Vietnam | Ho Chi Minh to Ha Long Bay | Adult Only
Kayak the island-speckled waters of Ha Long Bay, home to countless caves and fishing villages, before retiring to the comfort of your private small ship
14 days / 13 nights
Activity LevelActivity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Dive deep into Vietnam’s vivid display of diverse natural beauty and cultural delights on this two-week, small group, multisport adventure. From lowland tropical rainforests to white-sand beaches, journey with our expert guides as you discover the wonders of Southeast Asia on this all-inclusive Vietnam vacation package. Hike and bike your way through rice-terraced plains, dripping jungles, and charming villages where you’re welcomed to dine with a local family. Whether you’re exploring the Forbidden Purple City or kayaking the island-speckled waters of UNESCO-designated Ha Long Bay, relax and soak in the enchantment of Vietnam; as the leading providers of best-in-class travel from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi, we’ve handled every last detail of this carefully-crafted itinerary. Throughout this trip-of-a-lifetime, enjoy the best in regional accommodations and Austin’s signature touch of inspired, thoughtful service, which invites you to kick back and awaken your senses to the exotic flavors of Vietnam. Of course you have plenty of opportunity to sample some of Vietnam’s tastiest dishes, including pho bo, nom, banh goi, and banh cuon!
Experience the best of Vietnam on this exclusive, 14-day adventure that takes you from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Get swept away by the enchantment of Vietnam’s verdant landscape as you learn the remarkable history behind this gem of Southeast Asia. Hike, bike, kayak, boat, and rickshaw your way through the unforgettable scenes of rice-terraced plains, cobblestone streets, and the fantastic aromas and flavors wafting on the Pacific breeze.
- Truly a feast for the senses awaits on this once-in-a-lifetime Vietnamese adventure!
- Search for the endangered black-shanked douc (a blue-faced monkey) in Cat Tien National Park
- Enjoy a gracious welcome into the homes of the locals at Hoi An Village
- Hike through the jungle in Bach Ma National Park to a thundering, 900-foot waterfall
- Visit the Forbidden Purple City, constructed in the early 19th century by Emperor Gia Long
- Sample a host of exotic regional specialties pho bo, nom, banh goi, banh cuon in Hanoi’s Old Quarter
- Kayak the island-speckled waters of Ha Long Bay, home to countless caves and fishing villages, before retiring to the comfort of your private small ship
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The traffic: Mopeds, bicycles, cars, oh my! There is nothing quite as thrilling as crossing a street in Ho Chi Minh City. Look to the locals for the best way to walk.
The food: A combination of Thai and Chinese styles, Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines on the planet, featuring fresh herbs, seafood, fruits and vegetables and, of course, rice.
The biodiversity: Vietnam is home to 16% of the world's species!
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam SGN
Hanoi, Vietnam HAN
Ho Chi Minh
Welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh City Tan Son Nhat Airport, your driver and guide will meet you and they will transfer you to your hotel. Check-in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
About Liberty Central City Point Hotel
Embracing a fresh, urban design with 171 modern rooms and suites, Liberty Central Saigon City Point is an exceptional city hotel that unites convenience and comfort for an unforgettable experience. From the moment of arrival, guests can start spoiling themselves by some pampering time at The Spa, innovative cocktails on Above Sky Bar or refreshing with a dip in the infinity rooftop swimming pool while indulging in the breathtaking panoramic Saigon skyline views.
Ho Chi Minh City / Cat Tien National Park
This morning after breakfast, meet your driver and guide at the hotel and transfer to Cat Tien National Park, located 150 km (90 mi) north from Ho Chi Minh City. Cat Tien National Park has an area of about 720 km² (450 mi²) and protects one of the largest areas of lowland tropical rainforests in Vietnam. After four hours driving north, arrive at the park, check-in at the lodge and enjoy lunch surrounded by nature. Around 3:00 PM, start cycling towards the ethnic people village, located 13 km (8 mi) away. Visit one of the local families living there and after having refreshments and exploring the surroundings, return to the lodge in the late afternoon. On your way back, keep an eye out for wildlife and birds high up in the forest canopy. Arrive to the lodge, enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening will be free at your leisure.
