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

Starting at: $4,487 * 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  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

17 days from $4,487 | 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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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. 

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.


Days 1 - 3 — 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 4 — Hanoi

Embark on an orientation tour of this French-accented city. Pass Hoan Kiem Lake; visit the marvelous Temple of Literature (c. 1070); and tour infamous Hoa Lo Prison, also known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. Later walk the narrow streets of the diverse Ancient Quarter. This evening attend a traditional water puppet performance then gather at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. (B,D)

Day 5 — Hanoi

Continue your discovery of this culturally rich city with a walking tour of the Ba Dinh Square complex of sites, including the marble and granite mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the Presidential Palace, and thousand-year-old One Pillar Pagoda. This afternoon get a taste of local life when you visit the lively Long Bien produce market then take a cycling tour of nearby villages. A highlight: a visit to an artists’ community where you have the opportunity to meet painters in their studios. Returning to Hanoi, tonight dine in the home of a gracious local family. (B,D) 

Day 6 — Hanoi and Ha Long Bay

Early this morning depart for Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage site. This is Vietnam’s legendary waterway sprinkled with 3,000 islands and islets, and surrounded by a fairytale landscape of limestone cliffs, secret grottoes, and hidden caves. A boat tour includes lunch on board and stops to explore this dramatic landscape on foot. Tonight dine at your hotel overlooking the bay. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — 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 your beachfront hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure. (B,D) 

Day 8 — 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,L) 

Day 9 — Da Nang

A morning walking tour of a local farming settlement reveals the daily life of a local community up close. Nestled amidst 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 in Hoi An. (B,L,D) 

Day 10 — Hue

Depart for the ancient imperial city of Hue, whose palaces, temples, and tombs evoke its past grandeur as home to emperors and mandarins.

Explore the Imperial City, now a World Heritage site. Visit the Central Market where the locals shop. Tonight enjoy a special Hue dinner, accompanied by a performance of traditional music. (B,D) 

Day 11 — Hue

This morning cruise along Hue’s Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, a Buddhist monastery, then visit the palatial Tomb of Ming Mang (c. 1804). Enjoy lunch in the home of a local historian.

See the tombs of Tu Doc, a gem of royal architecture; and Khai Dinh, an elaborate mix of ancient and modern, European and Asian. Finish the day with a 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) 

Day 12 — Mekong Delta and Can Tho

Fly early to Saigon. Upon arrival transfer to a motor-coach for the three-hour drive south to the Mekong River town of Cai Be. Travel by coach and ferry to the busy river port and the provincial capital of Can Tho. (B,D) 

Day 13 — Can Tho and Mekong Delta

Rise early for today’s journey by boat to the bustling floating market at Cai Rang on the Mekong’s lower reaches.

Then go ashore to visit the Old Can Tho market. After lunch at a local restaurant, travel by motorcoach to the upper reaches of the storied Mekong. Here board motorized sampans for an up-close look at river life. (B,L)

Day 14 — Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City

Travel by coach to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving in time for lunch at a local restaurant. The afternoon tour includes the Reunification Palace and the History Museum where you’ll learn about the indigenous peoples of Vietnam. (B,L)

Day 15 — Ho Chi Minh City

This morning experience the Cu Chi Tunnels, the infamous underground network from which North Vietnamese forces operated in wartime. This afternoon is free for independent exploration; tonight gather for a farewell dinner. (B,D) 

Day 16 & 17— Return to the U.S.

Enjoy a day at leisure then late this afternoon depart for the airport and your overnight flight to the U.S. Your rooms are reserved for late check-out. The next morning arrive in the U.S. and connect with your flights home. (1B)

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