Trip Types
  • Travel Style
  • Interests and Activities
  • Tour Ideas by Month
  • Continents and Regions

Vietnam Local Culture and Lifestyle

  • Off the beaten track
A two week journey that takes in sights and soul of Vietnam. It covers big cities, cruising, cultural visits, World's Heritage Sites, local life experience and homestay with local host family in the Mekong Delta. The trip is an ideal cultural experience for travellers who wish to combine the highlights as well as some off the beaten track experience, getting closer to local lif...

A two week journey that takes in sights and soul of Vietnam. It covers big cities, cruising, cultural visits, World's Heritage Sites, local life experience and homestay with local host family in the Mekong Delta. The trip is an ideal cultural experience for travellers who wish to combine the highlights as well as some off the beaten track experience, getting closer to local life, truly immense with local cultural and get to know Vietnam people, cuisine in the most authentic way!

See more

Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)

Upon your arrival at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Visited:
Ho Chi Minh City

Day 2: Sights and sounds of the bustling city

Today you'll embark on a guided city tour, starting with the war remnants followed by the reunification palace and many must-see places. You will have a light lunch with Vietnamese specialties. You will have the opportunity to create your own rolls. After a light lunch in a local restaurant, visit the amazing network of underground tunnels that was used by the Viet Cong throughout the Vietnamese war. Visit the fighting tunnel system with your local guide, before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city

Visited:
Ho Chi Minh City

Day 3: Visit Cu Chi tunnels (optional A O Show or Saigon street food adventure)

This morning you’ll be driven to Cu Chi tunnels where you will visit the amazing network of underground tunnels. Visit the fighting tunnel system with your local guide. Return to Ho Chi Minh city after lunch. 

​Trip duration: 1h30

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City


Day 4: Explore the Mekong Delta

Head on to the Mekong Delta. Your Mekong journey starts at Cai Thia local market in Cai Be province. You will pick up your bicycles exploring the village of Hoa Loc. The route takes you on small village paths, seeing traditional houses and passing by some local farmers at work. You’ll be able to make contacts with them and see how they catch fish or pick up fruits by ancestral ways in Mekong Delta. Afterwards, the boat will pick you up to a lush tropical garden for lunch.

In the afternoon, you can visit the nursery garden and chat with a famous farmer, Mr Tiger or his son who is very successful in Vietnam agriculture. You will also enjoy some tea while listening to traditional music. A rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals to experience the peacefulness and quietness of the Delta. You will then check in a cozy home-stay. Join hand to cook some dishes with the host and enjoy tasty home dinner. 

Bike ride duration: 1 to 2 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in a private room of a local house



Day 5: Cai Be colourful floating market

Get up early and travel by boat to Cai Be colorful floating market, cruising among local barges full of fruits and vegetables. Then, an optional stop can be made at local workshops where you can see how to make rice paper, coconut candy and pop-rice and many other Vietnamese food specialties. The cruise will end at Cai Be town where your vehicle will transfer you back to Ho Chi Minh City for a short flight to Danang. Upon your arrival, transfer to your hotel in the downtown of Hoi An.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hoi An


Day 6: Farming and fishing life and afternoon guided walking tour in Hoi An

This half-day trip will lead you to a close-up and intimate exposure to both the local farming and fishing communities.  Accompanied by your local tour guide, you start the day with a scenic drive to Hoi An, then a gentle cycling along country roads witnessing local Vietnamese rural life. You will also experience the friendliness of the local people greeting you en-route. Later you will board a boat for a river cruise to meet local fishermen and enjoy a hands-on experience of traditional net fishing. You will also experience paddling the unique Vietnamese bamboo basket boat on the waterways of coconut palm paradise.

After lunch, your guide will give you a proper tour around the old town with all the must-see places. After this exciting day, make the most of your free time to wander around. In the evening, your guide will take you to a local BBQ which is tucked away in a tiny alley of the Ancient town where you will enjoy Hoi An pancakes (banh xeo), barbecue pork skewers (thit nuong) and some other local specialty.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hoi An

Visited:
Hoi An

Day 7: Free day at leisure in Hoi An

A free day to spend as you wish!

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight in Hoi An

Visited:
Hoi An

Day 8: Drive north to the Imperial city of Hue, river cruise and royal tomb

This morning you'll drive north to the Royal City of Hue with an en-route stop to visit either the Cham Museum in the city centre or the famous Marble Mountain. Continue the scenic route to Hue, enjoy the view of the coastline and Danang from the top of the Hai Van Pass (Pass of the Clouds). In the afternoon, you will cruise the Perfume River by dragon boat to serene Thien Mu Pagoda and drive to visit the majestic Royal Tomb of King Ming Mang or King Khai Dinh. Return to your hotel by road just before sunset.