About the Forest Floor Lodge
Forest Floor Eco-Lodge is a unique luxury hotel situated at park headquarters for Cat Tien National Park. The property provides quality deluxe accommodations meticulously designed to complement the local habitat and built with the least possible environmental impact. Accommodations include African style tents built upon reclaimed wooden structures accessed by elevated walkways lightly touching the forest floor. Each tent comes with a bathroom and a large balcony overlooking the beautiful Ben Cu Rapids. There are also splendid traditional wooden lodges set under the forest canopy and studio lodges.
Cat Tien National Park
After an early breakfast, meet your local guide and follow the Lagerstroemia Trail. From Forest Floor Lodge the trail starts opposite the entrance and takes you through a well-used track with large trees (Lagerstroemia or Banglang and the well-known Thung or Tetrameles tree) with palms and cycads in the under-story. If you look up into the canopy you will see ferns and orchids; lianas and strangler vines are abundant. There are good possibilities of seeing pittas, partridge and other bird species. At noon, enjoy lunch and later we will visit the Dao Tien Endangered Primate Species Centre, located on a small island at the entrance of the park. The center specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of endangered primates naturally found in the surrounding region and resident primates who have been victims of the illegal wildlife trade. Head back to the lodge around 4:30 PM and take the rest of the afternoon free at leisure.
Cat Tien National Park / Ho Chi Minh City / Danang / Hoi An
Early morning, walk through the Botanic Garden to Heaven Rapids. This walk gives you the good chance to see primates and plenty of opportunities to see a wide variety of birds and other jungle life. At 8:00 AM, you will return to the Lodge where breakfast will be ready for you. After breakfast you will have a couple of hours to relax at their viewing platform, looking at the river, bird watching, and listening to the gibbons singing. Your guide and transfer will be waiting for you to head towards Ho Chi Minh City airport for your flight to Danang. Upon arrival, you will transfer to your hotel in Hoi An. Enjoy the rest of the day with leisure.
About Boutique Hoi An Resort
Explore the rich heritage of Hoi An at Boutique Hoi An Resort. Discover authentic Vietnamese cuisine and hospitality, unwind in the swimming pool surrounded by lush gardens, or indulge in a massage at the hotel spa. Deluxe rooms are located in the main hotel building overlooking the garden area and include an outdoor balcony.
At 8:30 am, we will start a walking tour through this charming small town made of hundreds of historic houses, congregation halls, pagodas and other structures. Its buildings and its streets reflect the indigenous and foreign influences this town had, which helped define it as a unique heritage and multi-cultural site. There’s plenty to see in this delightful town, such as the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Pottery Museum, the 200 year old Tan Ky House, Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant local market. In the evening you will have free time at leisure to relax and discover this beautiful town on your own.
You will be picked up at your hotel around 07.00 am. The tour begins by exploring the hidden passageways and winding alleyways of Hoi An, stopping to photograph the iconic Japanese bridge in the historic district. From here we continue on to the southern villages of Quang Nam Province. We visit a local family making Banh Beo, a common breakfast staple in the traditional method. We stop at a family home to learn about the tradition of family chapels. Our host is nearly 90 and vividly remembers his experiences in the American war. We pedal past rice fields and vegetable farms along small canals and waterways towards a wooden boat-building site. Our final stops include a traditional mat weaving shop and a family distillery where rice wine has been produced in the same manner for generations. It’s a short ride from here to the local ferry for a trip back to town. Once dockside, it’s a short 5-minute ride through alleyways back to the Grasshopper shop, where you’ll be rewarded with a complimentary cold beverage after a fun day exploring Hoi An and the surrounding countryside. After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel around noon.
Hoi An / Danang / Hue
After breakfast, check out from your hotel and meet your guide and driver to depart to Hue. Upon arrival to Da Nang, we will visit the Museum of Cham Sculpture, opened in 1915 and the Marble Mountains before continuing on our drive. The trip passes through many spectacular sceneries along the National Highway 1 such as the breathtaking Hai Van Pass. The pass, which once formed the boundary between the kingdoms of Đại Việt and Champa, also forms a boundary between the climates of northern and southern Vietnam. The Hai Van Pass is the highest and longest pass in Vietnam, with the North-South National Highway zigzagging for almost 20 km. Stop somewhere in the Pass, and get your perfect pictures of Lang Co beach, a spectacular landscape or a peaceful fishing vicinity.
