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Asia

Vietnam Discovery Tour

From €1655pp
Depart From
Fly from Dublin
Departure Date
20 Mar 2018 - 03 Apr 2018
Duration
15 Days
Destination
Vietnam
Price
From €1655pp
Enquire Now

Discover Vietnam and all its delights travelling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.

Travel to Vietnam and trace its mystical eastern coastline, traversing the country from south to north and discovering the many attractions that lie along the way.

From the modern chaos of Ho Chi Minh City all the way up to old-world Hanoi, you'll experience tumultuous history, colonial charm, vibrant colours, delicious food and inspiring scenery on this Vietnam holiday.

Why you'll love this trip:

  • Nha Trang is known as the Cannes of Vietnam thanks to its luxurious beaches and relaxed locals. You'll have plenty of free time here to go swimming, snorkelling or indulging in mud baths
  • Hoi An is another idyllic pocket of Vietnam that's best experienced from the seat of a bike. Take a guided bicycle tour through the rolling countryside
  • Vietnam's former imperial capital Hue is not a place where time goes slowly! We've allowed for plenty of free time to make the most of this historic city
  • Your homestay in Da Bac will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your trip. Experience life with the locals and enjoy a delicious home cooked meal
  • Halong Bay feels like paradise, with its blue-green waters and spectacular caves. Spend an afternoon and night cruising and exploring its beautiful bay

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves three overnight train journeys. Accommodation and amenities are shared and basic, but the experience of rubbing shoulders with the locals makes it all worthwhile. Plus you make the most of your time by travelling while you sleep.
  • During your local guesthouse on the Mekong Delta and homestay in Da Bac, you’ll have basic bedding and shared facilities. It’s not exactly the Hilton, but the experience will be a rewarding cultural exchange.
  • Your visit to Hoi An includes a bicycle tour of the surrounding countryside. Although the ride isn’t strenuous, you will need a basic level of fitness to take part.
  • There is an included hike of up to 6km (3.7 mi) in the countryside in Da Bac. Good walking shoes are recommended. While this hike is in the capabilities of most travellers, please let you booking agent know if you have any concerns.
  • This trip gives you plenty of free time in each location, perfect for the traveller who appreciates a bit of independence.

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Xin chao! Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting.

Please check with hotel reception or look on the reception noticeboard for where and when the meeting will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

As you won’t be spending much time in Ho Chi Minh City, we recommend arriving a few days early to see more of this incredible city. See the ancient pagodas and cathedrals near the former Presidential Palace, the historic Dong Khoi Street, and the chaotic markets of Ben Thanh and Cholon (Chinatown).

Accommodation:

  • Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel Experience Urban Adventure - USD43
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Ho Chi Minh Discovery Urban Adventure - USD53

Meals Included:

  • There are no meals included on this day.

Day 2: Mekong Delta

Make your way to the province of Ben Tre, where you’ll get on a boat to tour the canals of the Mekong Delta. This fertile area is famous for its abundance of fruit, flower and rice crops, and is known as ‘the rice bowl’ of Vietnam.

During your boat ride you’ll visit some local cottage industries and then head to your local guesthouse. Staying in simple local accommodation close to the Delta and hosted by a Vietnamese family will be one of the highlights of your trip as you get a taste of the life of a local and enjoy a home cooked meal.

Accommodation:

  • Homestay (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Mekong Delta - Boat cruise and homestay

Meals Included:

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information:

At the local guesthouse, you will be sleeping in multi-share rooms with bedding and mosquito nets provided. Bathroom facilities are basic and shared between the group, and our hosts.

Day 3: Mekong Delta - Overnight Train

Rising early to the sounds of the delta coming alive, we enjoy a simple breakfast before boarding our boat, and catching a bus back to Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy some free time in Ho Chi Minh City this afternoon, perhaps visit the War Remnants Museum or Reunification Palace.

This evening, board an overnight train to Nha Trang (approx 11 hours). Conditions are basic on these trains and they may be a little dirtier than what you’re used to, however overnight trains are the best way to brush shoulders with the locals and make the best use of your time.

Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travellers like to take some fresh bread, cheese and fruit for the journey.

Accommodation:

  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND15000

Meals Included:

  • Breakfast

Special Information:

There are shared hotel rooms available this afternoon between up to 6 members of the group, if you would like to freshen up or organise your luggage.

