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Adventure Tours

Best of Vietnam

From €1279pp tour-only
Depart From
Hanoi, Vietnam
Departure Date
Regular departures throughout the year
Duration
15 days
Destination
Vietnam
Price
From €1279pp tour-only
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From the intensity of Ho Chi Minh City's streets to spectacular rice terraces, travel the length of Vietnam and savour its natural, cultural, and historical delights.

Meet the Hmong people and other minority villagers on a hilltribe excursion and sail into the photographic possibilities of beautiful Halong Bay.

With the services of a Chief Experience Officer and your accommodation and transport taken care of, this trip offers great value as it introduces the region’s main sights, providing plenty of flexibility so you can experience an adventure you'll never forget.

Is this tour for me?

  • Travel Style: Classic

All of the highlights, culture, access, and I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, all at a great price.

  • Service Level: Standard

Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport.

  • Physical Rating: 2 - Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

  • Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 15, avg 12

  • Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1 Hanoi

Arrive at any time.

Arrive in bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. As passengers will be arriving at various times today, there are no planned activities. Take a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter, visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) or Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum.

Please note that most nationalities requires a visa to enter Vietnam, please double check this with your travel agent or local Vietnamese Embassy.

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour.

Accommodation

  • Church Boutique Hotels Hang Ca (or similar

Day 2 Hanoi/Lào Cai

Enjoy the water puppets show. Opt to visit Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and stilt house, Hoa Lo Prison and the Temple of Literature. Overnight train to Lao Cai.

Explore the city during the day and in the evening attend a performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre before boarding our overnight train to Lao Cai, en route to Sapa.

Free time to visit local museums or tour Hoa Lo Prison.

Thăng Long Water Puppet Theatre Performance

Watch a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show with beautiful live music and intricate puppets dancing in a water stage.

Overnight train (beds)

Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 Lào Cai/Sa Pá

Arrive in Sapa. Hilltribe village visit at Ta Phin, trek and homestay. Traditional meals with a local family.

After arriving in Lao Cai in the morning, we transfer to Sapa. An afternoon excursion takes us to the village of Ta Phin, before returning to Sapa in the early evening.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Ta Phin Excursion

Interact with local ethnic minorities such as the H'mong, Dao, and Zai as well as explore the villages before returning to Sapa in the early evening.

Accommodation

  • Sapa Lodge (or similar)

Day 4 Sa Pá

Hilltribe village visit, trek and homestay. Traditional meals with a local family.

Take a moderate trek through the Muong Hoa River valley. Stop at Lao Chai village for lunch and on to the Ta Vinh village for a homestay.

Muong Hoa River Valley Trek

Trek this scenic river valley that's home to minorities indigenous to this region, such as the Giay, Tay and Xa Pho who still maintain traditional rice paddy terraces along the river system.

Ta Vinh Homestay

Get an unforgettable experience at a local homestay. Help prepare home cooked meals and learn about culture and traditions. The accommodation is basic but bedding and mosquito nets will be provided.

Accommodation

  • Sapa Homestay (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5 Sa Pá/Hanoi

Return to Sapa after breakfast with host family. Transfer back to Hanoi.

After breakfast, say goodbye to the host family and walk to a nearby village where we board a bus to take us back to Sapa and then onward to Hanoi for the night.

Muong Hoa River Valley Trek

Trek this scenic river valley that's home to minorities indigenous to this region, such as the Giay, Tay and Xa Pho who still maintain traditional rice paddy terraces along the river system.

Local bus

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

  • Church Boutique Hotels Hang Ca (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6 Hanoi/Ha Long

Drive to Halong Bay for an overnight cruise on a junk boat which includes a seafood meal. Visit caves or an island lookout.

Our private bus takes us to Bai Chay harbour, our entry point to Halong Bay. Our sailing junk takes you to some islands and caves. You could enjoy an evening drink on the deck beneath the stars.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Halong Bay Overnight Cruise

Cruise through majestic Ha Long Bay on a traditional wooden junk boat. Enjoy your time afloat eating fresh seafood, kayaking, and exploring Sung Sot cave. Spend a peaceful night anchored in the bay under the stars.

On rare occasion Halong Bay is closed to tourist vessels by the government authorities due to extreme weather conditions. Should this occur, an alternate activity will be provided.

Accommodation

  • Halong Bay Boat (or similar)
  • Meals included: Lunch | Dinner

Day 7 Ha Long/Huế

Breakfast aboard our junk boat. Return to Hanoi for free time before an overnight train to Hue.

After an early lunch on board the boat we head back to Hanoi. You have enough time for shopping or further sightseeing until our overnight train to Hue.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time

Explore some of the sights of the city or pick up some souvenirs during free time.

Overnight train (beds)

Experience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.

  • Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 8 Huế

Included tour of Tien Mu Pagoda and the Royal Tombs. Optional tour of the countryside.

We arrive early into Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam. After checking in to our hotel, we have a tour of Hue, visiting the wonderful seven storey high Tien Mu Pagoda and also an imperial tomb of one of Vietnam’s former emperors.

In the evening, you have the chance to try some local Hue specialties such as banh khoai (Hue savoury pancakes), and banh bot loc boc tom thit (thin rice paper filled with meat and shrimp). You might want to wash it all down with a Hue beer. Yum!

