Central Vietnam - Touring Highlights

Central Vietnam

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Experience all the must-see cities rich in history, culture and beauty on this 7-night unique tour in the heart of Vietnam.

Discover the historical city of Hue, relax in the modern Da Nang City with one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, visit the must-see Ba Na Hills Resort, and explore the ancient and romantic town of Hoi An. 

The best bit? Unlike other tour packages, there’s no tour group you have to spend a week with and you can customise your experience. Enjoy the new, flexible way to see your dream destinations.

What to Expect

  • Full Day Guided Tour of Hue City (Visit the Perfume River, Imperial Citadel & Royal Tombs)
  • Travel over the famous Hai Van Pass
  • Spend the day on ‘one of the most attractive beaches on the planet’ - Forbes Magazine
  • Full Day Guided Tour of Ba Na Hills (Walk over the infamous Golden Bridge)
  • Explore the ancient town of Hoi An (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Coconut Forest & Bamboo Boat Guided Tour, Hoi An
  • Ride the coastal train journey
  • 7 Nights Accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Hue

Welcome to Hue! Vietnam’s capital on two separate occasions, Hue is undoubtedly one of the most important historic and cultural centres in Vietnam. The ancient capital once served as the Imperial residence of Vietnam’s Nguyen Emperors and was an important centre of Buddhism during their reign.

Today though, this charming city blends new and old as sleek, modern hotels tower over crumbling 19th-century Citadel walls. Hue remains a tranquil, conservative and yet beautifully romantic city – with just the right concentration of nightlife.

Free time options:  

With some free time to explore, why not hire out a bike (or join a cycling tour) and ride alongside the picturesque Perfume River, marvel at the Imperial City and maybe even venture out to discover the Tu Hieu Pagoda (known as the ‘root temple’ of the famous Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh).

Day 2 - Full Day City Tour, Hue

Explore Hue in a small group tour that spans centuries worth of Vietnamese history and heritage in one day. 

You’ll start the day with a relaxing 45 minute cruise along the Perfume River, famed for its floral aroma and stunning scenic views of Hue’s iconic temples and villages. The first stop is the iconic Thien Mu (Pagoda of the Celestial Lady). This symbolic 7-story structure was built in the early 17th century and inspired countless folktales and legends. Next, you’ll learn of the horrific history of the Hue Buddhist massacre as well as taking in a cyclo ride to see the city from a whole new angle.

Another iconic stop is the Hue Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and capital of past Nguyen emperors. The citadel has withstood the Vietnam War, the Battle of Hue, and numerous tragedies over the years. 

Next, get lost in the bustle of Dong Ba Market, one of the oldest places in Hue but still a thriving center of city commerce full of traditional Vietnamese souvenirs. After lunch, visit the must-see royal tombs of Khai Dinh and Minh Mang and immerse yourself in Vietnam’s rich heritage in famed craft villages – home to most talented Vietnamese artisans. 

Day 3 - Hue-Tam Giang Lagoon Sunset

Explore the natural beauty of Hue with a half-day tour of Tam Giang Lagoon Sunset. Start your journey by cruising through the peaceful countryside, passing by local villages and rice paddies. As you approach the lagoon, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with friendly local fishermen and learn about their way of life. Enjoy a delicious seafood snack and a wonderful performance of the sunset over the lagoon as you cruise. The highlight of the tour is the unforgettable view of the sun setting over the village, providing a perfect ending to your day. This tour is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the beauty of Vietnam’s natural landscapes. Don’t miss out on this unique and memorable experience.

End the evening with a stroll over the famous Dragon Bridge – if you’re there on a Saturday or Sunday be sure to stick around to watch it breathe fire! Check out Cồn Market whilst you’re there – the largest & busiest wholesale shopping venue in Da Nang.

Day 4 - Bus from Hue - Da Nang

Today, you’re heading the tourist capital of Central Vietnam, Da Nang. This former French colonial port is now a vibrant city and resort boasting beautiful beaches and some impressive cultural attractions.

