8 Day Vietnam Express

8 Days, from AU $1,522

Traditional Vietnamese rickshaw

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi

Hoi An

Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon

If you’ve only got one week off work, this trip is for you. Leave home one weekend and return the next, jet-setting through Vietnam and experiencing the must-see destinations of Hanoi, Hoi An and Saigon in this fast paced itinerary. Our guides and support staff will do all the hard work to ensure that you get the most out of this amazing country in only eight days.

Our Express itineraries cover the must-see attractions with a priority on enjoyment and convenience. Jetset itineraries can be customised to suit your personal tastes. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi

You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Hanoi, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital city and home to seven million people. Traditional and refined, with French colonial architecture, tree-lined boulevards, scenic lakes and a bustling Old Quarter, Hanoi has a sophisticated charm. Observe elderly people practicing Tai Chi by the lake, with barbers and food vendors plying their sidewalk trade.

Hanoi has many great restaurants with French, Vietnamese and international cuisines available. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.

Itinerary Option: If you’re arriving to Hanoi in the morning, discuss additional day 1 activities with our staff.

Day 2: Hanoi

Accompanied by your guide, the day starts with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, an imposing monument lavishly built using marble and granite, where the preserved body of “Uncle Ho” resides. See the lotus shaped One Pillar Pagoda which rests on a single stone pillar emerging from the water, and then explore the Temple of Literature, the first University for the sons of mandarins, to gain an overview of Hanoi culture and ancient Vietnamese architecture.

In the afternoon, visit the Museum of Ethnology offering a fascinating insight into Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups. Enjoy a walking tour through the bustling Old Quarter before ending the day with a show at the water puppet theatre – a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes of rural life and episodes of national history.

Itinerary Option: Your Guided tour can include alternate attractions like the Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and/or the Fine Arts Museum. Our staff can provide advice based upon your interests.

Day 3: Halong Bay

Travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay and board your deluxe junk for your overnight cruise. Marvel at the dramatic vista and relax onboard, as you sail amongst the thousands of limestone islands that rise from the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. Rock sculptures jut dramatically from the sea and the numerous caves and grottoes have created an enchanting, timeless world.

Set sail through Bai Tu Long Bay whilst a seafood lunch is served, then sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery as you cruise past various islands en route to Cua Van fishing village. Explore the floating village by bamboo rowing boat. Visit Tien Ong Cave before returning to the junk for sunset cocktails and canapés, followed by dinner served on the deck or in the restaurant.

Day 4: Halong Bay to Hoi An

Why not begin the day with a Tai Chi class on the top deck? Or just admire the beautiful scenery as the sun rises over the azure waters. Choose between an excursion to a secluded island with a sandy beach for a morning swim, or join the chef for a cooking demonstration to learn more about Vietnamese cuisine. Enjoy a buffet brunch as your junk cruises Halong Bay, passing islets and caves as you make your way back to the dock.

You have the option to visit a pottery workshop on the trip back to Hanoi. On return from Halong Bay you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Hoi An.

Upon arrival, you will be transferred to hotel for check in and overnight.

Situated along the south central coast of Vietnam, Hoi An is an outstanding example of a well-preserved ancient town that has been designated a World Heritage Site. Known as Faifo in the past, it was a major port town that boasted multi-cultural influences from the 16th – 18th centuries. Today, it is a quaint and picturesque town that can be easily explored on foot.

Day 5: Hoi An

Experience the charm of Hoi An on a walking tour with your guide. Wander along the narrow lanes and gain an insight into Hoi An’s illustrious past as you explore this heritage listed town. Take in the old merchant houses with influences from Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture. See the 400 year old Japanese Bridge, a unique covered structure built by the Japanese, and the only known covered bridge with a Buddhist pagoda attached to the side. Visit the Assembly Hall of the Chaozhou Chinese Congregation with its outstanding wood carvings and explore the colourful market with stalls brimming with local specialties including silk which can be turned into fashionable garments within one or two days.