Hue City Tour

Take a tour of this imperial city to see the Thiên Mụ Buddhist pagoda, the tallest religious building in the country, the Japanese bridge, and the tombs of the emperors. Visit the Dong Ba Markets for local specialties such as banh khoai (savoury pancakes) and banh bot loc boc tom thit (thin rice paper filled with meat and shrimp).

Tien Mu Pagoda Visit

Visit Tien Mu, one of the tallest and, perhaps, most elegant pagodas in Vietnam, at seven storeys high. Take a step back in time touring this historic temple - built more than 400 years ago along the north shore of the Perfume River, it has been the site of many political protests.

Free Time

Use your free time to sample some yummy food and explore the city.

Accommodation

  • Asia Hotel (or similar)

Day 9 Huế/Hoi An

Travel the scenic Hai Van Pass (weather permitting) on the way to Hoi An.

This morning we’ll start our day touring the wonderful ruins of the Imperial Citadel, from where Vietnam was once ruled.

In the late morning we begin our drive to Hoi An. After crossing over the Hai Van Pass, with fantastic views in all directions, we will arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon for our three-night stay.

Imperial Citadel Tour

Tour this one-time capital city and UNESCO World Heritage site. See the walled fortress and former palace, which has many palaces, gateways, courtyards, and gardens to explore. The Forbidden Purple City (modelled on China's Forbidden City) inside the citadel was once home to the imperial family and was significantly damaged during the Vietnam War.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time

Get started exploring Hoi An. Tour a museum, visit a tailor or wander through the town on foot.

Accommodation

  • Van Loi Hotel (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10 Hoi An

Enjoy a noodle making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported project. Afterwards enjoy free time, options include a cooking class, shopping at the tailors, riverboat cruise, bike riding, beach time or My Son ruins.

Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch

Try some of the oodles of noodles (more than 26 types!) available in the city in this tasty cooking class. Run by Planeterra Foundation partners, STREETS International, the class was developed exclusively for G Adventures. Former street youth that are part of this hospitality training program, will help you prepare and cook a number of different types of noodles. This program helps these youth practice their English, increasing their skill-set and opportunities available to them in the tourism industry. Enjoy your yummy creations while learning more about the local cuisine and this initiative which empowers street youth through skills and employment training.

Free Time

Enjoy some free time in Hoi An any way you want. Check out the beach, take in some local culture or purchase some custom-made clothing from one of the talented tailors in town.

Accommodation

  • Van Loi Hotel (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

Day 11 Hoi An

Use a full free day to explore more of this charming town.

Free Time

Spend time exploring Hoi An.

Accommodation

  • Van Loi Hotel (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12 Hoi An/Ho Chi Minh City

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and opt to take a bike tour of the city, visit the Reunification Palace, Thien Hau, or the Giac Vien pagodas.

Drive to Danang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the sprawling metropolis that was once the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country’s commercial center.

The afternoon is free to explore the city.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Plane

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time

Free time to visit the Thien Hau and Gliac Vien pagodas or stroll through Ben Than Market.

Accommodation

  • Asian Ruby Select Hotel (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13 Ho Chi Minh City/Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta visit, boat ride and visit to traditional candy factories. Enjoy a local homestay and dinner with a Vietnamese family.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Mekong Homestay

Get ready for a change of pace in Vietnam’s “rice basket”. Explore the complex waterways of the Mekong Delta on a boat tour. Afterwards, take a short xe lam (tuk-tuk) ride to a nearby community for a homestay. Relax in a hammock, explore the area by bike, and get to know the local way of life. This evening savour a traditional southern Vietnamese dinner.

  • Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 14 Mekong Delta/Ho Chi Minh City

Option to visit War Remnants Museum, Colonial Quarter, or Ben Thanh Market.

This morning we enjoy an included breakfast before taking a boat and bus to return to Ho Chi Minh City. We will arrive in this sprawling city by midday for your chance to explore the many sites you did not get to see earlier.

Spend our final night as a group reminiscing over our journey through Vietnam over an optional dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner you may want to enjoy a cocktail while viewing the city traffic from above at the iconic Rex Hotel.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time

Get any must-sees you missed the first time in Ho Chi Minh crossed off your list, there's plenty of time this afternoon.

Accommodation

  • Asian Ruby Select Hotel (or similar)
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Day 15 Ho Chi Minh City

Depart at any time.

After breakfast on Day 15, the tour ends and you are free to depart at any time.

Departure Day

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

  • Meals included: Breakfast

Price is per adult sharing and includes:

  • Accommodation:
    • Hotels (9 nights)
    • Sleeper trains (2 nights)
    • Junk boat (1 nights)
    • Basic family homestays (2 nights)
  • Meals:
    • 11 breakfasts
    • 4 lunches
    • 3 dinners 
    • Allow USD140-185 for meals not included.
  • Transportation:
    • Train
    • Local bus
    • Air conditioned bus
    • Boat
    • Cyclo
    • Plane
  • Activities & excursions:
    • Local Living: Ta Vinh Homestay, Sa Pá
    • Local Living: Mekong Homestay
    • Water puppet show (Hanoi)
    • Sapa excursion to hilltribe villages
    • Halong Bay entrance
    • Halong Bay boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
    • Imperial Citadel and Tomb guide and entrance
    • G Adventures for Good: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch, Hoi An

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Flights- we'll find the best fares based on your chosen departure dates
  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email info@shandontravel.ie, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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