Walking & Sightseeing in Vietnam

Ninh Binh_Bich Dong pagoda.jpg
Duration: 13 nights
Type: Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade: 2
from £2,099pp

The green peaks around Ninh Binh and rice paddy-covered valleys of Mai Chau form the backdrop for this northern Vietnam tour. Embark on a lesser-travelled route that celebrates the area’s eye-catching natural beauty and heritage. Not only will you cruise the emerald waters and limestone outcrops of Hạ Long Bay to discover caves, kayak around inlets, and swim, but you’ll take in the city sights of Hanoi, explore imperial Hué, and marvel at riverside architecture in delightful Hoi An. And then there’s the food. Eat your way around the evening markets for a taste of what’s quickly becoming Asia’s foodie capital and get hands on with a Vietnamese cooking lesson.

What you’ll love

  • Discovering the sights of Hanoi on a walking tour
  • Exploring the rural north of Vietnam on foot, by boat, and gentle cycling
  • Cruising through Hạ Long and Lan Ha bays
  • Uncovering historic Hoi An and the imperial city of Hué
  • Tasting Vietnamese cuisine and a chance to cook some yourself

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks and sightseeing with experienced local leaders
  • Comfortable accommodation including two nights en-suite cabin on a deluxe boat and one night on sleeper train
  • 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Air-conditioned transport
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Hanoi.


Transfer from the airport to our hotel in Hanoi’s old quarter for a chance to relax and freshen up before heading out for dinner - and our first experience of the area’s narrow streets and alleys.

Bespoke Trendy Hotel Hanoi, Hanoi - Vietnam

Located in the atmospheric old quarter of Hanoi, the Bespoke Trendy Hotel combines modern and traditional. Contemporary design with stylish décor, the air-conditioned rooms boast comfortable beds and thoughtful storage features. All mod-cons are provided, including TV, Wi-Fi, hairdryer, and tea and coffee-making facilities.


Distance: approx. 4.5 miles (7 km)

Today we’ll explore the sights and sounds of Hanoi on a walking tour, beginning with a walk along the famous Hanoi railway and a visit to the Temple of Literature. After lunch, we continue to the Ho Chi Minh Complex before taking tree-lined avenues past the citadel and back to the old town.

Bespoke Trendy Hotel Hanoi, Hanoi - Vietnam

Located in the atmospheric old quarter of Hanoi, the Bespoke Trendy Hotel combines modern and traditional. Contemporary design with stylish décor, the air-conditioned rooms boast comfortable beds and thoughtful storage features. All mod-cons are provided, including TV, Wi-Fi, hairdryer, and tea and coffee-making facilities.


Distance: approx. 7.5 miles (12 km)

Leaving Hanoi, our journey takes around four hours and brings us to Mai Chau valley, surrounded by high limestone mountains and filled with rice fields. This area is home to the White Thais, and we’ll pass many hamlets of wooden houses on stilts, stopping to meet a local family for a traditional lunch and a chance to learn more of their way of life.

Spend the afternoon walking on backroads and paths between rice fields, villages, and vegetable plots, observing the farmers and their buffaloes at work. Our walk finishes at our lodge accommodation for the next two nights, nestled in the remote Mai Hich valley.

Mai Chau Villas, Mai Chau - Vietnam

Run as a social enterprise, Mai Chau Villas is located in a small village in the Mai Chau valley. Its bungalows are traditionally built with bamboo roofs and wooden floors, and rooms have either a balcony or terrace. Practical touches include a mosquito net, fridge, and Wi-Fi. The restaurant overlooks Cha Lang Lake, offering local and European cuisine. Cool off with a dip in the outdoor pool, or relax with simple spa services.


Distance: approx. 7 miles (11 km)

There’s an hour’s drive into Hoa Binh province and the rocky plateau of Hang Kia, land of the Hmong. We’ll meet a local family in the village and take part in a batik workshop, learning more about techniques passed down through generations of how their traditional, colourful clothing is made.

After lunch in a local home, the afternoon sees us stretching our legs on a downhill walk from the mountains on a mix of pathways and trails through wild scenery. Meeting our bus at the road, we return to Mai Hich valley.

Mai Chau Villas, Mai Chau - Vietnam

Run as a social enterprise, Mai Chau Villas is located in a small village in the Mai Chau valley. Its bungalows are traditionally built with bamboo roofs and wooden floors, and rooms have either a balcony or terrace. Practical touches include a mosquito net, fridge, and Wi-Fi. The restaurant overlooks Cha Lang Lake, offering local and European cuisine. Cool off with a dip in the outdoor pool, or relax with simple spa services.


