Vietnam Heritage Overture 12 Days

Embark on a captivating 12-day journey through Vietnam, a tour designed to immerse you in the rich tapestry of Vietnamese culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes. From the historical depths of Hanoi’s Old Quarter to the serene beauty of Ha Long Bay, this tour offers a profound glimpse into the heart of Vietnam.

Your adventure begins in Hanoi, where ancient architecture meets bustling modern life. Explore the city’s major cultural sites, including the Ethnology Museum and the Fine Art Museum, and delve into the flavors of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. The journey continues with a scenic drive to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital, where you’ll explore temples dedicated to Emperor Dinh and Emperor Le. Experience the majestic limestone karsts of Tam Coc by boat and bicycle, climbing to the Mua Caves for panoramic views.

As you travel from the north to Hue in central Vietnam, enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Perfume River and visit the poignant royal tombs of Nguyen emperors. The tour’s pace changes as you pedal through the tranquil Thuy Bieu Village, gaining insight into local life and traditional handicrafts.

A scenic drive over the Hai Van Pass brings you to Hoi An, where history permeates through the preserved architecture and ancient streets. A day trip to the My Son Sanctuary reveals the spiritual heritage of the Cham civilization.

Throughout your journey, engage in hands-on activities like farming and fishing alongside local villagers, providing a unique and authentic experience of Vietnamese daily life. Enjoy nights of comfort in carefully selected accommodations that reflect the charm and hospitality of Vietnam.

This 12-day tour not only promises the discovery of Vietnam’s most iconic sights but also an intimate understanding of its culture and traditions, making it a truly unforgettable experience.


Day 1: Arrival at Hanoi (GP)

Upon arrival at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, a vibrant city known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese, and French influences, you’ll be warmly welcomed by your personal guide. A comfortable vehicle will take you to your hotel where you can unwind from your travels. Depending on your arrival time, you might take a brief walk around the neighborhood to acclimatize to the bustling life of Hanoi. You’ll spend your first night here, resting up for the adventures ahead.

Day 2: Hanoi’s tangible and intangible heritage (B, L, G)

Today, your exploration of Hanoi starts with a visit to the Ethnology Museum, where you’ll delve into the diverse ethnic backgrounds that make up Vietnam, offering insights into their traditions and lifestyles. Next, at the Fine Art Museum, you’ll encounter a range of artworks that span the history of Vietnam, from ancient sculptures to modern paintings.

Your culinary journey begins in the Old Quarter with La Vong Fish Cake, a famed Hanoi dish that has been celebrated in Vietnamese cuisine for over a century. After savoring the flavors of local cuisine, you’ll enjoy a traditional Vietnamese coffee at Manzi Art Space and Café, a cultural hub known for its vibrant art scene and colonial architecture. The afternoon will be spent meandering through the narrow lanes of the Old Quarter, absorbing the architectural diversity and dynamic atmosphere. Your guide will point out significant historical and cultural sites, making the past come alive. The day ends back at your hotel, where you’ll rest another night.

Day 3: Hanoi/Hoa Lu/Mua Caves/Trang An/Hanoi (B, L, G)

After breakfast, a scenic 2-hour drive takes you to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam. Here, you’ll visit the temples dedicated to Emperor Dinh and Emperor Le, exploring the historical depth of Vietnam’s imperial past. A tour of the remnants of the Old Palace gives a glimpse into the grandeur of bygone eras.

The adventure continues with a bike ride to Mua Caves, where climbing 486 steps rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. After descending, a refreshing lunch awaits before you head to Trang An, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, you’ll board a rowboat to navigate through a network of waterways, caves, and limestone karst landscapes, with stops at secluded pagodas and tranquil waterside locales. Stories of ancient and contemporary life here make the landscapes come alive. After this immersive experience, you’ll return to Hanoi for the evening.

Day 4: Hanoi/Ha Long Bay (B, L, D, G)

An early departure from Hanoi brings you to the stunning Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped with rainforests. Upon arrival, you’ll board a traditional wooden junk boat, which serves as your home for the night. As the boat sets sail, it navigates through the majestic bay, visiting secluded areas far from the more frequented tourist paths.