About Pilgrimage Village
Pilgrimage Village boutique resort & spa is ideally located in the quiet countryside in a rustic village setting surrounded by lush tranquil gardens, yet near to famous historical landmarks and the city of Hue. Designed with premium natural material, the deluxe room combines modern comfort with traditional architecture features, with soothing views over the garden or the lily lake.
Hue / Bach Ma National Park
After breakfast around 8:00 AM, you will visit Bach Ma National Park. This area is well known for its wonderful natural landscape as well as the fresh atmosphere. On arrival at the entrance, visit Bach Ma’s information center to learn about the ecological system of Bach Ma National Park. Trek along the trails through the forest to Do Quyen – Rhododendron waterfalls (at a height of 984 feet). Then continue trekking to Ngu Ho (Five Lakes), to relax and swim in the jungle. Indulge in a picnic lunch on the trail or after the excursion, your choice. In the afternoon, drive back to the hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening free at leisure.
Hue / Forbidden Purple City
Today, you will meet your guide and you will visit the Forbidden Purple City, constructed under the Emperor Gia Long’s, in the early 19th century. It is located in the Citadel of Hue, which was badly damaged during the Tet offensive of 1968. Established as the capital of unified Viet Nam in 1802, Hue was not only the political but also the cultural and religious center under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. Hue was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1993. At noon, we will stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Later, you will board a dragon boat for a pleasant boat trip on the Perfume River to visit the characteristic Thien Mu Pagoda. Then, you will visit the tombs of the emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh, emperors of Vietnam’s past.
Hue / Hanoi
After enjoying your morning free at leisure, meet your driver and guide and head to Hue’s airport for your flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel and get ready for a half day tour in the city. Vietnam is very well known for its food, so a stop to try some specialties is a must. In the old quarter you will try Pho Bo (Hanoi’s excellent beef noodle soup), Nom (green papaya salad with seasoned beef), Banh Goi (pillow- shaped pastry with minced pork and mushroom), Banh Cuon (hot rice paper with pork and fried onion) or Bun Cha (fresh noodle with grilled pork). After our delicious local lunch, visit the Temple of Literature, which was built in 1076. Vietnam’s first university was established within this temple to educate Vietnam’s royalty, mandarins, and members of the elite. The university functioned for 700 years and its gardens and well- preserved architecture offer a fascinating glimpse into Vietnam’s past. Next, we will head towards Quan Thanh Temple, a Taoist Temple dated from the 11th Century. We end with the impressive Tran Quoc Pagoda, a Buddhist pagoda located in a small island in the center of the West Lake.
About La Siesta Premium Hotel
The imposing white façade of La Siesta Premium 27 Hang Be Street overlooks one of Hanoi Old Quarter’s vibrant streets. In ancient times, this was where ‘be’ – a very basic type of wooden boat – was traded. Now the Street is buzzing with a myriad of cafes, restaurants, tailoring shops and traditional souvenir stalls. La Siesta Premium Hang Be embodies classic charm with Asian touches, traditional features and elegant period furnishings creating harmony and balance.
Hanoi / Halong Bay
After breakfast, you will be picked up by private van to take the highway to Got Ferry Terminal in Cat Hai Town. You’ll be greeted by the crew of Orchid Cruise as you take tea in the lounge. On the way to the main boat, you will have a chance to see Cai Trap canal. Embark on the Orchid Cruise and then check-in, enjoy a welcome drink. Orchid Cruise is anchored in the south of Halong Bay, one of the new “Seven Wonders of Nature” in a worldwide survey. The cruise proceeds to Da Chong islet, where you can see a lighthouse built by the French over 100 years ago. Enjoy lunch before continuing our journey via the islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan. In the afternoon, we progress to Trung Trang cave by our bus in Cat Ba National Park. Trung Trang Valley is the largest valley on Cat Ba Island and measures 300m lengthwise through the mountains. Later, you will get in the less populated area at Tra Bau to swim in the emerald, cool water. Onboard you may join a traditional cooking class. Your chef will instruct you in the making of some Vietnam dishes. Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared and served for you by the wonderful onboard catering staff. Tonight, try your hand at night squid fishing or watch a movie in the restaurant.
