- A family trip from north to south Vietnam, from the legendary cities to the rice paddies and coconut plantations
- The itinerary includes tai chi, a junk boat in Halong Bay, flying a kite in Hue, fishing and calligraphy
- Taste the flavours of Vietnamese cuisine together and seek adventure with a treasure hunt in Saigon
- All our usual additional services are included, such as our Local Concierge service
Contact one of our Vietnam specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Things you'll love in Vietnam
Together in VietnamHalong Bay, the citadel of Hue, and Hoi An's old quarter are all on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. This probably won't mean much to the children but this is a great introduction into some educational travel. Arrive in Hanoi, a buzzing ancient capital that has survived French and Chinese occupation, as well as the American war.
Your TripTake two domestic flights between Hanoi and Hue, and between Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. This is essential, given the distance. You'll travel predominantly in an air-conditioned car with a driver. This provides flexibility and comfort to adults and children alike. For the shorter journeys, use the most suitable method of transport, which are tuk-tuks, bikes and different types of boat. Using modes of transport that are suited to your location makes things easier. We have chosen your hotels based on their suitability for families, location and atmosphere. Vietnamese cuisine is offered everywhere, with international alternatives where required. Planned visits and activities break up your journey. You'll have private expert guides who are great for both adults and children. In Vietnam, kite flying isn't just for the children, and the introduction to calligraphy will certainly intrigue the youngest family members. If, along the way, you have a last-minute request or a slight setback, just contact our local Concierge... A great addition for the cultural and practical side of things.
Flight to Hanoi
Welcome on arrival, assistance with customs and immigration and transfer. Two-night stay in Hoan Kiem, the old centre. The hotel strives for quality whilst maintaining a family atmosphere. The decor combines elegant Asian design. Rooms are large, making them suitable for the whole family, with an exceptional level of comfort and amenities. To recover after the flight, head to the spa and take advantage of a variety of relaxing treatments, or go to the fully-equipped gym. The restaurant serves modern Vietnamese cuisine. Rent bikes for all your adventures around the city.
Included in the itinerary - Introduction to tai chi. In the early morning, join a group of tai chi followers for a session to learn the basics of a martial art that is suited to people from the age of seven to 77. Tai chi is more like gymnastics now, than a combat technique, and is part of the Asian way of life. Visit to the historic centre. Accompanied by a private guide, take a stroll along Hoan Kiem Lake, which is close to the hotel. It's an idyllic landscape in the middle of the capital city, although the legend of the restored sword and the rusty B52 at the bottom of the lake will remind you of the wars of national liberation. The Ngoc Son Temple or 'Temple of the Jade Mountain', founded in the 15th century and dedicated to the fathers of Confucianism, Taoism and hero Tran Hung Dao, still attracts many religious followers. And then there's the city's Old Quarter, known as 36 six streets for 36 trades. In the past, craftsmen and shopkeepers were divided, street by street, according to their field of activity. The system is no longer in use today, but it has left its mark and remains lively and picturesque.
Hanoi - Halong Bay
Transfer to Halong to board a large, traditional junk boat. The cabins provide all the right creature comforts, with waxed wood and neo-Indochinese furniture throughout, and open out through large windows. On the tween deck, the bar and dining room provide a lovely space for people on the cruise to get to know each other and relax. The food is a mix of traditional Vietnamese and more international dishes. From the bridge, where children are taken back to the golden age of explorers, there is a fantastic view: 2,000 limestone islets topped with thick jungle vegetation and dotted with mysterious caves. Dolphins swim around the junk boat and in the evening, bats dip and dive in the blue air. Overnight stay and meals on board: all courtesy of the bay!
Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue
In the morning, see the 'smoking' landscape; the mist lifts in wisps giving the place a real ethereal beauty. Return to the port. Head to Hanoi through the rice paddies and flight to Hue. Two-night stay in a village south of the town. The hotel is modern but sympathetic to its traditional surrounds. The room decor alternates between tropical minimalism and tradition. The garden has a small and large swimming pool. Enjoy a bit of self-care with the Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, massage rooms, meditation rooms and yoga rooms. Hue is home to some of the best food in Vietnam, and the main, pillared dining room is ta perfect setting for enjoying some majestic eats.
Included in the itinerary - Private tour of Hue. The ancient capital of the Nguyen Dynasty is literally extraordinary. The impressive citadel, located on the banks of the Perfume River, was home to the Purple Forbidden City, which was the Emperor's legendary residence. Although it was severely damaged during the Tet offensive during the Vietnam War, it has nevertheless retained a lot of appeal and true imperial dignity. The French quarter, with its leafy, wide avenues and Third Republic buildings, belongs to another empire. Nowadays, it's a bustling trade hub. The lively Dong Ba market might be a little disorientating, but it's wonderful. Just two miles from the citadel is the Pagoda of the Celestial Lady (17th century), which is one of the city's iconic sites.
