Junks, sampans, and riverboat restaurants ply its waterways, sleepy towns and emerald rice terraces adorn its rural hills, tranquillity reigns in its temples and beautiful bays, and busy, burgeoning cities mark Vietnam’s forward-looking confidence.
From Ha Long Bay to Hanoi and the Highlands, from city sights in old Saigon to cruises on the Mekong, Vietnam is a collage of culture and character, its contrasts fascinating, its people famously welcoming.
Slow-boat journeys, on luxury small ships, sail to other-worldly landscapes of luxuriant hills and misted mountains, visiting traditional craft communities, and seeing the little-changed lifestyles of hill tribes.
Mesmeric and mystical, the ‘descending dragon’, Ha Long Bay, scatters a thousand islands and islets into the South China Sea, one a National Park, some little more than limestone pillars, others hemmed with beaches, and all UNESCO protected.
The Red River and its sleepy tributaries drift past floating fishing shacks and jutting bamboo jetties, cutting deep into the highlands for the historic sites and ravishing riverscapes of Northern Vietnam.
Spectacular scenery surrounds the provincial town of Ninh Binh, with its karst peaks and clifftop pagoda, lush valleys, and boat floats in the caves of Tam Coc.
And the Mekong ‘Nine Dragons’ Delta is a riot of flora and fauna, with a swan-like serenity on the surface and a bustling commerce paddling like mad beneath; where water buffalo are in their element, and rivers and streams form highways and lanes to towns, villages, and temples.
From rural sights to regal, colonial and contemporary cityscapes, our routes visit the capital, Hanoi, with a thousand years of heritage echoed in architecture; and Ho Chi Minh City, the phoenix of former Saigon, mixing old and new in chic boutiques and smoky temples, stilt-houses and soaring skyscrapers.
Hemming the Perfume River, Hue is a seat of Nguyen royalty and a centre of culture, its modern towers contrasting with the vast UNESCO listed citadel; and Hoi An is an architectural portrait of its past, with Chinese temples, French colonial buildings, and Vietnamese ‘tube houses’.
Some of Jules Verne’s Vietnam tours also cross into Cambodia for the fabled Angkor Wat temples, and to Laos, to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of Luang Prabang. Enjoy a 21-night visit to Indochina or 13 nights encompassing the major sites.
In general, the climate of Hanoi and the northern highlands is hot, rainy and humid from May to October, cooler and dry between November and April, and can be quite chilly in December/January. The south is usually warm and wet in May to October (with high rainfall June-August), hot and dry in November-April. And the central region saves the rain for autumn months, but is hot right through from February, with temperatures peaking at 40° in the summer.
With departures in January to May and September to November, Jules Verne’s Vietnam and Indochina tours are planned for the best times in their regions, and avoid the uncomfortable June-August months.
With busy cities, blissful scenery, beguiling Buddhist temples, and backwater villages off the beaten track, every tour presents its own intriguing blend of Vietnam’s assets and aspects, from culture to crafts and creeds, and from the vibrant capital to the village of Ancient Duong Lam. Singles, couples and friends with a sense of adventure will all find their own highlight moments; and our Ha Long & Red River cruise features ‘No Single Supplement’ dates for those travelling solo.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne visits iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge, and show you hidden gems. Our journeys in Vietnam visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites of culture and nature in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and My S’on, the islands of Ha Long, and the landscapes of Trang An; and show you the character of the country with traditional ceremonies, Apsara dance and water-puppet shows, and a rural ox-cart ride to a roadless village.
All our guided tours to Vietnam are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.
Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia
Exploring Vietnam’s greatest cities, north and south, this varied tour begins among the many temples of the capital, historic Hanoi; crosses into Cambodia for the world’s largest religious complex, Angkor; and returns to Ho Chi Minh City, the phoenix of old Saigon
Classical Tour of Vietnam
From busy cities to blissful scenery and beguiling Buddhist temples, this classic tour takes you from buzzing Ho Chi Minh City to Hue, Hoi An, the capital, Hanoi, and Ninh Binh; via cruises on the Mekong River and Ha Long Bay, and sampan sailing into karst rock caves
Treasures of Indochina
From the streets of Saigon to a sail on the Mekong Delta, from the temples of Angkor to the long-hidden town of Luang Prabang, from a cruise of Ha Long Bay to cultural history in Hanoi, this tour is a revealing treasure trove, gathered into just two weeks away
Grand Tour of Indochina
Discover old Saigon, cruise on the Mekong River and mystical Ha Long Bay, see the temples in Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi and ancient Angkor, and explore Laos home to luxuriant landscapes and intriguing cultural customs; and Cambodia encapsulates Indo-Chinese heritage in ancient Angkor
The Original Mekong Cruise
An exotic cruise on the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake, this journey teams city sights in old Saigon and Phnom Penh, with rural riverbank towns, remote, romantic pagodas, rarely-visited villages, and the Siem Reap gateway to Angkor’s exquisite temple enclave
Ha Long Bay & the Red River
From Ha Long Bay to Hanoi and the Highlands, this serene journey sails on a luxury small ship of the renowned Pandaw fleet, cruising the Red River and its tributaries to caves, craft villages, karst rock cones, and the cultural landmarks of Northern Vietnam