The Less Touristy Vietnam - 19 days

People wanting to get off the "tourist trail" or wanting to avoid tourists and "touristy places”? The intrepid traveler will often complain that a place has become too touristy, too filled with their own kind. This itinerary is all about highlight places in Vietnam but still gives you the authentic experiences.
Departure date: Flexible Travel Dates
Duration: 19 Days 18 Nights
TravelStyle: Top Special Packages
  • Summary
  • Detailed Itinerary
  • Tour Information
Day Destinations Meals Accommodation
Day 1 Hanoi arrival -/-/- Hotel in Hanoi
Day 2 Hanoi - Ha Giang B/L/D Hotel in Ha Giang
Day 3 Ha Giang - Dong Van Karst Plateau B/L/D Hotel in Dong Van
Day 4 Dong Van - Ma Pi Leng Pass - Ba Be Lake B/L/D Homestay in Ba Be
Day 5 Ba Be Lake - Hanoi B/L/- Hotel in Hanoi
Day 6 Hanoi city tour with traditional villages B/L/D Hotel in Hanoi
Day 7 Hanoi - Halong Bay B/L/D Halong Cruise
Day 8 Halong Bay - flight to Hue B/L/- Hotel in Hue
Day 9 Hue - Cooking class - Tam Giang Lagoon B/L/D Hotel in Hue
Day 10 Hue - private car to Da Nang - Hoi An B/L/D Hotel in Hoi An
Day 11 Hoi An - Tra Que herb village day tour B/L/- Hotel in Hoi An
Day 12 Hoi An - Da Nang - flight to Da Lat B/L/D Hotel in Da Lat
Day 13 Da Lat - Lak Lake B/L/D Hotel in Lak Lake
Day 14 Lak Lake - DraySap Waterfall - Buon Me Thuot B/L/D Hotel in Buon Me Thuot
Day 15 Buon Me Thuot - Pleiku city B/L/D Hotel in Pleiku
Day 16 Pleiku city - flight to Ho Chi Minh city B/L/D Hotel in Ho Chi Minh city
Day 17 Ho Chi Minh city - My Tho - Ben Tre B/L/D Homestay in Ben Tre
Day 18 Ben Tre - Ho Chi Minh city B/L/- Hotel in Ho Chi Minh city
Day 19 Ho Chi Minh city departure B/-/-  


Day 1 : Hanoi arrival (-/-/-)

Our tour guide will come to pick you up upon arrival. Then our car will take you to the city and check in at the hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2 : Hanoi – Ha Giang (B/L/D)

In the early morning, when you finish your breakfast and check out at the hotel in Hanoi, our tour guide will come to pick you up to go to Ha Giang today.

Ha Giang is a province in the Northeast region of Vietnam. It is located in the far north of the country and contains Vietnam's northernmost point. It is 320 km away from Hanoi then we recommend that we should depart at 7:00 am.

On the way, we will take few short breaks to free your legs. We will visit the Ethnology Museum in Thai Nguyen province. Then we keep going until stop for having lunch in Tan Quang, Ha Giang.

We will arrive Ha Giang by late afternoon and check in at the hotel.

Overnight in Ha Giang.

Day 3 : Ha Giang – Dong Van (B/L/D)

Today we will head to Dong Van, or as known as Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark in Vietnam. We will depart at 7:30 am, after having breakfast and check out at the hotel.

Dong Van Karst Plateau (includes 4 districts: Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac & Dong Van) has many gigantic beautiful sceneries, special beautiful sites, diverse and endemic geological system, various groups of valuable and rare animals and vegetables, geological heritages at regional and international levels. This is really an attractive destination of scientists and tourists. Besides the beautiful scenery, you also experience and explore the lives of ethnic minorities in the Plateau of Rock.

We drop by Quan Ba town and take a walk up to the observatory to enjoy Twin Mountain (Fairy Bosom) sightseeing – the unique special formation made by nature.

We will have lunch at noon.

Then on the way to Dong Van, we will stop to visit the H’mong King’s Palace – or The Vuong Chi Sinh Palace or Vuong's Palace.

