Multi-Day Tour | Group, Independent, Private

Cultural Exploration For Families (12 days)

Trails of Indochina - Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam To Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Valid for Departures Now Through: 23 Feb 2019


Day 1
Hanoi, Vietnam
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Arrive in the charming capital city of Hanoi, known for its tree-lined streets and French colonial villas. Get acquainted with the city by taking a traditional cyclo for a slow ride to visit sites like the historic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. In the afternoon, drive to Dao Thu Village, home to the unique folk art of water puppetry that is found only in Vietnam. Meet an artisan of this ancient craft and learn how he and his family are continuing the tradition. Afterwards, enjoy a private 30-minute outdoor water puppet show on a village pond with a live traditional music performance.

Day 2
Hanoi, Vietnam
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Join a local chef in a morning visit to the local market to select the ingredients for a private cooking class. Experience the bustling atmosphere in the market as shoppers clamour to purchase their goods. Return to the chef’s home for a cooking lesson of popular Vietnamese dishes and enjoy your creation afterwards. After lunch, travel to a farming village in the Red River Delta, outside Hanoi. Meet a family of flower growers and join them in their daily tasks of watering and cutting flowers before loading them on the motorbike to head to the wholesale market. A fun and engaging experience for the entire family!

Day 3
Hanoi, Vietnam
Ninh Bình, Vietnam
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Depart Hanoi for a two-hour drive to Ninh Binh, a province known for its spectacular landscape of rice paddies and limestone karsts. Visit the ancient Dich Long Cave and Pagoda, a remarkable series of temples and communal houses dating back hundreds of years. Afterwards, enjoy a scenic boat trip passing through the wetlands of Van Long Reserve, home to spectacular views of the 32 stunning grottos. This area has recently become famous as the filming location for the blockbuster movie ‘Kong: Skull Island'.

Day 4
Ninh Bình, Vietnam
Hanoi, Vietnam
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Get a feel for life in the countryside with a leisurely seven kilometre (4.3mi) bike ride through quaint villages and agriculture fields. Make stops along the way to chat with the local people and observe their way of life. Cycle to a farm where you’ll spend the afternoon interacting and learning from a local family. Take a tour around their property as they demonstrate their daily tasks and responsibilities. For lunch, enjoy a home-cooked meal and engage in lively conversations with the family. Return to Hanoi.

Day 5
Hanoi, Vietnam
Hue, Vietnam
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While imperial rule ended more than six decades ago, the central city of Hue still bears the marks of its royal past. From 1802 to 1945 Hue was home to 13 Nguyen Emperors, whose palaces and tombs provide fascinating glimpses into the luxurious and secretive world of the court. Visit the elaborate tombs of Emperor Khai Dinh and Tu Duc for a better understanding of Hue’s imperial past. After lunch, take a brief cyclo ride to explore the Imperial Citadel, a designated World Heritage site. Enter through the towering main gate and appreciate the magnificent architecture and gardens while your guide explains the events and the intrigue surrounding the former royal court. Afterwards, join the local crowds in kite flying among the hundreds of kites soaring in the sky over Imperial Citadel every afternoon. Still an interesting game for all generations in this former Royal city, visit Mr Cu’s private home, a 45-year-old kite craftsman. Have a chat with him to understand the history of this traditional pastime and share his passion and then learn how to create a kite yourself.

Day 6
Hue, Vietnam
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Spend half-day exploring a Sinh handicraft Village, home to the 400-year old folk painting craft on “dzo” paper. Meet with the oldest artisan in the village who will show you how to create your own piece of folk art. Afterwards, cycle to a neighbouring village, known for its traditional paper flower making. The flowers, including chrysanthemums, roses, orchids and sunflowers, are mainly used to decorate altars for ancestor worship and as offerings in religious rituals. Try creating your own paper lotus flower under the guidance of one of the artisans. Continue cycling to Tien Non Village, a scenic flower and vegetable growing area, which takes advantage of the rich soil deposits from the river. Later, visit Uu Dam Orphanage where volunteer nuns provide housing and education to orphaned children of all ages. Spend some time with the children, teaching them basic English or join them in some games.

Day 7
Hue, Vietnam
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Experience one of the most scenic routes by train from Hue to Danang. Make friends with the local travellers on this three-hour ride that passes through the dramatic countryside and edges alongside the mountain as you travel the coastline. Arrive at Danang train station and drive to the former trading port of Hoi An. The ancient town of Hoi An is recognised for its well-preserved architecture from the 15th-19th century. This afternoon, have fun with a hands-on lesson from a local lantern-making artisan whose family has been making lanterns for decades. You will choose your own silk fabric colours and pattern to make a unique lantern.