First though, you’ll travel from Hue to DaNang on via the infamous 13 mile Hai Van Pass. Experience the notoriously winding roads made famous by Top Gear and panoramic views of DaNang City and the South China Sea. 

Arriving into Da Nang City for the afternoon, you’ll have some free time to explore. So whether you fancy taking a long walk on the iconic My Khe Beach, chilling out in a beach bar, or getting straight to it with a visit to the The Fifth Military Division Museum (filled with relics & photos from the Vietnam War) – the choice is yours. 

Stroll over the famous Dragon Bridge – if you’re there on a Saturday or Sunday be sure to stick around to watch it breathe fire! Check out Cồn Market whilst you’re there – the largest & busiest wholesale shopping venue in Da Nang.

Followed by

The Marble Mountains & Son Tra Peninsula Tour from Da Nang is a must-do for any traveler visiting the area. In just four hours, you will be able to take in the breathtaking views from the Marble Mountains, marvel at the intricate stone carvings at Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village, and visit the Son Tra Peninsula to see the famous Lady Buddha statue. With so much to see and do in such a short amount of time, this tour is the perfect way to experience all that this beautiful region has to offer. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to explore the natural and cultural wonders of Da Nang!

Day 5 – Beach Day, Da Nang

No trip to Da Nang would be complete without a chilled beach day on one of Vietnam’s most picturesque beaches. Listed as the ‘one of the most attractive beaches on the planet’ by Forbes Magazine, My Khe Beach is renowned for its 20 mile stretch of white sands, clear turquoise waters, and miami-vibed sporting activities. Locals are known to exercise & meditate there between 5-6am on the weekends – get there early to experience it for yourself!

So relax, sip on some fresh coconut water, and soak up some rays on this iconic beach once used by American troops in the Vietnam War for some R&R themselves. There’s even a handful of high-end resorts nearby should you be in need of pampering or luxury dining. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, hire a scooter and explore Son Tra Peninsula to see the Lady Buddha that’s as tall as a 30 story building. Make the most of it by going up Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain & Ban Co Peak, where you can get panoramic views over the city, Hai Van Pass, Ba Na Hills & Cham Islands. 

After a day of relaxation (or action!), end the night with a cocktail on one of the many rooftop bars overlooking the sun retiring over the East Vietnam Sea – Sky 21 Rooftop Bar is a must-visit.

Day 6 - Da Nang to Hoi An

After a short and sweet 1-hour coach journey down the coast, you’ll arrive in the charming town of Hoi An, the town’s former commercial port and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and European influences, this ancient coastal town has history, beauty and endless wonders to spare (not to mention being a foodie’s haven). With it’s relaxing vibe, and lazy river lined with mustard merchant houses and endless colourful silk lanterns, it’s no surprise that Hoi An literally translates to ‘peaceful meeting place’.

Free time recommendations:

Make the most of your free time today by exploring the narrow streets of Hoi An’s Old Town. We recommend starting at the Tan Ky Family House, a two-century-old merchants residence that has literally stood the test of time (it even has markings on its courtyard wall from the height of flood falls). End up at the symbolic Japanese covered bridge, an arched pagoda built in 1593 by the Japanese to divide the town, and later reconstructed by the Chinese and Vietnamese. 

Wander over to the infamous Silk Row; once a thriving silk trading business, the success now lies within more than 600 tailor shops.  Spare some time to get a handmade silk piece for yourself. Stop by Thang Loi to watch the traditional art form of  silk-making.  

After dinner, step into the side streets and explore Hoi An’s main Night Market. Zigzag through the banana pancake carts and shuffling tour groups, to a row of stalls alight with beautiful silk lanterns. End with a beer, or a vietnamese whisky, in one of the courtyard bars hidden in the French Quarter.

Day 7 - Ba Na Hills and Golden Bridge

Prepare to be amazed today as you visit a real hidden gem that sits above the clouds of Da Nang. This full-day guided tour will start by taking you on a journey up one of the world’s longest and highest cable car rides above the mountains, where you’ll reach the french-inspired hilltop town of Ba Na Hills.