You’ll have opportunities to swim in the crystal-clear waters, fish, and explore caves and grottoes aboard a small sampan. Each activity offers a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Ha Long Bay. Meals on the boat feature a variety of fresh seafood, prepared in traditional Vietnamese style. The night concludes under the stars as you sleep soundly aboard the junk in your private, well-appointed cabin with en suite toilet and shower.

This detailed itinerary ensures that each day is packed with cultural insights, natural beauty, and personal discovery, setting the stage for the rich experiences that await in the subsequent days of the tour.

During your two-day trip to Ha Long Bay, you’ll hop on a top-notch boat inspired by traditional Vietnamese court vessels. These boats can fit between ten to eighteen people, so expect to share the experience with fellow travelers. Your cabin will have either twin or double beds, air conditioning, comfy pillows, clean white sheets, and a private bathroom with a shower. You’ll be treated to delicious meals made with fresh seafood during the cruise.

Day 5: Ha Long Bay to Hanoi (Brunch, G)

Begin your day aboard the junk with a Tai Chi session on the sundeck, greeting the dawn amidst the ethereal landscape of Ha Long Bay. Afterward, you’ll enjoy a wholesome breakfast as you continue to navigate through the serene islets. This morning is dedicated to further exploration of the Bay’s iconic spots, allowing you to soak in its tranquil beauty one last time.

Around midday, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous brunch, filled with local delicacies and fresh seafood as the boat makes its way back to the dock. Upon disembarkation at Tuan Chau Marina, you’ll be transferred back to Hanoi. Arriving in the late afternoon, you’ll check back into your hotel for some rest and relaxation after the day’s adventures. The evening is free for you to explore more of Hanoi’s vibrant nightlife or simply unwind at your hotel.

Day 6: Hanoi to Hue, Biking in Thuy Bieu Village (B, D, DP in Hanoi, G in Hue)

Before your departure to Hue, you’ll have some leisure time until your designated driver arrives to whisk you off to the airport. Upon landing in Hue, our friendly guide will be waiting to escort you to the enchanting Thuy Bieu village.

Nestled along the serene banks of the Perfume River, Thuy Bieu Village beckons with its untouched natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Just a stone’s throw away from Hue’s bustling city center, this hidden gem is renowned for its delicately sweet Thanh Tra fruit. Get ready to embark on a biking adventure through sprawling grapefruit orchards, immersing yourself in the essence of the region. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to visit local artisans as they skillfully craft incense and paint intricate designs on paper, offering you a glimpse into their vibrant daily lives. Feel the pulse of the village as you’re invited to partake in their time-honored traditions.

After your exploration, retreat to a traditional garden house where you’ll be introduced to the art of preparing two authentic Hue dishes under the guidance of your gracious host. Indulge in the flavors of your culinary creations, complemented by an array of dishes lovingly prepared by your host. As the evening unfolds, pamper your senses with a soothing herbal foot bath, letting the day’s adventures melt away.

Your overnight sanctuary awaits in the heart of Hue.

Day 7: Exploring Royal Hue (B, L, D, G)

Your day begins with a peaceful boat trip on the majestic Perfume River, heading towards the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda. This historical pagoda is not only a religious site but also offers spectacular views of the river. Following this spiritual visit, you proceed to the tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, a stunning example of Nguyen dynasty architecture set amidst lush landscapes.

In the afternoon, your cultural exploration continues at the Imperial Citadel, where the Nguyen Emperors once ruled Vietnam. You’ll walk through grand gates and past moats filled with lotus flowers, exploring the ornate halls and the ruins of the Forbidden Purple City. Later, enjoy a special royal-style dinner, tasting dishes that were once served to emperors.

Every Royal mausoleum is a unique reflection of the Emperor it honors. Among them, the grandeur of Emperor Minh Mang’s mausoleum stands out. Emperor Minh Mang, a devout Confucianist known for his large family, meticulously planned this mausoleum. Constructed in formal Chinese style shortly after his passing, it exudes opulence and exoticism, serving as a prime illustration of timeless Sino-Vietnamese architecture.

