Vietnam 9 Day Itinerary North South Mekong Delta is specially customized for couples, small groups, family holidays and those looking for a fun, active holidays to Vietnam. Different activities are added in the 9-day tour itinerary including sightseeing, countryside cycling, river boat trip, junk cruise, sea kayaking, visit floating market, war sites…The multi activity tour takes you to the most popular travel destinations such as Hanoi, Mai Chau village, Tam Coc, Halong Bay, Saigon, My Tho, Can Tho (the Mekong delta), Cu Chi tunnels.
Map of Vietnam 9 day itinerary
Vietnam 9 day itinerary
Day 1: Hanoi – Mai Chau.
Depart for Hoa Binh province and up then to Mai Chau valley. This scenic drive takes around four hours. Along the way we pass fields of tapioca and sugar cane as well as rice paddies. Arrive Mai Chau around noon. Check into a local stilt-house where your lunch will also be provided. In the afternoon, enjoy a half day cycling around Lac & Poom Coong villages to have the first sights of the White Thai community culture. In the evening, assist to the traditional music and dance show which is performed by The Thai young girls and boys. They all come from this village. Try also some rice alcohol made of traditional plants and local sticky rice. Homestay in Mai Chau.
Day 2: Mai Chau – Tam Coc (Ninh Binh).
Depart for Ninh Binh. We will arrive in Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh around noon. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant. After lunch, visit the two remaining sanctuaries of the ancient citadel of Dinh & Le before having a short cycling trip through rural villages to Tam Coc, also called Halong-Bay-On-Land. Upon arrival in Tam coc, we will have a short rest before taking a 2-hour boat trip along the Boi river. The river trip in Tam coc is wonderful for photo hunters, especially when local people come to harvest the water rice planted along the river, or when they transplant some seedling for the next crops. The tourists often compare the place with Guilin – China, or more closely, to the limestone islets of Halong Bay in the Tonkin Gulf for their similar geological structures and shapes. Dinner & overnight in Tam Coc.
Day 3: Tam Coc – Halong Bay.
Enjoy the journey through the scenery of rice fields, water buffalo and everyday Vietnamese village life. Arrive in Halong around noon and board the Bai Tho traditional sailing junk (or similar junk). Whilst cruising the exquisite waters sample the regions fresh seafood. Visit the recently discovered Surprise Grotto with its great views, and on the next island see the yawning mouth of Bo Nau Cave. Alternatively journey to Dau Go Cave and nearby see the famous stalagmites and stalactites of Thien Cung Cave. Watch the sun set over the bay whilst enjoying a delicious dinner. Overnight on board junk.
Day 4: Halong Bay Cruise – Halong Bay Kayaking.
Breakfast on board. Then we continue kayaking zigzagging through many small islets of different shapes. We will kayak to the Black Grottoe and The lake of Three Grottoes. The journey is really wonderfull and adventurous! Back to the support boat for our lunch which will be provided on board. In the afternoon, we cruise towards the Islands of Rocks and visit the Fishermen floating village. We will kayak in Ba Men temple area which is also a important highlight of our journey. Swimming at the sandy Three Peach beach if weather permits and enjoy the great view of Halong bay sunset. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi.
Breakfast on board. Then we continue our cruise while the boat is going back to shore. Arrive at Ha long wharf about 11h00 and join our vehicle again for journey back to Hanoi. Arrive in Hanoi around 15h00.
Day 6: Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Transfer to Noibai airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh city, still called “Saigon”. Welcome at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh city by our local team and then escorted to your hotel in town. In the afternoon, start the half day city tour tour with Ho Chi Minh City major highlights such as the Post Office, cathedral, Reunification palace, centre town, then continue towards Cholon, visit Thien Hau temple and Binh Tay market. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh city.
Day 7: Saigon – My Tho – Ben Tre – Can Tho (Mekong Delta).
After breakfast, transfer to My Tho. Enjoy the boat trip to discover local people life with their daily work. Stop at a Con Lan islet to taste seasonal fruit and experience traditional music. Then continue to Con Quy islet, visit some home production chain of coconut candy, sweet honey bee farm, …take a chance walking on countryside road and exited riding. Rowing on small boat to return motorboat. Transfer to Can Tho, the city considered as the heart of the Mekong Delta. Overnight in Can Tho.
Day 8: Can Tho – Saigon.
Early morning, enjoy a boat trip on the Mekong River to visit Cai Rang, the famous floating market in the west of Viet Nam, along narrow narrow waterways through the lush vegetation to an orchard garden where we have the opportunity to visit local homes as well as enjoy a lunch followed with seasonal fruits. Lunch will be provided in a local restaurant. Drive back Sai Gon.
Day 9: Cu Chi Tunnels Day Tour.
Breakfast at hotel. Enjoy a morning drive through typical southern Vietnamese countryside to Cu Chi to visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. Go back to Ho Chi Minh city around noon.
Hiking Vietnam specializes in tailor-making trekking and hiking vacations in Vietnam. With a dedicated team of senior travel consultants, hiking tour specialists, experienced English-speaking tour leaders, local H’mong, Thai, Tay guides, cooks, porters we can design any trekking, hiking, walking option for any age and budget. This Vietnam 9 Day Itinerary North South Mekong Delta is only a sample that can be further customized to better fit your personal requirements. Just follow this itinerary or contact us for designing your own adventure.
Occasionally our tour itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travelers’ comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the service proposal. It’s very important that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact us. We are here to help you!