Sleeper trains typically have four or six berth compartments with bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Depending on the configuration of the group, you may have to share with people of different genders or passengers who aren’t part of the group.

Day 4: Nha Trang

Arrive in Nha Trang at about 5am and transfer to your hotel. You’ll have today free to spend as you wish. Perhaps enjoy your time on the sunny beaches or explore the local markets. Be sure to try some of the excellent seafood in town. Also nearby are the Cham Towers, where you can go for a day trip to see the fascinating archaeological site.

Accommodation:

  • Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Nha Trang - Boat trip - VND1316000
  • Nha Trang - Row boat tour - VND20000

Meals Included:

  • There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information:

There are shared hotel rooms available again this morning. Our normal twin-share rooms will be available from the hotel check in time this afternoon, but you can store your luggage at the hotel while you explore Nha Trang.

Day 5: Nha Trang - Overnight Train

Today is another free day to take in the coastal delights of Nha Trang. In the evening, board another overnight train for Danang (approximately 8 hours).

Accommodation:

  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Nha Trang - Mud baths - VND280000
  • Nha Trang - Po Nagar Cham Tower - VND22000

Meals Included:

  • There are no meals included on this day.

Day 6: Hoi An

Arrive in Danang and travel by minibus for one hour to Hoi An. Hoi An was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is being beautifully restored. It was a major trading port with the west from the 17th century onwards.

Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago. Your leader will take you on a sightseeing walk through the Old Town and visit some of the city's major attractions. A sightseeing pass is included in your tour for you to visit a selection of the major sights as you wish.

Hoi An is also a shopping mecca, so head down to the markets and street stalls to browse paintings, woodwork, ceramics and lanterns. Hoi An is famous for its tailors who can make beautiful items to order.

Accommodation:

  • Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket

Optional Activities:

  • Hoi An - Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD28

Meals Included:

  • There are no meals included on this day.

Day 7: Hoi An

Go on a bike ride through the countryside near Hoi An. There's no better way to explore the peaceful area than by bike. You’ll see places few tourists get the chance to see among green rice paddies and small creeks. You’ll get a true insight into rural life in Vietnam.

Accommodation:

  • Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Hoi An - Countryside bicycle hire

Optional Activities:

  • Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip - USD35
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike Urban Adventure - USD51
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD49

Meals Included:

  • There are no meals included on this day.

Day 8: Hue

Say goodbye to Hoi An this morning and make your way to Hue. The drive in our minibus will take about five hours, but along the way you’ll stop at My Khe Beach (China Beach) and the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co. You’ll be travelling on the incredible Hai Van Pass, through lush mountains.

Once in Hue, you’ll have a free afternoon to explore. Hue was once Vietnam’s Imperial capital and has a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil enclaves. Perhaps visit the Dong Ba Market, which sells everything imaginable and is a great place to spend some time.

Accommodation:

  • Hotel (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Hue - Imperial citadel - VND150000

Meals Included:

  • There are no meals included on this day.

Day 9: Hue - Overnight Train

Enjoy a free day in Hue. Perhaps visit the Imperial Citadel which includes the Forbidden Purple City that was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam war. The gaping holes left by bombs give you an idea of how much destruction occurred in this country.

Another optional activity is a dragon boat cruise along the Perfume River and then a visit to Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue. Here you’ll see an active Buddhist monastery dating back to 1601, and a car belonging to a monk who set himself alight in protest against the treatment of Buddhists.

You may also like to visit one of the royal tombs, that of Emperor Tu Duc, with its central lake set amid a grove of frangipani and pine trees.

This afternoon take another overnight train bound for Hanoi. The journey will take approximately 12 hours.

Accommodation:

  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Optional Activities:

  • Hue - Countryside Bike Urban Adventure - USD25
  • Hue - Hue Royal Street Eat by Cyclo Urban Adventure - USD40
  • Hue - Royal tomb - VND136000
  • Hue - Perfume river cruise and Thien Mu Pagoda - VND220000

Meals Included:

  • There are no meals included on this day.

Day 10: Hanoi

Arrive in Hanoi at about 5am and transfer to your hotel. Today you’ll take a walking tour of Vietnam’s charming capital. Explore the 36 streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, including the Dong Xuan Market, Hoan Kiem Lake and the unique architecture nearby.