Enjoy free time for the remainder of the day. There is plenty to see and do in Hoi An, but many visitors find themselves relaxing by the beach, browsing the markets and boutique shops, or visiting one of the many tailors in town.

GetAboutAsia Favourite: Our customers rave about Hoi An, so check out our suggestions on personalising your trip to get the most out of your visit.

Day 6: Saigon

Enjoy free time in Hoi An until your flight to Saigon where you will meet your new guide on arrival. During the drive to the city your guide will provide an introduction to Saigon, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the first day.

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in southern Vietnam is a sprawling metropolis of ten million people. Formally renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam-American war, locals still refer to Saigon. With thousands of motorbikes zipping past luxury cars, French colonial buildings dwarfed by modern skyscrapers and traditionally dressed school girls riding bicycles past trendy city workers, Saigon is an exciting city of contrasts.

Saigon is a city that never sleeps and offers a plethora of great restaurants and bars catering to all tastes, from street food vendors to the rooftop bar at the Rex Hotel, where international correspondents covered the Vietnam War and where the U.S. military attaché’s press briefing was held daily and dubbed the “Five O’clock Follies”. Whatever your interests, be sure to ask your guide for personal recommendations.

Day 7: Saigon

The Cu Chi Tunnels are an immense network of interconnected tunnels near Saigon that are part of a much larger network lying below much of the country. A guided visit to these tunnels provides a better understanding of their history, the hardship of life underground and the resilience of the Vietnamese during combat.

The tunnels were built and used initially by the Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots to protect them from the French air and ground sweeps. They later served as communication routes, storage facilities, hospitals and living quarters for the guerrilla fighters throughout the Vietnam-American war.

You're invited to enter a section of the tunnels to witness the secrets of the tunnels firsthand. Your guide will also show you various mantraps employed from this period, the remains of an American tank and numerous B52 bomb craters. There is also the opportunity to fire an M60, M16 or AK47 rifle at the range next to the tunnel complex.

After returning to Saigon, learn about the city’s historic landmarks as you tour the city with your guide. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick building with twin spires based on the original construction from Paris, then head across the square to the Central Post Office designed by the French architect Gustav Eiffel. Next stop is the former Presidential Palace, headquarters to the Saigon Government during the Vietnam-American war. You may also like to visit the War Remnants Museum for a vivid insight into the Vietnam-American war from a Vietnamese perspective.

Day 8: Mekong Delta

Skyscrapers are replaced by rice paddies and fruit farms as you travel by road into the Mekong Delta, the rice bowl of Vietnam. Witness daily life in the stilt houses and fish farms that you pass as your driver navigates the maze of canals in the traditional wooden motorboat.

Experience the vibrant energy of the floating markets where vendors trade their produce between the floating boats in a uniquely Mekong Delta fashion. Sample freshly picked exotic fruits from a small island orchard as the farmer before lunch served in a traditional Mandarin house where four generations of one family live. Walk back or be rowed in a sampan to your motorboat to return to the pier before travelling by road back to Saigon.

Departure transfer for your onwards flight.

Personalise Your Trip

Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.

Ideas to upgrade or extend your itinerary:

  • Hanoi: Tour the countryside with options to visit ancient villages, local artisans and/or Mai Chau hill tribes.
  • Hanoi: Other options include cycling tours, Van Long nature reserve including a boat trip (recommended), Perfume Pagoda and grotto tour, wildlife tours, cooking classes, culinary tour and art tours.
  • Halong Bay: Why not spend one or two nights on a traditional junk boat to take in the charm of Halong Bay. Check out the Simply Halong Bay Junk Cruise itinerary for details.
  • Hoi An: For those not inclined to relaxing, Hoi An has the most exciting array of activities in Vietnam, from cooking classes, culinary tours, cycling trips, fishing or farm visits, to island snorkelling and lantern making lessons.
  • Cu Chi Tunnels: Learn about life in the tunnels from a Viet Cong war veteran who lived here during the war.
  • Saigon: Squeeze in a Vespa motor scooter tour. Options include street food tours, a wartime landmarks tour, an art and architecture tour, and a locals insider tour.
  • Saigon: Add a cooking class to spice up your itinerary, either at the renowned Saigon Culinary Arts Centre, or an exclusive class at an historic villa.
  • Saigon: War history tours, including itineraries that focus on Vung Tau and Nui Dat for Australian war veterans.
  • Mekong Delta: Consider adding a night in the Mekong Delta to spend more time getting to know this fascinating area of Vietnam.