About Orchid Cruise Halong Bay
Visitors looking for both comfort and adventure in Halong Bay will appreciate the Orchid’s friendly crew and understated elegance. The Orchid is built in the style of a traditional Vietnamese junk, with three tawny sails and dark wood-cladding. The interior, like the exterior, is covered in polished wood, lending the stately air of an Indochina-era cruising boat. Guests can convene in the formal dining room, enjoy casual barbecues on the terrace and marvel at the bay’s moonlit beauty on the Orchid Cruise’s wide Sundeck.
Today, start the day early onboard your Halong Bay Cruise boat with a Tai chi session. Next, embark on the day boat for a visit to Viet Hai village. Here, we’ll bike along the village path passing through rainforests and giving us the chance to view local life in the valley. Enjoy lunch back on the day boat. In the afternoon, explore the pristine landscape of Lan Ha Bay by day boat and return back to the Orchid by 3:00 PM.
Ha Long Bay / Hanoi
Why not rise early to witness the bay at its very best whilst enjoying an invigorating Tai Chi session on the sundeck; after which breakfast is served. Upon completing breakfast continue your journey and head out to explore the bay in the area where Ao Ech is situated. Kayak in the Ao Ech area to discover the hidden charm of Lan Ha Bay. Head back to the Orchid and begin the check-out process. Whilst cruising back you can enjoy a delightful brunch. We return to the quayside in the south of the bay, where you disembark at Got ferry around 11.35AM. Transfer back to Hanoi, check in to your hotel and enjoy the rest of your day with leisure.
Enjoy the morning free at leisure until your driver and guide meet and transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. We hope you had a great time in Vietnam!
* This trip is offered in partnership with Khiri Travel.
**Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and Khiri Travel.
Arrival & Departure
An Austin Adventures representative will meet you upon arrival at the Ho Chi Minh City Tan Son Nhat Airport. Upon clearing customs, transportation to the Liberty Central City Point Hotel will be provided. On Day 14 you will be transferred from the La Siesta Premium Hotel to the Hanoi Airport in accordance with your morning or afternoon flight schedule.
- Walking: 1 to 4 hour guided walking excursions to view rainforests, wildlife, national parks, tombs, ruins and city splendors.
- Biking: 12 miles cycling through Hoi An town with many stops along the way to check out local sights.
- Kayaking: 2 to 3 hour paddle on calm waters in the Ao Ech area.
A long, narrow country squeezed in between the Laos and Cambodia borders and the South China Sea, Vietnam is a land of stunning landscapes that range from the lush rice terraces and forested mountains of the north to the fertile delta and lovely beaches of the south. Enter into Vietnam’s highoctane Ho Chi Minh, a city driven by commerce and culture and pulsating with energy. Keep a watchful eye out for the varied flora and fauna of Cat Tien National Park with its 100 different species of mammals and 350-plus birds. Trek, swim and relax in the jungles of Bach Ma National Park on the hunt for a special backcountry waterfall. Discover the sweeping boulevards, tree-fringed lakes and ancient pagodas of Hanoi while watching the ebb and flow of motorbikes and pedestrians in this animated city. Listen to the legend of the dragon that created the 2,000 islands of Halong Bay with sweeps of its flailing tail. Paddle through the unspoiled waterscape of the Ao Ech area by kayak as you discover untouched sandy beaches. Come experience Vietnam with the leaders in adventure travel.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. Meals are included as indicated in the daily itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All meals as listed in daily detailed itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Fully trained, English-speaking professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Bikes, helmets and other necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- All entrance fees.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Meals as not designated in daily itinerary.
- Visa fees and/or visa authorization
- All internal flights within Vietnam.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance
- Personal expenses.
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Southeast Asia Expert
As our resident Asia expert, Tim would love to connect with you about the kaleidoscope of landscapes, cultures, eco-systems, and crossroads that lay waiting in Asia. He's had the chance to spend years of his life living and travelling across India, Nepal, Thailand, Fiji, and the rest of Asia. This first-hand experience, shines through in his passion for helping other people delight in the magic and mystery of Asia. Tim will listen to your ideas for a perfect trip and then lend his expertise to ensure we build the right experience for you, whether it's your first trip to the Asia-Pacific, or your 10th.