Please note that while we operate successful trips in Vietnam throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Our trekking tours can be classified into three levels
There are about 8 – 10K to walk on flat roads. No previous experience is necessary. Anyone in good health and fit enough to perform an occasional hike can take an easy level trek. Vietnam easy walks are provided in Hanoi, Bac Giang, Mai Chau, Ngoc Son Ngo Luong…
There are about 10 – 15K to hike on flat and hilly roads. At this point too, no special background is required. Hikers accustomed to trekking in hilly areas of Mai Chau, Pu Luong or Lai Chau, Yen Bai successfully accomplish our treks “moderate”, provided they are in good health and to have a correct fit. These treks are moderate or easy hikes with an average duration or shorter but more difficult steps.
There are about 16 – 23K to trek on uphill/downhill dirty, rocky trails. Physical fitness is very important for these treks and you may have to lead you home before the trek. Most treks in this level are comparable with long rides in the Fansipan mountain or the the mountainous region of Ha Giang, Cao Bang, sometimes higher altitudes. The climate and isolation can also participate in difficulty. Prior trek experience is preferable but not vital if you have confidence in your fitness.
Our trip cost usually includes the following services. Please bear in mind Lotussia Travel is specialized in tailor-made trips. Trip cost vary depending on group size and other details.
- Car transfers
- Local tour guide. The English-Speaking guide is provided by default. Other language may be available upon request (with extra charge).
- Local porter(s)
- Sightseeing entrance fees.
- Bottled water.
Unless required most of the following services are usually not included in our tour price.
- Visa (required)
- Flight/Train tickets.
- Accommodation pre/post trip.
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses
Our tour guides speak English or French. They hold a university degree in tourism and national license as a guide. If you wish to send a tour leader along with any group, he or she can fully rely on the knowledge and experience of our local guides.
Remote treks are always accompanied by a local representative to deal with permits and authorities and manage the porter team. They speak the local dialects, know the cultural traditions and give tips on suggested behavior in fragile ecological areas and tribal communities. For some itineraries, the role of tour leader and representative is combined.
When to hike
The north Vietnam experiences two distinct seasons; winter and summer. Winter is cool, dry and lasts from November to April. Temperatures range between 15 to 25°C during the day and 0 to 10°C during the night. With little rain, the winter season offers the most pleasant weather conditions for trekking in Vietnam. Read more about Vietnam weather.
During all trekking tours we may use local porters to carry your luggage as well as our trekking equipment, where required. To generate local income we employ local villagers for this task. Participants will have their own porter, carrying trekking equipment and luggage to a maximum of 15 kg per client. Travelers only have to carry their day packs. Read more how to pack
Depending on the nature of the tour, journeys will be accompanied by an air-conditioned car/minibus cover the larger overland sections.
Campsites and lodges are not common in Vietnam, instead we make use of homestays; staying the night in tribal villages along the way. Facilities are clean, but very basic. Travelers share a bamboo-slat floor, separated by curtains. Animals usually sleep under the house and restrooms and showers are often absent. Water sources are available outside. Mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets are taken care of.
Over the years Lotussia Travel has established a number of projects to upgrade home stay accommodation into a bit more comfort. Basic facilities aside, spending the night in a tribal village and enjoying a meal with the locals brings travellers unforgettable cross-cultural experiences. In the past 15 years of organizing trekking by this way, we never received a complaint.
During all treks meals will be arranged on the spot, in local restaurants and at home in local villages along the way. The meals are prepared by our cooks, the local guide or by the local host. Our cooks are well trained to prepare and serve food hygienically and they cook a variety of local delicacies. Sometimes this may include the slaughter of a chicken, duck or pig. We sometimes have the chance to bring western food, and snacks from Hanoi for breakfast and picnics along the way, and coffee and tea are available in abundance. Our cooks make a special effort to provide as much variety as possible. The porters give necessary assistance on the spot.
There are many shops and villages that have bottled water for sale. On remote trekking tours, we buy a sufficient supply of water for the next couple of days. We recommend bringing some water purifying tablets.
Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for travelling in Vietnam. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea in the rainy season. During the winter months warm clothing is needed for visiting the north of Vietnam. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other skimpy clothing when visiting religious buildings such as pagoda, temple, communal house and shoes should be removed before entering a private home.
What you take will naturally depend upon where you are travelling and the style of journey you are undertaking, and it can often be difficult to decide what to pack. Nevertheless, the following should act as a useful checklist of essential items worth thinking about taking.
- 1 medium-sized backpack.
- Comfortable walking shoes with good grip
- 1 long (easy to dry) pants and 1 long sleeved shirt to wear during the trek (easy to dry).
- 1 pair of flip flop (sandals).
- 1 pair of shorts and T-shirt to wear at camp site (2 if you do 4-day trek).
- 1 medium-sized towel.
- 1 medium-sized dry bag.
- Hiking poles/walking sticks
We strongly believe that Responsible Tourism can support to local communities: proving incomes,positive cultural exchanges and an incentive to protect natural environment. We recognize that there is always space for improvement. We continually strive to narrow the gap between principle and practice.
We have been turning environmentally responsible tourism into practices to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat. From biodegradable soaps to re – usable water containers, we provide clients with the best information and mean to help them identify and implement effective ways to positive protect local nature and communities. It is a vital criteria that can be passed on and abided by all, long after the trip ended.
Prior to our tours, we contact and work with local community leaders to make sure we are welcome and in a manner that minimizes negative social and cultural impacts. We visit local development and community projects specific to the region, encouraging customers to donate and assist such a projects in appropriate and sustainable manner.
Where make sure that where and whenever possible our tours positively benefit the local community. We stayed at locally owned accommodation and visit cottage industries for local handicraft souvenir, generating income for local business. We often employ, hire support team such as local guide, motor-taxi drivers, cook assistants on all trips to ensure that the local community benefit not only short term but with increased employment opportunities for the future.