VIETNAM: North to South

      The Continental DRIFTER®
      • Email address verified
      2 reviews
      Dec 2 - 15, 2024
      Group size: 6 - 10
      VIETNAM: North to South

      The Continental DRIFTER®
      • Email address verified
      2 reviews

      Dec 2 - 15, 2024
      Group size: 6 - 10

      About this trip

      ACTIVITY LEVEL: Low to Medium

      Enjoy a customized small group tour of Vietnam (6 pax min. to 10 max.) with your leader, Continental DRIFTER® Founder Ralph Velasco.

      This trip starts in the capital city of Ha Noi (also spelled Hanoi).  Next, you'll spend a night both in Ninh Binh and on a private boat on the otherworldly Ha Long Bay. Then you'll fly (flight included) to Da Nang to transfer to nearby Hoi An (known as the City of Lanterns, and you’ll see why). 

      Finally, fly south to Can Tho to experience the Mekong Delta, then end your adventure in Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City or HCMC) where you'll have numerous experiences and then fly out on the last day.

      We’ve got lots of great activities planned, such as a foodie tour and cyclo ride in Ha Noi, an included but optional bicycle ride into the countryside near Hoi An along with a basket boat ride, a night walk in Hoi An, boat rides on the Mekong Delta, including an early morning visit to the famous Cai Rang Floating Market, and so much more.

      Trip Highlights

      • Itinerary Highlights:
        • Start in the capital city of Ha Noi (also spelled Hanoi).
        • Spend a night in Ninh Binh and on a private boat in Ha Long Bay.
        • Travel to Da Nang, then transfer to Hoi An (City of Lanterns).
        • Continue south to Can Tho for the Mekong Delta experience.
        • Conclude the adventure in Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh City or HCMC).

      • Transportation Included:
        • Flights included from Ha Noi to Da Nang and from Da Nang to Can Tho.

      • Planned Activities:
        • Foodie tour and cyclo ride in Ha Noi.
        • Optional bicycle ride (included) in the countryside near Hoi An.
        • Basket boat ride and night walk in Hoi An.
        • Boat rides on the Mekong Delta.
        • Early morning visit to Cai Rang Floating Market.

      • Cultural and Scenic Experiences:
        • Explore the historical and cultural facets of each destination.
        • Engage in unique local activities to enhance the travel experience.

      Click here to get a feel for Hoi An, included on our upcoming Vietnam tour!

      Testimonials About This Trip

      “Traveling in Vietnam [with Ralph] was the experience of a lifetime. He does a lot of preparation and research in order to provide the best experience possible. A phenomenal place to photograph! Highly, highly recommend it!! RockStar AweSome!” - Laurie K. 

      “Vietnam was so interesting! I loved the people and the culture a lot. The itinerary had a lot of activities that I would not have done if I were on my own. It’s nice to go on a trip where everything is planned out and ready to go!  Thanks, Ralph, for a great time!” - Carole R. 

      “As soon as I arrived in Hanoi I knew this was going to be an amazing trip! There were so many great photo opportunities at every turn. The tour was well thought out – offering examples of the food, history, and culture that is Vietnam. Our tour leader, Ralph Velasco, gave great photo/camera advice making this trip well worth the cost. I came back a better photographer, and I am looking forward to my next adventure with Ralph! Thank you again!- Greg I.

      About This Itinerary


      Most meals are included and B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, and D = Dinner

      About the Country

      Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country situated on the South China Sea (a.k.a. the Eastern Sea) known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas, and bustling cities. 

      Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Sai Gon) has French colonial landmarks, plus the Vietnam War History Museum.

      What’s included

      • Accommodations
        13 nights accommodation in wonderful 3- and 4-star boutique hotels in each location, including 1 night each in Ha Long Bay (on a private boat), Ninh Binh and in Can Tho, along the Mekong Delta.
      • Internal Airfare
        Internal flights from Ha Noi (HAN) to Da Nang (DAD) and Da Nang to Can Tho (VCA).
      • Airport Transfers
        Private airport transfers in Ha Noi on arrival and in Sai Gon for your departure, as well as for both included internal flights.
      • English-Speaking Guides
        The services of an experienced local, English-speaking guide in each location.
      • Meals
        Breakfast daily, plus most other meals, including a locally-guided Foodie Tour in Ha Noi.
      • Beverages
        One drink per included meal (local beer, soft drink, bottled water).
      • Orientation Tour
        Cyclo ride as part of orientation tour in Ha Noi.
      • Transportation
        Transportation between locations in private, air-conditioned vehicles with professional drivers.
      • Other Transportation
        Bicycle and basket boat rides in the countryside outside of Hoi An, plus private boat rides on the Mekong Delta and in Hoi An..
      • Entry Fees
        Entry fees for all included sites and experiences.
      • Gratuities
        Group tips for all local guides, drivers, porters and included meals.

      What’s not included

      • International Airfare
        Airfare to Ha Noi (HAN) and from Sai Gon (SGN) from your home country. This is often referred to a Multi-City or open jaw.
      • Visa Fees
        Fee for required visa to Vietnam due upon entry (currently US$25 for U.S. citizens, varies for other countries).
      • Personal Items
        Items of a personal nature such as, but not limited to, laundry (very inexpensive), Internet access (all of our hotels have free Wi-Fi), souvenirs, telephone calls, etc..