We will arrive Dong Van and check in at the hotel around 5:00 pm.

Overnight in Dong Van.

Day 4 : Dong Van – Ma Pi Leng Pass – Meo Vac – Bao Lac – Ba Be Lake (B/L/D)

Today will be an absolutely unforgettable day! It starts with a visit to the market of Dong Van, where the locals shop before returning to their mountain hamlets. We then climb a pass up to the French Fortress of Pu Lo, built in 1890 and evacuated in 1945, from which we enjoy a spectacular view of the entire region.

The road climbs on 15 km up to the top of the Ma Pi Leng Pass, through a gigantic maze of limestone peaks, "stone forests", and canyons, a unique landscape of the world.

Descending into the valley of Meo Vac, we continue snaking through the mountains, cross the river, and arrive in the village of Bao Lac, where we have lunch. We take the mountain road Bao Lac – Cao Bang. Before Cao Bang, another one of our little secrets: a gorgeous small road snaking through the mountains to the Tay village of Cho Ra and then down to the Tay village of Coc Toc, where you are welcomed by Mr Linh and his amazingly friendly Tay family in their traditional stilted house. If it’s hot, do like the local kids, just jump in the lake! You will enjoy a superb dinner on the river terrace and for your information, Mrs Linh is specialist in local dishes.

Overnight in Ba Be.

Day 5 : Ba Be – Hanoi (B/L)

Breakfast on the lakeside, then a short walk to the house owner’s boat, which takes you through the entire length of the 3 connected lakes (Ba Be - “3 bays”) and up the Nang River, to an astonishing site: Dong Puong, an enormous tunnel 300 meters long that the river has cut through a limestone mountain.

After that, we will check out and say good by to Mr Linh and his family, ready for the trip back to Hanoi. We then visit Hua Ma cave after join the main road to Ha Noi, with a short stop for lunch in local restaurant.

We will arrive Hanoi and our tour guide will drop you off at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 6 : Hanoi traditional craft villages (B/L/D)

According to our criteria, we will stay away from touristy areas and today, we will visit 3 traditional craft villages in the suburbs of Hanoi.

At 8:30 am, our tour guide will come to pick you up for the trip. The first village of the day is Van Phuc Silk.

Situated on the bank of Nhue River, about 10km southwest of Hanoi Old Quarter, Van Phuc silk village is renowned for its traditional weaving and premium quality silk products. Visitors to Van Phuc village will be impressed by typical manner of an ancient village in the north of Vietnam with banyan tree, well, communal house, and the sound of power-looms everywhere. Walking on the main road in Van Phuc, tourists will be lost in the world of silk with various products like shirts, ties, crafts, dresses… made of silk available in the village.

After about 1 and a half hours, we will leave Van Phuc village and head to another village named Ha Thai.

Traditional craft village of Ha Thai lacquer lies in the old highway 1A, near the Quan Ganh Bridge, turn left on inter-communal Duyen Thai, pass viaduct then come to village. In the past, the village has called Cu Trang Giang, in 1870 renamed the Dong Thai village and early twentieth century it was officially named Ha Thai village.

Legend, Ha Thai paint job around the seventeenth century, then just paint job clarity. The land is not ancestral of Vietnam's paint job, but on Ha Thai painting ward was important because there are many talented craftsmen, skilled and creative.

After visiting Ha Thai village, we will head back to Hanoi city and have lunch.

We will take a short break before going to visit the last village today – Bat Trang ceramic village.

Bat Trang is a small village in the north of Vietnam, about 13 kilometers south east of Hanoi center, on the other side of Chuong Duong bridge. Why is its name popular to most tourists to northern Vietnam? The answer is its ever famous ceramic and pottery products of high quality. If you have known about Vietnam, you may not be surprised that Bat Trang's vases, bowls, dishes, and many other kinds of ceramic products have been exported worldwide.

Should you would like to contemplate workers making ceramic products by hand, just come here! What's more, you can also try it yourself!