Hanoi has a French provincial feel remaining from its colonial times, but it also has a Buddhist influence and striking modern buildings. The rest of the day is yours to explore Hanoi as you please.

Accommodation:

  • Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour

Optional Activities:

  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
  • Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND40000
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Army Museum - VND20000
  • Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, Stilt House and Museum - VND80000

Meals Included:

  • There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information:

There are shared hotel rooms available this morning prior to the standard check in time this afternoon.

Day 11: Da Bac

After an early breakfast, leave Hanoi around 8am and make the drive to Sung village (approximately 4 hours). Enjoy lunch at the Sung village homestay before heading out on a 6-kilometre trek (3.7 mi) through this beautiful, practically untouched landscape of rivers, mountains and rice fields.

At the end of the trek, take a boat to Da Bia village, home to the Muong ethnic group and where you’ll spend the night in a homestay. This afternoon, after the trek, there’s the opportunity to take a refreshing swim in the local reservoir.

Tonight’s homestay is a chance to experience first-hand the culture of Muong people.

Accommodation:

  • Homestay (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Da Bac - Ba Dia Village Homestay and activities

Meals Included:

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information:

It is shared accommodation, usually with the group in one room together. There are separate beds, with clean linen, blankets and mosquito net provided. There is also a shared bathroom with hot shower.

Day 12: Hanoi

This morning is free to make the most of your lovely surrounds and just soak up the serenity of this place – or maybe use the time soak in the reservoir instead! This afternoon, return by bus back to Hanoi (approximately 4 hours). This evening is free for you to explore this delightful city. Why not relax at a cafe or stop for a bia hoi (freshly brewed draught beer) at one of the microbars in the Old Quarter.

Accommodation:

  • Hotel (1 night)

Meals Included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 13: Halong Bay

Drive through the Red River Delta for about four hours and arrive at Halong Bay. Along the way, you’ll stop at the Hong Ngoc Humanity Centre, which provides vocational training and employment to Vietnamese people who experience a disability.

Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most scenic places, a secluded harbour with 2,000 limestone islands and caves rising from the emerald waters. You’ll board our boat and spend the rest of the day cruising the breathtaking bay.

Enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch on board, stop for a visit to Sung Sot Cave, and perhaps take a swim at Ti Top Beach or opt for a kayaking trip. Spend a night onboard your boat, with gentle waves rocking you to sleep.

Accommodation:

  • Overnight boat (1 night)

Included Activities:

  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise

Meals Included:

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information:

It is recommended to pack a smaller overnight bag to take to Halong Bay for ease of boarding and disembarking. You can store your main luggage in Hanoi for tonight.

Kayaking and swimming is restricted to designated zones within the bay.

There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight, sometimes resulting in a shortage. To ensure all Intrepid travellers can enjoy the experience of a night on the water, occasionally you will stay on a larger boat (with approximately 12 cabins) and share your boat with another group.

Or, your group may be split across different vessels, in which case an Intrepid group leader will be present on each boat, and the route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same.

Day 14: Hanoi

Disembark from your boat in Halong Bay at around midday and take a three-and-a-half hour bus ride back to Vietnam’s charming capital, Hanoi. On the way back stop at the stop for refreshments at a handicraft village. Return to Hanoi at around 4pm. Enjoy your last few hours of free time then join the group for an optional farewell dinner.

Accommodation:

  • Hotel (1 night)

Meals Included:

  • Breakfast

Day 15: Hanoi

There are no activities planned for today and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Optional Activities:

  • Hanoi Urban Adventure - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle - USD88
  • Hanoi Urban Adventure - Village Discovery by Bike - USD33

Price is per adult sharing and includes:

  • Flights and taxes from Dublin with Emirates
  • Meals:
    • 3 breakfasts
    • 4 lunches
    • 3 dinners
  • Transport:
    • Boat
    • Overnight sleeper train
    • Private Bus
    • Private vehicle
    • Taxi
    • Train
  • Accommodation:
    • Guesthouse (1 night)
    • Homestay (1 night)
    • Hotel (8 nights)
    • Overnight boat (1 night)
    • Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)
  • Included activities:
    • Mekong Delta - Boat cruise and homestay
    • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
    • Hoi An - Countryside bicycle hire
    • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
    • Da Bac - Ba Dia Village Homestay and activities
    • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Please ask us about adding great value:
  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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