Region Overviews: Vietnam Travel Guide: Overview
Inside this breadth of natural diversity and jaw-dropping beauty, there are bustling cities, remote hillside villages, centuries-old Buddhist temples and skyscraping corporate headquarters.
It's a journey full of color and intrigue, both dramatic and tranquil. A quiet sail among the limestone peaks of Halong Bay. Friendly greetings from villagers. Touching Angkor's ethereal ruins with your own hands. Every meal is a metaphor for the complex culture. Temples defy centuries. Smiles bridge oceans. And local guides open doors long closed.
THIS ITINERARY: 10 days, 9 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels*
Start Hanoi, Vietnam / End Siem Reap, Cambodia
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Be inspired by our local guides, who bring to life the intertwined cultures of Vietnam and Cambodia | Walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter, famous for its 36 guilds—named for the artisans and traders that have made their home here for some 2,000 years | Ride in a bicycle rickshaw through narrow streets packed with food and flower stalls.
This five-star historic landmark is a French colonial gem set in the heart of old Hanoi. Condé Nast Traveler Gold List. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
Sail and kayak on Halong Bay, with hidden beaches, caves and lagoons | A morning cruise takes us into the bay, where karst cliffs jut from the water | Walk an island studded with remnants of tombs and temples left by the Tran Dynasty.
These fully equipped boats allow us to explore Halong Bay's spectacular karst formations by day, then retreat to quiet coves at night. Though rooms, with attached bathrooms, are small and basic, we'll be aboard the most comfortable boats on the more exclusive parts of the bay—on a charter just for Backroads.
Explore the imperial city of Hué, with its centuries-old palaces and temples | For a unique look at everyday life, you're welcomed into a traditional home | Venture into the imposing citadel, site of heavy conflict during the Vietnam War | Ride a dragon boat up the Perfume River and stroll through regal mausoleums.
A blend of Asian and colonial charm, this boutique hotel is housed in the former governor's mansion on the bank of the Perfume River. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
Wander the streets of Hoi An, an ancient trading town with gorgeously preserved architecture | Revel in the seas breezes as you traverse Vietnam's central coast | Get a feel for rural life on Cam Kim Island | Learn the secret to local dishes in a cooking class.
This luxury all-villa resort is set on pristine China Beach, near the picturesque port town of Hoi An. (pool, spa)
The remains of Cambodia's ancient Khmer Empire will thrill you with iconic temples, giant carved images and beautiful bas-relief | Watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat and listen to the stories behind the carvings that wrap around the temple.
Described by Andrew Harper as a "stylish and beautifully restored landmark resort-hotel surrounded by a 15-acre park, less than five miles from Angkor Wat." (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Note: The terrain on this trip includes a mix of village footpaths, valley trails, and ancient temple and archaeological site walks.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
We are constantly seeking the best possible accommodations on Halong Bay. Our traditional Chinese junks generally offer the most consistently comfortable boats with an appropriate number of cabins that also allow us to visit the more exclusive parts of the bay. Rest assured, we use the nicest boats that head to our favorite hidden beaches and secluded lagoons.
Your journey through Vietnam and Cambodia will probably be unlike anything you've experienced. The people you'll meet and places you'll visit will likely stay with you for a long time. As wonderfully fulfilling as travel is in this region, it's not always easy. These are developing countries and even something as simple as crossing the road can be a challenge.
Our itineraries and Trip Leaders remove as many obstacles and inconveniences as possible, making your next extraordinary encounter always within reach. Of course, we can't remove haze and noise from the air, or replace poorly maintained paths. But if you can be flexible and approach the region with an open mind, you'll enjoy your trip to the fullest.
On this trip we travel by plane to reach the exclusive hotels and activities this destination has to offer. We'll be flying commercially with Vietnam Airways aboard a narrow-body jet that seats 236 passengers from Hanoi to Hue and with Cambodian Angkor Air aboard a turboprop plane that seats 72 passengers from Da Nang to Siem Reap.