Flight - 1 night
Hanoi - 1 night
Sapa - 2 nights
Sapaly Express Train - 1 night
Ba Vi - 1 night
Mai Chau - 2 nights
Ninh Binh - 2 nights
Vinh - 1 night
Dong Hoi - 2 nights
Hue- 2 nights
Hoi An - 2 nights
Flight - 1 night

Spendology - Widgets


The peoples, villages and dramatic mountain scenery of rural Vietnam away from the main cities and resorts

Despite the onrush of modernity in the major cities, Vietnam remains largely unchanged in the mountains of the north and inland from the coastal region, enabling a rewarding itinerary for the returning traveller which steers away from the main sites, revealing hidden gems amidst wonderful landscapes and examining both recent and ancient history and meeting the many peoples of Vietnam.

Sapa, close to the Chinese border, is a picturesque village in the Hoang Lien Son mountains, known locally as "the Tonkinese Alps", and was built by the French who endorsed the medicinal properties of the region's mountain air.

The Hmong tribes number around three million in a territory from southwest China to Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Lao Cai province is home to tribes including the Black, Flower and Red Hmong, named after their distinctive dress. Tribal organisation is by means of clans and Hmong villages perched on mountain slopes and often house up to four generations.

Travel south through the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) and the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the extensive Vinh Moc wartime tunnels, contrasting with the Imperial City and tombs at Hue, ending with a stay in the delightful town of Hoi An.

Key Features

Culture & Natural Wonders 
Jules Verne Sightseeing 
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Improved Itinerary
9 Lunches and 5 Dinners
Group Size: 4 – 14


Day 1 Fly overnight from London Heathrow direct to Hanoi.

Day 2 On arrival, visit Thang Long Imperial Citadel. Transfer to the 4-star Apricot Hotel for overnight. (B)

Day 3 Visit Dong Ngac ancient village. Transfer to Sapa (6 hrs) for two nights at the 4-star Topas Ecolodge. (B, L)

Day 4 Visit Lech Dzao, a hill tribe village. (B, D)

Day 5 Morning free. Afternoon free to explore Sapa town. Visit the Hmong village of Ta Giang Phin. Transfer to Lao Cai to board the overnight Sapaly Express Train to Hanoi. (B, L)

Day 6 Transfer to Duong Lam for breakfast with a local family and village walk. Transfer to the 4-star Melia Ba Vi Mountain Retreat in the mountains of Ba Vi National Park. (B, D)

Day 7 Explore the remains of old French villas. Travel through mountain scenery to Mai Chau (4 hrs). Stay two nights at the scenically located 4-star Mai Chau Ecolodge. (B, L)

Day 8 Meet local people at Thai villages. (B, L)

Day 9 Travel to Ninh Binh (4 hrs). Visit Van Long Wetland Reserve by boat. Two nights at the 4-star Emeralda Hotel. (B)

Day 10 Visit the Tam Coc limestone caves known as ‘dry Ha Long Bay’ and Bich Dong Pagoda. At Hoa Lu, visit the citadel and temples of the Dinh and Le dynasties. (B)

Day 11 Visit Bai Dinh Pagoda. Continue to the more modern town of Vinh (6 hrs). Visit Ho Dynasty Citadel. Overnight at the 4-star Vinpearl Cua Hoi Resort & Villas. (B, L, D)

Day 12 At Kim Lien village, visit Ho Chi Minh's home. Travel to Dong Hoi (5 hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Sun Spa Resort. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Visit Phong Nha including Ke Bang National Park and a boat trip on Son River to Phong Nha caves, a UNESCO site. (B, L)

Day 14 Visit Vinh Moc tunnels and Hien Luong bridge. Pass through the Demilitarised Zone to Hue (8 hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Pilgrimage Village Hotel, Hue. (B, L)

Day 15 Morning tour of Thuy Bien ecovillage by boat and cyclo. At Hue visit the Imperial Citadel. (B, L)

Day 16 Visit Minh Mang tomb. By train to Danang and transfer to Hoi An. Two nights in river view rooms at the 4-star Hoi An Silk Marina Resort. (B, D)

Day 17 Free day or optional full-day tour of the temples of My Son and Hoi An (£29). (B)

Day 18 Day at leisure. Evening return flight via Hanoi or stay on at the 5-star Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa (return flight via Hanoi or Saigon). (B)

Day 19 Arrive London Heathrow.

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner


This is a full itinerary with visits on foot and some uneven surfaces and inclines.


per person in a twin room
Vietnam Airlines from Heathrow

Date Price
October 18 £2495
November 15 £2495

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £695

Flight Options

London-Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City-London
Vietnam Airlines Deluxe Economy from £495
Vietnam Airlines Business Class from £1845

Optional Excursions

Optional My Son and Hoi An £29

Extension Options

Extensions - Extra nights
Victoria Hoi An Resort & Spa (per night) £75
Single supplement £65
Departure transfer add £20

Independent Arrival

Save £650 
Arrival transfer with group included
Departure transfer add £39

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 16 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 9 lunches and 5 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, visa procurement, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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Secret Vietnam - 2019

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