Roam through the cobblestoned streets of the famed French Village. Once the settlement of French colonizers, the village’s Parisian-style architecture was modelled after genuine 19th Century villages of France. Visit the tranquil gardens of Le Jardin D’amour and Tinh Tam, and explore the Nui Chua Peak where a 27-metre high Buddha statue lies. 

After a tasty buffet lunch, take a walk over one of Vietnam’s newest architectural additions, the Golden Bridge. Held up by two enormous stone hands, this 150m long pedestrian bridge provides a breathtaking view of the South China Sea.

Spend some time at the Linh Ung Pagoda, one of the three pagodas that forms a solid tripod that protects DaNang City. Tour the temple complex, where a 9-story pagoda and teahouse sits 1,487 meters above sea level. Save some energy for Fantasy Park, a medieval-style amusement park that’s been dubbed as one of the most modern indoor game centers in Asia. If you’re an adrenaline-junkie, brave the Drop Tower.

Free time options: You’ll arrive back at your hotel for 5pm, so why not head to Cohibar for dinner then take a stroll to the beachfront and enjoy a cold beer in one of the luxe ocean club restaurants – Apocalypse Beach Club is our favourite!

Day 8 – Hoi An to Hue

After an epic week exploring the heart of Vietnam, it’s time to say farewell as you head back to Hue. 

Fancy sticking round to explore? Why not add on the South Vietnam Highlights package where you’ll head straight to Ho Chi Minh instead for another 8 days of action-packed adventure. Or, if you’re keen to explore the majestic wonders of the north, then the North Vietnam Highlights package is for you, where your next stop is the bustling capital of Hanoi. 

Why book with us?

Friends & Family Only

Holiday with friends & family. No week long tour with 20+ strangers

Central Hotels

Stay in the heart of a city. Not an hour outside

More Excursions

As many activities & excursions as can be fitted in to your trip

Flexibility

Go any day of the week and most times of the year

Why book with us?

Friends & Family Only

No week-long tour with 20+ strangers

Central Hotels

Stay in the heart of a city. Not an hour outside

More Excursions

As many activities & excursions as can be fitted in to your trip

Flexibility

Go any day of the week and most times of the year

Map

Photos

Additional Days

Want more? Add on these additional days which include one nights accommodation. Prices start from £69...

Hue's Hidden Gems

Keen to explore Hue in more depth? Add on an extra day that gives you some extra time to self-explore all this city has to offer, including some real hidden gems…

If you’re looking for some adventure off the beaten track of temples and pagodas, it’s definitely worth paying a visit to the Thuy Tien Lake Abandoned Water Park. One of Vietnam’s unofficial must-see attractions, this erie monument hidden in the jungle was abandoned just two years after opening for reasons that still remain a mystery. Coated in graffiti and overgrown forestry, this crumbling playground has become a popular hangout spot for adventurous backpackers, despite locals warning of it’s supernatural activities… 

A 20 minute taxi ride along the perfume river lies one of the most popular and impressive of the royal mausoleums, the Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. Designed by himself before his death and built under forced labour and at an enormous expense, Tu Duc reigned for 35 years; the longest of any monarch of the Nguyen dynasty. All 200 servants who buried Tu Duc were beheaded to keep the exact location of his remains secret. 

These are just some of our top recommendations for your additional time in Hue. Chat to our destination experts for more options to swap in to curate your ideal day. From a National Wildlife Park once used as a tunnel route in the Vietnam War, to an abandoned Tiger Fighting Arena once owned by the royals, there’s tons still to explore in Hue!

Beach Day (Hue or Da Nang)

If you fancy adding in a day of pure relaxation to the agenda, then this one’s for you. For just £69, add in another night’s stay and spend the full day soaking up the sunshine (or surfing!) on the golden coast of Da Nang’s My Khe Beach. Or, if you fancy getting off-the-beaten track, choose to spend an extra night and day in Hue to visit one of Vietnam’s lesser known and most beautiful beaches, Thuan An. Just a short taxi ride away from Hue, this underdeveloped beach boasts clean white sands that rival even some of Australia’s coasts.

