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Multi Centre Holidays to Vietnam

10 night multi centre holiday Including an overnight cruise in Halong Bay


  • Choice of standard, superior and deluxe hotels
  • Flexible arrangements so you get a holiday to suit you!
  • See all the best bits of Vietnam and Cambodia
  • Visit the Letchworth store for face to face expert advice

Vietnam Multi Centre Itinerary

The 'Classical' multi centre holiday to Vietnam includes time in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and this example shows how a 10 night holiday would look.

There are many variations of course which I would be happy to discuss with you, especially if you would like some time relaxing on a beach or to explore the Mekong in more depth. And you can also fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia to visit the temples of Angkor Wat.

To keep the costs down, I would suggest Vietnam Airlines who fly to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City 3 times per week each from Heathrow, and also have a premium economy class on those routes. Both classes provide excellent value for money, especially as they are the only carrier from the UK to fly direct.

This is the classical 10 night multi centre Vietnam itinerary:

  • 3 nights in Hanoi
  • 1 night in Halong Bay
  • 3 nights in Hoi An
  • 3 nights in Ho Chi Minh City
  • OPTIONAL: beach extension in one of Vietnam's many beach resorts
  • OPTIONAL: Can Tho, Mekong Delta (2 nights recommended)
  • OPTIONAL: Siem Reap, Cambodia (3 nights recommended)

Total: 10 nights plus optional extensions

Here is the main itinerary in more detail...

Hanoi (3 nights)

  London Heathrow (12:00) - Hanoi (05:45 next day)

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and at it's heart are the bustling narrow narrow lanes of the old quarter. But there are also many peaceful areas too, especially the serene Ho Hoan Kiem Lake, and the many temples such as the 1000 year old Temple of Literature.

I would suggest a 3 night stay in Hanoi which gives you 2 full days to explore. Or, if you are going to Halong Bay as a day trip rather than overnight, then you could make Hanoi a 4 night stay.

What to do?

  • Wander around the ancient streets of the Old Quarter with its numerous little shops, cafes, 'tube houses', traders, temples and pagodas - some of the private tours include a cyclo tour where you just sit back and relax, and take it all in
  • Sip coffee on the outdoor terrace of the 1901 hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole
  • Temple of Literature - Vietnam's first university, almost 1000 years old, with gardens, courtyards, gates and houses
  • Hoan Kiem Lake - great for a late afternoon stroll and where you'll find the red Sunbeam bridge
  • Ho Chi Minh mausoleum - you can see the preserved body of Ho Chi Minh, the communist leader
  • Museum of Ethnology - showcasing the different ethnic groups of Vietnam
  • Water Puppet Theatre - short shows accompanied by live music
  • Cookery classes - discover Vietnamese produce, herbs and spices as you stroll along the Chau Long Market, before learning the secrets of traditional Vietnamese food
  • Perfume Pagoda - Buddhist Vietnam’s most important religious site, the amazing Perfume Pagoda, is situated in a huge limestone cave and only accessible by boat
  • Hoa Lu: The Ancient Capital - visit the remaining temples and sanctuaries of the ancient Hoa Lu citadel
  • Hanoi Street Food Walking Tour - a small group tour where you sample authentic local dishes away from the tourist trail, hunkering down with the locals on the street at a variety of atmospheric food stalls
  • Village Discovery by Bike - a small group tour where you have an unforgettable bike ride through the Vietnam countryside, and cycle along the banks of the Red River to explore the timeless traditional villages and learn about life outside of Hanoi

For a full list of pre-bookable tours and experiences, click here

Your Hotel      Sofitel Plaza

Meal Plan:   Bed & Breakfast

Alternatives

Budget Choice   Calypso Grand

Luxury Choice   Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake


This is the Red Bridge of the Ngoc Son Temple on Hoan Kiem Lake

Halong Bay (1 night)

Halong Bay is one of the highlights of your trip to Vietnam, and one of the natural wonders of Asia. This World Heritage listed site has over 2000 limestone islets in the emerald bay, and makes for a spectacular sight.

