Savor breathtaking beauty and enduring traditions as you travel from Vietnam's imperial cities to the Mekong River Delta.

Starting at: $4,497 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The breathtaking Ha Long Bay  Throwing fishing nets along the river in Vietnam. Credit: Amanda Mack  Terraced rice fields in Vietnam. Credit: Hoang Long Ly  Temple of Literature, Hanoi  The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi  Da Nang Harbor  Terraced rice fields
  Traditional musicians   The village of Hoi An, a World Heritage site  The canals of Hoi An  The Perfume River near Hue  At the Tomb of Khai Dinh in Hue  Khai Dinh Tomb in Hue. Credit: Keren Su/Danita Delimont  Thien Mu Pagoda in Hue  Pavilion at the Tomb of Minh Mang in Hue  Woman working with flowers on the Mekong. Credit: Nhiem Hoang  Floating market on the river  Skyline of Ho Chi Minh City at dusk  History Museum, Ho Chi Minh City  Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City

Discovering Vietnam

16 days from $4,497 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Savor breathtaking beauty and enduring traditions as you travel from Vietnam's imperial cities to the Mekong River Delta.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


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This was our first Smithsonian tour and we were impressed! It combined first class transportation and accommodations with intelligent and thought provoking seminars plus knowledgeable tour directors and study leaders. It won't be our last Smithsonian Journey. 

- Carol R.


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Save $200 *per person when you book by October 27, 2017! Use promotion code LASTCALL online or when speaking to our travel specialists to secure these savings.

• Jan. 6, 2018

*Offer valid on new bookings only.


This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.


With its breathtaking beauty and enduring traditions, Vietnam provides endless rewards for the thoughtful traveler. Join us for this popular and magical journey.

Highlights Include

  • Royal Cities: Experience the grandeur of the imperial capital of Hué and the fascinating ancient traditions of village life in Hoi An, both World Heritage sites. Tour the acclaimed Cham Museum in Da Nang. Plus, take a cruise along Hué’s Perfume River and visit peaceful Thien Mu Pagoda, a Buddhist monastery, and the palatial Tomb of Minh Mang.
  • Ha Long Bay: Enjoy a boat ride through this legendary and breathtaking waterway, a World Heritage site comprising 3,000 islands and a landscape of limestone cliffs.
  • Mekong River: Spend two days on the Mekong, where boats take you along small tributaries and inlets to the bustling floating market at Cai Rang and to other traditional villages.
  • Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City: Take in-depth tours of the political and cultural capital of Hanoi and spirited and cosmopolitan Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Cultural Experiences: Savor local cuisine during a private cooking lesson, visit a farming settlement, and have lunch in the home of a local historian. 

Activity Level 3: Advanced

This was our first Smithsonian tour and we were impressed! It combined first class transportation and accommodations with intelligent and thought provoking seminars plus knowledgeable tour directors and study leaders. It won't be our last Smithsonian Journey. 

- Carol R.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.


Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S., Arrive Hanoi, Vietnam

Depart the U.S. and arrive in the Vietnamese capital in the evening, then transfer to the hotel.

Day 3 — Hanoi

Set out on an exploration of Hanoi that includes a walking tour of Ba Dinh Square, a popular complex of cultural and historic sites, including the marble and granite mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace, and thousand-year-old One Pillar Pagoda. Embark on an orientation tour of this French-accented city with broad tree-lined boulevards and colonial architecture. Pass Hoan Kiem Lake and visit the marvelous Temple of Literature (c. 1070) and tour infamous Hau Lo Prison, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. Later, walk the narrow streets of the diverse Ancient Quarter. Tonight gather at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. (B,D)

Day 4 — Hanoi and Ha Long Bay

Early this morning depart on a full-day excursion to Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage site. A legendary and breathtaking waterway sprinkled with 3,000 islands and islets, Ha Long Bay is a fairy-tale landscape of limestone cliffs, secret grottoes, and hidden caves. The tour includes a boat ride on the placid waters and a lunch of local seafood specialties. (B,L)