This trip finish by 4:30 pm and we will take you back to the hotel. You will have a free evening to relax, ready for the upcoming trip.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 7 : Hanoi – Halong Bay cruise (B/L/D)

From 8:00 am to 8:15 am, tour guide will come to pick you up for Ha Long Bay Trip today. It takes about 3-hour driving through the Red River Delta to Ha Long City. Comfort stop en route for photos and coffee before arriving to Ha Long City.

At noon, we will check in the cruise, ready for discover Ha Long Bay. Through the limestone cliffs and emerald waters of Ha Long Bay, we will have a chance the to take in the stunning scenery of this World Heritage Site. While on board we will be served a sumptuous fresh, local seafood lunch followed by a swim and exploring some of the limestone caves in this area. When the sun comes down we drop anchor for the night nearby a remote island.

Overnight on cruise.

Day 8 : Ha Long – Hanoi – flight to Hue (B/L/-)

The wondrous Ha Long Bay is truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. We relax and enjoy on boat for an exploration of the legendary Ha Long Bay. This exciting cruise will provide us a fantastic view of the picturesque scenery blending with the sky and some 3,000 limestone islands rising amazingly from the clear and emerald water. The limestone karst formations are littered with beaches, grottoes and beautiful caves. Along the way we will anchor for a leisurely swim in a secluded cove and an enjoyable visit to one of the many hidden grottoes beneath towering cliffs. After lunch, we drive from the unforgettable Ha Long Bay back to Hanoi.

Our driver will take you straight to Noi Bai airport, ready for fly to Hue.

Flight Number: VN1545 (HAN - HUI)

Departure time: 07:55 pm

Arrival time: 09:05 pm

Overnight in Hue.

Day 9 : Hue cooking class – Tam Giang Lagoon (B/L/D)

Today we will join in a cooking class to taste the real local food, culture and history of the region. With no more secret and the helping of amazing chef, you can totally cook local food at home by yourself. 

At 8.30 am our guide will meet you at your hotel and then we will shop for fresh food at the Dong Ba market, the most hustling market in Hue.

For lunch, you will enjoy eating the delicious foods that were just cooked.

After lunch, around 2:30 pm, we will go to Tam Giang Lagoon. This trip will surely bring you new experience such as learning fisherman’s life, enjoy at local food, boat trip on Tam Giang Lagoon and exploring Hue countryside.

Arriving Tam Giang Lagoon, the boat trip along the river will give you great moments for photos and opportunities to visit some local families along the river banks. Upon arrival at the lagoon area, joining in a game will bring you closer to the local and help you experience their daily activities. After that you will enjoy the early dinner like the simple local's meal on boat while beholding the poetic sunset. This trip in Hue with many unforgettable moments will finish by 6:30 pm at your hotel.

Overnight in Hue.

Day 10 : Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An (B/L/D)

After having breakfast at the hotel, we will move southward by private car via Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass, to Da Nang city. On the way, you will have a chance to see the beautiful nature scene of Central Vietnam.

We will have lunch at a local restaurant in Da Nang.

After lunch, we will visit Cham MuseumMarble MountainLinh Ung pagoda.

Later, we arrive Hoi An. You will check in at the hotel and have a free evening for leisure.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 11 : Hoi An – Tra Que Herb Village cycling tour (B/L/-)

Tra Que is a small farming community located about 3 kilometers northeast of Hoi An. It’s an easy bicycle ride and a quite scenic one which involves pedaling past rice fields, glassy rivers, and lazy water buffaloes lounging in the mud.

9.00 am from your hotel, our tour guide and you will ride on bicycle to Tra Que Herb Village. You will ride on narrow roads to visit a place of display farming and fishing tools of the local farmers and fishermen. In this place you will participate in activities of the local residents’ daily life in the old time such as bailing out water with long handles buckets, pounding rice, lifting fishing nets, etc. Especially, you will be savored boiled sweet potato dipping them into ground salty roasted peanut, drinking lotus tea gathered from Tra Que lotus lagoon and you will listen to folk songs about Quang Nam native country, Hoi An Old Town as well as Tra Que Herb Village

After that you will keep going the tour to a house of a local resident to hear about history of the village foundation and the development of this village. Next, local farmers will take you to see vegetable gardens and instruct you the techniques of planting and cultivating many kinds of vegetables planted in the gardens. You will personally cut, tie in bundles, reap the vegetables to bring home for processing food.

