From £1,947 pp incl. UK flights
The superb variety that South Vietnam can offer the holiday maker comes alive as you enjoy city, country and beach life.
Life doesn’t get more frenetic than in Saigon, Vietnam’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan city. The Mekong Delta is a spider web of waterways that has to be explored by boat. Cat Tien is probably the best place to see wildlife anywhere in the country and Mui Ne is Vietnam’s most established beach resort. Perfect as an introduction to Vietnam with a little bit of adventure and a minimum number of flights.
Day 1: Depart on your choice of overnight flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Day 2: Arrive Saigon for 4 nights, private transfer to your choice of hotel
Day 3: Afternoon Saigon City tour, visiting the many highlights of this exciting city
Day 4: Morning tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels from the Vietnam War
Day 5: Mekong Delta day tour including boat ride through the spider web of waterways
Day 6: Drive to Cat Tien National Park (2 nights). Private guide - evening wildlife tour
Day 7: Cat Tien NP - Morning wildlife boat tour to Tien Island & hike to Crocodile Lake
Day 8: Private transfer to beautiful beaches of Mui Ne for 5 nights at your choice of hotel
Days 9-12: 4 days to relax on beach, enjoy wide range of watersports & visit sahara like dunes
Day 13: Check out in time for your transfer to Saigon airport and flight home
Day 14: Arrive home
Day 1: UK Airport / Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Depart on a choice of overnight flights to Saigon.
Day 2: Arrive Saigon
On arrival you will be met by your private guide and transferred to your choice of hotel for 4 nights in sensational Saigon. The rest of the day is yours to relax, stretch your legs or perhaps have a post flight massage. Tonight you may just feel like eating in the hotel, but if you would like to venture out and about your guide will be happy to recommend a local restaurant and book a table.
Day 3: Saigon (B) - City Tour
Morning free then meet in the hotel lobby at 2pm for the small group (2 – 12 people) afternoon Saigon City tour.
Saigon is Vietnam’s largest city; it’s a fast-paced metropolis full of contrasts, with street vendors selling fruit and vegetables next to glitzy modern boutiques. Amazingly the city’s history dates back only 300 years. In 1859 it was captured by the French and became the capital of Cochin China. From 1956 until April 1975 it was the capital of the Republic of Vietnam.
Today, Ho Chi Minh City is very much the heart of Vietnamese business and entrepreneurial activity. City centre highlights include the colonial Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office & Opera House, as well as the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum.
Move out of the city centre and you get a sense of how the city used to be, as you discover the ancient canals. This area is home to many Saigonese whose livelihoods still depend on the Saigon River and in the midst of this vibrant megacity you’ll be surprised to see river banks lined with houses on stilts.
Cruise the Saigon River by speedboat as the sun sets on this fascinating city. Back at the hotel around 6pm.
Day 4: Saigon (B) - Cu Chi Tunnels Tour
Early departure to escape city traffic and get ahead of the crowds on a half day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels, the legendary remnants of the Vietnam War that offer an evocative insight into the horrors that were faced by those involved. During the guided tour it’s possible to descend into the layers of tunnels that although widened, still create a feeling of creeping claustrophobia.
Few other places encapsulate the sheer will-power that the American military was up against, and the lengths that the Viet Cong were prepared to go to in order to evict them. Back in the hotel in time for lunch and afternoon free to explore further.
Extra: If you would like us to arrange something extra today perhaps you could consider the following. Half day cooking course offering a light hearted introduction to Vietnamese cuisine. Vietnam has a burgeoning art scene, tour the Fine Arts Museum and some of the leading galleries with a local expert. Lacquer work may not spring to mind when you think of Vietnam, but a tour of a laquer works is an eye opener, a long way from the dark examples we see here. We’d be happy to discuss these and other options when you call.
Day 5: Saigon - Mekong Delta Tour with boat ride(B / L)
This morning you’ll be collected from the hotel lobby and driven south (with others) to the Mekong Delta where you board a boat to explore a less-visited area of the Mekong, home to luxuriant vegetation and lush coconut islands, as well as orchards and rice paddies. Visit a local coconut processing enterprise where this vital fruit is treated in the age-old way to separate oil, flesh and husk to be used in oil, matting and candy.