Included in the itinerary - A kite-making workshop. Kite making is a traditional craft that goes back over a thousand years in Vietnam. They are flown at the end of the rainy season to greet the good weather. Kites symbolise good luck and the higher they fly, the better the harvest will be. Traditional kites are assembled and decorated by specialist craftsmen. Although it's a game of skill on our own beaches – which only lasts as long as dad's patience – here, the kite has a serious traditional role.
Optional - A Vietnamese cooking lesson.
Hue - Hoi An
Transfer to Hoi An. Four-night stay on the east side of the city in a rice paddy. The hotel, which is simple but beautifully furnished, delightfully mixes rural and urban notes. The result is relaxed and friendly vibes, reinforced by the caring and friendly attitude of the staff. The distinct rooms have the same feel. Some have indoor/outdoor bathrooms. The restaurant stays true to local cuisine. Its prime location is the perfect way to enjoy a country lifestyle: bike rides, loaned by the hotel, take the whole family along exciting trails off the beaten track. When you get back, jump in the swimming pool to cool off.
This is a former silk and ceramics district, and the area bears the marks of diversity such internationalism brings. The finest hours of international trade may have passed, but agricultural and fishing are still thriving industries. UNESCO has designated the city's architectural heritage as a World Heritage Site, including the 16th-century Japanese bridge pagoda, the French colonial houses and Chinese merchant houses. Things are still partly as they used to be and a certain South Asian romanticism can still be felt as you walk along the banks of the Thu Bon past the yellow houses.
Included in the itinerary - Cam Thanh fishing trip. The flooded coconut forest of Cam Thanh is the green centre of Hoi An and the amphibious habitat of many animals. In a relaxed atmosphere, sail the canals in a traditional asphalt basket. Skilfully sailed, this trip will take you wherever you want to go. This region is popular for producing plant fibre from palm trees and fishing. Visitors are encouraged to try their hand at catching crabs on a line and to throw a cast net (a cone-shaped weighted net). After trying your hand at fishing, enjoy a drink watching the sun slowly set.
Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City
Transfer to Da Nang Airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Transfer to the hotel. The hotel is located on the Saigon River. The contrast here with the rice paddies of Hoi An is striking. The overall tone is international, with glass, light wood, simple lines and cream hues. Rooms are comfortable and services are on par with other hotels of its kind; it has three restaurants, a gym, a terrace and rooftop swimming pool and a spa.
Included in the itinerary - A Buddhist nun from Kim Lien Pagoda will introduce you to calligraphy, a practice that Vietnam inherited from China. Paper, ink, and brushes are still used for the art of writing, a practice which refreshingly still survives despite modern technology. In the evening, watch the A O Show at the Saigon Opera House. The 'contemporary circus' show (acrobats use only bamboo and baskets) beautifully immerses spectators in the lives of Vietnamese farmers with breathtaking skill and comedy.
Optional - Treasure hunt in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City - Can Tho
Included in the itinerary - Mekong Delta. Head to the rural district of Cai Lay, about 62 miles south-west of Ho Chi Minh City. Rice paddies and orchards surround both sides of the road. The people of the delta, who are have adapted to the land, take advantage of the water for various modes of transport and alluvial-rich soil for growing rice, vegetables and fruit. Markets are not stalls in a marketplace, but groups of boats, and they boast a rich palette of shapes and colours. Embark on a walk along a branch of the river before reaching land and cycling for a few miles through shaded paths and ripe fruit, including soursops, mangos, grapefruit and many more. Enjoy lunch on site. Your return journey will be by sampan first, then by car, and will leave you feeling like you have entered a completely different world. Spend the night in Can Tho, on the Bassac river, an important tributary of the larger river. The hotel has retained the name of a famous establishment from the French era. The interior is comfortable and neat, with stylish Indochinese decor. Rooms boast a certain vintage character. French and Vietnamese restaurants welcome food-lovers, while the jazz bar is a great place to kick back and relax. It's all about Body and Soul on the Mekong.
Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City - return flight
Back to Ho Chi Minh City. Transfer to the hotel. Transfer to the airport and return flight.
A la carte
Cooking class in Hue
Learn about and enjoy the fresh, subtle flavours and aromas that go into creating local delicacies. This lesson is an amazing way to learn about Vietnamese culture and wow your friends back home. After shopping for all the things you need at the market, start preparing the meal. Under the guidance of a talented chef, make some traditional dishes and then taste the end results. This fun activity, which includes a private expert guide, gives everyone the chance to have a go.
Option - Half day
Treasure Hunt in Ho Chi Minh City
As if on a police investigation, set out to discover the energetic city with a private guide. Get around in a vintage car and the youngsters will be equipped with all the tools needed to be the Sherlock Holmes of the Mekong: magnifying glass, notebook, map and mobile phone. The research carried out by the sleuths takes them from landmark to landmark, and brings them into contact with local people. The mystery may even be solved over lunch in a mysterious Chinese restaurant...
Optional - Day
A Rough Idea of Price
Our local concierges
Travel diary app
UK airport lounge
Modify your itinerary
UK departure assistance