Back to Tra Que’s family house, you will enjoy with foot massage before working together with our family chef to learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Vietnamese food. Then, we sit down and a chance to savour the dishes we have prepared.

After having lunch, we take a short rest and ride back to Hoi An.

You will have a free afternoon and evening to relax, discover Hoi An by yourself.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 12 : Hoi An – Da Nang – flight to Da Lat (B/L/D)

Free morning for you for packing or other personal activities. We will check out by 11:00 am and our driver will take you to Da Nang airport, ready for flight to Da Lat.

Flight Number: VN1957 (DAD – DLI)

Departure Time: 2:20 pm

Arrival Time: 3:45 pm

Arrive Da Lat in the afternoon and check in at the hotel.

Free evening for you to discover Da Lat – The city of Love.

Overnight in Da Lat.

Day 13 : Da Lat – Lak Lake (B/L/D)

Our tour guide will pick you up at 8:30 am. Today we will get off-the-beaten path travel through coffee plantations, pristine tropical forests and steep mountain passes to M’nong ethnic minority village next to Lak Lake – the largest natural body of water in the central highlands, Lak Lake (Ho Lak) is surrounded by bucolic rural scenery.

On the way, we will visit Elephant WaterfallCricket farmRice wine makingVegetable and Flower FarmsSilk factoryLinh An Pagoda with the big happy Buddha, Tea and Coffee Plantations.

Arrive Lak Lake, we will check in at the hotel and have lunch.

After lunch, you will have chance to take a walk to the other side of the lake for two hours trekking around the village to see their daily activities.

Overnight in Lak Lake.

Day 14 : Lak Lake – Dray Sap Waterfall – Buon Me Thuot city (B/L/D)

In the morning, you will have many opportunities of taking pictures of people farming and fishing.

After a morning of sightseeing in Lak Lake, visit one of the old summer retreats of Emperor Bao Dai, then head to Buon Me Thuot just before lunch. Enjoy the local specialty of the central highland (fresh spring roll), and then have a swim at Dray Sap Waterfall, with very fresh water, one of the biggest waterfall in Vietnam. Dray Sap means “Smoky Waterfall” in Ede ethnic language.

Overnight in Buon Me Thuot city.

Day 15 : Buon Me Thuot city – Pleiku city (B/L/D)

In the morning, you will visit Museum of Ethnic Minority Cultures, housed in the Emperor Bao Dai’s former villa. It is a grand French-colonial building that was one of the emperor’s many residences. The museum exhibits an important collection of costumes and ethnological artefacts relating to the region’s ethnic minority communities such as: the Ede, the M’nong… There is also a display on the revolutionary history of the region.

After visiting Buon Me Thuot market to see the daily activities of the local people you will travel through pepper farm and rubber plantation to Pleiku, famous for the volcanic crater (Sea Lake) and the old battlefields.

Enjoy the special roasted chicken with rice for lunch and we arrive Pleiku City by 4:30 pm

Overnight in Pleiku city.

Day 16 : Pleiku city – flight to Ho Chi Minh city (B/L/D)

Breakfast will be severed at hotel in the morning. You will have free morning for shopping some souvenir or specialties of Central Highland in Vietnam.

At noon, you do the check out and leave Pleiku for Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon by Vietnam Airlines.

Flight Number: VN1427

Departure Time: 1:30 pm

Arrival Time: 2:35 pm

Arrive Ho Chi Minh City, warmly welcomed by our tour guide, you will be transferred back to hotel.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 17 : Ho Chi Minh – My Tho – Ben Tre Homestay (B/L/D)

At 08:00 am our tour guide will pick up at your hotel. We proceed to Tien Giang, passing fields of the rice.