After the boat ride you will be taken on a short walk to a small village to see mat weavers at work, before jumping on the delta’s version of a tuk tuk to travel down the country roads to the pier. Here you board Le Jarai, a beautiful teak boat and continue your cruise along the river. Whilst on board join in a demonstration of Vietnamese cooking before sitting down to a sumptuous three-course lunch of Mekong specialities. After lunch relax on the top deck and watch river life pass you by. Cruise back to Ben Tre where you’re transferred back to Saigon by early evening.
Day 6: Saigon overland to Cat Tien National Park (B / L / D)
Enjoy breakfast and then you’re off to Cat Tien National Park (3.5 hours), arguably the best place to spot wildlife in Vietnam. On arrival check in to your choice of accommodation for 2 nights. Enjoy lunch then in the afternoon hike through the park and discover the diversity of Nam Cat Tien's botanical wildlife. The walk takes approximately 2 hours and covers a distance of around 6 km.
After dinner, board a jeep for wildlife spotting by night. The number of animals seen can vary depending on season and habits, but as you’re travelling in the dry season more should be seen.
Day 7: Can Tien National Park (B / L / D)
Rise early to the sounds of the forest and take a short speed-boat to Tien Island to learn more about how endangered animals are being kept before being released back to their natural habitat. Visitors have the chance to talk with an expert to understand more about their work protecting the animals.
After lunch take a short drive into the forest and hike for another hour to Crocodile Lake. The forest trail ends at the edge of a large lake, with a water hyacinth lined shore in which rare Siamese Crocodiles may be spotted, only the eyes and snout protruding. Return to the lodge late afternoon.
Extra….Alternatively if you’d like to explore by mountain bike this can be arranged
Day 8: Cat Tien (B) to Mui Ne (Beach)
After breakfast there’s the option to take a final hour’s walk before departing for the coast, about a 3 hour scenic drive away. On arrival check-in to your choice of beach side hotel for 5 nights. Mui Ne ticks all the boxes with beautiful sandy beaches lapped by azure seas and fringed by swaying palm trees. The resort strikes the right balance to create a relaxed atmosphere but with plenty of activities and restaurants to keep the visitor happy.
Days 9-12: Mui Ne (B) - Beach Days
Four days to relax on the beach enjoying Mui Ne’s laid back lifestyle. For the more active there is a choice of activities that include scuba diving & snorkeling tours to nearby islands, kite surfing, wind surfing and surfing on the nearby beaches or perhaps a trip the Sahara like dunes that lie north of the town. In the evening there is a great selection of bars and restaurants that will suit every mood and pocket. As you would expect the seafood is fantastic.
Day 13: Mui Ne (B) - Fly Saigon / UK Airport
Enjoy a final morning by the beach before being picked up and transferred back to Saigon airport in time for your overnight flight home. The transfer will be about 4.5 hours and so if you would prefer it we can add an extra night in the city. Arrive back in UK the following morning.
Each featured itinerary is really a starting point from which to create your ideal holiday.
We can include as much or as little as you like, mix and match hotels, excursions and experiences, add extra nights and change the destinations you'd like to visit.
The common thread is that each is a privately guided holiday, allowing you to travel where and when you want, with your own private transport and dedicated guide.
- Return scheduled international flights (optional if you would like to arrange your own)
- English speaking, local guide & driver
- Choice of hotel accommodation
- Transport in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Domestic flights detailed in itinerary
- Admission fees to all attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals as detailed (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Entry visas International airport departure taxes if payable locally
- Optional Tours / Excursions
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Tips for Guides / Drivers (discretionary)
- Travel insurance
- Any camera or video fees charged at sites
The hotels below are there as examples, designed to act as a starting point from which to create your holiday. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from and when we quote we will include other suggestions so we get to understand your likes and dislikes. Quite often clients mix and match hotel categories throughout their holiday.
Hotels in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
A mix of grand colonial buildings and modern luxuries make Saigon a fantastic place to stay
Hotels in Mui Ne
South Vietnam's most established beach resort - great beaches, restaurants, bars and watersports