      Available Packages

      Double Occupancy (per person)
      Available until October 2, 20248 left

      You can avoid paying the $699 Single Supplement by sharing a room in Double Occupancy.

      Deposit: $750
      Single Occupancy
      Available until October 2, 20248 left

      If you'd like your own room throughout this experience, please add $699 for Single Supplement.

      Deposit: $750


      Day 1
      Arrival in Hanoi w/ Airport Transfer. Meet & Greet and Welcome Dinner

      Meals: D

      Whatever your point of origin, board your Ha Noi (HAN)-bound flight, ideally to arrive by 3:00 pm local time on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2024 (the first day of the tour) or earlier. If you choose to arrive early, or stay later, we can help arrange extra nights at our group hotels.

      Please don’t make any non-refundable travel arrangements until given confirmation by CD administrators to do so. 

      Once we've reached our minimum number of travelers and our trip is officially called a GO, we’ll ask for your flight information via a form we’ll send out in order to arrange your airport transfers.


      Upon arrival at HAN airport, get in line with your passport, Visa Letter of Authorization (we'll provide the LOA), visa form, and one passport photo to secure your visa.  As of this writing, the fee is US$25 for U.S. citizens and must be paid in cash to officials (you might want to use a large bill to receive change back, which should be in US$). 

      You’ll wait until your passport is processed and your name is called, at which point you’ll take your passport and continue through immigration. Then you’ll collect your luggage and meet the driver to transfer you to your hotel. A convenient Visa Fast Track service is also available at an additional fee.

      NOTE: There are two arrival halls at HAN, 1 and 2. If after 5 or 10 minutes you don’t see your driver near the door you came out, make your way to the other hall (not far away) and look for him. Look for a person holding a Tropical Journeys or Continental DRIFTER® Experiences sign, with your name on it.

      Depending on your arrival time, if your room is ready, you may check in and get settled.


      Based on everyone’s flight arrival times, we’ll plan to have a Meet & Greet at our hotel for you to get to know your fellow tour participants and go over the details of the trip ahead. Timing and exact location to be determined.

      Walk with your guide and the group to Welcome Dinner at the Red Bean restaurant or similar.

      Your Organizer

      The Continental DRIFTER®
      2 reviews
      Since 2008, Continental DRIFTER® founder Ralph Velasco has been organizing and leading once-in-a-lifetime small group cultural tours around the world (all of which have been 5-star rated on Google, WeTravel, and Facebook). Our guides, drivers, accommodations, experiences, and activities are all thoroughly vetted in advance so that your trip goes without a hitch. Come learn about the people, food, drink, and many other cultural aspects of the incredible destinations we visit. Remember, DRIFTER...Life's too short not to travel!


      Continental DRIFTER’s Northern Spain trip was the trip of a lifetime, but I will definitely travel with Ralph again, so there’s going to be competition for that “trip of a lifetime” title! With a small group of delightful companions, we saw spectacular views and architecture, ate amazing local food, drank delicious local wine, visited interesting locations with fun and knowledgeable local guides, and had so many laughs. Highlights included the sheer cliff faces overlooking Zumaia Beach, the lush terraced vineyards over the impossibly blue Bay of Biscay, the charming beachfront of San Sebastian, the ridiculously delicious tapas crawl on Calle Laurel in Logroño, and spending part of the trip in a little 13th century walled town in Rioja. Ralph takes care of every detail, so all that’s left to do is to marvel, learn, and enjoy. And eat. And eat. I loved spending enough time in each location to really get a feel for it instead of rushing from place to place checking items off a list, and Ralph curates the coolest experiences, like olive oil farm tours and cooking classes. 47 thumbs up from me!
      By Karen Gareis G for Northern SPAIN’s Basque Country & La Rioja on Sep 20, 2023
      Karen, thank you SO much for the wonderful review. I'm so happy you enjoyed our trip to Spain, it was a pleasure having you along and I can't wait until the next one!
      By The Continental DRIFTER® on Nov 02, 2023
      I have recently returned from this trip to Northern Spain and I highly recommend it! We toured wineries, had an olive oil tasting in an olive grove, attended a cooking class, took tours of churches and architecture, and so much else! At each stop Ralph had hired guides with extensive knowledge of their area, who were interesting, helpful, and punctual. (In Ramon's case, hilarious as well!) After daily excursions, we had the late afternoon and evening free to wander on our own and explore the three different cities we stayed in. The food was fantastic and fresh. We never had a bad meal. The hotels were beautiful. My favorite memory will always be sitting on the outdoor patio of a beautiful winery in the sun, eating pintxos (Basque tapas), drinking incredible wine, chatting with the really nice group of people on the trip; all with a beautiful view of the Bay of Biscay. It was definitely one of the highlights for me! I would recommend Ralph and Continental Drifter to anyone looking for an amazing travel experience!
      By Diana S for Northern SPAIN’s Basque Country & La Rioja on Sep 18, 2023
      Thank you, Robin, for the amazing 5-star review. I can't tell you how happy I am to know that this trip exceeded all your expectations and I look forward to seeing you on the road again real soon!
      By The Continental DRIFTER® on Nov 02, 2023