Distance: approx. 4 miles (6 km)

This morning we visit Pu Long nature reserve with its jungle-covered limestone mountains and deep valleys, where we explore Ban Don village on foot to see the terraced rice fields.

Our journey continues by bus to Ninh Binh province, known as Halong Bay on land. We’ll reach Tam Coc, our base for the next two nights, in time to soak up the sunset from the tiers of the Bich Dong Pagoda.

Le Clos Du Fil Boutique Hotel, Ninh Binh - Vietnam

Le Clos du Fil is situated in a small village known for its crafts and embroidery, surrounded by gardens and centred around an open-air swimming pool. Stylish rooms come with a balcony and are furnished using natural materials. All have air-conditioning, minibar, and Wi-Fi. The restaurant offers traditional meals using fresh, seasonal, and locally-grown ingredients. Plus there’s a well-stocked bar.


Distance: approx. 6.5 miles (10 km)

There’s time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast today before we collect our bicycles and set off on a gentle ride along small, scenic roads passing temples and lush rice fields surrounded by towering limestone mountains.

We then take to the water in a traditional sampan to navigate Thung Nang, one of the many waterways of the region. The final stretch on our bikes takes us through peaceful countryside to enjoy lunch in the gardens of a local house.

Enjoy some free time to relax by the pool at our accommodation before heading to Hang Mua mountain to climb the 500 steps to its summit, an effort that rewards with stunning views over the surrounding countryside.

Le Clos Du Fil Boutique Hotel, Ninh Binh - Vietnam

Le Clos du Fil is situated in a small village known for its crafts and embroidery, surrounded by gardens and centred around an open-air swimming pool. Stylish rooms come with a balcony and are furnished using natural materials. All have air-conditioning, minibar, and Wi-Fi. The restaurant offers traditional meals using fresh, seasonal, and locally-grown ingredients. Plus there’s a well-stocked bar.


Departing early, we drive across the Red River Delta to the coast and embark on a two-night cruise aboard a deluxe boat.

Over the next two days we’ll relax on deck, tuck into delicious meals, and take in the ever-changing landscape as we explore the lesser-known channels of Ha Long and Lan Ha bays.

There’s the opportunity to visit limestone caves, kayak in coves, and swim in the emerald waters. Early risers can enjoy a sunrise Tai Chi session, or you could take part in a cooking demonstration.

Deluxe Cruise, Ha Long Bay - Vietnam

Our deluxe boat offers traditional ambience for cruising the waters of Ha Long Bay. The boat features a restaurant and bar area along with a generous sundeck, and cabins reflect contemporary Asian décor with hardwood floors, panoramic windows, and spacious bathrooms.


Cruising through the bay this morning, we visit Sung Sot cave before enjoying brunch on deck as we return to the harbour. We drive back to Hanoi and have day rooms available in the afternoon to freshen up before our transfer to the station to board an overnight train to Hué.


Distance: approx. 4.5 miles (7km)

Arriving in Hué in the morning, we transfer to our hotel for breakfast. Then we’ll set off on a walking tour of the citadel, entering the Imperial City by the Northern Gate to learn about the former imperial residence.

Our walk continues along the Perfume River to reach the pier where we board our private boat. Lunch will be served as we cruise down the river to visit Emperor Tu Duc’s royal tomb.

Spatel d'Annam Boutique Hotel, Hue - Vietnam

Centrally located within the citadel area, the Spatel d’Annam Boutique Hotel is set in lush gardens with an outdoor pool and restaurant. Rooms are designed with traditional dark wood furnishings and benefit from air-conditioning, tea and coffee-making facilities, and TV.


Distance: approx. 2.5 miles (4km)

Leaving Hué, we drive south to Bach Ma National Park where the road climbs into the hills as we ascend Bach Ma peak, a former hill station which became a strategic observation post during the American War.

We’ll walk the last 2km up to the summit for stop-and-stare views towards the sea and to enjoy lunch in a restaurant beside a former French villa. We’ll then continue our journey past Lang Co Bay and over Hai Van Pass before boarding a boat for the final leg through palm mangrove into the ancient town of Hoi An.

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An - Vietnam

Set on the banks of the Thu Bon River, the Vinh Hung Riverside Resort is just a short walk from the ancient town of Hoi An. Spacious rooms are dotted around coconut tree-shaded gardens and feature a private balcony, air-conditioning, TV, minibar, and tea and coffee-making facilities. The Riverside Restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, and there are two outdoor pools to enjoy.


Distance: approx. 3 miles (5km)

A walk around the old town kicks off our day before we delve into the local market to meet our chef for today’s cooking lesson. We’ll wander past colourful stalls laden with spices and herbs used in Vietnamese cuisine and pick up some ingredients.

