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18-Day China and Vietnam Highlights Tour

18-Day China and Vietnam Highlights Tour

By Nora Ou Updated Oct. 18, 2022

Getting inside the Forbidden City with VIP access, meet cute pandas, hike on the Great Wall, cruise in Halong Bay, try out Vietnamese traditional dress Ao Dai in Hoi An and explore real life of the Mekong. Without a doubt, these two amazing countries will enrich your experience, not only as a traveler, also as an insider.


  • VIP access to the Forbidden City with an expert and enjoy sunset view of it.
  • Meet cute pandas and learn about their daily routine
  • Enjoy a smooth and fast bullet train ride from Beijing to Shanghai
  • Learn to make lanterns with a local artist in Hoi An
  • Pace out with some free days in Nha Trang

Journey Route

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Itinerary in Detail

This tour demonstrates an extended trip to Vietnam with all its highlights after a China exploration. It is entirely up to you to made discovery in your own way.

Day 1
Beijing, China
Sunworld Hotel / Crowne Plaza Hotel Beijing Chaoyang U Town

When you flight lands in Beijing Capital International Airport, your private tour guide and driver will be waiting for you. It won't be hard for you to spot your tour guide as he/she will be holding a sign with your name on. Transfer to your hotel and relax for the rest of today.

Day 2
Beijing | Forbidden City Exploration with VIP Access

Embrace a brand new day with a fresh coffee and breakfast. Later we will take a walking tour at the Forbidden City with a Forbidden City expert. Skip the waiting line at the entrance, you will be taken straight into the imperial palace where you can see the real scene of the movie The Last Emperor and learn the stories behind every building.
You will also have a nice sunset view of the Forbidden City at Jingshan Park .
Enjoy your exploration with VIP access at the imperial palace. Walking tour in the Forbidden City is one of our best-selling trips of Beijing and it offers a deeper insight into the history without wasting time in the waiting line and getting shoved by the crowds. Your tour guide is actually a nerd of the Forbidden City and for certain he/she will tell you only the things you are interested in.

Scupltures of secrad animals on the roof of the Forbidden City
Day 3
Beijing | Great Wall Wonder

After breakfast, we will see off to Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall .
How long is the Great Wall? Well, there is no simple answer to this question. Take a round-way cable car up the mountain range and you will have a soft hike for about half an hour. This section is more favored by westerners for stunning vistas and less crowded. Have a simple lunch after the trip and we will get back to the city in about 2 hours.
For a relaxing afternoon, we will take a visit at the Summer Palace , where the royal court used for leisure. Take a boat ride over the Kunming Lake, walk inside the Garden of Virtuous Harmony and visit Suzhou Street, which is a mini-scale replica of the city Suzhou.

The Great Wall at Mutianyu Section under clear sky
Day 4
Beijing - Shanghai | Hi, Panda!
The Bund Hotel Shanghai / Les Suites Orient Bund Shanghai

Meet some cute friends! Pay a visit to the Giant Pandas at Beijing Zoo . You have seen them on TV, magazine and internet, but today you will see them in person. At around 10am, the Giant Pandas at Beijing Zoo are just up for a brunch. Learn about these cute animals and visit their nursery room.
Take a high speed bullet train to Shanghai in the afternoon.
The train ride will be smooth and fast. Upon arrival in Shanghai, you will meet your private tour guide. Transfer to hotel and free at leisure.

Two naughty pandas at Beijing Zoo
Day 5
Shanghai | The Future of China

Before a city tour in Shanghai, you will firstly visit the Yuyuan Garden before the crowds get in. And then learn about how the city was built up at Urban Planning Exhibition Hall . Have lunch and take a leisure walk along The Bund . In the afternoon, visit French Concession and your private driver will drop you off at Nanjing Road where you may go for free exploration. (Or any other places you wish)

Beautiful night view of the Bund in Shanghai
Day 6
Shanghai - Hanoi, Vietnam
International flight
Hanoi Pearl Hotel / Apricot Hotel Hanoi

Have a free morning in Shanghai. After lunch on your own, you will fly to Hanoi. Meet up with your private tour guide and transfer and get to your hotel for relaxing time.
Vietnam is one hour late than China. For example, 3pm in China is 2pm in Vietnam.

Day 7
Hanoi | Culture, History and Lifestyle of Hanoi

Hanoi flashes you back to the early 20th century. Get to know the city with a peek into interesting ethnic minorities' lifestyles at Vietnam Museum of Ethnology . Pay a visit ath Unclo Ho's last resting place Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum . After lunch, you will stop by Temple of Literature . One of the best things of Hanoi is that you can be a part of the local life. With your insightful tour guide, you will explore the Old Quarter with chances to get great bargains and eats.

