walking shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking in diverse terrains.
  • Lightweight clothing: Opt for layers that can be easily adjusted to the changing climates across different regions.
  • Rain gear: A lightweight raincoat or umbrella, especially if traveling during the rainy season.
  • Sun protection: Sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses are essential.
  • Bug repellent: Especially important for the rural and forested areas.
  • Personal medications: Along with a basic travel health kit.

2. Do I need any vaccinations?

It is advisable to be up-to-date on routine vaccinations. Additionally, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Tetanus are commonly recommended for Vietnam. Check with your doctor or a travel clinic well in advance of your trip.

3. How difficult are the physical activities?

Activities range from moderate to challenging. This includes long hikes and potentially steep treks in mountainous areas. Participants should be in good physical health. Specific days, like those involving hikes in Pu Luong or the Central Highlands, require a good level of fitness.

4. What kind of accommodation should I expect?

Accommodations vary from standard hotels in cities to homestays in rural areas. Homestays are basic but clean and offer a unique opportunity to engage with local culture.

5. What type of transportation will be used?

Transport varies depending on the terrain and location. This includes private vehicles for long distances, boats for river trips, and motorbikes for local village tours. All modes of transportation are chosen to provide an authentic and safe experience.

6. Is there a guide with us throughout the tour?

Yes, you will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide knowledgeable in the local culture, history, and natural environment of each area visited. In some areas, local guides will join to provide additional insights and a closer connection to the communities.

7. Can dietary restrictions be accommodated?

Yes, please advise us of any dietary restrictions or allergies well in advance. While dining options may be limited in remote areas, every effort will be made to accommodate your needs.

8. What is the group size for this tour?

The tour typically operates with small groups to ensure a more personalized and immersive experience. Expect a maximum of 12 participants, which allows for a closer interaction with the guide and local communities.

9. What are the payment and cancellation policies?

A deposit is usually required at the time of booking, with the full balance due closer to the tour start date. Cancellation policies can vary; generally, the closer to the departure date you cancel, the higher the cancellation fee. Review the terms and conditions provided at booking.

10. Is travel insurance required?

Yes, comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended for all participants. Ensure your policy covers medical expenses, emergency evacuation, and trip cancellation.

These FAQs aim to ensure that participants are well-prepared and have a rewarding experience exploring Vietnam’s less-traveled paths.

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