Day 8: Hue to Danang to Hoi An (B, L, G)

After breakfast, depart from Hue and take a scenic drive over the Hai Van Pass, with its breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and lush landscapes. Upon descending into Danang, visit the Cham Museum to marvel at the extensive collection of artifacts from the ancient Champa Kingdom.

Continuing to Hoi An, you’ll arrive by lunchtime to enjoy a meal in one of the town’s charming eateries. In the afternoon, embark on a guided tour of Hoi An Ancient Town. Walk through streets lined with historic houses, see the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, and visit ancient merchants’ houses and the vibrant local market. Hoi An’s enchanting ambience, preserved through centuries, will captivate you as you spend the night in this magical town, allowing you the evening to explore its lantern-lit streets at your leisure.

Day 9: My Son Sanctuary and Hoi An Exploration (B, G)

Begin your day with a drive to the My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was the spiritual and cultural capital of the Champa Kingdom. Here, you’ll explore the collection of ancient Hindu temples and ruins dating back to the 4th century, set against a backdrop of lush green mountains. Discover the intricate carvings and learn about the Cham civilization’s fascinating history from your guide.

After absorbing the serene atmosphere and architectural marvels of My Son, return to Hoi An. Spend your afternoon leisurely exploring more of Hoi An’s delightful features. You might choose to visit local artisans crafting silk lanterns or explore more of the quaint shops and cafés. As the sun sets, take the opportunity to capture photos of the beautiful historic architecture bathed in golden light. Your night concludes in Hoi An, where the vibrant night market and riverside are perfect for an evening stroll.

Day 10: Hoi An – From Farmer to Fisherman (Join-in) (B, L, G)

Embark on an unforgettable journey as the day unfolds with the gentle rhythm of rural Vietnam. Picture yourself pedaling along winding country lanes, where every twist and turn reveals a new marvel of nature. Glide past emerald rice paddies adorned with the graceful presence of water buffaloes, their stoic gaze mirroring the tranquility of the landscape. As you traverse quaint bamboo bridges, catch glimpses of local farmers immersed in their age-old rituals, a testament to the timeless bond between man and land.

Feel the earth beneath your fingers as you join hands with these hardworking farmers, sharing in their daily toil of nurturing the soil and tending to verdant herb gardens. Then, with a playful spirit, mount a majestic water buffalo for a ride through the fertile fields, connecting with the heartbeat of rural life.

Aboard a boat, embark on a voyage to where Thu Bon Estuary where the river meets the Cua Dai sea, tracing the coastline dotted with the vibrant livelihoods of local fishermen. Cast your line into the azure waters from a traditional ‘Thung Chai’ basket boat, experiencing the age-old art of fishing in harmony with nature’s rhythm. Drift along tranquil water palm coconut canals, their verdant banks whispering tales of bygone eras.

Step back in time as you explore a local fishing village, its storied past echoing through the rustling palms. Then, indulge your senses in a feast of freshly caught seafood, a tantalizing symphony of flavors that pays homage to the bounty of the sea.

In the heart of it all, the ‘Thung Chai’ basket boats stand as silent sentinels of tradition, their sturdy bamboo frames carrying you on a journey through time. Embrace the authenticity of rural Vietnam, where each moment is a brushstroke on the canvas of memory.

But remember, adventure often comes with a splash. Be prepared for muddy escapades and unexpected showers by packing spare clothes and sturdy footwear. Let the spirit of exploration guide you as you wade through the waters and embrace the magic of the moment.

Day 11: Free Day in Hoi An (B)

A day at your disposal offers endless possibilities in Hoi An. Opt to dive deeper into its charming alleys, visit tailors for custom-made clothing, or join a cooking class to master the art of Vietnamese cuisine. Alternatively, take a short trip to nearby An Bang Beach for a day of sun, sand, and sea. Hoi An’s relaxed pace and pedestrian-friendly streets make it ideal for leisurely exploration. This day without a set itinerary allows you to choose activities that cater to your interests, whether they’re cultural, recreational, or simply indulgent relaxation. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 12: Hoi An to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City for Departure (B, DP)

After breakfast, depending on your travel arrangements, enjoy a few final moments in Hoi An before being transferred to Danang Airport. Catch a flight to either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, timed to connect with your international departure. This marks the end of your journey through Vietnam, filled with memories of its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes.