You can visit on a day trip from Hanoi, with cruises normally lasting around 3-4 hours. However given the travelling time and for the full experience, I would recommend an overnight cruise. This gives you much more time to enjoy the stunning scenery, beautiful sunsets and sunrises (hopefully!), and good food and wine on board. Many of the boats are traditional wooden junks, but with all the modern comforts.

Travelling Time:   Approximately 3-4 hours road transfer from Hanoi, with a stop half way

Your Hotel      Ginger Cruise Boat

Meal Plan:   Full Board


Hoi An (3 nights)

  Hanoi (15:55) - Da Nang (17:15)

N.B. there are several flights throughout the day, and if you are not coming back from Halong Bay then you may wish to take an earlier flight

Hoi An is a charming coastal town that is most famous for its silk making, but is full of old colonial houses, art galleries, and craft shops. In fact readers of Wanderlust recently voted Hoi An as the best city on earth to visit, and it's certainly worth spending some time here.

It's especially atmospheric at dusk when the lanterns come on and you wander through the streets and along the riverside looking for a place to eat.

Hoi An is by the coast, and so you could use this stop as an extended beach stay with the odd trip into the town. Alternatively stay in the town itself where most of the sites would be within walking distance.

Travelling Time:   Transfer time from Da Nang Airport approximately 45 minutes

What to do?

  • Walk around the charming town with its little shops, temples and pagodas, and stop in one of the riverside cafes. The Japanese Covered Bridge is one of the most photographed in Hoi An.
  • My Son Temple - stunning collection of ancient ruined temples, and a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Boat Trip to Cu Lao Cham Island - for fishing villages, quiet beaches and snorkelling
  • Hoi An Food Adventure - a small group tour for up to 12 people, starting at 5pm and lasting 2.5 hours
  • Hoi An Boat & Bike with sunset BBQ - a small group tour for up to 12 people, where you start with a casual cycle through emerald green rice paddies and villages, then board a boat for a sunset island-style barbecue
  • Cua Dai Beach is the main beach resort, and is just a couple of miles from the centre. There are a number of cafes lining the beachfront
  • The Tran Family Temple is a mix of Chinese and Japanese styles, and has a small Chinese herb, spice and flower garden
  • Visit the Ong Hoi An Pagoda which dates back to the 1650's

For a full list of pre-bookable tours and experiences, click here

Your Hotel      Boutique Hoi An

Meal Plan:   Bed & Breakfast

Alternatives

Budget Choice   Ancient House Resort

Luxury Choice   Anantara Hoi An


I took this from the upper floor of a little riverside cafe - a great place to watch all the comings and goings

Ho Chi Minh City (3 nights)

  Da Nang (12:10) - Ho Chi Minh City (13:30)

This is the cultural capital of Vietnam with a huge amount of street cafes, restaurants and shops, but along side the modern skyscrapers are the old street markets, temples filled with incense and old buildings such as Notre Dame Cathedral.

A 3 night stay in Saigon is typical, with half a day or so doing a city tour, a day at the Cu Chi tunnels and a day in the Mekong Delta. A city tour would normally take you to see the main sites such as the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the War Remnants Museum, plus bustling Chinatown and past ancient pagodas.

Another option is to stay a night or two in the Mekong Delta itself, for example in Can Tho where boat trips go to the floating markets.

Travelling Time:   Transfer time from Saigon Airport to hotels is approximately 30 minutes

What to do?

  • Cyclo tour - take in the sights sounds and smells of Ho Chi Minh City as you travel like a local - on foot and aboard a traditional cyclo, a three wheeled bicycle with a carriage at the front
  • Cu Chi tunnels - a network of tunnels that played a major role in the Vietnam war, and were once functioning cities
  • Mekong Delta - see floating markets, stilt houses, and fishing villages and you cruise through the waterways
  • Saigon street food by night - spend three hours eating like a local
  • Reunification Palace - was called Independence Palace before the fall of Saigon to communists in 1975
  • Notre Dame cathedral - built between 1863 and 1880
  • War Remnants Museum - American war relics
  • Explore the superb Chinatown called Cholon with its temples, pagodas, Binh Tay market, and Chinese assembly houses
  • Botanical Gardens established in 1865
  • Visit the Fine Art Museum or the Museum of Vietnamese History
  • Explore Reunification Hall, the former presidential palace

For a full list of pre-bookable tours and experiences, click here

Your Hotel      Renaissance Riverside

Meal Plan:   Bed & Breakfast

Alternatives

Budget Choice   Duxton Hotel

Luxury Choice   Caravelle


Mekong Delta

Back to London

  Ho Chi Minh City (00:35) - London Heathrow (06:45)

Transfer back to the airport for a late evening check in, and arrive in London early the following morning.