Hoi An: My Son Full Day Tour

Lovers of architecture and ancient civilizations will not regret a full day tour to the South of Vietnam to explore one of Southeast Asia’s greatest archaeological sites, My Son Holy Sanctuary. A cluster of partially ruined hindu temples that have long been abandoned, though once a thriving religious site of the early Champa tribe, dating back between the 4th and 13th century.

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the sanctuary features stone sculptures of Hindu deities and towers amid the tropical jungle. History buffs and furniture enthusiasts would also not want to miss the second stop of this day tour – a trip to the Kim Bong Carpentry Village via boat, a traditional yet lively village that boasts unique carpentry styles and quality souvenirs. Accompanied by a local English speaking guide, you’re sure to discover much about both old and existing communities that play important roles in the development of the country. Enjoy a light lunch as you cruise back down Thu Bồn River back to the Nguyen Hoang Pier from where the tour ends you can continue to explore Hoi An. 

Free time recommendation:

From the pier, we recommend  jumping into a Grab to take you to an idyllic restaurant called Baby Mustard which sits by Tra Que’s market gardens in a backstreet off the road to An Bang Beach. Known for its bamboo structures and romantic, open setting overlooking its own vegetable garden, enjoy a fresh taste of Vietnamese food in a completely unique setting. Highly recommended by ourselves and featured in The Guardian

Hoi An: VinPearl Day Visit

A visit to Central Vietnam would not be complete without a day trip to the largest entertainment complex in the countryVinpearl Land. Just 15km from the center of Hoi An, you’ll experience an adrenaline-boosting amusement park that combines both cultural experiences and wildlife discovery. With 5 different zones in the park plus over 95 exciting indoor games, there’s something for all ages to enjoy. Ride the Swiss Tower that drops from a teetering 80m height, or the Tree Swing that will take you on a spin for your life. 

Explore Folk Island’s Handicraft Village and watch as representatives of minorities weave and create pottery with their own two hands. Make a visit to Water World for a refreshing dip in the pool, and don’t miss out on the River Safari – the first and only wildlife sanctuary in the country that lets you explore the grounds via river way. 

Free time recommendation: After your day of fun and adventure at Vin Wonders, head back to Hoi An for a chilled evening. We recommend wandering the north bank of the Thu Bồn river after dark, where dozens of little charcoal braziers are set up with skewers of thịt nướng for around 30-40p each!

Hue: Full-Day Demilitarized Zone Tour

Take a step back in time to the years fighting against the American invasion and explore the must-see Demilitarized Zone of Vietnam. On this full-day guided tour from your hotel in Hue to the Quang Tri Province, you’ll discover some of the battlegrounds between the Communist North and South that divided Vietnam into two separate states.

On this emotional journey through some of Vietnam’s most significant landmarks, you’ll explore the Horror Highway, Long Hung Church, Quang Tri Ancient Citadel, Dakrong Bridge, Khe Sanh Combat Base, Hien Luong Bridge, Ben Hai River, and Doc Mieu Base. Not forgetting the Ho Chi Minh trails and Vinh Moc Tunnels Complex where you’ll discover the remains of a coastal North Vietnamese village that literally went 2km underground in response to unremitting American bombing. Not one to be missed!

Photos

Our Promises

Flexible Bookings

Amend your booking up to 1 month before travel

100% Financial Cover

Your money is 100% protected in a trust bank account

Covid Cover

Free amendments due to covid with our travel insurance

Quality Promise

Find the same quality of holiday for less & we’ll match the price

Our Promises

100% Financial Cover

Your money is 100% protected in a trust bank account

Covid Cover

Free amendments due to covid with our travel insurance

Flexible Bookings

Amend your booking up to 1 month before travel

Quality Promise

Find the same quality of holiday for less & we’ll match the price

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