B = Breakfast

L = Lunch

D = Dinner

G = Guide

GP = Guide pick-up

DP = Driver pick-up


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

These prices are valid until 30 April, 2025. Please note that bank transfer fees are not included.

Number in group 2 3 – 4 5 – 7 *Supplement for single occupancy
Superior 1,874 1,704 1,524 869

* ‘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.’

Price is not valid for the Peak season, please contact us again for price checking and availability

Peak season: Dec 20th, 2024 – Jan 07, 2025, and TET (Jan 25 – Feb 07, 2025)


  • 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: Hanoi – Hue and Danang – Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, including domestic airport taxes.
  • Boat cruises as specified in the programme. All Ha Long Bay boats will be fully licensed and comply with current safety regulations.
  • 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.
  • Surcharges for Peak seasons (if any)
  • Compulsory dinner (if any)
  • Insurance

Hotel List

  • Hanoi: Hanoi La Siesta Classic Hotel (**** an exclusive oasis in the Hanoi Old Quarter, just a short walk to the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake – Deluxe room)
  • Lan Ha Bay: Orchid Trendy Cruise (Deluxe quality boat with elegant design – Deluxe Balcony cabin)
  • Hue: Eldora hotel (****Located in the heart of the city within walking distance to many tourist attractions, exquisite style, spacious room – Deluxe City View room)
  • Hoi An: Lasenta Boutique Hotel (**** located in a quiet part of town overlooking the verdant rice fields, only 5-minute drive from Hoi An Ancient town – Deluxe Rice Field view room)
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

What is the best time to take this tour? The best time to visit Vietnam is during the spring (February to April) and autumn (August to October). These months typically have pleasant temperatures and lower rainfall across the north and south.

What should I pack for the tour? It is recommended to bring light, breathable clothing, a good pair of walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Additionally, for the visits to temples and rural communities, modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees is appropriate. Don’t forget your camera and any personal medication.

Is there a visa requirement for Vietnam? Most travelers will need a visa to enter Vietnam. You can obtain a visa from a Vietnamese embassy or consulate prior to traveling or opt for a visa on arrival with a pre-approval letter. Check the current requirements for your specific country before departure.

What kind of accommodations can I expect? Accommodations range from comfortable hotels in the cities to charming boutique hotels and homestays in the countryside, providing an authentic and high-quality experience.

How strenuous are the activities included in the tour? Activities include moderate walking and biking through villages, climbing steps at temple sites, and light hiking. These are manageable for people with an average level of fitness. Day 10’s farming and fishing activities involve more hands-on, physical activity.

Are meals included? Breakfast is included daily, with select lunches and dinners provided as per the itinerary (indicated by B, L, D in the tour schedule). Meals included are typically traditional Vietnamese cuisine, giving you a taste of the region’s culinary culture.

What transportation is used? Transportation includes a combination of private vehicles, domestic flights, bicycles, boats, and an overnight train. Each mode of transport is chosen to enhance your experience of the local environment and ensure comfort.

Can I extend my stay in Vietnam? Absolutely! If you wish to extend your stay either at the beginning or end of the tour, we can assist with additional accommodations, activities, and transportation bookings.

Is the tour suitable for children? The tour is family-friendly with diverse activities that can be enjoyed by children, especially the hands-on cultural experiences. However, parents should consider whether their children are comfortable with travel days and the activities scheduled.

What is the group size for this tour? The tour generally operates with small groups to ensure a more personalized experience. The typical group size is between 10 to 18 people, guided by an experienced English-speaking guide.

What is the policy on tipping? Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated for good service. Recommendations for tipping guides and drivers will be provided in your pre-departure information.

These FAQs aim to address common queries but if you have more specific questions, please feel free to ask your tour operator or contact us directly.

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