Alternatively, continue to one of Vietnam's beach resorts.

What Else?

Here's how you can tailor your multi centre Vietnam holiday exactly the way you'd like

  • Mekong Delta Extension - the Mekong Delta is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and a trip along the river will pass through local villages, past rice fields, and the floating market near Can Tho. Stay a couple of nights at the Victoria Can Tho Resort, and you can enjoy a breakfast cruise to the floating markets. They also have dinner cruises under the stars, bike tours, culture trips and even Vietnamese cookery classes.
  • Sapa Extension - the mountains of Sapa is a beautiful region in the north of Vietnam and is reached by an overnight train from Hanoi. You'll see hill tribes, visit markets, enjoy walking in the valley, and see local villages. Stay in the town of Sapa - the usual hotel is the Victoria.
  • Beach Extension - as we have seen in the example itinerary, you can use Hoi An as your beach stay as well as visiting it for sightseeing. But what if you wanted to relax on the beach after you have been to Saigon at the end of your holiday, rather than in the middle. Well, there are a number of choices although one factor to take into account is the extra travelling time.
  • A resort that is often recommended is Nha Trang, a short flight from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). It has a few things going for it, most notably two lovely hotels - the Evason Ana Mandara and the truly luxurious Six Senses Hideaway. Beaches are long stretches of golden sand, and you can visit local temples, traditional markets and small villages. However it has lost some of the charm it once had.
  • If you like to get completely off the beaten track, then the small island of Phu Quoc is perfect. This is an unspoilt and quiet part of Vietnam, close to the border with Cambodia, and has the added advantage that in December when other resorts can be wet, you'll probably get lots of sunshine here. My favourite hotel here is La Veranda, a luxurious colonial style hotel by the beach. The interior of the island is jungle, and there are quaint fishing villages and lovely white sandy beaches.
  • Con Dao is an archipelago off the coast of South East Vietnam, a 45 minute flight from Saigon, and part of a marine reserve. The Six Senses Con Dao is the outstanding hotel, with 50 villas in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
  • Finally, there is the resort of Mui Ne (Phan Thiet), a 4 hour road transfer from Saigon where you can explore the peninsula by bicycle or play at the new 18 hole golf course. Again there are a few wonderful hotels - I can recommend Anantara Mui Ne Resort and Victoria Phan Thiet Beach Resort, both 4* standard.

Guide prices

Prices start from around £2000 per person for mid range hotels, however please give us a call with your preferred dates and we will work out an exact price.

What's Included?

  • All international and internal flights
  • All transfers
  • All accommodation and meals as specified
  • Optional - guided tours if pre booked

Notes

  • Visa requirements have been suspended as of July 2015. Please keep checking this as it may change again in the future.

The Weather in Vietnam - when to go?

The weather in Vietnam changes considerably depending upon the time of year, and will be big influence on not just when, but where you go. Here is the summary for the major places of interest.

Hanoi Hoi An Nha Trang Ho Chi Minh City
Jan Very good Very good Very good Very good
Feb Very good Very good Very good Very good
Mar Very good Very good Very good Very good
Apr Very good Very good Very good Very good
May Wet Very good Very good Wet
Jun Wet Very good Very good Wet
Jul Wet Very good Very good Wet
Aug Wet Wet Very good Wet
Sep Wet Wet OK Wet
Oct OK Wet Wet Wet
Nov Very good Wet Wet OK
Dec Very good Wet OK Very good

As you can see, by far the best time to visit Vietnam is from January to April. If you wish to travel in December and add a beach resort, then the further south the better.

More Information & Booking

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