A local vendor selling exotic fruits in the Old Quarter
Day 8
Hanoi - Halong Bay | Oceanic Breeze in Halong Bay
Jasmine Cruise / Bhaya Classic Cruise

After a fresh coffee and breakfast, you will be on the way to Halong Bay. No rip to Vietnam is complete until you cruise Halong Bay. An overnight is indispensable as the bay itself is boundless and needs at least one day and one night to take in as much as possible.

View of Halong Bay
Day 9
Halong Bay - Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An
Domestic flight
Essence Hoi An Hotel & Spa / Hotel Royal Hoi An - by MGallery

Take the shuttle transfer back to Hanoi when your cruise reaches the shore at 11am.
Fly to Danang where you meet up another friendly tour guide and transfer to your hotel in Hoi An.

Day 10
Hoi An | Ancient Town with Lazy Easy Vibe

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hoi An Ancient Town is just the right definition of Vietnam's timeless charm. This morning, you will have some insightful visits at of this town's essence: the Japanese Covered Bridge , Fukian Assembly Hall and the Old House of Tan Ky .
After lunch, a class will be taken on how to make lanterns at a workshop run by a NGO. Lifestart Foundation is an Australia-based team that focuses on helping those in need through proven working programs and initiatives which are designed to effect a generational change.

Lantern-making is an old traditional art in Hoi An
Day 11
Hoi An - Danang - Nha Trang
Domestic flight
Havana Nha Trang / InterContinental Nha Trang

Transfer to Danang and fly to Nha Trang.

Day 12 - 13
Nha Trang | Beach Free Days

Enjoy your time on Nha Trang's beach.

A bamboo basket boat by the shore of beach in Nha Trang
Day 14
Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City - Can Tho
Domestic flight
Iris Hotel Can Tho / Victoria Can Tho Resort & Spa

Enjoy your free time in Nha Trang. Take the onward flight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Hit the road to Can Tho and you will arrive by the evening.

Day 15
Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City | Mekong Morning
Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon / InterContinental Saigon Hotel

Unlike the overland markets, Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho opens at 5am, or even earlier. All boats will hang up a piece of merchandises on a pole at the front of the boat, as an ad sign. Farm workers will be busy loading the goods while the orchard owners are calculating numbers with their retailers. This wholesale market presents its best before 8am. And later, we will have boat trip to some small islands and visit a local orchard for lunch.
Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City in the afternoon.

Boat vendors at Cai Rang Floating Market
Day 16
Ho Chi Minh City | Cu Chi Tunnels Adventure

Cu Chi Tunnels is one of the most interesting attractions in Ho Chi Minh City for its mind-provoking historic background and chance for some close-up experience. After breakfast, you will hit the road to this site with a preface by your tour guide. The underground system provided the Viet Cong with space to live, shelter, and battle base during the war with the US. Duck in one of the tunnels to get a hint.
Get back to the city and free at leisure.

Trying to get into a tunnel
Day 17
Ho Chi Minh City

Embrace a fresh morning of Saigon. This southern city oozes with nostalgic charm among its colonial-era buildings, street side Caf's and shady boulevards. Take an easy walk to the downtown, where you will see General Post Office , Notre Dame Cathedral and Reunification Palace .
For history buffs or children, they must love what the War Remnants Museum has to offer: mind-provoking history and great exhibition dating back to last century during wartime, including F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter are their most interesting collection. However, please be noted that your guide might not accompany you inside the museum because the content triggers sad memories for many Vietnamese.
Later, hop on a cyclo (local name for rickshaw) that is pedaled by a local. Enjoy the ride to feel the easy-lazy vibe of Ho Chi Minh City.

Taking a cyclo ride to see another side of Ho Chi Minh City
Day 18
Ho Chi Minh City Departure

After breakfast, get to the airport for homebound flight. Have a safe flight home, and we hope to see you again soon!

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Hand-Picked Hotels

We have selected hotels with different styles and for different budgets. Let us know your preferences and we will help you find the right one.

deluxe room at beijing sunworld hotel
Sunworld Hotel
superior room at the bund hotel shanghai
Famiana Resort & Spa
standard room at hanoi pearl hotel
Hanoi Pearl Hotel
deluxe cabin on jasmine cruise
Halong Bay
Jasmine Cruise
deluxe room of essence hoi an hotel and spa
Hoi An
Essence Hoi An Hotel and Spa
deluxe room with sea view at havana nha trang
Nha Trang
Havana Nha Trang
deluxe room iris hotel can tho
Can Tho
Iris Hotel Can Tho
deluxe city view room at renaissance riverside hotel saigon
Ho Chi Minh City
Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon

Our Service Includes:

18 days from
US$ 4,508
per person (based on 2 persons and 4-star hotels)
  • Private transfers and English-speaking tour guide
  • All guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
  • Hotel accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts at hotels and lunches for every guided day
  • Governmental taxes

Tour code: ah-4

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