​Note: You might consider a candle-light dinner set in a garden house which is a traditional feature of Hue's culture. Both the garden house and the cuisine are a great introduction to Hue's culture.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hue

Visited:
Huế Thien Mu

Day 9: Visit Imperial citadel of Hue and welcome to Hanoi

After breakfast, you'll spend the full day for a city tour of the Imperial City of Hue. You'll then visit the Dong Ba market to learn about local produce and specialties of Hue. You might get some great deals at the local Dong Ba Market. Afternoon flight to Hanoi. Upon your arrival at Noi Bai International airport in Hanoi, transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at your own leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi

Visited:
Huế Hanoi

Day 10: Explore sounds, sites and tastes of Hanoi

This city tour of Hanoi takes in essential sites which will commence from your hotel lobby at 09.00 am. In the morning, you'll visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex. Your lunch today is at a one stop shop for Vietnamese street food of every region and variety. The restaurant is a wonderful place with food stalls on all four sides so you can browse the stalls and simply point at what piques your interest to order. In the afternoon, you'll continue on to the Museum of Ethnology. Take a ride on a bicycle touring through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Old Quarter, a must for any visitor to Hanoi! The day finishes with a traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets.

Note: the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed all day on Mondays and Fridays, as well as from 1st October to 30th November (approx.) for annual conservation.

​Bicycle ride: 1 hour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi

Visited:
Hanoi

Day 11: Cycling the countryside of Hanoi with home lunch [6 hours]

At 09.00 AM, you'll will pick up your bikes and ride to Bat Trang village, passing the Red River through the legendary Long Bien Bridge. When you arrive at Bat Trang Village, walk the tiny alley to see the local life and the traditional handicraft, then visit the largest ceramic markets in Hanoi. Continue biking along Red River dyke and experience the local daily life. After a short local ferry ride crossing the Red River, you will arrive at Thanh Tri Village. Lunch will then be served with rolled rice pancake specialty. After lunch, your vehicle will take you back to your hotel. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

Cycling distance: ~20km (for the morning & further 10km in the afternoon if you wish to)

Meals: Breakfast, Home Lunch
Overnight in Hanoi

Visited:
Hanoi

Day 12: Cruise the legendary Halong Bay (Join with other travellers on the cruise) 

This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel and start a 3,5 scenic drive to Halong Bay, one of the most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas. Enjoy the mesmerizing Red River Delta scenery and have a short break en-route. Meet the crew upon boarding the traditional wooden junk, then relax and enjoy lunch while the boat heads towards the secluded islands. Visit a fishing village on a rustic rowing boat, meet the local people and pass through the floating school and pearl farms. Return to the junk and relax on sun deck sipping a drink whilst watching the sunset. Enjoy a freshly prepared seafood dinner under the stars.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
​Overnight on a wooden junk in Halong Bay  

Visited:
Red River Delta

Day 13: Halong Bay cruising - Hanoi

Enjoy an early morning swim or Taichi (if weather permits) followed by breakfast. You will visit a famous ancient limestone cave in the middle of the bay, then walk along the lit paths on a guided tour. Enjoy a tasty brunch while cruising back to the main harbour pier where your private car will be waiting for you and transfer you back to Hanoi, arriving at around 4 pm. The remainder of the day will be all yours to stroll around the Old Quarter of Hanoi and its raucous streets full of traditional vendors and artisans, or if you prefer, simply relax.

Meals: Breakfast, Brunch
Overnight in Hanoi    

Visited:
Hanoi

Day 14: Departure

Free time until your transfer to Noi Bai airport for your onward journey or departure flight.

Meals: Breakfast

Visited:
Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh City Củ Chi Mekong Delta Cái Bè Hoi An Huế Thien Mu Hanoi Red River Delta

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $1,700 / 14 days
Excluding international flights
For 2 For 4 Single Supplement                    
3-star hotels high season $1,710 $1,350 $290
3-star hotels low season $1,630 $1,290 $280

Included in price:

  • All pick-ups and transfers by private vehicles with experienced drivers
  • 12-night accommodation in Twin/Double share basis, and 1 night on a traditional wooden junk in Halong Bay
  • Experienced local English speaking guides
  • Domestic flight tickets: Ho Chi Minh City - Danang and Hue Hanoi (economy class by Vietnam airlines, inclusive of domestic airport taxes)
  • Lunches and dinner as indicated in the programme
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Private sampan ride in the Mekong Delta and in Hue
  • 1 hour cyclo ride & water puppet tickets
  • VAT and all other taxes

Not included in price:

  • Entry visa to Vietnam
  • International flights and airport taxes
  • Other meals, drinks, tips and other personal expenses or services not mentioned on the program
  • Travel insurances
  • Gala dinner on December 24 and December 31, 2014
  • Peak season surcharge between December 20, 2014 - January 10, 2015

Itinerary not quite right for you?

Create your custom-made trip Browse all tour ideas in Vietnam (16)

Other tour ideas

Elsewhere in the world