Travel by boat to a small farm tucked away on an island in the Thu Bon River, where it’s time for a hands-on cooking lesson and tasting. We return to Hoi An on foot through the farmlands and then the remainder of the day is free to relax or explore further.

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An - Vietnam

Set on the banks of the Thu Bon River, the Vinh Hung Riverside Resort is just a short walk from the ancient town of Hoi An. Spacious rooms are dotted around coconut tree-shaded gardens and feature a private balcony, air-conditioning, TV, minibar, and tea and coffee-making facilities. The Riverside Restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, and there are two outdoor pools to enjoy.


Today you’re free to explore the delightful port town of Hoi An at your own pace, or perhaps take the opportunity to do some shopping – it’s famous for its excellent tailors. You could also head to a nearby beach - An Bang beach is a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. This evening we’ll meet up for our final dinner together and a chance to reflect on our adventures in Vietnam.

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An - Vietnam

Set on the banks of the Thu Bon River, the Vinh Hung Riverside Resort is just a short walk from the ancient town of Hoi An. Spacious rooms are dotted around coconut tree-shaded gardens and feature a private balcony, air-conditioning, TV, minibar, and tea and coffee-making facilities. The Riverside Restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, and there are two outdoor pools to enjoy.


After breakfast, we transfer to Danang Airport for our departure flight.


Itinerary map for Walking & Sightseeing in Vietnam

Bespoke Trendy Hotel Hanoi, Hanoi - Vietnam

Located in the atmospheric old quarter of Hanoi, the Bespoke Trendy Hotel combines modern and traditional. Contemporary design with stylish décor, the air-conditioned rooms boast comfortable beds and thoughtful storage features. All mod-cons are provided, including TV, Wi-Fi, hairdryer, and tea and coffee-making facilities.

Mai Chau Villas, Mai Chau - Vietnam

Run as a social enterprise, Mai Chau Villas is located in a small village in the Mai Chau valley. Its bungalows are traditionally built with bamboo roofs and wooden floors, and rooms have either a balcony or terrace. Practical touches include a mosquito net, fridge, and Wi-Fi. The restaurant overlooks Cha Lang Lake, offering local and European cuisine. Cool off with a dip in the outdoor pool, or relax with simple spa services.

Le Clos Du Fil Boutique Hotel, Ninh Binh - Vietnam

Le Clos du Fil is situated in a small village known for its crafts and embroidery, surrounded by gardens and centred around an open-air swimming pool. Stylish rooms come with a balcony and are furnished using natural materials. All have air-conditioning, minibar, and Wi-Fi. The restaurant offers traditional meals using fresh, seasonal, and locally-grown ingredients. Plus there’s a well-stocked bar.

Deluxe Cruise, Ha Long Bay - Vietnam

Our deluxe boat offers traditional ambience for cruising the waters of Ha Long Bay. The boat features a restaurant and bar area along with a generous sundeck, and cabins reflect contemporary Asian décor with hardwood floors, panoramic windows, and spacious bathrooms.

Spatel d'Annam Boutique Hotel, Hue - Vietnam

Centrally located within the citadel area, the Spatel d’Annam Boutique Hotel is set in lush gardens with an outdoor pool and restaurant. Rooms are designed with traditional dark wood furnishings and benefit from air-conditioning, tea and coffee-making facilities, and TV.

Vinh Hung Riverside Resort, Hoi An - Vietnam

Set on the banks of the Thu Bon River, the Vinh Hung Riverside Resort is just a short walk from the ancient town of Hoi An. Spacious rooms are dotted around coconut tree-shaded gardens and feature a private balcony, air-conditioning, TV, minibar, and tea and coffee-making facilities. The Riverside Restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, and there are two outdoor pools to enjoy.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC

Recommended

  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised prices listed below show the lowest economy flight price option for that departure. On holidays where we offer local UK airports, details will appear in the “Important Information” section below and available alternative flight options will be offered when you book. Seating upgrades may be available on request and at an additional charge, please call 020 3974 8865 for a quote.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

09 Oct - 24 Oct 2024

13 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

23 Oct - 07 Nov 2024

13 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£3,189 pp

from

£3,189 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now
Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

09 Oct - 24 Oct 2024

13 nights

Itinerary

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

23 Oct - 07 Nov 2024

13 nights

Itinerary

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£2,099 pp

from

£2,099 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

Important information

  • With flight holidays: Price includes economy flights to Hanoi returning from Da Nang, hold baggage and airport transfers
Duration:
13 nights
Type:
Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade:
2

13 nights from £2,099pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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