Vietnam – North to South

vietnam_north_to South
Special Tour 11 Days Availability: 2018-08-18
Vietnam Asia

Travel from historic Hanoi to modern Ho Chi Minh City

Capture the spirit of magical Vietnam on this compact tour from the colonial charm of Hanoi to the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, on this new adventure, designed for solo travellers only. Sip coffee with locals in Hanoi and shop up a storm in the Old Quarter, cruise along emerald waters on a Halong Bay boat trip, travel through old-world Hue and Hoi An and get lost in the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City. This is an adventure full of beauty and contrast that introduces Vietnam as a country of incredible food, lively locals, stunning scenery and cosmopolitan cities.

 


Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Destination
Vietnam
Theme
Cultural Exploration
Physical rating
Grade 1 (Light walking  for all fitness levels.)
Ages
18-39
Group size
Min 2, Max 15

 

10 NIGHTS

Hotels 8N, Overnight Cruise 1N, Train 1N

15 MEALS

9 Breakfasts

4 Lunches

2 Dinners

 

TRANSPORT

Private Vehicle, Boat, Train, Flight

 


WHAT’S INCLUDED

TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS

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    • See the very best that Vietnam has to offer in just 11 days as you traverse the country from top to bottom with a small group new friends.

    • Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced Lead Traveller to help you get the best out of your time in Vietnam.

    • Travel by boat, train, plane, private bus, taxi and even on the back of a motorbike!

    • Visit some of the must-see sights with your group such as a walking tour in Hoi An and the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as enjoy lots free time to make your own discoveries.

    • Sample local food wherever you go, from a seafood dinner on Halong Bay, street snacks at markets, a meal at a Buddhist nunnery, coconut candy and tropical fruits in the Mekong Delta.

 


WHAT’S INCLUDED

MEALS

    • 9 BREAKFASTS

    • 4 LUNCHES

    • 2 DINNERS


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WHAT’S INCLUDED

ACTIVITIES

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      • Halong Bay – Overnight boat cruise

      • Halong Bay – Overnight boat cruise

      • Hanoi – Temple of Literature

      • Hanoi – Ethnology Museum

      • Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum

      • Hue – Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda

      • Hue – Imperial Citadel

      • Hue – Royal tomb

      • Hue – Motorbike trip including lunch

      • Hoi An – Old Town walking tour

      • Ho Chi Minh City – War Remnants Museum

      • Mekong Delta day trip including Coconut Candy Factory and Village Tuk Tuk tour

      • Hand-picked Experiences

      • Ho Chi Minh City – City tour

      • Cherry-picked hotels and homestays – all tried and trusted

      • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

      • Optional Experiences and lots of free time

      • An expert Lead Traveller and local Guides

      • Daily breakfast and a few meals included, rest of the time you have the option try your own local meals

      • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your trip


Is this trip for me?

  • We cover a lot of distance on this trip, including an overnight train from Hanoi to Hue (approx 12 hours). Compartments are on a mixed gender basis and you may be sharing with locals or travellers from other groups.
  • The sightseeing tour by motorbike in Hue is great fun with bikes driven safely by professionals (and helmets provided), but alternative transport can be arranged for those who would prefer not to travel by motorbike.
  • Depending on where you come from, the weather in Vietnam might be hotter and more humid than what you are used to. We recommend checking online for what the typical temperatures will be at the time of the year you are looking to travel to see what to expect.
  • Some travellers find the pace of this trip quite fast as we are covering a lot of destinations in a short amount of time. If you would like a more relaxed pace with more time to explore, you might like to consider a longer trip or additional days in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  1. Complimentary airport arrival transfers are included with this trip. Please advise your flight details at time of booking.
  2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport), for internal flights and train tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.
  3. Your own room can be booked on this trip, subject to availability, and excludes Day 3 (Halong Bay boat) and Day 4 (Overnight train). Speak to your booking agent at the time of booking.

Day 1: Hanoi

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Hanoi is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and its thriving Old Quarter. The latter is a veritable architectural museum piece, with blocks of ochre buildings retaining the air of a 1930s provincial French town. You will be transferred from the airport to your hotel, and your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm.

Accommodation
  • Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel or similar (1night) – Subject to availability
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

Day 2: Hanoi

Today, discover the rich history of Hanoi. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s complex with his Stilt House, Mausoleum, the unique One Pillar Pagoda. Then heading to the first university of Vietnam, so-called “Temple of literature”.

Your lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

After lunch, you will head to Ethnology Museum, learn more about the different ethnics living in Vietnam and its culture.

Accommodation
  • Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel or similar (1night) – Subject to availability
Included Activities
  • Hanoi – Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi – Ethnology Museum
  • Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Day 3: Halong Bay

 

Travel by private minibus to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin (approximately 4 hours). The bay is dotted with sandy coves, grottos and 1,600 limestone islands, which have been formed over millennia by wind and water erosion. Board a private boat and cruise the bay, exploring island caves and perhaps even enjoying a swim from Ti Top Island Beach during the warmer months. To end the day, spend a peaceful night aboard the boat beneath the night sky.