Day 8
Hoi An, Vietnam
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The flat, quiet roads surrounding Hoi An’s countryside are ideal for exploring by traditional buffalo cart. Farmers and buffalos working the fields have become a symbol of countryside life. The buffalo is the most valuable possession of poor farmers and therefore treated almost as a member of the family. Enjoy a scenic buffalo cart ride passing by rice paddies, shrimp ponds, and vegetable farms. Afterwards, board a private riverboat for a cruise down the Hoi An River, offering a close-up view of life on the river. Meet a local fisherman and hop on his boat to try your hand at casting traditional fishing nets and learn the art of paddling the unique Vietnamese round basket boat. Return to your cruise for BBQ seafood snacks and a refreshing drink as you head up the river and return to town. After lunch, visit a bamboo workshop and meet with an expert who will show you the variety of items made from bamboo that can be used in daily life.

Day 9
Hoi An, Vietnam
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Take a short boat ride across the Thu Bon River to reach Cam Kim Island. The car-free island is perfect for cycling through the peaceful countryside. Visit Tra Nhieu village, which has retained the traditional Vietnamese agricultural way of life and handicraft making. Through the perspective of the local families, learn about the diversity of native plants and herbs. Visit their homes to observe the customary way to make rice wine, rice noodles and rice paper. Next, you will have the unique opportunity to row a traditional Vietnamese round bamboo basket boat through the water’s coconut forest. Enjoy a home-hosted lunch before returning to the mainland.

Day 10
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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A short flight from Danang takes you to Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s commercial centre with a bustling population of 10 million. Experience old Ho Chi Minh City from the unique vantage point of a vintage motorbike sidecar during a half-day city tour of the historic landmarks. Before dinner, enjoy watching a fascinating ‘AO’ show, combining acrobats and dance performance depicting traditional rural life.

Day 11
Mekong Delta, Vietnam
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Discover the breadbasket of the country with a day tour of the Mekong Delta. Drive to Cai Be, known for its tropical fruit gardens and traditional handicrafts and then board a river cruise to a village where you will explore by bicycle the fruit farms and local handicraft centres that specialise in making hammocks, rice paper, and conical hats. Enjoy a home-hosted traditional Mekong lunch before returning to the city.

Day 12
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Your cultural tour of Vietnam comes to a close in Ho Chi Minh City. Transfer to the airport for your onward departure.

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Family Vacations


Vietnam’s youthful population and fascinating culture make it an ideal destination for family travel, allowing for a wide range of cultural exploration and discoveries traveling from north to south. Hands-on activities, such as being a farmer for a day or learning how to make traditional woodblock prints, are designed to engage the entire family in a fun and cross-cultural experience.

About Us

Trails of Indochina had its humble beginnings in 1999 as a boutique inbound tour operator. Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), and now with more than 250 employees throughout the region, Trails of Indochina has grown to be a full-service Destination Management Company and tour operation across Indochina. At Trails of Indochina, our personal relationships can make anything possible. We invite you to experience our part of the world where you will uncover the hidden gems and see a different perspectives of Southeast Asia.

Insider Tip

Vietnam is a top destination for foodies with its cuisine differing greatly from north to south. We suggest a combination offood experiences including food tours, cooking classes and craft beer tours.

Terms & Conditions

To read our Booking Terms and Conditions, please click here.

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Reviews and Recommendations for Trails of Indochina - Vietnam


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Friendly Service

By: Andy37

Reviewed on: 02 Sep 2015

Overall, our experience was a great one. The drivers, tour guides, etc were all there to pick us up and get us to where we were going and everyone was extremely friendly and outgoing. We did have a minor issue with a few additional charges that we were given and we were not told (at all) that any of them would have been an extra charge. Additionally, our tour guide in Bali seemed to be really pushing us to sign on to additional tours with him on days that we had chosen to be on our own. Our experience on Lombok was top-notch, however in Bali, the tour guides were much more chatty with what seemed their prescribed talk and not so attentive to specific questions that we had. Additionally, when we were picked up for our bike tour, the guide asked to see our itinerary, as he had no idea what we were supposed to be doing. We ended up not doing a number of activities outlined on the itinerary and instead just did what the guide wanted to do. We had a great time, but these were concerns.
Travel Advisor:  Sari Greene

Very informative

By: Jandm42

Reviewed on: 21 Nov 2015

They made the arrivals and departures very easy. All guides were personable and very well informed. They added greatly to our travel experience.
Travel Advisor:  Judy Perl

Recent trip

By: Fletch

Reviewed on: 31 Jan 2017

Our experience was excellent. The organization proved to be very professional and reliable
Travel Advisor:  Cheryl Everhart

Southeast Asia

By: David Nixon

Reviewed on: 19 Feb 2017

The tour, with a few exceptions, we well organized. We saw most of what there was to see. The hotels and guides were excellent.
Travel Advisor:  Roxanne Girard