Day 5 — Da Nang

Fly to Da Nang, Vietnam’s third largest city situated on the south central coast. Upon arrival, tour the acclaimed Cham Museum, which celebrates the Cham people’s Hindu legacy with a fine collection of sculpture and artifacts dating from the 7th to 15th centuries. Arrive at the beachfront hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure in this splendid setting. (B,D)

Day 6 — Da Nang and Hoi An

Visit nearby Hoi An, where a succession of Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese, and Japanese traders helped to build an architecturally diverse and colorful village where many ancient traditions still hold sway. A World Heritage site, Hoi An’s Old Town is a charming, car-free pedestrian zone lined with tailors, shops, and art galleries. (B)

Day 7 — Da Nang

A morning walking tour of a local farming settlement reveals the daily life of a local community up close. Nestled amid seemingly endless rice paddies, the village represents the Vietnam of fable and film, where villagers engage in threshing and harvesting, water buffaloes plow the fields, and local residents ride to market with produce piled high on their bicycles. Enjoy a private cooking lesson of regional cuisine followed by dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Hue

Depart for the ancient imperial capital of Hue. Hue’s ruins evoke its past grandeur as home to emperors and mandarins. Upon arrival, visit the Imperial Citadel, once housing the Forbidden Purple City where emperors lived with their families. Visit the Central Market where locals buy fish, meat, produce, and sundry goods. Tonight enjoy a special Hue buffet, accompanied by a performance of traditional music. (B,D)

Day 9 — Hue and the Perfume River

Start the day with a morning cruise on Hue’s Perfume River to peaceful Thien Mu Pagoda, a Buddhist monastery that counts among the city’s oldest monuments. Enjoy a visit to the palatial Tomb of Minh Mang (c. 1804), before departing for a special home-hosted visit in the home of a local historian, a member of a former royal family. This afternoon, visit the tombs of Tu Doc, with their lovely grounds and lake, and colorful Khai Dinh Tomb. Finish the day with an engaging visit to a Buddhist orphanage. Meet the children, speak with the head nun, and learn about the inspiring work done to provide these children with a better future. (B,L)

Days 10-11 — Mekong Delta and Can Tho

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and head south to the Mekong River town of Cai Be. From there travel by coach and ferry to the busy river port and provincial capital of Can Tho. Enjoy time to relax and take advantage of the hotel’s amenities before tonight’s group dinner. Rise early the next day for a journey by boat to the bustling floating market at Cai Rang on the Mekong’s lower reaches. After this scenic excursion, enjoy the afternoon at leisure. (2B,1L,1D)

Day 12 — Mekong River and Ho Chi Minh City

Travel by coach to the upper reaches of the storied Mekong. Board motorized sampans for an up-close look at river life. The maze of tributaries and inlets lead to tiny settlements and villages populated by fishermen and farmers who work the fertile fields. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and continue by coach to Ho Chi Minh City. Arrive at the hotel this afternoon, where you’ll enjoy dinner on your own in this vibrant city. (B,L)

Days 13 & 14 — Ho Chi Minh City

Explore Ho Chi Minh City on a morning tour that includes the Reunification Palace and the History Museum, where you’ll learn about the indigenous peoples of Vietnam. Visit a local contemporary art museum, in addition to viewing exquisite lacquerware found in modern art galleries. The next day experience the Cu Chi Tunnels, the infamous underground network from which North Vietnamese forces operated in wartime. This afternoon is free for independent exploration. In the evening, gather for a farewell dinner. (2B, 2D)

Day 15 — Ho Chi Minh City and Depart for the U.S.

Enjoy a day at leisure before departing this evening for the airport and overnight flight to the U.S. (B)

Day 16 — Arrive in the U.S.

Arrive in the United States and connect with domestic flights home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)