On the way we visit Dong Tam Snake farm. Then go to boat station, cruise on the Mekong river around four islands: Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise and Phoenix on Tien River.

Through Xep canal to visit Mekong traditional houses at Quoi An village (make all from coconut tree). Do not miss to taste honey tea; have a look at coconut collection set and handicraft souvenirs from coconut trunk and shell.

Then we take the horse-cart on village path to Ben Truc orchard, enjoy seasonal fruits and listen to traditional music (Tai Tu music). You also see bees-breeding in wooden boxes at local farms, take a rowing sampan through small inlets under a green canopy of water – coconut trees to catch a glimpse of the daily activities of the local people.

We have lunch at Ben Tre. Enjoy special dishes with the traditional foods of Mekong River Delta.

Disembark to My Tho. Continue the journey to Cho Lach – Ben Tre via coconuts villages, fruit gardens for sightseeing and taking picture.

Then we arrive Le Jardin du Mekong homestay to check in. Relax and then go around fruit garden for fishing from pond and collect vegetable to prepare dinner.

You will have a short cooking class with local people ta make “rice pancake”. Dinner at local house.

Overnight in Ben Tre.

Day 18 : Ben Tre – Ho Chi Minh city (B/L/-)

After breakfast, we will take a cycling tour around village to visit Cho Lach (it’s optional as depends on your health, you will ride from 3 to 8 km).

Then we comeback Le Jardin du Mekong for check out.

Return to Ho Chi Minh city. En route we visit Bonsai GardenCai Mon church and Vinh Trang pagoga in Tien Giang.

We arrive Ho Chi Minh city by late afternoon. You will have time to relax, shopping before leaving Vietnam.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.

Day 19 : Ho Chi Minh departure (B/-/-)

As today is your last day in Vietnam, you will have a free morning to prepare and pack all your luggage before depart.

At noon, you will do the check out then transfer to Tan Son Nhat airport for departure flight.

End of services.

1. This itinerary is private and customized for a small group. Of course it's available join-in tour for some itineraries if you don't want to go over budget. For more details please contact us at anytime.

2. The price below is US$ per person and for reference purposes as it corresponds only to our specific itinerary. If you want to create your own trip with specific group size, do not mind sending us an enquiry. 

3. This price is for cash only. Remitter bears all charges of the banks engaged in the transfer of the payment.

Quantity of group (adult) 2-4 pax 5-7 pax 8-10 pax
Superior accommodation US$ 1,980.00 US$ 1,620.00 US$ 1,440.00
Deluxe accommodation US$ 2,190.00 US$ 1,840.00 US$ 1,590.00
Luxury accommodation US$ 2,735.00 US$ 2,385.00 US$ 2,130.00

Service Inclusions

  • Private door-to-door pick-up & drop-off services
  • Private transfer and transportation with a small bottle of water for each person
  • Accommodation shared in Twin/Double/Triple room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner)
  • All entrance fees & permits during guided tours
  • Halong Bay cruise with full board meals (shared boat)
  • Mekong Delta, Tra Que boat trip
  • Cooking class join-in course with chef
  • Cycling tour in Tra Que Herb Village
  • Foot Massage and Farming activities in Tra Que Herb Village
  • Excellent English speaking guide
  • No extra charge after confirmation
  • 24/7 hotline support guaranteed 

 Service Exclusions

  • International flights & taxes
  • Domestic flights & taxes
  • Beverages
  • Entrance fees & permits not mentioned above
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone call..), tips and gratuities
  • Vietnam visa stamp fee (US$45 & 02 passport photos per person)
  • Others not mentioned above.


  • The selected hotel might be changed to another one because of fully booking or renovation. We will surely let you know before decide to book and guarantee that the hotel is the same level to the first one.
  • Sites and sequence may vary depending on the weather conditions, your requirements,..
  • Most of museums are closed on Monday. We will discuss and change to other sites in order to not affect your travel plan.
  • Public Holiday dates surchage will be applied if your travel date is on 1 Jan; Lunar New Year; from 27 Apr to 1 May; from 27 Aug to 2 Sep; 24 Dec and 31 Dec.