Your wooden junk-style boat has twin share cabins with air-conditioning and private facilities. There’s also a dining room and bar to enjoy lunch, dinner and breakfast.

Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay – Overnight boat cruise
Optional Activities
  • Halong Bay – Kayaking – VND250000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Day 4: Hanoi/Overnight Train

Return by boat to Ha Long, and at approximately midday travel by bus back to Hanoi. Arrive late this afternoon, and use free time to shop, explore the sights or just relax. Later tonight on board an overnight train to Hue.

Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information

There are shared day use hotel rooms available this afternoon in Hanoi if you would like to freshen up before the overnight train. There is one room provided between up to 6 members of the group. Single supplements do not apply to ‘day’ rooms.

Day 5: Hue

Arrive into Hue at approximately 11 am and transfer to the hotel.

Once the imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of the country’s royal past. You’ll have free time in the morning to rest or explore. The bustling Dong Ba Market is a great place to sample some of the foods that once graced the Nguyen emperors’ tables, such as Banh khoai (royal rice cake). Reunite with the group to visit the war-damaged ruins of the Hue Imperial Citadel complex, which once contained temples, state houses and the emperor’s palace.

Accommodation
  • Gold 1 Hotel or similar – Subject to availability
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

Day 6: Hue

Today, tour the sights of Hue on the back of a motorbike driven by a local guide. Explore the ruins of the Forbidden Purple City, once reserved for the personal use of the Emperor and his concubines, but almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam/American War. Visit the 17th-century active Buddhist monastery of Thien Mu Pagoda. During the visit, you’ll see the car of a former monk who drove to Saigon in 1963 to set himself alight to protest the poor treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime.

Enjoy a short boat cruise down the Perfume River before eating lunch inside a nunnery. Finally, visit the lakeside royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc before heading back to Hue.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue – Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue – Royal tomb
  • Hue – Motorbike trip including lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information

This motorbike activity has been assessed for safety and is closely monitored. To participate please ensure your travel insurance covers riding pillion on a motorbike up to 150cc. If you prefer not to participate, please let your leader know and they will arrange car transportation (cost included).

Boats for the Perfume River trip may not be available if you’re travelling during festival periods. During these times you’ll travel by land to reach the activities instead.

Day 7: Hoi An

This morning travel by bus through coastal rice paddies and the spectacular Hai Van Pass. Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An was a major international trading port during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of the beautifully preserved town retain the feel of centuries past. It’s also a shopping mecca, famous for its plethora of tailors. On arrival, your leader will take you on a walk through the Old Town and visit a handful of the city’s major attractions. You’ll also be given a sightseeing pass so you can further explore select attractions at your leisure.

Accommodation
  • Thuy Duong 3 Hotel or Similar (01night) – Subject to availability
Included Activities
  • Hoi An – Old Town walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 8: Hoi An 

Today is a free day to explore Hoi An. Browse the town’s cobbled streets and art galleries, or hire a bike and cycle through rice paddies out to Cua Dai Beach. Shop for paintings, ceramics and colourful cloth lanterns in the town’s markets and preserved Chinese shop houses. Perhaps visit one of the hundreds of tailors in the city to get something special made. Hoi An is also known for its delicious regional food, so be sure to enjoy a meal at a riverside restaurant or perhaps partake in a cooking class.

Accommodation
  • Thuy Duong 3 Hotel or Similar (1 night) – Subject to availability
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An – My Son Cham day trip – USD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh city

Today take a short early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has a fascinating history and is arguably Vietnam’s capital of commerce and culture. After landing, take a sightseeing bus tour around the city. Pass the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House, stopping in at the War Remnants Museum to discover some of the sobering stories of the Vietnam/American War.

Accommodation
  • Asian Ruby Select Hotel or Similar (01 night) – Subject to availability
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City – War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City – City tour
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Reunification Palace – VND40000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

This morning head out on a day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. Board a boat to Ben Tre to visit the coconut gardens, stopping at a local home to sample tropical fruits & coconut jams. Afterwards, paddle in sampans (small rowing boats) past water coconut trees along the Mekong. Take a tuk-tuk tour around the villages, learning about local rural life and how they make their living making coconuts products like brooms and coconut fibre mats. Eat lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the delta, sampling regional specialities such as the famous Elephant Ear fish. Then it’s back to the private boat to cruise the Delta’s major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier. After the cruise return via bus to Ho Chi Minh City.

Accommodation

  • Asian Ruby Select Hotel or Similar (01 night) – Subject to availability
Included Activities
  • HCMC – Mekong Delta day trip including coconut gardens visit and village tuk-tuk tour
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City

Your trip ends after breakfast today. There are no activities included and you’re free to depart your accommodation at any time. For those who are staying on and want to explore Ho Chi Minh City further, speak to your leader for information on day trips.

Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnel  – USD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

 

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