Halong Bay Cruise Ships

Note that the schedule above refers to the Image Legend Cruise, Victory Cruise & Paradise Luxury Cruise. All our GetAboutAsia cruise itineraries adhere to the highest standards of safety whilst providing our guests with an outstanding level of comfort and quality.


Image Legend Cruise, Victory Cruise & Paradise Cruise Photos

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Standard:from AU $1,522
Superior:from AU $1,684
Deluxe:from AU $2,142

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.

Inclusions:
  • All breakfasts at your hotel each morning.
  • All airport transfers.
  • All internal airfares and transport on tour.
  • All itinerary attractions including fees or permits.
  • Professional tour guides for all airport pickups, day tours and activities.
  • Lunch and dinner as indicated on trip notes. We do not include lunch or dinner where it is practical for you to make your own choices, as we find that GetAboutAsia customers prefer the freedom of eating what they want, which is one the of joys of travelling.
Notes:

This trip package includes 2 internal flights (Hanoi to Hoi An and Hoi An to Saigon) which retail at about 200 AUD per flight.

Visa for Vietnam
When obtaining your visa you should allow 2-3 weeks for processing, the cost is approximately US$60 to US$100. Check with your embassy or consulate for further details. The Vietnamese Embassy in Edgecliff, Sydney has been known to issue a visa in 4 working days if all the correct documents are submitted at the time of application.

Price Dependent:

Availability of accommodation and season.

Trip Information

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"Loved loved loved Vietnam and Cambodia . Really impressed with the guides & tours you organised also. Everything went so smoothly, we didn't have a worry in the world. Would definitely recommend friends to go, & use your services. Many thanks again for organising." — Hamilton and Adamski Family, Sydney and Brisbane, March 2018

" We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and thank you for helping us when Hue was flooding. The first evening in Ho Chi Minh was a baptism of fire on managing the Vietnam traffic but we managed and it put us in good stead for the rest of the trip. Liz managed the Tunnels. The delta was an overcast day but good to see it again for me …… We both loved Hoi An.Hanoi centre was nice, slightly different to Ho Chi Minh centre and we met up with a friend of Liz’s who had been up to Sapa. Then of course we headed to Ha Long Bay, an amazing landscape!Overall a busy trip but a good look at the country and if we go back we would tend to go inland ……Thank you Getaboutasia for arranging! " — Alister and Liz, Sydney, November 2017

"All our accommodation was fabulous and guides fabulous too. Our highlights were Sapa and the treks we did through local villages. The Ha Long Bay cruise, Chu Ci tunnels and Mekong delta discovery with row boats was great too. It was a wonderful trip. " — Mrs Kempf & Mountain Creek High School Group , QLD , September 2016

"This holiday would have to have been the best holiday we have ever had. We would definitely recommend it to our friends. We could not fault the organisation and the standard of accommodation and the friendliness of the Vietnamese people. Thank you for planning such a fantastic holiday. We had a wonderful time." — Mr and Mrs Healey, Loch Victoria , July 2015

"We loved Hanoi for the traditional culture, Halong bay for the serenity and tranquillity; HCMC for the hustle and bustle of a city filled with people and scooters!, Cu Chi tunnels for a deeper insight into the Vietnam War and the Mekong Delta for the truly local Vietnamese farmer experience." — Jessykah Dang, Sydney, NSW, February 2014

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